It has been 50 years since the release of Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Stevens’ GRAMMY® Award-winning, multi-million selling No. 1 hit song, “Everything Is Beautiful.” To celebrate the occasion, Stevens is releasing a newly-recorded 2020 version of the tune. The legendary singer has returned to Curb Records for the new recording. The 50th Anniversary Edition of “Everything is Beautiful” dropped on October 30.
“You know it doesn’t seem possible, but I first recorded this song 50 years ago,” says Stevens. “We’ve come a long way since then and still have a lot of miles left to go, so let’s not fall apart now. Let’s come together and show the world that everything really is… beautiful.”
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic song, the 2020 version finds the tune’s timely message as relevant as ever, tapping into the notion that the country must come together in the midst of division. Both versions of “Everything Is Beautiful” are available for digital download at https://www.curb.com/store/artists/407/. More about Ray at https://raystevens.com/.
“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 title of Carrie Underwood’s debut single? [a] “Inside My Heart”, [b] “Inside Or Love’ or [c] “Inside Your Heaven”.
Five songwriters have been elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The Class of 2020, Steve Earle, Bobbie Gentry, Kent Blazy, Brett James and Spooner Oldham, will be added to the impressive list of songsmiths and will be officially inducted during the “50-51” edition of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Monday, November 1, 2021, at the Music City Center. These five will join the Class of 2021, to be announced at a later date, during the combined 50th and 51st anniversaries, as the 50th was postponed due to the Coronavirus.
Kent Blazy and Brett James are elected in the songwriter category; Spooner Oldham in the veteran songwriter category, Steve Earle as songwriter/artist and Bobbie Gentry as veteran songwriter/artist.
Among their songwriting credits:
Kent Blazy: “If Tomorrow Never Comes” (Garth Brooks), “Ain’t Goin’ Down (’Til The Sun Comes Up)” (Garth Brooks) and “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)” (Chris Young).
Brett James: “Jesus Take The Wheel” (Carrie Underwood), “When The Sun Goes Down” (Kenny Chesney & Uncle Kracker) and “Summer Nights” (Rascal Flatts).
Spooner Oldham: “I’m Your Puppet” (James & Bobby Purify), “Cry Like A Baby” (The Box Tops) and “Sweet Inspiration” (The Sweet Inspirations).
Steve Earle, a multiple Grammy Award winner, recorded many of his self-penned hits, including “Guitar Town,” “Copperhead Road” and “The Devil’s Right Hand.”
Bobbie Gentry, the artist/songwriter/producer, popularized many of her own compositions such as “Ode To Billie Joe,” “Fancy” and “Mornin’ Glory.”
Momentum continues for Shenandoah leading up to the release of the album Every Road as the GRAMMY®, ACM and CMA winning group releases “If Only” with Ashley McBryde.
The sweetly nostalgic ballad is the third track to be released off the upcoming album, available everywhere Nov. 13 via Foundry Records, which also includes star power collaborations with Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Lady A, Zac Brown Band, Carly Pearce, Cody Johnson and Brad Paisley. Download/Stream “If Only” at http://smarturl.it/ShenandoahIfOnly and pre-order Every Road at http://smarturl.it/ShenandoahEveryRoad.
Written by Lori McKenna, Phil Barton and Jaron Boyer, “If Only” follows “I’d Take Another One of Those” with Zac Brown Band and “Every Time I Look At You” with Lady A.
Every Road will be the band’s 10th studio album, and first album of all-new music since 1994, after notching 13 No. 1 hits and charting 26 singles on Billboard country charts throughout their career. More about Shenandoah at https://www.shenandoahband.com/ and on social media.
This Week In Country Music
Nov 2, 1983 The No. 1 song on the Country Singles chart was “Islands in the Sun” the Bee Gees-penned hit for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.
Nov 4, 1997 Come on Over, Shania Twain’s third studio album was released and went on to become the best-selling album by a female act.
Nov 5, 1960 Johnny Horton (“Battle of New Orleans”) died in a car wreck in Milano, Texas.
Nov 7, 1991 Ropin’ the Wind, Garth Brooks’ 3rd studio album was No. 1 on the Billboard Country Album charts.
This Week’s Country Music Birthdays
November 1 Bill Anderson, 1937
Lyle Lovett, 1957
‘Big Kenny’ Alphin (Big & Rich), 1963
November 2 k.d. lang, 1961
November 4 Delbert McClinton, 1940
November 5 Roy Rogers (born Leonard Franklin Slye), 1911
Billy Sherrill (producer). 1936 (died Aug. 4, 2015)
“I Know Country” Q&A Answer: [c] “inside Your Heaven” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for seven weeks.
- Curiously, it was not technically released to Country radio, but still reached No. 52 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
- Bo Bice also recorded the song. Bice and Underwood were final two fourth season contestants on American Idol.
- The song won Underwood the Billboard Music Awards for “Top-Selling Country Single of the Year” and “Top-Selling Hot 100 Song of the Year” (Bice’s version was also nominated in this category).
- It also helped Underwood win the award for “Country Single Sales Artist of the Year”. Carrie Underwood’s version sold 880,000 copies, while Bo Bice’s version sold 401,000.
Billboard Hot Country Songs Top 5 for chart dated Nov. 7, 2020
Combining Sales, Airplay & Streaming, compiled by Nielsen Music/MRC Data
- (-) “Forever and All” Luke Combs
- (1) “I Hope” Gabby Barrett
- (2) “Got What I Got” Jason Aldean
- (4) “More Than My Hometown” Morgan Wallen
- (3) “One of Them Girls” Lee Brice
- Luke Combs’ “Forever and All” is only the 6th time a song has debuted at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart.
- It also debuted at No. 2 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, the highest debut ever for a solo male artist’s song also charting on the Hot Country Songs chart. It beats the record set by Chris Gaines (a.k.a Garth Brooks) whose “Lost in You” debuted at No. 5 on the Hot 100, September 1999, according to Billboard’s chart master Jim Asker.
- “Forever and All” first saw the light on TikTok, building pre-release buzz.
- Luke Combs is in the dominant position on five Billboard charts simultaneously: Hot Country Songs, Country Streaming Songs and Country Digital Songs Sales, while the album, What You See is What You Get, is still No. 1 (for the 32nd week) on the Top Country Albums chart – and is back in the No. 1 spot on the all-genre Billboard 200 album chart.
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.