» Strait Shine: George Strait was honored at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center Wednesday (8/28) by friends, family and colleagues from his longtime record company home MCA. Songwriters of some of his 60 No. 1 singles performed, a video message from Merle Haggard was presented, and a letter from President George H. W. Bush was read hailing Strait's achievements. A renewed label agreement for five more albums was also announced. "It seems like yesterday I signed with MCA," Strait said. "I was homeless, so to speak, back then, as far as the music business goes and MCA gave me a home. I'll always appreciate that. I still have a home, and I'm looking forward to a whole lot more." The evening concluded with Strait and his Ace In The Hole Band performing "Troubadour," "Amarillo By Morning," "The Chair" and his latest single "I Believe," which was backed by the Eakin Elementary Children's Choir.
» Huddle Up: Before Carrie Underwood landed the "Waiting All Day For Sunday Night" theme for NBC-TV's Sunday Night Football she had to beat out Joan Rivers, Heidi Klum and some others that participated in open auditions; watch here. Underwood ultimately got the gig and her performance features appearances by the Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald, Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning, Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware and 10 other NFL players. The SNF season begins when Dallas hosts the New York Giants Sept. 8.
» Search Party: "I like you if I'm picking on you," said Brad Paisley during his recent visit to Google headquarters, where he explained why so many names appear when "Brad Paisley pranks" is googled. Paisley also had the opportunity to try out Google Glass and compare their "nap pods" to his bus bunks. Watch his Talks At Google interview here.
» After The After Party: "It's time to dance," says Big Kenny as he intros his newly trademarked brand of electronic country dance music called Electro Shine. A recent visit to The University Of Creativity (his house) allowed a sampling of tracks Kenny produced with beat-makers and banjoists he's recruited worldwide. He hopes these songs, which include remixed versions of Big & Rich's "Party Like Cowboys" and "Born Again," will continue the "expandilism" of music without prejudice. Kenny also announced the recent purchase of a circus tent that's ready to plop down in any parking lot across America. He says, "We do a Big & Rich show and then we'll do an Electro Shine after party." More here.
» First Impressions: Charles Kelley pulled from the comedy closet of wigs and flannels to announce the 2014 leg of Lady Antebellum's Take Me Downtown Tour. Charles' impressions of Luke Bryan, Eddie Vedder, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Michael McDonald make you feel like you're actually watching ... Charles Kelley. The tour extends with 40 new shows in 2014 starting with Charleston, WV Jan. 9. Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves remain on the bill. Video here; dates here.
» Kid's Ride: "We got rained out last year for the first time, so I want to make up for it in a big way," says Dierks Bentley about his upcoming 8th Annual Miles & Music For Kids Celebrity Motorcycle Ride & Concert. "The lineup is going to be killer," he continues. "It'll be a fun way to kick off a big week that celebrates country music with the CMA Awards just a few days later." The event will feature performances from Bentley, Jake Owen and Easton Corbin at Nashville's Riverfront Park Nov. 3 to benefit Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. More here.
» Strength Show: Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker along with Lee Ann Womack, Kenny Loggins, Backstreet Boys and more will perform during The MDA Show Of Strength Telethon Sept. 1 on ABC-TV. The Labor Day Weekend event was first broadcast in 1966 with Jerry Lewis as its host through 2010. More here.
» Marathon Music Work: Rodney Atkins will join AXS-TV's Ashley Eicher to co-host the network's Labor Day Country Music Marathon. Atkins and Elcher set up camp at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium to guide viewers through 16 hours worth of concert footage from Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw and more. The marathon airs Sept. 2.
The late Kitty Wells (8/30)
The late Conway Twitty (9/1)
The late Boxcar Willie (9/1)
Paul Deakin of Mavericks (9/2)
Friday (8/30): Justin Moore, Fox & Friends All-American Summer Concert Series (FOX News); Little Big Town, The View (ABC); Luke Bryan, Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC).
Sunday (9/1): Introducing: Kip Moore (GAC); Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker Lee Ann Womack, MDA Show Of Strength Telethon (ABC).
Monday (9/2): Gloriana, Today (NBC); Rodney Atkins, Country Music Marathon (AXS).
Upcoming Album Releases
Sandra Boynton Frog Trouble (9/3)
Craig Morgan The Journey (Livin' Hits) (9/3)
Keith Urban Fuse (9/10)
Sheryl Crow Feels Like Home (9/10)
George Jones Amazing Grace (9/10)
Chris Young A.M. (9/17)
Billy Currington We Are Tonight (9/17)
Justin Moore Off The Beaten Path (9/17)
Randy Travis Influence Vol. 1: The Man I Am (10/1)
Robertson Family Duck The Halls (10/29)
» Dream Greeny: Mountain Dew's Living Portrait of Dale Earnhardt Jr. includes lots of Dew and Brantley Gilbert, too. Watch here.