Nashville Music Line: Luke Combs Captures CMAs, Tracy Lawrence Turkeys


Tracy Lawrence’s 15th annual Mission Possible Turkey Fry & Benefit Concert is set for November 24. Since it’s conception in 2006, Mission:Possible has raised nearly $1 million and made approximately 97,000 meals for the homeless community around Nashville, TN. Funds raised by the event go to Nashville Rescue Mission to help continue their incredibly important work.

This year, the two-part event will begin with the turkey fry kicking off the day in the parking lot of Nashville Rescue Mission. Due to current health and safety guidelines, this year’s concert portion will be a virtual livestream event from the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville via streaming platform, Talk Shop Live. The star-studded benefit concert will feature Tracy with special guest performers and will livestream at 7:00 pm CST, November 24.

The Benefit Concert livestream will be free to watch. Go to https://www.turkeyfry.org/ and scroll down to the link. Click ‘purchase’ and select ‘Mission Possible Concert’ to watch free of charge.

Exclusive merchandise is also available on the Talk Top Live platform where proceeds will go to feeding the homeless.

Luke Combs wasn’t ‘interesting enough’ to be on The Voice.

While he was still at college, he tried out for an audition for the show in Atlanta, GA. In a 2016 interview posted on WhiskeyRiff.com, he said he was given about 30 seconds to sing and made it to the next round where he sang in a studio and then made it to the next cut. As Luke notes, artists don’t know for maybe a few months if they’ll make it to the show. Finally, he got a letter saying he wasn’t “interesting” enough for the show’s ratings and so he wouldn’t make it to the televised show.

Looking back, Luke says that was probably true, as he was “just a college kid,” but he appreciated the experience and is actually thankful it happened that way, because it set him on a different path – writing and recording songs that really strike a chord with listeners. He is now recognized as a unique phenomenon with a string of awards and massive hit records.

At this year’s CMA Awards, Luke took home the Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year awards. Earlier in the year, he received the same recognition – Male Artist and Best Album of the Year – at the ACM Awards.

The moral of the story: don’t let rejection burst your dream bubble. Use the experience as a learning moment, and keep on singing, performing writing… developing your craft.

  • Voice judge Blake Shelton said: “If he still has that letter, he should frame it and put it next to his first triple-platinum record.”

CHRISTMAS 4 KIDS NEWS: Christmas 4 Kids is going ahead – but with a few changes due to the pandemic. Fundraising kicked off November 7 when Lindsay Ell and Mitchell Tenpenny hosted “When Pigs Fly”, an evening of fun and music to benefit Christmas 4 Kids, the organization that provides hundreds of underprivileged children in Middle Tennessee with their very own Christmas shopping spree.

On November 23, Phil Vassar & Friends host an at-home virtual concert starting at 7:00 pm/CT. Online tickets are $25.00 each and can be purchased at https://www.philvassar.com/.  Virtual meet-and-greet passes can also be purchased for an additional amount.

Due to current social distancing restrictions, the shopping spree will be done a little differently this year. Each child will still receive the $150.00 shopping spree, but the kids will provide “wish lists” to volunteers who will personally shop for them at the Hendersonville Walmart on December 7th-8th. The Christmas gifts will then be delivered to the children at their appropriate schools on December 15. Tickets, info and how you can help at https://christmas4kids.org/c4k2020/

Chris Stapleton is Starting Over

Chris Stapleton’s new album, Starting Over, is set for release Friday, November 20. But Chris had to start over more than once while creating the album.

He left his ‘comfort zone’ of RCA Studio A in 2018 and went down to Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama, only to have a power outage that blacked out the town and the studio. He told NPR that it just wasn’t working out and felt it was a sign that he needed to shut down the project and “write some more, tour some more.”

He picked up the project again in 2020 and got back to Studio A and producer Dave Cobb.  They finished the album in February, just before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the music industry in Nashville.  He also recorded two of the tracks at Compass Sound in Nashville and retain some of the material from Muscle Shoals.

Stapleton has described the album as being like a ‘self-therapy session.’ One track, “Maggie’s Song”, is about his feelings for his beloved dog Maggie. He wrote the heartfelt song shortly after Maggie passed away.

More about Christ Stapleton and Starting Over at https://www.chrisstapleton.com/

The Kentucky native appeared on Jimmy Kimmel and did a “fake” commercial for anew album, “A Very Covid Christmas.”  Among the (not real) songs:

“Coughing Around The Christmas Tree”
“Grandma Got Corona From A Reindeer”
“Fauci The Snowman”

Again – it’s a joke, so you can’t actually buy it!

•••

“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: What is the stage name of Eilleen Regina Edwards, the artist who, for many years, held the record for the best-selling female artist in any musical genre?

•••

The 54th Annual CMA Awards went ahead last Wednesday at Nashville’s Music City Center, with a “dinner theater” ambience, placing the stars at appropriately distanced tables with two separate stages.

However, viewership dropped by about 40% compared to last year’s broadcast, according to Variety magazine.  The CMA Awards weren’t alone: all this year’s award shows have suffered. The Oscars fell by 20%, the Billboard Music Awards, down by 55% and the ACM Awards were down by 30% compared to the previous year.  It seems TV viewers miss the excitement of seeing a ‘live’ audience at the venue.

Those who decided not to watch – or tuned out early – missed some good performances.

The winners:

Entertainer of the Year: Eric Church

Album of the Year: What You See Is What You GetLuke Combs

Female Vocalist of the Year: Maren Morris

Male Vocalist of the Year: Luke Combs

Musical Event of the Year: “I Hope You’re Happy Now” – Carly Pearce and Lee Brice

Music Video of the Year: “Bluebird” – Miranda Lambert; Director: Trey Fanjoy

New Artist of the Year: Morgan Wallen

This Week In Country Music

Nov 15, 1989  The movie, Steel Magnolias, was released, starring Daryl Hannah, Julia Roberts, Sally Field and… Dolly Parton.

Nov 18, 2005  The movie, Walk the Line, was released, starring Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash.

Nov 19, 1968  Harper Valley PTA was the No. 1 Billboard Country album for Jeannie C. Riley.

This Week’s Country Music Birthdays

November 15  Dann Huff (producer), 1960

November 16  Keith Burns (Trick Pony), 1963

November 19  Billy Currington (“Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right”), 1973

TJ Osborne (Osborne Brothers), 1984

November 20  Curly Putman (songwriter), 1930 (died Oct 30, 2016)

Dierks Bentley, 1975

Josh Turner, 1977

November 21  Jean Shepard, 1933 (died Sept 25, 2016)

This Week’s Billboard Country Airplay Top 5

Compiled by Nielsen Media / MRC Data

1. (1) “Love you like I used to” – Russell Dickerson
2. (3) “More than my home town” – Morgan Wallen
3. (2) “One of them girls” – Lee Brice
4. (4) “Happy anywhere” – Blake Shelton ft Gwen Stefani
5. (5) “One beer” – Hardy ft Lauren Alaina, Devin Dawson

Highest new entry:

18 (-) “What’s your country song” – Thomas Rhett

•••

“I Know Country” ANSWER: Shania Twain. She has sold over 100 million records.  She has received five Grammy awards and 27 BMI Songwriter Awards, among her many accolades.

  • In 2013, Shania Twain was named “Most Beautiful Woman in Country Music” by readers of People magazine.

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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