CMA

LHJ / CMT Do Good Volunteer Day at Second Harvest

June 16, 2011 at 9:15 am , by

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Crystal Bowersox and Brian Walker at Second Harvest.

For the second year in a row, Ladies’ Home Journal kicked off CMA Music Festival week by hosting a volunteer afternoon at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. This year, though, the afternoon also served as a kickoff for our brand spankin’ new partnership with CMT One Country. Click here to read about how our partnership’s Do Good Rewards program can lead to you winning a trip to the CMT Music Awards in Nashville next year!)

We had some amazing musical talent lending us their muscles and elbow grease for the afternoon, including Steel Magnolia, Jimmy Wayne, Crystal Bowersox, Carter’s Chord, Margaret Durante and Coldwater Jane. Along with reps from both LHJ and CMT, these artists donated some of the very little free time they had during their frenetic week to sweat alongside us prepping supplies for Feeding America‘s BackPack program, which was designed to meet the needs of hungry kids at times when other resources aren’t available (such as weekends and school vacations). By the afternoon’s end, our volunteers had prepped 2,107 bags of food for the program! At the CMT Awards the next night, other musical acts signed some symbolic bags to be auctioned off to raise more funds for the program, to which CMT makes a generous donation in lieu of those pricey artist gift bags other awards shows usually give out.

To keep the spirit of our volunteer afternoon alive, LHJ and CMT are now partnering up for a Do Good Summer Virtual Food Drive. If you’re able, we’d love it if you could contribute to it, which will then in turn provide much needed food to programs such as the BackPack effort. Any amount is greatly appreciated. Of course, if you’d like to volunteer at a Feeding America food bank, that’s another great way to do good and make a difference. As you can see from the slideshow below (with Carter’s Chord’s “Love a Little Bigger” as a musical background), our volunteer afternoon was a lot of hard work but also a lot of fun. Click here to find the nearest food bank in your area. Be sure to let us know how it goes!

For more pictures from our volunteer event, additional info on the BackPack program and stats from Second Harvest, read on after the jump.

All photos by John Russell.

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Country Spotlight: Joe Nichols

July 21, 2010 at 11:14 am , by

He may have scored big with the success of his chart-topping country single “Gimmie That Girl,” but Joe Nichols certainly knows what we here at Ladies’ Home Journal have been touting on our cover for years: “Never underestimate the power of a woman.”

“Absolutely! I agree with that motto because I’ve seen it first-hand,” Nichols told me when we met during this year’s CMA Music Festival down in Nashville. The deep-voiced singer was gearing up to perform at his official fan club party at the Country Music Hall of Fame when he revealed that the most powerful lady in his eyes is his wife, Heather Singleton. “She’s a very strong woman. She’s tough as nails,” says the Arkansas-born singer, who’s been open about his past substance abuse treatment and Heather’s role in helping him to face his demons. “I’ve seen her take a very impossible situation—me—and work with it. She’s actually tough enough to look me in the face and say, ‘No, you’re not going to get away with that.’ So intestinal fortitude—she’s got a lot of it. And I think a lot of my success, especially my latter success, is because of her.”

If that’s true, Heather just might be Nichols’ lucky charm. “Gimmie That Girl,” off his Old Things New CD, dominated the top position on country radio earlier this year for three consecutive weeks, helping to land him guest appearances on The Tonight Show and The View. And Nichols’ gut tells him that his new brand new single, “The Shape I’m In,” is ready to climb the charts as well. “It feels like a good song,” he says. “I listen to it and think, I would buy a record because of this song. The lyric is a very likable lyric that doesn’t offend anybody. It’s about a guy that comes out of a breakup and says, you know, I’m hanging in there, I’m doing alright and getting better.” It doesn’t hurt that the single is written by the same team—Rhett Atkins, Dallas Davidson and Ben Hayslip—that penned its chart-topping predecessor. “The combination is there again for more success,” says Nichols. “Hopefully the fans react the same way.”

Have you heard “The Shape I’m In” yet? Think it’ll be as big as “Gimmie That Girl”? Either way, read on after the jump to find out Nichols’ takes on LHJ’s Can This Marriage Be Saved? column, fellow country artist David Nail’s baseball skills, his fertility-treatment hijinks and his message to anyone that couldn’t make it down to see him at CMA’s Music Festival.

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