Oct 012013
 

Country music fans are in for some legendary and unique new duets this month. Traditionalist crooner Randy Travis is releasing a brand new album of covers, titled Influence Vol. 1: The Man I Am, on October 1. This album will include a special duet with Joe Nichols, titled “Tonight I’m Playing Possum,” a tribute to the late greatest country singer of all time, George Jones. Travis will also cover Jones’ “Why Baby Why,” Lefty Frizell’s “Saginaw, Michigan,” and Ernest Tubb’s “Thanks a Lot,” as well as nine other covers.

In 1983, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton recorded their first duet, “Islands in the Stream,” a tune written by The Bee Gees, Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The smash hit topped music charts around the world and has sold millions of copies—it has been dubbed the “most successful duet of all time.” Three decades later, the musical legends have rejoined forces to record a brand new duet titled “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” which will be released on Rogers’ new album of the same title on October 8. The tender tune was co-written by Don Schlitz, who wrote Rogers’ classic “The Gambler” tune. Rogers and Parton have also filmed a video for this track.

The legendary “Red-Headed Stranger,” Willie Nelson, will perform live in concert at the Louisville Palace on October 15, the same day his new duets album, titled To All the Girls…, will hit stores. This special album will include duets with some of music’s leading ladies, including Dolly Parton on “From Here to the Moon and Back,” Loretta Lynn on “Somewhere Between,” Emmylou Harris on “Dry Lightning,” Alison Krauss on “No Mas Amor,” Wynonna on “Bloody Mary Morning,” and Carrie Underwood dueting on Nelson’s classic “Always On My Mind.”

Sep 072013
 

Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott and husband Chris Tyrrell are singing lullabies these days as they welcomed their first child into the world on July 22. Daughter Eisele Kaye Tyrrell was born in Nashville and weighed in at 7 lbs, 13 ozs. Scott announced the happy occasion on Twitter by saying: “She’s here, and we are in HEAVEN!!! Eisele Kaye, our beautiful angel, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” The proud papa described her by saying, “She is incredibly gorgeous.” The baby’s name is a combination of Tyrrell’s mother’s maiden name, and Scott’s mother, Reba McEntire duet partner Linda Davis, whose middle name is Kaye. Lady A plans to resume touring on November 8 in Southaven, Mississippi.

Megastar Garth Brooks has earned numerous accolades and titles throughout his career, but he recently added a brand new title to his resume: “grandpa.” Brooks became a first-time grandfather in July when his 19-year-old daughter August Anna Brooks gave birth to daughter Karalynn. Brooks released a statement saying, “Our family would first like to thank everyone for their warm wishes and sweet celebration of Baby K’s arrival.”

“You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” crooner Brantley Gilbert and “Why Ya Wanna” singer Jana Kramer have announced that they have broken off their engagement to be married. Gilbert asked Kramer to be his bride on his 28th birthday this past January on the stage of the legendary Ryman Auditorium. The couple was reportedly so busy touring that their relationship has suffered as a result of being apart while on the road. Not exactly the ideal situation for a young couple in love, especially a couple trying to plan a wedding. They reportedly realized that this relationship was not going to work with their busy schedules, therefore breaking off their engagement was the best solution.

On July 31, it was announced on country traditionalist Randy Travis‘s website that he had finally been released from the hospital after suffering a stroke on July 10, which required surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. The statement said: “Randy Travis has been discharged from Baylor Heart [Hospital] in Plano, Texas. Mr. Travis has been relocated to a physical therapy facility. ‘Thanks to all the fans and friends for your continued prayers and support as Randy continues on the road to recovery,’ says Travis’ fiancée Mary Davis.” Travis will reportedly spend a few months in this facility as he recovers from this stroke.

Aug 082013
 

“Diggin’ Up Bones” country traditionalist Randy Travis has endured some serious health obstacles over the last month. The singer went to Baylor McKinney Medical Center’s ER in McKinney, Texas on July 7 after suffering with what was eventually diagnosed as idiopathic cardiomyopathy, which is scarring of the heart muscle caused by a viral illness. This virus weakened Travis’s heart, causing him severe circulation issues, therefore he was transferred from the emergency room to Heart Hospital Baylor Plano in Plano, Texas. While on life-support, Dr. Michael Mack, a cardiac surgeon and director of cardiovascular disease, stated, “During this period of time of resuscitation, he suffered a stroke. As a result of the stroke, pressure built up in his brain that required an emergency neurological operation to relieve that pressure.” This surgery was performed on July 10, and it was a few days before Travis began to regain consciousness.

Dr. Gary Erwin recently noted, “In terms of his stroke, [Travis] has responded well to the surgical procedure he had to relieve the pressure in his brain. We’re seeing improvements in brain scans showing decreased swelling of his brain. He is awake and alert — interacting with family and friends and beginning to start doing some early physical therapy.” He was expected to remain hospitalized until the end of July or early August, and Erwin continued, “After he is discharged from here, we anticipate transfer to an inpatient facility where he can receive aggressive physical therapy. We anticipate it will take months to recover from the stroke.”

Although Travis has been in the news in recent months with erratic behavior caused by alcohol and drugs, Dr. Mack says, “From the appearance on echocardiograms … this is not the appearance of either drugs or alcohol causing the heart condition. Mr. Travis does have a family history of cardiomyopathy, and it is more likely related to that.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Randy as he recovers.