Hundreds of thousands of people across the country stopped by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store during 2011 for some good country cookin’ and thousands of them also bought some good bluegrass music. Billboard.com recently ranked the Top 50 Bluegrass Albums of 2011 based on sales data provided by Nielsen SoundScan and two Cracker Barrel exclusive music program CDs earned spots on the list. The Grascals, who are among the most beloved and acclaimed bands on today’s bluegrass scene, won SPBGMA’s Bluegrass Band of the Year award in 2010, the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year award in 2005 and earned its Entertainer of the Year honor in both 2006 and 2007. They teamed up with eight of their famous friends on the crossover album The Grascals and Friends: Country Classics With a Bluegrass Spin that Cracker Barrel released in January 2011. Those famous friends included Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton, Tom T. Hall, The Oak Ridge Boys, Joe Nichols and Darryl Worley. A visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital led the group to write the bonus track “ I Am Strong” for the album. In honor of The Grascals caring spirit, Cracker Barrel donated a percentage of the proceeds from the CD to the hospital. The CD was recently ranked #6 on the Billboard.com Top 50 Bluegrass Albums of 2011. The 2011 Grammy-nominated (Best Country Performance by a Vocal Group or Duo) Dailey & Vincent Sing The Statler Brothers album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart, where it spent nine weeks in the top position and 19 weeks overall in one of the three top positions when it was released on February 1, 2010. Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent recognized the timeless quality of the Statlers’ songs and the project resonated with Cracker Barrel’s guests. The CD continued as an audience favorite in 2011 and was recently ranked #17 on the Billboard.com Top 50 Bluegrass Albums of 2011. In addition the album was hailed as Bluegrass music’s 2010 “Album of the Year” (IBMA & SPGMA). “We are thrilled with the success that these two outstanding bluegrass groups have earned,” said Cracker Barrel Marketing Manager Julie Craig. “This type of recognition reinforces our commitment to offer authenticity and quality through the Cracker Barrel exclusive music program. The Grascals and Dailey & Vincent are exceptional in the world of bluegrass and we are honored to work with them.”
In September, The Oak Ridge Boys’ CD It’s Only Natural was released through Cracker Barrel’s exclusive music program. In July, Cracker Barrel released Jason Michael Carroll’s all-country Numbers with 11 new songs and one previous hit. In May, Cracker Barrel released Teddy Gentry’s Best New Nashville with original music from 12 talented new artists and Randy Travis’ self-titled album Randy Travis. In March of this year, Cracker Barrel released Kenny Rogers’ The Love of God, which debuted at #8 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and #2 on the Top Christian Albums chart. In January, Cracker Barrel released The Grascals & Friends - Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, which debuted at #1 on Billboard magazine’s Bluegrass Albums chart and at #26 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. In November 2010, Cracker Barrel released Smokey Robinson’s Now & Then, which debuted at #19 on Billboard magazine’s R&B chart and was nominated for an NAACP IMAGE AWARD. September saw the release of the self-titled Rodney Atkins, which included four #1 hits, and Mandy Barnett’s Winter Wonderland. Over the last few years, Cracker Barrel has released exclusive CDs with Craig Morgan, Wynonna, Dailey & Vincent, Alan Jackson, the Zac Brown Band, George Jones, Montgomery Gentry, Dolly Parton, Bill Gaither, Ricky Skaggs, Aaron Tippin, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Josh Turner, Amy Grant, Kenny Rogers, Sara Evans and Charlie Daniels.About Cracker Barrel Cracker Barrel Old Country Store provides a friendly home-away-from-home in its old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that’s surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s country heritage…all at a fair price. The restaurant serves up delicious, home-style country food such as meatloaf and homemade chicken n’ dumplins as well as its made from scratch biscuits using an old family recipe. The authentic old country retail store is fun to shop and offers unique gifts and self-indulgences.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn. and operates 608 company-owned locations in 42 states. Every Cracker Barrel unit is open seven days a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. For more information, visit crackerbarrel.com.CBRL-G