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Us here at Keepin’ it Country want to wish our American friends a happy Memorial Day weekend. We also want to thank all those who have, will, or currently are serving their countries overseas. The sacrifices that have been made, and will be made, by the men and women serving their countries will never be forgotten. Even as a Canadian, I still want to thank everyone for what they’ve done protecting freedom not only in the United States today, but around the world.
While there are tons of songs in country music that pay tribute to the troops, we had the difficult task of narrowing it down to just our top ten. Take a look at our top 10 playlist for Memorial Day and let us know what your favorite songs for tribute are on our Facebook page or in the comments to our post.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and John Rich have announced the return of the John Rich & Friends Concert. This year’s benefit show will take place on June 5th in Memphis, Tennessee’s Cannon Center. The line-up is a pretty big one, with expected guests Darius Rucker, Kellie Pickler, Big & Rich and Jeff Foxworthy. The event is the kick-off to 2012′s Fedex St. Jude Class golf tournament.
St. Jude is celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this year, and the hospital aims to provide exceptional health care to children who are fighting cancer. What makes St. Jude unique is that they believe that no child or family should have to pay for treatment while battling the disease. It’s something that John believes strongly in:
“St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital holds a very special place in my heart, that’s why I’m excited to kick off the Fedex St. Jude Classic with the John Rich & Friends concert. I don’t know how you could spend your time any better on this earth than to support something like St. Jude. It’s truly God’s work – taking care of them babies.”
St. Jude is planning an entire week of events during the golf classic to help support the hospital.
ABC is putting together one heck of a sound track for their newest television series, “GCB.” The show follows the story of Texan Queen Bee Amanda Vaughn, (played by Leslie Bibb), who returns home after 20 years, but there’s a little payback for the original mean girl of the town. Will she be welcomed back with open arms, or will her town preach her the golden rule while stabbing her in the back? Everything’s always bigger in Texas… including the drama! The show is based off of the book “Good Christian Bitches” by Kim Gaitlin.
While the sound track for the show isn’t available until May 8th on Elektra Nashville, fans will get the chance to preview a new song each week on iTunes. Star Kristin Chenoweth (who plays Carlene Cockburn) contributes three tracks to the compilation album, including a duet with co-star Miriam Shor on the classic “This Little Light Of Mine”. Other artists featured on the super-star CD include John Rich of Big & Rich, the JaneDear Girls, Emily West, Dean Alexander, Damien Horne, Joanna Cotten, Don Derby, Jaime Hanna, and Bum Steers.
We’ve teamed up with ABC to give our readers the chance to purchase the tracks from the sound track each week with a $15 iTunes gift certificate. Two readers will receive the gift card courtesy of ABC. To enter, follow the instructions on the form below. The contest is open immediately until midnight EST on Wednesday, March 14th. The winners will be contacted by e-mail within 24 hours of the contest closing, then have 24 hours to respond or new winners will be chosen. Only readers with United States mailing addresses can enter this one.
Don’t forget to tune in to GCB on ABC on Sundays at 10 pm EST!
Here at Keepin’ It Country, we like to get a little festive. With Valentines Day tomorrow, we thought it would be fun to put together some of our favourite songs that celebrate love and are thus appropriate to celebrate during this time of year. We recognize some oldies (but goodies), as well as some more modern tunes. Nonetheless, it was rather hard trying to narrow down this list to just ten! Let us know how you feel about our picks!
John Rich, known for being one-half of the duo Big & Rich, was honored this week with the first-ever “Angels Among Us” award at the Country Cares For St. Jude Kids seminar held last week in Memphis, Tennessee. John was presented the award by Alabama front man Randy Owen. The award recognizes a member of the country music community who demonstrates a commitment and dedication to children battling cancer at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
“St. Jude holds a very special place in my heart. It’s like no other place and I’m just so honored to help raise awareness for this organization and to receive the first-ever Angels Among Us Award from Randy.”
Country Cares For St. Jude was started by Randy Owen in 1989. He’s raised over $400 million for the cause since the beginning.
Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton have some of the top country music dance singles of 2011, according to a survey done by Marco Club Connection. The radio promotion company surveyed over 250 club owners and DJs in dance clubs across the United States to put together their top 10 dance singles of 2011. Some of the songs that made the list might surprise you. See the full list below, where Blake was the only artist to make it twice with two different singles.
The 2011 Marco Club Connection Top Ten Country Dance Hits are:
“We are thrilled that ‘Country Girl (Shake It For Me)’ was selected as the No. 1 dance song of the year,” says Capitol/EMI Records Director of Media and Public Relations, Taryn Pray. “This single took Luke Bryan to the next level, and it’s great to have the recognition of the dance club community.”
“What a great way to start off 2012 finding out Warner Music Nashville has four of the Top 5 dance songs. Congratulations to Big & Rich, Gloriana and Blake Shelton.”
With Christmas just around the corner, some of Warner Music Nashville’s biggest stars took some time to remember their Christmases past and what they are most looking forward to this holiday season. The JaneDear Girls, Big & Rich, Frankie Ballard, Gloriana, Jana Kramer, The Farm and Brett Eldredge took some time to remember their favorite Christmas memories to share with fans.
What were the first Christmas presents they remember getting as kids? What’s their favorite Christmas food and tradition? Find out below:
There’s nothing worse than missing your favorite country acts on television Keepin’ It Countyers. Am I right? That’s why were here to keep you updated! Tomorrow (Monday) night GAC is set to air “Christmas in the Black Hills” featuring Big & Rich. The special, airing at 8:00 EST/7:00 CST, was shot in the Black Hills of South Dakota and in the city of Deadwood.
Check out the show tomorrow night, then come right back here to Keepin’ It Country and let us know what you thought!
Blake Shelton, Big & Rich, Jason Aldean and Toby Keith have all been announced for the Wisconsin Country Thunder festival today. The festival, which takes place July 19th to the 22nd, marks the 20th anniversary of the of the premiere camping, music and entertainment festival. The much anticipated line-up was announced this morning and we have it right here!
Headlining Thursday night is multi-platinum duo Big & Rich, who’s energetic, raucous-raising performance will be the perfect way to kick off the 4-day country music festival. Joining them on the Thursday party is new group The Farm, whose debut single “Home Sweet Home” is rising up the charts.
Georgia native Jason Aldean will headline the Friday night line-up. Steve Holy and Wade Bowen will open up for country’s latest superstar. Jason’s tour-mate Luke Bryan, another rising star, will be part of the Friday night party as well.
Blake Shelton, reigning CMA and ACM male vocalist of the year will headline the Saturday night line-up. He was named the “most versatile of contemporary country music singers” by the New York Times, and recently received a total of three GRAMMY nominations for his hit singles “Honey Bee” and “God Gave Me You” from “Red River Blue.” No openers have yet been announced for Saturday night.
Sunday brings fans a different kind of party with Toby Keith headlining. Joining Toby on the final date of the festival is Neal McCoy, Hunter Hayes, and Brantley Gilbert. See the full festival line-up below, with additional artists to be announced in the coming months:
Kellie Pickler, The Band Perry, Alan Jackson, Phil Vassar, Thompson Square and the Eli Young Band have been officially added to the Arizona Country Thunder line-up for next year. They join previously announced headliners Big & Rich, Blake Shelton and Dierks Bentley.
The 4-day pass to the festival is only $120 and, new this year, AZ Country Thunder is giving fans the opportunity to get even closer to their favorite acts by making available GA RSVD seating with pricing starting at $200 – $375. New to this year is the hotel and ticket packages as well. To purchase your tickets, visit countrythunder.com.
The new line-up is now:
Thursday – Main Stage
4:00-5:00pm Wade Bowen
5:30-6:30pm Eli Young Band
7:00-8:30pm Craig Morgan
9:00-10:30pm Dierks Bentley
Friday – Main Stage
2:30-3:30pm Steve Holy
4:00-5:00pm Sawyer Brown
5:30-6:30pm Kellie Pickler
7:00-8:30pm Jake Owen
9:00-10:30pm Big & Rich
Saturday – Main Stage
2:30-3:30pm The Farm
4:00-5:00pm Neal McCoy
5:30-6:30pm Joe Nichols
7:00-8:30pm Thompson Square
9:00-10:30pm Blake Shelton
Sunday – Main Stage
4:00-5:00pm Brett Eldredge
5:30-6:30pm Phil Vassar
7:00-8:30pm The Band Perry
9:00-10:30pm Alan Jackson