Photos: Brett Eldredge; Eric Lee Beddingfield

Photo (L-R): Brett Eldredge and Al Roker

Atlantic Records’ rising star Brett Eldredge made his debut television appearance Dec. 4 on the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s “Together for Care” telethon. Eldredge performed his single “Raymond,” which he wrote after being inspired by his grandmother’s battle with the disease. Among the other stars on the telethon were Al Roker from NBC’s Today Show.

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Eric Lee Beddingfield visited the MusicRow offices last week to share new music from his album This Life Ain’t For Everybody. The Rebel Dawg Records release features the single “The Gospel According to Jones,” with guest vocals by the Possum himself. Beddingfield wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the album which was produced by Kent Wells (Dolly Parton/Keith Whitley/Hank Williams Jr/Reba McEntire).

Top (L-R): MR's Jon Freeman, MR's David Ross, and MR's Sherod Robertson; Middle (L-R): MR's Sarah Skates, MR's Michelle Stephens; Front (L-R): Eric Lee Beddingfield, MR's Robert K. Oermann and Manager/publicist Craig Campbell

EMI Celebrates Holiday Kick-Off

EMI Music helped start the holiday’s for writers, staff and friends at its 2010 Holiday Casino Party. The “in the chips” festivities included dinner and  Casino play plus a raffle.

(L-R) Alice Peacock, Brian Henningsen, Clara Henningsen, Dallas Davidson, Sarah Davidson, Jeremy Stover, Rachel Proctor, Aaron Henningsen, Michael Knox, Ross Copperman, EMI Exec. VP/GM Ben Vaughn, Tom Luteran, Steve McEwan, Laura Wright, Josh Van Valkenburg, Keith Anderson, James T. Slater, Jerry Flowers, Matt Fleener, Jamie Paulin, Missy Wilson, Kelley Lovelace, Chris Gillis and Zach Hammitte.

Bell Joins 13 Mgmt; Swift Tour Dates Sell Out

13 Management, Taylor Swift’s wholly owned management company, has appointed Frank Bell to the newly created post of Director of Radio and Research.

“Frank brings solid relationships and strong tactical radio expertise and insight to 13 Management,” stated 13’s Robert Allen. “As we ramp up for the Taylor Swift Speak Now World Tour in 2011, Frank will be an invaluable resource to manage our radio outreach and develop our marketing research initiatives.”

Prior to joining 13 Management, Bell spent ten years as Vice President of Programming for Keymarket Communications of Pennsylvania / Ohio, overseeing on-air operations and marketing for a 14-station group.

Bell will officially join 13 Management on December 13, but can be reached now at:  [email protected]

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The first tickets for Taylor Swift’s Speak Now 2011 North American tour went on sale late last week, and all tickets for the first 10 shows put on sale sold out within minutes. Those shows included Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. – which sold out in 5 minutes, and two shows at Los Angeles’ STAPLES Center, which sold out within 2 minutes.

Several shows have been added to the tour, which kicks off February 9 in Singapore and includes 90 shows in 19 countries spanning four continents.

NEEDTOBREATHE is the featured artist for the North American leg of the tour. Ticket prices start at $25. Visit www.TaylorSwift.com for details.

BMI Promotes Cheryl O’Quinn

Cheryl O’Quinn has been promoted to the position of Sr. Director, Per Program Services  in BMI’s Media Licensing department. O’Quinn is based in the company’s Nashville office and previously serviced as Director of Per Program Services. She will report directly to VP Business Affairs, Media Licensing Mike Steinberg.

“Handling the task of administrating our licensing agreements is a critical business function for BMI, and Cheryl has brought a fresh and invigorated approach to this group,” said Steinberg. “Her work ethic is laudable, and she continues to innovate and improve business processes and communication across departmental lines. Her passion for working on the business of music for our songwriters shows in her results, which have led to this promotion.”

O’Quinn joined the company’s New York office in 1997 and relocated to Nashville. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee’s Recording Industry Management program and has her MBA from Bethel University.

American Country Awards Air Tonight

The inaugural fan-voted American Country Awards will air live 8-10 pm ET on Fox tonight from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, with Trace Adkins serving as the evening’s host. Show performers include Jason Aldean, Adkins, Luke Bryan, The Band Perry, Easton Corbin, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Reba, Blake Shelton, Steel Magnolia, Josh Turner, and Uncle Kracker. To see the full nominees in Artist, Album, Single, Touring and Video categories, click here. For winners updated in real time, check back to musicrow.com tonight.

Many of our friends from Nashville have been in Vegas since the weekend to participate in events surrounding the awards. The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony was held Friday 12/3 at the Wynn, with performances from Rascal Flatts and Colbie Caillat. Drivers present included five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.

Joe Don Rooney, Jay DeMarcus and Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series awards banquet on Dec. 3. Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

Nettles Helps VH1 Divas Salute The Troops

(L-R): Keri Hilson, Katy Perry, and Jennifer Nettles during the opening number of VH1 Divas Salute The Troops. Photo: Getty Images/VH1.com

Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles helped VH1 Divas Salute The Troops in last night’s (12/5) television special. She joined pop, rock and hip-hop stars Katy Perry, Keri Hilson, Nicki Minaj, Paramore and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals for the show taped primarily last week at San Diego’s Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

The stars donned military-inspired wardrobe for much of the evening, including Nettles, Hilson and Perry in World War II-era uniforms for a cover of the 1940s classic “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” More here.

MC Lyte unexpectedly joined Jennifer Nettles for a duet of "Stuck Like Glue." Photo: Getty Images/VH1.com

Katy Perry parachuting to the stage for "California Gurls." Photo: Getty Images/VH1.com

The Grascals & Friends Cracker Barrel Exclusive

The Grascals are the latest band to release music through Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s exclusive program. The Grascals & Friends – Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin will be available Jan. 10, 2011, offering 13 tracks featuring guests Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels and Dolly Parton.

The bonus track “I Am Strong” was inspired by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and accordingly a portion of the album proceeds will be donated to the hospital.

So far in 2010, Cracker Barrel has released exclusive projects by Smokey Robinson, Rodney Atkins, Mandy Barnett, Craig Morgan, Wynonna, and Dailey & Vincent.

Track listing

1. Tiger By The Tail (with Brad Paisley)
2. Folsom Prison Blues (with Dierks Bentley)
3. Pain of Lovin’ You (with Dolly Parton)
4. I Am Strong (with Dolly Parton)
5. Louisiana Saturday Night
6. The Year That Clayton Delaney Died (with Tom T. Hall)
7. White Lightning (with Darryl Worley)
8. The Devil Went Down To Georgia (with Charlie Daniels)
9. Leavin’ Louisiana In Broad Daylight (with The Oak Ridge Boys)
10. Mr. Bojangles (with Joe Nichols)
11. Hank Williams Jr. Medley – Born To Boogie / All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin’ Over Tonight
12. Cracker Barrel Swing (Instrumental)
13. I Am Strong (Bonus Track) Featuring guest appearances by Dolly Parton, The Oak Ridge Boys, Darryl Worley, Charlie Daniels, Terri Clark, Randy Owen, Steven Seagal, Tom T. Hall, Joe Nichols and Ansley McLaurin

Bill Anderson Planning Box Set

Country Music Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson will release his first box set next year. It will be a 5-CD compilation encompassing Anderson’s recording career from 1958 through 1966. The set will also offer demos of songs that he wrote, which became hits for other artists.

It is expected from Bear Family Records in late 2011, the same year Anderson will celebrate his 50th Anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member.

Music City Memorial for Will Tennyson

Will Tennyson, a longtime member of the Nashville music industry who passed away recently, will be celebrated with a memorial service on Wed., Dec. 8, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Ford Theater.

The service will include performances by Tennyson’s friends Mandy Barnett and Brennin Hunt.

There will also be a slideshow of pictures of Tennyson and the many people whose lives he touched.

If you have pictures to include in the slideshow, please email them to Christy Grealis at [email protected]

Chesney Stadium Stop At NY/NJ Meadowlands

Kenny Chesney’s Goin’ Coastal Tour is set to play the New York area on Aug. 13, 2011. Also starring will be Zac Brown Band with special guests Billy Currington and Uncle Kracker.

Tickets for the mega show go on sale Dec. 11 at 11 a.m. “This lineup represents the very best that country music has to offer,” said Mark Lamping, President and CEO of the New Meadowlands Stadium. “We look forward to hosting these terrific acts in August 2011, and providing a prominent stage for country music in the New York and New Jersey region.”

Fans can buy tickets at http://kennychesney.com and http://www.newmeadowlandsstadium.com. The Kenny Chesney Official Fan Club will be offering presale tickets for all shows on Kenny’s 2011 Tour prior to the general public on-sale. To get access to these exclusive presales, fans can go to http://kennychesney.com

Kenny Chesney 2011  Tour
(Stadium dates only – starring Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown Band, with Billy Currington and Uncle Kracker)
Sat Mar 19 – Tampa, FL – Raymond James  Stadium (on sale Sat Dec 11)
Sat Apr 16 – Dallas, TX – Cowboys Stadium (on  sale Sat Dec 4)
Sat Jun 4 – Washington, DC – FedEx Field – (on sale Fri Dec  3)
Sat Jun 11 – Green Bay, WI – Lambeau Field (on sale Sat Dec 11)
Sat  Jun 18 – Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field SOLD OUT
Sat Jul 2 – Pittsburgh, PA – Heinz Field (on sale Sat Dec 4)
Sat Jul  30 – Kansas City, MO – Arrowhead Stadium (on sale Sat Dec 4)
Sat Aug 13 –  Rutherford, NJ – New Meadowlands Stadium (on sale Sat Dec 11)
Sat Aug 20 –  Detroit, MI – Ford Field (on sale Sat Dec 4)
Sat Aug 27- Foxboro, MA –  Gillette Stadium SOLD OUT

The tour is billed as  Corona Extra presents Kenny Chesney’s Goin’ Coastal Tour, starring Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown Band.