Friday, August 31, 2007

The City That Never Sleeps

I've discovered the reason for NYC's nickname... people CAN'T sleep here because there's too much noise. Sirens, construction, hotel doors slamming at all hours of the night -- there is no such thing as quiet here.

It's a very hazy day in NYC today so we didn't get to go up in the Empire State Building. Bummer. So instead I wandered around the area we were staying in, including a nice leisurely stroll through Macy's. Love that store. Didn't buy anything, but I sure enjoyed browsing.

When I'm in a strange city, I love to just soak in as much of it as I can. Food, shopping, tourist attractions - whatever I can fit in. Hotel rooms look the same around the country (although most aren't as small as the ones in NYC!) so I try to get out and about as much as I can.

Hope you enjoy traveling with me -- here are a few more pictures before I head to Penn Station (for a train) then Jamaica Station (for an Air Train) and then JFK (for a Jet Blue flight to Nashville!) Please y'all say a small prayer that my house isn't a disaster when I return, because I have company arriving for the weekend a couple of hours after I get in. Maddie will be here!!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ok, I get it now.

Not that I really doubted it, but wow -- got to see the Entertainer of the Year in action tonight. I was impressed. And make no mistake, there ARE country music fans in NYC! The Garden was rockin'!
It was cool to meet a bunch of subscribers tonight. I worked a booth on the concourse and was totally amazed at how many people that came up had XM. Since I was out there I didn't get to see Pat Green (who I've seen before) and Sugarland (who I haven't.) Everyone said Sugarland was great - and apparently, they do a countrified Beyonce song in their show. I couldn't name you a non-countrified Beyonce song, but I'm sure it was fun. I'm told Kristian sings Jon's parts on "Who Says You Can't Go Home" and sounds great.

I made it out for the last part of Kenny's show, and was blown away by MSG. The place was filled to the rafters. His stage is amazing -- loved the video screens, I spent half the night watching what they were doing with them. As a former jumbotron director, I can't imagine how you go about doing what they did.

It was quite the party on stage, a bunch of NY Yankees came out, including Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon. Maybe it was because we had awesome seats, but I thought Kenny did an incredible job of connecting with people. He gave away 2 guitars he (and the Yankees) signed for kids, including a boy in a UT Vols shirt and hat that Roger pulled out of the audience and carried around stage. Like that wasn't prize enough? At the end he signed a bunch of autographs while the band was jamming to an REO Speedwagon tune.

Anyway, what I saw of it was a great show - hit after hit after hit. He didn't do any new music - or the current single - while I was out there.

Jon and I got a picture taken with him backstage, so I now have proof that I'm taller than he is. He's got the cooler ride home though.

Heading home tomorrow afternoon, but not until Heather and I go up in the Empire State Building!

Good Morning, America!

Had a very cool morning. Started with a brisk morning walk from our hotel, on 31st, to the Good Morning America studio on 44th. Good crowd outside. Went in and went upstairs to where they do the Good Morning America Radio show. We walked right through the "upstairs" studio where Diane Sawyer does her thing, and then past the Green room to the radio world. Very cool setup they have. It was like old home week up there, all the record label people, artists, and CMA folks running around, I felt like I was back in Music City!

They took us downstairs to watch the announcements being read, so I was standing in the TV studio when they read them. Which was wierd, because since the guests are mic'd, but not run through the PA, it was really hard to hear.

Then we went back upstairs and Sugarland dropped by for an interview on GMA Radio. They were hysterical, I hope y'all got to hear it! So much fun! I love seeing them.

Then Jon Anthony did some role reversal and was the GUEST being interviewed by Hilarie Barsky. They devoted much of the hour to country music chat on GMA Radio this morning, so it was such a great exposure and cross promotion for country music. And I think it's good for an interviewer to have the tables turned to be the guest for a change -- get to see how it feels.

So I'm sitting in the control room while Jon is being interviewed and the sliding glass doors are open, and Whoopi Goldberg walks by. Someone says Barbara should be right behind her. Barbara, as in Barbara Walters. They were taping an interview with Diane about Whoopi joining the view. I watched part of it on the in-house TV, and it was pretty funny, at one point they have to stop because someone's phone is ringing. Diane gets up and tracks down a purse in the corner, and it's Barbara's. She's like oh, it's my daughter, I'll call her back later. And Diane jumped right back into the interview.

When we walked out the three of them were standing there in the upstairs studio talking, we walked about 5 feet from them. So that was my brush with fame for the day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Odd that no one ever mentioned that

Joe's Pub isn't a Pub at all. Odd, then, that they would name it that. Because there is always the possibility that some Loopy would show up there at 5:30 in the evening, looking for a burger and a beer. And they wouldn't get it.

We were just a couple blocks from John's Pizzaria tonight and I couldn't get Jon to go there. He had pizza for lunch, he says. However, his version of NYC pizza came from Sbarro's. I hardly think that counts. We wound up at some diner where I got a mediocre grilled cheese.

Phantom was good, however, the chandalier crash was fairly anti-climatic. The touring production I saw YEARS ago had a better crash. The 7th row seats were fabulous though! I was close enough to see the mics hidden in their wigs.

From Country Aircheck's daily news email: Digital single delivery service Play MPE reports that Garth Brooks' "More Than A Memory" is the most-downloaded song in a 24-hour period in the company's history, and is on its way to becoming the most-downloaded track ever. The song also ranked as the No. 2 streamed selection in its first 24 hours.

Mark these off the list:

Egg Cream
World of Disney Store
Seeing my friend Harriet
Carnegie Deli

And as a bonus -- I've located Macy's.

More later -- I'm headed to Joe's Pub!

Look out New York!

I'm here!!!!!

Hanging out in the XM Studios at Jazz at Lincoln Center watching Jon Anthony play DJ. He's live on Highway 16 for the next hour and a half, let us know if you're out there listening! You NY'ers need to call in!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

NYC to Do List

I decided not to waste my precious hours in NYC waiting in line for tickets I might not get. So I've bought a ticket to see Phantom through the discount online site. I'm 7 rows from the front - that might be a little TOO close!

I work with some NY'ers, so I've been asking for suggestions. Amy Paige told me I have to get a canish. She tells me that's a potato puff. A potato puff? In a follow up conversation with Marty Fitzpatrick, he tells me there are 2 kinds of canishes (sp???) - baked and fried - and that I have to go to the Carnegie Deli and get a fried one. He also gave me the name of a pizza place in the Village I need to hit, if I can figure out how to get to it.

What else?

You think Garth is dizzy?

I just checked out all the spins the new single got yesterday. 1226 spins on BDS monitored stations. That's just in ONE day.

The song played at least once on 119 of 130 country stations in the US, and 13 of 25 country stations in Canada that BDS Monitors. That is a WHOLE lot of spinning!

By comparison... the new Kenny Chesney song that made chart history last week as the highest debuting song in BDS history has had 1573 spins in the past SEVEN days.

Now obviously, spin count is going to drastically drop off over the next 6 days of the chart. But with that kind of start, I can't help but think Kenny's record isn't going to last long.

One more Garth note I wanted to bring up. Those of you who read my on-site blogging during GRS may recall that I was in the running for a grand prize, because I answered a Garth Trivia question correctly. (I was the only one in the room who knew the name of Garth's studio.) And you may also recall, I didn't win the grand prize drawing, LOL. They did, however, have four winners throughout the course of the day, and the prize was that person got to do an on air give away for 2 tickets to Garth's Wal-Mart Thank You Concert -- and they got to attend themselves. So there are four stations across America (and I don't remember where they were) who are going to be giving away these trips on the air. If you hear it, don't think Garth is coming to your city (unless you live in the city the WalMart concert is being held at!) because what he's doing is bringing the winners to them.

And to those who have asked -- it IS Trisha singing background vocals on "More Than A Memory" and the Nashville String Machine providing all the pretty instrumentation.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Next Stop on the Producer J. World Tour:

New York City!

I leave before dawn Wednesday morning, am there by lunch time. Nothing really on my agenda Wednesday, so I should have some time to play tourist in the Big Apple. I'm staying by MSG, so I **think** that puts me near the Empire State building, which I didn't get a chance to go up in my last trip.

Jon Anthony is broadcasting live from our NYC studios at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Tues-Thursday from Noon - 2pm Eastern time. He's going up a day ahead of me so he has 3 days of live shows from NYC -- gotta show some love to the NY country fans!

Thursday morning, before dawn EASTERN time, I'm headed to the Good Morning America radio studios. We're running the CMA Nominations Announcements live on XM 155 - Take 5 - during Good Morning America Radio. At least the 5 categories that will be announced live on GMA by Sara Evans and Sugarland. Then Jon will be live on Take 5 at 9:20 Eastern time, chatting with their on-air host, about the nominations. For those of you who DON'T live in the Eastern time zone, listening to XM 155 will get you the 5 categories the fastest - because GMA is tape delayed over the rest of the country. And no, unfortunately I don't know which 5 categories they'll announce on the air. But I think Entertainer of the Year is a safe bet. ;-)

Then Thursday night, XM is presenting Kenny Chesney, Live at Madison Square Garden. We'll be on the concourse signing people up to win an XM Radio or backstage passes to meet Kenny, and of course, sharing XM info. Because let's face it -- for country music fans in New York City, XM is their saving grace! Jon Anthony will give the backstage passes away on stage at the beginning of the concert, so if you're going, get there early and get signed up!

Friday midday I fly back to Nashville. And then over Labor Day weekend I have family coming to visit, including my adorably precious 2 1/2 year old neice, who is quite smitten with big cousin Laynie.

At some point during my trip I need to make a stop in to the World of Disney store. But what I'd really like to add to my agenda is a Broadway show, probably Wednesday night. I'm debating on getting a ticket for Phantom through a cheap ticket link I've used in the past, or taking my chances with the Time Square half price ticket and seeing if I can get into Wicked. Which I doubt. Anyone with experience using that ticket booth, I'd love to hear about it!

Observations of a 10 Year Old

While driving Delaynie to school this morning, we listened to Gerry House do a long segment about Garth, taking calls, playing the single, etc. When they went to commercial, I flipped to WSM, looking for traffic info, and heard their morning guy talking about Garth, and then they played the single.

Delaynie pipes up from the back seat, "Apparently the whole world is obsessed with Garth Brooks this morning."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's Here!

Apparently it was released at 12:01 EASTERN! Duh - thought I'd have to wait until morning to hear it. Love it -- make sure you let me know what you think of it once you hear it!

Friday, August 24, 2007


OMG the cable guy was at my house almost 5 hours today. FIVE HOURS!

His mission was to install cable for 3 tv's and 2 computers (via my wireless)

FIVE HOURS LATER I have 2 tv's and 1 computer hooked up. And a lot more grey hair.

I took today off work since I worked last Saturday, planning to have the cable guy show up between 8-11 as scheduled, get me all hooked up, and then I would have a peaceful afternoon at home writing, blogging, paying bills, and booking bluegrass guests.


Instead I spent my day moving furniture, climbing ladders, crawling through attics, and STILL didn't get the intended results. My laptop will connect to the net, but not my PC. And poor Delaynie can't get tv in her room. Which is kind of funny (don't tell her I said that) because she's never had one before, and she's not allowed to watch TV on school nights, so I thought it was crazy to put a tv and cable in her room anyway. But I was outvoted.

So. Alas, I haven't gotten the questions answered, and I'm truly sorry, I'm not intending to drag this out forever, I actually have non-Garth related things I want to talk to y'all about. But I WILL get this done -- will update the post below with answers as I get time throughout the weekend.

Thanks for hanging with me. And if you're undecided -- go with DirecTV. :-)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Seven Question About GRS

I didn't get these done last night...too much 5th grade homework, LOL. I get internet at the house tomorrow, so if not today, then tomorrow, I will get these 7 answered. I will put my Garth Story & message up here in it's own post this weekend too, thanks to everyone who asked about that.

1. Anonymous said...

You alluded to a tidbit regarding Taylor Swift/Keith Urban during your Garth postings. What was that about?

In our morning session, before the press conference, Garth mentioned Taylor as being someone who impressed him, and who his girls listen to. Some of you remember Mandy, who has been a longtime friend of the family (he actually talked with us in depth about his history with her, which was really neat.) Anyway, Mandy works for Big Machine now, and lives in OK a few blocks from Garth, and the girls have Taylor Swift posters.

Keith he REALLY talked a lot about in our morning session, as being someone he was watching - as a competitor and a fan. Talked about him being the complete package - singer, songwriter, guitar player, good looking guy, who knows how to entertain an audience. I think he touched on it a little in the PC. It's funny, because the giant elephant in the room when current entertainers come up was Kenny Chesney, who, because of his massive touring, has continuously been referred to as the new, or next, Garth. But despite everyone expecting it to come up, Garth never mentioned him - and no one brought him up by name.

Ok, now that I answered your question, you have to tell me your name. :-)


2. Kathleen said...
You wrote about watching Trisha on the Opry with Garth Saturday night. I'd love to know what that was like!

It was COOL. If you didn't see the Opry Live, Trisha performed 2 songs on tv. So we're out at the party, food is being served, bars are open, people are wandering around checking things out. Garth music had been playing, but then they switched the biggest tv monitor over to Grand Ole Opry Live and fed that audio to the house. Trisha came out and performed her latest single. Because of the proximity of where my table was to the tv, I was in the front, and a bunch of people, probably 40-50 gathered around. When it was over of course, we all applauded, and then I turned around to go back to finish my dinner, and about 5 feet behind me was Garth. I'm thinking "oh how cute, I bet he was happy to see the crowd gathered around watching her. " I go back and finish my dinner.

So when her 2nd appearance comes up later I was down by the stage looking at the stuff on display, and she popped up on tv again. So I take a few steps back to watch, and Scott Borchetta comes up and stands next to me to watch, and then Garth comes and stands next to him. We stand there a minute watching, commenting how great she looks, yada yada yada, and then Garth kind of gets this "light bulb" moment, looks around, and grabs the photographer. He climbs over the velvet ropes in front of the stage, giggling the whole time, and stands in front of the tv fawning over her and gets his picture taken. He was all proud of himself, and the photog came over and showed Scott and I the picture. It was too cute - she snapped it right when the tv had a closeup of Trisha's face and it looked like she was looking right at Garth. He said something about now he could prove he really did watch her performance. :-)


3. marissa said...

One of your tid-bits was "Garth not singing on Trisha's album", (or something like that), could you talk about that?

Well first off, I can tell you that Garth is REALLY happy that Trisha is REALLY happy. He talked about how excited she was about the new music and how she feels like she's new again. And he's very much into letting her do HER thing, and not be overshadowed by being Mrs. GB. He did talk about how it was a "great gig" being Mr. Yearwood. I can still hear the tone in his voice when he re-iterated "It's a REALLY great gig." In fact, at one point he called her his "breath."

But what I was probably referencing was something he said in closing session. He was talking about her new album, and how Trisha did a duet with Keith Urban. And Garth said "Now, I'm a jealous guy... but they sound GREAT together" and he raved about the song, and how well their voices went together, and how he couldn't wait until we heard it.

And then, you know how Garth is normally really self-deprecating to a fault? Like, he'd say things like he puts the girls report cards on the fridge - because that's where he spends most of his time, or them not airbrushing enough grey out of his hair. Well after raving about Trisha and Keith's duet he kind of pulls himself up and sticks his fingers in his belt loops and says (in a mock, 'no I'm not jealous at all 'tone) "Besides, I don't need to help her, I've got my own album to sell." The whole room cracked up.


4. bll said...

I'd love the scoop on Blue Rose's 'Barn'.

Well a picture is worth a thousand words, and they told us not to take photos, however... there is an AWESOME photo album here that Moni sent me a link to that shows you a LOT of the barn.

For starters, this barn is the size of my entire block. It has the most G-normous "g" on the outside of it that you can imagine. There are garage doors at both ends that you literally could pull a semi through. When you walk in the stage pieces were set up on the right, and they ran the entire length of the barn. The drum pod, the piano he came up through, a bunch of instruments, etc. were up there. The bulk of the barn was a riding ring - at one point they had chips on the floor. To the left were a few stalls for horses -- maybe 4, and a couple of the "stalls" had been outfitted with displays. Awards in one, gutars in another. The piano from the Red Strokes video was there, one of the guitars that was smashed for the tv show... One thing you don't see in the photos is all around the walls of the riding rink were the sales certifications - from all over the world. I saw one from New Zealand that had a tiki on it! I **so** wanted to pull out my camera and get a photo of it. Found them from Australia and Ireland, and zillions from the US.

His bus was parked at the far end -- this must have been a very early bus - he had a bedroom at the back, but still shared it with the band. It was VERY blue and very masculine - not a "take the family on the road with you" bus.

Further up the left side was the sports area. There was a raquetball court and a basketball court and a kitchen and a locker room. There was a second floor game room with a pool table and kitchenette and bathroom that looked down into both courts. The place hadn't been redecorated in the past 10 years probably, LOL - blue shag carpeting hasn't been in style for a while.

They brought in air conditioning for the barn via these massive machines, normally it's just used for storage and the plaques are kept somewhere with climate control. I talked for a while with Mark Greenwood, who is incredibly sweet - he had to hang ALL those zillion plaques for the party. I can't imagine how hard he and Tracy had to work to get the place looking so spectacular - they did an amazing job!

The food was VERY frou-frou. A carving station, an risotto bar, lots of really unique salads. And YUMMY deserts.

Oh, and out behind the barn was a tractor. LOL


5. Anonymous said...

Can you tell us, what is the track listing for The ultimate hits and what new videos have been filmed and will it be released internationally?

I do not have the track listing, so I don't have the complete list of videos either. I know they've done one for Shameless, and I know that Stillwater was involved in at least one. However, I did specifically have a conversation with Bob Doyle about international availability, because I know it was such an issue with WalMart. He's telling me they're working on it... there seems to be some issues with the DVD (I assume a compatibility with foreign players), but it will be available at all the online retailers, which, if my memory serves, places like Amazon will ship internationally. So it should be a lot easier to get this time.


6. fuzzwuzz said...

Hi Joyce. Were you able to ask Garth how his scriptwriting is going these days???

Yes, he said he still works on it, and it's a good creative outlet for him, but he doesn't have anything that's been "green lighted." He was asked in one of our sessions about acting, and he said the only movie he's ever read for was The Green Mile. Jon and I had a separate conversation with Bob about Chris Gaines in which I learned a lot about how it all came down, and Bob told us he learned 2 important things from the experience:
1. Just because you make music for a movie, don't count on the music winding up in the movie.
2. Don't mess with an icon.
I was sure I'd heard a rumor at one point that Garth was working on The Lamb script, but that apparently isn't the case.


7. ~Ann~ said...

Did he seem more at ease when he played music? Was it like riding a bike for him? Or was he nervous and rusty?

It was absolutely like riding a bike. He joked about feeling more comfortable with a guitar between him and us, so he could let his gut out. But he was really awesome, crafting stories and using songs... about his musical influences and songs that he borrowed from to write his songs. How if you listen to "That Summer" you hear Bob Seger, etc. Some of the songs he played pieces of were "Mama Tried," "Piano Man" "Night Moves" and "Wild World." It was neat hearing him talk about how he was raised around country music, and how every day when they'd get in the car his dad was playing Haggard and Jones. He talked about the music all his brothers and sisters played, and how he got to the point where it wasn't cool to like the music his dad liked, so he discovered Queen and Kiss, and then later the singer/songwriters. He talked about Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley - oh and George Strait, he performed a little of "Unwound." He said "It was that day that I knew what I wanted to do. I already knew I wanted to play. But I didn't look good in makeup." (This came after talking about Kiss, and coming around to deciding to play country music.)

It was neat hearing him talk about how the Urban Cowboy era was a bad time... that all they knew was it was driving the price of Wranglers through the roof. At one point he played a little of "Mama He's Crazy" and said "The second you hear Wynonna's voice, you go 'Who the Hell is THAT?"

My favorite quote though from this session was when he talked about crediting all his influences with giving him the Garth Brooks 'sound': "My favorite thing about Garth Brooks music is that I would love to hear other people sing it." Meaning he hears those influences in his music -- "When you hear this .... (plays an old song) you gotta think this (plays his song.)

Another neat thing he talked about - I can't remember which session - was his mom. He told us that someone back in Oklahoma had some old recordings of Colleens that she gave to him, and he now had his mom singing on CD. He said he played them for Trisha and she said "I had no idea!" Not that his mom was a singer, but that she was that GOOD of a singer. He said easily he'd put his mom as one of the ten best female vocalists he'd ever heard.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Preview of 7 Questions...

LOL - these two aren't going to count towards the 7, but I thought I'd tackle them this afternoon while my computer is sitting here running another program.

From Sharon:

Like Garth - but .... it's not all about Garth my dear.....What did you wear to this shindig? he he

Silly girl! You made me laugh so I'm answering your question first. :-P I wore these cool embroidered sparkly blue jeans that I bought for the occasion (Delaynie helped me pick them out!) , a brown sleeveless shirt and boots. I'm hoping to get my hands on the photos the Big Machine photographer took of me and his Garthness soon.

From Lisa:

How did they choose who got to go to G-R-S? I was told there's 5 that work at XM-16... and they always give out 4 passes to each station.

Lisa my dear, there's so much bad info you were given, I'm not sure where to start. Except to ask where on earth you heard that? LOL

First off, there aren't anywhere close to five people who work at Highway 16. There's Jay Thomas, Music Director and on-air talent, who's the only full timer exclusive to Highway 16. Jon Anthony, Sr. Program Director over both 16 and 17 (US Country) and then Amy Paige, who's a contracted part time air talent. And then there's me, E.P. for Nashville - I work with 10, 12, 14, 16, 17. So splitting Jon in half, crediting Amy as a half, and dividing me by 5 we have like... 2.2 bodies on that channel. :-D

I have never been to ANY event that I got into because they sent 4 (or any other number) of passes to the station. Sounds like something they'd do back home in Peoria to get the jocks to the county fair or something, music industry events sure aren't EVER handled that way, let alone "always." And anything that was ever "always" done a certain way, certainly wasn't done that way for this event!

Each of us who were invited got a personal phone call from someone at Big Machine, inviting us, giving the details, and asking for a verbal committment. In our case it was the director of National Promotion - local radio stations probably got calls from their regional rep. There was never any sort of anything put in writing - which as a scrapbooker, kind of bums me out that there isn't an invitation to keep, LOL.

What I was told was that they were inviting "key people" in country radio. Three of us at XM got invited - each with our own phone call - me, Jon, and Jay. Our competitor had 1 person there, two of the Nashville stations each had 2 people present. So I don't think there was any sort of set rule for how many people from any given radio outlet were invited. There were about 175 who attended from around 100 different radio stations, I was told.

Perhaps someday Highway 16 will have five people working on it. Post-merger. LOL

The official 7 Answers are coming tomorrow! I'm printing the questions in about an hour, so if you haven't gotten one in, get it done before I leave the studio today!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Seven Questions with...

me. LOL. I used to write a feature called "Seven Questions With..." so I'm dusting it off here for the moment. I know there's a lot I didn't get to out of the Garth stuff from last weekend, and I don't think I have it in me to write it all up. So either post your question here or email it to me at producerj at and I'll pick my seven faves to answer. Assuming... there are seven questions I **HAVE** the answers to. LOL

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Special Guest!

Songwriter Richie Brown - part of the team that gave us "Good Ride Cowboy" - popped into my little corner of cyberspace last night. In honor of his appearance, I'm reposting the part of my 2am Sunday Morning blog entry that talks about his cut on Garth's new project, along with Richie's comments, in case you're one of the people who doesn't go back and read the blog comments after you post.

So the new music. The party tonight played a lot of Garth hits the first couple of hours. Then it switched to Trisha music. Then Chris LeDoux. Keith Whitley. Steve Wariner. Then all of a sudden, Jon and I are up in this game room area, and we're like "hey, that's the Huey cut." So we wander out to the main part of the party, and sure enough, the next thing that comes on is "Midnight Sun."

Ok. Let me just say... if you are a fan of what I would call the "classic Garth" sound, you are gonna freakin' LOVE this song. It's uptempo, honky tonk, toe tapping, knee slapping Garth. This is the one he wrote with Richie Brown and Jerrod Neiman (whatever happened to his record?) I loved it. Seriously, it needs to be a single. In fact, I caught Scott Borchetta's eye across the room and zipped over to him and he says to me "THAT is a beeline." I said yes, this bee is coming over here to tell you Midnight Sun is THE one. Patted the heart, that's the hit. He seems a bit skeptical. Tells me there's lots to work with, and did I like "Leave the Light On"? I did, but by golly, I liked Midnight Sun better. Later I told Bob Doyle the same thing.

"Leave the Light On" is undoubtably going to be a hit, it's going to be the one the fans wrap their arms around and say "he's singing for us!" This was recorded in the mid 90's, and has a choir on it. He was asked, I'm pretty sure in our closing session, why this was a bonus track. He said it was just THAT big of a song - so big that it just didn't ever fit on any of his previous albums, and that it was his favorite of the new songs. He talked about how he always puts his favorites last, and the 2 disc CD will have Disc 1 ending with "The Dance," and Disc 2 ending with "Leave a Light On."



Someone told me to come here after I read what was copied from your blog onto another site about my new Garth song Midnight Sun that I cowrote with Garth and Jerrod.

I'm sorry you chose to erase that blog cause it was very well written, and I enjoyed it very much. That was very kind. It is a fun song and one that I love very much, and I am extremely honored to be a part of this Ultimate Hits package.

I know you were at my #1 party for Good Ride Cowboy sitting at the table when we were taking questions from radio, but I did not know which one you were or I would have said hi to you.

Thanks for your kind words and here is hoping that Midnight Sun does become the hit that you believe it will be. More than a memory was cowritten by our buddy Lee, and he too is a huge Garth fan that just had his dreams come true like we have. I believe it is an amazing song, well written, and will do very well. So I wish him the best, and keep an eye out for Jerrod you will be hearing much more from him very soon!!!

I agree Leave a Light on is a masterpiece and a wonderful song that can rank up there with all the timeless songs Garth has done throughout the years. Thank you to you and XM for playing both my songs Good Ride Cowboy and That Girl is a Cowboy it meant the world to us to have two Garth singles last year.

Don't Just Dream...

Richie Brown

New Kenny Chesney -- On the Way!

If there are any Kenny Chesney fans out there? We've got the new single coming up shortly on XM's Highway 16! Tune in, take a listen, and let us know what you think!

This could become like the battle of the country giants... I had almost a thousand page loads on my blog yesterday, and over 1500 on Saturday...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

GRS: The End

It was 3am when I went to bed this morning. I opened up another blog entry about quarter 'til 2, and wrote a ton of stuff because I wanted to share my Garth High with all of you, as a little "thank you" for taking the time to come visit my personal blog, which somedays is nothing more than a story about my daughter or whining about my recent move. I love, love, love my readers, because without you being here, I'd just be talking to myself.

I woke up this morning determined to write up my "Garth Story" that I video taped for Garth before I checked out of the hotel and went back to my family. Since I gave him a message from y'all, I wanted to be sure to tell you what I told him.

While I'm drinking my morning coffee I popped around the 'net. And low and behold, the post I constructed in the early hours of the morning so you'd have something to read when you first woke up had been copied and pasted on a message board, in its' entirety.

Excuse me -- not in it's entirety. Everything BUT the last line, which asked people again not to copy and past my writings at other places.

I've been fortunate enough to have some pretty cool writing gigs over the years, at various websites and a (now defunct) country music magazine. If I want to post on any given message board, I'm perfectly capable of doing so. This is my writing home now.

At some point I'm sure I'll come back and tell you more about the stuff I haven't gotten to yet, because I've got mountains of notes. In the meantime, I've taken down all the updates I've posted throughout the weekend, I think all the hardcore fans were here all weekend anyway. But for anyone who hasn't been here this weekend and missed all the good scoop, here's the rundown that you're free to swipe and post around the internet:

Had a great weekend at GRS, we spent about 9 hours with Garth all totaled on Saturday, including an hour and a half prior to the public press conference, and about 5 hours at a party out at Blue Rose estates. The new music is AWESOME - I've heard all four songs and "Midnight Sun" is definitely my favorite but the single is totally stuck in my head. He looks great, and there are LOTS of exciting things in the pipeline that you haven't begun to hear about yet. Food was fabulous, but I didn't once see Garth touch any of it.

Oh, and he gives AMAZING hugs.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Press Conference: Your Thoughts

Since I don't know when I'll be back here, I'm creating this space for YOU to leave YOUR thoughts about Garth's press conference. Come here AFTER it happens and share.

G Minus 2 Hours!

GRS: The Day Ahead

Good morning. And happy GRS day to you!

I'm about to head down to the breakfast buffet they've provided us. Following that is Session 1 - The Man, The Plan, The Music. That's an hour and a half with the G-Man, an interactive session where we're told "Don't hold back!" It's radio's chance to get their questions answered.

Following that is the public press conference, which is scheduled to run 30 minutes, and will be streamed live on Now because I told you days ago it was happening lunchtime on a weekend day, I'm expecting y'all to be huddled around your computer. And then come here and give me your thoughts.

After that we get lunch. We're definitely not going hungry here.

There are 3 afternoon sessions: a "Garth Liner Session" which includes Garth doing station liners, and us sharing our favorite Garth stories... and being video taped. I'm bringing out the Delaynie diaper story. ;-) I'll post it here later. There's also a "Garth 101" with Melinda Newman, and then a closing session where we're told if we still have questions for Garth, ASK.

Then we wind the night up with the party of all parties. It does not say there's a performance, but we're all expecting one. Will talk to you when I can!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Party #1: Welcome to GRS

I had this really long detailed blog written about the Big Machine Welcome Party tonight, and blogger ate it. Ugh!

So I'll skip right to the highlights:

- Food was fabulous

- About 100 radio stations in town for GRS. Which means lots of big radio voices, polos with station logos on them, and bad toupees. Thank you Lord for delivering me from local radio.

- Saw Trisha's new video. Shot outside Clarksville, TN in an abandoned mill. Production kept being halted by tornados and bats.

- Heard 2 new songs from Trisha's forthcoming album. One was an uptempo that Scott Borchetta said was a contender for the 2nd single, I think it was called "Falling." It was about falling in love. The other one I actually liked better, one of those soaring power ballads she just nails, called something like "It's Me You're Talking To."

- Danielle Peck is engaged, furthering the family feeling of Big Machine... she will someday be a Borchetta too.

- When talking to someone at the label about Danielle's engagement, they said label policy is to not put out releases on their artist's personal lives. That might get a tad tricky now that their two biggest stars are married to each other, eh?

- Taylor Swift has a 6 song Christmas cd that will be released exclusively through Target. We heard some of it tonight (Christmas in August!) including "Santa Baby" and a complete re-arrangement of "Silent Night" that Taylor herself did. Is there no end to this girl's talent?

The entertainment tonight was a band on Big Machine called KingBilly. The funny thing was, there was a guy hanging around the party tonight with an old Garth concert t-shirt on. He was taking photos, tuning the guitars, sitting on the stage... we all were kind of laughing about this guy in the Garth shirt... who was obviously the roadie.

Turned out he was the band's lead singer! And he put the shirt down front of the stage while they performed. 6 member band, but about as far as you can get from the sound of Diamond Rio, LOL. They had a banjo, but also a guy in dreadlocks. Wish this picture was better.

Got to get some sleep... long day tomorrow... Scott described it as "historical." Will update you when / if I can. And at the rate blogger is (NOT) co-operating with me tonight, who knows when that might be!


I'm not sure how or why or by who THIS rumor got started, but apparently... it's going around that I'm blogging from Blue Rose Estates. Umm... no.

As mentioned, I'm set up here very nicely on the 20th floor of a Nashville hotel, where my diet Mt. Dew is on ice, and the only flowers in sight are on these really ugly curtains. Lest anyone think I'm stalking the Gates hoping for a Garth sighting and filching his neighbors' wireless signal, allow me to show you my room.

All Checked In: Garth Radio Seminar

I'm 20 stories above Nashville, all checked in to what they are calling "Garth Radio Seminar." A little play on the usual "Country Radio Seminar" that they hold each spring here in Music City. I have a great view of the Capitol building, high speed internet, and my very own Big Machine t-shirt. Can't complain, eh?

They've given us the full rundown of the weekend events (they're feeding us well!) and one slight disappointment is that they're saying no cameras at GRS events. Hmm. That doesn't make my blogging as much fun.

They have a full day of events for us tomorrow. One thing that did clear up, once I saw the schedule, was this press conference thing which is happening tomorrow, but is separate from the radio event. He's actually spending an hour and half doing the same sort of thing with us, in a session called "The Man, The Plan, The Music," BEFORE the press conference, then the next event is "Announce it to the World" where he does the public press conference that will be streamed live on It will be deja vu for those of us who are going to both. Then there's lunch and several more events after that.

All of that is tomorrow, however - first we have to get through tonight! Up first on the agenda is Party #1 - a dinner and showcase by Big Machine to introduce radio to their new act "Kingbilly." This is one of the off site events they are bussing us to, at a club here in Nashville that I've never been to before.

Will check in with you later! Oh, if you comment and you're not one of my regular posters, please post what city/ state (or country) that you're blogging from. I can see in my site stats, but it's cool for everyone else to see too!

My Fellow Redbird

I just spent a delightful 20 minutes or so with my fellow Illinois State Alumni Suzy Bogguss. Love her. She's a doll. We got to talking and laughing about campus parking tickets that totally brought back some memories. I'm going to have to chop some of that up for my show on America sometime.

Jay Thomas has arrived, he was one of the massess flown in for Garth Radio Seminar. I'm going to go check in to the hotel and pick up my credentials... I presume you're going to be looking for on site blogging...?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

You heard it here first!

Garth Brooks Press Conference
Saturday 11:45am CENTRAL
live from Nashville

Audio and Video streaming live at

YAY ! ! !

Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year Nominees:
Kyle Cantrell, XM Satellite Radio
Chris Jones, Sirius Satellite Radio
Ned Luberecki, Sirius Satellite Radio

Kyle took me to lunch to celebrate. I'm now 3 for 3 on Nominations reels... hoping this is our first win.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tomorrow's Color: Blue

80% of my time is spent in mainstream country in some form or fashion... between US Country, Highway 16, and America. The other 20% is split up between bluegrass and americana, with the occasional public radio thing thrown in for good measure.

Tomorrow, I'm immersed in bluegrass. It's a big day in the Bluegrass world, as the IBMA announces their awards show nominees. The awards show itself (which happens in October) is always heard live on XM 14, Bluegrass Junction. And the nominations announcements will be heard live there tomorrow as well.

Kyle Cantrell will be anchoring a full morning of programming, including interviews with the nominees after the official announcements are made. The cool thing about bluegrass - versus mainstream country - is that they give us the nominees several days in advance. However, they slyly DIDN'T send us the special nominees, including Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year. By this time tomorrow, I hope to be working with one of them. :-O I will say his nomination reel is darn good.

Amongst the artists on hand for the event that we're expecting to drop by: Show host Sam Bush, Doyle Lawson, Dale Ann Bradley, and several others that I've managed to forget.

Other random notes:

Sarah Johns was awesome. Gorgeous girl. What I would give to have hair like that! She's lots of fun and can curse like a sailor. I'd love to do a show of her outtakes.

If I was the biggest selling superstar in a particular genre of music... and I was going to have a press conference... that I felt was important enough to stream llive on my website.... in audio AND video.... I think I... personally... would be telling people about it... so they'd know that they'd need to be in front of their computer. Because people might have plans around lunch time on a weekend. And unless some random blogger told them... they wouldn't know that they should be at their computer... around lunchtime... on a weekend day...

What Would YOU Ask Garth?

So the G-Man is in front of the media several times coming up, and of course, there will be the obvious questions and information given out about his upcoming project. Some things you know will come up. But casting all those things aside, if you were a member of the media and got all the obvious questions answered, and there was time for a "bonus" question of some sorts.. that didn't have anything to with what he's trying to promote, what would you ask?

I think, if we got things answered about international distribution and the duet album, what I'd want to ask is --

When you retired, you were planning to develop a new career as a scriptwriter. How'd that work out for you?


Your turn. I've got to finish wolfing down lunch before our interview, then we're gonna talk Bluegrass.

I stand corrected

I'll be the first to tell you, I'm not always right. And last night, I learned I was wrong about something.

There IS a Garth press conference scheduled. It's completely separate from the radio extravaganza that's about to be unleashed. Mr. Brooks apparently is a VERY busy boy for someone who's retired.

What I hope most comes out of this is that he comes out and says "I've changed my mind." Not giving 80 thousand justifications for how he's still retired yet continues to do all this stuff, but just admits - I can't be retired, I'm bored silly in Oklahoma while my wife is on tour, my girls, who only live with me every other day anyway, are in school, and I miss my incredibly fabulous fans.

That's the scenario in J.'s Perfect World. Of course we know... JPW doesn't seem to be there when she needs it to be, LOL.

We're taping a Sarah Johns Driver's Ed today, and then I'll be in to fill you in on the IBMA Nominations tomorrow on XM 14 Bluegrass Junction.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Define "New" ...

I love it when information starts leaking out about a project and the fans get all up in arms over things and there's no official word from anyone setting the record straight. It gives Detective J. something to do.

So reports from MCA say that the Trisha Yearwood Greatest Hits project contains two new songs. "But wait!" cry our fabulous listeners - Trisha told XM there was no new music on the CD!

Well she's right. And the record label is right. It really depends on how you define "new." In Trisha's world, her new music is on Big Machine, and that's what she's focusing on. Rightly so, IMHO. However, the label can make the case that if you haven't heard it, it's new to you! And I get that too. If I ever get around to renting Reba's TV show on DVD, they entire series will be new. To me! The two "new" songs, MCA tells me, are "overcuts" from previous Trisha albums, and of course, Trisha will not be doing any interviews etc. to promote the release.

At some point NEXT week, after the fact, remind me to tell you why I'm disappointed she's playing the Opry Saturday night.

On a completely unrelated note... a helpful hint for song requesting. When we get three emails in a row from variations of the same email addresses, requesting the same song - in the same request format - we're gonna figure out they're all coming from the same person. Even if you sign a different name to one of them. ;-)

I just finished editing the Joe Nichols XM WORLD PREMIERE that will air this weekend on Highway 16. This show was done on the road, at a restaurant in Pittsburgh, where I'm guessing, there were adult beverages being served. Some things, you can not fix in the edit. It's a good show, lots of scoop about his bride-to-be, who will have his last name before Garth Un-retires again.

Two nights in a row I've had dreams about this Garth shindig. Wierd. I don't normally dream about work, although I do still ocassionally have nightmares that take place in TV control rooms where I forget which buttons to push and send the evening news into chaos.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Early to Bed... Early to Rise...

.... confuses the hell out of a night owl like me!

Today was the first day of school. Excuse me.. the first day of MIDDLE SCHOOL. So in addition to living a good 10 minutes farther away from Delaynie's school, she also starts 15 minutes earlier than last year. All of which means, the rooster crows, and I'm out of bed. Ugh. Hoping the earlier start means I'll be getting out of the studio earlier in the day, thereby saving on the cost of after school child care.

However, with not having internet at the house yet, I'm not up all night on the computer either. Last night I was in bed by 10:30, which is kind of crazy for me. And Gary hung make shift curtains over the bedroom windows so it's a little darker in there, and I actually got a little sleep last night. Cool!

Lots of questions coming in about Garth's project... do you mean to tell me his official website isn't keeping you informed? (she says with a smart-ass twang...) Seriously... to not have updated your website since October is ridiculous, I don't care who you are. The fans deserve better than that. In fact, that may be my first question for the G-man. "Are you going to do a decent website, or do I need to go back to doing one for you?"

Anyway... much of the info I have was given off the record, I've seen a bunch of stuff in print, a bunch of speculation, and a bunch of grumbling already. There will be a ton of info coming soon - and I'll share when I can. I did want to clarify though this talk of there being a Press Conference. It's really not.

What IS going on is a couple days of seminars, Q&A sessions and PARTIES for radio. You're not going to hear when and where from me, because I know there are people (and some of you know them!) who would fly in and crash the event. This event is only for radio to my knowlege - not the general press, so I don't expect there to be any newspaper / television. Although it wouldn't surprise me to see CMT Insider or Storme's crew at some point. He's flying in radio people from all across the country for these soirees in an attempt to clarify all questions, hear the new music, and of course, party! And yes I say "he" because there's no way his new record label has the budget they're spending on all this airfare, food, and hotel for this multi-day extravaganza.

Read into all of the above whatever you choose, but it tells me is that someone is very VERY determined to make himself a radio comeback, and that same someone has the money to make it happen.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'm back... sort of...

Been gone for several days for a family vacation in Missouri. Add that state to the 2007 Producer J. World Tour.

I know... Missouri not exactly the glamorous vacation hot spot, but we have a cabin in the woods we like there, and we got together with our boys, our daughter-in-law, her parents, and brothers -- 10 of us in all. Delaynie went fishing for the first time. (Didn't catch anything.) No cell phones, no email, no idea of what's going on in the outside world. In fact, I still don't have cable or internet at home (I'm at the library) so I really don't know what's going on in the outside world.

I presume my readers are all a flutter about Carrie Underwood setting new chart records and Garth's massive upcoming radio blitz (which I didn't miss after all). I have yet to unpack most of my belongings, so I think I'm going to have to shop to find something to wear to his upcoming shindigs. Shopping sounds MUCH better than unpacking, don't you think?

Apparently, from a quick check of the email, the world is coming to an end.... Vince Gill is going into the Hall of Fame, and I DID get email from Elvis Presley.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Sneaky Camera Man!

Check out this awesome photo that my intern Jason took at the Tracy Lawrence #1 party!

My favorite part is Trent Tomlinson hanging in the background watching... no doubt thinking some day... I'll be in the photo too.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Early Rizer

Good Morning! One of the things I've discovered over the past week or so is that there are just NOT enough hours in the day. So I've started getting up at these ridiculous hours and making lists or answering emails, or scheduling logs, which is what I'm about to do now.

We did get into the new house last night and do some cleaning and a little painting. I'm throwing open the doors tonight for coffee and dessert - not that I have time to party, but by golly, we've earned it. We have to be out of our old house before we leave on vacation next Tuesday, so I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment.

All of which means I'm still not getting to hit the schmooze fests. Emerson Drive had 2 parties on Monday, Raul Malo had a CD release party on Tuesday, Tracy Lawrence had a #1 party last night, and while I'm out of town next week he's got a 2nd party, and I think Garth's big radio shindig happens while I'm gone too. I've decided now would be a really good time to be cloned. Tonight Sony BMG is doing a showcase for Sarah Johns, which I would have really liked to have gone to, if it wasn't for the fact that I'm having a party at my house.

Off to schedule some US Country music -- wouldn't want them to run out while I'm gone!