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Billy Dukes

Billy Dukes' music background includes jobs as Music Director and night DJ at WQDR 94.7 in Raleigh, N.C., writer for Recoil Magazine, a monthly out of Grand Rapids, Mich., and writer for the Kalamazoo Gazette, in Kalamazoo, Mich. The Western Michigan University graduate followed a girl to Raleigh in 2006, and wisely married her one year later. They live in northeast Wake County with their two dogs Daisy and Clementine and their son. In his free time Billy enjoys playing and watching baseball, cycling, and exploring nature.
George Jones Corn
Courtesy of The Maize Inc.
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George Jones Remembered in Two Tennessee Corn Mazes

Two corn mazes within driving distance of Nashville are paying tribute to the Possum this fall. Fans can get lost inside the likeness of country legend George Jones during Halloween season. Overhead images of both reveal an older singer in his classic performance-wear and eyeglasses.

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Jerrod Niemann
Arista Nashville
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Jerrod Niemann, ‘Drink to That All Night’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Jerrod Niemann has never sounded like anyone else on the radio, and 'Drink to That All Night' doesn't capitulate. The party anthem begins like a freight train barreling down some Blue Ridge mountaintop before introducing guitars, vocal effects and a final chorus that's made for fist-pumping.

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Little Jimmy Dickens
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Little Jimmy Dickens Returns to the Grand Ole Opry

Little Jimmy Dickens has returned to the Grand Ole Opry. The 92-year-old was absent from most Opry performances in 2013, announcing in June that he needed three weeks to recover from radiation treatments to his vocal chords. Recently, he stood in the circle once again.

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Kellie Pickler
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Kellie Pickler Show Delayed Due to Suspected Food Poisoning

The start of Kellie Pickler's weekend show in Baraboo, Wisc. was delayed as she recovered from a suspected case of food poisoning. Fans were alarmed when the singer posted a photo showing her arm with an IV in it. Later, Pickler thanked them for their "grace and understanding."

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The View
ABC
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Luke Bryan Helps YouTube Sensation Score First Kiss With ‘The View’ Host Jenny McCarthy

Luke Bryan co-hosted 'The View' last week, but YouTube sensation Tommy Woolridge stole the show. The man who famously used Bryan and other artists' lyrics to try to pick up women and failed had much better success with former Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy. Much better success.

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Dallas Davidson
Ed Rode, Getty Images
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‘That’s My Kind of Night’ Songwriter Dallas Davidson Responds to Zac Brown’s Criticism

Dallas Davidson is one of Nashville's biggest songwriters. As part of the Peach Pickers, he's helped write many of the top hits of the last five years, including Luke Bryan's 'That's My Kind of Night.' Naturally, Davidson says he took it personally when Zac Brown attacked his song.

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Scotty McCreery
Kris Connor, Getty Images
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Scotty McCreery Grabs Top Spot on ToC Top 10 Video Countdown

The streak is over! Scotty McCreery's 'See You Tonight' video has displaced 10-week champion Kellie Pickler with the new No. 1 video, as decided by fans and Taste of Country readers. That's not the only shift on the Top 10 list however. New videos from Luke Bryan and Keith Urban also make an entrance.

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Scotty McCreery, Toby Keith
Kris Connor / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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New Country Music Releases – October 2013

October is just a busy as September when it comes to new country music releases. Almost a dozen albums make this list, and that promises to change as the month progresses. Scotty McCreery and Toby Keith have two of the more highly-anticipated new albums, and everyone wants to be sure they have new music on store shelves in time for Christmas. 

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Chris Young
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Chris Young Pushed to Stretch His Style, Vocal Limits on ‘A.M.’

For Chris Young, a new album is an opportunity to push himself further both creatively and vocally. This comes with risks. It's easy to push too far and find your fans responding with criticism, or even worse, ambivalence. That doesn't seem like it's going to be a problem for this 28-year-old.

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Keith Urban, Gary Allan
Rick Diamond / Theo Wargo, Getty Images
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New Songs on the Radio – September 2013

Country radio lights up with new songs from superstars like Keith Urban and Hank Williams, Jr. in September 2013. 'We Were Us' is from Urban's new 'Fuse' album. It's a duet with Miranda Lambert that has fans buzzing even louder about the highly-anticipated project. Williams, Jr.'s 'I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink' is also a duet (and a cover). 

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