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Lee Ann Womack has performed at the Concert for the Nobel Peace Prize, Willie Nelson’s 70th Birthday and Maya Angelou’s Celebration of Joy Rising Memorial. On Thanksgiving, the East Texas girl will firmly plant her heels and embrace one of the Lone Star State’s greatest honors: sing “The Star Spangled Banner” before the Dallas Cowboys take on the Philadelphia Eagles inside AT&T Stadium.

“Growing up, Thanksgiving and football were always part of the tradition,” says the six-time Country Music Association Award winner. “When you think of those things that are such a part of Thanksgiving in Texas, but really everywhere, watching that Cowboys game with your family is a big part of the day!”
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https://gallery.mailchimp.com/bf141dbbd818f4f933816b13a/images/2fc78934-de7f-4924-8892-0c2aa641de8f.jpgRarely in life do we get to honor someone whose singing style ushered in a new way to do it. Ray Price passed away Dec 16, 2013, and Country’s Family Reunion is honoring Ray’s memory by getting together those who knew him best with a CFR Ray Price Tribute.

Janie Price, Ray’s widow, joins Bill Anderson and a room full of Ray’s friends, band members and Country artists who all paid tribute to his songs, his style and his life. Here are some of the people who came to the taping: Johnny Bush, Darrell McCall, and friends like John Conlee, Larry Gatlin, Gene Watson, Janie Fricke, Jeannie Seely, Moe Bandy, T. Graham Brown, Wade Hayes, Tracy Lawrence, Johnny Lee, Ray Pillow, Curtis Potter, Bill Mack, Linda Davis, David Ball, Teea Goans, Jim Lauderdale, Jim Ed Brown, Mo Pitney, Jan Howard and Roy Clark.

“What an honor it was to have so many great artists in one room to pay tribute to such a remarkable artist. The stories told not only by the artists, but by his lovely wife are absolutely great,” says executive producer Larry Black.

It truly is a tribute to the man who brought us songs like “City Lights,” “Release Me,” “Crazy Arms,” “Heartaches by the Number,” “For the Good Times,” “Night Life” and so many more– songs that were sung by his friends to honor his memory.

5 DVD Set Available For Pre-Order; Television Tribute To Air On RFD-TV in 2015

Pre-order the Country’s Family Reunion Ray Price Tribute here:
CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW or call 1-800-820-5405

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For years, radio DJs and the country music industry have raved about the vocal similarities of country singer Jeff Bates and the late Conway Twitty.  On November 11, 2014, Bates will finally satisfy those who have said it for years, when he releases ME AND CONWAY (Sony RED / Red River Entertainment), his tribute to the country legend.

“People always told me I sounded like Conway and though I never agreed, I always took it as a compliment,” explains Bates.  ”I think it’s because we were both from Mississippi, enunciated similarly and we both have that gravel sound in our voices.  In 2002, when I met with Joe Galante and Renee Bell at RCA for the first time, I performed ‘Long Slow Kisses’ and ‘I Wanna Make You Cry’ for them and I learned that Renee had been Conway’s A&R rep at MCA and she had called the meeting to find out who the guy was that reminded her so much of her friend, Conway.  I went to great lengths to explain that I really didn’t sound as much like him as she thought I did and if she would just A/B our voices side by side and listen she would hear huge differences.  She just smiled her sweet Renee smile and said, ‘Honey, it’s not a bad thing at all. Yes, you sound like you but when you sing I hear Conway’s soul in your voice!”

It was a battle Bates would continue to fight at radio for years.  He heard, ”You sound like Conway Twitty” and even ”You sound too much like Conway Twitty!”  Finally he decided to let it go.  ”If people wanted to think that I sounded like him then so be it,” he says.  ”I could spend my life arguing about it or I could just continue to write songs and sing what I felt.  Then about three years ago I decided I would ‘own it.’”

Bates decided to record a new album with six Conway songs and six others so that fans could hear the differences and similarities for themselves.  On Me and Conway, Bates has included renditions of Conway Twitty classics, “Don’t Take It Away,” “Lost In The Feeling,” “I’d Love To Lay You Down” and “That’s My Job.”

Bates was honored beyond comparison when Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member Loretta Lynn agreed to sing with him on her classic Conway duet, “After The Fire Is Gone.”  Lynn, who has not recorded the song with anyone since the original version with Conway, agreed after she heard Bates sing the song at her Hurricane Mills Tennessee Ranch annual Conway Twitty Weekend.  It’s been 43 years since the song was released in 1971 when it went to Number 1 on the charts for two consecutive weeks.  Now, more than four decades later, the song will be heard again, introducing a new generation of fans to one of the greatest country music duets ever recorded.

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Comedy and country music icon Ray Stevens is set to co-host the 2014 Inspirational Country Music Awards™, to be held on Thursday, November 13 at 7:00 P.M. at Cornerstone Nashville (726 W Old Hickory Blvd) in Nashville, Tennessee.  GRAMMY® Award-winning Stevens and his co-host, Inside Edition‘s Megan Alexander, will take the reins of the show which honors and showcases some of the biggest names in Christian, country and inspirational music.  Stevens will also perform at the event.
“I am honored to have been asked to co-host this year’s awards show,” says Stevens.  ”I’ll also be performing a few songs from my new gospel album.”
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the awards show, this year’s finalists include such notables as Vince Gill, Guy Penrod, Lady Antebellum, Rhonda Vincent, The Isaacs, Scotty McCreery, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Roys and more.

This year’s awards show will be broadcasted on the NRB Network as well as GEB America with more networks to be announced in the near future (check local schedule listings on each network for broadcast times in your area).

The Inspirational Country Music Awards are held in conjunction with the annual ICM Faith, Family & Country™ Week which draws fans to Music City every year.  For tickets and more information about the festivities visit www.faithfamilycountry.com.

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Charlie Daniels announces the legendary “Volunteer Jam,” which began in 1974 at War Memorial Auditorium when Daniels and his friends recorded a live version of “Fire On The Mountain,” will take place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, on August 12, 2015, to raise awareness and funds for The Journey Home Project. Tickets for Charlie’s Volunteer Jam will be available online at charliedaniels.com, thejourneyhomeproject.org, or through Ticketmaster starting Spring 2015.

“We are extremely excited that Charlie will be bringing the Volunteer Jam back to Nashville. Everyone can only guess who his surprise guests are going to be,” says The Journey Home Project board member Ed Hardy. “Charlie is a big man with a big heart. His love and passion for our troops and veterans is unparalleled. We definitely could not do this without him.”

The announcement comes on the heels of the inaugural Journey Home Project fundraising event, which took place at The Palm on Tuesday, September 9, to a sold out audience. Guests were treated to music by Rodney Atkins, Mandy Barnett, Ryan Weaver and Daniels, but the big surprise of the night was the interaction with troops in Afghanistan through a special uplink coordinated by David Corlew and the Special Operations community.

“It was a very special moment, there was not a dry eye in the room” says The Journey Home Project board member David Corlew. “I have been very fortunate traveling to Afghanistan where I visited our troops and have built a personal relationship with many of them.  Being able to connect our supporters with those that we are raising money for was something nobody expected, and that was special.”

The Charlie Daniels Scholarship for Heroes Fund, which is part of the Yellow Ribbon Education Program at Lipscomb University, was created by Daniels and Corlew to raise money to allow our military heroes to receive an excellent education. Those efforts will continue through The Journey Home Project, which was established to cultivate and bring all fundraising efforts under one umbrella.

The Journey Home Project mission is to help connect people who might not come into contact with soldiers on a daily basis, but who care. The organization will also assist other not-for-profits in securing funds to help causes that benefit Veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

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Country Music fans have a good reason to look forward to 2015. Longtime fan favorite Jim Ed Brown will be returning with his first solo recording in three decades with the January release of In Style Again, his debut project for Plowboy Records. “I love new music.” said Brown about his new disc. “I guess the whole world does. It’s always good to hear a new song. I love what I do. People have always been great to me. They have accepted me into their homes and lives. It’s unreal what radio and television has done for me. I am a very blessed man.”
One of the most timeless voices in Country history, Brown has the distinction of having hits on the chart as a member of a trio (His recording partnership with sisters Maxine and Bonnie as The Browns earned them hits with “I Heard The Bluebirds Sing,” “Scarlet Ribbons,” and the 1959 million-selling “The Three Bells”), a solo artist (with hits like the iconic “Pop A Top,” “Southern Loving,” and “Morning”), and as part of a CMA Award winning partnership with Helen Cornelius (The two recorded many classics from 1976-1981, including “I Don’t Want To Have To Marry You,” and “Lying In Love With You” – which was one of the first major hits penned by Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Dean Dillon.)

In Style Again neatly brings together all phases of Brown’s historic career. “When The Sun Says Hello To The Morning” features the distinctive harmonies of his sisters. Brown says reuniting with his sisters is a dream come true. “I’ve had a song in mind for all those years. In fact, I had a copy of it that I picked up when I was in Europe that I have kept for so many years. I thought ‘Why don’t I see if I can’t get them to record one more time with me?”

The album also features twelve solo performances from the singer. But, when an artist as important as Jim Ed Brown steps into the recording studio, other artists naturally want to follow. He is joined on “Tried and True “ and “You Again“ by fellow Grand Ole Opry members Vince Gill and The Whites, respectively. He also reunites with Cornelius on the Carl and Pearl Butler chestnut “Don’t Let Me Cross Over.”

All but one of the cuts on In Style Again were produced by veteran journalist Don Cusic, while the title cut was produced by longtime Brown friend Bobby Bare. “Last year, we were talking, and I said ‘Bobby, I want you to produce a record for me.’ He had been doing some things with his son and some other people. He said ‘Give me a call,’ so I found this song, and I called him. He did a great job on it.”

In Style Again teams Brown up with Shannon Pollard and Plowboy Records. The partnership makes musical sense as the label takes its’ name from Pollard’s grandfather, “The Tennessee Plowboy,” Eddy Arnold. Brown’s warm and tender style has often been compared to that of Arnold, whom he has shared many a stage with.

Brown is also familiar to audiences through his extensive work in television, with his Country Place syndicated series in the early 1970s, Nashville On The Road from 1975-1981, and You Can Be A Star and Going My Way from the 1980s. Brown was also the commercial spokesperson for Dollar General Stores for well over a decade. Since 1963, Brown has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry. His weekly radio show,Country Music Greats Radio Show, is heard on over 200 radio stations per week. The first single from In Style Again will be released soon.

For more information, visit: www.JimEdBrown.com

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“Offstage, he was just the guy I love. When that red light went on in the studio, or when he stepped onto the stage and they handed him that microphone, something happened. It was a higher power. This transformation took place in him. He turned into RAY PRICE.” – Janie Price

BEAUTY IS  … the final sessions, the last recordings of Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price, debuted on the Billboard Country Album chart at #22 in April, making it his highest album debut since the 1981 release of TOWN & COUNTRY, which entered at #17.  Produced by Grammy award-winning hit maker and friend Fred Foster, BEAUTY IS … highlights the timeless, signature string and Shuffle sound of Price, and features duets with Vince Gill and Martina McBride.  Released on Amerimonte Records, this iconic project is available at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations as well as Hastings, Walmart and online retailers including Amazon.
“Graceful to the end, Price takes a final bow with an elegant collection that nicely caps a great musical legacy.” – Michael McCall, Associated Press

BEAUTY IS … is the sound of a man in full, looking back on the life and love that fulfilled him.  It is the most graceful of exits.” -  Peter Cooper, Tennessean

“After one listen of this remarkable album, you will note that Price’s flawless phrasing, vocal resonance and burnished warmth of tone create a glow that lingers long after the final notes have sounded.” – Robert K. Oermann, Music Row

“Price recorded this 12-track farewell that eschews self-pity for warmth, compassion and a vibrancy of spirit that reverberated until his last days. With a voice that lost none of its luster and a full complement of strings and big melodies on tracks like An Affair To Remember with Martina McBride and No More Songs To Sing, Price crafted a final love letter to his wife Janie that will leave fans loving and missing him even more.” – Erik Ernst, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“We are extremely delighted and honored to have released BEAUTY IS …,” says Amerimonte Records’ President Steve Popovich, Jr. “This album falls nothing short of a true masterpiece and you’ll understand why he believed this to be his best work.  He captured true perfection and left a huge void not only in Country music, but in music in general. There will only be one Ray Price and through BEAUTY IS … his legacy will live on forever.”

Track Listing:
BEAUTY IS … the final sessions
Beauty Lies In The Eyes Of The Beholder (with Vince Gill)
This Thing Of Ours
I Can See You
It Will Always Be
No More Songs To Sing
An Affair To Remember (with Martina McBride)
Senses
Until Then (with Vince Gill)
Beautiful Dreamer
I Wish I Was 18 Again
Among My Souvenirs
I Believe
 
To stay updated on Ray Price, simply visit www.beautyisrayprice.com.
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When Lee Ann Womack agreed to do a clip for “The Way I’m Livin’,” the title track and lead song from her 9/23 Sugar Hill Records debut, she knew one thing: “I did not want a literal, storyline video.” The Roger Pistole-directed clip is anything but… and it’s provocative enough CMT will world premiere it across its platforms on Wednesday, Sept. 10.

“We joked about things you don’t hear at a Lee Ann Womack video shoot,” says the Grammy-winning vocalist of the unlikely video. “You know, like ‘The snakes just got here…’ Only for this clip, the snakes really did just arrive!”

Considering the realm and reality in the world around us, Roger Pistole created a video where time has multiple layers, the characters are open to interpretation and Womack delivers a vocal performance that is equal parts confession, rumination and scalding immersion in the moment. In the end, the notion of just who the devil is will prompt discussion – with no clear cut answers.

“I think getting people to talk about things, issues and what they believe is the best thing music can do,” Womack says. “And I love that this video takes that concept, and pushes it even farther. Life isn’t black and white; people’s reasons aren’t simple, nor are the reasons they fall. Roger got the exact thing I was trying to capture in the song – and man, did he find a great way to create a video that leaves you wondering, but also shows you a lot about the gray areas of life.”

Shot in an abandoned house on a working cattle farm outside Nashville, “The Way I’m Livin’” seems like another old house in a field video – until you get 30 seconds in. From there, it’s a powerful exploration of temptation, falling, fighting and, perhaps, salvation – all without one obvious cue.

“The best things let you bring your own life to’em,” says the woman, whose The Way I’m Livin’ was singled out by The New York Times in their Fall Arts Preview. “I really want this album to open up what songs can contain, to make people think about their definitions of not just ‘what’s country?,’ but why do we need definitions.”

Wednesday, Sept. 10, CMT will take people even further into the song The Wall Street Journal debuted earlier this summer, writing of the song’s intensity, “She sounds as if she’s making up for lost time.” World Premiering it on CMT, as well as CMT Pure, CMT.com and the CMT Artists App.

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To a standing room only crowd yesterday evening, Johnny Cash Museum Founder Bill Miller revealed The Legends of Sun Records exhibit. The new exhibit, which will run for 18 months, features artifacts that spotlight Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and drummer W.S. Holland. You can view snapshots of the exhibit and VIP preview below.  The Legends of Sun Records exhibit opens to the public on Friday, August 15th.

“Johnny Cash began his musical career at Sun Records,” says Founder Bill Miller. “Sun was the launch pad for several young men whose music would forever impact the world. Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Johnny came from similar backgrounds and humble beginnings. Once they walked through the door at the Memphis Recording Service, their lives would never be the same. We are proud to showcase Johnny’s labelmates from this historic period in rock and roll history.”

The founders of the museum aren’t the only ones both excited and honored to be a part of the exhibit.  See additional comments below.

“Elvis had great respect for Johnny Cash, and a wonderful friendship. He was very proud to share the same Sun Studio roots in Memphis with Johnny, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis. I’m pleased that the Johnny Cash Museum is celebrating the achievements of these five legendary performers, and I know that Elvis would have been tremendously honored to be included in this exhibit.”–Priscilla Presley

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Oak Ridge Boys lead singer Duane Allen has received high honors from his native Lone Star State.  The award-winning singer/songwriter/producer has been inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and named an honorary Admiral in the Texas Navy by Governor Rick Perry.  Oak Ridge Boys members Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban shared the spotlight by being proclaimed as honorary Texans.

The 17th annual celebration was held in Carthage, Texas and included a special concert by The Oak Ridge Boys along with free tours of the Hall of Fame museum which features an exhibit on Duane Allen’s extraordinary life and musical journey with the Oaks.  Texas Country Music Hall of Fame founder Tommie Ritter Smith describes the inclusion of all four Oaks members into the induction ceremony as a reflection of Allen’s heart and East Texas roots.  “He’s the one that was being inducted.  But, he wanted all of the other members to be honored right along with him.  So, The Oak Ridge Boys were proudly named honorary Texans,” she explains.

Duane Allen says, “I am still in the after-glow of a very overwhelming event in my life.  It is a huge honor, and I am humbled to the core of my soul with this induction.  My first emotional moment was when I walked into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.  Less than a few feet inside, I had to just stop and gather my feelings.  Every emotional fiber of my body was saying, ‘WOW!!!’ ”  He adds, “Then, I was walked around to my exhibit.  I had no idea what would be there.  I’d requested that it be a total surprise, and it was my wife, Norah Lee, Kathy Harris, in our office, and Jim Halsey, our manager, who supplied all of the memories for my exhibit.  Rusty Summerville organized all of the items.  I was emotionally overcome when I saw it all.”

For more information on the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame induction and Duane Allen museum exhibit, visit:  http://www.carthagetexas.com/HallofFame/index.html.

To get the latest updates on the Oaks, please visit: http://www.oakridgeboys.com.