Forty-five years ago this week, Country Music Hall of Famer Don Williams rose to the top of Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. Can you name the single that would be the first of seventeen career number ones for Williams? ANSWER: "I Wouldn't Want to Live If You Didn't Love Me."
If you missed Sheryl Crow doing "Prove You Wrong" -- the country single from her Threads album -- on The Late Late Show with James Corden, you can watch her performance online.
Tanya Tucker guests on Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live Wednesday night starting at 11 p.m. ET on Bravo. At 11:35, you can head over to CBS to see Thomas Rhett on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as well.
You can check out newcomer Mickey Guyton's inspirational new video for her song "Sister" on YouTube now.
A capella group Home Free debuts at #4 this week on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart with their new record, Dive Bar Saints.
These days, Rhett Akins is a whole lot more than just Thomas Rhett's dad.
In the nineties, Akins' own career as an artist yielded huge hits like "That Ain't My Truck" and "Don't Get Me Started." He followed that with a successful career as a songwriter -- so successful, in fact, the Academy of Country Music just named him their Songwriter of the Decade.
It's the second of seven new Decade trophies the ACM is now in the process of awarding. Rhett found out about the honor backstage at TR's recent Chicago stop on the VHS Tour, where he's also the opening act.
Right after the start of the trek, TR gave the elder Akins' performance a shining review.
"I give my dad's set a ten out of ten," Thomas told reporters backstage at CMA Fest. "And of course I'm biased, but when you get out there and watch my dad, like I remember how much of a great entertainer he is."
"And for somebody to walk out there after not playing shows for like 15 years and do what he did in Orange Beach, [Alabama] was pretty special," Thomas added.
TR says he admires how at ease his father is on stage.
"It's like he has no fear..." TR explains. "He just walks out there and is like, 'Hey y'all, I'm Thomas Rhett's dad. And these are songs that you hear on the radio.' And he just plays a Jon Pardi hit or a Dustin Lynch hit."
"I just love his attitude out there," TR continues. "It was a really, really cool show to watch."
Rhett wrote Jon's "Dirt on My Boots" as well as Dustin's "Small Town Boy," among many other hits. He continues on TR's VHS Tour until it wraps on October 12.
RECORDS/Arista NashvilleNewcomer Matt Stell is now officially a golden boy.
The six-foot-seven former college basketball player found out Monday night -- in front of a capacity crowd at the impromptu Nashville tradition known as Whiskey Jam -- that his breakthrough hit, “Prayed for You,” has been certified gold.
“Prayed for You” is also the Arkansas native’s first top ten hit, and has been streamed more than 90 million times so far. You’ll find it on his EP Everywhere But On.
Matt joins the next leg of Chris Young’s Raised on Country Tour on September 26.
Broken BowNot only can Runaway June “Buy My Own Drinks,” these days, they may be buying some extra rounds to celebrate.
This week, Naomi Cooke, Hannah Mulholland, and Jennifer Wayne are enjoying the first top five hit of their careers with “Buy My Own Drinks.” It’s also the biggest success by an all-female trio in sixteen years, as Runaway June picks up where the Dixie Chicks’ left off in 2003 with “Travelin’ Soldier.”
Wednesday night, the trio continues on Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty Tour with a stop in Wichita, Kansas.
On October 3, they’re booked to perform on Good Morning America. You can tune in to watch for them starting at 7 a.m. on ABC.
Low Country Sound/Elektra/EMGThe Highwomen are living up to their name, debuting at the top of Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart this week.
The supergroup -- made up of Maren Morris, Americana Grammy-winners Brandi Carlile and Amanda Shires, and songwriter Natalie Hemby -- is the first all-female act to top the country album ranking since Miranda Lambert’s Pistol Annies did back in November with Interstate Gospel.
All in all, the Highwomen sold 34,000 album equivalent units, which was also enough to also debut at #1 on the Americana/Folks Albums chart, as well as at #10 on the all-genre Billboard 200.
Comstock/Thinkstock Waylon Jennings achieved his fourth #1 with this 1975 song questioning whether country music had lost its way. Can you name the classic tune from his Dreaming My Dreams album? ANSWER: "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way."
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockChris Stapleton's set to join Sheryl Crow for her appearance this Friday on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He sings on the track "Tell Me When It's Over" from her new Threads album.
Sara Evans will kick off her ten-date Blue Christmas Tour December 5 in Huntsville, Alabama. Newcomers Temecula Road will open.
"After a Few" hitmaker Travis Denning will put out the new track, "Heartbeat of a Small Town," on Friday.
You can check out newcomer Niko Moon's new music video for "Good Time" on YouTube now.
ABC/Image Group LACarly Pearce is now happily engaged to Michael Ray, and they're on the way to the altar sometime this fall. But before their romance could blossom, she had to deal with a painful reality: breaking up with her then-boyfriend.
It's something she tackles head-on in her new album.
"I want people to know: Yes, I fell in love. And yes, there's going to be those songs," Carly explains. "But in the process of falling in love, I have hurt someone else. I broke somebody else's heart a few years ago, and had to figure out some things in my own life that maybe weren't serving me well."
That experience inspired "I Hope You're Happy Now," the single Carly co-wrote with Luke Combs and sings with Lee Brice. It'll be out September 27.
Carly vows the new album will be as transparent as her first, Every Little Thing, the chart-topping title track from which is about another breakup.
"In the way that my first record was very unapologetically honest, this one is, too," she tells ABC Radio. "And with that, there's still going to be those heartbreak songs. There's still going to be those vulnerable moments. There's confessions, there's all kinds of things on this record that I feel like dive a little bit deeper."
"Social media shows some things," Carly adds, "but I feel like you don't know the whole story until you really listen to this record. And it's all about finding my way to the place that I am now."
And Carly teases, "But it's gonna have a little bit of everything on it. There might be a few duets."
Carly's sophomore album -- likely including a rumored duet with Michael Ray -- will arrive sometime in 2020.
ABC RadioDolly Parton will mark her 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry by performing two shows on Nashville's most famous stage on Saturday, October 12.
To kick off the celebration, the Dolly: My Opry Memories exhibit is now open at the Music City institution. The collection includes two dozen iconic items of clothing Dolly's worn during the last half-century, including the dress from the night of her Opry induction.
Without her childhood friend Judy Ogle, Dolly's creative director Steve Summers says the exhibit simply wouldn't be possible.
"Judy Ogle is Dolly's best friend, and they have been since they were seven years old," he explains. "Judy had the foresight, even back then -- it would have been in the early 1950s -- to start saving everything. Every single thing: Love letters that Dolly was given by other boys -- everything!"
"And Judy was just adamant on making sure that these things were taken care of and stored properly," Summers adds. "And there would be no archives without Judy Ogle."
Dolly's niece -- and production manager -- Rebecca Seaver says you wouldn't believe what's in Dolly's archives.
"Judy has saved everything: her shoes, her costumes, hats, and -- most importantly to Dolly -- her fan art," Seaver says. "And we have art that she's been given from her fans for decades."
"I've never seen another archive from a celebrity or an icon like her. It's kind of like the hillbilly Smithsonian," she laughs.
Tickets to see Dolly: My Opry Memories are available now. It's open at the Opry House through October 31.
Craig wrote the song after the death of his 19-year-old son Jerry three years ago in a tubing accident. Last week, Blake enlisted the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, Luke Combs and more to help him promote the song, which peaked at #1 on both iTunes Top Country Songs chart and the all-genre tally as well.
“I am truly humbled by the response to the song so far and to my friend Blake Shelton for what he has done to honor Jerry,” Craig says. “It’s incredible to reunite with the team at Broken Bow to share this song with radio and my hope is [that] it will be a help to those who need it most.”
During his previous time at Broken Bow, Craig recorded signature hits like “Almost Home,” “International Harvester,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “Tough,” and “That What I Love About Sunday.”
After accomplishing his original goal on iTunes, Blake went on the predict that “The Father, My Son, and the Holy Ghost” would be a #1 song on country radio. Stay tuned to see what happens next.
Big Machine Midland’s planning to Let It Roll Tuesday night on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Mark Wystrach, Cameron Duddy, and Jess Carson are set to perform the track “Playboys,” from their #1 sophomore album, on the show. You can tune in to watch starting at 12:35 a.m. ET on NBC.
On Tuesday, the trio also kicks off their Let It Roll Tour -- named for the new record -- at New York City’s Terminal 5. Meanwhile, the album’s lead single, “Mr. Lonely,” is nearing country’s top twenty.
ABC/Image Group LACountry music fans just can't stop "Knockin’ Boots”: This week, Luke Bryan’s latest hit hangs on to its position at the top of the chart.
“#KnockinBoots sitting at #1 for the second week in a row. Wow. Can’t believe it,” Luke tweeted on Monday, along with photos of himself with writers Hillary Lindsey, Gordie Sampson and Jon Nite, as well as his behind-the-scenes team.
“This team and these writers are amazing. THANK YOU,” Luke added.
So far, the Georgia native hasn’t given any hints as to how he’ll follow up “Knockin’ Boots,” the lead single from his follow-up to 2017’s What Makes You Country.
SonyTim McGraw is remembering Ric Ocasek, the day after the lead singer of The Cars was found dead in New York City.
Tim’s most recent release happens to be a cover of the band’s 1984 hit ballad, “Drive.”
“Man...so saddened to hear about the passing of Ric Ocasek, lead singer of The Cars, and legendary producer to many,” Tim tweeted on Monday. “His music was inspirational to me.”
“Our thoughts go out to all of his family, friends, and fans,” he added.
It's worth noting that Ocasek didn't sing lead on the original version of "Drive" -- late Cars bass player Benjamin Orr did. However, Ocasek did write it, and it was produced by Shania Twain's former husband and songwriting partner, Mutt Lange, before he and Shania married.
Ocasek was found unconscious and unresponsive in bed Sunday afternoon, having apparently died of natural causes. He was 75.
Tim’s version of “Drive” is available to stream or download now, and you can also check out a new acoustic version of the classic hit on YouTube.
Monday night, we'll meet the new man in Lauren Alaina's life: Not her boyfriend, but her partner on Dancing with the Stars. For the first time, the pairs won't be revealed this season until the premiere.
Lauren's motivation to compete came when she sang on DWTS.
"Watching them dance to my song, like, changed my life," she tells ABC Radio. "I was like, "What.is.happening?... I've got to be on the show."
"It reminded me so much of my time on American Idol," Lauren continues, "and I could tell all the dancers were like family, and I miss that... And a lot of the people who worked on... Idol work on DWTS, so I saw a bunch of people I knew."
But this is much different than when she was runner-up on American Idol's tenth season, in 2011.
"I went into... Idol with a skill that I feel really comfortable with," she explains. "I've sung my whole life. So doing those live performances, it was nerve-racking, but I felt comfortable... singing."
"I'm gonna go into this show with something I've never done in my whole life," Lauren admits. "So, hopefully, I'll pick it up naturally because I don't know how to dance."
If DWTS doesn't work out, Lauren's still focused on her day job.
"I just got into the studio and recorded five songs," she reveals. "I've been getting my mixes back, so I'm very excited. We're gonna put a new single out sometime... before the end of the year."
But Lauren may be fibbing about her dancing experience.
"I can twerk. And drop it... If they want me to shake my booty, I can do that," she laughs.
Find out how Lauren fares when Dancing with the Stars premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Noted filmmaker Ken Burns traces the history of Country Music -- along with the history of America -- in his new sixteen-hour documentary that premieres Sunday on PBS.
For Nashville-based rocker Sheryl Crow, it's a connection that's easy to see.
"I think the journey of country artists and the journey of American musicians at large paints an incredible picture of who we were at our best and who we were at our worst, and how we overcame a lot," she says.
"With regard to country music and blues...I think there is an overlap there -- and mountain music -- you can really get a clear picture of what it means to overcome," Crow adds. "And we need more of that."
Burns' thoughtful evaluation of events profiles how music brought the U.S. together during some of its most troubled times. Sheryl believes that's a message that's more important now than ever.
"Oh my goodness!" she reacts. "Listen, I am a tried and true proponent of introducing young people to our history."
Sheryl goes on: "I think at this moment, we need to understand who we were before now, and how far we've gotten away from it, and what it means to fight for the things you believe in. And what it means to hear each other, and what it means to disagree and still live together peacefully and respectfully."
Sheryl's new collaborative album, Threads, weaves together contributions from country artists like Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton, Vince Gill, and Willie Nelson alongside other greats like Stevie Nicks, Sting, James Taylor and Mavis Staples.
The first installment of Country Music, titled "The Rub" (Beginnings - 1933), premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on PBS, with "Hard Times" (1933-1945) following on Monday. The series continues on subsequent nights before wrapping up on September 25.