Ken Burns’ latest documentary, "Country Music" looks to be a hit for music sales, with various songs from the eight-part series’ 100-plus-song soundtrack seeing notable gains in digital downloads.

Since the Sept. 15 premiere, songs from Johnny Cash, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Patsy Cline, Vince Gill and more have jumped in sales both in the week the series premiered and the current week, during which the show’s final four episodes aired.  

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s iconic team-up “Pancho and Lefty”, sold 2,000 downloads in the day of the premiere of the episode in which it was featured (episode seven) and the following day (Sept. 23-24) vs. the previous two days (Sept. 21-22), a 700% gain.
More good news for Nelson: A large download count also belongs to Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” which he wrote. In the day of its episode’s premiere (episode 4) and the day after (Sept. 19-20) vs. the previous two days (Sept. 17-18), its download jump was 815%, garnering 1,000 downloads in all.

Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” a track featured in the final episode of the doc, has already seen a sizable gain in downloads as well. Its 1,000-download count in the day of the episode’s premiere (episode 8) on Sept. 25 is a 781% jump against Sept. 24.

As for the largest percentage gains, that distinction belongs to Kris Kristofferson’s “Why Me,” which moved 1,000 downloads in the day of the episode’s airing and the day following alone (episode 6, Sept. 23-24), a 2,589% boost.

Reba McEntire will be honored with the Artist of a Lifetime award at this year’s CMT Artists of the Year event.

McEntire will join the short list of previous recipients, including Loretta Lynn (2018), Shania Twain (2016), Kenny Rogers (2015), and Merle Haggard (2014).

This year’s CMT Artists of the Year special is the 10th anniversary of the live music event. The honorees include Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Kane Brown, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett, and the show will feature surprise musical pairings and guests. It will air live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Wednesday, October 16th at 8pm ET/PT.

Sturgill Simpson will hit the road this month for a limited tour that will support the Special Forces Foundation, a nonprofit that provides support to Army Special Forces soldiers and their families.

The six-date run kicks off on September 29th in West Hollywood, Calif., making additional stops in San Francisco, Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., and more. The tour comes on the heels of Sturgill's upcoming album, Sound & Fury, which is set to drop on September 27th. The new Sturgill-produced album will be his first since the 2016 release of A Sailor's Guide to Earth, which won a Grammy for Best Country Album.

All net proceeds from Sturgill's new tour will be donated to the Special Forces Foundation. Tickets go on sale on September 25th, at 10 a.m. local time.

Sturgill Simpson Tour Dates

Sept. 29 | The Troubadour | West Hollywood, CA
Oct. 1 | Terrapin Crossroads | San Rafael, CA
Oct. 2 | The Independent | San Francisco, CA
Oct. 6 | Music Hall of Williamsburg | Brooklyn, NY
Oct. 7 | Black Cat | Washington, D.C.
Oct. 8 | Stone Pony | Asbury Park, NJ

Carly Pearce stopped by the Ty Bentli Show on September 24th to talk about her new single, "I Hope You're Happy Now," being nominated for her first CMA Award and dish about her upcoming wedding to fellow country artist Michael Ray.

"I Hope You're Happy Now," which features Lee Brice, will impact country radio on Sept. 27. Penned by Carly, Luke Combs, Jonathan Singleton and Randy Montana, the tune is the second single from Carly's upcoming sophomore album, which is expected to drop later this year. In addition, Carly was recently nominated for her first CMA Award for New Artist of the Year.

Now . . . the wedding details and more. Here are a few choice excerpts from the interview:

Any stressors?

"I'm like 10 days out [from the wedding]," says Carly. "Final count [has stressed me out], but I've just gotta let it go. Michael has so many family members--they keep adding [laughing]. I need to chill out a little bit. I wanted like 80 [people] and we're at 125, but I have like five family members, so you do the math."

Most excited about?

"We're not doing a 'first look,' so that moment [is what I'm most excited about]," says Carly. "I cannot wait for that, and we wrote our own vows and I just finished mine. That was such an emotional--I didn't expect to be so emotional writing them."

Having kids?

"No, no, no, no, no, no, not yet [laughing]," says Carly. "Eventually I want one, but not yet. We want like two."


"To be marrying the love of my life, to be nominated for my first CMA, to have this single coming out that I'm so proud of . . . it's exciting," says Carly.

Country music's rich and colorful history is front and center in the new original podcast series "Set It Straight with Midland."

The premier episode dropped on September 25th, exclusively on Spotify.

Midland has always drawn inspiration from country music's past. Their new podcast series takes that interest one step further, exploring the genre's strange, shocking and surprising stories. The question is: are the stories true? Or just tall tales? In each of the season's 10 episodes, Midland dives into a different one, debates its veracity, and then invites in a special guest who can (hopefully!) set the record straight.

The lineup ranges from Tanya Tucker, who was (allegedly) booed off the Grand Ole Opry stage in 1978 for dressing her all-male band in women's clothes, to acclaimed songwriter Earl Bud Lee who (it's rumored) sold the rights to his biggest song, Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places," to settle a bar tab. Dwight Yoakam joins an episode to discuss if the incendiary lyrics of Buck Owens' biggest hit, "Streets of Bakersfield," were actually written about Buck himself.

Kenny Chesney will return to the stadiums in 2020.

Chesney announced the Chillaxification 2020 tour. Joining him will be Florida Georgia Line, Old Dominion and Michael Franti & Spearhead.

Chillaxification 2020 kicks off Saturday, April 18th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and culminates Friday, August 28th with his 20th show at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Tickets for all dates will go on sale next Friday, October 4th at 10 a.m. local time.

Chesney has been touring this year, but playing arenas instead of stadiums.

A few days after a passenger bus carrying the road crew for Josh Turner crashed on September 19th, the singer released a statement on Facebook.

Turner wrote, "As I try to write this I don’t know what to say. It’s a struggle to put into words the devastation and grief that our road family is trying to process. We lost a beloved member of our team, David Turner. He was like a brother to so many in this industry and a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Please continue to keep David’s family in your prayers."

"All of our crew suffered significant injuries and many have long roads to recovery. I would ask that you give them privacy during this time".   Josh noted that he and his management created a GoFundMe page to help those on his team affected. "Your prayers have been felt. Please keep praying."

Turner and his band were not on the bus involved in the accident. The vehicle was traveling eastbound on Highway 46 in California's San Luis Obispo County when it crashed in Shandon.

Justin Moore and Tracy Lawrence will kick off their 2020 Late Nights And Longnecks Tour Jan. 16 in Dodge City, Kansas, making additional stops in Indianapolis, Cleveland, Denver, Atlanta and more.

Tickets for the new tour go on sale on Friday (Sept. 27) at 10 a.m. CT.

Chris Stapleton received ACM Artist-Songwriter of the Decade in a surprise presentation recently in Nashville.

Stapleton joins as the third recipient of the seven all-new ACM Decade Award categories, including most recently announced ACM Songwriter of the Decade Award recipient Rhett Akins and ACM Song of the Decade Award recipients Miranda Lambert, and songwriters Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, for "The House That Built Me."

The ACM Artist-Songwriter of the Decade Award is defined as an artist who has commercially released material, written in whole or in part by the artist. This award recognizes a songwriter whose creative works and performance have impacted country music over the decade. The factors to be considered are, but are not limited to success at radio, commercial media, sales and streaming, artistic merit and ACM Award recognition.

The ACM Decade Awards were ratified by the ACM Board of Directors, following an examination by more than 20 board members and the ACM Special Awards Committee co-chaired by Chuck Aly and Rich.

The award will be presented only every 10 years.

Trisha Yearwood stopped by Kelly Clarkson's new talk show on Monday to chat about her new album, "Every Girl", and the duo discussed working together on the song, "Tell Me Something I Don't Know."
Clarkson recalled seeing Garth Brooks in the studio.  She says, "I got there and I had no idea that her husband was going to be producing it, and I was like, ‘Uh…’ And I got in the studio, and let me tell you, I’ve never been more nervous about sounding good. It’s like, you’re there already and that’s nerve wracking enough and then your husband, who’s Garth freaking Brooks, walks in and literally, he was producing me! I was peeing my pants."

Yearwood replied, "He was trolling my session to try to get you to work with him, that’s what he was doing,"  before talking more in depth about the album. She explained, "The truth is, I went in to make a record for fun. I’m 54 years old, I’m a woman, my expectations as to what was going to happen with this record were not super high. I wasn’t thinking about singles, I wasn’t thinking about radio…which is what we should be doing. If you want to call yourself an artist, you make art and that’s what you do."
The two then teamed up with Chef Keith Garrett of All Flavo, No Grease shows to make shrimp quesadillas.