According to George Jones’ publicist, Kirt Webster, the legendary country music star died today (Friday) at the age of 81.
Jones was forced to postpone two shows after he was hospitalized with a fever and irregular blood pressure, this according to Webster. He died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
Friends and fans took to Twitter to offer their condolences.
Blake Shelton tweeted, “Really REALLY bad news. We’ve lost a country music legend. And I’ve lost a hero and a friend. Goodbye George Jones…”
Keith Urban tweeted, “If I’m blessed enough to make it there, I look forward to you giving me the grand tour. Rest in peace George Jones!!!!! -KU”
1992 Country Music Hall of Famer led a wild and turbulent life which led to him not showing up to many of his concerts, earning him the nickname ‘No Show Jones.’
His hits included “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” “The Race is On,” “White Lightning” and “Still Doing Time.” He recorded a number of songs with his then wife Tammy Wynette and paired up with country legends Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.
Jones was married four times with his first three marriages ending in divorce. He had a Daughter with his first wife Dorothy Bonvillion in 1950, two sons with his second wife Shirley Ann Corley who he married in 1954, one daughter with his third wife Tammy Wynette who he married in 1969.
In 1983, Jones married Nancy Ford Sepulvado. Jones insisted that his marriage to Nancy brought about his rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol, prolonging his life.
Jones is survived by his loving wife of 30 years Nancy Jones, his sister Helen Scroggins, and by his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Deputies were sent to a home around 4 p.m. and found her body on the front porch. No further details were available.
Speaking to The Associated Press in 2010, McCready smiled wryly while talking about the string of issues she’d dealt with over the last half-decade.
“It is a giant whirlwind of chaos all the time,” she said of her life. “I call my life a beautiful mess and organized chaos. It’s just always been like that. My entire life things have been attracted to me and vice versa that turn into chaotic nightmares or I create the chaos myself. I think that’s really the life of a celebrity, of a big, huge, giant personality.”
Just about a month ago David Wilson, McCreary’s longtime boyfriend and father of her youngest son, was found shot on the same porch where she was discovered. For a brief period of time she was being investigated for the killing of Wilson.
McCready issued a statement last month lamenting his death. And she called him her soul mate and a caregiver to her sons in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show.
“I just keep telling myself that the more suffering that I go through, the greater character I’ll have,” she said, according to a transcript of the interview.
McCready was at the top of the country charts in the late ’90s, but her irresponsible behavior sidetracked her career and ultimately claimed the country stars life.
McCready blasted onto the scene in 1996 with her debut album “Ten Thousand Angels,” which was certified 2× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA and her 1997 album “If I Don’t Stay the Night,” went on the be certified Gold.
The embattled singer was no stranger to controversy and heartache.
She was engaged to actor Dean Cain in 1997, leading to a break up the following year.
In 2005 McCready’s ex-boyfriend, Billy McKnight, was arrested and charged with attempted murder after beating and choking her. That same year she was hospitalized after attempting suicide in a hotel. In September of 2005 it was discovered that she was pregnant with McKnight’s child, attempting suicide for a second time by overdosing on antidepressants.
Again in 2008, paramedics were called to McCready’s Nashville home after another apparent suicide attempt. First responders found wounds around her wrist area and transported her to a local hospital.
McCready appeared in the third season of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” in 2010. She made an appearance on “The View,” to talk about her appearance on the show.
A pornographic videotape of McCready surfaced with ex-boyfriend “Peter,” going on sale by Vivid Entertainment in 2010.
In 2011 McCready was found hiding in a closet with her five year old son Zander in an unoccupied summer home. Her mother, Gayle Inge, who was Zander’s legal guardian at the time reported the pair missing days before.
It’s a tragic story with a very tragic ending.
While everyone is clamoring to report Adele’s accomplishment, they are neglecting to inform their readers that Taylor Swift’s “Red” wasn’t released until October of 2012, while “21” was up for grabs for the entire year.
Breaking it down Adele gets the number one slot with “21,” selling 4.41 million records. The second place winner is Swift with “Red,” coming in second with 3.11 million records sold. “21” had 12 months of sales, while “Red” was released at the end of October, giving “Red” a tad over two months of sales.
Who’s the winner here?
Swift is kicking some major chords!
Adele’s numbers are impressive, especially when you consider the third place winner, One Direction’s “Up All Night,” which went on sale in March and only sold 1.62 million albums. That’s nine months of sales.
The other winner is One Direction, who not only came in third place, but fifth place as well, just behind Mumford and Sons, giving them close to three million in sales.
Another item to note is the number of country artists appearing on the top 10 compared to past years. Is this due to American Idol churning out the likes of Carrie Underwood, and more recently Scotty McCreery?
So here’s how the last five years have looked according to Neilson Soundscan:
1. Adele, “21″ – 4,410,000
2. Taylor Swift, “Red” – 3,110,000
3. One Direction, “Up All Night” – 1,620,000
4. Mumford & Sons’, “Babel” – 1,460,000
5. One Direction, “Take Me Home” – 1,340,000
6. Justin Bieber, “Believe” – 1,340,000
7. Carrie Underwood, “Blown Away” – 1,200,000
8. Luke Bryan, “Tailgates & Tanlines” – 1,100,000
9. Lionel Richie, “Tuskegee” – 1,070,000
10. Jason Aldean, “Night Train” – 1,020,000
1. Adele, “21” – 5,824,000
2. Michael Buble, “Christmas” – 2,452,000
3. Lady GaGa, “Born This Way” – 2,101,000
4. Lil Wayne, “Tha Carter IV” – 1,917,000
5. Jason Aldean, “My Kinda Party” – 1,576,000
6. Mumford & Sons, “Sigh No More” – 1,420,000
7. Drake, “Take Care” – 1,247,000
8. Justin Bieber, “Under the Mistletoe” – 1,245,000
9. Jay-Z & Kanye West, “Watch the Throne” – 1,232,000
10. Lady Antebellum, “Own the Night” – 1,204,000
1. Eminem, “Recovery” – 3,415,000
2. Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” – 3,089,000
3. Taylor Swift, “Speak Now” – 2,960,000
4. Justin Bieber, “My World 2.0” – 2,319,000
5. Susan Boyle, “The Gift” – 1,852,000
6. Lady Gaga, “Fame” – 1,591,000
7. Sade, “Soldier of Love” – 1,300,000
8. Drake, “Thank Me Later” – 1,269,000
9. Usher, “Raymond V Raymond” – 1,143,000
10. Ke$ha, “Animal” – 1,143,000
1. Taylor Swift , “Fearless” – 3,217,000
2. Susan Boyle, “I Dreamed A Dream” – 3,103,828
3. Michael Jackson, “Number Ones” – 2,355,000
4. Lady Gaga, “Fame” – 2,238,000
5. Andrea Bocelli, “My Christmas” – 2,207,000
6. Hanna Montana, “Hannah Movie Soundtrack” – 1,823,000
7. Black Eyed Peas, “The E.N.D.“ – 1,786,852
8. Enimen, “Relapse” – 1,735,358
9. Jay-Z, “Blueprint 3“ – 1,514,800
10. Kings of Leon, “Only By the Night” – 1,398,000
1. Lil Wayne, “Tha Carter III” – 2,874,000
2. Coldplay, Viva La Vida” – 2,144,000
3. Taylor Swift, “Fearless” – 2,112,000
4. Kid Rock, “Rock N Roll Jesus” – 2,018,000
5. AC/DC, “Black Ice” – 1,915,000
6. Taylor Swift ”Taylor Swift” – 1,597,000
7. Metallica, “Death Magnetic” – 1,565,000
8. T.I., “Paper Trail” – 1,522,000
9. Jack Johnson, “Sleep Through the Static” – 1,492,000
10. Beyonce, “I Am…Sasha Fierce “ – 1,459,000
You rockers out there know what I’m talking about. You listen to hardcore rock while those “other people” listen to that country music stuff, and now it’s invading the pop-music scene thanks to the likes of American Idol.
You make sure everyone around you knows how much you hate it too! When Carrie Underwood comes on the radio and starts tearing up that pretty little souped up four wheel drive, you dive (rocker style) for the radio to change the station. But secretly, when no one is around, you start tapping your toe and daydreaming of riding that bucking bronco down at your local country bar – not that you know where the country bar is, let alone if it has a bucking bronco.
But wait!! Don’t touch that dial. The next song you hear could be one of your bestest most favoritest rockers of all time. No not Steven Tyler, that other rocker guy Jeff Keith, lead singer extraordinaire from one of the great rock bands of all time – Tesla.
Yes! Jeff Keith has come out of the country closet, as he’s set to release a brand spanking new album of nothing but country songs due out this Friday November 9th. This isn’t country rock either, this is the bonafide real McCoy, so hold off from changing that dial and have a listen to what he has to offer.
The Album, Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends, is the result of a side project of Keith’s and his country music friends Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band. I should put a disclaimer here that Pat Boone is not the really old guy who likes to drink milk, but the not-so-really old guy who likes country music.
Apparently they met after a Tesla concert in Canada and the next thing you know, the three of them are paddling around in a pontoon boat somewhere in the middle of Nashville, slamming down sasparillas, and singing country songs.
So how’s it sound?
The album starts off with a nice ballad, “Same Ol’ Cowboy,” complete with violins and steel strings. As most of the songs on the album, this song is old style country music complete with violin, steel string guitars, and a whole lotta twang.
“Life’s Just a Roller Coaster Ride” has a good strong country beat with Keith hitting his country stride as he dials in the twang and cranks up the beat.
Restraining himself from belting it out like a rock-star, Keith shows off his vocal prowess with “Can’t Let Go,” as he slows it down country style. This one is another winner.
“Life on the Road” reminds me of the Waylon and Willie days with a more upbeat tempo and a great storyline.
“Oklahoma Bound” is another ballad, and wrapping up the album with my favorite “Oh Hell,” which is an awesome little diddy.
When you purchase the CD you get a bonus track of interviews with the boys.
Bottom-line: This is definitely worth a listen. I really enjoyed all the songs as Keith and company take it old school country. For those of you faint of heart, start with “Can’t Let Go,” and work your way through the list, ending with “Oh Hell.”
For all you Tesla fans out there – no worries. Jeff isn’t quitting his day job.
I’m off to shine my boots and take in a couple of re-runs of Hee Haw.
The Placer County 10-35 Foundation’s Thunder in November charity drive took over Thunder Valley Casino’s Pano Hall on Saturday as the Chris Gardner Band, Road 88 and special guest Jeff Keith performed to a charitable crowd.
The Placer County 10-35 Foundation was created in 2011 as a non-profit charity designed to assist the men & women of Placer County law enforcement. The Foundation is a fraternal & benevolent association chartered to assist Placer County peace officers in times of great personal and organizational tragedy.
10-35 is part of law enforcement’s 10-code which means officer needs assistance.
Road 88 opened the show with lead singer Rachel Steele belting out Gretchen Wilson’s “All Jacked Up” and Emmylou Harris’ “One More Bottle of Wine.”
Joining founding members Rachel Steele (vocals) and Scott Prentice (guitar/vocals) were Billy Haggard (guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), Todd Prout (bass), Paul Southerland (lap/pedal steel, dobro) and Maggie Keith (backup vocals).
Road 88 was flawless in their delivery as one would expect from a band that was voted #1 in the Best Local Band category for the second year in a row on KCRA’s A-List.
Towards the end of their set Steele brought Tesla’s lead singer Jeff Keith on stage to sing a country song.
Yes pardner you heard right! Jeff Keith comes strutting out looking cuter than a junebug in a jumpsuit, donning, of all things, a cowboy hat. Y’all wouldn’t have believe it.
After some wild applause and a collective gasp from the audience, Keith went on to explain that he was still with Tesla and all was good with the band, but he was pursuing a lifelong dream of singing country music. His new CD Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends, is due out on November 9th, featuring Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band.
With his best country voice, Keith went on to sing George Jones’ “Grand Tour,” as the crowd cheered him on.
As one would have expected, Keith’s chops were flawless and, surprisingly, he sounded like a genuine country star. Who’d have thunk it!
Stay tuned for a complete review of his new album.
In between sets Jim Hudson with the Placer County 10-35 foundation announced the winners of their silent auction for an autographed guitar signed by REO Speedwagon (Katie was the winner), and an autographed guitar signed by Road 88 and Jeff Keith(Diana was the winner). Katie insisted that she get a picture after the show with Chris Gardner and her newly acquired guitar.
The Chris Gardner Band kicked their set off with Alabama’s “Mountain Music” and Luke Bryan’s “Rain is a Good Thing,” as droves of people made their way to the dance floor.
Lead singer Chris Gardner was joined by Dwight Hogan (bass), Aaron Shively (lead guitar), Joey Gonzales (drums), Nikko Vargas (rhythm guitar), and Shawn Holiday (keyboard).
While Road 88 had a solid set, the Chris Gardner Band was able to pack the dance floor as they continued playing “Something Like That” and “Dixieland Delight.”
This was a fun and successful event. Expect to see Thunder in November II next year!
For more information on Placer County 10-35 please visit them at http://www.placer1035foundation.org
Y’all don’t forget to checkout Jeff Keith’s alter ego at Jeff Keith Country!
As I jumped into my old rusty and dilapidated truck and headed over to Wheatland’s Sleep Train Amphitheater to watch country music superstar Brad Paisley, I was reminded of the time my wife thought I was cheating. She got country ugly and decided to cowboy up, taking it out on my pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive, carved her name into my leather seat, took a Louisville slugger to both head lights, and slashed a hole in all 4 tires.
After I crawled out from under the bed and realized what she had done to poor old Ethel (my truck), I thought to myself, there must be a country song in there somewhere. It kinda reminded me of an old Carrie Underwood song. Not exactly sure what made me think of the good times with my wife, but country music has a way of doing that to you.
As droves of country fans filed into the amphitheater Easton Corbin kicked off the evening. Corbin is no stranger to touring with his pal Paisley. In 2010 Corbin tagged along in Paisley’s H2O tour.
Opening with “This Feels a Lot Like Love” and “A Little Bit More Country Than That,” Corbin seemed a little stiff and didn’t move around much. It took the crowd a song or two, but they finally started getting into his set. He ended with his #1 hit “Roll With It,” leaving the crowd energized.
The Band Perry came, they sang, they conquered ““ period.
The 2012 Grammy nominated trio consisting of Kimberley Perry, and her two Brothers Neil and Reid, started their set off with “Sugar Sugar” and “Hip to My Heart,” with fans standing throughout their set.
The interaction between the siblings was highly energetic, with the crowd feeding off of their energy. Even on their slower songs, such as their cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallen,” the crowd stayed on their feet and swayed to the music.
I thought The Band Perry was going to steal the show, but Paisley came out to see just how much energy the crowd still had left. As the behemoth monitors started to warm up, lasers started firing, and lights flashing, pandemonium broke out in anticipation of Paisley’s appearance.
As Paisley made his way onto the stage singing “Camouflage,” the crowd showed him that they had plenty of energy left, and beer too, as fans raised their glasses to the country star.
There were several touching moments during the show. One fan, Theresa Manzinali, said her favorite part of the show was when Paisley gave a guitar to a young boy, but more importantly was being able to see what a real human being Paisley is. When he brought a number of military personnel up onstage, it brought tears to her eyes.
Manzinali summed up the show best, “He puts on a fantastic show!”
The highlight of the evening was when Carrie Underwood arrived on stage to sing “Remind Me,” bringing cheers from the audience, but wait! It wasn’t really Underwood. As the scene played out the audience soon realized that it was a hologram, much like what Snoop Dogg did with Tupac at Coachella.
I heard a number of people at the end of the show arguing that it was really her, others saying it was someone who looked like her, when in fact, it was a projected image on a fine black mesh screen, or scrim. Very realistic affect and very cool!
The crowd definitely got their money’s worth with the combination of The Band Perry and Paisley. It was a great evening. It was for my wife too . . . I didn’t cheat, so please don’t hurt my Ethel.
As Adkins made his way down center stage the sold out crowd went wild with cheers – There was some hootin and hollerin too, after all it was a country music concert.
Kicking it off with “Days Like This,” Adkins had the women eating out of the palm of his hand, maybe a few guys too. Driving that point home, as soon as he finished “Days Like This,” he stopped and said in his deepest, throatiest voice, “Good evening Thunder Valley, it’s nice to be here.” He said something after that, but I couldn’t hear a damn thing he was saying with all the women screaming.
I don’t get it! Here’s some guy who’s tall in a rugged way, long flowing hair, muscular, has a deep voice, and comes across as a tough, but nice guy. So why do all the women simply love this guy? Oh well.
He started by welcoming everyone to his Songs and Stories Tour and letting them know he wasn’t beginning the concert in his usual manner saying, “This show is a little different from what we usually do, where we come out and put a boot in your ass right off the get go. You will leave with a boot in your ass, but I aint going to do it yet.”
Adkins continued to play songs from his latest album Proud to Be Here, including “Poor Folks,” “Love Buzz,” and “It’s Who You Know.”
Prior to starting “Semper Fi,” he wanted everyone to know that this was his “pathetic” attempt at writing a song about the marines, in particular a friend of his. After hearing the song, I’d say it was well written and definitely not a pathetic attempt – Is his manly charm rubbing off on me? Did I scream during that song? Oh crap! I think I need to go to an MMA fight!!
After singing one of his number one hits, “(This Ain’t No) Thinkin’ Thing,” Adkins and the crew took a break for about 15 minutes, which was a good thing, since it appears many of the concert goers were parched ““ they all headed to the bars!
Continuing after the break with “Ladies Love Country Boys,” “Chrome,” and “This Aint No Love Song,” much of the crowd continued to mingle with each other and cheering at just the right parts.
The boot in the ass came when Adkins started singing “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” with the crowd going completely crazy. Apparently they were waiting for a boot in the ass all night and finally got it. And for those of you out there as clueless as me, Websters defines badonkadonk as a well shaped female buttocks.
Adkins sounded great and put on a great show. I’m sure he now has another fan or two smitten over him.
Next week Foreigner comes to Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Summer Concert Series, followed by Steve Miller the following week!
See you there!
Match Eyewear teams up with Danny Gokey, American Idol Season 8 finalist and philanthropist for distribution of prescription eyewear with an “edge.” The collection highlights Danny’s personal flair with 12 styles, targeting men ages 18 to 35.
The collaboration between Match Eyewear and Danny began in 2010 sparked by his love of fashion eyewear. “It has been a dream of mine to create my own brand of fashion frames,” says Danny. “I have been impressed with Match Eyewear’s designs and quality and see them as the perfect partner.”
The Danny Gokey Eyewear collection diversifies Match Eyewear’s brand assortment by delivering trend-setting designs influenced by Danny’s sense of style and personal brand of music. “We are excited to establish a partnership with Danny,” states Ethan Goodman, President of Match Eyewear. “It has been fun developing this collection with Danny and it’s refreshing to work with an artist with so much passion for eyewear.”
The Danny Gokey Eyewear collection joins other brand names at Match Eyewear, including Adrienne Vittadini, Helium Paris, Float Milan, Float Kids, Aero by Float and Match Eyewear.
Kicking off the night was Road 88 led by Rachael Steele, whose vocals reigned supreme. Starting their set off appropriately with “Attitude,” followed by “Two More Bottles of Wine,” they were hitting on all cylinders.
Joining founding members Rachel Steele (vocals), Scott Prentice (guitar/vocals) and David Phelps (guitar) were Billy Haggard (guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), and Todd Prout (bass).
Road 88 was voted Best Local Band in Sacramento for 2011 by local television station KCRA’s A-list. At the time they had been together a couple of years and already had a hit climbing the charts in Europe with their song “Not Gonna Happen.”
Since that time there has been some shuffling of band members resulting in the lineup above. The move appears to be successful with some great guitar playing throughout their set, and a new level of energy, with Haggard bouncing around the stage, going from one performer to the next saying god knows what, but apparently making everyone laugh. The only question is – Were they laughing with him or at him?
Road 88 continued with a few of their original songs including “Drive” and “Child of Innocence.”
Prentice soloed with “That’s How They do it in Dixie,” followed by Steele closing their set in style with their original hard-driving “Faultline.”
After a quick set-change the Marshall Tucker Band took the stage with 64 year old founding member Doug Gray singing “This Old Cowboy.” As soon as the flute kicked in I was reminded of why Marshall Tucker’s music has stood out for all these years.
The Marshall Tucker band members included Marcus James Henderson (flute/sax/keyboards), Pat Elwood (bass), Chris Hicks (guitar), and B.B. Bordon (drums). The guys were the true stars of the show playing extended versions of their hits like “Hillbilly Band,” “Fire on the Mountain,” and “24 hours at a Time.”
Henderson was non-stop, playing the flute, on to the sax, over to the keyboards and then back again. He did an awesome job, earning him several well deserved standing O’s.
Gray, being the southern gentleman that he is, talked to the crowd in between songs, joking about his age and how the band has been around for 40 years. Focusing on one of the younger ladies in the front row, he joked about her not understanding what Winterland meant, referencing their legendary performance at Bill Graham’s Winterland auditorium in San Francisco back in 1973.
For their finale, “Can’t You See,” Gray had the audience singing “‘Can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman has been doing to me,’ providing one of those “goose-bump” moments.
While Gray’s voice isn’t what it used to be, he still has that wonderful soulful sound, although a bit rough at times. The instrumentals were to die for, with soaring flute solos and hard driving guitar riffs. All executed with perfection.
The Marshall Tucker Band is truly an awesome instrumental group bursting at the seams with talent, making for a memorable performance and reminding me of a entire orchestra rather than a handful of performers.
Big & Rich to Headline Professional Bull Rider’s Last Cowboy Standing on March 10 in Detroit, MI
Comprised of Big Kenny Alphin, and The Celebrity Apprentice winner John Rich, the duo has garnered multiple GRAMMY, ACM, CMA and CMT Music Award nominations. Their hits include their infectious smash-hit singles, “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” “Comin’ to Your City” for ESPN College Game Day, “8th of November” and “Lost in this Moment.”
Big & Rich with special guest Cowboy Troy will perform at 8 p.m., prior to the world’s top ranked bull riders, and the fiercest bucking bulls taking the field for an action-packed event. Together and separately, they have raised funds for many organizations and causes. Kenny has been part of efforts to combat mountaintop removal of coal mining and been part of relief efforts in Darfur. John was declared the 2011 winner of The Celebrity Apprentice and raised $1.4 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The PBR Built Ford Tough Series event will be a progressive-elimination format with all of the Top 35 bull riders in the world riding a bull in
Round 1. Riders who reach 8 seconds in Round 1 will advance to the next round, where they will each ride another bull. The elimination format continues until there is only one cowboy left. There will be a maximum of five rounds. The event winner will receive a minimum of $100,000.
It is the first visit to Ford Field for the premier bull riding organization that features the world’s highest-paid best bull riders competing against the toughest bucking bulls on the planet. Riders scheduled to compete in Detroit include 2011 World Champion and 2010 Rookie of the Year Silvano Alves, who has earned almost $1.8 million in his first 18 months competing in the BFTS, and Luke Snyder, who won the inaugural Last Cowboy Standing in front of a sellout crowd in Las Vegas in 2011, earning $216,500 – the highest one-day payout of the season, and the second-highest in history.
The event will be televised live on NBC Sports.