Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Ky. State Fair Going Country

The Kentucky State Fair Board and our friends at Triangle Talent have done it again this year by rounding up some of the biggest acts in country music to appear at the 107th Kentucky State Fair. Country's hottest trio, Lady Antebellum, will open the fair on Thursday, August 18 along with Lee Brice on the main stage in Freedom Hall. Tickets cost $50 and $40. Two nights later on Saturday, August 20, Jason Aldean will rock Freedom Hall along with Chris Young and Thompson Square. Tickets for this show cost $47 and $30. Tickets for both of these shows can be purchased at the Kentucky Exposition Center ticket office, the KFC Yum! Center ticket office, the Kentucky International Convention Center ticket office, or at any Ticketmaster outlet. Tickets can be purchased online at www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

If 'free' is more your speed when it comes to the cost of concert tickets, then you're in luck as the old Cardinal Stadium free concert schedule is chock full of country acts. The Oak Ridge Boys will make their long-time annual appearance on Sunday, August 21 along with The Grascals. Joe Nichols and Phil Vassar will be rocking Cardinal Stadium on Tuesday, August 23. Fans of country music from the late 1980s and early 1990s will definitely want to hear Nicholasville, Kentucky's own John Michael Montgomery and Lorrie Morgan on Thursday, August 25. Last year on the last Saturday night of the state fair, Billy Currington broke an attendance record in the old Cardinal Stadium as he performed, but this year Luke Bryan and local country singer Candy Coburn will be testing that record on Saturday, August 27.

Grand Ole Opry News

"Whisperin'" Bill Anderson celebrated a landmark accomplishment last month as he marked his 50th anniversary as a member of the legendary Grand Ole Opry. He first performed on the country music radio program a few weeks prior to his 21st birthday and became an official member in less than three years from his debut. As a singer, Anderson has enjoyed chart success with songs like "Bright Lights and Country Music," "Mama Sang a Song," "World of Make Believe" and "Po' Folks." As a songwriter, he has penned classics such as Connie Smith's "Once a Day," Ray Price's "City Lights," George Strait's "Give It Away" and Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss's "Whiskey Lullaby."

Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban, better known as the Kentucky State Fair staple band the Oak Ridge Boys, got the surprise of a lifetime following their July 8 performance on the stage of the famed Opry. Opry member "Little" Jimmy Dickens appeared onstage wearing a long beard and sunglasses in honor of Golden following the Oaks' performance of "Y'all Come Back Saloon" and invited the quartet to become the next members of the Opry. The Oak Ridge Boys will become official Grand Ole Opry members on August 6.

Congratulations, Bill and the Oaks!

Gloriana Shrinks By One Member

"Wild at Heart" and "How Far Do You Wanna Go" country quartet Gloriana became a trio last month. Group members Rachel Reinert and brothers Tom and Mike Gossin announced on their website July 11 that fellow member Cheyenne Kimball, who was the 2002 winner of the America's Most Talented Kid talent show, had decided to leave the band. The trio stated, "As you may have heard, Cheyenne Kimball chose to leave our band. We need you to know that Gloriana will absolutely continue on. We couldn't imagine our lives any other way. We are 100 percent committed to all of you, our fans and supporters. As planned, we will debut our new music video this week and will continue touring and supporting 'Wanna Take You Home' while finishing up our new album. We wish Cheyenne the best of luck in whatever lies ahead for her."

There is much speculation for the reason beyond Kimball's departure from Gloriana, but the actual reason has not yet been disclosed. Best wishes to Kimball during her future endeavors.

Country Nominees at 2011 Teen Choice Awards

When the nominees for the 2011 Teen Choice Awards were recently announced, Taylor Swift was the top nominated country artist. She will vie for Female Country Artist of the Year, "Mean" is up for Country Single of the Year and Love Song of the Year, "Back to December" will vie for Break-Up Song of the Year, and she will compete for the title of overall Female Music Artist of the Year and Red Carpet Fashion Icon. The Band Perry, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, and Blake Shelton each received two nominations.

And the nominees are: Female Country Artist of the Year: Miranda Lambert, Jennette McCurdy, Kellie Pickler, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood; Male Country Artist of the Year: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, and Keith Urban; Country Group of the Year: The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, and Steel Magnolia; and Country Single of the Year: The Band Perry's "If I Die Young," Luke Bryan's "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)," Lady Antebellum's "Just a Kiss," Blake Shelton's "Honey Bee," and Taylor Swift's "Mean."

The fan-voted 2011 Teen Choice Awards ceremony will air on FOX-Television on August 7. Congratulations to all the nominees!

CMA Music Festival TV Special

If you were unable to attend the 2011 CMA Music Festival in Nashville back in June, never fear, as ABC-Television will air a three-hour special titled "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock" on Sunday, August 14 beginning at 8pm. Beginning as Fan Fair in 1972, the annual country festival celebrated it's 40th anniversary this year with some of the biggest names in country music and more than 65,000 fans from all 50 states and 27 foreign countries. This television special will feature performances, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage of artists such as Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson, The Band Perry, Big & Rich with Gretchen Wilson, Luke Bryan with Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow, Sara Evans, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride with American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley with country supergroup Alabama, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Josh Turner with American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, Shania Twain, Keith Urban, and the Zac Brown Band with Alan Jackson.

If you'd like to attend the 2012 CMA Music Festival, tickets for the country music extravaganza are currently on sale. You can purchase tickets online at www.CMAfest.com or www.Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000 or 1-800-CMA-FEST.

Country Family Album

Pop-turned-country songstress Jewel added a new job to her resume last month. She and her professional rodeo champion husband, Ty Murray, became first-time parents on July 11, when son Kase Townes Murray was born in Texas. When speaking about the happy occasion, she recently stated, "Ty and I are so pleased to welcome our new baby boy into the world. We are overcome with happiness it really is as great as everyone told us it would be better even!" The newest member of the Murray family weighed in at 7 lbs, 6 ozs.

Last month was a roller coaster of emotions for Lady Antebellum member Hillary Scott. During the 4th of July weekend, Scott and her drummer boyfriend Chris Tyrell had been hiking in East Tennessee, after which he fell to his knee and proposed to the singer. Scott said, "We feel so blessed by God that He sent us each other, and we are looking so forward to forever together!" The couple met during Tim McGraw's tour last year on which Lady A was the opening act. While riding high on her recent engagement, less than two weeks later, Scott and her family were in mourning as her 80-year-old maternal grandmother, Linda Davis's mother Lois "Onita" Davis, passed away July 14 in Carthage, Texas. As a result of Davis's death, Lady A canceled its July 15 concert at the Zoo Amphitheater in Toledo, Ohio and has rescheduled it for August 10.

"Keep On Lovin' You" duo Steel Magnolia, which consists of Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones, recently dropped a bombshell of an announcement. The couple, which won the second season of CMT's singing competition Can You Duet, has secretly been engaged for more than four years. Jones gave his then girlfriend Linsey his great-grandmother's ring after dating for a year, but Linsey wears the ring on her middle finger instead of the traditional ring finger because the ring is too big. To answer the big question of "When's the wedding," that's a question the couple cannot answer at this point. Linsey recently joked, "We're technically engaged. He's waited so long that he's going to have to re-ask."

Country Health Update

Taylor Swift fans of all ages were disappointed as their favorite 21-year-old entertainer was forced to cancel her first-ever concert right here in Louisville on July 2. In late June, Swift performed an entire concert in pouring down rain at Gillette Stadium near Boston, which led to a case of bronchitis. Although she hated to cancel, Swift took her doctor's advice and canceled her Louisville show, a July 8 show in Charlotte, North Carolina, and two shows in Atlanta on July 9 and 10. After suffering from extreme boredom at home for almost two weeks on vocal rest, she was finally able to resume her "Speak Now" Tour on July 14 in Montreal. Fortunately for her Louisville fans, her canceled July 2 show at the KFC Yum! Center has been rescheduled for October 11. All tickets to the July 2 show will be honored on this new date.

Butcher Hollow, Kentucky's favorite "Coal Miner's Daughter," Loretta Lynn, was forced to cancel concerts at the MGM Theatre Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Jamboree in the Hills in Belmont, Ohio last month due to illness. Due to the recent extreme heat, the legendary entertainer was hospitalized for heat exhaustion and dehydration. Lynn stated, "I'm sad to have to cancel any shows I've been looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend."

The "Rhinestone Cowboy," Country Music Hall of Famer Glen Campbell, announced last month that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier this year. He has been suffering short-term memory loss for several years and wanted to divulge the diagnosis with his fans prior to embarking on a farewell tour in the near future. Campbell's wife, Kim, speaking about the announcement, recently said, "…if he flubs a lyric or gets confused on stage, I wouldn't want people to think, 'What's the matter with him? Is he drunk?'" Campbell plans to release his final studio album, Ghost on the Canvas, on August 30.

Country superstar Tim McGraw is known to wear a white t-shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots on-stage while performing for fans, but last month he shook his wardrobe up a little bit. During his July 9 concert in Raleigh, North Carolina, McGraw debuted a cane and a walking boot on his right foot. Come to find out, after being urged by his wife, the lovely Faith Hill, to go to the doctor, McGraw had broken a bone in his foot. He says he had been suffering with pain in his foot for a while and continued to workout regularly, especially running, and what started out as a small stress fracture turned into a full-blown break. This health setback has not affected McGraw's touring schedule, but will force the singer to wear the corrective boot for up to six weeks while healing.

Well, that's it for another month. I hope to see you all at the country shows at the state fair later this month. Always remember: "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, 'cause country music is comin' your way."