5AM – 10 AM The Morning Drive

Start your morning with Travis Kriens weekdays from your rise and shine to your office coffee break.

Garth Brooks Helps Jimmy Kimmel Write a Country Song

ABC/Ida Mae AstuteGarth Brooks set up shop with Jimmy Kimmel Tuesday and Wednesday, sitting in with the band on Tuesday and then returning Wednesday to throw a huge block party outside Jimmy’s Hollywood studio.

But before that party went down, Garth and Jimmy appeared in a pre-recorded segment in which Garth mentored the late-night host on writing a country song. “Dig down deep for something in your past that only you would know and it’s possible that all of us can relate to it,” Garth advised.

Jimmy decided to tell the story of his friend Daniel. Daniel wanted to learn to breakdance and show off his moves, so Jimmy hired Boogaloo Shrimp, the star of the 80’s breakdance movies Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. But it didn’t quite work out, as Jimmy told Garth, “Tracked him down, I paid him $1,000, I got four dance lessons, I gave them to Daniel, Daniel called the guy, we never heard from him again.”

So went the song, which Kimmel sang as Garth accompanied him on acoustic guitar. The results were predictably funny.

Garth’s 10-disc The Ultimate Collection, which includes his latest album Gunslinger, is available now exclusively at Target. His first duets album with wife Trisha Yearwood, Christmas Together, is new in stores as well. You can pick up Gunslinger as a standalone November 25.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Love Unleashed: Martina McBride Reaches Out to Veterans on Tour

ABC/Image Group LAMartina McBride is turning her new song “We’ll Pick Up Where We Left Off” into a spotlight for U.S. servicemen and women. A touching new video for the track from Reckless is made up entirely of footage of soldiers being reunited with their loved ones. You can check it out on YouTube.

The four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year is also teaming up with the non-profit Disabled American Veterans during her Love Unleashed Tour, honoring those who serve with VIP tickets and a backstage meet-and-greet.

This Friday night, the Kansas native stops by her home turf, playing the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City with newcomers High Valley.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dolly Parton Hands Out a Scholarship to Mark Her Imagination Library's Milestone

ABC/Image Group LAFor more than 20 years, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has changed the lives of countless children by sending them free books from birth until they start kindergarten. But Tuesday night, as she brought her Pure & Simple Tour to a hometown crowd in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee,  the entertainment icon revealed she plans to mark a milestone by going a step further.

“I thought long and hard about the best way to honor our achievement of reaching a million children a month,” Dolly told the audience. “The Imagination Library is all about inspiring dreams, so what better way to pay tribute to this moment than by helping one special child pursue her college degree?”

She continued, “I’m thrilled that today I can let the world know that precious little Evey Johns from Conway, Arkansas will receive a $30,000 scholarship for the college of her choice.”

The two-year-old Evey, who’d just signed up for the Imagination Library, was chosen at random. Her scholarship money will be held in a special account until she enrolls in college. In 16 years, it’s likely to be worth close to $50,000.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Miranda Lambert Reveals the Late Holly Dunn's Impact on Her Career

ABC/Image Group LAMiranda Lambert revealed the major impact Holly Dunn had on her as a child, remembering her fellow Texas native on Facebook Wednesday morning, a day after she died at the age of 59, following a battle with ovarian cancer.

“So sad to hear about Holly Dunn passing,” the reigning ACM Female Vocalist of the Year said. “She was a big inspiration to me. By singing along with her cassette tape I learned to sing. ‘Daddy’s Hands’ was the very first song I ever learned and sang in public. I was 9-years-old. [I was in] the third grade talent show and my dad played guitar for me. She will always have a special place in my heart. Rest in Peace, Holly,” she added.

The Weight of These Wings singer also posted the cover of Dunn’s breakthrough hit, which made it to number seven in 1986.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Carrie Underwood Surprises Crystal Gayle with an Opry Invitation

Chris Hollo for Grand Ole OpryThough she frequently appears on the Grand Ole Opry and her sister Loretta Lynn has been part of the cast since 1962, Crystal Gayle isn’t actually an Opry member… but that’s all about to change.

“You are an inspiration to so many of us,” Carrie Underwood said Tuesday night, as she surprised the sold-out crowd at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium by joining Crystal on her signature song, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” “You are important to country music, and you are important to the Opry, which is why I was asked tonight to ask you if you would like to join our Opry family officially.”

“I have always felt like I was a member of the family and this is just so special,” the Paintsville, Kentucky native reacted, in her typically elegant, understated way.

Crystal actually made her Opry debut nearly half a century ago, singing the Marty Robbins/Connie Smith classic “Ribbon of Darkness” when she was just 16. She’s set to be inducted by the Coal Miner’s Daughter herself on January 21.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

George Strait Show to Stream Live from a Texas Dancehall Wednesday Night

ABC/Image Group LASince George Strait retired from the road in 2014, there have been precious few opportunities to see him play live — but there’s one coming your way Wednesday night, and you can enjoy it in the privacy of your own home.

King George and his Ace in the Hole Band will do a live show from a historic Texas dancehall on November 16, to promote his new three-disc boxed set that comes out this week. You can stream the performance live, starting at 8 p.m. ET at www.Strait.WranglerNetwork.com.

Strait Out of the Box: Part 2 will be available Friday, exclusively at Walmart.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Gwen Stefani Thanks Blake Shelton for "Kissing Me Back to Life" at "Glamour"’s Woman of the Year Awards

Getty Images via ABCGwen Stefani accepted top honors Monday night at Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards and she made sure to give her boyfriend, Blake Shelton, a sweet shout-out.

During her acceptance speech, she thanked Blake for “kissing me back to life.” Gwen said that just a year and a half ago she was “in a pool of tears” following her divorce from Gavin Rossdale.

“I was so low that I didn’t think there was any way I could pick myself back up,” she said. “And I remembered God gave me that gift [of music]. I knew I was chosen to do that. So I basically started pouring my heart into music, and music has saved my life.”

Gwen also told Entertainment Tonight that this past year has been like “someone said, ‘Hey, wake up!’ and I was like, ‘Whoa! Oh my god!'” She added, “I thought I was seeing in color, but now I’m really seeing in color. I didn’t know I was in a cocoon ready to bust out.”

She also said of Blake, “It’s incredible to have a best friend like that guy. He’s an amazing person.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Blake Shelton Goes Up Against Justin Timberlake and Beyonce at The People's Choice Awards

ABC/Image Group LAIt looks like Blake Shelton may very well be country’s man of the hour when the People’s Choice Awards are passed out next January in L.A.

Not only is the star of The Voice nominated in the all-genre Favorite Male Artist category with the likes of Justin Timberlake and Drake, his latest recording, If I’m Honest, also competes for Favorite Album against both Beyonce and Rihanna. In the country categories, Blake vies for Favorite Male with Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and Tim McGraw.

When it comes to Favorite Country Female, Hall of Famers Dolly Parton and Reba are in the running with Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Kelsea Ballerini. Nineties favorites Lonestar re-emerge in the group category, going up against Little Big Town, Florida Georgia Line, Zac Brown Band and The Band Perry.

Voting is open now, and you can vote via Facebook, Facebook Messenger or at Vote.PeoplesChoice.com.  Voting ends December 15 at midnight.  The 2017 People’s Choice Awards will air live from Los Angeles on Wednesday, January 18 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

Here are all the music nominees:

Blake Shelton
Justin Timberlake
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd
Ariana Grande
Britney Spears
The Chainsmokers
Fifth Harmony
Panic! at the Disco
Twenty One Pilots
Alessia Cara
The Chainsmokers
Niall Horan
Anti / Rihanna
Dangerous Woman / Ariana Grande
If I’m Honest / Blake Shelton
Lemonade / Beyonce
Views / Drake

Ariana Grande
Britney Spears
Justin Timberlake
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” / Justin Timberlake
“No” / Meghan Trainor
“One Dance” / Drake feat. Kyla and Wizkid“Pillowtalk” Zayn
“Work” / Rihanna feat. Drake

Blake Shelton
Keith Urban
Luke Bryan
Sam Hunt
Tim McGraw
Carrie Underwood
Dolly Parton
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Reba McEntire
The Band Perry
Florida Georgia Line
Little Big Town
Zac Brown Band

DJ Khaled
Kanye West
Kendrick Lamar
Wiz Khalifa
The Weeknd

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dierks Bentley and Cole Swindell Go Old School as They Gear Up for What the Hell Tour

ABC/Image Group LAIn just a matter of weeks, Dierks Bentley will kick off his What the Hell Tour at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. But Monday night in Music City, the “Black” hitmaker was getting back to his roots, playing Legends Corner, the honky tonk just across the street from the venue.

 “This place is an especially fun way for me and the guys to get warmed up for the show in January. That big line meant so much to me,” Dierks said of the hundreds of fans who waited to see the free show. “We love being able to take it back to the time we had no money and just played for the love of music. Wow… thanks for being part of this before we head across the street!”

The Arizona native blazed through a set inspired by his heroes —  Conway Twitty, George Jones, Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Jr., Brooks & Dunn, Sawyer Brown, John Michael Montgomery, Vern Gosdin and Alan Jackson, just to name a few — before his tourmate Cole Swindell followed suit, delivering Joe Diffie’s “John Deere Green” and Randy Travis’s “Forever and Ever Amen.”

Tickets for Dierks’ January 21 headlining date at the Bridgestone go on sale this Friday.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.