- The staff of CMT.com chose their 10 favorite songs by Sara Evans.
- Phyllis Stark wrote about probable “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery’s lack of popularity among country radio programmers in her Stark Country email newsletter, then got an earful from pro-Scotty programmers.
- Remember Caitlin & Will? Check out Caitlin Lynn’s page on ReverbNation to sample some of the new music she’s been working on. The latest addition is the ballad “Half a Million Teardrops.”
- Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Barry Mazor chatted with Jean Shepard on the occasion of her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame this Sunday — an honor long overdue given that she’s been an Opry member for more than 55 years:
To fans of traditional, hardcore country music around the world, a common response will be “At last.” What the famously outspoken honky-tonk heroine has to say about this delayed acceptance, characteristically, is not the studied sort of humble affirmation typical of so many Nashville stars, but to-the-point, good-natured and simply true: “I appreciate this; it’s a thrill—and it should have happened 20 years ago.”
- Speaking of underappreciated women, The Boot has the details on Connie Smith’s first album of new material since 1998, and only her second since 1978. Long Line of Heartaches is due August 23.
- Writing for the Nashville Scene, Jewly Hight chatted with Tom T. Hall and Peter Cooper on the occasion of the new I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow tribute album:
“I got to thinking, ‘Well, what’s the first song that I want my kid to hear on earth?’ ” says Cooper, a new dad. “And really quickly I thought of ‘I Love.’ That would be the first song I would want him to hear. And it was. … I had kind of an iPod jambox in the hospital room and held him and played ‘I Love.’ “
- Farce the Music got an exclusive sneak peek at Tim McGraw’s new Emotional Traffic album cover.
- Trade your email address for a free download of the Kenny Chesney duet “He Walked on Water” off of Randy Travis’ upcoming Anniversary Celebration.
- Country Universe wants you to name some of your favorite cheating songs.
- Opry Update: Tonight’s show features Rhonda Vincent, Mark Wills, Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, and Patty Loveless (among others). Tomorrow night brings James Wesley, Gene Watson, Bo Bice, Bobby Osborne, and more of Vince Gill and Patty Loveless. Schedule here and live stream at WSM Online.
- The new Blake Shelton album to be released July 12 will be titled Red River Blue after a song written by Buddy Owens and Ray Stephenson (“Hemingway’s Whiskey,” “Mama Was a Lot Like Jesus”). Shelton and Lambert reportedly perform it as a duet. Here’s Stephenson’s own version: