By Vernell Hackett
YOUNG ASKED TO BE MEMBER OF GRAND OLE OPRY
Chris Young thought he was celebrating a number one single and an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, but he was shocked and surprised when Vince Gill asked him if he would like to be a member of the Opry in the midst of the show.
Young and Gill shared the number one single, “Sober Saturday Night,” and the singer says he couldn’t have been more thrilled to be asked to join the Opry by his singing partner. “You pulled a good one on me,” he told Gill after he pulled himself together enough to speak. “Well, do you want to be a member or not?” Gill asked again, to which Young replied a resounding “Yes!”
Young will be inducted as a new Opry member on October 17, just three days before his new album, “Losing Sleep,” is released.
‘SAMMY DAVIS JR. : I’VE GOTTA BE ME’ PREMIERES IN TORONTO
“Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me” will premiered today at the Toronto Film Festival on Monday. The film explores in depth the life of one of the most iconic performers, Sammy Davis Jr. It shows the highs and lows in Davis’s life in the first time his life has been documented in a feature film.
The film covers the singer’s musical talents, as well as his journey through the civil rights movement during the time he was in the spotlight. In a statement about the movie, it points out that, “He was the veteran of increasingly outdated show business traditions trying to stay relevant; he frequently found himself bracketed by the bigotry of white America and the distaste of black America. He was the most public black figure to embrace Judaism, thereby yoking his identity to another persecuted minority.”
The documentary is directed by Sam Pollard, who has worked on such documentaries as “Spike Lee Presents Mike Tyson,” “When The Levees Broke” and “Two Trains Runnin’.”
STRAIT PLANS HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF CONCERT
George Strait will host a Hurricane Harvey Relief Concert on Tuesday, September 12, at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. Joining him will be Miranda Lambert, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen and Chris Stapleton. It will benefit the Rebuild Texas Fund. A portion of the concert will be aired live on the Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief, which airs the same night over all the major networks at 8 p.m. Eastern. The live telethon and Strait’s benefit show will be available via live streaming on Facebook.
Strait has pledged to lead the country music community with this concert in San Antonio serving as the start of his ongoing relief efforts. Event sponsors are Cavender Auto Family along with the Majestic Theatre, Ticketmaster, VER, Bill Young Productions and the City of San Antonio.
DANIELS PLANS RELEASE OF MEMOIRS IN OCTOBER
Charlie Daniels will release his autobiography, “Never Look At The Empty Seats,” in October. The book, which Daniels says he has been working on for 20 years, is a frank look at the singer’s career, ranging from the early years of tunes like “Long Haired Country Boy” through “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” and “In America.”
The singer has welcomed careers in southern rock, country and gospel music, and found fans and friends in all of them. He talks about it all in “Never Look At The Empty Seats,” all in a conversational voice that makes it seem he is actually there talking to the reader. It’s a great book for those who love Daniels and his music, or just enjoy a good honest book about the music industry.
CRAIG MORGAN OPENS NEW STORE IN HOMETOWN OF DICKSON, TENNESSEE
Craig Morgan is becoming an entrepreneur with his new store in Dickson, Tennessee, just a short drive southwest of Nashville. Gallery at Morgan Farms opens in downtown Dickson this month, and Morgan couldn’t be more excited about the new enterprise. Many of the items for sale are made from reclaimed, repurposed and/or recycled materials. Buyers will find a note included with the purchase that tells them how the object came to be. Any of the fruit or vegetable products are from Morgan Farms or neighboring farmers, grown under strict organic conditions.
“With every product we produce and service we provide, we will do everything we can to minimize the impact we have on our environment,” Morgan promises in a note on the Facebook sight for Gallery at Morgan Farms. “We’re not just selling products, we’re selling products with a story. I want the things we make to have a positive impact.”
To check out info on The Gallery at Morgan Farms, click here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Morgan-Farms-939641032835704/posts/.
BRYAN ANNOUNCES CRASH MY PLAYA
Luke Bryan has announced Blake Shelton and Sam Hunt as headliners for his Crash My Playa weekend for January 17-20, 2017 in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
“It’s a dream come true to go back to Mexico to join by BFF Luke for Crash My Playa,” the country singer says. “We had such a blast last year … Blake and Sam are two of the hottest artists in country music and I couldn’t be more pumped that they have agreed to join me this year.”
The Crash My Playa weekend has sold out for the past three years. For more information on securing tickets for the event, go to www.crashmyplaya.com.
MURPHEY CONTINUES TO PROMOTE ‘HIGH STAKES’ ALBUM AND THE AMERICAN COWBOY
Michael Martin Murphey, known for his hits “Geronimo’s Cadillac,” “Carolina in the Pines,” “Cherokee Fiddle” and “Wildfire,” continues to promote his latest album, “High Stakes: Cowboy Songs VII.” The singer returns to his Texas cowboy roots, and is quick to say, “This generation of the human family is witnessing the emergence of their home as a desert planet. Two thirds of the Earth’s land surface is grassland plain. Eighty percent of its soil is dying.”
Murphey contributes this to “the lack of grazing animals – cattle, sheep, buffalo, deer, elk, goats, even free-range chickens and pigs. We need vastly more split-hooved grazing animals to turn up the soil, to replicate the rotational grazing habits of wild hers to restore grasslands for the creatures and life-forms that thrive here. As we develop cities and urban sprawl, we run off animals that cannot be replaced by technology. You can’t eat computer chips.”
The singer has always championed cowboy culture and the lifestyle of the American Cowboy. “I celebrate men and women show love dirt, grass and water. Truth is, cowboys and cowgirls can save the planet.”
To check out tour dates for Murphey, go to www.michaelmartinmurphey.com.
MESSINA HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER
Jo Dee Messina announced to fans on Wednesday that she has been diagnosed with cancer. The singer of tunes including “Heads Carolina, Tails California” and “Bye, Bye” will begin treatment this fall. She currently is exploring her options for treatment.
The singer will perform only four more dates this year, and has postponed the rest of the year’s tour in order to start treatment. She will release a new single, “Here,” her first new music since 2014. Messina will celebrate her 10th anniversary with her husband, Chris Deffenbaugh, on October 21. They have two songs, Noah and Jonah.
Messina credited her Christian faith with getting her through her “lowest of low days” since the illness was diagnosed.
BRADLEY WILL BE INDUCTED INTO KENTUCKY MUSIC HALL OF FAME
Dale Ann Bradley, who is nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame Female Vocalist of the Year, has been notified that she will be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in May of 2018.
“This is a great honor, and I am proud to be a part of the great group of people who are also being inducted,” Bradley said. “I love my home state and all of the performers who come from
Kentucky. I am proud to have been born and raised here.”
Also in this class of inductees are Billy Ray Cyrus, Jackie DeShannon, Jason Crabb, Dave “Stringbean” Akeman and Bobby Lewis.
Bradley just released her first self-titled album, on which she has a duet with Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill. “We both love the Stanley Brothers, and so Vince suggested we do “I Think I’ll Just Go Away,” and I was all for it.”
As for Gill, he says, “I’ve always been a fan of Dale Ann’s singing and I’m glad I finally got to sing one with her. (She’s a) great girl.”