Garth Brooks makes chart history this week by debuting at Number One on Billboard's Country Singles chart with his new single "More Than A Memory." The song will be included on his upcoming compilation Ultimate Hits. Due out November 6, the double CD/single DVD set will feature three other new tracks, plus 30 previous hits and 33 music videos.
On September 11, Time Life will release the 4-CD box set Four Decades Of Folk Rock, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas & the Papas. Disc 2 covers the 1970s with acts like James Taylor, the Grateful Dead, Joan Baez and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Disc 3 features such 1980s stars as the Bangles, Dexys Midnight Runners, R.E.M. and Suzanne Vega. The fourth disc includes tracks from the 1990s and beyond, performed by Sixpence None the Richer, Shawn Colvin, Natalie Merchant, The Corrs, and others.
The first solo album by Heart's lead singer Ann Wilson will be released on September 11. Hope & Glory features many guests, including Elton John, k.d. lang, Gretchen Wilson, Wynonna Judd and Rufus Wainwright.
Also dropping on September 11 is the much-anticipated new album by Country star Kenny Chesney. Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates includes his recent Number One hit "Never Wanted Nothing More," which took only seven weeks to reach the top of the Country chart. It spent five weeks at Number One. Last week, Kenny made his highest Country chart debut ever by entering at Number 16 with his new single "Don't Blink."
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
New albums scheduled for release on September 11 include: "Curtis" by 50 Cent, "Graduation" by Kanye West, "Greatest Hits" by the Goo Goo Dolls and "Electropop" by Jupiter Rising.
On September 9, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews hosted their 2007 Farm Aid concert at Randalls Island in New York City. Also on the bill were Counting Crows, Montgomery Gentry, the Allman Brothers Band, Ray Price, Billy Joe Shaver, Jimmy Sturr and the Derek Trucks Band. Since 1985, Farm Aid concerts have raised more than $30 million to assist family farms.
Lynyrd Skynyrd plans to help fund educational programs set up by the Cleveland, Ohio-based Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Southern rock group will donate a portion of the proceeds from their September 13 concert in nearby Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Lead guitarist Gary Rossington says, "Anything we can do to help raise awareness of music and the power of music, we're all for it. It's a true blessing to be able to give back and without the gift of music, who knows where we would (have) ended up." Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
Country star Darryl Worley will host his 6th annual Tennessee River Run September 14 and 15 in Hardin County, Tennessee. Joining Darryl this year are Charlie Daniels, Trick Pony and Jason Michael Carroll. The event benefits the Darryl Worley Foundation, which helps people in need in West Tennessee, Northeastern Mississippi and Northwestern Alabama. The foundation also donates money to several children's hospitals and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The 14th annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival will take place September 14-16 in Telluride, Colorado. This year's headliners include Los Lonely Boys, Keb' Mo' and Robert Randolph and the Family Band. In addition to the concerts, the festival will offer beer tasting exhibits with more than 100 beers from 50 regional microbreweries.
The 6th Austin City Limits festival will be held September 14-16 at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. More than 140 bands are schedule to perform on eight stages throughout the park. Bob Dylan, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Willie Nelson, Van Morrison, Gnarls Barkley, John Mayer and Bob Dylan are among the top stars on this year's lineup.
The 2007 MTV Video Music Awards were handed out on September 9. For the first time in the awards 24-year history, the event took place in Las Vegas. Beyonce and Justin Timberlake led the nominees with seven mentions each. Other leading contenders included Kanye West and Rihanna with five nominations apiece. Britney Spears opened the show with "Gimme More," the first single from her upcoming album. Producer Jesse Ignjatovic says, "I wanted to start the show in a very big and dramatic way, and she's the one to do that. She'll captivate everyone and set the tone for the rest of the night. There's no one better." Among the many other acts who appeared were: Timbaland, Kanye West, Fall Out Boy, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Nelly Furtado and Common. (List of results at www.mtv.com )
The Canadian Country Music Association Awards will be presented in Regina, Saskatchewan on September 10. George Canyon and Shane Yellowbird each received five nominations, followed by Paul Brandt, Doc Walker, Emerson Drive, Brad Johner and Carolyn Dawn Johnson with four nods apiece. (Complete list of nominees available at www.ccma.org )
TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION
The inaugural VH1 Hip-Hop Honors tour will kick off on September 13 in San Francisco, California. The Roots, MC Lyte and Big Daddy Kane will play songs made famous by Wu-Tang Clan, Biz Markie, Public Enemy, and others. Shows are scheduled to wrap up in New York on October 5.
Billboard reports that Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's 2006 and 2007 "Soul2Soul" tours grossed a total $142 million. That sets a record for the top-selling multi-year North American tour in Country music history. Garth Brooks held the previous record by grossing $105 million during his three-year run from 1996 to 1998.
Not doing nearly as well is the 2007 "Idols Live" tour. Billboard Boxscore reports that halfway through the itinerary, concert seats are selling far below last year's "Idols Live" outing. There have been no sellouts for the first 30 concerts. Last year, sellouts were reported at 17 of the first 30 shows. Nearly 40 percent of the seats were empty at 14 of this summer's first 30 concerts.