Nashville Notes: Garth Brooks Sets Vegas Return; Kelsea Ballerini to Play New Faces Showcase

Garth Brooks
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ASCAP

Garth Brooks performs onstage at the ASCAP Centennial Awards at Waldorf Astoria Hotel on November 17, 2014 in New York City.  

Here is your weekly roundup of goings on -- artist signings, staffing moves, good news and more -- in the wide world of country music.

NEWS & NOTES

Brothers Osborne, Cam, Kelsea Ballerini, Old Dominion and Chris Janson have been selected to play the New Faces Show at the close of the Country Radio Seminar on Feb. 10, 2016. Traditionally held on a Friday night, the upcoming performance at the Omni Nashville will take place on a Wednesday. Dinner tickets are sold out, though arrangements are being made for overflow viewing of the concert.

Garth Brooks is returning to Las Vegas, though not for a stripped-down residency like the one he played at the Wynn Las Vegas from 2009-2012. In 2016, he will bring a full-scale show to the new Las Vegas Arena July 2-4. The venue, which will open in April, is located in the heart of the city's Sunset Strip. Brooks is the third country act to announce dates at the arena, according to The Las Vegas Sun, joining George Strait, who plays the first of several shows at the hall on April 22; and Dixie Chicks, who are slated for July 16.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum expects to welcome its 1 millionth guest of 2015 on Dec. 4, marking the first time the museum has reached the seven-figure mark in attendance during a calendar year. To celebrate the occasion, Brenda Lee will be on hand to present a prize package to one visitor that includes a $750 shopping spree and two tickets to a 2016 show at the Hall of Fame, as well as to the 50th annual Country Music Association Awards and the CMA Music Festival.

Buddy Miller has a unique album on the way: Cayamo Sessions at Sea, a collection of 11 collaborations recorded over several years on a cruise ship. The track list includes a remake of Buck Owens' "Love's Gonna Live Here" recorded with Kacey Musgraves, a version of Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn's "After the Fire Is Gone" with Lee Ann Womack, a take on The Byrds' "Hickory Wind" with Lucinda Williams and a rendition of Johnny Cash's "Sunday Morning Coming Down" with Kris Kristofferson, the song's author. New West will release the album on Jan. 29, 2016.

'ROUND THE ROW

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Bob DiPiero ("Southern Voice," "Blue Clear Sky") signed a publishing deal with Kobalt Music

Dani Frank has joined the PMK-BNC/New York entertainment department as an account executive following three years with Shore Fire Media. The Josh Abbott Band was among her PR clients at Shore Fire. 

Songwriter Ted Harris ("The Hand That Rocks the Cradle," "The Happiness of Having You") died Nov. 22 at home in Lewisburg, Tenn. Harris was a 1990 inductee in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

MOVERS & SHAKERS

WIL St. Louis has parted company with PD Greg Mozingo and is actively searching for a replacement. Assistant PD/music director Danny Montana takes on the programming role on an interim basis. 

Lindsay Carr will join Cumulus/Nashville on Jan. 4, 2016, as integrated and event sales manager for the cluster, which includes country stations WKDF and WSM-FM. She was previously an account executive for Merlin Media/Chicago.

CBS Radio appointed Jeff Shultz as senior vp business development, based in Los Angeles. He previously held a similar post for CBS Interactive. 

Queen B/Platteville, Wis., promoted Herb Cody to vp from market manager for the four-station cluster, which includes country WGLR

The Asheville Radio Group launched a new country station, the Outlaw, at 105.5 FM, The Asheville Citizen-Times reported. The frequency previously served as a translator channel for sports WISE.

Bo J. Spates takes over afternoon drive at WLLR Davenport-Rock Island-Moline, according to The Moline Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. He had been working swing shifts for the station.

WWBR Big Rapids, Mich., morning talent Bill Beckwith is retiring after 40 years on-air in the market, RadioInfo.com reported. 

Steve Kramer has left the morning show at KMLE Phoenix, Inside-Radio.com reported, ending a two-year stint.

GOOD WORKS

Charlie Daniels has hosted Christmas 4 Kids for much of its existence, but he passed the baton in 2015 to fellow Southern rockers The Marshall Tucker Band, who helped the organization raise more than $100,000 to fill holiday needs for Tennessee children.

Restless Heart, Shenandoah and Craig Wayne Boyd shared the bill Nov. 23 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, but the evening included a fair share of surprises. Ricky Skaggs made an unannounced appearance, and the Oak Ridge Boys' William Lee Golden joined Restless Heart's set for a very appropriate version of "Thank God for Kids." The entire evening wrapped with a mass version of MTB's "Can't You See."

Prior participants during Christmas 4 Kids' 25-plus years include Montgomery Gentry, Joe Nichols, Taylor Swift, Sara Evans and Trace Adkins.

This article first appeared in Billboard's Country Update -- sign up here.

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