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    Unsuspecting Oilfield Worker Skyrockets To Fame With National Radio Debut

    Some people work for years to get the break that Heath Sanders has been given. Three weeks ago, Country Rebel discovered a video of Sanders singing Chris Stapleton’s “Either Way.” The video was shared, and shared…and shared some more. The result? Sanders became a household name and one of the first internet superstars of 2018.

    By day, Heath Sanders is a Field Operator for Southwestern Energy in central Arkansas. By night he’s a singer and a songwriter. According to his social media pages, Sanders stays busy singing in small venues near his Arkansas home and seems to be content doing so, until the opportunity of a lifetime came his way.

    A few days after Country Rebel released Heath’s video, his cover reached “The Most Powerful Man in Country Music,” Bobby Bones. Also an Arkansas native, Bones reached out to Heath and extended an invitation for him to travel to Nashville to sing live in the studio his nationally syndicated radio talk show.

    On Friday morning (February 23), Heath appeared on the Bobby Bones Show where he performed for an all-star panel of Music City executives that included Brian Wright (Executive VP of A&R at Universal Music Group), Lauren Thomas (Director of National Promotion at Sony), and Kristian Bush (singer, songwriter, producer and half of the country duo Sugarland). Bobby gave Heath the opportunity to perform two songs, a cover and an original, and receive critique from the panel. While Heath knocked both songs out of the park, it was his original tune called “Bloodline” that has the internet buzzing.

    Co-written by Heath and his good friend Jamie Jones, “Bloodline” is an anthem for hard-working men and women everywhere who work tirelessly to leave a legacy. The song struck a cord with the radio audience as well as the in-studio panel.

    “You definitely need to do this for a living. If you’ve got the courage for it, you should do this for a living,” Kristian Bush told Sanders. “I would just say, take this exact opportunity that you’re sitting in in this moment….and do this. If it doesn’t work out in five or six months? Fine. Go do something else. It would be a disservice to your voice not to do this.”

    So, what’s next for Heath Sanders? First on his agenda is getting into the studio to record “Bloodline” so that he can meet the demands of people wanting to buy it. Time will tell what will happen next for Heath Sanders. His journey has been unconventional in many ways, but we’re thrilled that it all started here.

    Hear Heath Sanders sing “Bloodline” below. To hear more from Heath and to keep up with his budding career, click here.

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    Brad Paisley Hands Mic To 9-Year-Old Boy…And He Steals The Show

    Country stars always seem to get a kick out of inviting their fans to join them on the stage at their concerts. Often, they’re surprised by the talent they find in their audience, as many fans are pretty accomplished singers and musicians themselves.

    It’s the younger country fans that seem to surprise artists the most, as kids just a few years old jump up on stage and confidently sing every word of a song. That’s exactly what happened at Brad Paisley‘s concert in Glendale, Arizona on January 27.

    A video from the concert shows Brad sharing the stage with a young boy, who introduced himself as Vedder. Vedder told Brad that he is nine years old, and made it clear that he’s a huge fan of his music.

    Since Vedder is such a big fan, Brad decided to let him take over the stage for a little bit. He knelt down beside him and started tuning up his guitar for a song, then handed off the microphone to Vedder once he was done.

    Brad began playing the opening notes to one of his newest songs, “Last Time for Everything.” The tune was released as the second single off of Brad’s 2017 album Love and War, and climbed as high 19th spot on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

    Even though it’s a newer song, Vedder seems to know every word to “Last Time for Everything.” He made that clear when he joined Brad for the song, as he took complete command without missing a beat. In fact, Vedder was all prepared to keep on singing when Brad started playing a little ditty to wrap things up!

    Once they finished, Brad gave Vedder a special gift so he could always have something to remind them of their performance. Much to the young boy’s delight, Brad removed his guitar from around his neck and handed it to him, saying, “Take that.”

    Of course, Brad signed the guitar for Vedder before he dashed back to his parents, who were watching proudly near the side of the stage. “Learn some more songs so I don’t have to do this anymore. You can just come up here,” Brad said as he sent Vedder on his way.

    With a little bit of practice, we have complete faith that Vedder could be a country star some day as well! He certainly has the confidence for it! Check out his performance with Brad in the clip below.

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    Blake Shelton And ‘Voice’ Star Honor Kenny & Dolly With ‘Islands In The Stream’

    A talented young Voice finalist was joined on stage by coach Blake Shelton for a winning performance of classic country song “Islands in the Stream.” Emily Ann Roberts was joined on stage by her coach, Blake, in the finale of the ninth season in this tribute to Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

    “Islands in the stream that is what we are,” the two sing together in perfect unison. “No on in between, how can we be wrong?”

    “Islands in the Stream” was released in 1983 and was the power duo’s second No.1 hit released together. Dolly and Kenny’s duet destroyed the charts all over the world hitting No.1 in the U.S., Australia, Austria, and Canada.

    The Voice contestant, only 17-years old at the airing of the season, has a voice to be reckoned with and the charm to match. Shelton and Roberts definitely put their all into their masterful performance, inevitably going on to help Roberts earn second place in NBC’s hit singing competition.

    Watch their rendition of “Islands In The Stream” below.

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    Iraq War Veteran Stuns on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ with Toby Keith’s ‘American Soldier’

    For fans of Dancing With The StarsSeason 20 was a favorite for many reasons. The main one being that it featured an extraordinary man named Noah Galloway, a former United States Army soldier.

    Some may have heard about his story prior to his stint on the show, but some didn’t. Either way, fans were moved by his performances week after week. Galloway was severely injured when he came in contact with an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) ultimately costing him the majority of his left arm and a large portion of his left leg.

    After his severe injuries and departure from the Army, Galloway went on to pursue a career as a fitness trainer, defying all odds, especially with the injuries he sustained. His career led him to various modeling appearances, as well appearing on multiple television shows, including The Ellen Show.

    In 2015, Galloway was asked to compete on the ballroom dance series Dancing With The Stars and was paired with incredibly talented professional dancer Sharna Burgess. Together, the duo went on to place third, despite the psychical obstacles that some viewers believed would keep Galloway from persevering.

    While the duo’s dances continued to inspire viewers week after week, it was a contemporary number set to Toby Keith’s “American Soldier” that ultimately brought light to Galloway’s emotional journey and heroic past.

    Galloway, with Burgess at his side, showcased his undying will to succeed through his incredible
    emotional strength and stamina, regardless of the doubts that had initially been cast his way.

    They closed the powerful performance, with Galloway placing his hand over his heart and Burgess embracing him. Moments later, they were both visibly overwhelmed with emotion. Calling the performance “profound,” the awestruck judges praised Galloway for his ability to say so much while attempting so little, in addition to his incredible spirit that remains, to this day, unbroken.

    Thanks to this dance, Galloway reminded us that obstacles are intended to be overcome and that we determine our own barriers and limitations. You can view this beautiful dance and tribute below.

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    Brooks & Dunn’s Touching Hit ‘Believe’ Continues To Inspire & Fill Hearts With Hope

    While Brooks & Dunn may primarily be known for more upbeat tracks such as “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” and “Only in America,” the duo has recorded songs with all sorts of tempos and themes. One song, titled “Believe,” relies heavily on the theme of faith, and country fans felt an instant connection to it.

    “Believe” was written by Ronnie Dunn and Craig Wiseman and was released in 2005 as the second single off of Brooks & Dunn’s album Hillbilly Deluxe. The song is told from the perspective of a man reflecting back on his childhood and the time he spent with his neighbor Old Man Wrigley.

    During their visits, Old Man Wrigley told the young boy about the hardships and tragedies he had faced in his life. After going through such tough times, Old Man Wrigley said that he found the will to keep going thanks to his faith and the belief he would one day see his loved ones in heaven.

    The boy grew up and moved away from home, only to learn from his mother that Old Man Wrigley had passed away. His death made him reflect on the friendship they shared, prompting him to say that “If there was ever anybody deserved a ticket to the other side, it’d be that sweet old man…

    In the end, the man ends up processing his own relationship with his faith. He reveals that he is beginning to find more meaning in his faith, and ends the song by proclaiming “I believe.

    The touching song resonated with a large majority of Brooks & Dunn’s fans. It made its way to the eighth spot on the Hot Country Songs chart and also made a showing on the Billboard Hot 100 at the 60th spot.

    Today, the message behind “Believe” continues to inspire all who listen to it. Tune in to its official music video below and let it fill your heart with hope. 

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    Why Nobody Talks About This NASCAR Track Anymore

    An iconic part of NASCAR’s massive history is being left in the dust after helping the sport become one of the biggest parts of American auto racing.

    Opened more than 70 years ago, this unforgettable track and huge part of stock car history has been completely forgotten about and is crumbling – literally.

    An important building block in NASCAR‘s massive empire, North Wilkesboro Speedway first opened its doors way back in the late 1940s – when the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing first got its start. The track was shuttered in 1996 after a final Winston Cup Series race was held there – the winner being Jeff Gordon.

    The track was one of NASCAR’s most unique and featured an uphill backstretch and downhill front-stretch, measuring a total of 0.625 miles, but the roots of this infamous track weren’t initially set in NASCAR, but rather in the early days of Prohibition where it was a dirt oval used by moonshiners to test their liquor cars.

    Opened as a dirt raceway in 1947, the iconic France family promoted the first official event as a modified race, and blew the roof off of attendance expectations, reeling in more than three times the crowd they had planned for.

    Continuing on as one of the foremost speedways in NASCAR, North Wilkesboro eventually was paved and updated with grandstands and other more modern amenities. It hosted the top series, NASCAR’s Winston Cup for a total of 93 races until its closure in 1996.

    The historic track reopened in 2010 for a few smaller Stock Car Series races, but shut down in the spring of the following year. When North Wilkesboro Speedway first shut down, it was due to a number of issues including the massive growth of NASCAR as a whole, and the size of the track. Other factors, like economics behind upgrading it with newer amenities and repairs, also factored into the closure.

    The North Wilkesboro Speedway rarely has been talked about in the decades since the Winston Cup left it in the dust, but it remains one of the most pivotal tracks in the history of the sport. Nobody talks about the North Wilkesboro Speedway, or the history behind it, because it’s only become a massive wasteland of abandoned asphalt and long-forgotten memories.

    Watch the videos below that show some of the sides never seen to this truly amazing racetrack.

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    Flashback: Charlie Daniels Performs “Devil Went Down To Georgia” For The First Time

    Nearly 40 years ago, and on the fifth anniversary of Charlie Daniels Band’s annual concert, Volunteer Jam, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” made its world premiere…

    In 1979 at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium, Charlie Daniels Band was on stage going through their set list when Charlie Daniels said to the crowd,

    “Here is a song we just finished writing and recording and we are going to do it for the very first time in public tonight…This is called ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’.”

    And with that, Daniels swiftly picks up his fiddle and begins sawing away.

    The song would be commercially released later that year on their record Million Mile Reflections and would go on to see the No. 1 chart position in multiple countries. As is traditional with classic country and bluegrass music, the lyrics tell a story throughout the song. This track, in particular, is closer to being spoken than sung in a majority of the verses.

    In this truly amazing piece of art, the Charlie Daniels Band not only tells a story with the lyrics but with the music as it changes depending on what’s happening in the story. It also showcases Daniels’ incredible fiddling talent which also serves as the premise for the tale.

    Watch the inaugural performance of Charlie Daniels Band’s super-hit in the video below!

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    14-Year-Old Carrie Underwood Amazes Crowd With Martina McBride’s ‘A Broken Wing’

    Carrie Underwood first snagged her breakthrough to stardom back on Season 4 of American Idol in 2005. A fan-favorite from the start, Underwood went on to win her season and quickly established herself as one of the leading voices in country music.

    While the majority of Underwood’s fan base was first established during her Idol days, she was singing long before then. As you can see in the throwback video below, she was basically born to be a star.

    Filmed in 1998, this video shows a 14-year-old Underwood appearing at the Miss Westark Pageant in Fort Smith, Arkansas. But Underwood wasn’t competing that day…she was the guest performer!

    Underwood opted to perform a song that had been a big hit just a year prior. The song was none other than Martina McBride‘s “A Broken Wing,” which was released in September 1997.

    “A Broken Wing” soared to the top spot on the Billboard Hot Country songs chart following its release. It was also a crossover success, as it reached the 61st spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

    Since “A Broken Wing” was a new song at the time Underwood sang it at the Miss Westark Pageant, it still would have been fresh in the audience’s mind. Anyone who has heard the song knows that it isn’t an easy one to sing, as it showcases an extensive range.

    But as we well know about Underwood, she has no problem reaching the highest of high notes. The same was the case even at the young age of 14, and she proved that by allowing her voice climb up to the high notes with ease.

    In addition to nailing the technical aspect of the song, Underwood also had the emotional connection down pat. With a song like “A Broken Wing,” it’s that emotional connection that can make or break a performance. Clearly, Underwood made hers.

    Tune in below to watch a young Underwood dazzle a crowd with her radiant rendition of “A Broken Wing.” Watching this, it’s no wonder why she became one of country music’s biggest stars!

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    Roger Miller’s ‘King Of The Road’ Earns A Smooth-As-Honey Tribute From Trace Adkins

    Out of Roger Miller‘s immense catalog of music, he is perhaps best known for the 1964 single “King of the Road.” Written by Miller himself, the song tells the tale of a hobo who travels from place to place. 

    Even though he’s poor, the hobo realizes that he’s as rich as he can be. He has the freedom to go wherever he wants whenever he wants, making him feel like he is the “king of the road.”

    Audiences reacted well to the song that has now become known as Miller’s signature tune. The song climbed to the top spot on the charts in several countries, and also broke into the top five on the Billboard Hot 100.

    The song also received the Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1965, along with four other awards. Decades later, the song remains a beloved part of country music history.

    In 2006, Cracker Barrel hosted a Country Songs of the Year concert to honor great works such as “King of the Road.” Since Miller passed away in 1992, country superstar Trace Adkins stepped up on stage to sing the song in tribute to him.

    Adkins delivered a smooth-as-honey rendition of the song, with his deep voice flowing through each word. Beyond the pure sound of his voice, we have to commend Adkins for how well he told the song’s story. His storytelling abilities were showcased to the highest degree in this performance, making it an extreme joy to watch.

    Seriously, just close your eyes, hit play on the video below, and find yourself lost in Adkins’ story of “The King of the Road.” Miller would be proud. 

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    Lynn Anderson Dazzles With Sensational ‘Rose Garden’ Performance

    While country legend Lynn Anderson had quite a long career in the country music industry, beginning in 1966 all the way until her death in 2015, her most well-known song is her 1970 hit “Rose Garden.”

    The song, which was written by Joe South in the mid-1960s, stayed at the top of the Billboard country chart for five weeks. It also reached the Top Five on the Hot 100 pop chart, making it one of the most successful country crossover songs of all time.

    “Rose Garden” won Anderson a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and it won South two Grammys for Best Country Song and Song of the Year.

    Performing on Play It Again Nashville in 1985, Anderson sang her signature song for the adoring audience. She proved that although it had been 15 years since her song hit No. 1, she hadn’t skipped a beat!

    Wearing a blouse covered in sparkles, Anderson walked about the stage dazzling the audience with her incredible talent. Watch her performance below.

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