Thursday, May 24, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Brian Dugger

Halloween - country style

Mark Miller of Sawyer Brown has always been known for having a good time on stage and being one of the funnier guys in business.

It's no surprise that Halloween is one of his favorite times of

year. Several years ago Mark and the guys decided to pay tribute to

one of their favorite groups during a concert.

"We were playing somewhere on Halloween, and the whole band decided to dress up in our Beatles' Sergeant Pepper stuff, so we do it. We're introduced. We walk out in front of a sold-out house, and we play a Beatles song, which we thought was sooo funny for Halloween, right?

"Nobody got it. The whole place just sat there looking at us. It was

hilarious in how bad it went over. what a trick rather than a treat."


I'd have to say things are going pretty well for Tim McGraw. The

country superstar recently wrapped up a 59-city concert tour that

attracted nearly 800,000 fans and made almost $50 million. The same time that tour was ending, his movie, "Friday Night Lights," opened at No. 2 at the box office with sales of $20.6 million the first week.


One of the most-anticipated records of the holiday season will be

hitting shelves on Nov. 9, when Toby Keith's "Greatest Hits 2" is

released. Along with a long line of No. 1 hits, the CD will also

include "Mockingbird," a duet with his teenage daughter Krystal. The

song is a classic hit made famous in 1974 by James Taylor and Carly Simon.

"Krystal and I used to sing 'Mockingbird' at home all the time. It

sounded so good we decided to cut it as a track," Toby says. "Krystal

is an incredible singer, and it is just as good as it gets to work

with her. She did a great job on the song, and I am so proud of her."


In honor of the release of his latest CD, "George Jones: 50 Years of

Hits," George Jones and his wife will be hosting a breakfast in their

home for four grand prize winners of an essay contest. The contest

also will serve as a fund-raiser for the Music City Crisis Center.

With a $10 tax-deductible donation, contestants can enter a 100-word

essay in four categories. My favorite George Jones song is _____.

Explain why; Enter someone else: Why my friend/relative/co-worker

deserves to win breakfast with George Jones; Share YOUR favorite 50th Anniversary story; My favorite recipe with George Jones sausage is _____. Also tell how you came up with it.

Entries must be submitted before or on Nov. 30. For more

information, go to


A pair of Gretchen Wilson's Abercrombie & Fitch jeans autographed by her, Kid Rock, and Hank Williams, Jr., recently fetched $7,700 at

auction for meningitis research. Wilson wore the jeans in her

"Redneck Woman" video.


Singer-songwriter Keni Thomas will soon be releasing his upcoming

single, "Not Me." It features guest vocals from Vince Gill and

Emmyloy Harris. It will be the first release off of his CD, "Flags of

Our Fathers - A Soldier's Story."

Thomas is a former Army Ranger and an elite Special Operations Task Force Ranger who fought in the Somalia battle recounted in the book and motion picture "Blackhawk Down." The new CD is a collection of songs telling stories inspired by life in the military and by those who serve our nation. A portion of the proceeds from the CD will go to the Hero Fund, which provides college education to the children of Special Operations personnel killed in combat or training.


Congratulations to Phil Vassar, one of the classiest and nicest

people in country music. "In a Real Love," the first single off of

his new CD, "Shaken Not Stirred," is No. 1 on this week's Billboard

country chart.


It has been announced that LeAnn Rimes will host the third season of "Nashville Star," the televised talent contest that launched the

careers of Buddy Jewell and Brad Cotter. Auditions for the show began this week and will continue through January. The closes audition to this area will be in Detroit on Nov. 22.

The contest is open to those 18 and older. For more information, go


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