Two-wheeling with Ty Murray

By the time Ty Murray retired from professional bull riding, in 2002, the last thing he ever thought about doing with his spare time was traveling. He packed up his bull riding gear for the last time, in Billings, Montana, and went back home to Stephenville, Texas, where Murray and those who knew him best figured he’d spend as much time as he could working on his 2,400 acre ranch.

He and his best friend Cody Lambert had driven and flown hundreds of thousands of miles from one pro rodeo to another and eventually crisscrossed the country after co-founding the PBR with 18 other bull riders; so the cowboys had seen more than their share of truck stops and airports.

For Murray, it was time to settle down and become more of a rancher than a rodeo athlete, who had become widely known as the “King of the Cowboys” during his years of riding bulls, saddle broncs and bareback bucking horses. At that point, he was done and the transition to the next chapter of his life was an easy process. Continue reading “Two-wheeling with Ty Murray”

Jewel pulls together ‘Pieces’ of past in new memoir, music

Jewel Kilcher has always found writing to be “incredibly healing.”

As a young girl growing up in Alaska, she kept a journal and began writing poems. Then came songwriting. In recent years, she’s been rather open on social media about the trials and tribulations of her life.

While her willingness to share seems to have come naturally, she said it was a “learned skill.”

In a candid conversation with The Tennessean, she recalled lying and stealing at a young age and how writing was a way to keep from “losing herself” in what she called the “unhappiness of it all.” Continue reading “Jewel pulls together ‘Pieces’ of past in new memoir, music”

Jimmy Carter signs books Thursday in Nashville

In former President Jimmy Carter’s latest book — his 29th — the Plains, Ga.-native takes an intimate look back at personal events from throughout his life in the aptly titled “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety.”

His newest memoir was released on July 7, the same day he and his wife Rosalynn celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary and, not coincidentally, he writes about their relationship with as much candor as he does his relationships with other former presidents and world leaders. Continue reading “Jimmy Carter signs books Thursday in Nashville”

Johnny Cash’s ‘Legacies’ as a father live on

Like his father, Johnny Cash often snacked on peanuts.

For much of his adult life, he would regularly sprinkle a handful of them on his father’s grave whenever he had a chance to visit after Ray Cash’s death in 1985.

In the nearly 12 years since Johnny Cash died in 2003 at the age of 71, his only son, John Carter Cash, has done the same at the site that marks his own father’s final resting place.

A few times a year, including Father’s Day, the younger Cash pays his famous father a visit and leaves behind a few peanuts for the Man in Black.

“On a special day, once in a while — just a couple times a year because he ain’t in there, to put it in a Southern way, he’s just not in there — anyway I go leave peanuts on his grave,” said John Carter Cash, leaning back on a kitchen chair and gazing at the ceiling at his Cash Cabin Studios in Hendersonville.

“People go to his gravesite and leave all kinds of things, and if anybody ever sees a few little peanuts, that’s me or my sisters.” Continue reading “Johnny Cash’s ‘Legacies’ as a father live on”


“People still can’t figure out what to call the music we do,” said Brian ‘Rooster’ King, looking at his longtime collaborator Clay ‘Uncle Snap’ Sharpe. “We just get in there and write about what we want.”

Sharpe nodded in agreement before comparing The LACS latest and most radio-friendly album Outlaw in Me to a mix CD of their favorite music burned on a laptop.

The duo has been together since 2000 and Outlaw, which is their fifth album since signing with Average Joe’s Entertainment, is a watershed effort from The LACS that sonically broadens their musical scope and blends together every genre from traditional country and southern rock to rap and spoken word. Continue reading “The LACS”

Montgomery Gentry rock Cowboy Spring Break

At the onset of the 2000s there were two constants in the burgeoning career of Montgomery Gentry.

They earned the first of 11 consecutive Vocal Duo of the Year nominations from the Country Music Association and Top Vocal Duo by the Academy of Country Music. There was also a string of performances in Las Vegas every October in conjunction with the PBR World Finals.

“We used to be, I reckon, their head band,” said co-founder Eddie Montgomery. “We used to play the event every year in Las Vegas every October. We used to hang out with them guys a bunch. Knew them all.” Continue reading “Montgomery Gentry rock Cowboy Spring Break”

Coleman ready for Unfinished Business

These days, Ross Coleman spends a vast majority of his waking hours chasing after his 2-year-old son Crece and chauffeuring his 5- and 7-year-old sons – Cruse Lee and Cooper Teague – from T-ball to baseball and basketball to pee wee football.

There are also junior rodeos on the weekends.

It’s a full schedule for Coleman, 36, and his wife Amy.

“They are nonstop wide open,” said Coleman, who admitted life is a lot more mentally and physically demanding than before he retired from the PBR midseason in 2011. Continue reading “Coleman ready for Unfinished Business”

Nashville Film Fest helps female filmmakers find audience

When it comes to the gender gap in filmmaking, the numbers speak for themselves.

According to the New York Film Academy, only 9 percent of all film directors are women, while a recent study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University indicated that between 2012 and 2014, the number actually fell to 7 percent.

Only four women — Lina Wertmuller (“Seven Beauties,” 1976); Jane Campion (“The Piano,” 1993); Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation,” 2003); and Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, 2009) — have ever been nominated for best director. Bigelow is the lone woman to have won a directing Oscar. Continue reading “Nashville Film Fest helps female filmmakers find audience”