Nashville Music Line: 55th ACM Awards, Tanya Tucker Album

The ACM Awards will air from Nashville, Wednesday, Sept 16, 8 – 11pm ET on CBS stations.  The show will also be available to stream live and on-demand across digital platforms on the CBS All Access subscription service.

As an arena could not be used for the awards show, due to the pandemic, the producers decided to showcase Nashville itself, featuring live performances from the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium and the iconic Bluebird Café. Appropriately, Miranda Lambert will perform her song “Bluebird” live from the Bluebird Café, along with co-writers Natalie Hornby and Luke Dick on one of the segments.

The ‘home base’ for the ACMs will be at the Opry House with Keith Urban serving as host. The ‘live’ portions from the Ryman were pre-recorded because that venue was already booked for the annual Americana Honors & Awards Show.  However, after the ACM/Ryman segments were recorded, the Americana Music Association has announced that their show has been canceled (or at least postponed).

In a press release, Americana Music Association’s Executive Director, Jed Hilly, said: “Despite all our hope, logistical wrangling and passion, we have concluded that it would not be safe to conduct the Americana Honors & Awards at the wonderful and historic Ryman Auditorium next Wednesday, September 16, 2020.  We’ve carefully evaluated safety measures both with an audience and without. It is our conclusion that if just one person walked out of the Ryman with COVID-19, we would not be able to forgive ourselves.”

Plans are underway to, hopefully, to celebrate the nominees and proclaim the winners of the Americana Awards later this fall.

As we gear up for the 54th CMA Awards (Nov. 11) following on the heals of the ACM Awards (Sept. 16), Miranda Lambert should be taking home one or two trophies to put around her Christmas tree this year.  Miranda has a remarkable SEVEN nominations for CMA Awards.  That makes her the most-nominated female artist in the history of the CMAs, and the fourth among all acts.

Luke Combs racked up three wins at the iHeartRadio Music Awards: Country Artist of the Year; Country Song of the Year (“Beautiful Crazy”); and Country Album of the Year (What You See is What You Get).

Through the fall and winter of 2019 and early 2020, Kelsea Ballerini teased her upcoming album to fans on social media and released the single “Club.”  In January, she announced that the album would be titled Kelsea. It was produced with the concept of songs that would raise the roof with happy, foot-stomping, phone-waving fans at arenas during the major tour scheduled to coincide with the album.

The album dropped March 20, 2020, a few days after all concerts, live events and touring stopped dead, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. An album designed specifically to work in jam-packed arenas was suddenly at a major disadvantage. It still peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, but sales took a big hit from the Curse of the Covid.

That’s when Kelsea and the crew at her label, Black River Entertainment, got creative.  She had spent almost 18 months co-writing the album and, despite being deeply disappointed by unprecedented events, she wasn’t going to kick the project to the curb.

Instead, she reimagined all the tracks on Kelsea in a new form. She re-recorded all the songs in new arrangements, more suitable for solo or intimate listening on the sofa instead of in an arena. Working with producer Jimmy Robbins, she created the new album, appropriately titled Ballerini. It was released Friday, September 11 – the day before her 27th birthday and allows fans to appreciate the songwriting that went into the project.

She described the reimagined songs on Ballerini as “emotional, vulnerable and soft” as opposed to the more “effervescent” treatment they received on the earlier album Kelsea.

Singer-songwriter HARDY’s new album A Rock debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top Country Album chart for Sept 19.  Michael Hardy – who goes by the single name HARDY (all caps) as a recording artist – is a major hit writer with co-writes on hits for acts such as Blake Shelton (“God’s Country”) and Morgan Wallen (“Up Down”). He co-wrote 10 of the 12 tracks on A Rock, and the lead single “One Beer,” feat. Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson, jumped into the top ten on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart this week.

A Rock follows HARDY’s previous album Hixtape Vol. 1.

Tanya Tucker will release Live From The Troubadour on October 16, the one-year anniversary of Tanya’s historic, standing-room only set from which it originates. Tanya recorded this set just two months after the release of her Grammy-winning album, While I’m Livin’, produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings. Pre-order Live From The Troubadour at

“There are so many people and places hurting right now, and for me, being on the road since I was a kid and knowing these legendary venues like the Troubadour aren’t bringing in a dime right now without performances, it just makes sense to give back. I can’t be with the fans, so this is my love letter to them, a live album with some of those old records, and our new songs from While I’m Livin’,” shared Tanya.

Tanya is donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this album directly to The Troubadour, including 100% of the revenue generated by the custom Live From The Troubadour poster available at Tanya’s online store via

  • The Troubadour is a member of NIVA: National Independent Venue Association. Formed at the onset of the COVID-19 shutdown, NIVA now represents more than 2,600 members in all 50 states and D.C. These independent venues and promoters were the first to close and will be the last to fully reopen. NIVA’s mission is to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live music venues, promoters and festivals throughout the US. To learn more and find out how you can help, please go to #saveourstages

Thomas Rhett was joined on his current inspirational single, “Be A Light,” by friends Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin and Keith Urban. Rhett said, “When we decided to release this song in March, it was the best way I knew how to share what was on my heart, and I’m feeling so hopeful and encouraged to see so many of you inspired to take action because of it in your own communities. Thank y’all for coming together like this!”

  • All proceeds from the single will go to MusiCares® COVID-19 Relief efforts. Additionally, he and Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta surprised Recording Academy Chairman and Interim President/CEO Harvey Mason Jr. and MusiCares Executive Director Laura Segura via a video conference call with an additional $100,000 for the relief fund.

Rhett, the reigning ACM Awards Male Artist of the Year and this year’s most nominated male artist will perform at the 2020 ACM Awards perform his recent chart-topper “Beer Can’t Fix,” alongside Jon Pardi. More at


“I Know Country” Q&A from

QUESTION: Released in September 2006, “Red High Heels” is the title of the debut single for which artist?  Is it: (a) Carrie Underwood, (b) Kellie Pickler, (c) Miranda Lambert, or (d) Toby Keith


“Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President” is the title of a new documentary that takes a look at how the 39th President came to be known as the first US President to embrace rock & roll and contemporary music, both during his election campaign and later during his tenure at the White House.

The documentary includes memories shared by the 39th President at home in Plains, Georgia, as well as interviews with artists such a Gregg Allman who recalls sharing a bottle of Scotch with a shirtless Carter on a porch, and Willie Nelson who ‘diplomatically’ said he smoked dope with a White House servant.  Not quite right, says Carter. “That was with one of my sons.”

Other musicians, including Bob Dylan and Jimmy Buffett, developed lasting friendships with Carter over the years. Garth Brooks, Bono, Roseanne Cash, Paul Simon and many others talk about Carter and how he saw music as a way to unify people from different backgrounds. It is now showing at select theaters and on ‘virtual cinema’.

See the official trailer at YouTube:

This week In Country Music…

Sept 13, 1965              The No. 1 Country album was “I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail” by Buck Owens, who said he was inspired to write the song by the tiger in the Esso gasoline advertising, “Put a tiger in your tank.”

Sept 13, 2006              What a joyous event for banjo fans: 239 banjo players joined together to play “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” during the pre-game activities at an Atlanta Braves home game to honor famed banjo player Earl Scruggs.

Sept 14, 2003              “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and stayed there for eight weeks.

Sept 15, 2003              Miranda Lambert signs a record deal with Epic Records after finishing third in the first season of Nashville Star. The winner of Season 1: Buddy Jewell). Miranda’s debut album. Kerosene, released by Epic was certified Platinum in 2007. She wrote or co-wrote all except one song on the album.

Sept 16, 1969              Johnny Cash tops the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with “A Boy Named Sue,” written by Shel Silverstein. The song also reached No. 2 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart, kept from the top spot by The Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women.”

Sept 17, 1977              Reba McEntire appears at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time, but almost didn’t: the security guard couldn’t find her name on the list and initially refused to let her in, almost ruining the 1,400-mile trip for Reba and her family from Oklahoma.

This Week’s Country Music Birthdays

Sept 13                        Bill Monroe, 1911 (died Sept 9, 1996)

Joe Don Rooney (Rascal Flatts), 1975

Sept 14                        Beth Nielsen Chapman, 1958

John Berry, 1959

Danielle Peck, 1978

Sept 15                        Roy Acuff, 1903 (died Nov 23, 1992)

Sept 16                        Sonny LeMaire (Exile), 1947

David Bellamy (Bellamy Brothers), 1950

Sept 17                        Hank Williams, 1923

Sept 18                        Tae Dye (Maddie & Tae), 1995

Sept 19                        Jeff Bates, 1963

Trisha Yearwood, 1964

Chase Rice, 1986


“I Know Country” Q&A Answer from

Toby Keith. Oooops, no. Sorry. That was “Red Solo Cup.” The correct answer: (b) Kellie Pickler, who came to fame as a contestant on Season 5 of American Idol, although she was not winner, being eliminated after reaching the Final 6.  “Red High Heels” was her debut single after signing with 19 Recordings/BNA Records and the song was included in her debut album, Small Town Girl’ that topped the Billboard Top Country Album charts in 2006.


This week’s Billboard Country AirplayTop 5

  1. (1) “Lovin’ On You” Luke Combs
  2. (4) “One of Them Girls” Lee Brice
  3. (3) “Cool Again” Kane Brown
  4. (7) “Got What I Got” Jason Aldean
  5. (5) “Die From a Broken Heart” Maddie & Tae

Preshias Harris is a music career development consultant with the emphasis on new and aspiring artists and songwriters. Visit for more details.   Follow her blog at

Harris also the author of “I Know Country” with 366 daily country music questions and answers. You can buy and instantly download your e-book copy at