Oklahoma born country stars Toby Keith and Becky Hobbs share the spotlight with renowned comedienne Kacey Jones as headliners on Nu Country TV this Saturday - December 29 - on C 31.

Keith performs historic honky tonker I Love This Bar and Hobbs reaches back even further for her version of the J D Loudermilk classic Talk Back Trembling Lips.

We also revisit Kacey Jones tribute disc San Francisco Mabel Joy for the video of the title track featuring singing actors Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Payne.

Other highlights of the show - screened on Saturday at 8 p m - include Montgomery Gentry performing their rural anthem Daddy Won't Sell The Farm and expatriate Scot Karl Broadie's version of Sleepyhead.

This week's host Heather Rutherford introduces Tamworth Golden Guitars favourite Kirsty Lee Akers on a show, repeated Monday - 4 pm, Wednesday - 3 am - Thursday at 9 am.


When Toby Keith released I Love This Bar in 2003 he was stunned when it earned a plagiarism suit.

Key West singer-songwriter Michael McCloud sued Keith after claiming the hit was stolen from his 20 year-old tune Tourist Town Bar.

The litigation by the Floridian folkie, who wrote his song in a men's room of a Key West bar in a performing break, was only dismissed recently.

"I knew it would take no time at all for it to be dismissed," says Toby, now 46 and born Toby Keith Covel in Clinton, Oklahoma.

"This means McCloud had no case whatsoever."

The singer was equally successful in another more recent lawsuit - the Covel family was awarded $2.8 million this month when patriarch H K Covel was killed on March 24, 2001, when his pick-up collided with a bus with faulty brakes.

Keith recently released a double Christmas CD on his own label - his 15th studio disc Big Dog Daddy debuted at #1 on the rock and country charts earlier in the year.

Despite 27 nominations after his self-titled disc in 1993 he has only won two CMA awards - male vocalist (2001) and video of the year (2005).

Although Keith has sold more than 24 albums and financed the Broken Bridges movie and soundtrack on his indie label Show Dog he still considers himself an underdog.

"In this community I am," said Keith who produced Big Dog Daddy - successor to his Lari White produced 2006 disc White Trash With Money.

White, a songwriter and long time recording artist, is also the wife of frequent Keith co-writer Chuck Cannon.

Toby has been named Academy of Country Music's entertainer of the year twice and recently was honoured by BMI for having his songs aired 50 million times.

"The very same two years I swept through the ACMs and had entertainer of the year twice, I was sitting on the front of the CMAs getting zero," he said.

He said he doesn't know why. "You tell me," he said. Is it because he's not liked? "I don't care; it never mattered."

Keith recently filmed a video for new single Love Me If You Can - it will air on Nu Country in the New Year.

He recently completed a script for the movie Beer for My Horses, - a #1 duet with Willie Nelson - and covered Fred Eaglesmith song White Rose on his new disc.

Keith played singer Bo Price in his first movie Broken Bridges with Kelly Preston, Lindsey Haun, Willie, Burt Reynolds, Tess Harper and Anna Maria Horsford.

The singer's 2003 album Shock'n Y'all featured his Weed With Willie - successor of sorts to the Dead Livers 1981 hit I'd Love To Have A Joint With Willie.

That album also featured social comment tunes American Soldier and The Taliban Song.

CLICK HERE for a Fred Eaglesmith interview about Toby Keith in the Diary on February 27, 2007.


Fellow Oklahoma stone country singer Becky Hobbs arrives here in January with Kacey Jones for their debut Australian tour.

The duo join an Aussie posse when they perform on Tamworth Country Music Train that leaves Geelong and Southern Cross at dawn on January 19 for the country music capital.

Becky celebrates her 58th birthday at the Family Hotel in Tamworth on January 24 before returning to Victoria.

The duo then headline a Nu Country TV concert at the Noise Bar at the Railway Hotel in Brunswick on Friday February 1.

Becky performs in a video this Saturday of the John D Loudermilk classic Talk Back Trembling Lips - out here on Best Of The Beckaroo - Part 1.

CLICK HERE for a Becky Hobbs feature from the Diary on December 15, 2007.


Becky's touring partner Kacey Jones returns to Nu Country TV with the acclaimed video of San Francisco Mabel Joy - title track of her Mickey Newbury tribute disc.

The clip features singing actors Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Payne who played Jerry Lee Lewis in the Johnny Cash movie Walk The Line.

New Mexico country star Stacey Dean Campbell, who toured here more than a decade ago with Texan troubadour Hugh Moffatt, directed the video.

Kacey, a syndicated radio personality who made her name as leader of Ethel & The Shameless Hussies in 1988, also performs in a new video with Payne for her song Lie To Me Darlin'.

We'll feature that video on our show on the eve of Kacey and Becky's Victorian tour.
Kacey also produced Pearls In The Snow - eclectic tribute disc to singing Texan crime novelist and former Gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman.

Meanwhile Kacey penned three songs for the award winning cult film Sordid Lives starring Australian singing actress Olivia Newton-John, Beau Bridges, Delta Burke and Leslie Jordan.

CLICK HERE for a Kacey Jones feature from the Diary on September 10, 2006.


Chart-topping American turbo tonkers Montgomery Gentry return to Nu Country with the video of their hit Daddy Won't Sell The Farm from their 1999 debut disc Tattoos & Scars.

It long preceded their #1 hit Lucky Man from their fifth album Some People Change.

Troy Gentry and Eddie Montgomery - brother of Kentucky star John Michael - broke Brooks & Dunn's run as best CMA duo in 2000.

They also broke animal lovers' hearts in the bizarre bow and arrow-hunting escapade that ended the life of Cubby The Bear on October 13, 2004.

CLICK HERE for details of the brown Bear's death in the Diary on January 29, 2007.

CLICK HERE for another CD review on January 9, 2005.


Expatriate Scot country singer-songwriter Karl Broadie won wide acclaim on his tour with latter day Texan troubadour Patty Griffin in October and November.

This week Broadie returns to Nu Country TV with one of the nominees in the 2008 Tamworth Golden Guitar Awards.

ABC TV Heartbreak High actress Tasneem Roc plays his love interest in the video for Sleepyhead from his third album One Million Emeralds.

Broadie, 37, was born in Edinburgh and raised in London before coming to Australia as a backpacker.

He is touring nationally with James Blundell and Nik Phillips to promote Sleepyhead - one of two train songs on his new disc.

Karl and Tasneem performed in his video in an aircraft hangar in a railway workshop in Sydney suburb Redfern.

She is not the first the Heartbreak High actor to appear in a Broadie video.

"Abi Tucker was in the clip for Long, Long Way and she was also in Heartbreak High," Broadie revealed.

"I'll keep going there for actors for my videos until we eventually get down to the extras."

CLICK HERE for a Broadie feature from the Diary on July 14, 2007.


Teenage sensation Kirsty Lee Akers is likely to be one of the not so surprising stars of the 36th Australian Country Music Awards in Tamworth.

The 2007 Starmaker winner, now 19, hails from Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley of NSW.

She performs the charming rustic video on Nu Country this week of the title track of her debut album Little Things for Compass Brothers.

Little Things entered ARIA Country charts at #7 and remained at #9 after 11 weeks.

"I've been singing all my life, on stage for the first time at three and I thought it was the most natural thing in the world to sing and enter talent quests," Kirsty revealed.

The singer, who began her Tamworth career as a busker, used her earnings to finance debut single Bashed Up, Beaten, Battered, Broken Heart.

Akers later won the Telstra Road To Tamworth talent quest and trip to Nashville that included writing with leading songsmiths.

Her Star Maker win in January landed her an album deal with Graham Thomson's Compass Brothers label.

"I'd always set my sights on Star Maker, and on making an album, but I didn't want to do that until I was signed," Kirsty added.

"Now, I have realised all three of those goals at once."

Akers new single Goin' To The Beach was released to radio in October with a new video clip due soon.

Further info - www.compassbros.com.au

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