» Coin Toss: Aiming for an entirely different kind of kickoff, Kenny Chesney took the field at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas during halftime of the Cowboys vs. Redskins "Thanksgiving Classic" (11/22) with a set that included "I Go Back," "Boys Of Fall," and "Feel Like A Rock Star." Chesney's Turkey Day performance helped raise awareness for the Red Kettle Campaign, which brings The Salvation Army's iconic kettles and 25,000 bell ringers to street corners and storefronts nationwide.
» See Of Japan: Some of this may seem a bit, um, foreign, but Taylor Swift spent Thanksgiving in Japan and made the media rounds to promote Red. She went all out joining legendary (in Japan, anyway) boy-band SMAP for a duet of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" at the Fuji TV studio. She also appeared on top morning show Sukkiri;watch her performance here and the interview here. And she stopped by Tokyo FM, where she was interviewed by popular female artist Atsuko Maeda, who admitted Taylor is her favorite artist.
» Turkey Call: Tracy Lawrence's "Mission Possible" Turkey Fry sizzled 500-plus birds last week (11/20) to feed thousands in need on Thanksgiving Day. “I am blessed to have so many friends who share the same passion that I do for those in need during the holidays,” he says. “From volunteers who labored all day to the person who came by to drop off a turkey, they all have contributed to the success of this event and I am very thankful for them.” Lawrence, who has been hosting the event since 2006, has supplied an estimated 6,500 turkeys for more than 40,000 meals at the Nashville Rescue Mission.
» Reach For The Skype: If you've heard that time spent on a video set is boring or "not as glamorous as it seems," you'll finally have a chance to decide for yourself. In an internet first, Tim McGraw will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of his "One Of Those Nights" music video in real time. "The technology that's out there today provides some cool new ways to connect with music fans," McGraw says. "It'll be fun to give everyone a real look at what happens on the video shoot." Technology hasn't advanced to the point where you'll be able to eat from the craft service table or smell the Key Grip (otherwise known as camera or lighting crew), but McGraw promises to interact with fans and show them around the set during the shoot. The event happens via Ustream Nov. 27 here.
» Method Acting: Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio made their Grand Ole Opry debuts Nov. 17, but you may know them better as Scarlett O’Connor and Gunnar Scott from ABC's Nashville. The duo did not break character as they perfomed songs from the series like “Fade Into You” and “If I Didn’t Know Better,” which will be featured on the show's soundtrack, out Dec. 11.
» Big Trendy: If you wear hobo pants and a top hat with a feather sticking out of it long enough, people will notice. And in "Big Kenny" Alphin's case, not only will they notice ... they'll induct you into the Tennessee State Museum as a style trendsetter. Alphin accepted the honor during the museum's seventh annual Sparkle & Twang event Nov. 9, so don't expect to see this guy wearing Dockers and Crocs in public anytime soon.
» Considered Classic: Buck Owens' "Act Naturally," W.H. Stepp's "Bonapartare's Retreat," Pop Stoneman's "The Titanic" and Foggy Mountain Banjo by Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs And The Foggy Mountain Boys are among the recordings being inducted into the 2013 Grammy Hall Of Fame. The Recording Academy acknowledges both singles and albums of all genres that are at least 25 years old and exhibit qualitative or historical significance. Other artists in the 2013 class include James Brown, Bob Dylan, Carlos Gardel, Richard Pryor and Little Richard. Complete list here.
» In Case You Missed It: The first time Christina Aguilera happens to mention 'whiskey' in one of her songs, it's a duet with Blake Shelton. Watch The Voice coaches perform "Just A Fool" from last week (11/19) here.
If it wasn't for Rascal Flatts, the Entertainer of the Year would still be going by the name "Billy Ray Shelton," as the Flatts revealed during their interview on Chelsea Lately (11/19.) Watch here.
Cowboy Fanfest will feature Tracy Lawrence on the ACM Concert Stage as part of Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas Dec. 6. Other artists on the bill during the week-long event include Bucky Covington, Sarah Darling, Brett Eldredge, Jack Ingram, Chris Janson, David Nail, Aaron Watson and Chris Young. More here.
"Goodbyes Made You Mine" singer JT Hodges will host his second annual Holiday Howler charity event Dec. 3 benefiting the Brown Dog Foundation, which helps pet owners with veterinary expenses. More here.
Kenny Rogers will bring out Billy Dean for the third time as a part of his annual Christmas & Hits Tour. The 22-city run kicks off Nov. 23 in Catoosa, OK and wraps Dec. 23 in Westbury, NY.
Gwen Sebastian is offering a “Win Gwen’s Favorite Things” contest. Prizes include iPads and autographed CDs; details here.
Mindy McCready (11/30)
Tuesday (11/27): Dolly Parton, The Colbert Report (Comedy Central); Blake Shelton, The Voice (NBC); Little Big Town, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC); Reba, Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC).
Wednesday (11/28): Dolly Parton, Live With Kelly & Michael; Nashville (ABC); Trace Adkins and Scotty McCreery, Christmas in Rockefeller Center (NBC); Blake Shelton, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC).
Upcoming Album Releases
Various Artists Nashville Soundtrack (12/11)
Katie ArmigerFall Into Me (1/15)
Darius RuckerTrue Believers (1/22)
Ashley MonroeLike A Rose (1/22)
The Mavericks In Time (1/29)
Tim McGrawTwo Lanes Of Freedom (2/5)
» The Young And The Christmas: Light up the tree because we can't wait for Christmas. And neither can Chris Young. Pictured (l-r) Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam with Youngand First Lady Crissy Haslam at the Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting in Nashville Monday night (11/26). Young performed at the event, which included horse and carriage rides, food trucks, a live reindeer named Snowflake, and of course ... a visit from Santa Claus.
» Little Rascals: Chelsea Handler’s sidekick Chuy Bravo stopped by Rascal Flatts' dressing room for a quick photo opp before the band appeared last week (11/20) on E!'s Chelsea Lately.