Thursday, May 29, 2008

Everyone should know better...

... than to challenge Producer J. on Montgomery Gentry triva. Really.

Last night MG held a little soiree to celebrate the release of their album (thank you for not doing it during CMA Music Fest!) that included a massive country music trivia game.

The idea was cute -- tying it into the theme of their current single "Back When I Knew It All." So they were looking for the know-it-alls. The rules, however, were incredibly complex and hard to follow, and I wasn't drinking anything stronger than Diet Coke. Can't imagine how the Jack & Coke drinkers followed along! Troy helped read questions. Eddie just walked around in his sunglasses being cool.

Team XM was comprised of myself, Intern Suzanne, Amy Paige, and 2 people from WSIX. There were probably 125 people playing, and I can't begin to tell you how they came up with winners or where we wound up placing. (Ideas were better than the execution at this event.) As happens when you're playing on a team, not everyone agrees, so some consessions had to be made.

I was ok with conceding to someone else's guess about how many tattoo's Troy had, even though I wound up being right. (3) I listened as my teammates named every Mel Gibson movie except the one they'd done a song for, and then gave them the answer. (We Were Soldiers) But I argued and argued with the guy from WSIX about what year it was that Montgomery Gentry won Vocal Duo of the Year at the CMA's.

Was it 2001? No, It was before I worked at XM.
I was at
Had to have been 2000.
No no no, it wasn't that early. More like 2004.
Kenny Rogers was in the press room and we were all trying to not show that we were ignoring him as we watched Eddie and Troy on stage for the night's big upset.
Definitely 2000.
No because their first album came out in like 98 or 99. It had to have been 2003 or 2004
I was standing at the back of the room manning a camera. It was before I worked for XM. Clearly, it was 2000
They lost the ACM that year, I remember the party afterwords, it was 2004.
I was wearing black pants and a royal blue sleeveless jacket. Eddie was wearing black. Troy looked hot.
Ok, so we're going with 2004? Good.

Seriously... did he not realize who he was dealing with???

:-D We did have fun though. And I got some good scoop on how they do programming over at 98. Probably just as well they didn't give each team their results. The winning team for each round, however, got a bottle of Jim Beam. Ick. To this day I hate the smell of that stuff.

Ira Dean, Trent Willmon and Jeremy McComb were all in attendance. (Ira won a bottle of Jim Beam.) Storme Warren emceed the event, bless his heart - he and Trent showed up wearing the same shirt. Trent... not much of a conversationalist that night, but I tried. Amy tried. Amy can carry on a conversation with a tree, but not Trent. Perhaps he needed some Jim Beam???

Onto CMA Music Fest events...

Did a walk through for the Tracy Lawrence Fan Club Party today. Tracy's little girl was with him - she's a cutie. Neat venue -- the new Judge Beans at Greer Stadium. I hadn't been in there before. Tracy is working on some special guests... but I can't tell you who!

We also have started getting in our giveaway items... which means we're in the process of putting together 2,000 XM / GM goodie bags. That's just for the first part of the week. Check out my little volunteer assembly line!

Schedule of events now up at . Please, no comments about the photo... NOT the ones I suggested.

I've heard a rumor that I actually have a desk at the Sommet Center now. I'm going to try to go check it out tomorrow!

This photo was taken as I was standing in my office last week. ---->

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

And the winner is...

Jay Thomas chose...
"Good Ride Cowboy"

And the GarthNutts rejoice.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Return of US Country

Strait Country rides off into the sunset Saturday at Midnight Eastern, making way for the return of US Country. The last song on SC is, predictably, "The Cowboy Rides Away" (flashbacks to Music City Holiday anyone?) So what is your suggestion for the first song on US Country?

I've made my suggestion to Jay Thomas, but he told me I could open up the floor to suggestions from y'all. So let's hear it -- what would be an appropriate song for US Country to return with?

Use THIS word in a sentence


It showed up in a press release today. (I'm sure I don't need to tell you whose...)

BTW... if I was the rumor starting type, I might point out that it's very interesting how the female half of a popular duo has shown up onstage twice now without her performing partner at another entertainer's shows in 2 different states. Can you just happen to be in the neighborhood of places like Grand Rapids, MI? Maybe Cleveland. But not both. If you were touring nearby you'd have the male half of your duo with you, right? Gotta be something there more enticing than the free Corona...

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Countdown is On!

We're one week from our CMA Music Festival coverage. By this time next week, we'll have assembled 3 engineers, 2 field production guys, 3 interns, and 5 members of our air staff. Plus me. All without my usual color-coded spreadsheets. (I'm lost already.)

This is the Pre-Hell Week Hell Week. As tradition has it, Jon Anthony is on vacation, leaving me to deal with 5,000 incoming premium items and no office space while he frolics at Disney World. (I can tell you all this because I say it to him in person too. He knows I still love him.)

FORTUNATELY I am back in the intern business. I have yet another awesome intern, this time hailing from Florida. Her name is Suzanne and she's a mega-over-achiever like I've never seen. I'm pretty sure I could tell her I need her to climb the bat building and she'd ask if I wanted her to do it in boots or flip flops. Now, if I just had a place for her to work! (Don't ask. Seriously. Although I do have updated pictures to show at some point.)

So tomorrow, I tackle editing an MG ShortCuts while Suzanne preps artist info for the Chevy Parade. I spent most of my weekend sleeping (I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I didn't get out of my pajamas today.) I'm hoping I can find some energy, because on top of Fan Fair fun, I've got to pack my daughter to go to Church Camp next week, and myself to move downtown for the week. And if I'm smart, and can stay awake long enough, I'll leave a nice long Honey-Do list for Gary to tackle while he's got the house to himself.

Speaking of sleeping, I think I'll go do some more of that.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Are You My Type?

I'm O+. How about you?

I got a call from The Red Cross yesterday... it was time for me to go in and give blood again. They are critically low (which seems to be an ongoing problem) and are desparately concerned about the upcoming holiday weekend, which traditionally brings an abundance of accidents.

Unfortunately, the day before I'd been given a medical diagnosis that means I can't give blood at the moment. So, I'm relying on you to be an angel in my place! Here in Nashville you don't even need an appointment, you just go into the Red Cross Headquarters on Charlotte and it takes less than an hour. The Red Cross website can direct you to the nearest location where you can give.

One pint of blood can be divided to bless three different lives. Give the gift of life, and pray that some day you aren't the one in need.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

MG in the house!

Some days I really love my job. I'm rockin' out to the new Montgomery Gentry album, because we're taping an XM World Premiere with Eddie and Troy today. This album really ROCKS. They've gone back to their earlier, gritty, rowdy rock sound, which is what made me fall in love with them in the first place. (And you thought it was just Troy's good looks!)

We're taping the show this afternoon, and I still don't have songwriter credits to know who wrote what, which normally would be frustrating me to no end, because it's about a 3 hour process to write an episode of ShortCuts. Howevever, it just means I'm killing time by listening to the album over and over waiting to sequence the show, and that's not a bad way to spend a morning.

I've learned by now that some way or another, the show always comes together. And this one will too.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Calendar Updates!

I have the schedules for the late night Musicians On Call benefit shows at the Hard Rock Cafe ... if you're coming to Fan Fair and need to make plans, email me.... three great nights of songwriters! A little closer to the time we'll release the complete schedule of everything we'll be carrying on XM.

Sugarland's album has been moved UP to July -- Keith Anderson's album has been pushed BACK (for what, the 723rd time?) to August 5th, and Sara Evans is getting married "very soon."

Now, about our post-CMA Music Fest blog meeting... who's still here Monday morning June 9th? I have 2 different ideas...

Yeah! What Kenny Said

There's a very good, comprehensive article on about Kenny Chesney's reactions to winning Entertainer of the Year, which was Fan Voted for the first time.

Go Kenny! I totally agree. As much fun as it is for the fans to have a voice, I don't think this is the appropriate place for it. They have their award shows, which in reality are a matter of who can spend the most time clicking on the internet. If the ACM's want to do a Fan Voted award, they need to make one -- a Fan's Choice. I'm sure they could sell a sponsorship to it... But don't cheapen the legacy of the Entertainer of the Year by turning it into an endurance test for mouse clickers. If you REALLY want the fans to determine, then award it based on who played to the most fans over the past year.

Plus, the ACM already has a "fan" level of membership, which at least would allow controls over how often people vote. I have never understood elections where one person gets to vote over and over again.

But that's just me. Your thoughts?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Oh My. Discussion Topics.

Feel free to chime in by number. List will be updated throughout the ACM's.

1. Sara Evans' red carpet gunny sack. Umm. Dress.

2. Carrie Underwood channeling Tina Turner.

3. Reba's opening monologue.

4. Taylor Swift's win. Shocking. Did it make you tear up or was it just me?

5. Garth coming up!

6. GO LADY A !! ! ! ! !! !

7. BIG night for Big Machine! I'm so excited for them. :-)

8. Hell. Miranda Lambert winning album of the year. WOW.

9. Notice how they're continually promoting Garth? He must be the top of the next hour.

10. Reba - B&D - ROCKIN!

11. Guitar thrown off stage - $1500
Tear away outfit: $350
700 gallons of water - $2200
Look on George Strait's face at the end of Taylor Swift's performance - PRICELESS

12. Not crazy about Garth's medley. Seriously, we know these songs. In their entirety. Not all chopped up.

13. Ok, I know in some galaxys I'd get shot for this, but I've never heard Garth and Trisha sound so horrible together.

14. Loved the Eddie Arnold tribute. Thought Carrie sounded SO much better when she uses that pretty voice of hers to sing, not scream.

What I love about Red Carpet Shows

I love watching the red carpet shows (especially the ACM's because if I'm watching it that means I'm not in Vegas sweating) because I get to see all my publicist / record label friends hanging out on the carpet with their stars.

Tonight's ACM show is interesting for a couple of reasons... the Sunday thing has wreaked all kinds of havoc on music row scheduling, as artists try to juggle tour dates with rehearsals and charity events and media opportunities.

Even more interesting is the fan voted Entertainer of the Year award. My money is on Rascal Flatts, because they've put the most effort that I've seen into campaigning. If you're watching GAC's Orange Carpet show (why doesn't CMT have one?) you'll see all the fans were given Rascal Flatts fans to deal with the heat, and they offered a free live song download for voting.

Anyone else got a prediction?

Sandi a year ago we were in Vegas hitting Margaritaville and watching the fountains at the Bellagio!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Too Cute Not to Blog

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Hee Hee Hee...

Whatever happened to Erica Jo?
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Who Is This?

I'm working on some photo galleries for the XM website (thrilling way to spend a Friday night, I realize) and I can't for the life of me remember this guy's name. Anyone?

Stay tuned... no telling what else I may find as I dig through the computer files....
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Another XM Blogger!

Kyle Cantrell from Bluegrass Junction has now joined the blogosphere! Go say hello to him here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

More Breaking News

"Shania Twain and her husband, music producer Robert 'Mutt' Lange, are separating after 14 years of marriage. This is a private matter and there will be no further comment at this time."
- UMG Nashville

That Grascals News I Promised You

Been sitting on this for what seems like forever... finally came out today... although I suspect a lot of people have seen the lineup change in concert.


NASHVILLE, TENN. (May 15, 2008)—The Grascals return to the Grand Ole Opry this weekend, performing Saturday during the 8:30 and 11:00 p.m. segments before hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree at the Texas Troubadour Theater. They will also be guests on Keith Bilbrey’s Opry Warmup Show. Fans can tune in to all the fun on 650 AM WSM or listen online at The Opry can also be heard live on XM 11 Nashville.

The Grascals are also proud to welcome and introduce new fiddle player Jeremy Abshire. Abshire burst onto the bluegrass scene as a member of Billie Renee and Cumberland Gap (winners of the 2006 SPBGMA International Bluegrass Band Championship), and came to The Grascals’ attention as a member of IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year Dale Ann Bradley's band. His influences include Benny Martin, Scotty Stoneman, Chubby Wise, Bobby Hicks, Kenny Baker, and Stuart Duncan – whom he cites as his favorite fiddle player.

“Jeremy has been doing a great job for us, and he’s proven that he’s up for the challenge. We welcome his talent and his passion for the music,” said Grascals vocalist and guitarist Jamie Johnson.

“I couldn’t have picked a better group of guys to hang out with,” said Abshire. “I’m out there having a blast!”

Because I Needed One More Thing To Do...

hee hee hee... I'm quite sure I'm about to convince y'all I have completely lost my mind.

But I'm very excited. Tonight I officially signed the paperwork to become a Pampered Chef consultant. I couldn't resist. I love their products, and I had SO much fun at the party I had at my house back in February. I've been cooking so much more now that I have all these great tools in the kitchen to play with. As awesome as their host rewards are for having a party -- their rewards for consultants are even better. I couldn't resist.

No worries, I'm not about to quit my day job. :-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Random Ramblings

In the battle of the Greatest Hits collections... Toby kicked Dierks' ass. Toby's new CD debuted #1 country, #2 Pop, with 103k scanned. Dierks debuted #2 country, #9 pop, with 42 1/2k scanned. Prom Queen Taylor Swift still taking names at the #3 country spot.

I haven't had a chance to blog about Taylor's Prom, but you can read about it over at I have a couple of pictures when I find the chord to connect my camera to my laptop! We got souvenir tiaras when we walked in the door.

Fan Fair plans are coming along nicely. Amongst the Fan Club parties you'll hear on XM this year: Sara Evans, Josh Turner, Emerson Drive, JoDee Messina, Phil Vassar, Mark Wills, Rodney Atkins and Tracy Lawrence. There's one more possibility and we're doing something with the Marty Stuart Late Night Jam - just not sure exactly what yet. We'll also carry the songwriter shows from the Hard Rock cafe live, as well as performances from the Chevy Stage, and live broadcasts from our NEW studios! (Did I just say that out loud? no, surely not, that would clearly jinx things.) I'm up to my ears in spreadsheets and phone numbers these days.

BUT -- help is on the way! I met my new intern yesterday... she's officially moved to town. Yay for interns!

Busy place here today - Phil Vassar in the house.. Montgomery Gentry in the other studio... ran into Troy in the hallway, not wearing any shoes.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Storme Warren Joins the XM Family!

Nashville, TN

XM Satellite Radio today announced the addition of GAC-TV host Storme Warren to its on-air lineup on Highway 16, its new country hits channel. Warren’s live afternoon drive show (3p-7p CT) will debut Monday, June 9 and will originate daily from XM’s new studio complex at the Sommet Center in downtown Nashville.

“Storme is one of the most talented personalities on both TV and radio,” said Jon Anthony, XM’s Senior Program Director/Country. “He’s interviewed just about every country music star on the planet, and they all enjoy and respect his style and passion! Now, he’ll be able to bring that entertaining forum to a national radio audience every day on XM.”

"This is a dream come true,” said Warren, the 2007 recipient of the CMA Media Achievement Award. “I can't think of a greater way to celebrate my 25th year in broadcasting. XM represents everything I used to love about radio. When I first started at KELI in Tulsa back in 1983, radio was a wide-open world where programmers and DJs weren't afraid to try new things and take risks. XM reminds me of those days. We're going to have a lot of fun, and I will continue to do my best to take care of Country Music and those who help create it!”

Warren’s addition coincides with the upcoming opening of XM’s new Nashville headquarters at the Sommet Center Arena Tower. The brand-new, state-of-the-art facility will house office space, operations, production facilities, and seven studios – including a stunning, glass-walled performance studio overlooking downtown Nashville and the Ryman Auditorium.

“Our new studios will truly be a combination of advanced technology and style that everyone will love to visit,” said Anthony. “With Storme broadcasting to the entire country every afternoon from the coolest studio in town, it’ll be a revolving door of Nashville stars and VIPs stopping by!”

Prior to his show’s debut, Warren will also participate in XM’s exclusive coverage of the 2008 CMA Music Fest, June 2-9, which will feature live concerts from the Chevy Stage, Fan Club Parties, and other live performances. He will also continue as host and co-executive producer of “Country Music Across America” on Great American Country Television.

Just Another Manic Monday

Jeepers. It's only 10:15 and the day is already insane.

Just picked up a Driver's Ed taping with Julianne Hough. Today. in 5 1/2 hours to be exact. I'm waiting on music so I can write the show. That should be fun.

It's also Taylor Swift's Prom Night. Seriously. They're throwing a Senior Prom for her tonight. Unfortunately, my mother couldn't find my old prom dresses -- prom attire is suggested. Should be fun. It's also a triple platinum party for her. She's having one heck of a Senior Year, eh? I kinda hope she brings home the ACM Female Vocalist trophy. That would be one awesome graduation gift.

We're doing a ShortCuts taping with MG this week, and I snagged a booking with Dan Tyminski for Bluegrass Junction. So it's looking to be a very good week.

None of the above is related to the Big News that will be released shortly. Keep watching this space.

Watch this Space!

Something I'm VERY excited about is supposed to be getting announced today. Soon as they pull the trigger, I'll post it here!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Best Mother's Day Weekend Ever!

Me and My Kids.
Hope y'all had an equally wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

My Eddy Arnold story

Anyone who's worked in this town for any length of time probably has an Eddy Arnold story. His career lasted longer than many people spend on this earth. I've yet to hear a story about him that wasn't favorable, and more often than not includes the word "gentleman."

I met Mr. Arnold the first time about 5 years ago. It was summertime, and he was coming into our studios for an interview in conjunction with something he was doing at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, our setup there didn't include a green room, and he was waiting between events in the employee break room, drinking coffee out of a styrofoam cup.

This particular day my daughter was in the building, she would have probably been around 6 at the time. When they crossed paths, Mr. Arnold talked to her, asking her name and age, typical kindergarten chit chat. She of course, had no idea who she was talking to.

I went back into the studio and told the DJ about Delaynie chatting up a Country Music Hall of Famer, and we laughed how someday, when she learned who he was, Delaynie would scold me for not getting her picture taken with him.

Unfortunately, so many people today, including those who work in this industry, don't know Mr. Arnold's contributions to country music. As the media reflects on his life over the next few days, pay attention to the things that he accomplished. He was one of country music's first superstars.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


less than a month until Fan Fair...still between studios... papers never in the right place... What day is today?...bought a new drive for my laptop because the DVD worked and the CD didn't... used it for 4 days before I realized that yes, the CD works, but now the DVD doesn't... 2 1/2 weeks until 5th grade is over... not getting into the school we wanted, and trying to figure out how to tell Delaynie... still have no idea where my work mail is getting delivered to...working 2 days a week from home... unless we have shows to cut... then I come in to work but have nowhere to work... a brand new floor in my downstairs, which looks amazingly if we only had furniture to go on top of it... on a plane at 6am Friday morning... haven't even thought about packing... can't really pack until I go shopping for a new dress... planning a college graduation party from 700 miles away... confusing the Music Fest spreadsheets with the new studio spreadsheets... grey means live and black means WHAT?... blogs backlogging... lost permission slips... no place for the intern to work... just 11 more school days to get through... 5th grade teachers might all survive... 11 more days to stay away from 5th grade teachers... desparately need a hair cut but I can't find my hairdresser's phone number...first time in 14 years I'm going to have a Mother's Day Weekend with all three of my children... assuming I eventually find a suitcase...


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires...

Are you a Jewel expert? Actually, those would be gems. How about Jewel the country singer?

I'm writing an episode of ShortCuts with Jewel... and her story is incredibly fascinating to me. It's also all new to me. I know she's a multi-platinum pop star, but I can count on my fingers the number of things I really know about her - none of which include titles of her hits.

So... taking the pulse of my audience... are country fans familiar with her story? I don't want to bore people because technically... this is kind of old news. But I don't want to assume people know her country music credentials, either.

What say you?

Friday, May 02, 2008


$50.00 to fill my gas tank just now. I've NEVER had to pay $50.00 for the gas in my car. I drive a Pontiac Grand Prix. I cannot imagine what somebody driving an Escalade is paying at the pump. This is crazy! listen

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Update fom the Rizer Zoo

Remember that beautiful flowering basket I had on my front porch that someone decided looked like a good place to build her nest?

Those 5 eggs have now turned into these cute litte fellas. The big guy there flew the nest this morning. *sniff*sniff* At least now hopefully the other guys can thrive and grow a little....

Unfortunately, I don't think there's any hope for my plant. Once the eggs hatched I had to stop watering it, I was afraid of drowning the little fluffballs.

All five of them made it. In case you can't tell by the photo, they're French. Delaynie named them. Jacques is the big strong one, followed by Pierre. The 3 littler ones are Fifi, Mimi and Belle.