CMA awards show will be full of local ties

Blake Shelton was among the performers at the USC Aiken Convocation Center for the 2007 Kicks 99 Guitar Pull. Shelton's Honey Bee has been nominated for CMA awards for both Music Video and Single of the Year.

The Augusta-area has ties to not one but three nominated categories of the 45th annual Country Music Association awards airing at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, on ABC.


Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are co-hosts of the awards show, this year broadcast live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

Lady Antebellum, consisting of Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, who grew up in the West Lake subdivision in Martinez, and Hillary Scott, of Nashville, is nominated again for Vocal Group of the Year.

Amazingly, the group was not nominated in the Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Single of the Year and Song of the Year categories in spite of having another big year of recording and performing success.

However, this year Blake Shelton’s song Honey Bee is nominated in both the Music Video of the Year and Single of the Year categories.

What’s interesting about that for local country fans is that it was co-written by Ben Hayslip, who grew up in Evans, and Rhett Akins, who spent summers in Evans visiting with Hayslip.

Hayslip was a four-year starter and All-State first baseman leading the Evans High School baseball team to the 1988 Georgia state championship and a No. 3 National Ranking by USA Today.

He attended Georgia Southern University, where he played baseball and was a member of the 1990 team that participated in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. He graduated from Georgia Southern in 1994 and moved to Nashville that same year.

Other hit songs he has written or co-written include Put A Girl In It by Brooks & Dunn, Gimmie That Girl by Joe Nichols, Long, Slow Kisses by Jeff Bates, All Over Me by Josh Turner and Farmer's Daughter by Rodney Atkins.

The Band Perry, who was a brand new act on the WKXC-FM Guitar Pull last year at James Brown Arena, is nominated for Single of the Year, Song of the Year, Music Video of the Year and New Artist of the Year based on its song If I Die Young.

The song was written by Kimberly Perry, who sings in the band with her two brothers, Reid and Neil.


RETURN OF ERIC LEE BEDDINGFIELD: The great country-rocker Eric Lee Beddingfield returns to Coyote’s nightclub, 2512 Peach Orchard Road, for a show at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. Cover charge is $7.

Beddingfield, an Augusta native, recently made his Grand Ole Opry debut, appearance as a guest artist performing during the 80th birthday celebration for Opry legend George Jones.

Beddingfield wrote and recorded the tribute song The Gospel According to Jones.

He’s bringing with him his guest artist Chuck Courtenay, a native of Savannah, Ga., who in 1998 won the Jimmy Dean True Value Country Showdown talent competition.

Courtenay and his brother, Jason, formed the duo The Courtenay Brothers, which was known for several years as Savannah’s top country act.


LARRY FRICK RETURNING: Also returning to Augusta is Larry Frick, a country music entertainer based in Nashville who grew up in Louisburg, N.C. He will be back at Country Club Dance Hall and Saloon at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. Cover charge is $5.


ERYN EUBANKS AT THE MORRIS: Augusta troubadour Eryn Eubanks and her Family Fold band will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, at Morris Museum of Art’s first-floor auditorium, 10th at Reynolds streets.

The concert is free as part of the museum’s Sunday concert series.

Eubanks also is gearing up for her fourth annual Music Festival, which takes place from noon to 8 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Kroc Center, 1833 Broad St.

Admission is $10 for adults and free for children 12 and younger.