1. George Jones' 20 Best Songs: Critic's Picks

    July 07, 2017 12:09 PM EDT No country artist was as dominant of an artistic and commercial force for a longer period of time than George Jones . You can’t under-estimate his longevity -- or his importance. He made his first records when Eisenhower was President, and was still recording at the time of his passing in…

  2. Randy Rogers Band's 'Tequila Eyes': The Story Behind the Latest Melancholy Booze Classic In the Country Canon

    January 23, 2017 5:00 PM EST Roughly a year ago, when the Randy Rogers Band released Nothing Shines Like Neon, they slipped one of the year's most essential country songs into the middle of the record like caramel in a Milky Way bar. That track, "Tequila Eyes," is now enjoying a well-deserved extended life…

  3. Double Trouble: Miranda Lambert Has the 'Nerve' to Release Two-Disc Album

    November 16, 2016 4:10 PM EST 'The Weight Of These Wings' Is Rare Double-Disc In Country Of All-New Material When The Weight of These Wings goes on sale Nov. 18, Miranda Lambert will be wandering down a road that might appear, from the outside, to be as nostalgic as the lyrics to “Automatic.” It’s a double album…

  4. The CMA Awards' Golden Anniversary: 50 Years, 50 Highlights

    November 01, 2016 2:04 PM EDT George Strait, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Taylor Swift and even a former president are part of the trophy's history. From Jack Greene ’s triple play in the first year to Chris Stapleton ’s career-making appearance at the 49th installment, the Country Music Association Awards have become…

  5. From Johnny Cash to Taylor Swift, The Stars' Most Memorable CMA Moments Across the Decades

    October 28, 2016 2:40 PM EDT On October 20, 1967, Bobbie Gentry -- fresh off of her career-defining smash “Ode To Billy Joe" -- joined fellow hitmaker Sonny James on stage at Nashville Municipal Auditorium to host the first Country Music Association Awards Banquet and Show. They presented 10 trophies in the non…

  6. Garth Brooks' SiriusXM Channel a Tech Toy With Some Big Advantages

    September 19, 2016 1:14 PM EDT The Garth Channel advances the country icon's life-long relationship with radio. During his commercial peak years in the 1990s, Garth Brooks was a staunch defender of country radio, famously resisting Capitol Records’ efforts to work his singles at top 40 and even promoting the medium in…

  7. Inside Charlie Daniels' Improbable Ride Into the Country Music Hall of Fame

    August 10, 2016 1:20 PM EDT "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" helps the new inductee bridge country music and southern rock. When Charlie Daniels stopped on March 31, 1967, to put gas in the tank of his vehicle on his way out of Nashville, he noticed a lot of activity at a barn-like structure on the corner of…

  8. Trisha Yearwood Names Her Top 5 Country Heartbreak Songs of All Time

    July 29, 2016 11:53 AM EDT Who knows a great country song better than Trisha Yearwood ? “She’s in Love With the Boy” kicked off her career in 1991 by making her the first female vocalist since Connie Smith in 1964 (“Once A Day”) to top the chart with her debut single. Since then, Yearwood has added to laurels such…

  9. Dierks Bentley Picks His Top 5 Country Videos of All Time

    July 29, 2016 11:48 AM EDT If there is any country artist who knows the importance of a music video in one’s career, it’s Dierks Bentley . The Capitol Nashville superstar’s first video -- for 2003’s “What Was I Thinkin'” -- definitely turned heads and helped to set him apart from the pack. Of course, he took home…

  10. Robert Ellis Talks New Album, Difference Between Art & Advertising

    July 18, 2016 5:02 PM EDT Robert Ellis is often roped in with country’s classically minded wing, but he has little interest in the rhetoric surrounding debates of authenticity. “In terms of what is country and what isn't, all that stuff is confusing to me,” the singer tells Billboard. “Is country music music with…

  11. After 45 RPM Start, CMA Music Festival Morphs Into High-Tech Maturity

    June 09, 2016 1:51 PM EDT Oak Ridge Boys' Joe Bonsall, CMA execs look back at the growth of a Nashville tradition. As the Country Music Association prepares for an expected 80,000 fans a day to partake in the 45th annual CMA Music Festival this week in downtown Nashville, it’s amusing to consider the event’s 45…

  12. 'Merle Did Things His Way': Country Radio Programmers Cite Haggard's Enduring Influence

    April 13, 2016 12:53 PM EDT Merle Haggard ’s death from pneumonia on April 6 hit many country radio programmers hard, and left them pausing to reflect on the County Music Hall of Famer’s profound and lasting influence on the format. For some, “Hag” was part of the reason they pursued careers in country radio in the…

  13. 25 Years After Reba McEntire's Plane Crash, Publicists Discuss Professional Grief and Private Pain

    March 17, 2016 12:28 PM EDT Reps For George Jones, Mindy McCready and Backroad Anthem on how they talk to press with a broken heart. "I remember just crying hysterically." When members of Nashville’s music community awoke on Saturday, March 16, 1991, many were greeted with gruesome news. CNN repeatedly showed…

  14. T.G. Sheppard Enlists Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis & More for 'Legendary Friends & Country Duets'

    October 09, 2015 8:58 PM EDT Putting together an album of collaborations can be a long process. Country legend T.G. Sheppard knows that fact better than anyone. On Oct. 30, the singer will release  Legendary Friends & Country Duets , a collection that features many of the singer’s favorite performers. Sheppard told …

  15. Newcomer Dustin Hensley Discusses the Musical Influences That Made Him an 'Old Soul'

    May 29, 2015 1:19 AM EDT Though the tiny hamlet of Holladay, Tennessee might seem a little bit isolated, it’s location in the western portion of the Volunteer State gives it a close proximity to several musical styles. Two hours to the southwest via Interstate 40, you will find the sounds of the blues coming from…

  16. 'Straight Outta Compton' Writer to Pen George Jones Biopic

    May 14, 2015 4:00 AM EDT Straight Outta Compton writer Alan Wenkus will write an authorized George Jones biopic titled No Show Jones . The film, which will be produced by L.A.-based production and finance company 28 Entertainment, follows the Country Music Hall of Famer's rise in the 1950s through the 1970s,…

  17. Chris Stapleton Shows His Inner Stax Soul Man at Album Release Party In New York: Live Review

    May 06, 2015 1:15 PM EDT In recent years, more professional songwriters have been making the move from studio rooms to stage center. This could be due to coincidence -- a critical mass of musical talent coming of age around the same time -- but it's more likely that a music industry facing tough times chooses…

  18. Live Review: Lee Ann Womack Presents an Alternative History of Country at New York's City Winery

    April 21, 2015 5:26 PM EDT Although she's best known for the crossover hit, "I Hope You Dance,"  Lee Ann Womack is a country traditionalist. This speaks to the distance that the genre's center has shifted in 15 years and the durability of Womack as a performer. The last decade has not been kind…

  19. Joel Whitburn, Chart Historian: On Books, Music & the 'Weekly Thrill' of Billboard (Exclusive Q&A)

    November 01, 2014 10:05 AM EDT For nearly a half-century, Whitburn and his company, Record Research, have joined Billboard as the most prominent trackers of the hits. Certain names are synonymous with Billboard charts. Elvis. The Beatles. Elton. Madonna. Mariah. More recently, Rihanna, Gaga, Adele, Katy and Taylor. …

  20. Shooter Jennings Pays Tribute to Late, Great George Jones on 'Don't Wait Up'

    August 12, 2014 5:24 AM EDT Shooter Jennings' new EP "Don’t Wait Up (For George)" is a very personal project for the singer. It’s a tribute to a man that he got to know very well over the years -- George Jones . As the son of Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter , Jennings recalls that Jones was a part of…

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