George Strait sets new record with Houston concert
STRAIT BREAKS PREVIOUS RECORD: George Strait one-upped himself during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 17. With 80,108 fans in attendance at NRG Stadium, George surpassed the venue’s previous record of 80,020 attendees, which the King of Country set in 2013. This year’s performance marked George’s 30th time onstage at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. George will release his 30th studio album, Honky Tonk Time Machine, on March 29. The new album features 13 songs, including 12 originals and a cover of Johnny Paycheck’s “Old Violin.” George copenned eight of the tracks, including a duet with Willie Nelson, “Sing One With Willie.” Longtime collaboration Dean Dillon co-penned seven songs, while George’s son, Bubba, co-penned 10 tracks.
GARTH’S LEGACY COLLECTION: On Thursday, March 14, Garth Brooks sold more than 14,200 units of his upcoming vinyl boxed set, The Legacy Collection. The boxed set will feature five albums — No Fences, The Chase, In Pieces, Fresh Horses and Triple Live — available in three different packages: Analog, Remix-Remaster and Limited. Each package includes seven vinyl records. For 24 hours on March 14, fans were able to purchase all three packages — 21 vinyl records — for $100, with a personalized six-digit issue number. Garth moved more than 14,200 units (300,000 vinyl records) for sales totaling more that $1.4 million. This was the second opportunity to purchase the boxed set, which initially went on sale for 18 hours on Feb. 28. During the first run, Garth sold 20,000 units (420,000 vinyl records) for sales totaling $2 million. Garth’s The Legacy Collection has now moved more than 34,200 units (720,000 vinyl records) for sales of more than $3.4 million. The Legacy Collection ships on Nov. 1.
DOLLYWOOD: Dolly Parton visited Dollywood last week to help kick off the 2019 season at the theme park that has featured her name for more than 30 years. Dolly officially opened the season with the annual Festival of Nations (March 16–April 14), which highlights musical cultures from around the world. In addition to new headliners Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba and Drumstruck, this year’s acts include Invaders Steel Orchestra, Atahualpa, De Temps Antan and Les Grand Hurleurs. The Festival of Nation’s Passport to Food — helmed by Cuban culinary celebrity Chef Pepin — will showcase dishes from Trinidad, Canada, South Korea, Cuba, Ecuador and more. In addition to performing, Dolly announced that the park’s $37 million expansion — Wildwood Grove — will open May 10 and 11. Dolly will return to Pigeon Forge this spring for the official ceremony. Wildwood Grove will feature 11 new experiences for guests, including a new restaurant, climbing structure and roller coaster called the Dragonflier.
Julie Reeves is the midday host on Big Buck Country 101.5. Also contributing is Bill Cornwell.