Billboard Bits: CMA Awards, 'Kerry-Oke,' ACLU

News on CMA Awards, 'Kerry-Oke,' ACLU

TobyToby Keith has joined the performance lineup for the 38th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. Set for Nov. 9 at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House, the event will be hosted by Brooks & Dunn. The country duo and Shania Twain will also perform during the show, which will be broadcast live on CBS.

As previously reported, Alan Jackson leads the list of CMA nominees with seven nods, followed by Keith, who has six. Kenny Chesney, Alison Krauss and Gretchen Wilson are each nominated for five awards.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

HarrisEmmylou Harris, Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell will perform at a Sept. 29 Kerry-oke event at Nashville nightclub the Trap. Also slated to appear at the rally for Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry are Raul Malo (the Mavericks), Allison Moorer, Nanci Griffith, Matraca Berg and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band singer/guitarist Jeff Hanna.

Proceeds from the show will benefit
Music Row Democrats, an organization of country music figures with the primary objectives of promoting Democratic values and candidates and defending the First Amendment rights of members in its community.

Harris, Crowell, Malo and Berg previously took part in an initial slate of Kerry-oke events held in June in Nashville.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

KeysThe Black Keys, Wyclef Jean and Edie Brickell have joined the lineup for the ACLU Freedom Concert, to be held Oct. 4 at Avery Fisher Hall at New York's Lincoln Center.
As previously reported, the event will also boast performances by Lou Reed, Paul Simon, Mos Def, Patti Smith, Nanci Griffith and Lila Downs.

In addition, actor/comedian Robin Williams and actors Sean Penn and Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaall will offer spoken-word performances to illustrate landmark Supreme Court rulings in which the ACLU has played a major role. Composer Philip Glass will serve as show producer.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.