Dolly recognized for fundraising after wildfires

May 17, 2019 GMT

NEW ALBUM: Oklahoma native Vince Gill will pay homage to his home state with the release of his new album, Okie, on Aug. 23. The album’s title is taken from the once-derogatory term used to disparage migrants from Oklahoma to the nation’s west coast during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression eras. A proud Oklahoman, Vince has appropriated this term on an album that embraces his roots and explores some of the most important issues of our time. Vince wrote or co-wrote every song on the 12-track album. Okie marks Vince’s most recent solo album since 2016′s Down To My Last Bad Habit. The new album is available for pre-order now.


VIDEO SERIES: Brett Young is releasing a new video series, Acoustic Sessions, that features stripped-down performances of songs from his recent sophomore album, Ticket to L.A. The first installment teams Brett with Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley for a performance of “Here Tonight,” which the tandem co-penned with Ben Caver and Justin Ebach. The tune reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart in April. ”‘Here Tonight’ is about those moments, if you’re lucky enough to have them in your life, that are so good that you wish they could last forever,” Brett says. “It’s very light— intentionally—and sonically it’s very upbeat. That doesn’t exist as much on the first album, so I wanted to showcase a bit more versatility this time around.”

NEW BABY: Chris Stapleton and wife Morgane welcomed their fifth child on Sunday, according to a post on Morgane’s Instagram page. Morgane didn’t provide any details regarding the baby’s sex or name, but she did share a photo of the newborn’s hand intertwined with hers and the caption: “The most perfect Mother’s day...I wish all you Mama’s the happiest of days today!” Chris and Morgane welcomed twin boys in April 2018. The couple also has two additional children, a boy and a girl around ages 6 and 8.

AWARD: Dolly Parton was recently recognized by the FBI with their 2018 Director’s Community Leadership Award for her fundraising efforts following the 2016 Smoky Mountain wildfires. When wildfires devastated Sevier County in East Tennessee in November 2016, Dolly was quick to act. In an effort to raise funds for the families affected, Dolly held a telethon—Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund—on December 13. The telethon raised millions of dollars for Dolly’s My People Fund, which began distributing checks in the amount of $1,000 each month to 884 families whose primary residences were completely destroyed due to the fires. Thanks to her fundraising efforts, Dolly was able to provide each family with an extra $5,000, which brought the total assistance to $10,000 per family.

Julie Reeves is the midday host on Big Buck Country 101.5. Also contributing is Bill Cornwell.