Country Thunder Arizona is excited to return October 14th – 17th!

Luke Combs, Eric Church, Morgan Wallen & Dustin Lynch confirmed as headliners.

Ashley McBryde, Chris Janson, HARDY, Mitchell Tenpenny, Travis Denning, Randy Rogers Band, Parker McCollum, Tenille Townes, Dallas Smith, Meghan Patrick, Parmalee, Chicks With Hits (featuring Terri Clark, Pam Tillis, Suzie Bogguss), Kameron Marlowe, Drew Parker, Austin Jenckes, Seaforth, Nolan Sotillo join the always-stellar supporting cast, with more to be announced!

Country Thunder, Arizona’s Premier Country Music Festival has announced that it will be returning in mid-October. The festival has already confirmed a star studded line-up, in what promises to be a sold-out, 4-day party!!

Head over to Country Thunder for more details

Country Music Legend, Charley Pride, Dies At 86

DALLAS, Texas. — Charley Pride, whose rich baritone voice and impeccable song-sense altered American culture, died Saturday, December 12, 2020, in Dallas, Texas of complications from Covid-19 at age 86.

Born a sharecropper’s son in Sledge, Mississippi, on March 18, 1934, Pride emerged from Southern cotton fields to become country music’s first Black superstar and the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“No person of color had ever done what he has done,” said Darius Rucker in the PBS American Masters film Charley Pride: I’m Just Me.

Pride was a gifted athlete who at first thought baseball would be his path from poverty, labor, and strife. But his musical acumen was more impressive than his pitching arm or his hitting skills, and he emerged as one of the most significant artists at RCA Records, with chart-topping hits including “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’,” “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” and “Mountain of Love.” He won the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1971, its top male vocalist prize in 1971 and 1972, and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.

His final performance came on November 11, 2020, when he sang “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’” during the CMA Awards show at Nashville’s Music City Center with Jimmie Allen, a modern-day hitmaker who counts Pride among his heroes.

Charley Frank Pride was not the first Black artist to make important contributions to country music — DeFord Bailey was a star of the Grand Ole Opry from 1927 through 1941 — but Pride was a trailblazer who emerged during a time of division and rancor.

After a stint in the Army, time working at a Missouri smelting plant, and some unsuccessful attempts to break into big-league baseball, he came to Nashville in 1963 and made demonstration recordings with help from manager Jack Johnson.

Those recordings languished for two years until Johnson met with producer Jack Clement, who offered songs for Pride to learn. On August 16, 1965, Clement produced Pride at RCA Studio B, and the results of that session impressed RCA’s Chet Atkins, who signed Pride to a recording contract.

In 1967, Pride’s recording of Clement’s “Just Between You and Me” broke into country’s Top Ten, and Pride quit his job as a smelter. Iron ore was behind him, and platinum records lay ahead.

Between 1967 and 1987, Pride delivered 52 Top 10 country hits, won Grammy awards, and became RCA Records’ top-selling country artist. His musicality opened minds and superseded prejudice.

“We’re not color blind yet, but we’ve advanced a few paces along the path and I like to think I’ve contributed something to that process,” Pride wrote in his memoir.

Today, Black artists including Allen, Rucker, Mickey Guyton, Rissi Palmer, Rhiannon Giddens, Yola, and others add new chapters to country music’s story. Charley Pride’s impact is evident and important to all of them, and also to every other country performer who builds bridges with melody and sincerity.

Charley Pride escaped the cotton fields, where labor hurt his hands, back, and knees. He transcended and ascended through connection. Through fortitude and artistry, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and a beloved American icon.

Charley Pride was the son of Tessie Stewart Pride and Mack Pride, Sr. He was the husband of Ebby Rozene Cohran Pride. His children are Carlton Kraig Pride, Charles Dion Pride, and Angela Rozene Pride. His grandchildren are Carlton Kraig Pride, Jr., Malachi Pride, Syler Pride, Ebby Pride, and Arrentino Vassar. His two great-grandchildren are Skyler Pride and Carlton Kraig Pride, III. he is preceded in death by brothers Jonas McIntyre, Mack Pride, Jr., Louis Pride, Edward Pride, and Joe L. Pride, and by sister Bessie Chambers. He leaves behind siblings Harmon Pride, Stephen Pride, Catherine Sanders, and Maxine Pride, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to The Pride Scholarship at Jesuit College Preparatory School, St. Philips School and Community Center, The Food Bank, or the charity of your choice.

Photo Credit: Joseph Llanes

Eric Church Wins Entertainer of the Year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a year unlike any other, it’s fitting that the 54th annual CMA Awards culminated with the genre’s dark horse Eric Church earning the title of Entertainer of the Year.

“If there was ever a year not to win…” Church laughed as he took the stage to accept the night’s ultimate trophy. “This year, at least for me, has been about loss – loss of life, loss of playing shows, loss of freedom, loss of kids being in school… And you know what the win is? The win is we all were here tonight, together as Country music – in person, live and I believe this, I really believe this: It’s gonna be music that brings us out of this. That is the one thing that’s gonna save the world. Politicians are about division; music is about unity.”

Before leaving the stage, the stunned entertainer added as a rallying call, “And I promise you, it’s gonna take everyone in this room to unite.”

Now six studio albums into his career, the North Carolinian always approaches things differently. Whether playing back-to-back nights in nearly 30 cities on his 2019 Double Down Tour or pushing himself to new creative limits with his recording process, Church has steadily amassed a faithful congregation – the Church Choir – since 2006’s release of “How ‘Bout You.” Many of those fans took to social media to congratulate the star, with an outpouring of comments proclaiming, “Congratulations Chief!” And it was those fans he was speaking to in the press conference following the awards show.

“When you go to a concert and your favorite artist plays your favorite song, and you throw your arm around the person next to you, you don’t worry about whether he’s a Republican or a Democrat, whether he’s pro-life or pro-choice. You’re in that moment and you’re pulling on the rope the same way. I think what we’re missing right now in America is more of the stuff that unites us versus what divides us,” Church shared. “I swear — it’s going to be music that saves us… It’s going to be about how we do it, and how we do it responsibly, and how we show that this is how we’re gonna leave COVID in the dust.”

Praised by Esquire as “one of the most singular working artists in any genre,” Church’s foresight with his new music, while written pre-pandemic, still addresses the underlying sense of division that was already palpable in our nation. Whether threw his spoken word piece entitled “Who Will Answer The Call?”, released earlier this year, where he shared a message of resolve, or by offering hope in “Through My Ray-Bans,” Church’s music has already served as a unifier .

“There’s a point in the show where I walk out in the crowd and I put my arms around them, we get pictures and it’s what life’s about. It’s that moment… What ‘Through My Ray-Bans’ is about is that I wish we could freeze that and I wish that was how life was — right there, just how I saw you.”
          I see a place where a moment in time
          Is a kaleidoscope of color on a canvas of white
         Where the voices roar at the noise of the poet’s rhyme


         Everybody’s got their arms around everybody else’s shoulders
         Guarding against the world outside like an army of Friday night soldiers
         The battle wages tomorrow but tonight you don’t give a damn
         Wish you could stay the way I see you through my Ray-Bans
For more information, visit www.ericchurch.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @ericchurch and Instagram@ericchurchmusic.

Photo Credit: John Russell/CMA

HIGHWOMEN Perform “Crowded Table” on Jimmy Fallon

October 7, 2020—The Highwomen—the acclaimed collaborative movement formed by Brandi CarlileNatalie HembyMaren Morris and Amanda Shires—returned to “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” last night to perform their song, “Crowded Table.” Watch/share HERE. Hailed as an “anthem for our time” (“CBS This Morning”) and a “hymn of togetherness and support” (Rolling Stone), “Crowded Table” is from the group’s acclaimed self-titled album and also nominated for Group Video of the Year at the 2020 CMT Music Awards. Watch the official music video here. Produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Dave CobbThe Highwomen debuted at #1 onBillboard’s Top Country Albums chart and landed on numerous year-end lists including NPR Music, Rolling StoneBillboardEsquireVarietyEntertainment Weekly, Vulture, Stereogum, The Atlantic, Slate, AmericanSongwriter, Consequence of Sound, Paste and the Los Angeles Times among several others.

The Highwomens’ self-titled album is out now via Elektra Records.

For more information on these badass women, check out https://www.thehighwomen.com/

JIMMIE ALLEN DEBUTS MAGICAL NEW VIDEO FOR SINGLE “MAKE ME WANT TO” TODAY ON CMT

Breakout country star, Jimmie Allen made a splash in New York’s Times Square today with the premiere of his eye-popping new music video on Viacom’s Times Square billboard. The fun and fantastical video for his current single “Make Me Want To” also made its premiere today across CMT platforms as well. Watch the comical video HERE.

“I’m a huge fan of Disney, Harry Potter and ‘The Notebook.’ I wanted to create a video that showcased my love for all three,” Allen shared with CMT. “I feel like authenticity is celebrated today more than ever so with this video I really wanted highlight my quirky side.”

Shot in Franklin and Nashville, Tenn., the video CMT describes as “magical and positively effervescent” was conceptualized by Allen and directed by Justin Nolan Key. The special effects-laden and often humorous video spotlights both Allen’s creativity and natural comedic ability. From a fairy godmother to a magic wand and a romantic love connection to dancing in the rain, the video shares a unique and magical narrative that gives fans a look inside Allen’s subconscious.

“I love that the video focuses on the action and the music is in the background,” Allen continues. “Enjoy Chapter 1! This is the first of a five-part music video collection. Thanks to everyone for going on this journey with me and stay tuned for more!”

“Make Me Want To,” which The Boot called “an infectious, romantic romp,” was most added at Country Radio with 61 stations reporting in its first week and is currently making its way up the chart. Written by Allen with Paul Sikes and Jennifer Denmark, the song is the follow up to his debut No. 1 “Best Shot,” and the second single off his Stoney Creek Records / BBR Music Group debut album Mercury Lane, an album Rolling Stone praises as “a sturdy, hits-packed collection that…challenges the narrowly defined model of what constitutes a next big thing in country music.”

The Delaware native recently wrapped runs on Scotty McCreery’s Seasons Change Tour and Kane Brown’s Live Forever Tour. Catch Allen on the road this summer as support on Chris Young’s Raised on Country Tour and Rascal Flatts’ Summer Playlist Tour.

For more information and tour dates, visit www.jimmieallenmusic.com.

About Jimmie Allen:
The epitome of the phrase “persistence pays off,” Jimmie Allen laid it all on the line to make his dreams a reality. Now signed to BBR Music Group’s Stoney Creek Records, Allen’s debut single “Best Shot” is a certified hit, claiming the top spot as the No. 1 Most Shazamed song in the format for eight consecutive weeks, and the No. 1 spot on Country radio for three weeks, marking the first time a black artist has launched a career with a No. 1 hit with their debut single on country radio. On the heels of that historic success, Allen is back with his latest single, “Make Me Want To” which was most added at country radio in its first week with 61 stations.

“Make Me Want To” is the second single off his Stoney Creek Records / BBR Music Group debut album Mercury Lane released Oct. 12, 2018. Named in tribute to the street he grew up on and the origin of his incredible journey, Mercury Lane was produced by Ash Bowers and Eric Torres and features a cutting-edge mix of country, rock, R&B and pop that draws upon the influence of his family and small-town upbringing of the critically-acclaimed rising star. Rolling Stone raved Allen’s debut “challenges the narrowly defined model of what constitutes a next big thing in country music in 2018” and The New York Times dubbed it one of 2018’s strongest, calling it “a conventional country album, filled with songs about the small details.”

The Southern Delaware native’s talent for songwriting is undeniable, having written a song that was featured in a Super Bowl commercial and appearing in a Diet Coke ad with megastar Taylor Swift. “Blue Jean Baby,” off his debut self-titled EP, immediately caught the attention of country music fans and critics alike with its soulful groove— rocketing it to the top of digital playlists, across all genres. Allen recently wrapped his run on Scotty McCreery’s Seasons Change Tour as well as Kane Brown’s Live Forever Tour.  He will also be hitting the road this summer as support on Chris Young’s Raised on Country Tour and Rascal Flatts’ Summer Playlist Tour. The hot newcomer was heralded as one of the top “artists to watch in 2018” by Rolling StoneBillboard, Pandora, Sounds Like NashvilleNY Country SwagCountry Music Rocks and New England Country Music and has earned spots in CMT’s “18 for 2018” Listen Up program and Bobby Bones’ Class of 2018. For more information, visit jimmieallenmusic.com.

A Quick Convo with The REAL Chase Miller

Will the REAL Chase Miller, please stand up!  A new single, good looks and plethora of adoring fans, it’s no wonder Chase Miller has had to get a few fake profiles, that were pretending to be him, removed from Instagram.  I recently had a chance meeting with the real Chase Miller while he was enjoying Stagecoach weekend in Indio, CA.  After posing for pictures, signing autographs and handing out some sweet koozies, he had a few minutes to talk with me, before heading to watch Kane Brown‘s performance.

Read our conversation below as we talked about his current single, “Redneck Weekend“, his definition of California Country and his future plans.

CVC:  Chase, thank you for your time.  How are you enjoying Stagecoach weekend?

CM:  Really enjoying it.  There are a lot of great artists performing this year and I’ve really enjoyed seeing the up and coming artists and there are some great songwriters performing this weekend.

CVC:  Being a SoCal guy, what does California Country mean to you?

CM:  California Country is just like any other form of country.  It’s getting together with your friends, having a great time, listening to good music.  For me, in California specifically, it’s hanging at the beach with friends, being surrounded by the people I love and care about and partying with them.

CVC:  You have a great single that you just released, “Redneck Weekend“, which is the anthem for good time, what do you have in store for us in the future?

CM:  My producer Nick and I are working on some more material that we’ll be putting out within the next year.  We’re looking at either an EP or an album.  I have my full band back together and we’ll be hitting a few states on the west coast and heading to Nashville in June and do some stuff out there.  I’ll keep working and keep growing the fan base as much as possible.

 

Chase Miller is a talented songwriter and musician.  He continues to make music that people can relate with and truly LOVES what he does.  You can find the real Chase Miller on FB, IG and Twitter under the name @ChaseMillerTime and his songs can be heard on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music… everywhere!

For more info and the latest on Chase Miller stop by his site www.ChaseMillerTime.com