UNFORGETTABLE EPISODE OF “CMT CROSSROADS: WILLIE NELSON & FRIENDS FROM THIRD MAN RECORDS” SET TO PREMIERE SUNDAY, JUNE 23 ON CMT

05/29/13


The All-Star Birthday Bash for Nelson Features Performances by Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Norah Jones, Ashley Monroe, Leon Russell and Neil Young



NASHVILLE – May 29, 2013 – CMT celebrated Willie Nelson’s 80th birthday in Nashville recently with an all-star cast of friends for a special episode of CMT CROSSROADS: WILLIE NELSON & FRIENDS FROM THIRD MAN RECORDS, set to premiere Sunday, June 23 at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The unforgettable episode will honor the superstar’s milestone birthday as he swaps lyrics on some of his most-loved songs with Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Norah Jones, Ashley Monroe, Leon Russell and Neil Young. A long-time admirer of Nelson, Jack White kicked off the special from his Nashville studio, Third Man Records. Country music icon Nelson turned 80 on April 29, and released his latest Legacy Recordings album Let’s Face The Music And Dance on Tuesday, April 16.

The one-hour special includes some of Nelson’s biggest hits including “Crazy,” “Angels Flying Too Close to the Ground” and “Shotgun Willie;” and the entire cast joined the stage for Nelson’s widely-recognized honky-tonk hit, “Whiskey River.” During an interview session guided by Jack White, Nelson and White joined voices for an impromptu sing-a-long of “Red Headed Stranger,” which Nelson often sang to his children as a nighttime lullaby. The paired touched on subjects ranging from perhaps the most well-known guitar in country music, Trigger; to Texas dancehalls, Elvis and more.

With a six-decade career, Nelson has a catalog of more than 200 albums to his credit and is a seven-time Grammy winner. The Texas singer-songwriter earned a permanent position in pop music’s pantheon with songs that combine the sophistication of Tin Pan Alley with the rough-and-tumble grit and emotional honesty of country music. He brought pop and country together on the radio in the early 1960s with unforgettable songs like “Crazy” (Patsy Cline), “Hello Walls” (Faron Young) and others, and by the mid-1970s had become a superstar in his own right as a prime mover of a revolutionary and thriving outlaw country music scene. Nelson’s first album for Columbia Records in 1975, The Red Headed Stranger, catapulted him to stardom around the world. 2013 is shaping up as a banner year for Nelson as his memoir “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die – Musings From the Road,” published last year, recently made the New York Times’ best-seller list.

CMT CROSSROADS is produced by Tom Forrest and Kathryn Russ. John Hamlin, Margaret Comeaux and Bill Flanagan serve as executive producers for CMT. British director Sophie Muller – whose resume includes work with The Killers, Annie Lennox, No Doubt and the Eurhythmics to name a few – served as director of the special CMT CROSSROADS: WILLIE NELSON & FRIENDS FROM THIRD MAN RECORDS.
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CMT, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 92 million homes in the U.S. CMT and its website, CMT.com, offer an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and is the top resource for country music on demand. The network’s digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Pure Country, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD.


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PRESS CONTACTS:
Amanda Murphy         615-335-8408         amanda.murphy@cmt.com
Elaine Schock            818-932-0001         elaine@shockink.com


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