Monday, September 25, 2006

What to Leave In, What to Leave Out

Too much to do this week!
Things I *am* doing:

Chesney 25 Million Party tomorrow
Montgomery Gentry interview tomorrow
Chris Thile (Nickel Creek) studio special today (man, there are days I want some of what he's smoking!)

What I've had to pass on:

BBQ with Alan Jackson (listening party for the new CD, I have it, no need to have him watch me listen to him, right?)
Chesney Round Robin interview
Pat Green show
Brad Paisley / Carrie Underwood bus trip

Things that might still be on my agenda:

Interviewing Marty Stuart at the Opry House on Thursday.

The Hall of Fame staff was all abuzz this morning about last weekend's Opry show. Apparently, there were NO Opry Members on the televised portion of the Opry Saturday night - I'm told that's the first time that's ever happened. Pat Green hosted the show - I'm not sure he's even played there before. Big & Rich, Cowboy Troy, and Danielle Peck. Odd.

Oprah debuted this morning, I listened to the first hour or so of the channel. At various points in the 6 years I spent directing news for NBC stations, I'd do newscasts right out of her show, so I'd see parts of it. She has certainly changed a lot since then. I also watched the very amusing hour long commercial for XM 156 on Larry King Live tonight. I was highly disappointed that Larry did not rave over his past visits to the XM Studios -- I've hosted 2 of his 3 visits (NYC and Nashville.) I'm sure it was simple oversight, it was hard for him to get a word in edgewise with all those gabby women around. Larry was wearing cowboy boots on the set.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Meet - Macy!

I didn't buy the black cocktail dress I wanted because I didn't have a big enough suitcase. Macy, however, followed me home.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Clean Hair Act

I'm packing for my trip tomorrow. One night, easy. I have to take my laptop, so that requires a certain case, but other than that, I have it down to a science. Change of clothes, PJ's, toothbrush, can of hairspray, and a small assortment of travel sized lotions and potions.

However, there are these new regulations now... better check them out. No toothpaste. Ok, the hotel will have some on hand, I'm sure. No shampoo, which sucks, since Marriott's shampoo smells funny. No conditioner... that's a problem. As much hair as I have... one teeny bottle usually isn't enough. No liquid makeup, but I have a pancake stick somewhere... I can live with that in the name of national security. No hair gel or mousse... my new perm is gonna be all frizzy. Lovely. Let's hope the humidity is down. Gotta take out the body wash too. Bet the hotel doesn't have anything vanilla for me. Not even gonna smell their lotion, it will be all unisex and boring. No liquids, fine, but no aerosols either? What the heck? *sigh* No hairspray. I'll just buy a can there and leave it in Ray's office for the next time I'm crazy enough to think about getting on an airplane.

Wait, wait, wait. NO BEVERAGES? These crazy people think I'm getting on an airplane at 6:45 in the freakin' morning WITHOUT a cup of coffee or a can of Mountain Dew? Have they lost their MINDS? This has gone too far. I'd write my congressman, but he's on the way out and doesn't give a damn.

I'm certainly going to sleep better tonight knowing that our government is hard at work protecting our citizens from clean hair and fresh breath. Wouldn't want the minty smell to overpower the flight crew. When I think about it... there's no telling how dangerous those rivets on my button flys might be. Better take them out too.

This is what I think I'm safely allowed to fly with. I don't need a suitcase, I need a bandana, so I can tie all my belongings up into a hobo's napsack. If I didn't have a show to write, I'd leave the laptop behind and do just that.

Who recognizes the CDs I am delivering to the music library on behalf of Bluegrass Junction? :-D

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday Schmooze

Heigh ho... heigh ho... it's off to work I go....

There was a private event at the CMHOF tonight for the Eating Disorders Coalition that featured a fashion show and a performance by Sara Evans. Prior to the event she met with the media for a Round Robin with radio and a few television interviews.

Sara has a very dry sense of humor. Deadpan, is that what it's called? For instance, someone asked her about being criticized by the judges and she said "Well I'm married, so I'm used to it." I'm not sure that always translates well on the radio when you can't see her smiling. But anyway... a few things that will hit the press in the morning...

- She's invited her Dancing with the Stars partner (who also popped in at the end of the Round Robin) to walk the CMA Red Carpet with her

- She was pretty outspoken about Tom Delay's email campaign for her. She didn't know he did it until she saw it on CNN, and heard what he had to say about Jerry Springer. (I need to find that email he sent.) She did have wonderful things to say about Jerry, and said she thought the reason the judges were so horrible to her was because they saw the coverage of that email and thought she was a right wing conservative snob. To which she says "My husband is in politics, I'm not."

- The guy who designs her dresses for Dancing with the Stars is going to design her CMA outfit. She talked about the costumes and how there were things she didn't want to wear and things she didn't want to show. I wish I had a camera with me to show you her red bra that she was showing all of us by having her shirt unbuttoned to her belly button.

I think that's about it. Although the REAL Kodak moment was Storme Warren, who was in the Fashion Show. The stylist did something with his hair that looked like he was joining Rascal Flatts. I totally didn't recognize him.

Just for fun, I put on the ACM dress discussed below to wear to the event. It zipped and everything! But I had to weigh the options of looking good versus breathing. I chose breathing.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Country AND Cool

Once upon a time, when I worked for a website called I was backstage at the Wildhorse for an interview with this brand spanking new boy band trio and they twisted the lyrics around to "I Was Country..." to include Thanks to the WayBack Machine, you too can travel back in time to that night (although unfortunately they don't have our video, and tragically, I don't have it anymore either.)

You know what struck me as wild when I went and looked at that site? 2 Things really... First off - I'd totally forgotten that Hazel had written for them too, I didn't know her back then. And secondly, we carried the internet stream of WMZQ in Washington, which is the station Jon Anthony was at for the 8 years before coming to XM. We were working together years ago, and didn't even know it!

Since I've posted photos in the last week of Jon and I both looking enormous next to little short people, I thought I'd post a picture of us together where we look semi-normal, and you can see I'm wearing ridiculous heels, which didn't help my picture with Barbara any. I've since deleted the picture of me and her, LOL, but this was taken the same night. No one even giggled about my picture of Barbara and Mrs. Kenny Chesney in the Funny Flashback??

Speaking of Kenny - I saw his mini-movie tonight. Hatless! I was shocked. Hubby asked if Vane was really hispanic... I haven't met her, but I didn't think she was, although she's got some sort of exotic, potentially foreign look. She's beautiful, that's for sure. Although I thought he'd learned his lesson about putting his girlfriends in his videos.

Have you heard ShortCuts yet? (Those of you who wanted to :-P ) I listened to most of it on the treadmill at the gym Friday night, and thought it sounded pretty cool. Of course, I may be biased. ;-)

And on a semil-related note, I just saw the video for MG's "Some People Change" for the first time. (I've GOTTA get TiVo.) I thought the tent performance scenes were a little off from the really poignant scenes in the verses... didn't quite have the right feel to them. But I do love Troy's vocal performance on this song.

Ok, on to the meat of this post, which is Friday's event for Barbara Mandrell. The "reception" thing was actually a press conference staged for the show that GAC is doing on the making of this album, She Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool (A Tribute to Barbara Mandrell.) So that was wierd... we had to stage the clapping for her entrance, and it was all choreographed. It wasn't a press conference, it was a television shoot. Barbara's parents were there, and Irby got up and spoke, which was really cool. He was hysterically funny.

It was a small crowd - 100-120 people or so, but it was all heavy hitters. I've looked for coverage on but don't find it yet. Ed was there, so maybe Monday. Barbara spoke quite a while, and was really just classy. They unveiled the album cover, and we all got advance copies of the album.

Reba, as you'd expect, does a killer job on the title track, and Kenny pops up in the cameo performance that George Jones does. He gives a really good vocal performance, although he obviously doesn't have the "presence" of Jones when he pops up. The standout track on the project though is LeAnn Rimes doing "If Loving You Is Wrong." She nails it. When we talked to Barbara later she pointed it out as being one she was really proud of. Dierks does a great job on Fast Lanes and Country Roads too - I need to use that song in a Road Trip sometime.

Following the press conference there were 5 of us taken into a conference room for a Round Robin interview with her. ABC Radio, CMT Radio, Westwood One and X Radio were there, plus me. We each got 2 questions, and all agreed we could have gone another hour. Not that I expected any less, but Barbara was so gracious, and really sincere and genuinely appreciative of the artists doing the project.

My 2nd question to her was talking about how some artists make a career out of retirement and the never endng farewell tour... I asked her to explain why she was so adament about not picking up a microphone again and to tell her fans how she felt about the decision 9 years later. She about had us all near tears as she talked about going out on top of her game and what her life was like now. It was a very passionate and emotionally charged response. And then... came the follow up.

The girl sitting next to me was from CMT Radio. And she broke down telling Barbara about seeing her in Branson when she was 12 and telling her dad "I can do that. Someday I'm going to go to Nashville." And she asked Barbara if she knew how many people she'd inspired. It was quite the moment. The girls in the room are all crying at that point. Reminded me of the days my neighbor Jenny and I would sit on the roof of my playhouse and sing "You can eat crackers in my bed anytime" even though we had no idea what that meant.

When we wrapped up she hung out for a few more minutes talking, and one of the guys did his Reba impression for her, which cracked her up. Before she left she stopped and thanked each of us for being there, and said something to us individually. Barbara Mandrell thanked me for asking such good questions. That's gonna rank right up there as a career highlight.