Nashville Music Line: Cassadee Pope Cooks, Reba and Rex

Christmas came early for Carrie Underwood. Her holiday-themed album, My Gift, debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for October 10.  My gift is her eighth No. 1 album, but is her first Christmas album.  With eight consecutive No. 1 albums in the chart’s 56-year history, Carrie sets a new record, surpassing Miranda Lambert who has seven chart-topping albums, including 2019’s Wildcard.

The Gift is also debuting at No. 8 on the all-genre Billboard 200 album chart… and at No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums chart, her first time there.  It’s the first Holiday-themed album to debut atop Hot Country Album since Garth & Trisha’s 2016 LP, Christmas Together.

“When I die you can bury me in Lubbock, Texas, in my jeans.” – Mac Davis, from “Texas in My Rear View Mirror” (1980)

Mac Davis was buried in his beloved Lubbock, Monday, October 5, following a funeral procession through the city.  Mac’s fans – and the entire community – had been invited to line up their vehicles along the procession route to pay their respects while observing social distancing. He was buried (in his jeans) during a private family ceremony at Lubbock City Cemetery.

As an artist, Mac had five Gold and two Diamond Records and was a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He was the ACM Entertainer of the Year in 1975.  As a songwriter, he wrote numerous hits for Elvis, including “In the Ghetto” and “Don’t Cry Daddy.”

Rather than floral tributes, Mac’s family asked that donations be sent to the MusiCares organization. MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. More information about the organization is available through its website,

Cassadee Pope has been cooking up more than just some new music recently. She’s been cooking up… well, cooking.  Like most artists, Cassadee had planned a full-length band project as a follow up to last year’s Stages.

Then COVID-19 hit, shuttering recording studios, and effectively canceling tours for the foreseeable future. Cassadee made the best of all this downtime by confronting one of her fears—cooking.

She says she was ‘deathly afraid’ of the kitchen, and wouldn’t cook, scared she would mess It up.  But since the pandemic she says she’s “just making things up and they are turning out great. I’ve baked cakes, I’ve made scones—I’m feeling pretty good about my skills now,“ she told MusicRow.

Also, she’d been writing music, funneling the heartbreaks and disappointments she’d experienced over the past few years—from parting ways with her former label BMLG, to a breakup with an old boyfriend, and then her journey through therapy and self-discovery—into some of her most intensely personal work to date.

From more than two dozen tracks, she pulled out the eight that appear on her recent acoustic EP, Rise and Shine, released independently in August via her own Awake Music label.

“It’s a product of the pandemic,” she says of the acoustic album. “At the beginning, I thought, ‘We are in an acoustic state of the world right now, where we don’t have a ton to distract ourselves from our issues or the things we are going through.”

More about Cassadee and her new EP at

Tanya Tucker has shared a new live version of her now classic Top 10 country smash “Delta Dawn”. The new track, which premiered via American Songwriter, appears on her upcoming new album, Live From The Troubadour, out October 16th via Fantasy Records.  Pre-order the album at

On October 2, Tanya and her band took the stage for the first time since the pandemic hit with a show at Beaver Dam Amphitheater in Beaver Dam, KY. The special drive-in concert was a part of the rescheduled CMT’s Next Women of Country Tour with social distancing and protective precautions in place.

Additional tour dates for 2021, tickets and more info at

Additionally, the official music video for Tanya’s GRAMMY-winning song “Bring My Flowers Now,” featuring Brandi Carlile and directed by Trey Fanjoy, is nominated for Video of the Year at the 2020 CMT Music Awards. This is a fan-voted award and to cast your vote, visit  The 2020 CMT Music Awards will broadcast on Wednesday, October 21st, 2020 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on CMT.

Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker will host the 54th Annual CMA Awards Nov. 11, live from Nashville’s Music City Center on ABC.

“I’m thrilled to be back hosting the CMA Awards and even more thrilled that I get to share the stage with Darius Rucker,” says McEntire, who returns to host for the fifth time. First-time host

Rucker adds, “Even though this year will look a little different than normal, I know that we’re all eager for a night of musical celebration, and this year’s show definitely won’t disappoint!”

The show will not have a live audience.

Some Upcoming Album Releases:

Oct 9   Brothers Osborne       Skeletons

Oct 16 Trace Adkins               Ain’t That Kind of Cowboy

Tanya Tucker              Live From the Troubadour

Jamie O’Neal               Sometimes

Runaway June             When I Think About Christmas

Matt Stell                    Better Than That

Mega hit songwriter and performer, Kent Blazy (“If Tomorrow Never Comes”), is releasing his new 13-track album, Authentic, available to order on Kent Blazy’s website  Streaming and download is available on all digital music platforms.

“What does a songwriter/performer do in a pandemic?  Ff course create a new record! Authentic is the title, although it could have been called ‘six masked men,’” said Blazy! “My aim was to have this record bring hope, joy, gratitude and fun to anyone listening.” Blazy added, “I miss playing live and doing album release shows and look forward to the day that will be possible again. I hope the listeners will enjoy hearing these songs as much as I did creating them.”

As a songwriter, Blazy has a total of seven number one hits to his credit, among many other hit singles and album cuts including several recorded by Garth Brooks.

The Country Network premiered the music video for Brandon Collins latest single “Blame It On Nashville” on Monday, September 28. The debut single was released in August and immediately garnered praise from fans and the industry including a spot on the coveted Academy of Country Music’s ACM New Music Friday Playlist on Spotify. “Blame It On Nashville” is an emotive tune about falling in love and breaking up among the magic of Music City. Brandon dives deep into the difficulty of getting over an ex when everything around him serves as a constant reminder.

The video was directed by Quinton Cook (Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and Dustin Lynch) and was captured during the pandemic, which created a unique opportunity and hurdle for Brandon.

  • “When we scheduled the shoot for “Blame It on Nashville”, it certainly posed challenges as we were faced with managing a video crew while doing our best to ensure social distancing and safety,” recalls Brandon. “On the other hand, because of the quarantine orders, it allowed us to film a nearly barren downtown further capturing the emptiness and downfall of the lyrics.”

In addition to the video premiere, Brandon recently shared his music and helped lift spirits with a virtual visit to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt via the Ryan Seacrest Foundation’s Seacrest Studios.

Purchase or stream “Blame it on Nashville” at and check out Brandon’s music and the “making of” video at


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

QUESTION:  Name the song recorded by Trace Adkins and released in October 2005 that was the third single from his album, Songs About Me, and went on to become a crossover pop hit and a popular ringtone.


This Week In Country Music

Oct 5, 1975     No. 1 on the Billboard Country singles chart: Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”, Nelson’s first No. 1 single. Written by Fred Rose, the song was originally recorded by Roy Acuff in 1947. Other versions have been released by Ferlin Husky, Slim Whitman, Hank Williams, Charley Pride and more.

Oct 6, 1973     The radio show American Country Countdown aired for the first time. Casey Kasem was the show’s co-creator and modeled on his own American Top 40 show. In 1978, the show’s producer, Bob Kingsley, took over as host. In 2006, the show morphed into Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40. Kingsley passed away in 2019.

Oct 6, 1990     Garth Brooks became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Oct 8, 1984     Anne Murray became the first female artist to receive the Album of the Year Award from the Country Music Association (CMA).

Oct 9, 1973     Elvis & Priscilla Presley were granted a divorce. They had been married for six-and-a-half years.

Oct 10, 2012   The TV show, Nashville, aired on ABC-TV for the first time.

This Week’s Country Music Birthdays

October 4        Leroy Van Dyke (Walk on By”, “The Auctioneer”), 1929

Heidi Newfield (Trick Pony) 1970

October 6        Tim Rushlow (Little Texas), 1966

October 7        Uncle Dave Macon (early Opry Star), 1870 (died March 22, 1952)

October 8        Ricky Lee Phillips (Kentucky Headhunters), 1953

October 9        Brandy Clark, 1975

Scotty McCreery, 1993

October 10      John Prine, 1946 (died April 7, 2020)

Tony Arata (songwriter, ”the Dance” etc) 1957

Tanya Tucker, 1958

  • In 1994, Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk on By” was named “Biggest country single of all time” by Billboard based on sales, airplay and weeks on the charts.


“I Know Country” Q&A ANSWER:  “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.”  The song was cowritten by Jamey Johnson, Dallas Davidson and Randy Houser in about one hour, after watching a young woman dancing in a club.


This Week’s Billboard Country Airplay Top 5

  1. (1) “One of Them Girls” Lee Brice
  2. (2) “Lovin’ On You” Luke Combs
  3. (4) “Got What I Got” Jason Aldean
  4. (5) “Some girls” Jameson Rodgers*
  5. (6) “I Called Mama” Tim McGraw
  • *Jameson Rodgers proposed to girlfriend Sarah Allison Turner at The Bluebird Café Monday evening, Oct 5, 2020. On Twitter, Rodgers said they met at the Bluebird nine years ago but “it took a few years for me to finally ask her out. Last night, I surprised her there and asked her if she’d marry me. She said yes!!”
  • On other chart news, Gabby Barrett is at No. 1 for the second straight week on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart that combines radio airplay, sales and streaming data, compiled by Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

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 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