Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Still Dog Paddlin'

Seriously... I don't think I'm ever gonna get to swim. Remember last week when I said I was looking for a plane ticket to DC that was within my budget? Next time, tell me to screw the budget and buy the damn thing and just go knock everything out. I'm such an idiot sometimes.

Had every intention of coming home and carving pumpkins tonight. I'd bought 3 big fat round pumpkins weeks ago. Managed to leave the studio just after 4 even, I was quite excited, Delaynie couldn't believe it. She shouldn't have.

I got stuck in the traffic from hell. And it was after 5 before I got home. 7 before I got dinner on the table. And my jack-o-lanterns are still pumpkins.

As if I don't have enough insanity in my life... my husband is changing jobs next week. Same company, new account. For those of you familiar with Nashville, the food is about to get a lot better at the Batman building. ;-)

I did manage to get one thing accomplished today - show #7.

Highway 16's CMA Celebration
Co-Hosted by Highway 16's Jon Anthony
- and -
Triple CMA Nominee Carrie Underwood
Friday 2pm Eastern
on XM's Highway 16

(numerous encores leading up to the CMA Awards on Wednesday)

I just this second realized that I sent in a US Country log that I got scheduled, and completely forgot to mix it. Ok, perhaps I'm not dog paddling after all...

Yesterday I went back to school - had a booth at the Belmont University Internship Fair. I've totally missed having an intern this semester, but in all honesty, I can't imagine when and where I'd schedule one as crazy and hectic as our studio situation has been lately. It's both a blessing and a curse to be internless, I think. Probably more of a blessing. Had a few possibilities for Spring, so hopefully something will come through.

The post-CMA party invitations are rolling in. I had an epiphany this afternoon in our weekly conference call where I realized - "&hit! The CMA's are NEXT week." CMA's in my world = late nights, logs that have to be done in advance, and picking out something to wear. Dear God, I'm gonna have to find time to color my hair before then. Maybe THAT's what I'll do Monday night instead of going to see Garth. The grey is completely out of control. Can't imagine why...

I keep thinking "next week I'm gonna take a day off." I've been thinking that for weeks. (I actually have taken vacation days - I just wound up working through them - and a couple more Saturdays.) Next week turned into last week into this week into next week and in reality, it's going to be December, I think. Right now I'd be grateful to have a few hours one afternoon to take a nap. Or carve a pumpkin.

Or build a raft.

A Visit with Porter

Driving into work today I popped over to XMX, channel 2, and heard part of Bill Anderson Visits with The Legends -- the Porter Waggoner episode. I *always* learn something from listening to Bill's show, and today was no exception. It was a great conversation with Porter from everything to Dolly to Opryland closing down, including his favorite "girl singer" -- Trisha Yearwood. It was also great to hear some of his early music when he had such a strong, young voice.

Check it out. To quote the promo "It will change the way you listen to the music."

Monday, October 29, 2007

169 minutes and 39 seconds

That's how long the Garth episode of ShortCuts is - without the 3 unreleased songs which we don't yet have. And it took me at least that long to put it together in the evil GROUP function. For a typical, 12 song episode of ShortCuts it's probably about 8 hours of work that goes into it. This show was easily twice that. Part of it was the fact that there are 34 songs in it, and part of it was the hoops we had to jump through with the structure of the show, because Garth wanted to be sure that there couldn't be any clean recordings of the music made.

Y'all will recall I warned you that his Garthness was concerned that people would be recording and file swapping radio shows. Told ya nicely not to post around the internet if you were planning to do such a thing.

I hate to say I told ya so, but by golly, I tried to tell you so. And unfortunately, I was proven right.

Today we were told - along with everyone else that has album programming set to launch this weekend - that no one is getting the 3 new songs until the cd hits stores. No one. Not AM. Not FM. Not XM. Not Sirius. Not syndication. He's changed his mind - 2 weeks after cutting all this programming. There's a continent full of album premiere specials being advertised that are going to have nothing but old music. Believe me, had we not had promos on the air and our newsletter gone out to 8 million subscribers, I'd have flip flopped his show with his wife's.

Our one saving grace is that our content outside of the new music, completely rocks. You're still going to hear him talk about the videos - and yes the reports out of Germany are true - the KC shows, his songwriting, his kids, his wife, George Jones, Steve Wariner, etc. etc. etc. You'll even hear him talk in depth about these new songs. I stand behind our content completely KICKING ASS.

However, on this weekend's run, you're only going to hear snippets of the new songs. We haven't quite figured out how to explain that since the show has already been cut. Fortunately - another benefit to XM over FM - we'll re-run the show Thanksgiving weekend - and undoubtably beyond - with the complete songs. Poor FM guys don't get a second chance.

I don't have a clue about how this is going to affect our 3 part series, which is not completed yet, because 3 songs out of an hour long show is a big huge chunk. And the dominoes continue to fall -- Jon and I were supposed to go to KC on the 5th for Opening Night and be reporting live from the Sprint Center - we have plane tickets and hotel reservations.

However, that means I'd on a plane coming home Tuesday at the time the CD would allegedly be arriving at the studio, and even under the best of circumstances, it would be a tight turnaround to get it on the air. I think I'll stalk the WalMarts here and make sure they didn't mistakenly put it out early. If y'all see one in the states, do let me know, ok?

I'm trying not to stress about all this. (My husband meeting me at the door with a mixed drink tonight helped...) Gotta BELIEVE. It's gotten me this far.

Did you hear the Faith Artist Confidential? There were a couple of things that tickled me. One of which was hearing my name in the credits, a first for me on AC. The other was hearing our very own Paula get a question asked via email during the show -- she sent one in response to my blog posting. Yay Paula! That led to a really good bit of info!

Tomorrow, after dealing with the Garth mess, my mission is to finish that mysterious Carrie Underwood Show #7. And then I'll come tell y'all about it. Probably with another drink in hand.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Gotta Have Faith

I was reminded by visiting that our Faith Hill Artist Confidential airs all day Monday on XMX - Channel 2. Check it out!

The Cat is Peeking Out of the Bag!

So, The Ultimate Hits has been leaked out early in Europe. (which, for the record, I think is a beautiful reward since his last couple projects have not been available internationally at all.) And if you read the internet reports you know that at least 2 of the questions I teased you with from my earlier blog have been answered:

What are you NOT going to see on the DVD that everyone thinks they will?

Which version of the "In Another's Eyes" video will be on the DVD?

What you don't know - yet - is the follow up question to both of those -- which is "And why?"

Hear it from the horse's mouth this Friday on XM's Highway 16 ShortCuts! 6pm Eastern on XM's Highway 16, DirecTV channel 814 or the Highway 16 Feed at

Y'all are just gonna love, Love, LOVE this show. Don't miss it!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blogging From the Fishbowl

While I've got this ridiculoulsy long file saving, I thought I'd pop in and paint a picture of my world at this moment.

I'm in the big studio at the Hall of Fame -- with the big picture window, that we (lovingly) refer to as "The Fishbowl." In front of the window, Opry stars Mel McDaniel and Jan Howard are signing autographs. Which means there's a few dozen people standing around taking photos that are going to have me - in my ISU Sweatshirt and no makeup - in the background. In the small studio next to me, a guy with a ridiculously deep voice is doing shows for Deep Tracks. For the past couple of hours I've been listening to Garth talk about himself in 3rd person as I edit our XM World Premiere, and on the TV above me, Keith Urban is on GAC.

So. What's your fishbowl look like? And can I send some tourists over to take pictures of it?

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Friday, October 26, 2007

Need 2 Tickets for the 7th!

Calling all GarthNutts -- a friend of my sons' is looking for 2 tickets to the KC show on the 7th. If you have 2 to sell, drop me an email at joyce.rizer at

Had a good productive day at the studio today, thanks to Amy Paige saving my ass. I think I'm now dog paddlin'!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Totally 80's

Delaynie and I do this thing every couple of months that we started back when she was a wee munchkin, that we call "Girl Slumber Parties." No boys (daddy's) allowed (unless they're going to wait on us hand and foot.) We sleep on the sofa sleeper, stay up late watching movies, eating junk food, painting our nails, talking, and just being girls.

Our Girl Slumber Parties always have some sort of theme... about a zillion of them have been around one or more Disney Princesses. Fortunately we've outgrown that. We've done Lion King... assorted colors (think pink!), wolves, and of course, Hannah Montana etc. etc. etc.

When we were in Illinois a couple of weeks ago, my mom gave me a bunch of my old school yearbooks. Delaynie, who loves looking through her own yearbooks, got a complete kick out of them, and tried asking me a ton of questions about photos as I was driving down the interstate.

So, to make up for being the absentee mother lately, and relieving some of the guilt over working last Saturday and this one, I told her we'd Girl Slumber Party on Friday night. Our theme: Totally 80's.

So. Help me out. How can I help a 10 year old re-live a decade she never lived through to begin with?

Music is easy... we've got an 80's channel on XM.

TV / Movies gets a little trickier (remember, she's only 10, so no Brat Pack movies) but she has several seasons of Full House on DVD, so I think we'll be ok.

For food I want to do microwavable food -- one of my biggest cooking memories was when we got our microwave in 1979. Not sure what exactly that would be. (popcorn gets stuck in her braces.) I also have fond childhood memories of Banquet fried chicken. LOL Any distinctive drinks from the 80's?

I think we definitely need some big hair going on. I wonder if we can make our own legwarmers out of Gary's socks or something. What else?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Treading Water

For the past couple of weeks, when ever anyone asked the casual "how's it going, how are ya" type of questions my answer has been "I'm drowning."

This happens to me every year about this time... 4th quarter album releases, CMA's, holidays. Not enough hours in the day. We taped 8 shows in the 7 days since I came back from Illinois. Add a dumb-ass wisdom tooth and redneck neighbors with guns to the mix, and I've been sinking fast.

(Thanks for the good thoughts, by the way. I'm told the eviction process has begun.)

After we got the last show taped Monday, I got a bit of a breather. Big weight off my shoulders. No immediate writing deadline to cram for. Then I got to work on Tuesday and realized those shows needed to now be edited. Some of them needed production created. One of them still needs the other half to eventually be written. We won't even talk about the Christmas channel I'm supposed to be working on. I was taking in water at a rapid rate.

We have two locations here in Nashville... the "Fast" studio -- 2 work spaces -- and the "Slow" studio -- 3 work spaces -- that get rotated amongst a total of 7 bodies. I'm supposed to be at the "Fast" studio 3 days a week, but with all these tapings at remote locations, I've not been there in days. And my productivity shows it.

In one of my more panicked moments I was frantically searching for cheap fares to D.C. It would be worth it to me to fly up for the day and get these long form shows built at the super fast Mother Ship so that I could reclaim a little bit of my home life, which has been completely non-existant (as my daughter frequently reminds me). I didn't find anything in my budget... but I haven't given up yet.

But glory hallelujah -- Today, I got an entire day at the Fast studio! I got more done in 7 1/2 hours than I'd gotten done in the past 7 days. On my 13 item to do list, I got 11 of them done. Trisha is completely edited, Garth is loaded in, LBT is partially edited (file had gotten corrupted at the other studio, or it would be done too), I got logs scheduled, sweepers produced, promos extracted and lots of stuff activated. I even did research for a tourist that just had to know about a song she heard sung on the Grand Ole Opry the previous night.

So anyway, I'm very VERY excited about the progress I made today -- and about all this AMAZING programming that's coming down the pike for you.

Woo hoo -- I'm treading water! By Monday, I just might be swimming!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Need POLITICAL Country Songs

You guys did so good on the Opry songs, here is another challenge.

Looking for songs about politics for our Presidential election channel. And no, Dixie Chicks / Toby Keith feud songs don't count. :-P Not war... politics. And in this case it needs to be the main content of the song, not just a line, like the Opry stuff.

Hey Mr. President - The Warren Brothers

Politics, Religion and Her - Sammy Kershaw

Your turn.

Need OPRY songs

I need songs that reference the Grand Ole Opry... all I can come up with off the top of my head is Lionel Cartwright "I Watched It All On My Radio."

I know there's more. Help?

When you think Tim McGraw

... think of my next door neighbor.

We moved in August to this little Norman Rockwell looking neighborhood. It's crazy how quaint it is. 90% of the houses have front porches... everyone has beautifully manicured lawns, cul-de-sacs, it's just precious. But the thing that's been the most surprising to us, was that we hadn't met very many of the neighbors. Not that we expected everyone to be showing up with casserole dishes when we moved in. Ok maybe. At least cookies. But we hadn't met hardly anyone.

We have a corner lot that backs up to a cul-de-sac, so out our back windows, or back deck, we look right into someone's front yard. And we frequently see a man out in the driveway working on stuff.... smoking, and talking on a cell phone. He wears a do-rag, early 40's, with a goatee. Due to a crazy resemblance - from the distance - we nicknamed him Tim McGraw. And the joke was Faith must not let him smoke in the house. Every time we've talked about him for 2 months, he's been Tim McGraw.

So last weekend there was a community wide garage sale. Great chance to get out and meet the neighbors. Met tons of people, lots of families with small children, when Delaynie's old enough to babysit, she's going to make a fortune. So I wander over to "Tim McGraw's" house. There's an older lady in the driveway talking to a customer and she calls out "Tim how much do you want for this?" It was all I could do not to bust out laughing.

I introduced myself and Tim (I forget his last name, but it wasn't McGraw) introduced me to his mom -- who also happens to be named Joyce. We had a lovely chat, the mom & dad and Tim all live there, they have little dogs, just as sweet a little ole lady as you could hope to have for a neighbor. Delaynie went over and met them later and I had visions of them sitting on the rocking chairs together talking or her walking their dogs. Because that's what you do in Norman Rockwell neighborhoods.

I had started this post last night - I've had Taylor Swift going in my head since Saturday. I was midway through that last paragraph when I heard an argument in Tim's driveway. His house sits perpendicular to mine, so his driveway runs along our property line, which thankfully has a high wooden privacy fence.

About the time I got up to go look out the window and see what was going on... I heard a gunshot. Never heard a real gunshot before. A decade of living in a very working class, mixed race neighborhood, the last few with ghetto trash neighbors that I'm sure were fighting pit bulls, never heard a gunshot. That's the kind of thing that happens in the 'hood. Not in Norman Rockwell neighborhoods.

Long story (it was a very long night) short... Tim was shot in the leg by some crazy older relative who is, for the moment, in jail. Tim's parents are renting that house, and hopefully, will not be my neighbors much longer. The homeowner's association is working on that -- apparently it's not the first disturbance on that property, but it is the first time the police have been called.

If I get new neighbors, I'm going to bring them a casserole.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Opry is ON!

I can't believe it finally happened... the Grand Ole Opry heard LIVE on XM Satellite Radio. We're all just a little bit giddy. And to kick it off at the Opry's 82nd Birthdy party was... pardon the pun... icing on the cake.

I worked about 3 hours on the Opry plaza ahead of the show at a booth we'd set up... handing out XM goodies and talking to folks. It was awesome how many subscribers came up and were excited that they were going to be able to go back home and listen to the Opry. And we've only cracked the surface of the Opry related programming yet to come -- stay tuned!

I had to take a photo of these jack-o-lanters on display in the Opry lobby... we haven't carved our pumpkins yet (bought them 2 weeks ago!) but I guarantee you they aren't going to look like this!

Just finished up writing the show we tape tomorrow - a ShortCuts with Little Big Town. Before I went to bed I thought I'd come here and ramble a little (really... y'all are cheaper than a therapist).

My goals for tomorrow are to tape the LBT show, locate some lost promos, and schedule and mix 2 logs, and then if nothing else explodes in the meantime... I hope to have 5 minutes to be able to call the dentist. I'm way over the legal limit on ibuprofen, apparently this tooth is not going to make me any wiser. I'm thinking our Christmas channel production is going to sound much better if I write it under the influence of something that comes via a prescription.

I just tonight unloaded photos from my trip... somehow I always come back and get mad at myself for not getting a photo of me and Maddie. Grr. I don't really even have a good one of her from this trip (she was getting sick.) I do, however, have lots of tractor photos.

I'm off to run some logs before my brain totally gives out on me. TTFN!

Friday, October 19, 2007

T.G. I. F. F!!!

Technically, I have to work tomorrow, so it's really more like Thursday, but I'm not going to think about that for the next few hours.

Shows #6 and #7 are done.

Release Day Rest Stops
Carrie Underwood

Carnival Ride
Tuesday October 23rd
XM's Highway 16

Every hour on the hour Carrie shares some insight into a track from her new CD, which is in stores today! Highway 16 is available on XM channel 16, DirecTV channel 814, and around the world via AOL Radio and XM Radio online.

**NOTE -- this is X-clusive XM audio cut in our studio, not pulled from the generic cut by cuts that labels service. I don't want the Carrie fans to think they might have already heard this anywhere else!

That's show #6. You're going to have to wait for me to tell you about Show #7. Gotta keep the Carrie fans coming around!

Graphics, by the way, are pulled from the XM Signal, which goes out to a few million subscribers. It came out tonight, promoting next week's programming. So I'm really... really... glad we really pulled off getting this thing done! Jay Thomas and I were cramming on it about 4pm tonight!

Umm... didn't see THAT coming

Well... ask and ye shall receive.

They just released a new Reba single.

The Justin Timberlake duet.


UPDATED: Is there such a thing as Too Much Garth?

Nah, I didn't think so.

I've added an encore presentation of all 3 parts of "The Ultimate Hits - Re-Lived." They'll air back to back on Saturday November 10th -- Noon ET on US Country, XM 17

Which was ridiculously bad planning on my behalf, because I'll be on a plane to KC at that point.

**I** need an XM 2 Go!

1:30 Update:
Ok -- totally embarrassed I didn't know sooner that this happened... but if you recall my last trip to NYC I talked about Good Morning America Radio, which is done for XM. Guests who do the GMA TV Show usually do the Radio Show. Apparently Garth did GMA, which I kind of knew he was doing one of those NYC morning shows, but in the insanity of this week hadn't paid much attention to which one. After it was over, he came by the XM studio and chatted with Hilarie -- some good stuff here, including family life and... spring training!

Listen to it here!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Late Night Ramblings

I'm about 60% finished with Script #7 (don't be mislead into thinking Script #6 is finished, 'cuz it ain't) but my brain is giving out on me, so I thought I'd come here and ramble a while.

Got my hands on a full copy of the new Carrie Underwood album today. Of course as I was reading the booklet the very first thing I had to listen to was "I Told You So." Can't wait to ask her why she chose that song to cover!

Why don't we have a new Reba single yet? "Because of You" has peaked, the album is kicking ass at the cash register, come on folks! Keep those hits coming!

Speaking of the cash register -- LeAnn Rimes had the top selling new country album last week, 2nd to Rascal Flatts on the country chart. Sara Evans a little below her, my poor boys Van Zant moved less than 17k.

But back to LeAnn, I'm horribly confused on what's happening with her. Lost Highway (Bon Jovi's record label) released the duet with LeAnn as a single, which she told us would be the 2nd single off HER album. She's singing with Reba on the CMA's... Reba doesn't have a new single. Yet. The LeAnn duet is my favorite on the Duets album. Is it possible that LeAnn could have 2 singles on the chart competing against each other, and her record label doesn't have to work either one of them? Or has this all been explained somewhere and I've totally missed it.

Did any of you get affected by the bad weather in Tulsa last night? Trisha told us Garth was at the grocery store when it hit. His wife almost wasn't allowed to fly home from New York.

Great, now some of you are thinking about getting stranded in the frozen food aisle with Garth.

Other things to listen for in the Garth specials: His barometer for what determines the Greatest Hits, his goal for Teammates for Kids, and how to use Garth Nutts in a sentence -- and the reaction that got.

Garth's ShortCuts going to encore over Thanksgiving weekend, in case I forgot to tell you.

We've got Pink Innos (portable XM units integrated with XM+Napster and 50 hours XM storage) on the XM Friends & Family deal these days. FYI.

Anyone going to the Grand Ole Opry this weekend? I'll be out on the Opry Plaza in the XM booth Saturday afternoon.

Right now though, I'm headed to bed! And look, it's only 10pm!

5 Down... 2 to Go

You got Trisha questions?

We've got Trisha answers.

The Cookbook.

The 60 mile walk.

What she calls the new album

The Kansas City Shows.

And oh yeah... her thoughts on every single song on the CD

XM World Premiere - Heaven, Heartache & The Power of Love
Highway 16 ShortCuts with Trisha Yearwood

Debuts: Friday November 9 - 6pm ET
Encores: November 10 @ 10am / November 11 @ 6pm / November 12 @ 9am

By the way -- since this won't air until after it won't matter any more... one thing Trisha did tell us is that she WOULD be at all 9 KC shows, and the only thing she had to give up doing in order to make it all work was the CMA Awards.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bright Spots

The writer in me would love to dash out a tale of angst and anguish about how badly I'm drowning at work right now...and share all the gory details of everything that went wrong in my 13 1/2 hour day. But instead... I will share the bright spots:

Script #5 is done

Paula formatting the show I have to write tomorrow

My new friend in our IT Help department

Two and a half days until Opry liftoff!

Hearing that one of the things waiting for me in the mail I haven't opened since last Thursday is new cookware.

Being met at an event 10 hours into the day with a smile and a glass of wine

When I get this damn wisdom tooth out, I'll get a day off work

Going into work extra early tomorrow means I'll get more done

Biscuits from the Loveless Cafe. With peach preserves.

Meeting Jimmy Dean and having him thank us for the good country music that XM brings into his life.

Thinking the only thing that might make those biscuits better was some Jimmy Dean sausage.

Bill Anderson with a microphone

Don Schlitz. Tom Schuyler.

In the same room as me. And Jimmy Dean.

A perfect fall night

Sitting on a couch singing Kenny Rogers and Randy Travis songs with Amy Paige

Need Help!

Help has been gotten -- thanks so much to those who replied. I'm a little sad that it didn't go to one of my Carrie Underwood readers, but I am very grateful for all offers!

I ain't afraid to beg, LOL. Have I mentioned how much I miss my interns?

Fortunately, I've been blessed with a most awesome "online intern" who volunteers to do ridiculously mundane tasks like format scripts and artist research for me. However, I've worked the poor woman to death over the past week!

I have a project I need a volunteer for... will take about an hour of typing online, literally all you need is MS Word and fingers. But I need it by 9am tomorrow morning.

I cannot, unfortunately, offer great wealth in exchange for your assistance, but I can offer you a "production assistance" credit in a very cool show we're doing, hosted by the hottest woman in country music right now. And my undying gratitude, which is worth... something. Surely.

If you are interested, drop me a note at joyce.rizer - at - (Spelled out to spoil the spammers)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

4 Shows Down... I can breathe again.

You got Garth questions?

We got Garth answers.

Just how limited is a limited edition?

Why isn't he playing a show on the 13th?

Who's going to be on stage with him? Who's not and why? Band members? Special guests?

Will there be more shows beyond KC? What about those Vegas rumors?

What are you NOT going to see on the DVD that everyone thinks they will?

Which version of the "In Another's Eyes" video will be on the DVD?

How did he come up with the sequencing of the album?

If he tours again - where MUST he go? And who won't he go without?

What made him more proud of his wife than anything she's ever done?

Halftime of the career - and the halftime show.
Songwriting. Awards. The Family. The Fans.
It's amazing the ground we can cover in 90 minutes....

Highway 16 ShortCuts: The Ultimate Hits
Debuts: November 2nd – 6pm ET
Encores: November 3rd – 10am ET / November 4th – 6pm ET / November 5th – 10am ET

Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Hits Re-Lived
Tuesday November 6th

Part 1: 1989-1993 / 10am ET - America XM 10
Part 2: 1994 – 1999 / 11am ET – XM 17 US Country XM 17
Part 3: 2000 – 2007 / Noon ET – Highway 16 XM 16

It's Garth... to the Power of X!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Put the Coffee Pot On!

So... catching up with y'all since Thursday...

... Delaynie had her last football game Thursday night. By the time I went to it, I still had not packed for my weekend in the Illinois cornfields

... Later Thursday night: black smoke rolling out of the hood of my car... further delaying packing.

... Departing at dawn for a 500 mile husband-less journey

... Me, a 10 year old, a pickup truck, and hours and hours of cornfields

.... Getting nothing done on the 7 shows I needed to write

... Turning down potential Show #8 for the week

... Lost count of the tractors

... $1300 in car repairs (including a new battery in a separate, Saturday incident) later, my car is running great in Tennessee

... $1300 in car repairs later, definitely NOT going to the Statler Brothers induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame

... $1300 in car repairs later, it's a damn good thing I've already booked my flight to KC or I wouldn't be going there either.

... awesome hugs from my neice, who thinks she's 3 even though she's not yet.

... barely making a dent in the 7 shows I needed to write

... collapsing from exhaustion and spending all of Sunday in bed

... way, way, way behind on the 7 shows I don't have a shot in hell of getting written

... waking up Monday with a very painful wisdom tooth that I don't have time to get out

... me, a 10 year old, a very full pickup truck, and hours and hours of cornfields

... locking myself away trying to tackle at least one of the four shows we are taping tomorrow

... brain. completely. fried.

... New Rule: No more than 3 shows taping per week that I have to write

... New Rule#2: No ShortCuts for albums with more than 30 songs.

... Must get a coffee pot upstairs

This is a test blog....

This is a test blog. I am in the middle of Kentucky. I have left the corn fields behind and I am trying to see if I can blog while driving. Wouldn't that rock? See you guys back in Tennessee.
Click here to listen

Powered by Jott

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Garth news from the cornfields

*Pearl Records announced this week that they will make the online premiere of Garth Brooks' new music video for the record-breaking #1 hit "More Than A Memory" available exclusively via country radio station websites on Friday, October 19th at 10AM ET. The video will debut within an online player being dubbed 'The G-Player', a device housing exclusive commentary, photos, trivia, news and a release-day messaging campaign known as 'Wake Up With Garth'. The online player is part of their larger radio album premiere package which includes a one hour radio special plus an on-air and online 30 day countdown to the November 6th release of Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Hits.

That's from the weekly Big Machine Radio Report... which also says that Trisha will open all nine Garth shows. I know there's been talk that she might not be able to make them all.
BTW, for those spreading the "Taylor Swift is gonna open for Garth" rumors... check her tour schedule. Brad has her a little busy. LOL

Sadly... I was invited to a gathering tomorrow afternoon where Garth will debut the new music and videos... but I won't be back from Illinois yet to make it. Love ya Garth, but a girl can only get up so early! And really... after 8 hours of trucking through the cornfields, I don't make good company.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Meanwhile... in the Big Apple...

I was supposed to be in New York City today. Thank goodness I wasn't, (trip got cancelled early in the week) because the whole world seemed to fall apart around me here in Nashville today. Unanswered Prayers.

The reason I was supposed to be there was for a Trisha Yearwood Artist Confidential taping. I am, however, counting on my New York contingency to bring me back all the juicy details in the form of a guest blog. I'm not sure I made it clear that was a pre-requisite for getting into the show, but it is. Check the fine print.

The next stop on the Producer J. World Tour is Central Illinois. It's Fall Break weekend, so Delaynie is off school Friday and Monday. We're heading out bright and early in the morning, so my relatives can entertain Delaynie (or vice versa) while I write the SEVEN shows that we are taping next week-- FOUR of which happen on Tuesday when I get back. I'm gonna need a vacation from my vacation!

For those of you in Central Illinois... it's Spoon River Drive weekend!

My husband was supposed to go with us... I have a cigarette lighter plug for my laptop... I was gonna type while he drove. Part of the world that crashed today involved his work, and now he can't go. If anyone sees a red F-150 crusing I-64 / I-55 through Illinois... watch out. The driver might also be typing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

11am Central Time - October 10, 2007

I officially began working on our country music Christmas channel.

I've gotten a bunch of new Christmas music in this year. Diamond Rio... Randy Travis... a compilation album called Play Something Country Christmas from SonyBMG. The most confusing one though, was Martina McBride's White Christmas.

It came in the mail a couple of days before they put out a press release on it. I'm thinking "Hmm... I thought Martina already did a Christmas album... and I thought it was called White Christmas." Definitely these were very recent Martina pics. I remember the original as having short-haired Martina pics. This CD said copyright 2007.

I went into our computer, and sure enough, the Martina Christmas music we had was from an album called White Christmas. It was a little Christmas twighlight zone.

A couple days later I got the press release that they were re-packaging her album with new graphics and 4 new songs.

Wonder if HER message board is all a twitter.

Garth at the Movies!

If you missed it... this morning Garth announced that his November 14th show would also be carried live in NCM Movie Theatres (NCM owns Regal Cinemas, which are EVERYWHERE).

He talked about this quite a bit at GRS about doing this for the local radio markets since he couldn't tour... I'll try to dig up my notes on it. Little by little the GRS scoop is rolling out. Jon and I have been sitting on our theory since we noticed that there was no show on the 13th... gotta bring those camera's in!

So now my Garth concert tally is up to 3... how about yours?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Laughing with the Stars

I had intentions of writing a blog entry tonight called "The Hannah Factor." And I'll get to that content in a minute. But first... I have to tell you I watched my first episode of Dancing with the Stars tonight (not counting the Sara Evans dropout interview)... and I laughed all the way through it.

I'm sure the dancing was wonderful, but I was completely distracted by how much makeup those women wore. Seriously... I don't know how Marie Osmand could see out of those fake eyelashes. And this was a "results" show so it was basically an hour of fluff to announce who was going home. Silly soundbites, a brutally painful elimination process... really it could have been all over in 10 minutes. The musical performances were backdrops for some very uninspiring dancing... very vauge running and twirling. Kind of like the "interpretive dances" you see at some modern churches.

At any rate, I know what someone is going to say... if I think it's so easy, get out and do it myself, right? Um... no. And if I ever thought about it, I'd make sure to loose enough weight that I looked better in those dresses than some of those women did. Scary Spice indeed!

Seeing Jennie Garth though, (who did look beautiful and classy) reminded me of something that happened at an event I was at a couple of weeks ago. I'm standing there, in a crowd of people waiting for the show to begin, and someone walks up to this lady standing near me and asks "Aren't you Jennie Garth's sister?" She was. Now whether she was THAT Jennie Garth's sister, I have no idea.

Ok, so back to the entire reason I even watched 30 minutes of that trainwreck... the Hannah Factor.

Billy Ray Cyrus put out an album a couple of months ago... I think it was mostly cover songs... I don't even think I got a copy of it. He released a single, that didn't apparently go anywhere. Because it appears that it's not enough to be just Hannah Montana's Dad. You must be in the presence of Hannah to be cool. (Which would explain his sold out show at the Wildhorse Saloon - which bills a "special suprise guest" and an under 21 show - the night after Hannah/Miley performs here.) I think I've told the story of how hard I laughed when Delaynie exclaimed "Woah! Did you know Hannah Montana's dad was a country singer?"

So tonight Billy Ray and Miley/Hannah did a duet of his single... and they're servicing that version of the song to radio tomorrow. It was a good song, I even let Delaynie break the "no tv on school nights" rule to watch it. And I think it will be interesting to see what this version of the single does. Because Miss Miley is quite GarthGantuan in the tween set... and a bunch of us country music listening moms are all too familiar with Miley and her daddy.

For the record, I like Billy Ray, he's never been anything but kind to me, and it appears he's doing a great job of keeping Miley grounded despite being like... the totally coolest chick in the world to everyone under the age of 12.

But I'm done with Dancing with the Stars. I think I'll go invest in Max Factor stock.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Where in the World...

are my blog readers from? Well let me tell you!

I have this nifty little free program on my blog that lets me see stats on the last 100 visitors. Depending on the time of day I check it, I can see some interesting stuff.

Today I had a particularly interesting international mix:

Zagreb Croatia (wow!)
Wellington, New Zealand (Brett, right? I've not been to Wellington. Yet.)
Zurich, Switzerland (Main?)
Bath, England (Dave?)
Worcester, England (got sauce?)
Oslo, Norway (Jona)

And somewhere I've just absolutely never heard of before and wouldn't know where to being looking for it on a map:
Quatre Bornes Mauritus

I do know that Quatre means "four" in french, so I'm going to tell myself someone is reading me on the French Riviera.

I do have a couple of intriguing cities domestically too... like the regular visitor from Paw Paw, Michigan. If I built a high school there, I'd name their mascot the Paw Paw Bear Claws. I always smile when I see Paw Paw on the log.

And today I had a visitor from Metamora, IL. Trying to remember if I drive by Metamora on the way home. I sure remember Jim Barnett and Lee Ransom giving the temperature there. Or Mike and Mac "Still ahead... news for Metamora and all of Central Illinois..."

Feel free to claim your city.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I do Believe -- I DO!

Wooooo hoooo! I'm in, I'm in, I'm IN!

I can't even begin to tell you how tired my fingers are from all the clicking and typing I went through tonight trying to figure out how I could get in to see Garth. But I'm in!

My goal, ever since I heard about this show back at GRS, was to be able to go with my son and daughter-in-law who live an hour outside of KC. I only get to see them a couple of times a year anyway, and they love country music, so I thought this would be an awesome thing for us to do together. Because it's going to be years before we got the opportunity again!

Then my brothers, who were with me the first time I met Garth and then later we all went to our first Garth concert together, heard about the show (Funniest thing ever - my brother emailed me a link to to a PG news article, not knowing I'd broken the news in the first place) all excited about going. I filled them in ahead of time about what I couldn't tell you, which was regarding the shows rolling backwords instead of forwards, and how many potential shows there could be. So we checked our calendars and our spouses and decided we were going regardless of the dates, and we needed 5 tickets - me, dave, jen, and my 2 brothers.

As you know, I couldn't get to a computer that day, so I just told them to handle it and let me know when we were going. My youngest brother got the five tickets we needed, but then both brothers decided to take their wives. Very cool, but that left my kids ticketless.

I didn't want to go without Dave and Jen after I'd told them I wanted us to go together, so I put the word out to people that might have extras that I was looking for tickets. Someone kindly offered me three for the 7th... Southwest had a Ding! fare... and I was seconds away from booking that when BOOM - something hit me.

The 7th. Of November. The CMA Awards.

Umm, yeah... I probably should be in town for that.

Not that Jon couldn't work the press room. But I was the one credentialed and although we have the same birthday, we don't look much alike.

So I started poking around on Ticketmaster, really wanting to take advantage of this Ding fare.

After searching every date for every option, including seats not together, I was getting ready to come post on here. In fact, I had started a new post called "I'm Not Too Proud To Beg" while I was bopping between Ticketmaster dates. Figured surely someone, somewhere, out of the 600 or so daily visitors I get, would have 3 tickets for any night other than the CMA's.

Then the Ticketmaster Gods smiled on me. And I'm pretty sure they don't smile often these days. I got three! Together!! Upper bowl, but at least we're in the building! And I think I have a ticket for the following night unless my brother gave it away too.

Lots of seats are opening up, so keep checking Ticketmaster if you're wanting to go -- single seats are especially abundant. At one point I'd found 2 single seats in the same row.

Ok. So I'm in! I get to go see Garth! I'm there Nov. 10th and 11th. Who's going to be in the crowd those nights screaming with me?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

How's THIS for irony?

Those of you who came here via PlanetGarth know that news of the concert broke to Garth fans when someone read about it here on my blog and posted it there. My posts are all time/date stamped, I welcome anyone to claim they broke the news before I did.

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry, but I didn't get tickets. Gary had 2 phones going and I had one, and we never could get to a show that had 3 tickets available. My oldest son and his wife live an hour outside of KC, and I'm very much looking forward to sharing a Garth concert with them.

So when the dust settles, if anyone has 3 tickets to sell, I'm in. I don't even know how many shows he wound up selling or what dates, but my schedule is open the first half of November. I'll get there.

So I did the thread for posting your "I GOT TICKETS" stories. Now I want to hear from those of you who didn't. LOL. Misery loves company.

In the meantime, I'm going to tell myself what I told you -- it will happen. I BELIEVE.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Garth Day Tales

I'm starting this thread specifically to collect the outcomes of tomorrow's ticket adventures. Here's the rules to play on this post, thank you in advance for playing by them:

- Post here at the END of your adventure. When you either have tickets in hand, or you've given up.

- Tell us what you went through to get there. All dramatic details are appreciated, we love good stories!

- Please post the city / state / country you are posting from

- Make sure you include how many tickets you got for how many shows

- Let's keep all the chit chat, congratulations, & condolences out so we can look over a string of stories at the end of the day. Thanks!

As mentioned, I'm not going to be near a computer and am relying on my brothers to get me tickets. I'm not picky on which night, I will find a way to get there.

Those of you with my cell phone number are expected to text me once you get tickets -- THEN come post here and let everyone else know. :-D
Good luck my friends and fellow Nutts!!
Remember -- BELIEVE !!!!

Splitting Hairs

The "oh I expected it to be shorter" comments stop NOW. I got rid of more hair than some of you have on your head. So there.

Grascals Win Again!

Programming note: the show is re-airing right now on XM 14, Bluegrass Junction. It started at 8am ET I am pretty sure.

WOOOOO-HOOOO! The Grascals continue their reign as the IBMA Entertainers of the Year. I'm so proud of these guys! Every time I see something great happening for them, I have flashbacks to Fan Fair... 2004? I was wandering in the exhibit hall when Jen... and maybe Leann & Michelle? found me and told me that I had to come over and meet Jimmy Mattingly, he had this new group, and they'd told him about me and XM. And I met him and Terry E. and maybe Jamie... I think there were 3 of them that day, in a booth at Fan Fair before they even had a record out. They gave me a press kit and little 4 song sampler. And so the adventure began.

It was a great night at the Opry house, and our live show went off without a hitch. I think we got all of the winners except for a couple of the instrument categories on for interviews. My ridiculously uncomfortable high heels came off about 10, so I spent the next 2 1/2 hours running around the Opry House in my barefeet.

I got ready for the show at Gary's work...I had to pick Delaynie up from school and take her to him, where I changed in his office. It's a good thing this dress has used up it's Awards Show Quota... it's very comfortable but makes me look like I have hips the size of an SUV.

Another tidbit from the Opry House, I got to see the dressing rooms they redid for the DIY show that is airing this weekend, I'm sure if you google you can read a press release about it with times. They're different. I kept meaning to go take a photo of them, and I didn't get around to it.

I did talk to Jimmy about the KC shows -- he will be there, they start rehearsing soon. He is not doing the OK Centennial show, that is not a full band show. And unfortunately (my words, not his) The Grascals are not Garth's opening act which I think would have been brilliant (really... they're the Two Time and Reigning Entertainers of the Year!) and neither is Trisha, not that I think anyone expected she would be.

Now closed circuit to all GarthNutts: Breathe. It's going to be ok. You're gonna have to trust me on this... but you're not going to be disappointed.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Happy IBMA Day!

Today's the big day in the Bluegrass World -- the IBMA Awards! You can hear it live tonight on XM 14 Bluegrass Junction. Our backstage coverage begins live at 9pm Eastern, followed by the Awards Show itself at 9:30 ET. Both our pre-show and the Awards show kick off the same way - with the reigning Entertainers of the Year! The Grascals will be with us backstage at 9:05, and they are the first performance of the Awards show.

Prior to all that fun though, there's a special luncheon at 11am this morning where the special awards winners are announced - including the Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year. My colleague, Kyle Cantrell, who singlehandedly programs Bluegrass Junction, is a nominee, along with 2 people from our satellite competitor. I find it interesting that all the nominees this year are from satellite.

So check back in later and I'll let you know how it goes. Regular readers here know that I'm 3 for 3 in obtaining nominations for broadcasters I've produced the nominations reels for. I'm looking for the first win today. :-) I have a better track record in the non-broadcasting field... I wrote the nomination for one of my husband's employees for a regional employee of the year consideration and she won a trip to Disney World. I'm available for hire should you desire to be nominated for something.

I've fixed my ACM dress so I have something to wear tonight, and I chopped on the hair a little more last night so it looks better. Funny thing was I got so many compliments on it at church last night... I just laughed. It just started raining, which is not good news for either my dress or my hair. Especially considering I have to spend this 14+hour work day in heels.

Now here's a question for you... these are my World of Bluegrass credentials. Does anyone else see something incredibly funny about this? (Although the photo doesn't quite do it justice.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Reason #777,777 that Big Machine ROCKS

These will be live reports from the Sprint Center with updates on tickets and information about any additional shows. (I'm pretty sure they're audio only reports, they are being serviced to radio.) They will be every 10 minutes -- and last 5 minutes.

In between the live reports, they have Garth vinettes. It will be good background inspiration while you're frantically hitting "refresh" at

Have I mentioned I'm nowhere near a computer on Saturday? I'm expecting text messages from all of you with reports as you get tickets!


New Soundscan chart just hit my mailbox --

Number one selling CD last week - Rascal Flatts, Still Feels Good. No real suprise. But check out how many copies they scanned at the cash register:



Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Late Night Ramblings

The people have spoken! Or not spoken. Twice now, when I've blogged about Faith Hill. Zero reaction. She is now banned from my blog forevermore. From here on out, Tim is single. (ooh la la!)

Lots of photos to share tonight, most of them from the World of Bluegrass Convention. For instance... there is this little gem... which we saw headed our way about the time it left Memphis.

Kind of hard to miss it, eh? I saw Danny Roberts wandering around the Exhibit Hall today, but that's my only Grascal sighting so far. However - I have booked the Reigning Entertainers of the Year on our IBMA Awards pre-show -- they're on at the top of the show, 9pm ET on Thursday.

There are many differences between mainstream country and bluegrass, but one is definately the sponsorship element. Aside from MG and their Jim Beam bus, and the Oak Ridge Boys and their Red, White & BluBlocker bus, I can't think of anyone who puts logos on their bus like bluegrass artists. Right behind the Grascals was Rhonda Vincent's Martha White Tour bus. Rhonda was getting on it as I walked up, so I didn't take a photo... didn't want to look like I was stalking her. It was the bus I was after. But really. Can you imagine Rascal Flatts riding the Tennessee Pride Sausage bus?

The Nashville Convention Center marquis is broadcasting Bluegrass Junction this week, by the way.

Speaking of Rascal Flatts -- Amy Paige interviewed them a few days ago. You can listen in Thursday at 7:30am ET and Friday at 10am ET. I edited their chat, and let me tell you -- the best part of the conversation had to fall on the cutting room floor! Those boys liked having Amy talk to them... but it wasn't exactly "family friendly!!!" A Rascal who shall remain nameless has coined the phrase "Triple-X-M" - and he wasn't afraid to use it. You won't hear it in the interview, but you will hear their Kenny Chesney impersonation. Check it out Thursday or Friday morning!
Back to Bluegrass, here are some random shots from around the convention center, where you tripped over a musician sitting on the floor strumming something about every 12 feet.

Blogger seems to have had enough of my picture posting, so I'll save the others for tomorrow.

However, we still have the Never Ending Awards Show Query before us... what will J. wear?

I've decided to play Musical Awards Show Dresses. The sparkly long sleeved outfit I wore to last year's IBMA's can work for this year's CMA's, and my $11 dress from New Zealand that I wore to the ACM's in May shall be seen at this year's IBMA's, which knocks it down to $5.50 per wearing. However, I've never fixed the little Borchetta Wardrobe Malfunction that I had on the orange carpet, so I had better find where I packed the needle and thread...

Confessions from the Chopping Block

So... I'm broke. Happily broke, I might add... or perhaps I should say Cash Challenged. Not unexpected, we knew buying this house meant tightening the belt, and we've done that pretty well. Basically, there is nothing extra in our budget at the moment.

I had thought a few days ago about selling off some of my promo singles and such to try to raise the $125 I needed to go see the Statlers inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Then I realized I couldn't in good conscience spend that kind of money on one night when I didn't have $35 to get my hair cut.

Now already, please realize, that my hair is a rainbow of colors, because my colorist hasn't been in town lately. ;-) On top of the roots showing, it's in my face, straggly, and looking quite hideous. And of course... there's an Awards show this week. (Stay tuned for additional blogging on that.)

So, tonight I got out the scissors. I had a vision for what I wanted my hair to look like. Kind of heather locklear-ish. (Melrose Place Heather, not T.J. Hooker Heather.) So I started snipping.

And snipping.

And snipping....

And snipping.

There's a whole lot of hair in my bathroom garbage can. (And dang it, the ends were actually all the same color!) Left on my head... not so much. And what's there, isn't pretty. Do you remember when you were about 5, and you took your kindergarten scissors to your barbie doll? Yeah, that's me. Only barbie didn't have black hair with brown roots and grey streaks with an occasional red highlight sneaking in.

So if you see me any time in the next, say... 6 months... pretend not to notice that all of THAT is missing from my head. (Blame Sandi for the photo... she asked for it.)


Garth had some interesting stuff to say about technology during our sessions at GRS. He talked about internet pre-sales, and how he wished those kinds of things had been available to him when he was touring.

However... what I'm hearing about how tickets for this Kansas City show will be sold makes me wonder if we need to buy his Garthness a calendar.

Remember how, in 1998, we'd go to the ticketmaster outlet and get a numbered wristband? And then they'd draw a number, and THAT was the start of the line? Must be present to win, must have cash in hand.

Yeah. That's how people in Kansas City are going to be spending their Saturday morning. Then they can spend Saturday night taking advantage of the rest of the world on ebay.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sunday - Sunday - Sunday!

Ok... THIS is cool. Not that all the other programming we've been rolling out for Country Music Month isn't cool... but this is REALLY cool. It might have been my most brilliant thought of the past month, and it's actually happening!

Every Sunday in October, US Country takes you back in time - for a retro edition of Country Countdown USA with Lon Helton! Check out his special guest co-hosts, back when they were on the brink of being the superstars we know them as today!

SUNDAY, 10/7 – 4:00 PM ET – Country Countdown USA – week of March 27, 1993 (with hosts Brooks & Dunn)

SUNDAY, 10/14 – 4:00 PM ET – Country Countdown USA – week of October 30, 1993 (with host Toby Keith)

SUNDAY, 10/21 – 4:00 PM ET – Country Countdown USA – week of February 5, 1994 (with host Vince Gill)

SUNDAY, 10/28 – 4:00 PM ET – Country Countdown USA – week of September 11, 1999 (with host Kenny Chesney)

What would YOU ask Faith?

Hey Everyone - we're taping a Faith Hill Artist Confidential TOMORROW in New York, and Faith wants to answer the fans' questions!

A little birdie tells me they're still looking for a few awesome questions, but they have to have them by COB (eastern time!) today.

You can email them to OR post them here and I'll send them in. Name, city, and state, please!

I'm excited about this episode of A/C. Normally those are completely handled up in D.C., but George Taylor Morris, the host, asked one of our country guys up there for some help, and he sent GTM to me. So I got to do a bunch of research for this show. Something a little different for me, so that was cool.

So now YOU can be involved in the show too -- it's like we can do a show together! Get those questions in ASAP please!