Nashville Notes: 'I Hope You Dance' Film to Debut; Country Acts to Flood Small Screen in December
Here is your weekly roundup of goings on -- artist signings, staffing moves, good news and more -- in the wide world of country music.
Fresh off two wins at the Country Music Association Awards on Nov. 4, Little Big Town has two major events on its calendar for December. The band joins Blake Shelton, Sam Hunt, Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line as this year's recipients at the annual CMT Artists of the Year, airing live Dec. 2 from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. LBT also takes part in an installment of Skyville Live on Dec. 11, paying tribute to Gregg Allman. The live-streamed event will feature blues musician Taj Mahal; an additional act is promised.
Country acts will participate in two events that celebrate music anniversaries during the month of December. Zac Brown has been added to the previously announced Sinatra 100 -- An All-Star Grammy Concert, which will be filmed Dec. 2 in Las Vegas and airs Dec. 5 on CBS. Other participants include Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Celine Dion and Alicia Keys. Additionally, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson perform during a Dec. 5 taping in New York of Imagine: John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert, which airs Dec. 19 on AMC. That lineup also boasts Steven Tyler, Peter Frampton, The Roots and Sheryl Crow.
Kelsea Ballerini will take part in the lighting of the national Christmas tree on Dec. 3 at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, D.C. Presented by the National Park Service, the event also features Aloe Blacc, Crosby Stills & Nash and the Joyous String Quartet.
Vince Gill and Lee Ann Womack will participate in I Hope You Dance: The Power and Spirit of Song, a film based on the award-winning song written by Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers. Produced by John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon) and Spencer Proffer, the film debuts Thanksgiving Day on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel. A DVD and a related book will arrive Dec. 1.
'ROUND THE ROW
Hart Street Entertainment hired Chris Kagay as executive vp. She most recently owned a CD duplication company, Write Away Media.
Kelsea Ballerini will be honored with the Rising Star Award on Dec. 11 when Billboard throws its annual Women in Music event in New York. The ceremony will air as a Lifetime special on Dec. 18.
Sam Hunt is one of four artists participating in the fourth annual Grammy Amplifier program, which provides an opportunity for emerging artists.
New Orleans artist Allen Toussaint died Nov. 9 following a performance in Madrid. The producer-songwriter authored Joe Stampley's "All These Things" and Glen Campbell's "Southern Nights."
RADIO MOVERS & SHAKERS
Silverfish Media launches a midday show, Country With Carsen, beginning Jan. 18. The five-hour daily program is hosted by Carsen, aka Jessica Humphreville, a former WKDF Nashville personality who currently works at rock WKRL Syracuse, N.Y.
E.W. Scripps/Tulsa, Okla., hired David Abel as vp/GM for the five-station cluster, including country KVOO, beginning Nov. 23. He previously held the same post for Apex/South Carolina.
Alpha Media/Peoria, Ill., named Matt Marchand director of sales in the market, which includes country WXCL. He has an eight-year history with Alpha.
Scott Alexander joined WOGG Pittsburgh as PD/morning talent, RadioInfo.com reported. He was most recently on air with adult contemporary WBZZ Pittsburgh.
WKXC Augusta, Ga., hired Jeff Reynolds for afternoon drive, according to RadioInfo.com. A former WTHI Terre Haute, Ind., personality, Reynolds replaces Bryan Axelson, who recently moved to mornings.
Edison Research will present "What Content Makes Country Radio Matter?" during Country Radio Seminar on Feb. 8, 2016 in Nashville. The presentation weighs listeners' relationship with different elements of radio content.
After raising $1.5 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the last 18 months, Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots are out to raise more with a Million Dollar Show.
The duo, launched through iHeartMedia's syndicated The Bobby Bones Show, will be joined Dec. 7 by at least five acts -- Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town, Cam, Brett Eldredge and Eric Paslay -- at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
Tickets went on sale Nov. 13.
This article first appeared in Billboard's Country Update -- sign up here.