CMA Honors Nominees and Broadcast Awards Winners

(L-R): Moore and Urban, who is nominated for CMA Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year.

The 45th Annual CMA Awards is a week away, but the nominees were already celebrating Tuesday night (11/1) at a dinner in their honor at The Pinnacle at Symphony Place in Nashville.

Keith Urban proposed the idea of CMA hosting a private event to honor all of our nominees,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “It was a great idea and an excellent opportunity for our nominees and CMA Broadcast Awards winners to celebrate in a relaxed setting with members of the CMA Board of Directors without the pressure of a live TV broadcast.”

Each nominee was presented with a commemorative trophy.

The 45th Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, airs live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 9 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Class of 2011 (L-R): Teresa Davis/KCLR (CMA Small Market Station of the Year); Kix Brooks (CMA National Broadcast Personality of the Year); Charissa Loethen/KCLR (CMA Small Market Personality of the Year); Dann Huff (CMA Musician of the Year nominee); Trey Fanjoy (CMA Music Video of the Year nominee - Director "Honey Bee"); Scott Hendricks (CMA Album of the Year nominee- Producer All About Tonight); Keith Urban (CMA Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year nominee); Jim Shea (CMA Music Video of the Year nominee - Director "Old Alabama"); Clay Cook of Zac Brown Band (CMA CMA Vocal Group, Album, Single, and Musical Event of the Year nominee); Sam Bush (CMA Musician of the Year nominee); David McClister (CMA Music Video of the Year nominee- director "If I Die Young"); Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Kimberly Schlapman, and Phillp Sweet of Little Big Town (CMA Vocal Group of the Year nominee); Joe Don Rooney, Gary Levox, and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts (CMA Vocal Group of the Year nominee).

Country Added To Grammy Noms Concert, Thanksgiving Parade

Sugarland is the latest addition to the performance line-up for The Grammy Nominations Concert Live. The show revealing select nominees airs Wed., Nov. 30 from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.

From the country camp, Jason Aldean was previously announced. Also on the docket are Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, Lady Gaga, and host LL Cool J. There will also be a surprise announcement about a historic band reunion set to take place on the GRAMMY stage on Feb. 12, 2012.

The one-hour nominations special airs on the CBS Television Network at 9 p.m. CT. Following suit of many awards shows and similar events, tickets are available to the public.

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Rodney Atkins and Scotty McCreery will perform on the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, making its way down the streets of New York City on Thursday, Nov. 24 at 9 a.m. It will air on NBC.

The 85th Anniversary celebration will have over 8,000 participants including additional performers Mary J. Blige, Cobra Starship, Neil Diamond, Cee Lo Green, Avril Lavigne, and Daniel Radcliff.

“The Voice” Gears Up For Season 2

Season 2 of The Voice debuts Feb. 5 after the Super Bowl, with all four celeb coaches—Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Cee Lo Green—returning to the famous red chairs. “We’re gonna make the Super Bowl look small,” Shelton proclaimed to media gathered last week on the show’s set in Los Angeles.

A few changes in the works for the new season of the NBC hit include more contestants per team (up from eight to 12), as well as extended show time devoted to the blind audition rounds. Christina Milian is on board as the new social media correspondent.

Executive producer Mark Burnett told the press that viewer feedback enticed producers to devote more time to the blind auditions. Compared to last year, there was also more time to produce those episodes. Burnett also talked about how the big red chairs have become another star of the show.

Season 1 provided room for the contestants and judges to figure out the dynamics and strategy of the show, so expect more savvy on all sides for the upcoming season. One new contestant even enticed judges to promise to keep him/her on the show for a few rounds if he/she joined their team.

New Valory Music Signing

The Valory Music Co. roster is expanding with the signing announcement of newcomer Thomas Rhett.

The Georgia native is the son of singer/songwriter Rhett Akins, and may have inherited some of his father’s songwriting prowess. In 2010, while still enrolled at Nashville’s Lipscomb University, Rhett signed a publishing deal with EMI and promptly got a cut on Jason Aldean’s double-platinum My Kinda Party with “I Ain’t Ready To Quit.”

“I honestly can’t believe all of this is finally here! I am so pumped to be working with The Valory Music Company!” says Rhett. “There is no doubt in my mind that Scott Borchetta and his staff are the most caring, family-oriented, hardest working team in the business. It truly is an honor to be labelmates with Brantley, Justin and Reba.”

Rhett is currently working on his debut album and playing select dates on Brantley Gilbert’s fall headlining tour (dates included). He is managed by Virginia Davis of B.A.D. Management.

Upcoming Dates:
Nov 3 — Cincinnati, OH (Bogart’s)
Nov 4 — Indianapolis, IN (8 Second Saloon)
Nov 5 — Chicago, IL (Joe’s)
Nov 10 — Nacodoches, TX (Banita Creek Hall)
Nov 11 — Texarkana, AR (Shooters)
Nov 12 — Tyler, TX (Electric Cowboy)
Nov 18 — Goliad, TX (Schroeder Dance Hall)
Dec 1 — Lubbock, TX (Wild West)
Dec 9 — Wichita Falls, TX (Denim & Diamonds)
Dec 10 — Amarillo, TX (Midnight Rodeo)
Dec 15 — Lafayette, LA (Outlaws)
Dec 16 — Abilene, TX (Guitars & Cadilacs)
Dec 17 — Lawton, OK (CW Scooters)

Hall Of Fame Highlights Nudie Cohn

Last Friday (10/28), The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a spotlight exhibit dedicated to legendary clothier-to-the-stars, Nudie Cohn. Silver Threads and Golden Needles: Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors incorporates costumes and relics from Cohn’s shop.

It traces the tailor’s journey across America, from designing burlesque costumes in New York to opening his legendary shop in North Hollywood. Cohn created ornamented masterpieces for A-list performers including Gene Autry, Elton John, Gram Parsons, Elvis Presley, Roy Rogers, Hank Williams and many others. For decades, his rhinestone-studded, colorful western wear helped shape the images of some of country music’s biggest stars.

The exhibit will run through November 2012.

Other current spotlight exhibits focus on the Academy of Country Music Awards, Bobby Braddock, Reba McEntire, Bill Monroe, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Jean Shepard, Carrie Underwood, Porter Wagoner and Hank Williams Jr.

New Event Venue Opens In Hillsboro Village

Ruby, Nashville’s newest event venue is open for business in Hillsboro Village. Owners Dan and Brenda Cook transformed what was once the ramshackled Blakemore Primitive Baptist Church into the vibrant new space, while maintaining as many historical elements of the building as possible.

Located at 2411 Blakemore Avenue, Ruby was designed for all manner of events, including music performances, wedding ceremonies and receptions, corporate meetings and charity events. There is also an adjacent 200-square foot room designed as a dressing room/green room.

The space can hold up to 245 people when set up theater style and 185 when designed as a reception venue. In addition, incorporating several outdoor spaces can significantly increase capacity.

The venue boasts 30-foot ceilings, exposed steel roof trusses, original hardwood floors that have been stained black, Venetian plaster walls, custom mahogany doors and expansive windows with park views.

For more information, visit

Pat Green Announces New Album, Label

Pat Green has announced the release of Songs We Wish We’d Written II on Feb. 28, 2012, through his new label home Sugar Hill Records. Recorded with his road band in Texas, the album is the follow-up to Green’s 2001 Songs We Wish We’d Written collaboration with Cory Morrow.

The ten song collection (tracklist below) features a variety of writers from fellow Texas tunesmiths Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, and Walt Wilkins to Nashville’s finest such as Will Kimbrough, Jon Randall, and Liz Rose as well as popular hits like Tom Petty’s “Even The Losers” and Collective Soul’s “The World I Know.” Green’s most recent studio recording was 2009’s What I’m For, on BNA Records.

“We hope our fans enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed recording it,” said Green. “You’ll hear a few songs you already know and may notice others that are unfamiliar; which was by design. I enjoy spreading the word about great talents and great music.”

Songs We Wish We’d Written II tracklist:
1. All Just To Get To You (Joe Ely & Will Alan Sexton)
2. Streets Of Galilee (Aaron Lee Tasjan)
3. Jesus On A Greyhound (Glen Ballard & Shelby Lynne)
4. Even The Losers (Tom Petty)
5. Austin (Jon Randall)
6. If It Weren’t For You (Liz Rose & Walt Wilkins)
7. Soulshine (Warren Haynes)
8. The World I Know (Brian Ross Childress & Ed Roland)
9. If I Had A Boat (Lyle Lovett)
10. I Am Too (Todd Snider & Will Kimbrough)

Shelton, Loggins Get “Footloose” on CMA Awards

Reigning CMA Male Vocalist of the Year Blake Shelton has invited legendary singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins to join him during a performance of the classic hit “Footloose” as the opening song for the sold-out CMA Awards.

Written by Loggins and Dean Pitchford for the motion picture Footloose, the title track was a No. 1 hit for Loggins for three weeks in 1984. With the remake of the movie currently in theaters, Shelton is also dancing up the charts with his version of the song.

Shelton received five CMA Awards nominations this year including Entertainer; Male Vocalist; Album for All About Tonight; and Single and Music Video of the Year, both for “Honey Bee.”

The 45th Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, airs live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 9 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.

For the third consecutive year, all available tickets for “Country Music’s Biggest Night” have been sold. “The Awards have sold out the past two years, but this is the first time since moving to the Bridgestone Arena in 2006 that we have sold out the venue this far in advance,” explains Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer.

Sallie Mayne Exits NaFF

Nashville Film Festival Executive Director Sallie Mayne has announced she will be stepping down from the position she has held for the past eight years. “Today I find myself ready for a new challenge,” Mayne expressed to NaFF’s executive board. “After much soul searching I feel it’s time I end my tenure as Executive Director of the film festival. I know that I am leaving behind a healthy organization and that I have created great relationships within our community and a strong structure with processes in place that will allow someone to step into my role. It has been the most exciting, fulfilling and successful journey of my life.”

Mayne will remain as a consult through the end of 2011 and Film Festival Managing Director Ted Crockett will act as interim Executive Director.

Mayne joined the Nashville Film Festival as Executive Director in 2004, bringing over 30 years of experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations and event coordination. Under her leadership, attendance at NaFF’s signature eight-day spring festival more than doubled to 26,000 in 2011 and sponsorship dollars increased by 200%. Mayne was instrumental in bringing more than 90 community partners together for the festival, and securing a half million dollars in in-kind sponsorships. In 2011, she secured Nissan’s role as the presenting sponsor for the annual festival.

Nashville Film Festival is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and receives funding from the NEA, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, The Brooks Fund, The Frist Foundation and The Memorial Foundation.  In 2012, the festival will mark its 43rd year. It is hosted at the Regal Green Hills Stadium 16 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Rascal Flatts To Release First Live Album

Rascal Flatts is slated to release their first live album, The Best of Rascal Flatts Live, next Tuesday, Nov. 8. The album will be released on former label home Lyric Street Records/Hollywood Records. The 10-track collection features some of the group’s most popular songs, including “Bless The Broken Road” and “What Hurts The Most.” It is already available for pre-order here.

Full Track Listing/Sequence:
1.     “Bob That Head”
2.     “Bless The Broken Road”
3.     “Still Feels Good”
4.     “Here’s To You”
5.     Medley: “I’m Movin’ On,” “Skin (Sarabeth),” “Feels Like Today”
6.     “Stand”
7.     “These Days”
8.     “What Hurts The Most”
9.     “Life Is A Highway”
10.  Encore: “Foreplay/Long Time,” “Free Ride”