COUNTRY BEAT: Brooks & Dunn, Webb Pierce, Reba McEntire …

Duo cut Orrin Hatch song; Pierce tribute due; Reba sitcom gets full season.

Brooks & Dunn have recorded “Everyday Heroes,” a song written by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, for the movie “Joshua.” “This is a song about regular people making a difference on a daily basis in the world we all really live in,” said Ronnie Dunn in a statement. “Right now, I think empowering each other is a pretty good thing to do.” As of now, there are no plans to include the song on any upcoming Brooks & Dunn project. Another Hatch song, “America Rocks,” appeared in the movie “Rat Race.” Hatch attended a recent fund raiser and jam session at Dunn’s barn outside Nashville. …

Release of Caught in the Webb, a 21-track tribute album to Webb Pierce, is set for January 8 on Audium Records. Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Pam Tillis, George Jones, Charley Pride and Willie Nelson are among the contributors. BR549 do “There Stands the Glass” and the Del McCoury Band contributes “Walking the Dog.” …

The WB has extended Reba McEntire‘s sitcom, “Reba,” for a full season of 22 episodes. The show airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fridays. …

Texas honky tonk phenomenon Pat Green sees his first national release chart respectably. Three Days debuts at #7 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Green has sold over 200,000 independently made CDs at his shows in Texas …

A TV movie inspired by Brad Paisley‘s 1999 #1 hit, “He Didn’t Have To Be,” is in the works for the TBS Superstation cable channel. Paisley will have a supporting role in the movie, and all the music in the program will be composed by the country star. Paisley also is one of three executive producers for the project. The song is a tribute to stepfathers from the perspective of a stepchild. “He Didn’t Have To Be” recently spawned a book of the same name by Paisley and the song’s co-writer, Kelley Lovelace …

The Country Freedom Concert raised over $5 million for the Salvation Army Disaster Relief Fund. The all-star benefit concert was the highest-rated program in CMT history. Six million CMT viewers watched the live concert and its encore presentation on Sunday night. The concert was also broadcast on over 700 radio stations worldwide. The Country Freedom Concert included performances by George Strait, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn and others. (MTVi parent company, Viacom, also owns CMT) …

Delbert McClinton will sail to the Bahamas with the Del McCoury Band, the Derailers, Jeffrey Steele, ex-NRBQ guitarist Al Anderson, Marcia Ball, Bonnie Bramlett and other roots artists on his eighth annual cruise, January 12-19. The floating music festival sets sail on the Regal Empress from Port Manatee in Tampa, Florida, and stops in Nassau, Eleuthera and San Salvador. Passengers will be treated to up to 10 hours of live music a day …

Although they were announced as being on the lineup for Sunday’s Country Freedom Concert benefiting the Salvation Army, the Charlie Daniels Band did not appear at the Nashville event. Daniels dropped out several days before the concert because producers asked him not to sing “This Ain’t No Rag, It’s a Flag,” an original song inspired by the September 11 attacks. “There was a creative difference of opinion,” said CMT, which aired the concert live. “Charlie Daniels is an icon of country music and remains a fixture on CMT.” …

The Down From the Mountain tour, featuring many of the musicians on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack album, is set to begin January 25 in Lexington, Kentucky, and will wrap up February 20 in Berkeley, California. Alison Krauss and Union Station, Patty Loveless, Ralph Stanley, Emmylou Harris, the Whites and Norman Blake comprise the 14-date tour’s nucleus. …

Capitol Records has mined its vaults to compile United We Stand, a 14-track collection of inspirational and patriotic tunes. Chris LeDoux‘s “I Believe in America,” Glen Campbell‘s “God Must Have Blessed America” and Lee Greenwood‘s “God Bless the USA” are featured alongside recordings by John Lennon, the Beach Boys, Al Green and others. Proceeds benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The set will be released November 6. …

Merle Haggard has been added to the concert lineup for Swampstock 2001, happening October 28 in Tim McGraw‘s hometown of Rayville, Louisiana. “I’m thrilled to welcome Merle Haggard to Swampstock 2001,” McGraw said in a statement. “I’ve been singing his songs for many years, and there’s not a better artist in country music. I’m especially honored to have a Country Music Hall of Fame member on the Swampstock stage for the very first time.” The eighth annual concert will also feature McGraw, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and the Warren Brothers. Proceeds from the concert and celebrity softball game will benefit New York fire and police funds as well as Rayville’s little league baseball program and various other charities. …

“O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack producer T Bone Burnett is working on an album with old-time mountain music patriarch Ralph Stanley. The album is being recorded in Nashville and will be released on Burnett’s own new label, DMZ Records, which he is forming with the Coen Brothers, the “O Brother” movie producers. …

Garth Brooks will launch his new album, Scarecrow, with a series of live radio specials on the album’s release date, November 13. Brooks will guide listeners through the album and take caller questions live on the air. The specials will air during morning and afternoon drive times in all time zones, and will be offered to all country radio stations on a non-exclusive basis. “Wrapped Up in You,” the album’s first single, debuted at #22 this week on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. …

Following his performance on Sunday’s Country Freedom Concert in Nashville, Clint Black will board a military jet to begin a tour of U.S. bases abroad. He’ll join the Citizen Patriot Tour, which was organized by former Defense Secretary William Cohen’s wife Janet Langhart Cohen. Taylor Dayne and others will be on the tour, details of which were not being released. …

George Jones will perform at Sunday’s Country Freedom Concert as well as at his own concert. The Freedom Concert is at Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center, just down the street from the Ryman Auditorium, where Jones’ own concert will be held. Opening for Jones there will be Jim Lauderdale, who portrays Jones in the current musical “Stand By Your Man.” …

Suzy Bogguss is fulfilling a longtime ambition by finally putting out a Christmas album. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas will be released on November 1 on her Web site, at Amazon.com and at select record stores. The album includes collaborations with the late Chet Atkins, Ricky Skaggs and Delbert McClinton. …

Country Music Hall of Fame member Earl Scruggs, Diamond Rio and Montgomery Gentry have been added to Sunday’s Country Freedom Concert, bringing the total of confirmed live acts to 16. As the list of performers has grown, so has the length of the telecast. CMT will air the commercial-free concert from 8-11 p.m. ET. The benefit for the Salvation Army Disaster Relief Fund originally was slated for two hours (MTVi’s parent company, Viacom, also owns CMT). …

Toby Keith will guest star on the CBS TV series “Touched By an Angel” on November 10. The country star plays a performer at a 10-year high school reunion where a wealthy businessman and a famous football player revisit their past. …

Tim McGraw and Brooks & Dunn have a pair of nominations each for the 2001 Radio Music Awards, October 26 at the Aladdin in Las Vegas. They contend with Alan Jackson, the Dixie Chicks and George Strait for Country Artist of the Year. Country Song of the Year nominees include Brooks & Dunn’s “Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You,” Travis Tritt‘s “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive,” Diamond Rio‘s “One More Day,” Jessica Andrews‘ “Who I Am” and McGraw’s “My Next Thirty Years.” Martina McBride will perform on the show, and Rascal Flatts will be presenters. The show will be telecast live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET. …

The Dixie Chicks, who haven’t played in public since their last tour ended in December 2000, plan to open the 2002 Houston Rodeo on February 12. George Strait will close the rodeo on March 3. It will be the last year for the rodeo in the Astrodome, which will be razed and replaced. …

Sara Evans‘ husband’s political ambitions are drawing scrutiny in his native Oregon. Craig Schelske announced on Monday that he will seek the Republican nomination for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives now held by Democratic Rep. Darlene Hooley, who will seek a fourth term in the 2002 election. Democrats in the district have filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission alleging that Schelske has been violating federal law by raising campaign funds from his wife’s concerts, before he was an announced candidate. Schelske answered that his lawyers advised him that he was in the clear. Evans and Schelske maintain homes in Nashville and Aumsville, Oregon. …

Buck Owens, 72, has placed a personal ad in several southern California newspapers in search of a fan he briefly met in September while taping an episode of “Family Feud,” the Associated Press reports. The Country Music Hall of Fame member lost the woman’s phone number and has placed ads that partly read: “Buck has lost contact, would like for you to call Mel Owens at (661) 326-1011. Please call, extremely important.” The telephone number is for his offices in Bakersfield, California. The country legend, who is divorcing his wife of 22 years, admits his pursuit is a little unusual. “I know it sounds silly to some people, me looking for her this way,” Owens told the AP. “But what if it works?” …

Willie Nelson will sing with Sheryl Crow and the Dixie Chicks will come out of hibernation to perform on the 35th annual CMA Awards, scheduled for November 7 in Nashville. Crow and Nelson team up on “I’ll Be There for You,” a duet from Nelson’s next album, The Great Divide, due in January. The Dixie Chicks, reigning Entertainer of the Year, have not revealed their plans for the show. Also, Martina McBride performs “When God-Fearin’ Women Get the Blues”; Jessica Andrews sings “Who I Am”; Phil Vassar chooses “Just Another Day in Paradise”; Blake Shelton croons “Austin”; and Cyndi Thomson sings “What I Really Meant to Say.” The awards will be broadcast live from the Grand Ole Opry House from 8-11 p.m. ET. …

The Grand Ole Opry will stage a Veterans Day (November 11) show at the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville to raise money for the families of terrorist victims. Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Little Jimmy Dickens, Steve Wariner, Bill Anderson and Porter Wagoner are set to perform. More acts will be announced. In addition to the special Sunday show, regular Opry programs will be held at the Ryman — its former home — from November through February. …

Martina McBride will put her brainpower to the test as a celebrity contestant on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” taping this week in New York City. McBride’s winnings, guaranteed to be at least $32,000, will be donated to a charity of her choice. An air date has not been announced. …