TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
(Wed., May 8)
Rick Nelson born in Teaneck, N.J. (1940)
Reba McEntire has her first hit with "I Don't Want To Be a One Night Stand" (1976)
The Carter Family recorded "I'll Be All Smiles Tonight" and "It'll Aggravate Your Soul" (1934)
MUSIC AND MORE
KENNY CHESNEY IS HAVING HIS DAY
Kenny Chesney -- whose "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top 200 and Country Album charts -- will make his first network TV appearance on May 15, when he and his band show up on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."
"That show is so music driven," said Chesney. "You know when you turn it on, you're going to see something that's very interesting -- and not necessarily something you're going to see somewhere else, either."
Chesney said he watches Conan a lot "if we can get a signal for it" because it provides a nice transition for him "from the stage to the regular world."
Chesney is getting quite a lot of media lately -- as the cover story on the current issue of Country Music Magazine and a major feature Wednesday in USA Today. He's also scheduled to appear in a People magazine profile in the May 23 issue, which hits news stands on May 17.
"It's kind of funny," said Chesney. "I never thought I was all that interesting ... or that anyone would care about who I was or what I did beyond maybe liking some of the songs. Some of the questions people ask, once you're done being shocked, make you laugh ... because why would anyone care about that?"
"No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" sold 75,000 pieces its first day and went platinum status on its second day on reorders alone. It ended its first week with more than 235,000 copies sold.
LEGENDARY SONGWRITER BLACKWELL DEAD AT 70
Otis Blackwell, the legendary songwriter who gave "Don't Be Cruel," "All Shook Up" and "Return to Sender" to Elvis Presley, died in Nashville Monday. He was 70.
Blackwell's catalogue also included "Great Balls of Fire," which became a signature tune for Jerry Lee Lewis, and "Fever," one of the late Peggy Lee's biggest hits. He also wrote "Handy Man," first made into a hit by Jimmy Jones and later covered for another hit by James Taylor.
JO DEE'S RACETRACK GIG
Jo Dee Messina will perform on July 14 prior to the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Messina has something of a musical connection with the racing business. Her song "Burn" on the soundtrack of the Sylvester Stallone racing movie "Driven."
Her song "Dare to Dream" is one of the cuts on the upcoming NASCAR compilation album "Inside Traxx" -- due in stores June 11. The CD also features tracks by Neal McCoy, Tim McGraw, Sawyer Brown, Travis Tritt and Dwight Yoakam.