Country Artist of the Week: Chris Young

(billboard.com)

Birthday: June 12th, 1985
Hometown: Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Most Popular Album: The Man I Want to Be 
Most Popular Song: "Tomorrow"
Quote: "We're like fire and gasoline. I'm no good for you, and you're no good for me."

Country Artist of the Week: Johnny Cash

(wonderingsound.com)

Birthday: February 26th, 1932 (died September 12th, 2003)
Hometown: Kingsland, Arkansas
Most Popular Album: At Folsom Prison
Most Popular Song: "I Walk the Line"
Quote: "You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space."

Country Music Facts

  1. Miranda Lambert gives back to the country music community  quite a lot and in really cool ways. She is best known for helping budding artists by giving them opportunities to record with her. For example, she enlisted the help of Lee Ann Womack's younger sister, Aubrey, to provide back up vocals on her album Platinum. Aubrey is now successfully pursuing a music career of her own. 
  2. Lambert is a strong, independent woman with lyrics and songs that make cowboys quake in their boots and cowgirls hoot and holler with pride--however, she was reduced to a nervous wreck while she waited for Carrie Underwood to respond to her request for a duet on her track "Somethin' Bad." It took Underwood a week to respond. Miranda said it was like, "a crush you didn't want to mess up."
  3. Henry Ford--the automobile mogul--put more money towards country music promotion than anyone else in the 1920s.
  4. Hollywood was considered responsible for the correlation between "western" and "country."
  5. The Nashville Sound was born in the 1950s. Owen Bradley and Chet Atkins were responsible for it when they were attempting to save country music. 
  6. Joe McCarthy--notorious anticommunist activist leader--was actually mostly responsible for how country music got its current name. It had gone through a few variations from "folk" to "hillbilly" to "old time" to "oat tunes" but McCarthy convinced the lead singer for the Weavers--Pete Seeger--to consider his music "country music" and "western music" in the name of patriotism.
  7. There's actually a lot of tension between country artists of now and from back in the day on the matter of the current genre's authenticity.
  8. According to many, the themes that can almost always be found within the genre are: "handwork, rural romanticism, good times and the struggle for love."
  9. Jimmie Rodgers, the father of country music, doesn't consider himself the father of anything aside from his three lovely daughters.
  10. In the late 1970s, the country group Exile had a number 1 disco hit called "Kiss You All Over."
  11. Dolly Parton's first top 40 Country hit was "Dumb Blonde" since then she has had nearly 100 hits.
  12. Reba McEntire was discovered at a rodeo in Oklahoma when she performed the national anthem.
  13. Tim McGraw's dad was a pro baseball player for the NY Mets.
  14. Taylor Swift was inspired by her grandmother to pursue a career in music. Her grandmother was an opera singer.
  15. Carrie Underwood was an incredibly talented softball player all throughout her education. She hasn't entirely given up the practice and still participates in non league games as well as charity events.
  16. Luke Bryan's real name is Thomas Luther Bryan.
  17. Toby Keith's hit song "I Wanna Talk About Me" was originally for Blake Shelton. However, Shelton shelved it and decided to record "Austin" instead.
  18. Miranda Lambert was originally considered more of a song writer than performer.
  19. Zac Brown opened a restaurant with his dad and named it Zac's Place. It was successful and soon bought by a larger company. With the money Zac earned from the buyout, he put together the Zac Brown Band.
  20. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is the largest popular music museum in the country.

Sources
Here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Country Artist of the Week: Shania Twain

Birthday: August 28th, 1965

Hometown: Windsor, Ontario

Most Popular Album: Come on Over

Most Popular Song: “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”

Quote: “I don’t want my body to be a distraction from my talent or my brain.”

(cmt.com)