(CMT Hot Dish is a weekly feature written by veteran columnist Hazel Smith. Author of the cookbook, Hazel’s
Hot Dish: Cookin’ With Country Stars, she also hosts CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks With Hazel Smith and shares her
recipes at CMT.com.)
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney appeared in a video segment that opened the recent CMT Music Awards. It was easy for me to see who I would vote for. I hope the
rest of America is as sure of themselves as I am.
took home two trophies at the awards show, including video of the year for “Good
Girl.” She and Brad Paisley shared the collaborative video of the
year award for “Remind Me.” Other winners
included Jason Aldean, Lady
Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Scotty
McCreery and Thompson Square.
But when the male video honor
went to Luke Bryan for “I
Don’t Want This Night to End,” it appeared that he’d done some rabbit hunting in his lifetime. So much so, in fact, he
hopped all the way to the stage like a Georgia rabbit.
I laughed when Willie
Nelson, Zac Brown, Toby
Keith, Jamey Johnson and Darius
Rucker sang “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.” Five powerful men singing one powerful song. Good show, CMT. Real good
Darius can pass as Hootie the Blowfish or Darius Rucker. He raised $121,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research
Hospital. Raising that much money, I think we can simply call him Mr. Wonderful.
Jamey traveled to Austin for the Matthew
McConaughey/Camila Alves wedding. The 25 expected guests turned out to be more than 100. They stayed in air conditioned tents.
Show biz is grand.
Thanks to Jackie Krimmel for my CMT Music Awards tickets. My leg would not let me attend, so Jackie
allowed my granddaughter, Tara, to sit in my place.
Let me tell you about the CMA
Music Festival tickets. My friend, Clarence Spalding, manager of Rascal
Flatts, Jason Aldean, Sara
Evans, Terri Clark and others, told his best friend — Country Music
Association CEO Steve Moore — that I needed a couple of tickets. Early one morning, I answered the phone. It was Steve informing
me when I needed anything from the CMA to call him.
God gives me the greatest friends — friends like Clarence and
Steve. I’m truly blessed.
“Do you need tickets now?” asked Steve.
“Not now,” I replied. “My friend Brad Paisley
and [Brad’s band member] Kendal Marcy found a couple of tickets for me.”
Scott Stem and Maria Eckhardt at the CMA originally
got a couple of music fest tickets for me before they started distributing tickets. Thanks Clarence, Steve, Brad, Kendal,
Scott, Maria — and God, from whom all blessings flow.
That isn’t all. My oldest grandson, Adam Smith, was awarded
press packets for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival by Big Hassle Media. Adam attended the event in Manchester, Tenn.,
went to press conferences, watched the concerts, took notes and interviewed artists for me.
Young people such as Adam
like Chris Thile, the former Nickel
Creek singer-mandolinist who now plays with the Punch Brothers. Chris impressed Adam when he said, “Fans come to Bonnaroo
to listen to the music, not just here to party.”
said she was honored to be up there onstage with acts like Kenny Rogers
and Ben Folds. Sarah said she grew up in and around festivals in Texas.
“The great part of Bonnaroo is that it’s multigenre,”
Kenny Rogers joked, “I attribute my success at Bonnaroo to child abuse. Parents listen to me when children
are young — especially the singalongs.”
He continued, “People clap to be nice, do not laugh to be nice. Even if they
don’t like my music, it’s good to make them laugh. At festivals back in the ’60s, people were so stoned, they didn’t know
what was happening. They didn’t listen to the music. I enjoy listening to the music. Who wouldn’t be happy having a music
career for 50 years? I’ve had a 50-year career. I used to play golf with Alice Cooper twice a week. He’s here at Bonnaroo.
It’s fun to play for an audience that doesn’t know you.”
Stringdusters! Full house to see this band. Fans were dancing. Great reception. Fans loved the old-time songs.
great Sam Bush! Adam saw Sam standing backstage and just had to speak to him.
When he introduced himself as “Hazel’s grandson,” Sam said, “You’re Billy’s son, aren’t you? … How’s Hazel? I love me some
There was a small but enthusiastic crowd when Sam and his band began playing. By their third song, though,
the place was packed. One of the songs was a tribute to Earl Scruggs.
Sam’s music, like Earl’s, has unseen boundaries.
The Punch Brothers attracted a large, weather-beaten crowd during
the hottest part of the day — with no shade. The crowd was mostly sitting with a small, dedicated group standing and dancing
as the band played their intricate, jazz-like songs.
Jarosz’s appearance on Sunday was to a grizzled yet enthusiastic
crowd. She played the claw-hammer banjo on “Do You Think of Me” and had sign language interpreters. Her mandolin instrumental,
“Mansinneedof,” was a huge hit with the crowd. She was just great.
Kenny Rogers faced a multiage crowd when he walked
onstage and opened with “Love or Something Like It.” He still has his voice to sing.
“Bonnaroo and Kenny Rogers,” he
said to the crowd. “What’s wrong with that? I belong here!” Surprise guest Lionel
RichieRichie came onstage and sang “Lady” with Kenny. It don’t get no better than that. That’s what so great about Bonnaroo.
Guests join in with whoever is performing.
Adam says he will be back at the festival next year. It is truly a blessing
in disguise when grandkids do chores for you when you cannot do it on your own.
Kenny Chesney Stars in ESPN Commercial
Kenny Chesney takes center stage in ESPN’s latest “This Is Sports
Center” commercial. Special guests include two Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and several team mascots — Pistol Pete from Oklahoma
State University, Smokey from the University of Tennessee, Miles from the Denver Broncos and Hook ‘Em from the University
Kenny and Tim McGraw played before a total of almost 100,000 fans recently in Dallas and Kansas City, Mo.
Fans were dancing in Dallas, where guests included Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (who played
football at the University of Tennessee) and former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman. All three joined Kenny to sing “The Boys
Miley Cyrus Is Engaged
Nineteen years old, Miley
Cyrus is wearing a 3½ carat diamond engagement ring. Billy Ray’s
daughter is engaged to 22-year-old actor Liam Hemsworth. We wish Miley the best. It does not seem like 19 years have come
and gone since former Mercury Nashville publicist Sandy Neese called to let me know Billy Ray had a baby daughter and was
thrilled beyond words.
Faith Hill, Eric
Church and others performed at one of the CMA Music Festival’s nightly concerts at Nashville’s LP Field while Brad Paisley,
Miranda Lambert, The Band Perry, Chris
Young and Jerrod Niemann were at Wrigley Field in Chicago, where
38,000 fans turned out. “I love this town,” said Brad as he thanked Chicago.
Carrie Underwood told a U.K. newspaper
she backs gay marriage. The country star, a devoted Christian and a married woman, allows everyone has the right to love.
Eric Church’s “Springsteen” single is platinum and his
Sinners Like Me album is gold.
Rascal Flatts and songwriters Tony Martin, Wendell Mobley and Neil Thrasher
celebrated their No. 1 hit, “Banjo,” that was produced by the ever-wonderful
Remembering Frances Preston
Preston was the first female executive in Nashville. She put BMI on the map in Music City then she put BMI on the national
map. She was always beautiful. She made women want to dress up — wear hose and heels and suits. I saw Frances last August
at the SOURCE banquet. She was stunning. She died Wednesday (June 13) at 4 a.m. in her home in Nashville. Frances Preston
was a great lady. She was the best Nashville ever had.
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week:
Hash Brown Potato Casserole.