Here's a selection of the goings on in the wide world of country music.
-- When Blake Shelton covered Bob Dylan for the forthcoming movie Max, Shelton ended up recording two versions of the song, perhaps creating bonus material for somewhere down the line. Shelton originally cut an uptempo version of Dylan's "Forever Young" with Jerry Douglas on Dobro, delivering on the assignment he had received. As it turned out, the memo he was sent was incorrect -- producers wanted a ballad version of the song, and they asked that he rerecord it. That second version was a massive undertaking -- it uses a full orchestra and required a reported 175 audio tracks to capture all the parts. Max, which stars Robbie Amell and Lauren Graham, arrives June 26.
-- This week's CMA Music Festival will likely have a bunch of surprise collaborations and last-minute appearances, but fans in the right locations got their own unexpected concert experiences in the last few days. Miranda Lambert delivered a free concert on June 4 at Joe's Bar in Chicago, hinting at the cover tunes they'd be playing with a tweet that quoted a line from The B-52's' "Love Shack." Two nights later, Taylor Swift's pop concert at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field included a drop-in by Little Big Town, who surprised the crowd with "Pontoon."
-- Reba McEntire will make her first appearance at the CMT Music Awards in 10 years when she performs during the show at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. The night also includes a collaboration between Lady Antebellum and EDM act Zedd. Additionally, Keith Urban will use the setting for the TV debut of "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16," the first single from his next album.
-- Returning visitors to Nashville might notice a few new developments on the downtown landscape when they arrive for CMA Music Festival. In addition to the George Jones Museum and a soon-to-open amphitheater, the Ryman Auditorium unveiled its $14 million renovation on June 8. And on June 11, Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley opens a new pop-up store, Tribe Kelley, in the Gulch that offers items from his new fashion line.
ON THIS DATE IN COUNTRY MUSIC
2014 -- Capitol releases Keith Urban's "Somewhere in My Car" to radio.
2009 -- George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is added to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry, along with The Kingston Trio's "Tom Dooley" and The Stanley Brothers' "Rank Stranger."
2012 -- Kenny Rogers and jam band Phish perform "The Gambler" during the closing set at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn.
2010 -- Billy Currington, wearing a fake beard, shoots the video for "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer" in Nashville.
1996 -- Garth Brooks makes an unscheduled appearance at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville for Fan Fair, where he promptly signs autographs for a ridiculous 23 hours straight.
2007 -- Kellie Pickler performs the national anthem at historic Wrigley Field in Chicago and follows up with a round of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch. The visiting Seattle Mariners baseball team defeats the hometown Cubs, 5-3.
1973 -- Dolly Parton records "I Will Always Love You" in a morning session at Nashville's RCA Studio B.
2000 -- Arista Records' Fan Fair showcase marks its next-to-last day as a stand-alone label, before being absorbed by RCA. Staffers pass out squirt guns saying, "Ready, aim, fired." The concert includes Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley and Diamond Rio.
1975 -- Linda Ronstadt's remake of The Everly Brothers' "When Will I Be Loved" tops the Billboard country chart.
Source: RolandNote.com, the Ultimate Country Music Database
This article first appeared in Billboard's Country Update newsletter -- sign up here.