- September 11, 2012, for serving as release day to new records by Chris Knight, Waylon Jennings, Kix Brooks, Kathy Mattea, Little Big Town, Patterson Hood, The Time Jumpers, and more. Better start saving up your pennies for next Tuesday.
- Kellie Pickler, for shaving her head in support of a friend undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
- Warner Music Nashville, for signing Texas neotraditionalist Jon Wolfe. The label’s first move? Releasing an expanded deluxe edition of his strong 2010 indie release, It All Happened in a Honky Tonk, on October 23. Here’s the new music video for the title track.
- You might expect me to say the CMA Awards, for 2012 nomination head-scratchers that include Kelly Clarkson for (Country?) Female Vocalist and “God Gave Me You” and “Over You” for Song of the Year. But I’m actually more annoyed by indignant commentators who get worked up over questionable inclusions and perceived slights year in and year out. At this point, shouldn’t we pretty much know what to expect? If great music is what matters to you, you’re fortunate to live in a time when it’s easy to surround yourself in it. No need to look to the CMA for affirmation.
- Billboard, for stoking the fires of music’s stupidest fan rivalry with a comparison piece titled “Taylor Swift Vs. Carrie Underwood: Who’s Country’s Chart Queen?”
- Hank Williams Jr., for continuing to inflict his own imaginative brand of politics on audiences. From a Fort Worth show: “We’ve got a Muslim for a President who hates cowboys, hates cowgirls, hates fishing, hates farming, loves gays, and we hate him!” This latest rant prompted Obama supporter Alec Baldwin to call Williams a “broken-down, senile, racist coot” – which I’m guessing makes Alec Baldwin a gay Muslim.