Merle Haggard

Joe Nichols on the THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC.

JoeNichols on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC

JoeNichols on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC

Tu 5/18: Michael Douglas, Charles Barkley and  Joe Nichols on the THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC. Joe Nichols was born in Rogers, Ark., on Nov. 26, 1976. His father drove a truck but also played bass and sang. Nichols would hear and watch his dad perform at VFW dates. Like Nichols’ grandfather and uncles, his dad played classic country music. At 19, Nichols secured a record deal on Intersound Records before the label folded. After that, he endured the usual round of Nashville jobs that most aspiring young country singers hold down, from moving furniture to installing cable TV systems to selling steaks door to door. In 1999, he met studio guitarist Brent Rowan, who ultimately produced Nichols’ 2002 album Man With a Memory, the first project from the Universal South imprint. Nichols and the song “The Impossible” earned a total of three Grammy nominations and “Brokenheartsville” hit No. 1. Even as “The Impossible” was taking off, Nichols played the Grand Ole Opry every available Saturday night. A few days after his father passed away in 2002, Nichols performed the Merle Haggard classic “Footlights” on the Opry. Alan Jackson invited Nichols to open selected shows on his 2003 tour, the same year he won the the CMA Horizon award. In 2004, he issued his second album, Revelation, which offered two Top 10 hits (“If Nobody Believed in You” and “What’s a Guy Gotta Do”). He also released A Traditional Christmas at the end of the year.  His career received a boost in the summer of 2005 when the memorable single “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” found favor at country radio. As a result, his album, III, was quickly certified gold.

Luke Bryan on the THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC.

Luke Bryan on the THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC.

Luke Bryan on the THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC.

Tu 5/11: Amanda Seyfried, Guy Fieri, Luke Bryan on the THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC. Luke Bryan Born: June 17, 1976 in Leesburg, GA  CTRY. Singer and songwriter Luke Bryan comes by his country influences naturally — he grew up in Leesburg, GA, a small town 100 miles from the Alabama border where his father grew peanuts and sold fertilizer for a living. Bryan helped his family work the farm when he was young, but in his early teens he developed a passion for country music, picking up his influences from his parents’ record collection, listening to the likes of George Strait, Conway Twitty, Ronnie Milsap, Alan Jackson, and Merle Haggard. When he was 14, his folks bought Bryan his first guitar, and a year later his playing and singing was strong enough that he started sitting in with local bands at a club featuring live country music. At 16, Bryan starting writing songs with the help of a pair of local tunesmiths who had enjoyed some success in Nashville, and Bryan planned to head to Music City to try his luck after graduating from high school until his brother died in an auto accident. Wanting to offer emotional support to his family, Bryan opted to attend Georgia Southern University instead, though he didn’t give up music; Bryan continued writing songs, formed a band and was playing gigs on campus or at nearby watering holes most weekends while pursuing his studies. Bryan recorded a self-released album he sold at shows during this period, but he was reluctant to take the plunge and devote himself to music full-time until he returned home to work in the family business after receiving his degree. Bryan’s dad, confident of his son’s talent, made him an offer — he could either move to Nashville or be fired. In the early fall of 2001, Bryan pulled up stakes and relocated to Nashville, where his heartfelt songs of country life earned him a contract with one of the city’s many publishing houses. In his free time, Bryan continued to perform at local clubs, and after an A&R man from Capitol Records saw him perform a set of his original material, he was given a record deal. Capitol released Bryan’s first widely distributed album, I’ll Stay Me, in the summer of 2007, following it with Doin’ My Thing in 2009.

Dierks Bentley on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC

Dierks Bentley on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC

Dierks Bentley on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC

Country music singer. Born November 20, 1975, in Phoenix, Arizona. Inheriting a love of music from his father, Bentley picked up his first instrument, an electric guitar, at age 13. After graduating from a prestigious East Coast prep school and attending Vanderbilt University, Bentley dropped out of college to pursue a career in music. Discouraged by the Nashville music scene, Bentley turned to bluegrass to help define his own sound. He worked for a time at The Nashville Network and played at local parties and bars before releasing his self-titled debut album for Capitol Nashville in 2003. The album’s single, “What Was I Thinkin’?” topped the country charts. His 2005 effort, Modern Day Drifter, was also certified platinum.   Bentley became the youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry when he was inducted on October 1, 2005. That year, he won the CMA Horizon Award. His first DVD, The Dierks Bentley Experience, was filmed in 2006 in Denver, Colorado. In 2009, Bentley released another hit album, Feel That Fire. He had two number one hits from the recording: the title track and “Sideways.” His musical style has been compared to such country legends as Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. Bentley married Cassidy Black in 2005. The couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Evie, in October 2008. Tu 4/27: Jessica Simpson, Jackie Earle Haley, Dierks Bentley

Keith Urban, Sugarland To Headline 2010 Stagecoach Festival

Keith Urban To Headline 2010 Stagecoach FestivalKeith Urban, Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn and Sugarland are confirmed to headline the fourth annual Stagecoach: California’s Country Music Festival, it was announced today (Oct. 8). The two-day outdoor fest will take place April 24-25, 2010 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. Additional performers on the country, folk and bluegrass-heavy lineup include Billy Currington, Gary Allan, Phil Vassar, Merle Haggard, Carlene Carter, The Oak Ridge Boys, Mallary Hope, Ray Price, Jamey Johnson, The Avett Brothers and Bobby Bare, among others. Tickets for Stagecoach start at $99.00 for two-day passes and will be available Oct. 16 on stagecoachfestival.com. According to Billboard Continue reading →

Miranda Lambert evolves on her new album ‘Revolution’

Miranda LambertThe country singer’s new songs transcend her image as country’s most volatile woman to show a sensitive, funny side. Miranda Lambert is chatting happily about her forthcoming album, “Revolution,” due out Tuesday, while seated in a booth in a deserted hotel restaurant in Pomona a few hours before a performance at the L.A. County Fair. At one point, she starts hemming and hawing about her abilities as a singer — even though she’s one of the Country Music Assn.’s Continue reading →

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