Forbes magazine released its list of the country artists that made the most money in 2013 — and Taylor Swift did not come in first.
For the second year in a row, No. 1 went to Toby Keith, who aced out runner-up Swift, $65 million to $64 million, according to Forbes.
Keith gets his bucks not only from record sales and concert revenue, but from owing his own record label, Show-Dog Universal. He also has a lucrative endorsement with his presenting tour sponsor, Ford, as well as money coming in from his I Love This Bar and Grill chain of restaurants and his brand of mescal called Wild Shot.
The rest of the top five included Kenny Chesney, who was in third place with $44 million, followed by Jason Aldean with $37 million and Luke Bryan with $34 million.
MCCARTNEY AND LED ZEPPELIN TO RELEASE EXPANDED REISSUES
Paul McCartney and Led Zeppelin are gradually reissuing early albums in an expanded format with unreleased songs and other bonus cuts.
McCartney's next two expanded rereleases, both with his band Wings, will be 1975's “Venus and Mars” and 1976's “Wings at the Speed of Sound.” The 2-CD/1-DVD sets come out Sept. 23.
“Venus and Mars” was home to his hit, “Listen to What the Man Said” (No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart), while “Speed of Sound” contained “Silly Love Songs” (No. 1 on the Hot 100) and “Let ‘Em In” (No. 1 on the adult contemporary chart).
Among the bonuses on “Venus and Mars” are “Sally G,” McCartney's pure country tune that was the B-side to “Junior's Farm” that he recorded in Nashville during the summer of 1974 with, among others, legendary bluegrass fiddler Vassar Clements. “Walking in the Park with Eloise,” is oalso on the disc. It's a Dixieland instrumental written by his father, James, recorded in Nashville that summer, but with another pair of country icons, pianist Floyd Cramer and guitarist Chet Atkins that was released under the group name The Country Hams.
Also included is McCartney's version of “Let's Love” that he wrote, arranged and produced in 1974 for Peggy Lee, which proved to be her last charting record (it hit No. 22 on the a/c chart), as well as three songs from “Cold Cuts,” a popular bootleg album collection of unreleased songs recorded between 1971-1978.
The extras on “Wings at the Speed of Sound” aren't as rich as on “Venus and Mars,” but they do include an unreleased version of that album's “Beware My Love” featuring Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, and “Wings Over Wembley” and “Wings in Venice” on the DVD.
Last month, Led Zeppelin rereleased its first three albums last month in extended deluxe formats and, of course, they sold well.
Next up, in order, is 1971's “Led Zeppelin IV” and “Houses of the Holy,” 1973. The deluxe editions will come out Oct. 28. All these reissued have been remastered and supervised by the group's guitarist, Jimmy Page.
“Zep IV,” or “Zoso” as it's also known, is one of the best-selling albums of all time, selling nearly 30 million copies here (the second best-selling album in the U.S.) and 40 million copies worldwide. It was rated No. 69 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Featured is one of most iconic songs in rock history, “Stairway to Heaven.”
“Houses of the Holy” was certified 11 times platinum in the U.S. and is ranked No. 148 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
The expanded “Zep IV” contains alternate versions of each of the album's eight tracks. The deluxe “Houses of the Holy” also contains different versions and mixes.
BOB DYLAN AND SAM MOORE COLLABORATE WITH YOUNG ARTISTS
In 2004, Kevin Secor of alt-country-bluegrass band Old Crow Medicine Show finished a partially completed Bob Dylan song, “Wagon Wheel.” The song was written and recorded in a studio in Durango, Mexico, in 1973 for his soundtrack to the Sam Peckinpah western, “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” a film in which the then-reclusive Dylan emerged to take a minor role.
Old Crow's new collaborative version appeared on its 2004 album, “O.C.M.S.” (it also appeared on a 2001 out-of-print minor-label EP).
To show his appreciation, Dylan has given Secor and Old Crow Medicine Show another “song sketch” from those sessions that they can complete. Secor tells the Nashville Tennessean that he was given about 26 seconds of tape, “in which there's a lot of giggling in the background and it just sounds like a pretty high time down in Monterey, or Durango, or wherever.”
The band sent their completed version back to Dylan, who suggested that the chorus be moved up and that a fiddle replace the harmonica part. The result is “Sweet Amarillo” that's about a cowboy's search for his sweetie. The song appears on the band's new album, “Remedy,” that came out July 1.
Sam Moore sang tenor in the legendary Stax Sound soul duo Sam & Dave, from 1961-1981, earning admission to the Rock and Roll, the Grammy and the Vocal Group halls of fame in the process due to such classics as “Soul Man” and “I Thanks You.”
The heralded 78-year-old R&B veteran has continued to stay busy. He just contributed guest vocals on bluegrass band Nu-Blu's new single, “Jesus and Jones.” The song is Moore's first performance on a bluegrass record and is a tribute to his old friend, George Jones, who died in April 2013 at age 81.
Such was the friendship between Moore and Jones that Jones personally asked him to perform at what was intended to be his final concert and what ended up becoming a massive all-star tribute concert, “Playin' Possum: The Final No Show” at Nashville's 17,117-seat Bridgestone Arena.
JOAN BAEZ'S CONCERT RESIDENCIES
At age 73, folk and pop singing legend Joan Baez, who performed in a rainstorm at Woodstock in 1969 while pregnant, is showing few signs of slowing down. Her upcoming 20-date British and European tour that begins in September includes three multi-date stands, or residencies as they're now called.
She'll camp at London's Royal Festival Hall for four nights, from Sept. 17-21, before heading up to Dublin for three shows at the Vicar Street. Then she'll hop across the channel to Paris, where she'll settle in for a six-night residency at the fabled Olympia, where The Beatles played a 20-nighter in January and early February immediately before their first U.S. visit. Her current North American tour ends this Friday at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Grass Valley, northeast of Sacramento.
DOOBIE BROTHERS GO COUNTRY
The Doobie Brothers, which formed as a biker band in 1970 in San Jose, are the latest in group of rockers and soulsters to go country. Guitarist Tom Johnston told Lagniappe Mobile the band rerecorded its hits in a country vein in a Nashville studio.
Not only are they getting help from such country artists as Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band, Chris Young and Sara Evans but Vince Gill, Hunter Hayes and former two-time CMA Musician of the Year Dann Huff on guitars. Former Doobies singer- keyboardist Michael McDonald plays on all of his Doobies songs that were hits, such as “Takin' It to the Streets,” “It Keeps You Runnin'” and “What a Fool Believes.” The album is set for a Nov. 4 release.
Steve Smith writes a new Classic Pop, Rock and Country Music News column every week. Contact him by email at Classicpopmusicnews@gmail.com.