Nashville Music Line: Billboard Music Awards, Trisha Yearwood, Eric Church


Kelly Clarkson will return as host for the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, which will broadcast live from The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

This year’s awards are based on the chart period of March 23, 2019 through March 14, 2020, which was intended for the originally scheduled April 29, 2020 show, postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Awards will be handed in all music genres, but here are the nominations for the country music categories:

Top Country Artist:
Kane Brown
Luke Combs
Dan + Shay
Maren Morris
Thomas Rhett

Top Country Male Artist:
Kane Brown
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett 

Top Country Female Artist:
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Top Country Duo/Group:
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Old Dominion

Top Country Tour:
Eric Church
Florida Georgia Line
George Strait

Elvie Shane knows just how much dedication and hard work (and patience!) it takes to see one of your songs eventually begin to climb the charts.  The Billboard Country Airplay chart for October 16 shows Elvie’s “My Boy” jumping in at No. 56.  The song also tops Billboard’s “Most Added” chart that lists the songs added to the playlists of Country Radio stations nationwide. For six weeks straight, Elvie has performed roughly five full-band shows per day—miraculously maintaining his stamina, gaining believers and setting the bar high for future newcomers.

The song also leapt to No. 1 on TikTok’s Country chart with well over 775 million uses of #MyBoy and more than 1.5 million streams in the USA alone.

I met Elvie, who hails from Caneyville, KY, when he started making increasingly frequent trips to Nashville, getting involved in co-writing with other songwriters and performing anywhere he could find a mic.  He became one of my ‘kids’ as I was struck by his unique talent and (equally important) by his unshakable work ethic and determination.

  • A personal note: one day, Elvie had called me and asked me to have lunch with him. As we set out he turned to me and said that it wasn’t exactly a lunch date. He then told me he was on his way to BBR to sign his record deal and he wanted me to be there with him. It was a very emotional moment for me. My heart swelled with happiness to see the culmination of his hard work and determination as Elvie and the BBR execs signed the record deal.

From the lyrics of “My Boy”:

He ain’t my blood, ain’t got my name/ But if he did I’d feel the same/ I wasn’t there for his first steps/ But I ain’t missed a ball game yet/ And that ain’t ever gonna change/ I could never walk away.” 

More at Elvie’s website: https://www.elvieshane.com/

In an effort to raise awareness and funds, the stars are coming out to put their talent and their celebrity status behind a push to “Save Our Stages.” The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) is partnering with YouTube for a 3-day virtual music festival to #SaveOurStages. #SOSFEST will live stream on NIVA’s official YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/niva  October 16-18 and will feature all new performances. This benefit event aims to generate significant awareness, advocacy and donations for the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, directly supporting our most vulnerable venues experiencing catastrophic revenue loss.

Throughout the three-day virtual festival, live performances will stream directly from some of those iconic venues across America – including, of course, Nashville. Already announced: Little Big Town and Kelsea Ballerini at the Exit In, Brothers Osborne at Mercy Lounge and Reba McEntire at the Ryman Auditorium. More are being added.

Appearing on other Indie stages from across America during the S.O.S. three-day stream, acts such as Miley Cyrus, Foo Fighters, Demi Lovato and DJ Marshmello.

More info about the livestreaming festival and how to contact your elected officials and ask for their support at https://www.saveourstages.com/

CJ Solar will perform a full-band virtual concert on SET.Live on Thursday, October 15 at 7 p.m. Central. The award-winning artist/songwriter will be the first country artist to utilize both SetTheSet.com, where fans select the songs CJ performs, and the full Set.Live ticketing platform. Admission is $5.00, and several upgrade packages are available at https://set.live/.

“For fans to be able to create Spotify playlists and then use that to make my set list is badass,” said CJ of the platform. “We’ll be able to play a bunch of music, interact, host a meet and greet and do personalized shout-outs.”

Fans registering to watch CJ’s concert will be prompted to pick songs from a list at SetTheSet.com, and he will play as many of those requests as possible during the show.

The live stream will originate from Kinkead Entertainment Agency’s TKEA Soundstage in Nashville.

CJ was honored last week with a plaque celebrating Jameson Rodgers’ inaugural gold-certified single as an artist, “Some Girls.” CJ wrote the current Top 5 hit with Hardy and Jake Mitchell. More at https://www.cjsolar.com/

Tin Pan South will be ‘virtual’ this year. Postponed since March, the Tin Pan South Songwriters festival will now take place October 20 – 24. Josh Osborne, Lori McKenna, Shane McAnally, Carly Pearce, Liz Rose, Jimmie Allen, Trevor Rosen, Matthew Ramsey and Ernest are among the singer/songwriters participating. It is FREE to access.

In addition to the evening rounds on Friday and Saturday, the event will include a Facebook Live Happy Hour at 6pm CT to kick off the nights, each of which will showcase a different region. Every day at 7pm and 8pm CT, multiple rounds will premiere simultaneously and remain available until the next day to watch. See the full lineup at https://tinpansouth.com/

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Steve Wariner will be part of “Inside the Circle” on the Grand Ole Opry’s Facebook for its “Ryman Memories” Live stream. Wariner will look back on the Opry’s original run at the Ryman, as well as highlights since its wintertime return in 2000, with moderator Bill Cody.

Later this month, Wariner will return to the hallowed stage on Saturday, Oct. 31 in celebration of the Opry’s 95th anniversary. A member since 1996, Wariner will headline with Clint Black as part of a month-long series of events.

More than a million fans have made it a priority since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to tune into Steve Wariner’s #WarinerWednesday and leave their worries behind for an hour while the four-time GRAMMY® winner and singer/songwriter/instrumentalist entertains virtually. Previous episodes are available to watch on-demand at WarinerWednesday.com.

Videos, music and links to #WarinerWednesday shows at https://www.stevewariner.com/

Also on October 21: The CMT Music Awards.  More about that next week, but already we know that Kane Brown and Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) have been revealed as the first two of four hosts for the virtual Awards show that will showcase “epic outdoor performances in and around Music City,” according to a CMT press release. The show is set for 7:00pm CST, Oct 21.

Dennis Quaid has released “America, I Love You, Too,” a live performance track originally aired during CMT’s 2020 Concert for Love & Acceptance with a message of unity and patriotism. Released via Audio Up Records, “America, I Love You, Too” captures Quaid performing with all-star musicians, including The Doors guitarist Robby Krieger.

Most recently, Quaid co-founded Audio Up, a podcast content studio, network, and production company, and launched his own podcast, The Dennissance, on the platform. Additionally, Quaid is also involved in several other Audio Up podcasts. Details at https://www.audioup.com/

Currently, Quaid is developing The Charley Pride Story, which he will produce along with Ben Howard’s production company, Third Coast Content. Quaid is also set to star in the Ronald Reagan biopic, Reagan, produced by Mark Joseph, with production currently underway.

Along with his acting accomplishments, Quaid is a singer-songwriter and touring musician who performs both original songs and country standards.  After years of playing clubs with his band, Quaid released his debut album, Out of the Box, in November 2018.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation has announced Tim McGraw as the third recipient of the Tom Hanks Caregiver Champion Award in recognition of his outstanding support for military and veteran caregivers, the 5.5 million loved ones nationwide caring for a wounded, ill, or injured service member at home.

Tim McGraw became personally invested in caregiver programs after his experience as a caregiver for his father Tug McGraw, who died of brain cancer in 2004. McGraw serves as the Honorary Chair of the Tug McGraw Foundation, which was established by Tug McGraw to enhance the quality of life for kids and adults with debilitating neurological brain conditions such as brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The Tug McGraw Foundation has helped many veterans and their caregivers through their programs and is a dedicated partner of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.

Tim McGraw will be honored during the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s third annual Heroes and History Makers event on October 20 at 8pm ET.

The online event is accessible to the public at no cost. Registration information and streaming details for the event can be found at https://www.elizabethdolefoundation.org/.

Dolly’s No. 1 album

As mentioned last week, Dolly Parton has released a Christmas album, titled A Holly Dolly Christmas. Her first Holiday album in 30 years, the album sits at No. 1. on both the Billboard Top Country Album charts and the Top Holiday Albums charts for Oct. 16.  This is her eighth No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, and also debuts at No. 16 on the all-genre Billboard 200 album chart.

It is the second Christmas-themed album to top the Country Albums chart in consecutive weeks: last week the No. 1 Country album was Carrie Underwood’s My Gift.

With A Holly Dolly Christmas, Dolly is the first female performer to have a Top 10 entry on the album charts in every decade starting in the 1960s.

•••

“I Know Country” Q&A from the book I Know Country by Preshias Harris, available in print or e-book editions at www.iknowcountry.com

Question:  Who scored a No. 1 hit in October 1996 with the song “Believe Me Baby (I Lied)” the lead-off single from the album Everybody Knows?

•••

This week In Country Music

Oct 11, 1985   Tex Williams (“Smoke, Smoke, Smoke, That Cigarette”) passed away

Oct 12, 1981   Alabama win Instrumental Group of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year at the ’81 CMA Awards

Oct 12, 1997   John Denver died when his private plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean

Oct 13, 1980   Johnny Cash inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame

Oct 15, 1960   Loretta Lynn appears on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time 960 years ago!)

Oct 15, 1983   George Jones married 4th wife Nancy Sepulvado

This Week’s Country Music Birthdays

October 11      Dottie West, 1932 (died Sept 4, 1991 in car wreck on way to the Opry)

Gene Watson, 1943

October 12      Martie Mcguire (The [Dixie] Chicks), 1969

Shane McAnally, 1974*

October 13      Lacy J. Dalton, 1946

Marie Osmond, 1959

Rhett Akins, 1969

October 14      Natalie Maines (The [Dixie] Chicks), 1974

October 15      Kimberly Roads-Schlapman (Little Big Town), 1969

October 17      Earl Thomas Conley, 1941 (died April 10, 2019)

Alan Jackson, 1958

  • *Among songwriter Shane McAnally’s hits so far: “Somewhere with You” and “Come Over” (for Kenny Shesney), “Alone with You” (Jake Owen), “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” (Luke Bryan), “Better Dig Two”(The Band Perry), “Downtown” (for Lady A) and “Mama’s Broken Heart” for Miranda Lambert.

•••

“I Know Country” Q&A Answer: Believe me, it’s Trisha Yearwood.  It would be Trisha’s fourth No. 1.  “Believe Me Baby” was written by Kim Richey, Angelo Petraglia and Larry Gottlieb.

•••

This Week’s Billboard Country Airplay Top 5

  1. (1) “One of Them Girls” Lee Brice
  2. (5) “I Called Mama” Tim McGraw
  3. (3) ‘Got What I Got” Jason Aldean
  4. (2) “Lovin’ On You” Luke Combs
  5. (4) “Some Girls” Jameson Rodgers

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

Harris is 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 www.IKnowCountry.com

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