Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Country Bites News snippets June 16 - June 22, 2014

Country Bites News snippets June 16 – June 22, 2014



The Common Linnets with their the #2 Eurovision song “Calm After the Storm” remained on the BBC Radio 2 "B" Playlist  for the week commencing Saturday 21st June 2014.

Tour & Gig dates added: Ashton Lane, Jess Morgan, Star Lane, Danni Nicholls, Charlie Dore, Dexeter Band, Hannah Jane Lewis, Lucy Zirins, Ward Thomas, Sally Barker, My Darling Clementine, The Shires, Sturgill Simpson, Mary Gauthier, Carrie Rodriguez and Anaïs Mitchell.
The ABC of British Country Music Live listings for Artists, Bands & Clubs - What's On     
Scottish Country gigs - scotcountryconcerts.blogspot

Callaghan's new album pledge campaign has hit 99%! "Green Eyes" interviews Callaghan at home! In this interview Callaghan talks about her recent coast-to-coast tour, plans for the new album, working with producer Dennis Matkosky and how thrilled she is by the response to her campaign.

Bob Harris introduced a session with rising Country-rock star Brantley Gilbert, who has recently achieved his third country No1 with his latest single 'Bottoms Up'.


Official UK Top 100 Album Chart (Week Ending June 28, 2014)
Dolly Parton with BLUE SMOKE / THE BEST OF (Masterworks) held at No.6 selling 13,962 copies in her second week (33% down, adding to first week sales of 20,860 copies)
First Aid Kit's STAY GOLD fell at 11-16 ( 4,000+ sales) in their second week.
Willie Nelson with BAND OF BROTHERS (Lecacy Recording) made a debut at No.52 selling 1,589 copies. At 81, there's nothing wrong with Nelson's workrate. Less than nine months after his female duets album TO ALL THE GIRLS... was released, he returns with a new selection of songs, most of which he co-wrote himself. Incredibly, although Nelson released his first album in 1962, and has been a US chart regular since 1965, he has only charted three studio albums in the UK, of which Band Of Brothers is the highest charting - HEROES debuted and peaked at No.73 (1,669 sales) in 2012, and To All The Girls... debuted and peaked at No.72 (1,452 sales) in 2013. His very first UK chart album, and only other entry, came when LEGEND: THE BEST OF WILLIE NELSON debuted and peaked at No.16 16 (7,829 sales) in 2008.

Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) moved 25-46 in its 12th week with sales around 1,700 copies and an estimated new tally of 62,700.

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending June 28, 2014)
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) remained at No.1 for a twelve week.
Willie Nelson with BAND OF BROTHERS made a debut at No.2
Miranda Lambert with PLATINUM (RCA) fell 2-3 in its third week.
Mary Gauthier with TROUBLE & LOVE slipped 3-6 in her second week.

UK iTunes Top 1500 Country Songs
Clare Bowen (aka Scarlett O’Connor) on the TV drama Nashville “Black Roses” stays at No.1 ahead of three Dolly Parton tracks with “Jolene” at #2, “, “Islands In the Stream” at #4 and “9 To 5”

(Last updated June 23, 2014)
1. Nashville Cast - Black Roses (feat. Clare Bowen)
2. Dolly Parton - Jolene 
3. Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers - Islands In the Stream 
4. Dolly Parton - 9 To 5 
5. Lady Antebellum - Need You Now
6. Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble. 
7. Dolly Parton - Blue Smoke 
8. Taylor Swift - Love Story 
9. Hayden Panettiere - Don't Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet 
10. Taylor Swift - Everything Has Changed (feat. Ed Sheeran) 
11. Dolly Parton - Home 
12. Dolly Parton - Here You Come Again 
13. Taylor Swift - 22 
14. Leighann Esslemont - Axel's Song of Hope (When You Coming Home)
15. John Denver - Annie's Song
16. Sam Palladio, Chaley Rose & Jonathan Jackson - I Ain't Leaving Without Your Love
17. Jace Everett - Bad Things 
18. Tim McGraw & Gwyneth Paltrow - Me and Tennessee (From the Motion Picture "Country Strong") 
19. Lennon Stella & Maisy Stella - Ho Hey
20. Dolly Parton - Don't Think Twice

On the Hotdisc Chart (June 22, 2014 Chart)

Sawyer Brown gained their first ever No.1 on the Hotdisc Top 40 as their latest single, "Walk Out Of The Rain" stepped 2-1 to top the chart. The song is from the band's most recent album release, Travelin' Band (Beach Street). Sawyer Brown’s voluminous career accomplishments include 51 charting singles (3 number one + 16 top ten), three Gold albums, an ACM Vocal Group of the Year award and six nods as TNN/Music City News Vocal Band of the Year. The group has performed in all 50 U.S. states, Europe, Asia and China, making them one of the most prolific country music touring artists of all time.
“Rain” dislodged the six week leader from David Frizzell & Shelly West with the re-issued 1981 hit "You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma" (Collins/ Pinkard) which fell 1-3.
Frizzell's "Where Are You Spending Your Nights These Days" stayed at its peak slot of  No.5
Bertie Higgins and his countrified "Key Largo" nudged up one 3-2.
Allan Craig Miller with "Cornfields" held at No.4
Jamie Lee Thurston’s15 Minutes” at No.6 and M Callaghan with “God’s Green Earth” at No.7 were other non-movers.

Bryan Mayer with his self penned “This Is Me” reached a new peak at No.9 reached its highest ranking with a 10-9 hop.
Jessie Lee Cates (11-10) with “Let Your Country Out” reached the upper tier to round out the Top 10 with a 1 place climb.

Outside the Top 10 and moving upwards saw a three rung jump (17-14) for Kasey Lansdale with “Sorry Ain’t Enough” co-written with Derek George and Tim Owen. Mim Grey’s soulful “The Ways Of Love” made a five slot rise (20-15, #3-#2 British Chart) and CMR Nashville favourite Ace Diamond saw his self penned “Baddest Gunslingin’ Man” shoot up 21-16.
Donny Richmond with “Candles On A Cake Of Pink And White” (written by Walter Cunningham and Sean Green) made  further progress (19-17)
Tony Clark’s self penned “You & Me” nudged up 14-13 on the Top 40 to hold onto his British & Irish Hotdisc Chart No1 for a third week.


(11 Jan 2014 ) Rose-Mary Lou - Million Dollar Cowgirl (A Dolphin's Dream)
11 Tracks/ Time: 39:52 MP3 -
(25 March 2014) Robby Hecht - Robby Hecht (self release)
13 Tracks/ Time: 47:53  MP3 - UK iTunes

(28 May 2014) Jody Lynn - The World's Out Dancin'(Playback Records) 
10 Tracks/ Time: 38:26 MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com >> YouTube
“It’s a bit of a belter…great tracks, nice light and shade, some great musicianship, good production as always from Playback Records, classic vocals from Jody Lynn, hunt that one out, you will not be disappointed” - Brian Clough (2009 International Country Music Broadcaster Of The Year Award)

(1 June 2014) Joni Harms - From Oregon to Ireland 2-CD
22 Tracks/ Time: 1:24:42 MP3 - UK iTunes Smart Choice Music (£14.99) Amazon.com -

(9 June 2014) Philip Claypool - Come On Back Home (self release)
11 Tracks UK iTunes

(9 June 2014) First Aid Kit - Stay Gold (columbia)
10 Tracks/ Time: 38:25CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com 

(11 June 2014) Jimmy Buffett - Sun Sea and Magarettasa (Humphead) 
40 Tracks / Time:  2:27:47 MP3 - UK iTunes

(16 June 2014) Willie Nelson - Band of Brothers (Sony Music CMG)
14 Tracks/ Time: 47:09 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Smart Choice Music - Amazon.com 
(16 June 2014) Garth Brooks - Ultimate Hits 2CD + DVD [Box Set, CD+DVD] ( SonyBMG)

(23 Jun 2014) The Duhks - Beyond The Blue (Compass Records)
12 Tracks/ Time: 47:43 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
2014 release from the Canadian Folk band. On BEYOND THE BLUE The Duhks are in the best form of their 13 year career. Rejuvenated by a two year hiatus and energized by the return of vocalist Jessee Havey and the addition of new members

Jared Porter the 2014 Toyota Star Maker winner began the month with a guest performance at the annual CMA Festival in Nashville as a guest on the CMA World GlobaLive! Concert.
His first single “Deep End”, is the first release from his upcoming album EAST TO WEST and was produced by Brisbane-based Andrew Cochrane (Kaylee Bell and Kaylens Rain). Jared said; “I love this song.  It is so catchy.  I was hooked on it straight away.  It was the last song pitched to me and I almost passed it up.  I’m glad I didn’t.  This song is all about that first stage of love and wanting to take that next big leap, but at the same time it is just a fun summer song. I grew up jumping off big rocks into lakes and rivers from a young age, so I guess this song hit me right at home.  I knew I had to release it as my first single.” It available to pre-order the album from UK iTunes Jared’s album will be launched at the Tamworth Hats Off To Country Festival on Saturday, July 5, 2014 at The Good Companions Hotel (The Goodies) in Brisbane Street. It is a free event.

Snapshot Country Aircheck's Insider Artist News:
June 17, 2014 (Keith Urban,Rhett Akins, Kacey Musgraves, Kimberly Perry weds)
June 20, 2014 (Lady Antebellum, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw)
June 24, 2014 (Luke Bryan's Heinz Of Night, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert)

Settin' The 'Wood On Fire: Production on a Hank Williams biopic gets underway in October, with Avengers star Tom Hiddleston in the starring role. I Saw The Light will shoot in Louisiana with Marc Abraham directing, according to Deadline Hollywood. The movie is said to be based on Colin Escott's biography of the mercurial and troubled star who died at the age of 29 in 1953.

Several buildings at Willie Nelson's private "Luck, Texas" ranch, located just outside of Austin, were damaged and destroyed by tornado force winds that tore through the area, according to a post on the country legend's Facebook page. "Some towns got it a lot worse, so we aren't complaining," the note read. "Luck is a tough town. It can be rebuilt." Luck, Texas was initially built on Nelson's ranch in the mid-1980s to serve as the set for the film adaptation of his 1975 album Red Headed Stranger.

Lauren Alaina has been signed by Warner Music Group’s (WMG) publishing arm, Warner/Chappell Music (WCM), 19/INTERSCOPE/MERCURY RECORDS  to a worldwide co-publishing agreement. After placing second on the 10th season of FOX-TV's "American Idol," Alaina released her debut album "Wildflower." She is currently working on her forthcoming second album.

Kelly Clarkson's baby girl, River Rose Blackstock, made her debut via Instagram Friday. The shot shows the tiny baby sleeping peacefully in a red carriage wearing white flower headband. Kelly's caption reads, "Here is our beautiful baby girl River Rose; 6lbs 6oz, 18 inches, and the greatest thing on the planet." Kelly and her husband, Brandon Blackstock, welcomed River Rose on June 12. It's Kelly's first child, while Brandon has two children from a previous marriage.

Streaming data will be counted towards the UK’s Official Singles Chart from next month (July 2014) for the first time.
What changes are you making to the Official Singles Chart?
To date the Official Singles Chart has always been based purely on sales of singles, whether downloads, CD singles, cassette singles, 7 or 12" vinyl. From the middle of 2014, audio streams will count towards a chart placing for the first time.
When will this change happen?
The Official Singles Chart is compiled from midnight on Sunday morning to midnight on Saturday evening every week. Streams will be counted for the first time in the chart measuring the period from Sunday June 29 2014 through to Saturday July 5 (week 27), leading to the unveiling of the first “new formula” Official Singles Chart on Sunday July 6 2014.
Where does the streaming data come from?
The streaming data which will now count towards the Official Singles Chart represents on demand plays via services such as Spotify, Deezer, Napster, O2 Tracks (Musicqubed), rara, Sony’s Music Unlimited and Xbox Music, all members of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), co-owner of the Official Charts Company. ERA already supplies data from physical and digital stores to the Official Charts including specialist chains such as HMV, internet retailers like Amazon, the UK’s big four supermarkets and hundreds of independent retailers.
What streams are now contributing to the Official Singles Chart?
The streams which will count are on-demand premium (ie; paid for within a subscription) and ad-funded (ie free to the user, but with royalties paid through advertising) delivered by services such as Spotify, Deezer, Napster, O2 Tracks (Musicqubed), rara, Music Unlimited and Xbox Music.
Will one stream count as one sale in the Official Singles Chart?
No – 100 streams will be equivalent to 1 single purchase (whether download, CD or vinyl) for chart purposes.

The BPI Certified Awards Programme will adopt the same approach and criteria that the Official Charts are using to calculate how any streams contribute to a recording's sales performance. The move to include streams in the Certified Awards data for Singles follows the huge surge in streaming by music consumers in recent months and over the past year - in 2013 alone there were 7.4 billion streams, up 100 percent on 2012, and the figure for 2014 is expected to double again.

New To You:
  • The American Music/ Alt band Family Of The Year are one of the hippest word-of-mouth success stories across the world so far in 2014.
  • The quartet, formed in 2009, comprises of brothers Joseph and Sebastian Keefe (who were born in Massachusetts but raised in Wrexham in North Wales), singer and keyboardist Christina Schroeter and guitarist James Buckey. Their sound is beautifully simple acoustic-driven songs, all designed to lift your spirits in these uncertain times, and it's a philosophy that's seen their music rapidly connect on a huge scale.
  • After years of "cohabiting" in a run-down house and relying on each other for inspiration and support, the members of the Los Angeles outfit have formed unbreakable bonds that are undeniable in their infectious live performances and prolific songwriting. The band has already played sold-out shows in England and across Europe.
  • Many of the group’s songs feature numerous voices, and more than a few include a chorus of joyous handclaps. Some even sound like they should be sung by the tight-knit group around the campfire while the s’mores are melting and the wine is flowing, especially the ones that name-drop members of the band.
  • Recorded by what now constitutes the core of FOTY the group completed 14 songs with producer Wally Gagel at his new studio in Hollywood, 10 of which made it onto LOMA VISTA (Nettwork; released July 10, 2012). This is the first time that the band has worked with a producer and gone outside their own camp to release their music….Read More at familyoftheyear.net
  • BBC Radio 2's Jo Whiley declared "Hero" her favourite thing on her show broadcast June 16, 2014 - BBC Artist Page 
  • “Hero” which went Platinum in Germany was in the >> trailer for BOYHOOD a new film by Richard Linklater.
  • Watch official video for "Hero" (8.3 million YouTube hits)
  • The band play Glastonbury Sunday June 29th on the William Green Stage.
Buy the album “Loma Vista” at Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Amazon.com Find them on Facebook

Little Big Town's new album, PAIN KILLER, will be out this Autumn featuring their latest single, "Day Drinking." They've already been performing several songs from the album in their live shows, including the title track. LBT's Karen Fairchild told Rolling Stone Country, "We knew the record was going to be called Pain Killer way on into the process because we love that song. That song is really kind of tongue-in-cheek -- 'be the person that numbs my pain.' We started talking about tying that thread through the whole record, to ease your pain."


  • Lucy Hale announces new single “Lie A Little Better” at debut Opry performance
  • Sammy Kershaw is honouring his late friend and mentor George Jones with the release of a new album dedicated entirely to the "Possum."  Kershaw will release DO YOU KNOW ME? - A Tribute To George Jones on July 22, 2014.
  • Dolly Parton charts at No.6, her highest charting album position in the UK with 'Blue Smoke – The Best Of' Album.
  • Kellie Pickler’s critically-acclaimed current album, THE WOMAN I AM (Black River Entertainment) will be released June 27th as a limited edition autographed vinyl version. This is the first vinyl album for Kellie Pickler, and it features exclusive cover art, different from the CD version. 
  • Kayla Adams Kalispell, Montana native lights a fire with debut Single, "Sober & Sorry" (SSM Nashville; Artwork)
  • Misty Rae Carson on the heels of her debut CMA Fest performance on the ASCAP Buckle Stage, Texas Country chanteuse announced the release of her debut EP MYSTERY on Tuesday, June 17, from which her first single, “Woke Up One Day,” charted at #3 on Play MPE.
  • The Oak Ridge Boys were awarded with an official RIAA commemorative plaque certifying Gold, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum album and single sales in celebration of more than 41 million album sales worldwide. A special presentation took place in New York during the legendary group’s appearance on The Wendy Williams Show – HI RES Image.

Ray Stevens Music Row pioneer released NASHVILLE a historical and educational memoir detailing the music legend's career on Sunday, June 22, 2014. See Facebook Gallery of his 2014 CMA Festival Performance & Autograph Signing -
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Ray Stevens (March 5, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0578138867
ISBN-13: 978-0578138862

  • Michael Cleveland &  Flamekeeper sneak peek from their forthcoming album, ON DOWN THE LINE
  • CMA Close Up (by Bob Doerschuk) - New Artist Spotlight: Lucy Hale
  • Lady Antebellum promised fans on Twitter, the award-winning country group's official video for "Bartender" premiered on TODAY. Watch the entire video — which features model Kate Upton and "Veep" star Tony Hale — here!
  • Craig Morgan, has invited fellow country music friend Tracy Lawrence to join him in concert July 20 for his 8th annual charity event -
  • Sarah Darling announced as one of first performers on "Rising Star" Sunday, June 22 on ABC - http://eepurl.com/XohE5
  • UPDATE * Sarah Darling wins AMERICA'S hearts on RISING STAR: Darling advanced to the next level reaching 89% positive
  • Shenandoah feels the love on new Miranda Lambert tune, "Another Sunday In The South"
  • Toby Keith braved Minnesota downpour to headline Winstock Music Festival.
  • The first CMA Television Events of their kind will feature the music of Lady Antebellum and a Special 10th Anniversary CMA Songwriters series celebration with Dierks Bentley annd Nashville’s top songwriters -
  • Kenny Chesney drops "American Kids": A Little Messed Up, But We're All Alright: [[ LISTEN ]] to the new single. Chesney's return scores No.1 Downloads; 116 Stations. Chesney knew he had something special when he heard “American Kids,” but he didn’t think he’d hit the kind of nerve the decidedly icon-invoking tribute to being young and alive in the U.S. has struck. Hitting radio Friday, June 20 at 6 a.m. and iTunes at 7 p.m. with little more than two days play, it topped iTunes Country Songs chart and hit the all-genre Top 10 over the weekend.
  • Lucy Hale announced new single “Lie A Little Better” at her debut Opry Performance
  • Randy Houser is bringing fans a music video for his new single, “Like A Cowboy,” that is as visually epic as Houser’s vocal performance is powerful.
  • Natalie Stovall and The Drive are preparing to travel overseas to entertain Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines serving abroad with the U.S. Navy.
  • Florida Georgia Line have new music coming soon from
  • George Ducas is set to release his newest single “All Kinds Of Crazy” from his independent album entitled 4340 (Loud Ranch Records) to a worldwide audience in July.
For Actors Who Want To Sing, Country Airplay Is Difficult To Gain.
The country format has seen an influx in recent years of artists who gained fame for their acting work, then turned their attention to a music career. With one notable exception, they’ve largely found the doors at country radio closed tight, despite already having built up a fan base as actors.
While they just may be getting started in their attempt to break down those doors, the debut single from Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale fell off the Country Airplay chart on May 26 after 17 weeks, having never got out of the 50s rankings. She did however have some consolation when her debut album ROAD BETWEEN made a bow at #14 on the Billboard 200 and #4 Country selling 18,236 copies on the chart week June 21, 2014.

The terrific debut single from former Zoey 101 star Jamie Lynn Spears has so far only managed to scrape the bottom of the Airplay chart a couple of times. Her new EP THE JOURNEY (EP) fared worse with #193 Billboard 200 and #24 Country debuts shifting 2,000 copies.

Jennette McCurdy, the star of iCarly and Sam & Cat, released two singles ""Not That Far Away" and  >> "Generation Love" [3.7million YouTube hits] on Capitol Nashville in 2010 and 2011, and while country radio programmers eagerly brought out their young daughters to meet McCurdy on her radio tour, the singles peaked at Nos. 58 and 44, respectively.

21-year old Long Beach McCurdy isn’t exactly helping build a case for the authenticity of singing TV stars either. In this Nerdist podcast from February 2014, she calls her stint as a country artist “a horrible phase of my life” and one she claims she embarked on because she was “bored” during the TV writers’ strike. Describing her radio tour and subsequent mall tour, McCurdy says she “hated every minute of it.” She also says “the whole thing was very contrived,” claiming she was coached to lie and say she grew up listening to country music. >> Listen here:

Jennette’s Country Music Career; So was all this contrived?  >> YouTube
Did Jennette McCurdy's underwear-clad selfies lead to the end of Sam & Cat? Future of Nickelodeon show 'in doubt' after photo scandal. Photos of the 21-year-old Nickelodeon star posing in her underwear were leaked on the internet in March 2014. They emerged after she publicly criticized her ex-boyfriend's kissing (Read more: Daily Mail) Ummm maybe she should of stuck with country music and like Taylor Swift get a hit song out of it.

Christian Kane, a star of the TV series Angel and Leverage, also released two singles in 2010 and 2011, which respectively peaked at Nos. 49 and 58.
Broadway/film/TV star Laura Bell Bundy, currently appearing on TV show Anger Management, had three singles on two different labels between 2010 and 2013, all of which failed to move the needle at radio. And while the show’s soundtrack albums sell well, none of the singles released by cast members of ABC’s Nashville has been a radio hit in America, including Hayden Panettiere’s 2012 debut, “Telescope,” and Chris Carmack’s 2013 single, “What If I Was Willing.”
Jana Kramer is the one notable exception to the rule has been, who starred in One Tree Hill, Entourage, Friday Night Lights and several other series. Her debut single, “Why Ya Wanna,” went top five in 2011 and helped earn her an Academy of Country Music Award in the new female artist category in 2013. Her superb new summer time single “Love” (Elektra Nashville/WAR) is a non-mover at No.49 on Airplay in its third frame. Clearly Kramer has convinced country programmers that she’s serious about a career in country music, something PDs say has been the primary thing holding back the others.
Billboard Article: Part 2
Published 19June 2014 CLICK to VIEW
WQMX Akron, Ohio, PD Sue Wilson admits, “I have had my share of trepidation in giving one of these actors-turned-country singers a precious slot on a tight playlist because I am unsure of their real commitment to the music. When we add a song, we consider it an investment … And when you take that risk, you want to know that the artist and the label is invested. When these artists have a fabulous TV career and want to just dip their toes into the country scene, I’d rather play an artist who is devoted, who has been playing bars, writing songs and is first and foremost an artist.”

Listen to Lee Williams recorded Nashville interview with Californian Country star James House first broadcast on 20th June on CMR Nashville "Europe's #1 Country Music Radio Station". James released a new album, BROKEN GLASS TWISTED STEEL releasing on April 29th (11 Tracks/ Time: 38:35 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com ) His May 2014 European single “Every Time It Rains” has so far spent seven weeks on the Hotdisc Top 40 peaking at No.11. His music has gained a resurgence in the UK, where he has three songs in the TOP 10 of the UK Country Music Dance Charts. He will undertake a month-long tour of the UK starting in July on Wednesday 16th and ending on Sunday August 3rd in Norwich at the Wild Stallion Ranch (193c Plumstead Road, Thorpe Street). See bandsintown.com for all his dates.

Listen to Lee Williams recorded Nashville interview (first broadcast on 20th June) with Allan Craig Miller who appeared on Friday 6 June at Manuel's at one of the various shows CMR Nashville staged at the 2014 CMA Festival. His May 2014 European single “Cornfields” (promoted by Williams’ Django Promotions, a UK based company) has so far spent seven weeks on the Hotdisc Top 40 peaking at No.2.

RCA's Miranda Lambert graces the cover of the final issue (first began way back in 1883) of Ladies' Home Journal when it hits newsstands next week.
Full Cover Scan - Image , P55 -56 Scan - Image - Featured Pages 
People are starting to ask me about Botox, too," Lambert said in in the LHJ interview - "They'll say, 'Are you opposed to plastic surgery?' I'm like, 'I don't know. Depends on what I look like in 10 years. Depends on what goes where.'
"I just want to take care of my face. There's Spanx for everything else," Lambert said. "You can't put Spanx on your face."
The publication traces its roots to 1883, though its first official "cover girl" appeared in 1898. Ida McKinley, wife of President William McKinley, had the honor. The iconic magazine is closing a chapter with a little help from Miranda. The news that the July-August edition ends monthly publication is only conveyed in the editor’s letter from Editor-in-Chief Sally Lee — co-signed by about 30 staffers who are now out of a job. The mag teases “How the Country Superstar Got This Body” But LHJ isn’t altogether closing its doors. A spokesperson told the New York Post the magazine plans to release specials on a quarterly basis. Read more: aftermidnite.com
131 Years of Ladies' Home Journal: Ladies' Home Journal has been sharing the stories that matter to women since 1883. Check out these vintage covers that date all the way back to the beginning at www.lhj.com

Pretty girl: Taylor Swift rocked chic, sexy and cute as she showed off her toned tummy wearing an affordable pink striped Aqua ‘Marled Crop Top’ (bloomingdales - $58.00 $43.50) and flared Aqua ‘Marled Skater’ skirt (bloomingdales - $68.00 $54.40) worn with Miu Miu nude platform sandals (Fashion Pic) and carrying a Anthropologie satchel (image) as she headed to the gym on Wednesday afternoon in NYC (June 18) - Fashion Pic - Image

Lucy Hale says she’s been dreaming about what she’d wear during her Grand Ole Opry debut since childhood. “A lot of little girls dream about their wedding dress, but I dreamt about the dress I was going to wear on the Opry,” she told the crowd on Saturday night (June 21). Hale fell in love with a dress that couldn’t have been more perfect for her big moment. The white leather, ankle-length DSquared dress was scalloped from the waist down. It combined pop with country, which is everything that Hale represents. The scallops made the leather dress a little more feminine and even a little flirtyand she wore her long ombre locks down, stunning in every way possible - Image

Taylor Swift has a new kitty and her name is Olivia Benson. The singer took to Instagram on Wednesday night to introduce a too-cute-for-words white fur ball. “Meet Olivia Benson,” Swift wrote. That name might sound familiar to you because it is the same one as Mariska Hargitay’s character on Law & Order: SVU.
Olivia joins TayTay's longtime cute little kitty cat, Meredith (Image - named after Meredith Grey on the TV show Grey's Anatomy), who has gotten her own time in the spotlight – and has even been the subject of false rumors! 'I sit in my apartment and watch hours of that show. So I sort of feel like me and Olivia are BFFs,' she once told Teen Vogue. The new furball is fluffy and
white, and looks up at the star with her sweet blue eyes. There has been no response yet to the press from Meredith about taking a new motherly role. Read more: Daily Mail UK

Taylor Swift has found an unlikely friend in 66-year-old Ina Garten, the star of Food Network's Barefoot Contessa - Image. There, Taylor revealed to the chef: 'I'll cook for these boys, and they'll be like, "I'm on a diet,"... I'm like, 'I can't hang out with you.' The visit to Ina's home was likely a much needed break for the "I Knew You Were Trouble" singer, whose parents have reportedly separated. Sources told the New York Post that Scott and Andrea are currently living apart and don't always get on. Scott is a financial advisor and senior vice president at Merrill Lynch, and runs a subset of the company called The Swift Group.

Luke Bryan’s Heinz Field Pittsburgh concert generated over a hundred 911 calls on Saturday (June 21). Fans filled the stadium lot early for a true parking lot party, with several leaving in handcuffs by nightfall and hundreds more having the time of their lives.
Luke had the night of his life headlining his first stadium show and making history by setting an all-time record.He entertained for more than 50,000 fans and was joined by special guest Dierks “Drunk On A Plane” Bentley along with “That’s My Kind of Night Tour” openers Cole Swindell and Lee Brice...Read Press Release

Dolly Parton at the LG Arena, Birmingham (22/06/14) @ ukcountrymusic.net
Brantley Gilbert @ CMA Fest 2014, LP Field, Nashville, TN - Facebook Gallery by Frography (by Flex)
Emma King Amazing night at The Bluebird Cafe! Thank you all for joining us! - Image

June 23: Pake McEntire (1953), Diane Trask (1940), the late June Carter (1929; died May 15, 2003 (aged 73))),
Katie Armiger (1991) 
June: 24: Steuart Smith (1952)
June 26: Gretchen Wilson (1973) 
June 27: Lorrie Morgan (1959)
June 28: Kellie Pickler (1986) 

Don Light passes: He was a legend in the Gospel music business, having served as a booking agent and manager to many of the top acts during the 20th Century. His Don Light Agency is regarded as the first professional outfit for booking Gospel music, and he had represented The Oak Ridge Boys, The Lewis Family, and The Happy Goodman Family in his day. Light was also part of the team that worked with Dailey & Vincent during their meteoric rise, and Jamie Dailey spoke very highly of him.

Songwriter Gerry Goffin, who penned chart-topping songs with his then-wife Carole King, died on June 19, 2014, at the age of 75 of natural causes, in Los Angeles. No fewer than 50 songs that he penned the lyrics for made the Top 40.
He wrote dozens of hits over two decades, including The Loco-Motion, Will You Love Me Tomorrow and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. He was inducted, along with King, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
In a statement, King said Goffin was her "first love" and had a "profound impact" on her life. "His words expressed what so many people were feeling but didn't know how to say." Born in the New York city borough of Brooklyn in 1939, Goffin married King when he was 20 and she was 17. They had their first hit, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, sung by the Shirelles, shortly afterwards.
After their divorce in 1968, Goffin continued writing songs, including a hit for Whitney Houston, Saving All My Love for You, in 1985.....BBC News
The plaintive love song “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, which the pair wrote together. The song was a hit in 1961 for all-girl band The Shirelles, even though lead singer Shirley Owens originally dismissed the composition as being "too country." Some radio stations banned the song because they believed the lyrics were too sexually suggestive. Country related artists to record songs
One Fine Day (Gerry Goffin / Carole King) recorded by Rita Coolidge
"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" (Gerry Goffin / Carole King) recorded by Willie Nelson feat: Carole King (Outlaws and Angels) and Lorrie Morgan (Shakin’ Things Up), "Child of Mine" (Gerry Goffin / Carole King) Anne Murray and "I Can't Stay Mad at You" & "Let Me Get Close to You" (Gerry Goffin / Carole King) Skeeter Davis
Gerry Goffin: 10 great songs Telegraph UK

Jimmy Yves Newman (born August 29, 1927 - died June 21, 2014 in Nashville; aged 86). The Aligator man has gone home. The Louisiana native succumbed to cancer after a brief illness.
Jimmy C. Newman artfully integrated a country sensibility into his Cajun roots and crafted a style with a foot in both camps.
  • Better known as Jimmy C. Newman (the C stands for Cajun), was a long time star of the Grand Ole Opry (>> video) .
  • In 2006, he joined a select group of entertainers who have marked 50 years of Opry membership.
  • He was raised in a bilingual family with parents who delighted in the cowboy sounds of Gene Autry and the country music of Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family. Mr. Newman's father died when he was a teenager, and he left school after six years of education, to work on a farm.
  • During World War II, Mr. Newman worked in a defense plant as a welder's helper, and there he met an electrician and music aficionado named J.D. Miller.
  • In 1953, he was signed to Dot Records and the following year recorded "Cry, Cry Darling" (>> video - Amazon UK), which reached No. 4 on the Hot Country Song chart.
  • His recording success led the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana, to hire him as a regular performer. His next four records all reached Top 10 status, and in 1956 he was invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. That following year he released his biggest hit, "A Fallen Star" (>> video), which spent two weeks at No.2 and also entered the top 25 of the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.
  • By November 1958, Newman charted another Top Ten hit, "You're Makin' a Fool Out of Me" (#7); he closed out the decade with three Top 30 singles and the Top Ten "Grin and Bear It" (#9) in July 1959.
  • Newman began the '60s with success also, bringing "A Lovely Work of Art" (#6)  and "Wanting You With Me Tonight" (>> audio) to #11. Not content with his popularity at MGM, he switched labels again, signing with Decca in 1961.
  • As an established artist, he began to integrate his Cajun influences into his music and recorded "Alligator Man" (>> video), which was a top 25 record and continued to be his theme song at the Opry.
  • In 1963, he released another top 10 hit, "The D.J. Cried".
  • His final hits came in 1965 and 1966 with title cut "Artificial Rose" (>> video; #10 on Top Country Albums 1966) and "Back Pocket Money" (>> audio).
  • Jimmy C Newman was a regular visitor to the Wembley Country Music Festivals (1980, 81, 82, 85) and was recording for Shelby Singleton's Plantation label. Photo at Wembley Arena (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
  • In 1991, Jimmy C. and Cajun Country earned a Grammy nomination for their Rounder Records album Alligator Man. The next year, Jimmy C. earned a special award from the Cajun French Music Association of South Louisiana for contributions to the promotion of Cajun music worldwide.
  • On March 12, 2000, Jimmy C. was inducted into the North American Country Music Association's International Hall of Fame; that award hangs on the wall alongside his induction into the Cajun Music Hall of Fame in Lafayette, Louisiana.
  • Jimmy was inducted into the Cajun Hall of Fame in October 2004. For all that acclaim, he was equally proud of his induction into the Fred's Lounge "Wall of Fame" in his hometown.
  • The proud Cajun credited his band for much of his unique sound. With Bessyl Duhon on Cajun accordion and some of the best musicians in Music City, the group treated audiences to such high-spirited favorites as "Jole Blon," "Jambalaya," and "Diggy Liggy Lo."
  • Jimmy C. and wife Mae continued to make their home on their 670-acre Singing Hills Ranch in Rutherford County, Tennessee, just a short drive from Music City and the Grand Ole Opry. jimmycnewman.net
  • A public service will be held Wednesday, June 25 at the Ryman Auditorium at 10 a.m. followed by a private visitation and memorial service for close friends and family.
Cajun Classics by Jimmy Newman CD - MP3 , Alligator on UK iTunes , Spotify Artist Page
>> CMNI Video Interview >> “Jambalaya” (live) RIP  
Read the Obituary at The Tennessean

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