Nashville: On the Record Recap: We'll Do It Live!

Moments before Nashville‘s On the Record special really gets going, series creator Callie Khouri wishes her cast good luck in the sweetest, most loving of ways.

“Don’t mess it up,” she drawls.

PHOTOS | May Sweeps Scoopapalooza: 99+ Spoilers on Your Favorite Series’ — Including Nashville — Season-Ending Episodes

Khouri needn’t worry; the ABC drama’s first music-based special plays to the series’ strengths by mining its soundtrack, putting its talented cast front-and-center and throwing copious bouquets at the feet of those who don’t often get shout-outs on the show: the songwriters who really pen Juliette & Co.’s jams.

Because the well-done hour is a deviation from Nashvile‘s norm, I decided to mix up the recap a little, too. So click through the gallery below for a bunch of moments from the kinda-live special, plus commentary of course, and make sure to come back next week as we start the run-up to the Season 2 finale.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Juan says:

    I loved the special!!! They picked most of my favorite songs. I loved Claire bowers ones the most, especially black roses and this town. Also Hayden’s don’t put dirt on my grave but I already had that one lol

  2. TaMara says:

    I loved this special and love all these actors. I wish I loved the show as much, but I tune in from time to time because the music is great and the cast is amazing.

  3. j says:

    I love Hayden Panettiere.

  4. Kaye Nicholson says:

    I loved the special, wish Connie B. had been there.

  5. MA says:

    Aw, really? I love “This Town”! It’s one of my favorites. I love the personification of the city as being a devouring force.
    I also often wonder where Connie Britton is in these kinds of things–the online behind-the-music stuff too. Maybe scheduling is always a problem, but I also wonder if she just doesn’t want to do it. No one loves Connie Britton more than I do and I think she has a lovely voice, especially on the ballads, but she’s not a musician. Maybe she just doesn’t feel completely comfortable in that space?
    I also say, “Where are Lennon and Maisy???” They perform at the Opry all the time, and those girls are spectacular musicians!

    • Tim says:

      I’m guessing you’re right on the money with the whole she just doesn’t want to do it explanation. She gave an interview back during season one where she stated that the whole idea of her having songs available for purchase on iTunes was humorous to her. I think she’s really more into the show for its story lines and not really comfortable with the singing angle.

      • the girl says:

        No offense intended but out of all the musicians on the show, her voice is really the weakest. So I am not bothered at all by her lack of desire to do this special. I would have enjoyed seeing her there but I’m not bummed by her absence. In retrospect I actually agree with the idea that Lennon and Maisy should have performed, but as they are still rather young perhaps the show/their parents is/are trying to keep them grounded and not overexposed.

  6. Great night of entertainment for all. Even if you didn’t listen to Country Music before, you’ll fall in love with its purity. Dara Rodell

  7. Adam Lenhardt says:

    I’ll join the choir asking about Lennon and Maisy. With all due respect the performer behind Rayna James, it was their absence that felt most glaring.

    • Thea says:

      It would have been really nice to have had them sing Life That’s Good with Chip/Charles. And then maybe they could’ve squeezed in Aubrey’s Tell Me (which is one of my favorite songs

      • tvlover44 says:

        it’s available as a special clip on’s ‘nashville’ page – just watched it, so go check it out there. (there were a few songs with clips there which were not shown in the special that aired.)

  8. Ever says:

    The thing is, this special featured actual musicians and singers. Connie Britton sings for the show but she isn’t one of their stronger singers nor is she a musician. I loved the conversations with the song writers and musicians. Fantastic!

  9. CMG says:

    This was an outstanding special. It’s only too bad that it couldn’t be an hour and a half or 2 hours long! The only song that was a little weaker than the rest was the opening song, “It’s On Tonight,” but that’s only by a slight margin. I would have an impossible time picking a favorite, they were all so good and so amazingly well performed.

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  11. megs says:

    Clare Bowen seems totally cool and sweet! Why, then, does Scarlett make me roll my eyes to the point of damaging my retinas?
    ANYWAYS…I really enjoyed this special more than I thought I would! The cast is truly talented, and, as a Nashvillian, I’m so glad they gave the writers and musicians a little of the spotlight.

  12. Carla Krae says:

    That’s Hayden’s real hair length. it was short as of the Golden Globes.

  13. Linda higgins says:

    First time I have heard Black Roses. Amazing! WILL THERE BE A CD of tonights live concert?

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  15. danoregon says:

    If more country music sounded like the stuff on this show, I’d probably listen to country radio more. Have they done a song about a pick-up truck, jeans, dirt roads or beer yet? Of course, if the show reflected country music, it would maybe one female singer on the show.
    This is why I’ll continue to watch Nashville, and why I enjoyed Smash – seeing the creative process in action.

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  17. Guest says:

    I just assumed Connie Britton wasn’t on this special because she’s really not a singer. Though Hayden Panettiere turned out to be a lot better than I thought she would.

  18. Jodi says:

    This made me like Zoey, too.
    Loved Black Roses.
    Anyone notice tension between Sam and Clare? She didn’t look at him once when they were doing the sit-down before the song, and walked off the stage immediately after singing, where with Chip she was engaging in the sit down and they walked off stage together. Just curious.
    Also love Chip Esten. I knew him from Whose Line, so him co-writing country songs is something I’d never expect, but very cool.

    • RUCookie says:

      I did – thought it was strangly odd. Maybe there is a reason beyond a strange story arc that explains their TV breakup. I thought it was odd on the show. But who knows?

  19. Claire says:

    Damn I really missed Connie and the Stellas on this one. But it was great

  20. I loved this concert SO much! Seeing Sam & Clare sing together was a reminder of how much I miss seeing Gunner & Scarlett interact this season.
    This cast is SO talented (as are the songwriters & musicians) – I really hope they get a 3rd season.

  21. Romi says:

    Loved the special but would have preferred to see less Clare and more Stellas and the other male singers.

  22. sarah says:

    I loved this special! For me they could have made it two hours as there were a few songs that I really wanted to see! Claire and Chris singing You Ain’t Dolly (You Ain’t Porter). Hayden and Charles singing Undermine.
    I would also like to have seen Connie there singing some tunes as well as Maisy and Lennon Stella singing Hey Ho and the finale song as they sing that in the show!
    I wonder why they were missing! Connie lives in Nashville so I am not sure how she could miss it!

  23. Velocisexual says:

    Black Roses was by far the best performance of the night. Amazing.

  24. Amy says:

    Connie said on Twitter that she had pneumonia and was bummed to miss it. I agree, though, they could have at least had an interview piece with her.

  25. Andrea says:

    Clare Bowen is exceptional! The rewind button on my TiVo remote was getting a workout as I listened to all three of her performances multiple times.

  26. Ava says:

    Loved it! They’re all so talented!

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  28. Jan says:

    I’m disappointed that the backup musicians weren’t shown…just their hands. They don’t get nearly enough credit.

  29. Betty says:

    The show was great! Hope to hear more songs from Will Chase. He is a powerful presence on stage!

  30. Jean Farris says:

    I thought the show was really good but would have profitted from Connie Britton’s (Rayna James’) involvement in regard to singing and in regard to her stage presence. I watch the show because of her. I hope to see an uplifting concentration on her as she is a big talent in more ways that one.

  31. Judy says:

    I was really waiting for Connie to perform as well and was disappointed she wasn’t included. I always enjoy her songs on the show.

  32. JakeR says:

    It would have been smart TV to include Connie Britton in some way, or fashion to settle down the show’s true fans, the ones of us who don’t care how well you sing, or how well you perform, but care more that you are a apart of the expectation of the show’s famous outline. Good job overall, though.

  33. Karla says:

    I absolutly loved the special that was on. I really enjoyed watching it as a matter a fact I also hit the rewind button numerous times and as for Connie not being there was fine by me. I really don’t think she’s all that good of a singer, so therefor I didn’t miss her. As for Claire I’ve really enjoy watching her grow into a exceptionally great singer especially after she did black rose! Keep up the good work.

  34. Karla says:

    I forgot to mention that before tonight’s performance, I really didn’t care for Zoey, but after her performance I now think differently she also was exceptional!!!!

  35. Shelly says:

    Sorry to disagree with you guys, but I enjoy Connie’s singing more than any other female on this show! I was very surprised to hear that she wasn’t a professional singer.

    • Shira says:

      Connie is defiantly one of my favorites as well. love her voice and the way see present a song. What she lacks in range she more than make up with heart soul and even intelligence in her voice.

  36. Paulo Smith says:

    That was “almost perfect” show. Actually it was amazing!
    Of course, we understand the schedule agenda of these stars are fully busy, and they well deserve it, as this serie is spetacular (in spite of a “every now and then” exagerated drama cycle, as if, we musicians are on a permanent non-stop tragic loop hole)
    No matter what, Connie Britton´s presence at that show is mandatory. She´s the main star of the serie, as well as one of the producers. Also, she played many others very influential parts for the show to exist.
    I do believe they had to have “Rayna, Teddy and the girls”, at least, at the audience, watching the show. It´s a question of prestige for the production.
    Connie Britton is a fine singer. Her absence is not acceptable, except if she was physically damaged and could not move.
    She did not have to sing, but, she did have to show up on stage, to at least say “Thank You, Y´all”. We still love you Connie! That´s why we missed you showing there.
    I cannot explain why in the world, I came to love country music, coming from such different musical background as I am. But, the fact is: Damn it, I do!!!

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  40. Freda Morris says:

    Well I was “Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” so I really really enjoyed last nights special! We only need more of the same!

  41. Valerie says:

    I really missed Connie i mean when she sings her eyes brighten up a stage. She just has a natural star quality.

  42. Bob Coombe says:

    why isn’t Rayna James on “Nashville on the record” with the rest of cast?

  43. ann says:

    The show was great but i kept waiting for Connie Britton. What happened?. Loved all the performances.

  44. Marlene Hall says:

    Why isn’t Connie Britton on Nashville record too. Why is she singing with the rest of the cast?

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