Monday March 30th the Regions Bank in the round-about plaza hosted a kick off party for the 2009 Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival. Complimentary drinks were provided by Jack Daniels, Budweiser and Glaceau Water. An incredible buffet prepared by Maggiano’s Little Italy satisfied the appetites of those in attendance.
This is the 17th year for the annual event to be held March 31st through April 4th and boasts that is it is the largest all song-writing festival in the world. Nashville Songwriters Association International, better known as NSAI, is responsible for putting the event together utilizing nine venues in Nashville and bringing together over 300 songwriters. Most of the venues will host two shows each night of the event showcasing the talents of songwriters from across the country.
A schedule and updates during the event can be found at www.tinpansouth.com . For our photos of the party, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/momentsbymoser/sets/72157616060052249/ .
Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent are fast becoming the most well recognized act in Bluegrass. They have just released their debut album; Dailey & Vincent. The group won seven awards at the 2008 International Bluegrass Music Awards Show, including Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year. I had the pleasure of visiting with them as we discussed the new CD and what is next on the horizon.
Bev: You have a new CD project out titled Brothers From Different Mothers, can you share how you came to name it this?
Dailey & Vincent: In a nutshell it is because we think alike and have a lot of common threads like brothers would have. We do not act alike tho!
Bev: Do you have a favorite piece of work on this project?
Dailey & Vincent: We are leaving that to the fans. We enjoy all of the songs very much.
Bev: If you were asked to choose one of the many awards and accolades you have earned as your most prized which would it be?
Dailey & Vincent: No we are so thankful for each of them. It truly is a humbling experience to be blessed with everything and really appreciate even one of them, let alone winning so many.
Bev: Of all the different artist you have worked with, is there one you enjoy most or pushes you to really perform at your best?
Darren Vincent: I always enjoy Dolly Parton, she is fun and a barrel of laughs. When you perform with her, you want to do your best. Ricky Skaggs is another one who you really strive to perform your best for. I highly respect what they have achieved in their careers. Jamie Dailey: I truly enjoyed my time with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver very much and will always cherish everything we did.
Bev: What is the best part of performing live?
Dailey & Vincent: Being with the fans that are loyal and interact with us. Performing live on stage and recording in a studio are such different things. Stage performances you get to feed off the audience and it creates a whole new environment every time, you don’t get that when you are in a studio.
Bev: What has been your most memorable performance?
Dailey & Vincent: One was at the Ryman last year, and we had gotten four or five standing ovations in about a 20 minute show and it was overwhelming. It will always be a memorable moment in time for us.
Bev: Do you prefer to write your own music or would you rather concentrate on the music and not have the pressure of writing as well.
Dailey & Vincent: We enjoy doing our own music, but we try and choose songs that hit the audience and have a message and will want to sing for the next 25 or 30 years. The songs that touch people are what mean the most to us not who wrote it.
Bev: What is next for you?
Dailey & Vincent: Continue making great music and touring. We have some big festivals coming up, and the Grand Ole Opry.
Bev: What is the best advice ever given to you in relationship to your career in music?
Dailey & Vincent: To stay true to what you believe is right and never give up, never quit.
Bev: Thank you very much for your time and sharing your passion of music with me. Is there anything else, about your current CD or other work you want to share?
Dailey & Vincent: A Country Music Hall of Fame member Harold Reid also appears as a guest on the track "Head Hung Down," and we are so proud of that, and our band members; Jeff Parker, Joe Dean and Adam Haynes have worked so hard on this and we have great musicians who contributed to this project that we want to thank them for all they put into it.
For more information on Dailey and Vincent check visit http://www.daileyvincent.musiccitynetworks.com/ or http://www.myspace.com/thedaileyvincentband.
PRESS RELEASE: Inside Music Row Brings Newcomer Megan Munroe To Viewers Nationwide March 30 - April 5
Photo Credit: Bev Moser
Gossip, Inspiration & Slander features Clark working with many fabulous musicians on the acoustic portion, all of them handpicked for particular songs by both Clark and producer Erick Jaskowiak. The select list includes fiddler Casey Driessen, Chris Pandolfi on banjo, Matt Flinner on mandolin and acoustic bassist Bryn Bright among others.
Bev: Welcome! What a pleasure to sit down with you. Please tell me a little of the history about you.
Bryan: Born in New Orleans, moved to Texas when I was a toddler and lived there through my Senior year; I got very serious about playing during that time. I put a band together and we played all over; I knew it was what I wanted to do, even though my parents were not convinced. I attended college in New Orleans for a couple years, and then transferred to USC in Los Angeles and studied Jazz guitar. At age 24 I was asked to tour with a major Jazz artist, but I wanted a degree in composition so I attained my Masters at UT in Austin, TX. I went back to LA and there I was offered the opportunity to get a Doctorate. I also did a lot of session work and playing during that time. I did an internship at BMG records in Beverly Hills and they let you take any of the CD’s they had, so I stocked up every week and that is when I discovered Bluegrass from Ricky Skaggs. I have been in Nashville for four years now and here we are!
Bev: You have a new CD project out titled Gossip, Inspiration, and Slander, can you share how you came to name it this?
Bryan: I had been going back through some old journals that I keep and as I did, I was remarking to my wife about what they contained and I said to her, there is nothing in here but gossip, inspiration and slander .. and as I said it, the bells went off and I knew that was what I wanted my CD title to be. It fit because the Bluegrass Purists will most likely hear some of the tracks and I can just imagine the reaction, and the Jazz people will not understand all of it ..so in any case, they will be talking about it and it will either inspire them or they won’t like it.
Bev: Do you have a favorite piece of work on this project?
Bryan: I like them all. The one that came out most surprising is Raven King which is an acoustic track. I did record it previously and it sounds nothing like the original. It has been my wife’s favorite song, and she wanted it on the project, but I wanted to re-tool it, which she was not immediately pleased with, but the new version turned out well and it is growing on her.
Bev: If you were asked to classify your style and genre of music, how would you name it?
Bryan: I don’t know. It is just music. If we have to choose a name, I guess Texas Americana. It is not Honky Tonk. The lyrics have a story telling aspect, but there is definitely some of the Texas style.
Bev: You are asked to do a lot of session work, do you prefer that compared to live performances?
Bryan: I enjoy the immediacy of playing live. You feed off of the audience. Session work is self gratifying. So I enjoy both for different reasons.
Bev: I know you do some soundtracks for television and movies, including soundtrack work for America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway, and a number of shows on ESPN, can you tell me about the first time you were asked to do something like this?
Bryan: I had received a call from the Producers Lab in LA and they needed some 30 second cues. They asked for Techno Metal like Rob Zombie, Surf Rock like Dick Dale, and Happy Acoustic like Jewel with no vocals, Jangly-bird stuff and some Atmospheric type music. All of these are so different from one another, but it helped with me having the background in composition, it allowed me to channel the sounds I needed to produce. I had a great time with the assignment and to this day continue to work with them.
Bev: You are also a college professor with a doctorate and you teach at Belmont University. For the past three years you have been teaching music history, the history of American song, composition, arranging, and ear training at the university. How do you feel this works to your advantage or disadvantage in the industry?
Bryan: Depending on what is going on, for example, if I wanted to do touring where I would be out for several months at a time, then it is a disadvantage. Other than that, I really do not talk about my degrees that much. Some of the industry people tend to be intimidated by my education, but people who know me know that I am not about what hangs on the wall or what letters come after my name. There are session players out there who play much better than I do. I have had some advantages with doing reviews and papers etc on different things from an academic standpoint.
Bev: Do you prefer to write your own music or are you just as content playing others work?
Bryan: I only play original music of mine when I record. Unless there is a co-write. Live performances, I do covers I love, but they are very obscure and bouncing from genre to genre. I never script the live shows. Jazz allows that … where Bluegrass usually goes from A – Z so I get to incorporate both.
Bev: What kind of audience to find you have when you play live?
Bryan: There is a range. Those who seem to resonate with the record so far are 18 to 50, which is a big range. Thirty-something’s seem to maybe get it the most. I think they understand the lyrics and can relate to and appeal to them.
Bev: Is there any artists that inspired you and compel you want to do this as a career?
Bryan: XTC, Elvis Costello, Miles Davis, Allan Holdsworth, Stevie Ray Vaughn. There is so many people I grew up with in Texas that were amazing, so I would go see them, and the best part was there was no hyper-formatting and more free range stations so you could hear a wide variety in any given day.
Bev: With the surge of internet based promotional tools, do you have a game plan in place for promoting this CD?
Bryan: With everything changing, I always stress to my students to think of themselves as content providers and not just artists. I am always trying to offer a glimpse of who I am as a human being as well as the music side. I have blogs, and we will do pod-casts, and reviews. I have always been in that market, and enjoy exploring the emerging possibilities. There is a lot of traffic out there that does not necessarily buy the record, but they are interested in you enough to keep coming back, so hopefully they will come to a show and spend some money and buy a CD.
Bev: Any funny stage moments or other stories?
Bryan: There has been a lot, but nothing lately. We get our share of people who get drunk and want to sing with the band.
Bev: What is next for you?
Bryan: CD is all done, we are working on getting it out to radio, getting reviews out there to help promote us and of course get out there for live dates and play in the Bluegrass circuits.
Bev: What is the best advice ever given to you in relationship to your career in music?
Bryan: To always be persistent. Never give up. I think that is the key to the music industry.
Bev: Thank you very much for your time and sharing your passion of music with me. Is there anything else, about your current CD or other work you want to share?
Bryan: No, I think we covered everything. Music is a wonderful thing and I just am glad I can do my part.
For more information on Bryan Clark check out his website at www.bryanclarkmusic.com or follow his blog at http://bryanclarkmusic.blogspot.com.
The 40th anniversary of Country Radio Seminar wrapped up recently in Nashville, where I spent the better part of three days listening & learning, walking & talking, meeting & greeting, reading & writing, eating & drinking and rockin’ & reflecting.
Truth be told, it was my first CRS, and from everything I’d been told, I could expect to meet a lot of disillusioned, disenchanted and generally discouraged radio folks trying to find cover from the sky falling overhead. What I found, however, was generally the opposite. Sure, I did meet more than a few folks who had lost their jobs and could be heard swapping stories about the good ol’ days ad nauseam, but yet here they were - hunkered down at another CRS, networking for all they were worth and trying to figure out exactly where this industry was headed.
As a publicity guy, I was pretty short on answers - not that anyone was asking me for any, of course. But in general, I’ve got the same fair share of fears and anxieties as the next guy in this business, so I did a lot of listening whenever I could. And for all the understandable concerns and uncertainty expressed by the masses in the ballrooms and exhibition halls, there was also a lot of expectation and determined optimism at CRS-40. There were plenty of memorable moments, of course, from the unabashedly hilarious (Merle Haggard’s speech at the Hall of Fame ceremony) to the regrettably somber (news of Irby Mandrell’s passing) to the downright electric (Friday night’s Zac Brown Band performance). So, in case you missed it, skipped it or just can’t remember it… here’s a few highlights from this year’s 40th anniversary of Country Radio Seminar.
Haggard, as widely reported, “accepted” his award by taking the opportunity to berate former CBS Records exec Rick Blackburn for dismissing his “Kern River” as a hit years before - repeatedly. Haggard proceeded to call Blackburn “the dumbest sonofabitch I’ve ever met” before wheeling without a word and tottering off stage, leaving his award and a standing ovation behind.
The ceremony also included a pair of Haggard songs earlier in the evening, one performed by Jack Ingram (”Are the Good Times Really Over”) and the other by Emmylou Harris (the aforementioned “Kern River,” which seemed to spark both Hag’s memory and contempt for Blackburn).
Wednesday, March 4
The optimistic tone on Wednesday was set early in the day during this year’s keynote address, delivered by renowned marketing expert and best-selling author Seth Godin. I can’t tell you how many people I heard discussing this speech over the course of the next couple of days. If nothing else, Godin certainly had people buzzing with his talk about creating your own “tribe” and the abundance of opportunities in a fragmenting media landscape. He definitely seemed to have everyone energized, all before lunch on the first day!
Immediately following the keynote address, rising outlaw-country star Jamey Johnson played a free show outside the Convention Center to a jam-packed street of CRS attendees and curious onlookers. Inside, the Golden Music label showcase was the featured lunch event for the day, featuring performances by newcomers Williams Riley and Benton Blount. KCRS Live! was the first songwriter event of CRS-40, providing an in-the-round format with Jimmy Wayne, Jonathan Singleton, Ashley Gorley and Kelley Lovelace.
Tim McGraw Photo Credit: Bev Moser/CRB
The much anticipated event of the day for most was Wednesday night’s Music City Jam, featuring superstar Tim McGraw. Even before the first note was played, however, next year’s headliner was announced, and it was a BIG one: teen superstar Taylor Swift, who greeted the audience via pre-recorded video from Australia. Attendees would still have to wait a little longer for McGraw to show though, as a bevy of artists proceeded to take the stage: Lance Miller, Halfway to Hazard, Lori McKenna, Catherine Raney and even Alabama’s Randy Owen, who won this year’s Artist Humanitarian Award. Finally, McGraw himself emerged, only to play a head-scratcher of a set that included nothing but new songs. Still, it wasn’t a bad way to wrap up the first official day of Country Radio Seminar.
Thursday, March 5
Thursday, also known as ‘Music Industry Town Meeting Day’ was a day largely dedicated to thought-provoking panels, seminars and research presentations. Remarkably, the agenda managed to cram in “40 Great Programming Ideas in 40 Minutes,” “40 New Media Ideas in 40 Minutes,” the largest study in the 50-year history of the CMA, and a host of additional informative panels all before lunch! For those who were lucid enough to comprehend CMA’s segmentation study at nine o’clock in the morning, some valuable insight into the makeup of the modern country music consumer was presented. Most notably, that they perceive radio as being too repetitive and limited in their song selection. Who’d have thought?
A well-needed lunch followed, sponsored by Sony Music Entertainment and hosted by CNN’s Robin Meade. Newcomer Jake Owen and the dynamo known as Miranda Lambert tore it up onstage, delivering an energetic and entertaining performance each. Owen closed his set with his new single, “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You,” while Miranda delivered the goods with “Kerosene,” “Famous In a Small Town” and “Gunpowder and Lead,” among others. After her performance, Sony Chairman Joe Galante emerged to present Lambert with a plaque commemorating Gold status on single downloads and ringtones for “Gunpowder and Lead.”
After lunch, it was back to the panels. At this point, I started taking the elevator everywhere I went instead of the stairs. I’m all for exercise, but it was becoming evident that I was going to need my energy if I was going to make it through the rest of CRS…
The mid-afternoon “Changing World of Retail, Radio and Records” panel was particularly interesting, as industry execs discussed and shared different perspectives on how the industry is redefining the way they operate. The general consensus seemed to be that while there is no clear-cut answer to today’s problems, managers, label operations and radio personnel have to communicate more clearly with each other and make a concerted effort to work together in order to survive.
Thursday’s songwriter event, WCRS Live! was packed, thanks to performances from Josh Turner, Jamey Johnson, Paul Overstreet and Bobby Pinson, but turned out to be just a prelude to some of the shows around town that night. Apparently my invitation got lost in the mail, but I heard the Sony Boat Show was quite the event. Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Montgomery Gentry (with Steppenwolf’s John Kay!), Gretchen Wilson, Craig Morgan, Jason Michael Carroll, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and some guy named Frampton all performed. Yes, Peter Frampton. Seriously. However, if you “missed the boat,” don’t worry, you could still see Keith Urban at the Rutledge. Or Jamey Johnson and Holly Williams at The Stage. If you could still stand.
Friday, March 6
Friday was unquestionably the highlight of my first Country Radio Seminar. ‘Radio Sales Day’ started with a great presentation by Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. and Edison Research. It was the fourth year this particular research project had been conducted and presented at CRS, and it revealed a LOT of information. Interestingly, researchers found that 1 out of 2 listeners thought country radio played the same song to the point that it became “annoying.” Hmmm. Sound familiar? No, really - sound familiar? Anyway, suffice it to say that several more panels during the day made for some interesting discussions, most notably during the PTI session (a spin-off of ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption), which paired a handful of radio and record label execs with artists Heidi Newfield and a beer-swilling Blake Shelton, who at one point wondered aloud, “I don’t understand why we have to sell a digital download of a single before it comes out?” Unlike the real PTI, there were no commercial breaks.
Little Big Town Photo Credit: Bev Moser/CRB
Fortunately, Capitol’s lunch was a break in its own right, with stellar performances from Little Big Town, whose harmonies were richer than Tuesday night’s cheesecake and earned them a standing ovation, and pop-star-gone-country-singer Darius Rucker.
The Life of a Legend series was especially poignant this year, as Kix Brooks interviewed Barbara Mandrell. Mandrell’s father, Irby, passed away the day before, but the thought of skipping the event never crossed her mind. “My dad told me to be here today,” she said.
Probably the most anticipated event at CRS, The New Faces of Country Music Show and Dinner kicked off at 6:30 pm, but not before newcomer Adam Gregory jump-started the crowd with a performance at the New Faces cocktail reception. The young artist entertained the crowd with a set of songs from his forthcoming Big Machine release, including a clever cover of Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around Comes Around.”
New Faces Photo Credit: Bev Moser/CRB
This year’s New Faces lineup showcased performances from The Zac Brown Band, Kellie Pickler, James Otto, Chuck Wicks and Lady Antebellum, and after a delicious dinner (the food was fantastic the whole week, by the way) the crowd settled in for nearly three hours of great music. The Zac Brown Band started the evening with a down-home, feel-good set which closed with a frenetic, finger-pickin’ crescendo in “Chicken Fried.” Poor Chuck Wicks had to follow that performance, but did so admirably, as many ladies informed me. Despite an uncooperative pants zipper, Kellie Pickler delivered her set with authority, and James Otto had the crowd swaying in their seats to his country-soul sound, which included his hit “Just Got Started Lovin’ You.” Finally, Lady Antebellum closed out the show with a set that included “Love Don’t Live Here,” as well as an intriguing (or perhaps disturbing) intro video that featured the leotard-clad trio, along with Luke Bryan, dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” And just like that, CRS-40 was over.
Or was it?
Turns out, not quite. Those that still had the energy ended up at Cadillac Ranch, where DigitalRodeo.com co-sponsored a unique concert event called the 40th Anniversary Jam: A Musical Thanks to Radio.
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert Photo Credit: Bev Moser/CRB
It was the first year for the show, which boasted nearly two-dozen artists covering their favorite songs from the last four decades. The house was PACKED and was treated to performances by, among others, Emerson Drive (”Fishin’ In The Dark”), Julianne Hough (”Heartache Tonight”), James Otto (”Easy”), Chuck Wicks (”Driving My Life Away”), Darryl Worley (”The Best Of My Love”), Jimmy Wayne (”Sara Smile”) and Blake Shelton, who was joined for a special performance of the Bellamy Brothers classic “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body” by girlfriend Miranda Lambert.
A good time was had by all, as were several too many cocktails, I’m afraid. I have to say though, it was a great way to close out the 40th anniversary of CRS… Radio folks sure can party!
CRS-41 will be held Feb. 24-26, 2010.
See you there!
PRESS RELEASE ARTICLE: Academy of Country Music ACM Music City Jam McGRAW DEBUTS NEW TUNES AT MUSIC CITY JAM
Tim McGraw came armed with brand new music and a whole bunch of talented friends for his headlining gig at the 2009 Music City Jam. The show, sponsored by the Academy of Country Music, kicked off the 40th annual Country Radio Seminar March 4th in Nashville. McGraw, whose last album was a greatest hits package, unveiled seven new songs for the radio industry crowd, which he says is one of the toughest audiences to play. “This is probably the second most nerve wracking thing you can do---besides live TV,” McGraw said shortly before taking the stage. “Playing in front of radio guys is hard because you know they are used to hearing your records, and they always sound better. But, I wanted to do it ‘cause I haven’t done it in a long time.” McGraw says he’s been working on the new album for about a year and a half with his band, The Dancehall Doctors. He expects the album to be released in the fourth quarter, with a new single going to radio at the beginning of summer. “We’ve cut a lot of songs, and now we’re weeding through trying to pick the songs that we like the best and the songs that mean the most,” McGraw said. “When I put an album together I like it to have an evolution through the album. From album to album there’s an evolution, but each album in itself has to have an evolution going on.” Joining McGraw onstage were some of his favorite up-and-coming artists, including Halfway 2 Hazard, Lori McKenna, Lance Smith and his cousin, aspiring singer Catherine Rainey. McGraw’s frequent co-writers, The Warren Brothers, hosted the show. Also adding some excitement to the night was a surprise appearance by Faith Hill, who introduced another surprise appearance by country legend Randy Owen. The newly solo-singer ran through some blistering Alabama classics with McGraw’s band. McGraw, a 15-time ACM Award winner, recently released his first children's book, My Little Girl. His most recent album, Greatest Hits-Limited Edition, debuted at No. 1, adding to his career album sales of 40 million. McGraw also continued his budding film career with a role in the hit holiday movie Four Christmases, costarring with Hollywood heavyweights Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. McGraw scored his first BMI songwriter award in October for his ode to fallen heroes “If You’re Reading This.”The Music City Jam has become a CRS tradition. Past headliners have included Keith Urban, Toby Keith, and Brad Paisley.BRAD PAISLEY UNVEILS NEW TOURMATES AT ANNUAL MUSIC CITY JAM See photos from the '08 Music City Jam here Brad Paisley used the stage at the 4th Annual Music City Jam in Nashville March 5th to announce his new opening acts for 2008. After wowing the industry crowd with a few of his biggest hits and his keen wit, Paisley welcomed onstage recent country crossover Jewel and newcomers Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough. The three acts will join him on Hershey's Presents The Paisley Party, a 42-city tour that will kick off June 12th with a show in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Paisley's 2007 Hershey's Presents Bonfires and Amplifiers Tour was so successful that it was extended through February 2008. The tour played to over one million fans during a 10 month period in 94 cities. According to Pollstar the tour ended the year #2 in total attendance for country tours. Paisley's fifth Arista Nashville album, 5th Gear, was released on June 19th, 2007 and has already sold nearly a half a million units. Paisley's previous four Arista Nashville albums have all been certified Platinum or Double Platinum, with total sales well in excess of seven million copies. The 4th Annual Music City Jam was sponsored by the Academy of Country Music and United Stations Radio Networks.
House and Haggard rocked the room at this year’s Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame banquet.
Nashville’s favorite morning jock and the poet of the working man were in the spotlight in the Convention Center ballroom Tuesday evening (3/3) as we eased our way into this year’s Country Radio Seminar whoop-de-doo.
Merle Haggard received the Career Achievement Award from Larry Daniels. It seems that Larry was a DJ at the Bakersfield, CA radio station when a young Merle came by and asked if he could listen to records in the station’s library. Larry also had a band. Merle asked if he could sit in and sing some songs for $35. By the time Larry was on the air in Phoenix, Merle was making $35,000 per show!
Singer Jack Ingram recalled that in Dallas, his first set list had 25 songs, 12 of which were Merle Haggard tunes. “I sang this one at every show,” Jack said, referring to 1982’s “Are the Good Times Really Over.”
“I was in my car when I first heard that,” said Emmylou Harris, “and I nearly drove off the road….I’m nervous about singing my favorite Merle Haggard song in front of Merle. It is also a waltz.” Accompanied by Carl Jackson and Phil Madeira, Emmy sang 1985’s “Kern River.”
Merle was greeted by a long standing ovation as Larry brought him to the stage. The first thing Merle did in his acceptance speech was to thank Jack and Emmy. He is back to touring and recording following a period of ill health.
“I’ve been battling pneumonia, and I think I’m winning,” said Merle. “I’m one of the lucky few who survived lung cancer without chemo or radiation.”
He reminisced about label execs Jimmy Bowen and Rick Blackburn, recalling that the latter repeatedly criticized and made fun of “Kern River.”
“I said, ‘Are you the s.o.b. who fired Johnny Cash yesterday? You’re the dumbest s.o.b. I’ve ever met!’” The crowd roared.
Attendees roared even louder during Gerry House’s evening-closing acceptance speech. Peppered with gags, it was easily the jolliest in the event’s history.
An early radio job was in Richmond, KY, where Gerry recalled that the station was owned by a shyster preacher who said, “Send me your tumors. I’lll heal them and send them back.” He referred to sidekick and inductor Mike Bohan as “my male escort.” “It’s good to see you back in men’s clothes,” he wisecracked. WSIX sidekicks Duncan Stewart and Al Voecks were also ribbed, the latter having endured Gerry’s age jokes for years. “We played ‘What’s in your wallet.’ And when we opened Al’s there was a picture of Jesus. And it was a Polaroid!” Gerry quipped. He thanked his mother for giving him his sense of humor. Back in the day, she was often on his show.
Mother: “I painted the toilet seat, forgot and sat on it.”
Gerry: “What color was it?”
Mother: “Well, I have the only Blue Moon in Kentucky.”
Gerry’s wife Allison and daughter Autumn House were also on the receiving end of his quips. In concluding, Gerry said, “I just hope radio doesn’t forget we’re in the entertainment business.” In his case, it certainly is.
The other DJ Hall of Fame inductee was Chuck Collier, who was inducted by Cleveland’s WGAR p.d. Brian Jennings. Chuck is rare in this industry in that except for a 1975-76 stint in New York City, he has spent his entire career, 37 years, at the same station, WGAR.
Quoting Bill Anderson, Chuck said, “If you can find something you’re so passionate about that you’d do it for free, but they pay you anyway, you’ll never work a day in your life….I’m very blessed.”
A Radio Hall of Fame category was added to this ceremony in 2001 to honor folks who made contributions off the microphone. This year’s honorees were Moon Mullins and Bob McKay.
Bob Moody inducted Moon as “a man who has programmed some of the truly great radio stations in the history of this format.” Moon’s itinerary has included Lubbock, Kansas City, Wichita, Louisville, New York City, Nashville and Tulsa.” He’s currently in Owensboro, KY.
“I’m glad to be going in with a bunch of good guys,” he said, referring to his fellow honorees.
McKay was inducted by Lon Helton. “He has programmed major market country radio stations for 32 years,” said Lon. “He retires at the end of this year after 43 years.”
Bob was the most emotional of the honorees, choking up several times during his acceptance speech. “I really am overwhelmed by this tremendous honor,” he said.
Becky Bremer presented the CRB President’s Award to Shelia Shipley-Biddy.
“I look around and I see many of you who have become my extended family,” said Shelia. “The two areas of my career that I hold most dear are country music and country radio. I’m proud that I worked during the era of this format’s greatest growth.”
Charlie Monk and R.J. Curtis recognized the Hall of Famers in the audience, including Bob Kingsley, Johnny K, Charlie Douglas, Smokey Smith, Romeo Sullivan, Cayote Calhoun, Dandelion, Dr. Bruce Nelson, Les Acree, Ed Salamon and Ted Cramer.
Working the room were Phil Vassar, Radney Foster, Craig Morgan, Darius Rucker and Jeffrey Steele, not to mention Jewel Coburn, Ed Benson, Mike Dungan, Joe Galante, Gregg Brown, Hank Adam Locklin, Sarah Brosmer, Butch Waugh, Jimmy Harnon, Fletcher Foster, Tammy Genovese, David Haley, Tom Baldrica, Bill Catino and Chuck Chellman, who founded the Country Disc Jockey Hall of Fame way back in 1975.
(L-R): CRB Executive Director Ed Salamon, Jack Ingram, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, guitarist Carl Jackson, CRB President Becky Brenner. Photo: Bev Moser
1-This Old Town
2-Do It All Again For You
3-Born In Virginia
5-This Truck Is Home
Kyle Davis is a former major label recording artist, who has toured with Bob Dylan, Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega and Blues Traveler and Dave Mathews, among others. Its success led to Davis being featured on the cover of Billboard magazine, named one of the best unsigned artists of 1995. "God love me", released on Universal Records in 2003.
Brian Friendman is a BMI award-winning songwriter. Guitarist and vocalist, Friedman, has worked for more than ten years as a music editor and consultant in Los Angeles on numerous feature films, including “Coyote Ugly,” “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “The Replacements,” “Romeo Must Die” and “Not Another Teen Movie.” He also wrote the theme songs for MTV’s “Punk’d” and “The Real World” series.
When asked about how to classify the genre of music as the backgrounds are so diverse, the reply was ..“Our music is song-driven modern country, what we call Virginia Rock. It’s about life experiences,” says Friedman. “I grew up with old school country music being played in my parent’s little general store in Richmond. I’ve watched two-lane byways turn into eight-lane highways. We write about what we know and what we’ve experienced. It’s about reality - the good and the bad. That’s the truth.”
River City Gang is a brand new band built on veteran musicianship. The group played their first show together less than three months ago in front of thousands as the opening act for Lynyrd Skynyrd in Norfolk, Va. “Our first show, opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd - does it get any cooler?” says Friedman. “The crowd response was great, and to be accepted by Skynyrd fans is an honor in and of itself. We couldn’t have asked for a better way start 2009 and River City Gang’s touring career.”
RCG heads back into the studio following their trip to Nashville and is looking forward to releasing a new album soon.
Pictured L to R: Ed Salamon (CRB Executive Director), Hank Adam Locklin (CMA Senior Manager of Membership and Industry Relations), Erin Burr (NSAI Communications Director) and Susan Myers (NSAI Director of Sponsorships)
BMI, Capitol Nashville and Borman Entertainment co-hosted a very special event for an artist known for his hit songs, abilities to make a guitar come alive and a person who has the charm and charisma uniquely his own. Keith Urban has created a niche in the music business of playing his own guitar licks on his projects and writing many of his own songs. He is a superstar who is also humble, kind and extremely grateful for all of the success he has had, and does not forget those who helped him achieve it.
Prior to the private invitation only celebration, an intimate press conference was held for media which was precluded with some confounding statistics about Urban’s musical career. If you put even one of these songs, back-to-back, one million times, it would be the equivalent of six solid years of airplay.
“I Told You So”
“It’s A Love Thing”
“You’re My Better Half”
“Tonight I Wanna Cry”
If you think those numbers are staggering, imagine two million performances each:
“Who Wouldn’t Want To Be Me”
“But For The Grace Of God”
and “Days Go By”
But it does not stop with these mind blowing figures. “Somebody Like You” has hit a record breaking three million performances which is in the same class as Dolly Parton’s “Nine To Five”, Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and the Beatles “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Keith Urban is in the company of legends.
When asked how this makes him feel Keith replies, “It is a tremendous feeling. I still remember the first time I heard my song on the radio, I was putting gas in my car and I rolled the windows down so I could listen while I pumped my gas. That same feeling is still there. To be included in the numbers game with these statistics is absolutely astounding.”
Awards from BMI and Capitol were presented to Urban, his publisher and his producer. Keith also gave a special thank you to his wife Nicole Kidman, who was on hand to support her husband’s accolades, and a genuine gift of appreciation was given to Justin Niebank for his collaboration and engineer contributions. In true Keith Urban fashion, he mentioned awards he had made for the musicians to which he joked he would hand deliver to their homes while he was there to mow their yards and wash their cars, which garnered laughter from the crowd. A party to celebrate such milestones would not be complete without music, and on that note, a six song set was performed by Keith and his band to close out the celebration.
The Rutlege was home to a full house on Tuesday March 10th as Ole’ Music and NSAI kicked off the upcoming week long songwriter’s festival with an exclusive preview party for media and music industry executives.
Maggiano’s Little Italy, Budweiser, Jack Daniels and Glaceau Water satisfied the palate and quenched the thirsts of those in attendance; while singer / songwriters Kelly Archer (cuts by Jo Dee Messina, Jason Aldean and The Eli Young Band), Regie Hamm (20 #1 songs including David Cooks recent hit “The Time Of My Life”), James House (Diamond Rio’s “A Week Or Two” and Martina McBride “A Broken Wing” and many more) and Rissi Palmer ( country newcomer with releases “Country Girl” and “Hold On To Me”) satisfied the musical hunger with a taste of the amazing talent to be showcased in the upcoming music event.
The 17th Annual Tin Pan South Songwriter Festival is slated for March 31 through April 4th in Nashville, TN. This event will showcase some of the best songwriters in history along with surprise guests. Nine venues host two shows each night and over 300 songwriters will perform.
For more information on attending this amazing festival visit http://www.tinpansouth.com
Tuesday night kicks off the week with a black tie reception, gala dinner and awards presentation in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel. This year Bob McKay and Moon Mullins were inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame while Chuck Collier and Gerry House were inducted into the DJ Hall of Fame. The Career Achievement award was presented to Merle Haggard and special and touching performances in his honor were offered by Emmylou Harris and Jack Ingram. The President's Award was presented to Sheila Shipley Biddy.
A ceremony to officially welcome everyone starts off Wednesday morning, followed by more awards and special guests and entertainment. This year, Randy Owen was the recipient of the Humanitarian Award, which was presented by last years winner, Clay Walker.
CRS is sponsored by the Country Radio Broadcasters or CRB, who provide the radio attendees three days of panel discussions to address the ever-changing demands of listeners and music availability. Special guest speakers ranging from legendary DJ’s and other well known and nationally recognized air personalities to hit song writers and artists, as well as professionals from the industry and music row. Seth Godin, well known author and inspirational speaker was a keynote speaker entertaining the crowd and signing copies of his books.
Each day at lunch a very unique show sponsored by various music labels offers the radio community a chance to see up close and personal the artists and performers vying for radio air play. This year Golden Music showcased newcomers Benton Blount and Williams Riley, Sony Music’s Jake Owen and Miranda Lambert wowed the audience on Thursday and Friday Darius Rucker and Little Big Town took to the stage to give the crowd an outstanding performance.
Another favorite of the seminar is the very special “Life Of A Legend”, where a country music icon is brought in to share personal moments of their career in country music. This year Kix Brooks interviewed the talented and beautiful Barbara Mandrell in front of a standing room only crowd as she shared intimate and touching stories from her past and allowed those in the room to see a side of her usually reserved for her family and friends.
Evening brings more entertainment on Wednesday with the Academy of Country Music sponsored “Music City Jam”. This year featured Tim McGraw and friends and Friday the long running “New Faces Show” which allows the newcomers of country music to perform. This year Lady Antebellum, James Otto, Chuck Wicks, The Zac Brown Band and Kellie Pickler had the attendees on their feet and singing along.
Downtown Nashville takes full advantage of the opportunity to offer after hours events as well. This year Universal Music Group closed down part of Commerce Street as Jayme Johnson did a live concert, the General Jackson was booked for a private cruise filled with entertainers such as Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney and many others, Rocket Town showcased a full line up of entertainment including Tracy Lawrence, The Rutlege found Keith Urban showing off his guitar skills to a packed house and a special 40th Anniversary Jam was held at the Cadillac Ranch sponsored by Digital Rodeo. Performers at the jam packed show included Jamie O’Neil, Brady Seals, Emerson Drive, Adam Gregory, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Andy Griggs, Chuck Wicks, Julianne Hough, James Otto and many many more! There were also special private parties held at the Ryman, Fuel and other venues to showcase artists and allow those in attendance the chance to get to know the performers. CRS is a week everyone looks forward too and this year let no one down.
Haggard Zings Ex-Label Chief
- Award From Country Radio Broadcasters
March 4, 2009; Written by Edward Morris – CMT
Gerry House, Chuck Collier, Bob McKay, Moon Mullins Are Hall of Famers
Merle Haggard‘s ongoing clash with lung cancer hasn’t made him any less sharp-tongued than he was in his glory days.
In Nashville Tuesday night (March 3) to accept a career achievement award from Country Radio Broadcasters, the feisty superstar used the occasion to lash out at the former head of his one-time label, Epic Records.
Prompting the outburst was Emmylou Harris‘ wistful performance of Haggard’s self-penned 1985 hit, “Kern River,” a tune she ranked as her Haggard favorite. “The first time I heard that song,” she told the audience assembled in the Renaissance Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, “I almost drove off the road because it’s just so good.”
Her praise of “Kern River” evidently ignited Haggard’s memories of a man who didn’t like the song at all. “I want to say that there was this other guy — I can’t remember his name — he was head of CBS, and he made fun of my song. He said, ‘Who in the hell knows where Kern River is at?’”
Someone in the audience shouted out the name Haggard had apparently forgotten — Rick Blackburn, who helmed CBS Records (of which Epic was a division) from 1980 to 1988.
On another occasion, Haggard recalled that Blackburn said, “I’d like to tell you one more time. I don’t like ‘Kern River.’” Haggard continued, “And I said, ‘That’s about the third time you’ve told me that.’ He said, ‘It’s more like five times.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m about five times short of telling you to go to hell.’”
By now, the crowd was roaring with laughter. But Haggard wasn’t through yet.
“I said, ‘Who do you think you are? You’re the son-of-a-bitch that sat at that desk over there and fired Johnny Cash. Let it go down in history that you’re the dumbest son-of-a-bitch I’ve ever met.’”
(Blackburn, who dropped Cash from the label in 1986, the year after “Kern River” came out, took Haggard’s tirade in stride. Reached Wednesday (March 4) at his home in Nashville, Blackburn told CMT.com, “He’ll get more pleasure out of that [comment] than I’ll get grief.”)
“I was supposed to sing tonight,” Haggard told the audience when he first came onstage. “I didn’t know if I’d be able to do it or not [because] I’m fighting pneumonia. I think I’m winning.” He thanked everyone who had prayed for his recovery from cancer. “I certainly needed it,” he said.
Prior to Harris’ performance, Jack Ingram saluted Haggard by singing his 1982 hit, “Are the Good Times Really Over (I Wish a Buck Was Still Silver).” Ingram accompanied himself on guitar, while Harris was backed by Carl Jackson on guitar and Phil Madeira on accordion.
In the opening segment of the evening, CRB honored Shelia Shipley-Biddy with its president’s award. Then, after Haggard’s appearance, the organization inducted Bob McKay and Moon Mullins into the Radio Hall of Fame and Chuck Collier and Gerry House into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame.
Currently president of Stringtown Records, John Michael Montgomery‘s label, Shipley-Biddy was the first woman to head a major country music label when she was appointed senior vice president and general manager of Decca Records in the early 1990s. Earlier she had held a top promotional post at MCA Records.
McKay now programs for WXTU in Philadelphia, after having spent more than three decades as DJ and/or programmer at stations in Oklahoma, Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, Kansas, Wisconsin, California and Florida.
Apart from his on-air work, Mullins has a long history of consulting for radio stations via such organizations as the Pollack Media Group, First Track and the Moon Mullins Company. He is now operations manager for WBKR and WOMI in Owensboro, Ky., and host of a morning show on WBKR. Early in his career, he worked at stations in Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky and New York City.
Collier has been a DJ for WGAR in Cleveland for 37 years. Indeed, most of his career has been spent at Ohio stations, including stints at outlets in Hillsboro, Wilmington and Dayton. In 2007, the National Association of Broadcasters named him its large-market personality of the year.
A songwriter as well as a DJ, House has been most closely associated with WSIX-FM, Nashville, where he continues to host the highly rated House Foundation morning show, a mixture of music, comedy and in-studio and call-in guests (often top country stars).
House’s quick, sardonic wit is legendary, and he routinely supplies jokes for the annual Country Music Association awards show. As a songwriter, his hit songs include Reba McEntire‘s “Little Rock” and George Strait‘s “The Big One.”
While the other honorees focused on thanking the people who’d encouraged and advised them, House played his induction for laughs. After observing the reverential tones in which the others spoke of their honor, House remarked, “I didn’t realize that this was such a big damn deal. Actually, I have no one to thank.”
Mike Bohan, a member of House’s morning gang, introduced his boss, a favor House found decidedly underwhelming. “I wanted Joaquin Phoenix [to introduce me],” he said, “but he wasn’t available.”
Bohan noted that the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb had called in that morning to congratulate House. Conceding that the honoree’s achievements were too numerous to recite, Bohan reached into his jacket pocket and held up an object. “I have all Gerry’s accomplishments on this thumb drive,” he said. “It’s four gigs.”
House had some warm words — kind of — for his daughter, Autumn, who, he pointed out, heads Capitol Records’ A&R department, which screens material for artists to record. “I have an appointment to play her songs,” he said. “In April.”
Turning to his wife, Allyson, and speaking of their long marriage, House said, “We were young when we started out. She was 13 … I was 27. It was Kentucky.”