Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Country Music Year of 2013

The Country Music Year of 2013

Country Routes News Blog takes a look back on the year of 2013:
  • Country news from around the world and the UK, Country Music Awards.
  • The Billboard Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay and Country Albums No1’s & noteable album debuts on the Billboard Top 200 (where shown) and Billboard Country Album Charts with first week sales numbers (** Note Billboard's W/E issue date is approximately 7-10 days in advance on the published charts date)
  • Baby joys and Deaths. 
2013 Country Music Collage CLICK to ENLARGE

January  2013

  • Taylor Swift was named as one of the nominees for the BRIT Awards 2013 for the Best International Female (solo).
  • HMV's debt was gobbled up by Hilco as firm seizes control control of HMV after buying the retailer's debt from lenders, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • Carrie Underwood was the top female country touring artist for 2012 according to Pollstar’s Year-End chart.
  • Haylor split: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles ended their romance during a luxurious break in the Caribbean.
  • Randy Travis was charged with DWI. Prosecutors filed a criminal charge of Driving While Intoxicated in Grayson County Court stemming from a one-car accident involving Travis in August 2012.
  • The Country Music Assn. Hosted its first international country marketing summit on March 1 at Disneyland Paris.
  • Mindy McCready lost the man she called her soulmate, David Wilson was found dead on Sunday morning (Jan. 13). He was 34.
  • Jason Aldean sold out every ticket at Madison Square Garden in New York City in just minutes on his 2013 NIGHT TRAIN TOUR.
  • The CMAA 2013 Golden Guitar Awards were held in Tamworth on Saturday, January 26, 2013. Troy Cassar-Daley has the big winner with four awards, including Male Artist of the Year, Single of the Yea, APRA Song of the Year and Album of the Year for Home. Catherine Britt, won Female Artist of the Year, Chelsea Basham, took out Telstra New Talent of the Year, Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, won Group or Duo of the Year.
  • Brantley Gilbert & Jana Kramer, were engaged! People magazine reported Brantley popped the question to Jana on Sunday, Jan. 20, his 28th birthday (They split later in the year!)
  • Taylor Swift was named the International Artist at the 2013 40 Principales Awards on Thursday (Jan. 24).
  • Country Music was finally back in The Big Apple!! The NY Daily News reported when ‘Nash 94.7’, aka WRXP 94.7, became the first country radio station in New York City in 17 years. 

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
(Jan 7, 2013 - Jan 14) "Keep Me in Mind" Zac Brown Band (2 weeks at #1)
(Jan 12, 2013 - 1 week) "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" Taylor Swift (#1 for 10 non-consecutive weeks)
(Jan 19, 2013 - Jan 26) "Cruise" Florida Georgia Line (2 weeks at #1)

#1 Billboard Country Airplay
(Jan 5, 2013) “Til My Last Day” Justin Moore
(Jan 12, 2013 - Jan 26) Goodbye In Her Eyes" Zac Brown Band (3 weeks at #1)

#1 Billboard Top Country Albums & Chart Debuts
(Jan 12, 2013 - Jan 26) RED Taylor Swift (3 weeks)

  • On New Year's Eve Eli Young Band bassist Jon Jones and his wife Sarah gave birth to a baby boy, weighing in at 7 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Lucy Angel’s Lindsay Anderton from the all female family trio Lucy Angel became a first time mommy giving birth to a little baby girl Lindsay McCartney Blaze Smith weighing 8lb 12 oz (photo). The Daddy was Anthony Smith (Record Producer/ Musician/Songwriter/)
  • American pop singer Patti Page died on New Year's Day in Encinitas, Southern California. She was 85. Nicknamed "The Singing' Rage," Page sold more than 100 million albums in her 67-year career. She was to receive a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in February 2013.
  • Sammy Johns died at the age of 66. The "Chevy Van" hit maker died of unknown causes in Gaston, N.C. Johns “Chevy Van” record was finally released in January 1975, it sold 3.5 million copies and made him an instant celebrity.
  • Tony Douglas, Texas Country Music Entertainer and Louisiana Hayride Star passed away on Tuesday, January 22, in Athens, Texas. He was 83. 
February 2013

  • NASHVILLE came to the UK - The first season of ABC’s drama series (starring Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere) received its UK premiere on More4 on Thursday February 7th.
  • Buffy Lawson, singer-songwriter-singer and formerly one half of the hit country duo Bomshel, has married her High School Sweetheart.
  • Randy Travis pleaded guilty in a Sherman, Texas, court to driving while intoxicated. He was given two years of probation, a fine of $2,000 and a 180-day suspended jail stay.
  • Tate Stevens the Belton, Missouri native who captivated viewers worldwide on FOX’s The X Factor Season 2 unveiled a first look of his debut music video at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards on February 10 on CBS. The new music video debuted complements of The X Factor sponsor Pepsi, as part of the grand prize awarded to Stevens in addition to his $5 million recording contract with Mr. Simon Cowell’s Syco Music/RCA Nashville.
  • Mindy McCready’s problems continued to snowball. The troubled country star's two children had been taken by child services. A judge ordered that McCready be committed to a treatment facility for alcohol abuse and a mental health evaluation.
  • The Dixie Chicks' singer Natalie Maines joked that going back to a career in country music would be "like going back to your abusive husband." Peter Cooper on Music: The curious case of the Dixie Chicks (The implosion that happened a decade ago) .Ten years and one day ago was a good time to be a Dixie Chick. Nine years and 364 days ago, not so much.
  • Blake Shelton set off a firestorm of debate with his comments about the clash between new styles of country music and traditional-minded fans with him calling older country fans “old farts” and “assholes”. Legendary Ray Price, originally took offense at Blake’s disparaging comments as published on
  • Taylor Swift made a dramatic entrance , when the 23-year-old “I Knew You Were Trouble” singer oozed confidence as she arrived onto the red carpet at the 02 arena whilst attending the 2013 Brit Awards on February 20, 2013 and she performed the hit song. 
#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
(Feb 2, 2013) "Better Dig Two" The Band Perry
(Feb 9, 2013) "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)" Gary Allan  (1 week)
(Feb 16, 2013) "Better Dig Two" The Band Perry (1 week)
(Feb 23, 2013 - March 2) "Wanted" Hunter Hayes  (2 weeks at #1)

#1 Billboard Country Airplay
(Feb 2, 2013)  "How Country Feels" Randy Houser (1 week)
(Feb 9, 2013) "Every Storm” (Runs Out Of Rain) Gary Allan (1 week)
(Feb 16, 2013)  "The Only Way I Know" Jason Aldean With Luke Bryan & Eric Church (1 week) 
(Feb 23, 2013 - March 2)  "Better Dig Two" The Band Perry (2 weeks at #1)

Billboard Top Country Albums & releases
(Feb 9, 2013 - Feb 16) SET YOU FREE Gary Allan (2 weeks)
(Feb 23, 2013) TWO LANES OF FREEDOM Tim McGraw (1 week)
(March 2, 2013) RED Taylor Swift

Debuts: (Feb 2, 2013)  Katie Armiger FALL INTO ME; 11,666 copies; #32 Billboard 200/ #7 Country
(Feb 9, 2013) Gary Allan  SET YOU FREE; 106,109 copies; #1 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Randy Houser HOW COUNTRY FEELS 24,091 copies #11 Billboard 200 / #3 Country
Tim McGraw TIM McGraw & FRIENDS; 3,361 copies; #125 Billboard 200/ #18 Country
(Feb 16, 2013)  Kris Kristofferson FEELING MORTAL 2,000 copies sold
Blue Sky Riders FINALLY HOME; (did not chart Billboard 200; #9 Heatseekers Chart)
(Feb 23, 2013) Tim McGraw TWO LANES OF FREEDOM; 106,604 copies; #2 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Holly Williams THE HIGHWAY 3,525 copies; #146 Billboard Top 200/ #18 Country
(March 2, 2013):
Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison CHEATER'S GAME; 2,835 copies #29 Country Album
Connor Christian & Southern Gothic NEW HOMETOWN; 4,445 copies; #127 Billboard Top 200/ #17 Country Album

Steve Martin became a father for the first time, at 67, after he and his wife Anne Stringfield welcomed a baby into their lives in December.

  • Mindy McCready (November 30, 1975 – February 17, 2013) A hugely successful country music singer whose debut album, 1996′s Ten Thousand Angels sold over 2 million copies. In all, McCready landed on the Country Singles chart twelve times and sold over 3 million albums. In April of 2012, McCready gave birth to her second child, and in January of 2013, the boy’s father, producer David Wilson, was found in his home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.  On February 17, 2013, McCready took her own life. She was 37. See Blog Post Reba McEntire (Facebook) : My heart goes out to Mindy McCready's friends and family. What a talented lady she was. RIP Mindy.
  • Songwriter Diane Lampert died Feb. 22 of heart failure in New York, the Associated Press reported. Although primarily a pop composer, she also netted a handful of country hits, led by Juice Newton’s “Break It to Me Gently” . 
March 2013

  • Lee Williams, CEO and owner of CMR Nashville, Django Promotions and President of the British Country Music Awards was presented with the prestigious ‘International Country Music Broadcaster Of The Year Award’ by the CMA (Country Music Association on Friday 1 March at Disneyland, Paris.
  • On Tuesday March 19th, Brian Clough North East England country presenter celebrated 33 years of broadcasting country music. Brian’s broadcasting career started in hospital radio and took in Metro, GNR, Century and Smooth. He worked in the offices of the Consett steelworks became the familiar voice of country for many fans and this was recognized in 2009 when he received the International Country Broadcaster Award from the Country Music Association (CMA) in America. Nowadays his listeners/web hits number between 10 – 30 a week, how the mighty fall. -
  • The C2C Country To Country 2013 Festival took place in London over 2 days with Kristen Bush, Vince Gill, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Brantley Gilbert, Darius Rucker, LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood on the bill. Blog Post 1 - Blog Post (Day 2)

  • The “Sixty For Sixty” movement began to bring awareness among George Strait’s fans and Country music media, as his current single “Give It All We Got Tonight. The “aim” to get George his 60th #1 single while he was 60 years old.
  • J.D. Souther, who co-wrote such Eagles hits as “Heartache Tonight” and “New Kid in Town,” was announced as one of the 2013 inductees in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
  • The 50th anniversary of the plane crash that took the lives of Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins was  remembered at the Grand Ole Opry's first Tuesday Night Opry of the year on March 5.
  • 2013 CMA Music Festival Lineup at LP Field was announced -
  • The trio Edens Edge is now a duo. The band posted a note on its website announced that its Feb. 22 Grand Ole Opry performance was the last with Hannah Blaylock.
  • Florida Georgia Line remixed their #1 hit ‘Cruise’ for pop radio with R&B star Nelly.
  • George Strait 's The Cowboy Rides Away Tour became the quickest sell-out at San Antonio’s Alamodome (72,000 venue), as tickets for his June 1 appearance disappeared in six minutes.
  • In its sixth year CMC ROCKS THE HUNTER continued to deliver a world-class mix of Aussie and International talent over 3 days against the picturesque backdrop of the Hope Estate in The Hunter Valley, NSW. Rascal Flatts and the Band Perry presented their first Australian shows in Brisbane on March 13. The festival marked the Aussie debuts of Chris Young and Love and Theft.
  • Country music million seller Frank Ifield was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Canberra Country Music Festival. 

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
(March 9, 2013 - April 6, 2013) "Sure Be Cool If You Did" Blake Shelton (5 weeks at #1) 

#1 Billboard Country Airplay
(March 9, 2013 - March 23) "One Of Those Nights" Tim McGraw (3 weeks at #1, his 33rd #1 single)
(March 30, 2013 / April 6, 2013) "Sure Be Cool If You Did" Blake Shelton (2 weeks at #1)

#1 Billboard Top Country Albums & Chart Debuts
(March 9, 2013 - March 16) RED Taylor Swift (16 non-consecutive weeks at #1)
(March 23, 2013 - March 30) Spring Break...Here To Party Luke Bryan (2 weeks)

(March 16, 2013) Emmylou Harris OLD YELLOW MOON; 15,827 copies #29 Billboard 200/ #4 Country
The Mavericks  IN TIME  13,696 copies #39 Billboard 200/ #8 Country
( March 23, 2013) Luke Bryan Spring Break...Here To Party; 149,515 copies; #1 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Ashley Monroe LIKE A ROSE; 10,737 copies; #43 Billboard 200/ #10 Country
(March 30, 2013)
Shooter Jennings THE OTHER LIFE; 3,947 copies; #130 Billboard 200/ #19 Country

  • Australian singer-songwriter Felicity Urquhart and Glen Hannah gave birth to their second girl - Ellie Grace.
  • Love and Theft’s Eric Gunderson and his wife, Emily, welcomed their first child on March 10 in Nashville.

  • Claude King, who is best remembered for his 1962 classic "Wolverton Mountain," died Thursday morning (March 7) at his home in Shreveport, LA.
  • Canadian country-folk singer Tom Connors has died of natural causes age 77, his promoter has said. Known as Stompin' Tom and one of Canada's biggest cultural figures, he embraced vibrant patriotic themes.
  • Country legend Jack Greene passed away. The 83-year-old entertainer, who was the first CMA Male Vocalist of the Year and earned the nickname “the Jolly Green Giant,” died on Thursday (March 14) after a battle with Alzheimer’s. 
April 2013

  • Taylor Swift was featured in the April 2013 issue of InStyle UK.
  • Kacey Musgraves  “Merry Go ‘Round” was new on the BBC Radio 2  she played London’s Bush Hall on Mon 15 Apr 2013- The Guardian (Review)
  • Listeners were asked to pick their favourite from their list of Radio 2's Top 100 Most Played Albums. On 1st April 2013, they counted down the results of the votes all day before Jo Whiley announced the winner. The only country album in the Top 100 was at No. 81 with Shania Twain’s COME ON OVER!

  • The Band Perry surprised artist Jasmine Rae with the Global Country Artist Award whilst they were down under at the CMR Rocks the Hunter.
  • The Academy of Country Music announced the recipients of some special and industry awards prior to the April 7 broadcast.
  • Jim Reeves International Award went to Lady Antebellum chosen for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world.
  • Julie Roberts (former professionally signed Mercury Nashville Records) auditioned on The Voice in a third Blind Audition episode broadcast on NBC on April 1, 2013. It was NO April Fool as she didn’t make it to the next round.
  • Willie Nelson‘s 80th birthday celebration begans with the release of a new album, his second album ‘LET’S FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCE.
  • Clare Bowen who is most recognized for her role as Scarlett O'Connor on ABC's primetime TV show Nashville bared it all in a new annual nude issue of Allure which hit newstands on April 22nd.

Country Music Awards
"The 48th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards” were hosted for the first time on Sunday April 7, 2013 by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan and broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on the CBS Television Network.
Luke Bryan received the 2013 ACM Entertainer of the Year. Miranda Lambert won for the fourth consecutive year as Female Vocalist of the Year and picked up  Single Record of the Year as artist, and Song of the Year , as artist and composer, for “Over You” . Jason Aldean won Male Vocalist of the Year and  Vocal Event of the Year, with Luke Bryan and Eric Church.
Florida Georgia Line received their first time ACM Award for New Artist of the Year.

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
(April 13, 2013) "Wagon Wheel" Darius Rucker (1 week)
(April 20, 2013 -  April 27) "Cruise" Florida Georgia Line

#1 Billboard Country Airplay
(April 13, 2013) "Somebody's Heartbreak" Hunter Hayes (1 week)
(April 20, 2013) "I Drive Your Truck” Lee Brice (1 week)
(April 27, 2013 - May 4, 2013) "Downtown" Lady Antebellum (2 weeks at #1)

#1 Billboard Top Country Albums & Chart Debuts
(April 6, 2013) SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK Kacey Musgraves (1 week)
(April 13, 2013) BASED ON A TRUE STORY Blake Shelton
(April 20, 2013): PIONEER The Band Perry (1 week)
(April 27, 2013): WHEELHOUSE Brad Paisley (1 week)

(April 6, 2013)
Kacey Musgraves SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK; 43,496 copies; #2 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Kyle Park BEGGIN’ FOR MORE; 2,629 copies; #163 Billboard 200/ #24 Country
Chris Cagle ICON; 748 copies; #48 Country / Trace Adkins ICON; #55 Country
(April 13, 2013):
Blake Shelton BASED ON A TRUE STORY 199,086 copies #3 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Alan Jackson PRECIOUS MEMORIES: VOLUME II; 55,422 copies; #5 Billboard 200/ #2 Country
Thompson Square JUST FEELS GOOD; 35,816 copies; #13 Billboard 200/ #4 Country 
Various Artists third annual ACM Awards 'ZinePak’ 15,305 copies #38 Billboard 200/ #11 Country
The Black Lillies RUNAWAY FREEWAY BLUES; 1,170 copies; #43 Country
(April 20, 2013):
The Band Perry PIONEER; 129,291 copies; #2 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Gretchen Wilson RIGHT ON TIME; 5,315 copies; #91 Billboard 200/ #24 Country
Justin Moore EP POINT AT YOU; 3,034 copies; #172 Billboard 200/ #28 Country
BJ Thomas THE LIVING ROOM SESSIONS; 1,711 copies; #39 Country Album
(April 27, 2013):
Brad Paisley WHEELHOUSE; 100,441 copies; #2 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Eric Church CAUGHT IN THE ACT: LIVE; 61,439 copies; #5 Billboard 200/ #3 Country 
Chuck Wicks EP, ROUGH; 6,547 copies; #70 Billboard 200/ #21 Country Album


  • Tenor Gordon Stoker died at his home in Brentwood, Tenn., on March 27, 2013 he left a slew of recordings that sold millions and—more importantly—influenced the creative direction of Nashville. His four-man vocal group, The Jordanaires, provided a variety of sonic textures for hits by Elvis Presley, Loretta Lynn, Rick Nelson, Kenny Rogers and Patsy Cline, among others
  • George Jones, Country Music Hall of Famer and master of blue-flame weepers, died at age 81. Jones, had a string of number one songs between the 1950s and 1990s. Jones publicist, Kirt Webster, said the Grammy-winning singer was admitted to hospital for fever and irregular blood pressure and died on Friday April 26, 2013. (Read Press Release) A flood of tributes followed with many referring to him as “The Greatest Country Singer”. See separate Blog Post George Jones: Factfile, Billboard Chart Success, Country Artist and radio Tributes, Links to: Articles, Videos, Interviews and Audio.
  • Stu Page, one of Britain’s finest guitarists and singer/songwriters on the country music circuit has sadly died, aged 58. After slipping on ice in December 2012 it resulted in a fractured vertebrae leading to complications and it was discovered he had lung cancer and had to go through intensive chemotherapy. See Tribute Blog Post

May 2013

  • George Strait released his 40th studio album, LOVE IS EVERYTHING, on May 14th
  • Billy Currington was indicted in an alleged Georgia altercation, on charges of 'Terroristic threats' and abuse of an elderly person.
  • Glen Campbell's Alzheimer's disease had progressed too far for him to remain on tour.
  • Jason Aldean's personal life made headlines everywhere when news broke that he filed for divorce from his wife of 12 years, Jessica Ussery.
  • Shania Twain has announced a new set of concerts for Autumn as part of her two-year Las Vegas Strip residency.
  • ABC TV renewed the "Nashville" fictionalized TV drama but cancelled Reba McEntire’s fictionalized sitcom "Malibu Country"
  • Jennifer Nettles from duo Sugarland announced on 17th May she would release her first solo album.
  • George Strait, became the first music artist in history, regardless of genre, to place 60 songs at the top of the charts when Mediabase named “Give It All We Got Tonight” as the week’s (published May 21st) most played song on country radio.
  • OKC In Crisis: As the Oklahoma City area faced its trial a number of country artists found the tragedy hitting close to home. Among the many artists who hail from Oklahoma is Toby Keith, whose Norman, OK residence is not far from the Tornado which devastated the town of Moore - Houston Chronicle . Carrie Underwood wrapped her 2012-2013 “Blown Away Tour” in Abbottsford, BC, with a one million dollar donation made to the Red Cross for disaster relief.
  • Jo Dee Messina, looked ahead to a new chapter in her career and will release a new full-length album with the people’s help through (The project goal of at least $100,000 was successfully pledged).
  • Kellie Pickler was the winner of Season 16 of  "Dancing With the Stars". The 26-year-old country singer won the show's mirror ball trophy with her professional partner, Derek Hough. The pair earned two sets of perfect scores and another the next night. Judges' scores combined with viewer votes determine the winner.
  • Cassadee Pope embarked on her first major tour on May 31st when she joined Rascal Flatts as the opener for their all new Live and Loud Tour.
  • George Straits current single “Give It All We Got Tonight” topped the Charts Mediabase Chart giving the country superstar his 60th No.1. The press release was rather suspicious and premature before any charts had been officially published? The No.1 seemed like a dodgy affair? Was it a fix for a king? - See Blog Post
#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
(May 4, 2013 - May 25) "Cruise" Florida Georgia Line

#1 Billboard Country Airplay
(May 11, 2013) "If I Didn't Have You" Thompson Square (1 week)
(May 18, 2013 - May 25) "Get Your Shine On” Florida Georgia Line (2 weeks at #1)

#1 Billboard Top Country Albums & Chart Debuts
(May 4, 2013 – May 11) BASED ON A TRUE STORY Blake Shelton
(May 18, 2013) LIFE ON A ROCK Kenny Chesney (1 week)
(May 25, 2013) GOLDEN Lady Antebellum (1 week)

(May 4, 2013):
Casey Donahew Band STANDOFF; 13,099 copies;  #32 Billboard 200/  #7 Country
Steve Earle & The Dukes LOW HIGHWAY ; 11,101 copies; #39 Billboard 200/  #12 Country
Granger Smith  DIRT ROAD DRIVEWAY 9,745 copies; #48 Billboard 200 / #15 Country
Willie Nelson LET'S FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCE; 9,587 copies; #49 Billboard 200 / #16 Country
Krystal Keith KRYSTAL KEITH (EP) 962 copies; #53 Country
Kim Richey THORN IN MY HEART; 932 copies; #55 Country
The Statesboro Revue RAMBLE ON PRIVILEGE CREEK; 579 copies/ #68 Country
Jonny Fritz DAD COUNTRY; 533 copies; #72 Country
(May 11, 2013):
Tate Stevens self titled; 16,830 copies; #18 Billboard 200 / #4 Country
Steve Martin & Edie Brickell LOVE HAS COME FOR YOU; 15,609 copies; #21 Billboard 200 / #1 Bluegrass Album
(May 18, 2013)
Kenny Chesney LIFE ON A ROCK; 152,805 copies; #1 Billboard 200 / #1 Country
Randy Rogers Band TROUBLE; 25,650 copies  #9 Billboard 200 / #3 Country
William Clark Green ROSE QUEEN 2,210 copies; #34 Country Album
(May 25, 2013)
Lady Antebellum GOLDEN; 167,314 copies; #1 Billboard 200 / #1 Country
Pistol Annies ANNIE UP; 83,460 copies; #5 Billboard 200 / #2 Country
Various Artists The Music Of Nashville Season 1, Vol.2 27,199 copies #13 Billboard 200 / #5 Country
Now That's What I Call a Country Party; 13,000 #31 Billboard 200 / #10 Country
Natalie Maines MOTHER; 22,824 copies; #17 Billboard 200
Craig Campbell NEVER REGRET; 5,000;  #96 Billboard 200 / #27 Country
Patty Griffin AMERICAN KID; #36 Billboard 200 / #4 Folk Album
Lenny Cooper MUD DYNASTY #34 Country Album
Dailey and Vincent BROTHERS OF THE HIGHWAY; #40 Country Album
Mickie James SOMEBODY’S GONNA PAY; 1,062 copies/ #55 Country Album (2nd week 393, 3rd week 270 -31% total 1,725) 

  • Aussie duo Mark O’Shea and his wife Jay, welcomed daughter August Eve into the world on Saturday 18th May.
  • Chely Wright and her music executive wife, Lauren Blitzer Wright welcomed identical twin sons on Saturday, May 18 in New York City.


  • Bob Brozman, author of The History and Artistry of National Resonator Instruments, a guitarist and self-described “roving guitar anthropologist” who collaborated with musicians from Northern Ireland to Guinea to India to Papua New Guinea, died on April 23 at his home in Santa Cruz, Calif. The cause was suicide, he was 59. 
  • The Tennesean reported that Tim Hensley (Oct. 8, 1962 - April 30, 2013) passed away yesterday from liver failure. The 50-year old multi-instrumentalist was in Kenny Chesney’s band for 11 years and Patty Loveless’ band for ten.
  • George Jones’ funeral took place on Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, starting at 10 am and was open to the public. "George would have wanted his fans and friends everywhere to be able to come and pay their respects along with his family," said publicist Kirt Webster. The service included music from Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill w/ Patty Loveless, Alan Jackson, Ronnie Milsap, Kid Rock, The Oak Ridge Boys, Brad Paisley, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt, Tanya Tucker, and Wynonna - See Blog Post
  • Long-time Canadian Country music producer Bill Langstroth died, Weds May 8, 2013 in a Moncton hospital, he was 81 year old.Langstroth, raised in Montreal, joined the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011 and was best known for his work for hosting "Singalong Jubilee", the CBC variety show celebrating folk and country music that ran 1961 to 1974. He married Nova Scotian singer Anne Murray in 1975.
  • Lorene Mann (January 4, 1937 - May 24, 2013), a co-founder of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), died Friday, May 24. The singer-songwriter was 76 years old. While serving as the organization’s secretary in the early 1970s, she came up with the slogan “It All Begins With a Song.” This remains the motto of the NSAI to this day.
  • Thomas “Tony” Autry Pickens died May 23 after a two-year battle with obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 74. A passionate fiddler for 60 years who backed countless country musicians, is remembered for his humility and a sense of humor.
  • Larry Wayne Clark Songwriter, producer and journalist has passed after an extended battle with cancer. Clark, a Canadian native, was a former editorial contributor to MusicRow Magazine, in addition other media outlets. As a songwriter, Clark co-penned Chris Young’s breakout Nashville Star single, “Drinkin’ Me Lonely,” Lee Greenwood’s “Between A Rock And A Heartache,” The Statler Brothers’ “To Make A Long Story Short” and Buddy Jewell’s “Addicted To The Rain.”
June 2013

  • Laura Bell Bundy and UK band McKay supported Rascal Flatts on their European dates.
  • Nineteen artists represented seven different countries for the 2013 CMA Global Events, held June 3-4, 2013. The 10th CMA Global Artist Party (Monday, June 3) at The Stage On Broadway was hosted by Nashville based David Bradley (UK). The “CMA Presents The Aristo Global Show” held Tuesday, June 4 at The Second Fiddle included twins Ward-Thomas (Catherine and Lizzy)(UK) and David Bradley (UK) Aristo PR Press  
  • Kenny Rogers was the "Glastonbury legend slot” on Sunday afternoon (June 30th). Rogers took to the Pilton stage amid his latest European tour.
  • Zac Brown Band were in the UK on Sunday (June 30th) playing London's Hard Rock Calling with Bruce Springsteen. Check out the Setlist and Photo Gallery .
  • Ralph Stanley the Country Music Hall of Fame member announced plans for his final tour which will conclude in December 2014.

  • Carrie Underwood: The Blown Away Tour exhibition opened at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum June 5.
  • The Rolling Stones continue to collaborate with country artists on their 50 & Counting Tour. Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Taylor Swift were all to join them.
  • Taylor Swift performed at the Capital FM Summertime Ball 2013 at Wembley on Sunday June 9th.
  • CMA FEST: CMA Festival LP Field line ups JUNE 6-9, 2013 -
  • The CMA Music Festival set a new attendance record in 2013 with daily attendance topping 80,000 fans, a near 13 percent increase over the 71,000 in attendance in 2012 and a sellout of LP Field tickets six weeks before the event. 3,000 photos - Flickr Feed  to relive the best four days of the summer!
  • Toby Keith brought friends Garth Brooks, Ronnie Dunn, Willie Nelson and Trisha Yearwood to help him perform at the July 6 Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert.
  • Julie Roberts announced that she has been signed to Sun Records, making her the first artist to release a new album for the label in almost three decades.
  • The Band Perry announced 12 European dates on their 2013 “We Are Pioneers” World Tour 2013.
  • Patty Loveless was honoured by The Grand Ole Opry on her 25th Anniversary as an Opry member she was inducted as an Opry member on June 11, 1988.
  • Danielle Bradbery was crowned champion of "The Voice" Season 4.
  • Buddy Miller replaced T Bone Burnett as the executive music producer of TV show “Nashville”.
  • No Shoes, No Shirts, and LOTS of Problems - Kenny "Have Another Beer" Chesney’s Concert at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field led to 73 arrests, an ocean of garbage, and the lingering stench of domestic beer and/or urine etc >> Video >> Video. Additionally, 43 minors were cited for underage drinking and about 200 people were treated for medical needs or transported to medical facilities.

Country Music Awards
The 2013 CMT Music Awards featured an interesting mix of old and new. Veterans like Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood took home top awards -

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
(June 1, 2013 - June 29) "Cruise" Florida Georgia Line

#1 Billboard Country Airplay
(June 1, 2013 - June 8)  "Wagon Wheel” Darius Rucker  (2 weeks at #1)
(June 15, 2013 - June 22) "Highway Don't Care" Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift (2 weeks at #1)
(June 29, 2013) "Boys 'Round Here" Blake Shelton feat. Pistol Annies (1 week)  

#1 Billboard Top Country Albums & Chart Debuts
(June 1, 2013) LOVE IS EVERYTHING George Strait (1 week)
(June 8, 2013) TRUE BELIEVERS Darius Rucker (1 week)
(June 15 – June 22) BASED ON A TRUE STORY Blake Shelton (6th week at #1)
(June 29, 2013) HERE’S TO THE GOOD TIMES  Florida Georgia Line (1st week at #1)

(June 1, 2013)
George Strait LOVE IS EVERYTHING; 119,598 copies; #2 Billboard 200 / #1 Country
Trace Adkins LOVE WILL; 24,769 copies; #14 Billboard 200 / #6 Country
Jason Boland & The Stragglers DARK & DIRTY MILE; 4,663 copies; #89 Billboard 200 / #25 Country
Amy Grant HOW MERCY LOOKS FROM HERE; 26,266 copies; #12 Billboard 200 / #1 Christian
(June 8, 2013):
Darius Rucker TRUE BELIEVERS; 83,409 copies; #2 Billboard 200 / #1 Country Album
Jessta James TIME TO GET RIGHT; 774 copies; No.30 New Artist chart
Angie Johnson EP SING FOR YOU; 375 copies; #95 Billboard New artist chart.
(June 15, 2013)
John Fogerty WROTE A SONG FOR EVERYONE; 50,993 copies; #3 Billboard 200/ #2 Rock
Gretchen Wilson UNDER THE COVERS; 1,227 copies; #45 Country
The Henningsens self-titled EP; 1,059 copies; #53 Country (2nd week fell of the Top 75 340 copies, down 68% for a 2-week total of 1,399 despite “American Beautiful” is in the Top 20 on Billboard Country Airplay (#17) and received nearly 3,000 weekly radio spins by BDS tracking stations)
Joe Diffie/Sammy Kershaw/Aaron Tippin ALL IN THE SAME BOAT; 684 copies; #70 Country
Della Mae THIS WORLD OFT CAN BE; 754 copies; #4 Bluegrass
(June 22, 2013)
LeAnn Rimes Spitfire 10,780 copies; #36 Billboard 200 / #9 Country (2nd week 6,464, 3rd week 3,297 -49  20,559  BB200 #134)
Lonestar LIFE AS WE KNOW IT 2,845 copies;  #148 Billboard 200 / #33 Country
(June 29, 2013)
Various Now That's What I Call Country Volume 6; 23,000 copies; #16 Billboard 200 / #4 Country
Jason Isbell SOUTHEASTERN 17,521 copies #23 Billboard 200

  • Jared Ashley and his wife Taylor welcomed their first child, daughter Georgia McClain Ashley, to the family on Fathers Day 2013. The 7 lb. 2 oz. 19” baby girl was born the evening of Sunday, June 9.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard star Jessica Simpson had her second child by fiance Eric Johnson and named him Ace Knute Johnson. The 32-year-old, who has a 13-month-old daughter called Maxwell, had a caesarean in Los Angeles.

  • Slim Whitman, the yodeller/singer known for the 1952 hit "Indian Love Call," died Wednesday (June 19th) in Jacksonville, Fla. He was 90. His death from heart failure was confirmed by his son-in-law. Read the Obituary Blog Review, looking at his career highlights, International fame and UK chart success.
  • Chet Flippo, Editorial Director of CMT and, passed away, at age 69 early in the morning of Wednesday (June 19). The revered journalist helped shine a national spotlight on country music. 
July 2013


  • The Country Music Association (CMA) Board of Directors announced today (July 1) that Steve Moore had submitted his resignation as Chief Executive Officer, effective June 30, 2013.
  • Randy Travis was  admitted to a Texas hospital and was listed in critical condition. He then underwent undergoing emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain following a stroke he suffered.
  • Alison Krauss celebrated her 20th anniversary as an Opry member!

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
(July 6, 2013 - July 27) "Cruise" Florida Georgia Line

#1 Billboard Country Airplay
(July 6, 2013) "Anywhere With You" Jake Owen (1 week)
(July 13, 2013 - July 27) "Crash My Party" Luke Bryan (3 weeks)

#1 Billboard Top Country Albums & Chart Debuts
(July 6, 2013) Deluxe Edition (ENCORE) Hunter Hayes
(July 13, 2013 - July 27 ) HERE’S TO THE GOOD TIMES  Florida Georgia Line (4th week at #1)

(July 6, 2013)
Hunter Hayes Deluxe Edition (Encore); 39,905 copies; #7 Billboard 200 / #1 Country
Danielle Bradbery Complete Season 4 Collection; 17,766 copies; #19 Billboard 200 / #6 Country
The Swon Brothers Complete Season 4 Collection; 6,597 copies; #65 Billboard 200 / #18 Country
LoCash Cowboys self-titled; 4,493 copies; #97 Billboard 200 / #25 Country
Green River Ordinance EP Chasing Down The Wind; 4,673 copies; #94 Billboard 200 / #28 Billboard
Slaid Cleaves STILL FIGHTING THE WAR; 975 copies; #54 Country
(July 20, 2013)
Mud Digger VOL.4 - MUD DIGGER; 8,586 copies; #39 Billboard 200 / #8 Country
(July 27, 2013)
Travis Tritt THE CALM AFTER...; 2,000+ copies; #190 Billboard 200 / #31 Country

27-year-old Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott and husband Chris Tyrrell welcomed their first child a baby girl (7 lbs. 13 oz), born Monday (7/22). "She's here," Scott tweeted to her more than 115,000 followers. "We are in heaven! Eisele Kaye, our beautiful angel, Happy Birthday!" Long live the queen. Yes, their daughter shares a birthday with the royal baby boy born on Monday to Kate Middleton and Prince William!

  • Songwriter Johnny MacCrae died Wednesday (July 3) at his home in Ashland City, Tenn., of heart disease. He was 84. He wrote or co-wrote such country hits as Conway Twitty's "I'd Love to Lay You Down," Reba McEntire's "You Lift Me Up to Heaven," Highway 101's "Whiskey, if You Were a Woman" and Doug Stone's "I'd Be Better Off in a Pine Box."
  • Jim Foglesong, legendary music industry executive passed away. He was 90. In 1970, he moved from New York to Nashville to become A&R Chief for Dot Records, working with Roy Clark, Donna Fargo and others. Foglesong became president of of Dot in 1973.  In 1979, Foglesong was head of MCA Nashville operation, a time when Reba McEntire, George Strait and Gene Watson joined the roster. He later headed Capitol Nashville from 1984 through 1989,  where he oversaw the careers of Mel McDaniel and Dan Seals and newly signed artists including Suzy Bogguss, Garth Brooks, Maris Osmond, Sawyer Brown and Tanya Tucker.
  • Western swing giant Curly Lewis died Sunday July 14 in Tulsa aged 88. A legendary Western-swing fiddler he played with some of the genre's greats, among them Bob and Johnnie Lee Wills. 
August 2013

  • Mickie James the Montpelier, Virginia based and 3X TNA Wrestler Champ/ Country singer had been on a European Tour which included an album launch party at the Grace Bar, Soho, London (July 21) and in Ayr, Scotland. Away from the wrestling ring, Mickie is enjoying a successful music career as a country singer and released her second album SOMEBODY’S GONNA PAY which charted at #55 on the Billboard Country Album chart selling 1,062 copies.
  • Daniel O'Donnell revealed his wife Majella refused to allow him to stop touring after she was diagnosed with cancer. In July Majella received the news that she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Carrie Underwood, Pollstar's Top Female Country Touring Artist of 2012 brought her stage show to DVD with the August 13 release of The Blown Away Tour:  LIVE.
  • - U.S. album sales hit new historic lows.
  • The life and music of Johnny Cash continued to be remembered in two new releases. LIFE Unseen: Johnny Cash — An Illustrated Biography released on Aug. 13 in honour of the 10th anniversary of the entertainer’s death.
  • Live Nation announced the triumphant return of the multi-platinum selling Dixie Chicks with their Long Time Gone Tour 2013 through select markets in Canada. It marked the first full tour for the Dixie Chicks through Canada in 7 years.
  • Sugarland's insurer  filed new lawsuits: Two years after the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair on August 13, 2011, killing 7 and injuring nearly 60 more.
  • Linda Ronstadt, 67, told AARP magazine she “can’t sing a note” because she suffers from Parkinson’s disease.
  • Tate Stevens, who signed with RCA Nashville after winning the second season of The X-Factor in 2012, was no longer listed on the Sony Nashville website. This has led to speculation that Stevens has parted ways with the label or possibly been dropped.
  • Taylor Swift revealed a new song entitled ‘Sweeter Than Fiction’ contributed to the soundtrack of movie “One Chance” about the life story of Paul Potts, winner of Britain’s Got Talent season 1.
  • More than a hundred people were arrested at a country music festival taking place at Gillette Stadium when headliner Kenny Chesney returned on August 23rd and 24th.
  • Nashville’s first ABC TV season ended with a bang (literally) as country superstar Rayna Jaymes and her current boyfriend Deacon Claybourne were involved in a nasty, potentially fatal car crash.
#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
(Aug 3, 2013 - Aug 24) "Cruise" Florida Georgia Line (24 non-consecutive weeks at #1)
(Aug 31, 2013) “That’s My Kind of Night” Luke Bryan

#1 Billboard Country Airplay
(Aug 3, 2013)  "DONE." The Band Perry (1 week)
(Aug 10, 2013 - Aug 17) "Runnin' Outta Moonlight" Randy Houser  (2 weeks at #1)
(Aug 24, 2013 - Aug 31) "Don’t Ya”  Brett Eldridge (2 weeks at #1)  

#1 Billboard Top Country Albums & Chart Debuts
(August 3, 2013 - Aug 24) HERE’S TO THE GOOD TIMES  Florida Georgia Line (8th week at #1)
(August 31, 2013) CRASH MY PARTY Luke Bryan

(Aug 3, 2013)
JJ Lawhorn ORIGINAL GOOD OL’ BOY; 4,135 copies; #91 Billboard 200; #20 Country
Joey+Rory INSPIRED: SONGS OF FAITH & FAMILY; 2,580 copies; #166 Billboard 200 / #31 Country
Court Yard Hounds AMELITA 5,426 copies; #70 Billboard 200 / #18 Rock
(Aug 10, 2013)
Guy Clark MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF YOU; 5,593 copies; #62 Billboard 200 / #12 Country
Justin Adams self titled EP 729 copies; #59 Country
Grits & Glamour (Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan) DOS DIVAS; 691 copies; #62 Country
(Aug 17, 2013)
Vince Gill and  Paul Franklin BAKERSFIELD; 12,043 copies; #25 Billboard 200/ #4 Country
(Aug 24, 2013)
The Civil Wars Self Titled; 115,877 copies; #1 Billboard 200; #1 Rock/Folk
Brett Eldredge BRING YOU BACK; 21,119 copies; #11 Billboard 200/ #2 Country
Clint Black WHEN I SAID I DO;  2,455 copies; #167 Billboard 200/ #30 Country
Rusty Truck KICKER TOWN; 1,000 copies; #45 Country
Michael Martin Murphey RED RIVER DRIFTER; less than 570 copies; #74 Country
(August 31, 2013)
Luke Bryan CRASH MY PARTY; 527,783 copies; #1 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Glen Campbell SEE YOU THERE; 6,000 copies; #89 Billboard 200/ #22 Country
Johnny Cash LIFE Unheard; #200 Billboard 200/ #32 Country

  • Singer-songwriter Nick Nixon passed away on July 30th Tuesday afternoon from a lung disease. He signed with Mercury Records in the 70's and scored more than a dozen top 100 hits. He co-wrote “The Teddy Bear Song,” with Don Earl.
  • “Cowboy” Jack Clement, Country Music Hall of Fame inductee-elect passed away at his home in Nashville after a battle with cancer. He was 82. The Memphis native began his career in 1956 as a producer and engineer for Sam Phillips at Sun Records, where he worked with Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis - Read Blog Post
  • Tompall Glaser, one of country music’s original Outlaws, died at 79 after fighting a prolonged illness according to his family.
  • Glaser would never achieve the success of contemporaries like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings but was a key player in the rebellion they started against Music Row in the early 1970s. Read Separate Blog Post
  • Leo Duffy, one half of the English bluegrass duo, the Duffy Brothers, passed away on Saturday, 17 August from bowel cancer. They became professional entertainers in 1978 after winning the Marlboro Country Music Talent show at the Wembley Festival of Country Music. They toured as special guests on the Charley Pride Show some years ago.

September 2013

  • Wayne Jacob’s secured the Listener’s Club Award for a second year on Sept 7th
  • Kacey Musgraves joined Jools Holland and the band in the studio on Monday Sept 9 at 23:00 on BBC Radio 2.
  • Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, Dixie Chicks, Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley & Chris Young were confirmed to appear across the huge two-day weekend for Country to Country 2014 (#C2C2014) with more artists to be announced! The music festival extravaganza takes place at The O2 in London on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 March 2014.
  • Taylor Swift announced she will be painting London RED in February 2014 with 3 dates at London’s The O2  Saturday 1st, Sunday 2nd and Tuesday 4th February 2014.
  • Tim McKay and his band McKAY signed to a major worldwide label EMI/UNIVERSAL. In June 2012 McKay went on a mini tour in Europe with Dwight Yoakham (headliner), Laura Bell Bundy and Joey & Rory with dates in Scandinavian including Oslo, Norway and the famous High Chaparral Country Music Festival in Sweden. On March 16th 2013 McKay opened for Brantley Gilbert at the Manchester Academy and in July supported Rascal Flatts on their UK and European dates Shepherds Bush Empire on 10th & 11th July.
  • George Strait sold out Los Angeles’ Staples Center in 9 minutes with more than 17,000 tickets sold for Feb. 8, 2014 tour stop. The concert was his first to go on sale and was Strait’s ninth stop during the last leg of his final, two-year The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.
Country Music Awards
  • The 31st  Canadian Country Music Association Awards (CCMA) Awards Broadcast took place in Edmonton, Alberta on September 8, 2013. Gord Bamford picked up three 2013 CCMA Awards for Album of the Year, Single of the Year, and CMT Video of the Year. In total, Bamford won five 2013 CCMA Awards. Dean Brody also came away a winner, taking home top honour as the Male Artist of the Year. Kira Isabella won Female Artist of the Year. The CCMA Rising Star Award  went to newcomer Bobby Wills. The Stellas were also recognized as Group or Duo of the Year.
  • Americana Music Association’s 12th Annual Honors 2013: Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Shovels & Rope win big Blog Post - Winners & Report
  • The International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA) show took place on Thursday Sept 26th, 2013. Cyber Grass : Reigning Entertainers of the Year, The Gibson Brothers, held onto their crown.

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
(Sept 7, 2013 - Sept 28) That’s My Kind of Night” Luke Bryan

#1 Billboard Country Airplay
(Sept 7, 2013 - Sept 14) "Little Bit of Everything” Keith Urban (2 weeks at #1)
(Sept 21, 2013 - Sept 28) “Round Here” Florida Georgia Line (2 weeks at #1)

#1 Billboard Top Country Albums & Chart Debuts
(Sept 7, 2013 - Sept 21) CRASH MY PARTY Luke Bryan (4th week at #1)
(Sept 28, 2013) FUSE Keith Urban 

(Sept 7, 2013)
The Lacs  KEEP IT REDNECK; 14,460 copies; #23 Billboard 200/ #3 Country
Charlie Worsham RUBBERBAND; 6,000 copies; #64 Billboard 200 / #12 Country
Tracy Lawrence HEADLIGHTS, TAILLIGHTS AND RADIOS; over 3,000 copies; #124 Billboard 200/ #26 Country
Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby CLUCK OL' HEN #38 Country / #1 Bluegrass
(Sept 14, 2013)
Alabama  ALABAMA & FRIENDS; 31,948 copies; #8 Billboard 200/ #2 Country Album
Sundy Best DOOR WITHOUT A SCREEN;  2,000 copies; #33 Country Album
Due West MOVE LIKE THAT; #38 Country Album
(Sept 21, 2013)
Frank Foster SOUTHERN SOUL 6,000 copies; #67 Billboard 200, #11 Country
Craig Morgan The Journey (Livin’ Hits)  5,000 copies; #78 Billboard 200; #12 Country
Reckless Kelly LONG NIGHT MOON; 4,000 copies; #106 Billboard 200/ #22 Country 
Chris Janson Chris Janson EP 1,000 copies 
(Sept 28, 2013)
Keith Urban  FUSE; 98,037 copies; #1 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Sheryl Crow FEELS LIKE HOME; 36,427 copies; #7 Billboard 200/ #3 Country Album
George Jones AMAZING GRACE #34 Country
Steve Wariner IT AIN’T ALL BAD; 600 to 800 copies; #74 Country Album

  • Ray Dolby, who invented some of the technologies that revolutionized film and sound recording, died at age 80 (Sept 12) in San Francisco.
  • Texas rockabilly singer Mac Curtis passed away on September 16, 2013. His 1968 release, "The Sunshine Man", hit No.35 on the U.S. Country albums chart. Singles included "Early In The Morning" (1970/ #35 Country) , "Honey, Don't" (1970, #43 Country), "Don't Make Love" (1969 / #60 Country),"Happiness Lives In This House" (1969/ #63 Country),"The Quiet Kind" (1968/ #64 Country), "The Sunshine Man" (1968/ #54 Country). He was later elected to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
  • Marvin Rainwater, who hit the country top ten and pop top twenty in 1957 with "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird", died on Tuesday (Sept 17, 2013) after a short illness. He was 88. In 1957, Rainwater scored his biggest hit with the self-penned "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird" which sold more than one million copies.

October 2013

  • Dolly Parton announced (Oct 22) the 'Blue Smoke World Tour' she would travel across the pond in 2014 for June and July concerts in Europe hitting England, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Germany, Norway, as well as a return to the O2 Arena in London.

  • Taylor Swift made history by collecting her sixth Nashville Association of Songwriters International Singer-Songwriter of the Year award on Sunday Oct 13. On Saturday (Oct. 12) the Taylor Swift Education Center, made possible by her whopping $4 million donation, opened at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
  • Randy Travis had been resting and recovering Travis’ rep said the singer was off life support and making progress
  • Carrie Underwood was featured on the soundtrack to NBC's live production of The Sound of Music, due out December 3.  She played Maria Von Trapp in the TV broadcast, which aired December 5.

Country Music Awards
The 44th Annual GMA Doves Awards, hosted by Amy Grant and Kirk Franklin, were handed out Oct 16 at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in celebration of Gospel and Christian music’s biggest night -

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
(Oct 5, 2013 - Oct 26) That’s My Kind of Night” Luke Bryan

#1 Billboard Country Airplay
(Oct 5, 2013 - Oct 12) “Night Train” Jason Aldean (2 weeks at #1)
(Oct 19, 2013)  “Hey Girl” Billy Currington (1 week)
(Oct 26, 2013 - Nov 9) “It Goes Like This” Thomas Rhett (3 weeks at #1) 

#1 Billboard Top Country Albums & Chart Debuts
(October 5, 2013) OFF THE BEATEN PATH Justin Moore
(Oct 12, 2013 - Oct 19) CRASH MY PARTY Luke Bryan (6th week at #1)
(Oct 26, 2013) FRAME BY FRAME Cassadee Pope

(October 5, 2013)
Justin Moore OFF THE BEATEN PATH; 96,730 copies; # Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Chris Young A.M; 52,742 copies; #4 Billboard 200/ #2 Country
Billy Currington WE ARE TONIGHT; 25,787 copies; #10 Billboard 200/ #5 Country
Various Artists High Cotton: A Tribute To Alablama; #39 Country Album
(Oct 12, 2013)
Alan Jackson THE BLUEGRASS ALBUM ; 21,768 copies; #11 Billboard 200/ #3 Country
Sammy Hagar SAMMY HAGAR & FRIENDS 14,863 copies #23 Billboard 200
Neal McCoy Pride: A Tribute Album To Charley Pride; #52 Country
( Oct 19, 2013)
Tyler Farr REDNECK CRAZY; 28,857 copies; #5 Billboard 200/ #2 Country
Hank3 Brothers Of The 4x4; some 6,000 copies; #61 Billboard 200/ #10 Country
Randy Travis - Influence, Volume One: The Man; 4,000 copies; #120 Billboard 200/ #19 Country
The Wood Brothers ; poss 3,000 copies; #145 Billboard 200/ #22 Country
(Oct 26, 2013)
Cassadee Pope FRAME BY FRAME; 43,196 copies; #9 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Joe Nichols CRICKETS; 15,105 copies #17 Billboard 200/ #3 Country
Kenny Rogers YOU CAN'T MAKE OLD FRIENDS; 8,243 copies; #43 Billboard 200/ #9 Country
Joey+Rory MADE TO LAST; 1,600 copies; #44 Country 

  • Barry McCloud, born and raised in England, best known as the author of Definitive Country, died (Sept. 26) at age 70. His book Definitive Country: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Country Music and its Performers was first published in 1995 and remains one of the genre’s essential reference works.
  • Known professionally as Cal Smith, and famed for top-charting hits “Country Bumpkin,” “The Lord Knows I’m Drinking” and “It’s Time To Pay the Fiddler” , died Thursday, Oct. 10, in Branson, Mo., at age 81.
  • Leon Ashley, country singer-songwriter, died at age 77 on Sunday, Oct. 20 after a lengthy illness. Ashley made history in 1967 when he became the first person to have a No. 1 hit with a song he wrote, published and sang on his own record label (Ashley Records). That song, “Laura (What’s He Got That I Ain’t Got”,  became a favorite also recorded by artists such as Marty Robbins, Claude King and Kenny Rogers.
  • Sherman Halsey an Award-winning music video director and producer was found dead Tuesday (Oct 29th) at a Nashville home where he had been staying (foul play isn't suspected). He was 56. Halsey helmed video projects from Dwight Yoakam, Tim McGraw, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Taylor Swift and others.
 November 2013

  • Ward-Thomas signed with BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc)
  • Taylor Swift took part in the Winter Whites Gala at Kensington Palace on November 26th. She joined Bon Jovi, and Prince William (The Duke of Cambridge) to sing an impromptu rendition of the hit song >> 'Living On A Prayer'
  • The British Country Music Awards 2013 (BCMAwards) took place on Sunday 24th November 2013 at the Concorde Suite, Heathrow. Entertainer of the Year was Henry Smith. Gary Perkins (Male Vocalist), Nancy Ann Lee (Female Vocalist) Raintown (Duo) andPeter Kennedy (Album Of The Year)
  • George Jones celebrated at Nashville tribute concert. What was to become a Nov. 22 farewell concert at the Nashville saw more than 100 performers (Press Release) take the stage at Bridgestone during the almost-four-hour concert to sing more than 40 songs made famous by the “King of Broken Hearts. 
Country Music Awards
  • Reba McEntire and CMA Awards nominees The Band Perry surprised radio stations and personalities with news of their 2013 CMA Broadcast Awards - 2013 CMA Broadcast & Radio Station Awards 
  • The 47th Annual CMA Awards : George Strait earned his third Entertainer of the Year honor, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton became the first married couple in CMA history to win Female and Male Vocalists four years in a row and Taylor Swift received the Pinnacle Award. Shelton also took home Album, Kacey Musgraves was named New Artist, Florida Georgia Line won Vocal Duo and "Cruise" took Single. Vocal Group went to Little Big Town and Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck" won Song of the Year.
  • BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris received the CMA International Country Broadcaster Award for a second time having won it back in 2004
  • Taylor Swift and George Strait were among big winners at the 10th annual Billboard Touring Awards.
  • Taylor Swift's fans voting her the American Music Awards Artist of the Year for a third time on Sunday Nov 24th. Swift won the night's top honor, giving her a leading four trophies.  Florida Georgia Line snagged Single of the Year with Luke Bryan won Favorite Male Country Artist - see separate Blog post.

#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
(Nov 2, 2013 - Nov 16) “That’s My Kind of Night” Luke Bryan (12 consecutive weeks at #1)
(Nov 23, 2013 - Dec 7, 2013) “We Were Us” Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert (3 weeks at #1)

#1 Billboard Country Airplay
(Nov 16, 2013 – Nov 30) “Mine Would Be You” Blake Shelton (3 weeks at #1)

#1 Billboard Top Country Albums & Chart Debuts
(Nov 2, 2013) SEE YOU TONIGHT Scott McCreery
(Nov 9, 2013) CRASH MY PARTY Luke Bryan (7th week at #1)
(Nov 16, 2013 - Nov 30) Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas Robertsons (3 weeks)

(Nov 2, 2013)
Scott McCreery SEE YOU TONIGHT; 52,240 copies; #6 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Willie Nelson TO ALL THE GIRLS 42,622 copies; #9 Billboard 200/ #2 Country
Chase Rice EP READY SET  ROLL ; 16,903 copies; #16 Billboard 200/ #4 Country
Will Hoge NEVER GIVE IN; 3,000 copies; #126 Billboard 200/ #23 Country
(Nov 9, 2013)
Brandy Clark 12 STORIES #195 Billboard 200/ #28 Country 
(Nov 16, 2013)
Robertsons’ Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas; 69,162 copies; #4 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Thomas Rhett IT GOES LIKE THIS; 36,253 copies; #6 Billboard 200/ #2 Country
Toby Keith DRINKS AFTER WORK; 35,355 copies; #7 Billboard 200#3 Country
Trace Adkins THE KING’S GIFT; 4,000+ copies; #110 Billboard 200/ #20 Country
Julie Roberts GOOD WINE & BAD DECISIONS #36 Country
(Nov 23, 2013)
Divided & United: The Songs Of The Civil War (Various Artists); #32 Country
(Nov 30, 2013)
Kellie Pickler THE WOMAN I AM 16,295 copies; #19 Billboard 200/ #4 Country
Elvis Presley “Merry Christmas...Love, Elvis; #25 Country

Austin, Texas singer-songwriter recording artist Bart Crow and supermodel wife/roomie Brooke welcomed twins with two boys, Baby A and Baby B (no names decided).

Betsy Smittle (photo), musician, vocalist, and half-sister of Garth Brooks, died on Saturday (11/2), reports KWTV. Smittle, who was 60 years old at the time of her death, was also a member of Brooks’ band for several years. Her solo album, Rough Around the Edges, was released in 1994. 

December 2013

Best charting Americana/ Country Albums on the Official UK Top 100 Albums Chart in 2013 were:
The Civil Wars - eponymous album debut at No.2 (9,825 sales; chart week Aug 17, 2013)
Lady Antebellum GOLDEN - debut at No.7 (11,784 sales; chart week May 18, 2013), then #19, then #36, then #54, then #66, then #65, then #79, then 87, then off the chart in week 9.
Daniel O’Donnell A PICTURE OF YOU - debut at No.16 (10,363 sales; chart week ending Nov 23, 2013), then #28, then #43, then #55, stayed at #55, then #58, then #86 then off the chart
Steve Earle & backing band The Dukes (& Duchesses) THE LOW HIGHWAY - debut at No.30 (3,229 sales; chart week April 20, 2013) then #73
Glen Campbell SEE YOU THERE - debut at No.35 (2,682 sales chart week Aug 24, 2013 ), then #66, then off the chart
The Mavericks IN TIME debut at No.37 (3,521 sales; Chart Week February 16, 2013 ), then #67, then #98
Kacey Musgraves SAME TRAILER, DIFFERENT PARK - debut at No.39 (2,634 sales; chart week April 20, 2013), then #63, then #86
Emmylou Harris/Rodney Crowell "Old Yellow Moon" debut at No.42 (4,077 sales; Chart week March 16, 2013) then #42- #96
Tim McGraw with TWO LANES OF FREEDOM debut No.43 (2,500+ copies sold; then #42-#61, then #61-#96
Others which had JUST one week on the chart on their debut weeks: Brad Paisley WHEELHOUSE No.69 (1,582 sales), Willie Nelson TO ALL THE GIRLS No.72 (1,452 sales), Patty Griffin AMERICAN KID No.83, Rascal Flatts No.87, Darius Rucker "TRUE BELIEVERS"  No.89, The Band Perry PIONEER No.94, Zac Brown Band UNCAGED No.92 (sales possibly 1,000 copies)

  • Taylor Swift took her Red Tour Down Under starting Friday (Nov 29) with a three-night run at Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. Madonna was the last female artist to tour Australia's stadiums back in 1993.
  • Garth Brooks has been coy about rumors his new album and sitting down with “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts he spilled - “You know what, since it’s you and since we’ve had a history forever, let’s announce it.  We’re going on a world tour in 2014,” 
#1 Billboard Hot Country Songs
(Dec 14, 2013 - Jan 4, 2014) “Stay” Florida Georgia Line (4 weeks at #1)

#1 Billboard Country Airplay
(Dec 14, 2013) "Sunny And 75" Joe Nichols (1 week)
(Dec 21, 2013) "Carolina" Parmalee (1 week)
(Dec 27, 2013) "Drunk Last Night" Eli Young Band (1 week)

#1 Billboard Top Country Albums & Chart Debuts
(Dec 7, 2013) Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas Robertsons (4th week at #1)
(Dec 14, 2013 - Dec 27, 2013) Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences Garth Brooks (3 weeks)

(Dec 14, 2013)
Garth Brooks Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences; 163,604 copies; #3 Billboard 200/ #1 Country
Billie Joe + Norah Jones FOREVERLY; 22,000 copies; #40 Billboard 200
(Dec 21, 2013)
Jake Owen DAYS OF GOLD, 39,428 copies;  #15 Billboard 200/ #4 Country
(Dec 27, 2013)
Zac Brown Band THE GROHL SESSIONS, VOL. 1; 26,707 copies; #25 Billboard 200/ #5 Country
Soundtrack, "Nashville: The Music of Nashville: Season 2, Vol1, 17,621 copies, #34 Billboard 200/ #6 Country
Parmalee FEELS LIKE CAROLINA; 14,000 copies; #46 Billboard 200/ #10 Country
Soundtrack, The Sound Of Music (Carrie Underwood); 37,601 copies; #17 Billboard 200

Krystal Keith’s WHISKEY & LACE, Deana Carter’s SOUTHERN WAY OF LIFE and Gwen Sebastion’s debut were notable absentee’s in 2013 from the Country album charts despite the publicity and promotion they received.

  • It was congrats to Lee Brice and wife Sara on the birth of son Ryker Mobley Brice Wednesday (4 Dec).
  • Songwriter/producer Nelson Larkin died on Nov. 18 in Brentwood, Tenn. A label executive with Atlantic, Sunbird and GRT, he wrote Tracy Lawrence’s “Somebody Paints the Wall” and Billy Joe Royal’s “Love Has No Right,” and produced hits for Earl Thomas Conley, Robin Lee and Toby Keith, among others
  • Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Price died, aged 87, on Monday at his Mt. Pleasant, TX home (Dec 16) following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was the first artist to have a success with the song "Release Me" (1954), a top five popular music hit for Engelbert Humperdinck in 1967. Price's 1956 single "Crazy Arms" (>> video (live in the 80's) spent 20 weeks atop the country charts and introduced a bass-driven, four-four rhythm that became a touchstone of the Nashville sound. Grammy Awards: 1971 Best Male Country Vocal Performance - "For The Good Times" (>> Video) Academy of Country Music: 1970 Album of the Year - For The Good Times /1970 Single of the Year - "For The Good Times".
  • Steel Guitar Hall of Famer John Sibert, whose tone and musicality were central to the appeal of top-charting country hits for Carl Smith, Kitty Wells and Little Jimmy Dickens, died Saturday (Dec 21) at age 80, after years of declining health.

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