ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp just concluded a week in Nashville with campers from across America participating in various activities and excursions around Nashville. The Camp has two purposes: a study of Williams syndrome and other developmental disabilities and providing music enrichment through performance and education.
The camp featured a Monday songwriting session led by Brett Eldredge and David Lee Murphy, who led campers in a songwriting session, creating “We’re Having a Party,” an original song based on campers’ personal experiences and inspirations.
Later in the week, on Thursday, Jana Kramer stopped by the Vanderbilt campus for a cookout and sing-a-long. The camp wrapped on Friday at the Grand Ole Opry with a performance from Big & Rich. Additionally, the campers performed “We’re Having a Party.”
Craig Morgan may be known for his catchy country hits, but he is also a proud former Army soldier. On Tuesday night, June 13, he was on hand to honor Retired Army Chief of Staff, General George W. Casey, Jr. General Casey recently became the newest member of The Army Historical Foundation’s Board of Directors, which is campaigning to build the National Museum of the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He spoke about the Museum at the Opry, in celebration of the Army’s 237th Birthday.
As we reported, Keith Urban will be the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Urban’s invitation to join the Opry came during last night’s the “All For The Hall” benefit concert at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena that Urban was co-hosting.
Late in the show, concert co-host and Opry member Vince Gill called Urban out to the stage to present him with a gift. Fellow Opry members Rascal Flatts, Diamond Rio and the Oak Ridge Boys also came out to share the moment. Urban was presented with a large duffel bag. Inside the bag was the Opry’s signature microphone stand. As soon as Urban saw it, Gill announced Urban’s invitation to join the Opry. (See Urban’s’ Opry invitation below. Video courtesy Opry.com)
As reported on the Opry site, Urban’s invitation to join is a historic one. Born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, Urban will be the first artist from outside North America to become an Opry member. His formal induction into the Grand Ole Opry will be Saturday, April 21.
Jana Kramer is making her Grand Ole Opry debut this coming Friday and she’s giving her fans the chance to meet her there.
You can enter for an opportunity to meet the “Why Ya Wanna” singer by visiting HERE. The thing is you don’t have much time left to enter. The deadline is tomorrow (April 10) at 4:00pm ET. According to the contest guidelines, winners will be selected at random and contacted by email no later than Wednesday, April 11.
If you’re unable to join Jana at The Opry, you can catch her for free next week. On Monday, April 16 she’s performing at 12th and Porter in Nashville. The free, all-ages show is being taped by CMT. Doors will open at 5:00pm, and the show will start at 5:30. Entry will be first-come first-serve.
We’re now a little less than two months away from the release of Jana’s debut album. The self-titled disc comes out on June 5th.
Last night we got our first look at the artwork for her debut album. Today we’re learning that the self-titled disc will be available on June 5th.
Kramer is currently putting the finishing touches on the album, which is being produced by Scott Hendricks, who has worked with such notable names as Blake Shelton and Brooks & Dunn.
The former One Tree Hill actress has sold almost 250,000 digital singles to date, including her debut country single “Why Ya Wanna.” That record broke records when it first came out . It racked up an impressive 55 radio adds upon its release which made Jana the most added debut artist in the history of Country Aircheck. “Why Ya Wanna” currently sits at #26 in both the Billboard and Mediabase charts.
As for Jana, she’s not sitting still waiting for her release date. She’s been playing a series of shows all across the country and has two very high-profile dates coming up First, she’ll be taking part in the ACM Fremont Street Experience this weekend in Las Vegas. She’s set to play the First Street Stage on Saturday night starting at 7pm local time. Then she’ll be making her Grand Ole Opry debut on April 10th.
Craig Morgan’s new CD, This Ole Boy, will be released this coming Tuesday (Feb. 28). With the disc getting ready to drop, Craig will be dropping in here, there and everywhere. In other words, get ready for a lot more Morgan as he promotes his album with live performances, autograph sessions and national TV appearances.
The Grand Ole Opry member will start next week on Monday with a live Facebook chat with CMT. That same night he’ll entertain his hometown crowd with a rare appearance in Dickson, Tennessee. The “Redneck Yacht Club” singer will sign copies of his soon-to-be-released album and perform an acoustic set previewing tracks from the new record.
Then it’s back to the Web for a live performance that will streamed via STAGEIT. A limited number of tickets to the live webcast can be purchased by clicking here.
A number of other live appearances and autograph signings are planned to celebrate the release of Morgan’s sixth studio record:
Today’s lesson for the kids at Dickson Middle School: Generosity. The teacher: Country star Craig Morgan.
Morgan, who is getting ready to release a new album, took time out of his busy schedule to pay a visit to the school, which is about an hour outside of Nashville. While there the “Redneck Yacht Club” singer donated 15 Dean acoustic guitars to the music program and talked with Mr. Elston’s 8th grade class about the importance of music.
This week is shaping up to be a very big and busy one for Casey James. Today we learned that his self-titled album will be released on March 20. It’s the debut album for the American Idol alum, who took third place in show’s ninth season. “I’m excited to be releasing my debut album,” Casey shared on his website. “I’m thankful that I had the freedom to make the record that represents me as a musician and singer-songwriter.”
To say that James was an active participant in the creation of his album is an understatement. Along with the singing, he also played both the electric and acoustic guitar throughout. And then there’s the songwriting aspect. He co-wrote nine of the album’s eleven tracks. One of those tracks, “Let’s Don’t Call It A Night,” is currently at #33 on the Mediabase chart.
As the calendar is about to turn on a phenomenal year for Country music, it’s time to sit back and reflect a bit.
Country’s influence and impact reached far and wide this past year. Cross-over artists like Taylor Swift and Lady A brought their music to millions of fans, many of whom may have been getting their first taste of the genre. Country artists finished first and second on the latest season of American idol with Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina. Then there was Blake Shelton, who brought a funny, thoughtful and sometimes surprisingly compassionate face to Country through his work on NBC’s “The Voice”.
It was a celebration at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville last night.
As the Opry marked its 86th birthday, Rascal Flatts were officially inducted as members into the Opry family.
The trio could not have been more appreciative of this distinguished honor. Before they took the stage, Gary, Jay, and Joe Don reflected on the occasion.
Gary LeVox: It is so humbling to carry the Opry flag. There’s no higher pinnacle.
Jay DeMarcus: One of the titles we’re most proud of is members of the Grand Ole Opry.
Joe Don Rooney: We are humbled by this and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us and the Grand Ole Opry.
The group was inducted by Opry member Little Jimmy Dickens and Opry general manager Pete Fisher. They also received a surprise congratulatory video message from President George W. Bush, who acknowledged the group’s exceptional dedication to music, the community, as well as our country and armed services.
Congratulations, once again, to Rascal Flatts on this career milestone!