Country Beat: Garth Brooks, Rick Nelson, Mary Chapin Carpenter ...

Brooks aims to open his home to the public; Elvis' overseers to manage Nelson's estate; Carpenter to sing for Dems.

Garth Brooks wants to convert his Nashville home, the "Blue Rose Estate," into a public attraction. A private neighborhood meeting is scheduled for Wednesday (Aug. 16) to discuss plans for the potential museum. The singer and his wife recently bought a ranch in Claremore, Okla. Such country artists as Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash and, of course, Elvis Presley have opened their homes to the public or opened museums or theme parks. ...

The children of the late country-rocker Rick Nelson have agreed to let Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) take over licensing and marketing of their father's name and image. EPE, which now runs Graceland as well as controlling all things Elvis, took control of Presley's estate in 1982, when it faced financial calamity, and made it hugely profitable. ...

Singer/songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter is scheduled to perform during the Democratic National Convention at 9 p.m. PDT Wednesday (Aug. 16). She will sing "Why Walk When You Can Fly" from her Stones in the Road album along with a 125-member choir. ...

The Wilkinsons, who have climbed the country charts with such hits as "26 Cents" and "Jimmy's Got a Girlfriend" (RealAudio excerpt), are auctioning off an Oct. 5–10 trip to the Cayman Islands. Winners will scuba dive with the group and oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau, as well as attend an acoustic performance. Yahoo! will host the auction through Thursday (Aug. 17). ...

Willie Nelson says he's going to finish his long-awaited reggae project. He and producer Don Was plan to include Ziggy Marley and members of the Wailers on the album, which Nelson hopes to finish this fall in Jamaica. ...

With this year's Farm Aid concert set for Sept. 17 in Bristow, Va., a new CD compilation, Farm Aid Live: Keep America Growing Vol. 1 (Redline), is due Sept. 12. It will highlight Farm Aid performances from 1986 to 1999. The songs to be included are: "Peach Pickin' Time Down in Georgia" by Beck & Willie Nelson, "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash, "Crash" by the Dave Matthews Band, "Copperhead Road" by Steve Earle, "City of New Orleans" by the Highwaymen, "One Time One Night" by Los Lobos, "Safe in My Arms" by Martina McBride, "Paper in Fire" by John Mellencamp, "Just Like You" by Keb' Mo', "Yellow Moon" by the Neville Brothers, "Love Letter" by Bonnie Raitt, "Now That's Country" by Marty Stuart, "It Hurt So Bad" by Susan Tedeschi, "Wrong Side of Memphis" by Trisha Yearwood, "Guitars, Cadillacs" by Dwight Yoakam, and "Homegrown" by Neil Young. ...

Pop-country singer and actress Olivia Newton-John, who climbed the country charts in the mid-1970s with hits such as "Let Me Be There" and "I Honestly Love You," will sing the theme song "Dare To Dream" with John Farnham during the opening ceremonies Sept. 15 for the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Newton-John also will carry the Olympic torch in Sydney. ...

Singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale concludes this year's final segment of the Ryman Auditorium's summer bluegrass series on Tuesday (Aug. 15) at 8 p.m. Ralph Stanley and Rhonda Vincent will appear with him at the Nashville landmark. ...

Mercury will release an album of rare demos and radio appearances by Hank Williams titled Alone With His Guitar on Sept. 19. Included are 18 songs broadcast in 1949 on radio station KWKH in Shreveport, La., when Williams was on the "Louisiana Hayride" barn dance show there. Colin Escott, co-producer of the Grammy-winning The Complete Hank Williams Box, compiled the collection. ...

Movie news: Lyle Lovett is slated to star in the upcoming film "The New Guy." The comedy marks the directorial debut of Ed Decter, who co-wrote "There's Something About Mary." ... The new movie "Space Cowboys" features two songs by Willie Nelson — "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "Young at Heart" — as well as the Chad Brock cut "Take It to the Limit." ... "Still I Long for Your Kiss," from Lucinda Williams, was included in "X-Men," and Junior Brown, whose song "Highway Patrol" is featured in "Me, Myself & Irene" (released in June), has a soundtrack cut in the upcoming movie "Ring of Fire." ...

Dwight Yoakam and Forest Whitaker are in final negotiations to co-star in the upcoming Columbia Pictures film "The Panic Room." Yoakam recently released an all-acoustic set titled Dwightyoakam.net (Justguitar@dogbone) with reworkings of such hits as "Little Sister" and "1,000 Miles" (RealAudio excerpt). ...

Jimmie Dale Gilmore will be featured on a House of Blues 24-hour video cybercast at 6 p.m. PDT on Aug. 20. ... Artist and renowned guitarist Brent Rowan, who is nominated for CMA Musician of the Year, has scheduled a rare performance Aug. 17 at the Gibson Café at Opry Mills in Nashville. Rowan has recorded with such major country and pop artists as George Strait, Shania Twain, Sting and Brian Wilson. ...

Veteran country-rocker Joe Ely is keeping a busy tour schedule this summer. After a "Mountain Stage Radio Show" taping with Asleep at the Wheel and Junior Brown on Tuesday (Aug. 8) in Charleston, W.Va., he'll perform Aug. 17 with Dwight Yoakam in Los Angeles. Ely then reunites with fellow Flatlanders Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock for a handful of dates, including Sept. 24 at the House of Blues in New Orleans. He also has been tapped, along with the Slaid Cleaves Band and the Tarbox Ramblers, to perform Oct. 27 at Rounder Records' anniversary show in Somerville, Mass. ...

The first segment of TNN's three-part special "Opry Country Homecoming" features Willie Nelson, Porter Wagoner, Kris Kristofferson, B.J. Thomas and Glen Campbell as they reminisce and jam together. The show airs Sept. 16. ...

Country comedian Cledus T. Judd has recorded a parody of Kenny Chesney's "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy." In an obvious reference to Chesney's recent arrest in New York state, Judd calls the reworked song "My Cellmate Thinks I'm Sexy." Judd has just inked a label deal with Monument. ... Sonya Isaacs is adding harmony vocals to Dolly Parton's upcoming album. The two met when Isaacs was recording her album and her producer, Vince Gill, asked Parton to add background vocals on "Healing Hands." ...

— sonicnet.com staff report