Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009!

Wasn’t it just a couple of weeks ago that I was making fun of people for stocking up on bottled water because they were panicking about Y2k? How can we possibly be at the end of this decade? I’m not ready for 2010 yet – I haven’t decided if I’m going to call it Twenty-Ten or Two-Thousand-Ten.

It’s crazy to think I’ve spent most of the past decade in the same job. The one constant while everything else around me changed. I’m the satellite radio cockroach ~ they can’t kill me and I refuse to die. Not bad considering when I took the job most of the people I knew didn’t think the company would be around this long. Although, I guess technically, you could say they were right.

The thing that comes to mind most over the past decade is the people. When it comes down to it, it’s not the building you walk into ~ a church, a home, a school, an office. It’s the people that are there to greet you at the door that make or break your day. I’ve found some amazing friends this decade. I’ve lost a few too. On the days that hurts a little less I realize that it’s their loss. Other days I'm still bitter that someone can just walk away like that. Not just from me, but from my daughter? Really? They've missed watching a pretty amazing kid grow into a pretty neat pre-teen. Yeah, their loss.

I know I’ve been a rotten blogger over the past few months. Don’t take it personally… my creative juices have just dried up. Writing is like a muscle you have to exercise. I don’t have shows to write at work anymore, I don’t blog, I haven’t even been writing for AOL lately.

I’d love to tell you that my New Year’s resolution is to be a better blogger, but I can’t make any promises. I tried Twitter, and honestly, I think the whole program is a bunch of junk. The only reason I signed up is to get some news scoop for the features I was writing – and that’s been useful. But all that RT’ing drives me BATTY. I feel like I’m eavesdropping all the time, on people I don’t know or don’t care to know. I have a whopping 20 followers I think, half of whom I don’t know, and one that blew me off years ago in real life. Facebook is my preferred medium, because it’s quick, easy, and brainless. But I had some issues in the fall and decided to put my FB page on lockdown. So now it’s pretty much only people that I know in real life. At some point I may open that up again, or make a second, more public account.

So what does 2010 hold for Producer J? No world tour, I’m guessing. I probably need to rename this blog. But I’m so glad I’ve had it all these years, because I really enjoy looking back and remembering the amazing things I’ve gotten to do… it really seems like a blur sometimes. For now, I’m plugging along. Delaynie’s doing great, she’s literally about half an inch shorter than me and wearing all my clothes. Gary’s training for a half marathon in April. Our new house still has a million things I want to do to it if I’d ever have time. Dave & Jen and Brad are all in Kentucky now and our family is in good health.

To recap the year… here are some memorable moments in absolutely no particular order in 2009 for me – personally and professionally. I’m sure there are many things I’m leaving out, so I reserve the right to modify! Here’s to many more in 2010.

~ Rizers Invade Kentucky: Between May and September Dave & Jen and Brad all moved to the Lexington area, putting them all within 3 ½ hours of us. What a blessing! Dave & Jen bought their first house, and hosted Thanksgiving. David’s church is doing really well, and they’re connecting with some great friends. They’re rubbing elbows with the stars too ~ he’s got an award winning country star going to his church!

~ Fearless Surprise: Taking Delaynie to see Taylor Swift’s Fearless Tour. September - Nashville. I kept it a surprise from her up until just a week or two before. If you saw this tour, you know that Taylor completely deserved that Entertainer of the Year.

~ Hey baby, let’s go to Vegas!: October. Had a Faith Hill song running through my head for a week when I got the invitation to out to Garth’s Vegas press conference and get a one-on-one interview. I didn’t wind up going, but I’ll always treasure getting the invitation, because I know plenty of people who didn’t..

~ Cowboy Boot Shopping in Texas: Love my boots. Loved that weekend. Not so fond of the giant beach balls hitting us in the head. When’s our next roadtrip? :-)

~ Christmas 2009: Lots of family, lots of snow, and the best gift ever. Great way to end the year.

Wishing you nothing but wonderful memories in 2010!

The 2009 World Tour T-Shirt

Illinois
Indiana
Kentucky
Ohio
Tennessee
Texas

Seriously... is this the lamest travel year ever? Did I forget somewhere?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Clearly No Parrotheads Work at CMT

Just got back from a CMT Crossroads Taping with Jimmy Buffett and Zac Brown Band. Small venue, about 500 people there. Both bands on stage together. TV Tapings are always a little odd, but this one had a couple of really odd moments.

- No Hawaiian Shirts allowed. Really?
- We were to dress in warm colors, no brights. At the risk of repeating myself... Really?
- There was a bar in the lobby (serving Margaritaville margaritas, of course) but they told us we couldn't take cups in. So no drinking. We get packed into our sardine seats, and guess what? There's a bar in the back. Serving the same drinks in the exact same cups they were serving in the lobby.

Even Jimmy wasn't allowed to wear bright colors, apparently. He wore the long sleeved (Really?) "Life Is Good" shirt I've been looking for for Gary. Olive green. Jeans - no shoes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

4 States... 1156 Miles... 6 Days

Been running around the country, but I wanted to check in and wish everyone good luck with their speed dialing tomorrow! Let me know how it goes!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Thursday!

Hope it's as good a day for you as everyone is hoping it will be! :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Today's Word Is...

Had to go to dictionary.com to check this word out. Yep... it meant what I thought it meant. Dang.

em⋅bar⋅go 
 /ɛmˈbɑrgoʊ/ [em-bahr-goh] noun, plural -goes, verb, -goed, -go⋅ing.

–noun
1. an order of a government prohibiting the movement of merchant ships into or out of its ports.
2. an injunction from a government commerce agency to refuse freight for shipment, as in case of congestion or insufficient facilities.
3. any restriction imposed upon commerce by edict.
4. a restraint or hindrance; prohibition.
5. a word that steals the joy from the media.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Stickin' Out Like A Sore Thumb

I did something I'd never done before in my life today. I walked into a Harley dealership. First thing I realized once I'd found it was that I was clearly not dressed appropriately. I had a minimal amount of black on, and absolutely no orange. To say I felt a little out of place was an understatement. In hindsight, a bandana would have been a big help in the wind.

It was all for a good cause though. Dierks' Bentley's 4th annual Miles & Music for Kids event. My role there was simple -- quick interview with Dierks to gather soundbites for The Highway's "Nashville Flash" news minute. Mission accomplished. The concert lineup for the event was pretty good, but surprisingly, very few of the artists were doing the ride part of it. (Darius told us a couple of weeks ago "If Dierks thinks I'm riding a motorcycle he's on crack.") Troy Gentry showed up to ride, but Wynonna was the only performer who was also riding. I did not see so much as a whisp of her red hair during the 2 hours I was there.
By the way, let the record reflect that IF indeed I ever MIGHT have had a SLIGHT crush on Troy Gentry... it's over. Still love the MG music, but Troy has gotten a little too glam rock for me. I miss the rough and rowdy redneck who came to town with a little scruff and a pair of cowboy boots. Where did that guy go? And who is this guy wearing eyeliner looking like a drag queen waiting to come out? Even his motorcycle was over the top. (Even Dierks mentioned it.) At any rate, that was the topic of conversation amongst the media while we were waiting for Dierks to come around.

When he did come around he talked about the event, what his daughter will be for Halloween (Yoda), his touring plans for next year (taking the spring off) and his next two cds (one of which will be Bluegrass.) Dierks is a good guy, I love his music and I love that his heart is in the right place when it comes to his career. However, a year into fatherhood honey, you have to stop referring to your daughter as "my kid." Or worse yet, describing Vanderbilt as "my wife had her kid there." Try something a little warmer like "our child." When Evie gets old enough to read your interviews, she'll thank you.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Trick or Treat !


I love the Opry Pumpkin Patch -- check it out in the foyer of the Grand Ole Opry house now through Halloween!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Comeback....

So as I last blogged... I've been a lousy blogger lately. I blame a couple of different things -- one is my crazy life, and the other is Facebook. It's made me lazy. It's easier to just throw out a line here and there when I'm walking through the parking garage. However, due to some upcoming events in my life, and the realization that a lot of people I really don't know very well have access to everything in my life including pictures of my house, I'm about to draw some lines in the sand. Basically, I promise to try to be better about blogging if you promise not to get upset if I unfriend you on Facebook. The work stuff will go here - the personal stuff will go there. Deal?

Another reason I haven't had much to say lately about my adventures across the Sirius XM nation lately is that I haven't had many. I haven't traveled in ages, and I've had almost nothing to do with what specialty programming has been created. HOWEVER -- I'm working out the details to hit the road soon.

SO... let's play catch up, shall we?

Miranda Lambert at the Ryman was AMAZING. The entire balcony seemed to be music industry and VIP's. Taylor Swift was there, front and center in the front row. She was like 3 rows ahead of the president of Taylor's record label. Everyone and anyone in the country music media -- we sat next to Bob Kingsley. I've read that Kelly Clarkson was there, although I didn't see her, nor do I know anyone who did. CMA, GAC, CMT executives -- if they had 3 letters, they were there too. Everyone at her record label. Really.... I've never seen such a VIP turnout.

After performing her new CD Revolution top to bottom (and if you haven't gotten this yet, please do yourself a favor and buy it!) she did three classic country songs acoustic. When she was singing Patsy Cline, she stepped away from the mic for part of it, and just let her voice ring out. Very cool. Then of course, she did her hits. At the end, she got down on her knees and kissed the Ryman stage.


Afterwords there was a smaller party at The Stage downtown. She came over and worked the crowd. I was able to spend a few minutes with her and introduce her to my friend Donna, who was celebrating a birthday. A good night.

Best #1 party I've been to lately, hands down, was Jason Aldean for "Big Green Tractor" on the roof of BMI. We did a 30 minute or so round robin with him before the party started. Jason told me prior to going into the shindig that I wouldn't be able to miss his family. He was right -- his little girls were in denim skirts and "Big Green Tractor" t-shirts. There were green tablecloths and potted mums, and green (non-alcoholic) drinks called Tractortinis -- served in martini glasses. Food was plentiful -- waiters serving mini-cheeseburgers and corn dogs, and a full buffet of munchies. And it was perfect weather. Love the rooftop events!

Seems like we're getting overrun with new music lately... I always ask what's grabbing you -- and I want to know that too, but I also wonder what is turning you OFF. I've got a song right now that just drives me crazy every time I hear it, because it sounds so out of place on country radio. Since I don't want to show up in this artist's google news alerts, I won't name names... but will tell you it's a remake - and the original wasn't country either.
Ok your turn!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Checkin' In...

Yeah, I know I haven't blogged in ages. The little subtitle of my blog is titled "Adventures across the SXM Nation" and quite honestly, I haven't been having many of those adventures lately. I did spend a couple of days in Outlaw Country last week, which WAS an adventure - a good one! - but I was also working in Roadhouse and was too slammed to really be able to come up with anything witty to share. Beyond that, I really don't think y'all want to hear about how I'm updating spreadsheets, timing out logs, and updating more spreadsheets. I chose not to get into the whole Taylor / Kanye thing here... I figure that was being discussed everywhere else.

Hope you're well, and we have something fun to chat about soon.

xoxo
- J.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blogging From The Opry House

At the Opry House for the Darius Rucker show... part of which is being taped for Jimmy Kimmel Live later this week. Does anyone else find that funny? A show with 'Live' in its title is several days old?

Anyway... can someone remind me how to email posts in? Sean, are you out there tonight?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Late Night Ramblings

Time for a few miscellaneous ramblings, as I look back on a crazy busy week, and try to figure out how to survive the week ahead.

First off... the AOL writing gig has been a blast! SO much fun. Wish I had time to do more of it. I cram a little in either first thing in the morning or after everyone's gone to bed at night. Because of needing to be on top of the more quirky news... I'm actually considering... CONSIDERING... signing up for a Twitter account. Because I think that's where all the scoop is at.

Secondly... I've heard from a bunch of you either through email or facebook about the fact that I currently don't have a boss. That's still the case, and probably will be for a while. One of the questions I keep getting revolves around the status of some of our long form programming, like ShortCuts and Driver's Ed. They'll continue through Labor Day weekend... not sure beyond that. Stay tuned.

The week ahead another of my co-workers is out of the office... so in addition to the extra work of being short staffed in Nashville, I'm playing PD for one channel, and producing some shows I've never produced before for another. Never a dull moment!

I know what you REALLY want to hear about though, is the parties! And there have been a bunch of them lately. I've kind of been on an anti-party kick for the past few months. I just got to the point where I'm already spending SO much time at the office, hitting the schmooze fests were something I sacrificed so I could have dinner a little more often with my family. Last week, I didn't get to have dinner with my family once, LOL, but I did hit some fun parties.

First off was a small event at Sony. It was a Kellie Pickler private performance... very small, maybe 50 of us, including label staff. Food was amazing... I think the caterer was called something like Two Fat Men, or Two Fat Cooks. They had these triple chocolate brownies that were AMAZING. But back to the performance. Kellie was HYSTERICAL. Came out in an evening gown and bare feet. With Kellie, there is no edit button. She thinks it... she says it. She was swearing like a sailor, and crossing herself afterwords -- admitting that she wasn't Catholic, and probably wasn't even making the motions right. I was at a table with Brian Mansfield, who was tweeting the event for USA Today. We were just dying. When I got back in my car the valet had left both of Kellie's cd's wrapped up in a bow with a handwritten note from Kellie on the passenger seat. Must be CMA voting time!

Same label group, different night -- a #1 party for Brad Paisley. Took one of my NYC co-workers with me... it was his first time to get to go to a #1 party. We chatted up the label head, laughed and clapped and moved on to the next event. Food looked good, but all I had was a little cheesecake bite. Honestly... by this time, I've been to so many Brad Paisley #1 parties they all run together. Kim and the kids not in attendance.

Same night, different label -- a platinum party for Darius Rucker. SO much fun. We chatted with Darius at the bar when we first arrived... started talking about which single would be next. He wants - as do I - "All I Want" to be a single. He told us if we got anywhere near Mike Dungan to tell him that should be the single. Not a problem, I adore Mike. So once we get done chatting with Darius, we head his direction.

Mike is a really great guy, and he was telling us about how everything started with Darius right there at Sambuca, where we were partying. We had a nice conversation, and eventually asked about the next single. He told us which one it would be - and I'm sorry, I can't remember the name of it... and he told us the second choice... to which we said "Hmm.... what about 'All I Want.'" Mike burst out laughing, and said "You've been talking to Darius, haven't you?" Busted! But honestly, I'd have picked that one had I NOT been talking to Darius! The thing about that song that scares the label is that it is a shuffle, and they failed with Trace Adkins' "Marry For Money." Totally different song, totally different artist. The thing that I love about that song is that it has such a great hook and has a tune that will get stuck in your head.

The party itself was good... Darius got a nice plaque, they did a video highlight reel of his last year (I did mention it's CMA voting time, right?)... food was good, sushi - which I didn't have - and some little roast beef sandwich things. Completely open bar, which I wouldn't be surprised if Darius himself paid for. Many jokes running through the night about how Darius wasn't expensing things... he was already a multi-millionaire, he wasn't doing this for the money. He is working on his second album, with Frank Rogers. Plenty of jokes too about Frank, who also produces Brad Paisley, who was having his party across town. Darius said it was ok if Frank didn't show up, he knew Frank had to hang with his A guy, and might not have time for him. (For the record, he did show up.)

I have mentioned that I love Darius, right? I need to find some Hootie music, because I really don't know his rock stuff. I've got 2 more events with him this week. In fact... one I need a date for Monday night. And Saturday, one half of Sugarland is coming into the studio before they open for Keith Urban. Come to think of it... I might need a date for that one too! LOL

Friday, August 14, 2009

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

A couple of weeks ago I told you how odd it was that Sony issued a press release announcing that they had parted ways with Gretchen Wilson. I mentioned that's not normally the way it's done.

Hello, Exhibit A: There is another artist no longer on Columbia records. And the only reason that we know that is because someone asked "hey, when is ___________'s album coming out?"

And the answer was, it's not.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Click Click Click!

Ok, I promise I'm not going to turn into one of those annoying people constantly promoting their self. But at the moment, I'm really excited with the newness of writing for The Boot, so I wanted to come share. :-)

It's been a while since I worked in the online world, outside of updating the country channel pages on the XM website. But I'm getting back in the swing of it. I got trained on our software tonight, so now I have access to all kinds of things, including an hour by hour breakdown of how many people click on my stories. Crazy!

What I've learned is that every click, and every comment counts. Especially the comments! Because when stories get multiple comments they show up on the sidebar, so more people see them, even if they're a few days old. So if you have a thought or comment on the artist or story, please share with the world! And if I write about an artist you're a fan of, please feel free to post a link to the story on that artist's message board, myspace, etc. (Don't copy and paste the whole story somewhere else though, that's incredibly bad netiquette, LOL.)

I also discovered that our stuff on The Boot shows up on the artist pages of AOLMusic.com. So my Kellie Pickler story, for example, shows up on Kellie's AOL Artist page. Cool!

There. *whew* Shameless plug over.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ta-da!

As many of you have figured out from my Taylor-Swift-like hidden messages and clues that I was going to start writing for the largest country music website on the internet, I am now, officially a staff writer for The Boot.

Being a 13+ year subscriber to America Online, I can't even tell you how cool that is! This is VERY much a part-time, as-I-can-find-time, opportunity, but I'm hoping to find time a couple of times a week anyway.

So go click on me!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

KISS a Girl

Hysterical... simply hysterical. If you are a fan of Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, KISS or Hershey's chocolate -- I guarantee you'll enjoy this 5 minutes of video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-QBbAhNukY

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Jitters

So I've turned in my first couple of pieces for my new writing gig, and now I wait. Nervously. Will they like them? Did I do them right? This company follows the AP style guide for writing, which is not what I'm used to at all. Basically, AP took everything you learned in English class and reversed it, and threw in a few more things just for fun. Why they can't abbreviate states with two letters like the rest of us mortals, I don't know.

Hopefully... I'll have a link to share tomorrow. I'm due to post a big piece on Monday, but I did a couple of little "test run" things first.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

George Taylor Morris

Long time XM listeners remember the Artist Confidential series launched many moons ago with George Taylor Morris as the host. GTM, as we called him, was a program director for Deep Tracks, and eventually went on to become a Senior Program Director over our rock channels.

I didn't know his legacy in rock radio, but I did know he was a prince of a guy. Very mild mannered and gentle, the kind of guy who commanded respect. He was one of the guys I would hunt down to say hello to when I visited Eckington Place, and would always come by to find me if he heard I was in the building. In October of 2007 I helped him behind the scenes with research for the Faith Hill Artist Confidential episode, and he put my name in the credits. I can't even tell you how cool that was (although I'm pretty sure I blogged about it at the time.) The only time I ever got my name in the credits for that show, although I have helped other hosts several times since. It was one of the last shows in that series he hosted.

In the year or so leading up to the merger GTM was out of the office more than he was in. He was battling throat cancer, and his presence was missed terribly, by both the staff and the listeners. He did come back to work, weaker physically, but the kind spirit we all knew was still there.

His health did not hold up, although his ambition did. Several months ago he was planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand. He only got as far as Los Angeles before his health prohibited him from leaving the country. We lost GTM last week, and he left a hole in the heart of the entire XM family.

Our video dept. tried to put together a little tribute video. It doesn't begin to scratch the surface of the talent encompassed within his body, but it does give a face to the voice that I know so many of you have heard through the years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YcMJjRlgJI

Monday, August 03, 2009

Hooray for Hootie!

Darius Rucker's 3rd single is the 3rd to go to #1... so excited for him! Hopefully, I'm finally going to make it to a #1 party for him, LOL. With any luck, people in country music will stop referring to him as "Hootie" now...

BTW -- I just finished signing about half a tree worth of papers that I overnighted to NYC for my new writing gig. So excited! Hope to get my first thing up by week's end.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Just a little tease...

In case you're sitting there wondering to yourself... Gee, I wonder what awesome new programming J. is working on for The Highway... let me give you a few clues.

Beaucoup de Driver's Ed classes - Including a threesome, a foursome, a guy on his second record deal, a guy who's hat is way too big for him and Al Skop's teaching debut.

ShortCuts - a show that I did the interview for but haven't locked in who will actually host the show yet, a reality show winner, and an album that's been delayed at least twice, but I think is really, finally, going to come out this month.

Competition for Elvis - Country's "King" gets a big ole weekend celebration just before releasing album #823.

Redheads Confidential - Oh how I wish I was going to be in the Big Apple in late August... full band, private party, our studios.

Sirius 60 / XM 16 / DISH 6060 / DirecTV 814 / Air Trans / Air Canada / Jet Blue

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow...

Gretchen Wilson and Columbia Records have "parted ways." Surprising? Expected?

They haven't really had much success with her since Redneck Woman, but I wouldn't call her a one-hit-wonder either. The surprising thing to me was that the record label put out a press release on it. Normally these things happen quietly and people don't know it's happened until months later when someone publicly asks "hey, when's that ______ album coming out?"

Saturday, July 25, 2009

One Year Ago Today...

...I was in Foxboro, MA... where I got The News.

Happy (?) Anniversary to us. I can honestly say I didn't think I'd survive this long. I almost didn't. At one point I was told I was going to be let go, and prepared to let someone else take over my job. There have been days I kind of wished that had happened. But I know everything happens as part of a much bigger plan, so it's intriguing to me that I wound up making it. I'm not sure how many of us original XM'ers there are left, but I know there aren't many.

Now that we've hit the one year mark, I can get fired, demoted, or given a pay cut, without any sort of severence option. Or, I may be here for another 8 1/2 years.

Stay tuned.

Friday, June 05, 2009

CMA Music Fest on Sirius XM's "The Highway"

Listen in on The Highway - Sirius channel 60 / XM channel 16 / DISH Network 6060 / DirecTV channel 814, as well as Jet Blue, Air Trans and Air Canada. Schedule subject to change... !!

Wednesday, June 10
3:00 PM ET The 5th Annual CMA Music Festival Kick-off Parade – Jon Anthony and Storme Warren will kick off The Highway’s live coverage with a “car-by-car” play-by-play of the stars and special guests in this year’s parade. Among those scheduled to be interviewed as they roll down Broadway in their Chevy vehicles – NASCAR driver Jeff Burton, Grand Marshall Rodney Atkins, Sammy Kershaw, Collin Raye, The Oak Ridge Boys and many, many more!

4:00 PM ET The 4th Annual CMA Music Festival Block Party – LIVE concert performances from the Chevy Stage by Rodney Atkins, Eric Church, The Lost Trailers, Emerson Drive, James Otto, Jason Michael Carroll, Trent Tomlinson, and the LoCash Cowboys.

Thursday, June 11
10:00 AM ET Phil Vassar Phan Club Party

12:00 PM ET LIVE Concerts from the Chevy Stage – Jeff Cook, Steve Holy, Caitlin & Will, Danielle Peck, John Conlee, Trailer Choir, Kentucky Headhunters, Colt Ford

9:00 PM ET Dierks Bentley “Last Call Ball”

Friday, June 12
12:00 AM ET The 3rd Annual “Late-Night Songwriters LIVE Concerts” to benefit Musicians On Call – Bob DiPiero, Sarah Buxton, Gary Burr, The Warren Brothers

8:00 AM ET Songwriters Concert replay from midnight

12:00 PM ET LIVE Concerts from the Chevy Stage – David Nail, Lee Brice, Dean Brody, Rhonda Vincent

3:00 PM ET Dierks Bentley “Last Call Ball”

4:00 PM ET LIVE Concerts from the Chevy Stage
– Kate & Kacey, Julie Roberts, Cherryholmes

8:00 PM ET Joe Nichols Fan Club Party

10:00 PM ET Luke Bryan Fan Club Party


Saturday, June 13
12:00 AM ET
The 3rd Annual “Late-Night Songwriters LIVE Concerts” to benefit Musicians On Call – Jason Matthews, Luke Laird, James Slater, Karen Rochelle, Jonathan Singleton

8:00 AM ET Songwriters Concert replay from midnight

11:00 AM ET Dierks Bentley “Last Call Ball”

12:00 PM ET LIVE Concerts from the Chevy Stage – Ty Herndon, Katie Armiger, Halfway To Hazard, Jonathan Singleton & The Grove, Holly Williams, Carter’s Chord, Justin Moore, Billy Dean

7:00 PM ET Mark Wills Fan Club Party

9:00 PM ET Phil Vassar Phan Club Party

11:00 PM ET Joe Nichols Fan Club Party


Sunday, June 14
12:00 AM ET The 3rd Annual “Late-Night Songwriters LIVE Concerts” to benefit Musicians On Call – Bobby Pinson, Rachel Proctor, Dallas Davidson, Leslie Satcher, Rhett Akins

8:00 AM ET Songwriters Concert replay from midnight

11:00 AM ET Luke Bryan Fan Club Party

12:00 PM ET LIVE Concerts from the Chevy Stage – Bo Bice, Emily West, Carter Twins, Jypsi, Grascals, Charlie Louvin, Blackberry Smoke, Bomshel, T. Graham Brown

7:00 PM ET Jo Dee Messina Fan Club Party

9:00 PM ET Mark Wills Fan Club Party

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Country Music's Biggest Party

My cases bottled water, snacks, and aspirin arrived today. My multi-tabbed, color coded spreadsheet is a thing of beauty. All of the production pieces have been tweaked, mixed, pad'd and activated. Someone else is doing the jock prep this year. We have boxes and boxes of banners, signs, and stickers. They tell me they've even ordered staff shirts with our combined company logo on them.

CMA Music Fest is almost here. I'll be able to post the broadcast schedule in the next day or two.

So... the one thing I don't know yet is -- are YOU coming? Tell me when you arrive, when you leave, and where you're staying.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's a Love Story, baby just say "Yes"


As part of the Tennessee Renaissance Festival, we got to tour the first floor of Castle Gwynn ("White Castle") which was the site for Taylor Swift's "Love Story" video. The castle is actually a private residence... a long time work in progress, that is still (almost 3 decades in) only half finished.

Needless to say, Delaynie thought it was pretty cool. She even met the owner, and thanked him for letting Taylor shoot her video there.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 25, 2009

Greetings from Castle Gwynn

Blogging from the site of Taylor Swift's Love Story video. Photos to come!

Sent from my Windows Mobile® phone.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Taking a survey

Where do you get your country music news online? Trying to figure out what, if any, decent country music web sites are out there.

Please list the Top 3 places you go to get news, and city/state or country.

Thanks!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Pint Sized Taylor Swift Fans

Couldn't resist sharing this video of my niece Maddie, who was VERY excited when Delaynie walked in wearing a Taylor Swift t-shirt today.

video

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Next Stop on the Producer J. World Tour Is...

...the cornfields.

Busy weekend... if I'm completely successful I will have celebrated Mother's Day with my mother, my dad's 65th birthday, and my nephew Ryan's 1st birthday in addition to having lunch with our younger son and completing the Walk for the Cure while pushing a baby stroller. (?)

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Monday, May 04, 2009

Boots... continued

Here is a better picture of our new boots. Which I really wish were here NOW! Not that I have anywhere to wear them this week... but I want them here! (We had them shipped to us so we didn't have to carry them on the plane.)



By the way... we went looking for boots for Sandi. I had absolutely NO intention of buying a pair myself. But then we walked in... and I was pleasantly surprised at the price tags... and my husband happened to call while I was looking around... so I asked him if he wanted to get me an early birthday present... When in Rome, you know? I've wanted a pair forever, but somehow couldn't buy one in the touristy "Buy One Get One Free" shops downtown Nashville. If you're gonna buy cowboy boots, you've gotta buy them in Texas!

So before I knew it, I'd spent more than Sandi on something I really didn't need to be buying. But I'm glad I did!
For those of you following along the comments in the previous post... here's Laynie in her red boots and hat, the last time I was in Texas -- Fall of 2003 .

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Boot Shopping in San Antonio!

Two pairs sold! Guess which pair is going to Nashville and which pair is going to Washington D.C.!?!

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Friday, May 01, 2009

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1st sign that you're not in Kansas anymore...

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Next Stop On The Producer J. World Tour: San Antonio!

The first question everyone asks is... "Why San Antonio?"

The short answer is... "Because we can." For the long answer, keep reading.

So I have been sitting on a free Southwest Airlines ticket for almost a year now, which tells you how long it's been since I had a real vacation. It expires May 8th. So I realize that I have to go somewhere.

I had a couple of main thoughts. I've never been to the Sirius HQ in NYC, and y'all know I love the Big Apple. So I thought about flying into Long Island, trying to get in to see HQ, and seeing a show. Not really fun to do alone, and hotel rooms in NY are pretty pricey, and even now, 10 months after the merger, an XMer setting foot on Sirius territory requires some heavy duty battle armor.

Then I was leaning towards going to Virginia... seeing my friend Sandi, doing a little Statler stalking in Staunton, and spending a day at XM HQ in D.C. Although this plan carried the risk that I'd get depressed by all the empty desks at Eckington, I do want to make one more trip there sometime, so I was liking this idea.

Then Sandi posted one of those Facebook things where you mark off all the states you've been to, and I discovered... the girl is 30something years old, traveled the world, lived in foreign countries, is fluent in Spanish, and loves country music, but has NEVER been to Texas. Hello! Something needed to be done about that, I think.

So I post the FB query about where in Texas we should go to. I love Ft. Worth and would go there any time. Austin was intriguing. Plenty to do in Dallas. Overwhelmingly, the public opinion suggested San Antonio. We checked concert schedules. Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, and Lady Antebellum were there May 1st. Miranda Lambert in Texas! How awesome is that gonna be?

Friday, we fly to San Antonio, for no other reason than... we can. God bless my amazing husband who lets me just run away for the weekend with a friend, even though we probably could put the money to better use a dozen other places.

My mission for the weekend: Tex Mex... brisket... Riverwalk... The Alamo... and Sandi buying a pair of cowboy boots.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Things We Do For Our Kids

I think I have sufficiently recovered enough from Taylor Swift Ticket Buying Adventures to bring you up to date on the final outcome. As with all things... it was the journey that was the best part of the story.

(Good heavens... I now have "It's the Climb...." running through my head. Make it stop!)

So... Friday morning I wake up, feeling miserable. And when I say Friday Morning, I'm talking early hours of the morning... not horribly long after I've gone to bed. I don't know what was wrong with me, but I felt like a truck ran over me and I was in horrible pain and couldn't sleep. So I get up and shower and get Delaynie ready for school and decide I'm going to have to call off work, which I completely did NOT have the time to do. But I was in too much pain to drive.

So I prop myself up in bed with the laptop. I'm all logged in to Ticketmaster, and I'm writing a Martina McBride episode of ShortCuts to keep myself awake. Poking around Ticketmaster, getting the lay of the land, googling "Taylor Swift Concert Sold Out" and getting nervous.

A few minutes before tickets go onsale at 10am, I get Sydney on the phone. She reports there's no line downstairs at the Sommet Center. She also logs into Ticketmaster as me... she's going to try for 2 tickets, I'm going to try for 3, whichever comes up better seats I'll buy. Starting about 2 minutes 'till 10, I'm constantly hitting "refresh," waiting for them to unleash the flood gates.

As SOON as they become available I put in for 3 and submit the request. I get 3, way way way at the top of the 300 level section in the back of the arena. According to my laptop clock, it's not even 10:01 yet. For those that don't know, my daughter has VERY bad eyesight, even with her glasses. To the point that unless they get a WHOLE lot more advanced with the surgery that could help her, she probably isn't going to get to drive. From up in the nosebleeds, Taylor would be just a sea of blurry lights. I pass on those and try again.

Meanwhile Sydney is just a few seconds behind in her request to get 2 seats. She comes up empty handed. By the time I back out and switch my 3 to a 2, I can't get anything either. We have failed.

So I'm completely dejected, having terrible flashbacks of trying to get Garth tickets in Kansas City, when I remember something. My brilliant friend Sandi, who is way more experienced in concert ticket buying than I am, often buys seats in singles. So I go back to Ticketmaster and put in for 1 ticket.

Voila! I'm in! 10:08am. Lower level, on the side of the stage. Surely Taylor will walk around the stage, right? I buy one ticket in section 103. $70. Which is a little pricey considering I don't care for either of the opening acts. $10 of that was add on fees.

Then I realize a slight problem that clouds my joy... even if Delaynie had perfect eyesight, she's not old enough to drive, and I'm sure not just dropping my 12 year old off at a show and picking her up later.

So at that point, I panic. Must. Get. Another ticket. Clock is ticking. What if I can't get another? Didn't she sell out MSG in a minute? Am I going to have just thrown $70 away? I put in for another single. Success! A seat is open in 117. A good seat actually, much better than the one I've already purchased.

Another $70 gone. I'm on a slight high because I beat the system and wound up with 2 seats. 10:13 am. We're in! Ok... so we're at opposite ends of the arena. But we're in the building. Maybe we could just walk around all night. Hmm... I wonder if there's another single open around 117....

Back into Ticketmaster AGAIN... one more try for a single. This one was behind the stage completely. No thanks. Give up and search again.

102. Hey... that's the section next to my first ticket. At least if someone tried to snatch her up I'd be close enough to hear her screaming. Over the 13,000 other screaming girls. Ok, maybe not. But if I spent the show watching her... I could see anyone trying to mess with her. What the heck. $140... $210... what's the difference? (I know, $70. Two tanks of gas or a month of cell phone service.)

I take it. 10:18, and I am DONE. Ok, I went back a few minutes later and peeked again and saw that they'd moved up to singles in the 200 level. But then I was really done. 3 tickets was my limit.

Clearly, I couldn't let her take a buddy to the show since our 3rd seat wasn't anywhere near the other 2, so maybe I could sell it on ebay. I figured as hot a ticket as these were, there were probably lots of Taylor tickets on ebay. So I wandered over to ebay and searched "Taylor Swift Nashville."

BIG mistake. TWO HUNDRED and FIFTY FIVE listings -- for NASHVILLE! Less than an hour after they'd gone on sale. Floor seats! What. The. HECK? It was a good thing I'd taken the day off, because now I was completely nautious. And I am now reminded why I don't attempt to buy concert tickets. Because it's a racket. And no one is going to be able to get it under control.

Anyway, the slight problem with an ebay listing is that you have to have a ticket in hand to be able to sell it and send it to someone, and trying to save a few bucks I opted to pick my tickets up at Will Call. So I have to be the one to pick it up.

So THAT is the beginning of my Taylor Swift ticket adventure. I haven't told Delaynie yet. (I did confess to Gary who is undoubtably grumbling that I wouldn't let him buy a new $59 DVD player to replace his broken one, but spent $210 in concert tickets.) I'm going to wait and use it as a reward for something - hopefully end of school year if she makes Honor Roll all year.

Although it was awfully hard to keep it to myself when she came downstairs Saturday morning in her Taylor Swift Walmart Sundress ($14 -- so cute.) with her curly hair bouncing. Shhhh! Don't tell!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Just in case I've never mentioned it....

... my daughter is a bit of a Taylor Swift fan.
I think there are 16 assorted Taylor pictures on her bedroom door that she's cut out of various magazines or pulled out of CD's. There are a couple of more posters hung up inside her room next to Hannah, Selena, and the JB's. But only Taylor is on the door.
So the question is NOT how big of a Taylor fan Delaynie is. But rather... how dedicated Delaynie's mom is. Tomorrow morning tickets go on sale for her Nashville show. Which is great, because I was thinking we were gonna have to drive to Louisville. But I'm hearing she's selling out pretty quickly.
Are there people camping out at the Sommet Center? Will my building pass do me any good to get in early? (Umm... no.) Should I put TicketMaster on speed dial? Do I assign an intern to Ticketmaster.com? Will Delaynie be happy just to be in the building, even though with her bad eyesight we are probably going to be so far away she'd have a better view of Taylor staring at her bedroom door? How far is a Mom willing to go for her daughter's 'tween obsession. (You'll note, I didn't bother trying for Jonas Brothers tickets. But they are small potatoes compared to Taylor.)
Stay tuned....


Sunday, April 05, 2009

The ACM Blog

First off... I've been trying to come up with a concise blog about the ACM's for a week now, and I've failed.

Second off... does anyone even care about the ACM's this year?

To be honest, it's become such a convoluted hodge podge of confusion, I'm not sure anyone does. First off there's this whole craziness in some of the awards being fan voted, and some of them not. I'm sorry, but you need to decide -- are you an industry award, or a fan award? Because taking the Entertainer of the Year award and the 37 years of history behind it and making it fan voted is a crock. Kenny said that last year, and he won it. If you want to make a category fan voted, create a Fan Favorite award.

This year they've made a New Artist award that is fan voted. Not quite as bad.

We won't go down the "Why do we have separate Group & Duo categories" road again... y'all know I believer there's not enough quality there to fill 10 slots and they should make it one.

Adding to all of the confusion is that half of the awards have already been given out. The show tonight is nothing more than a performance showcase, which in my humble opinion, is what they should do. Forget the awards, call it the ACM All Star Showcase and put it back in May Sweeps.

J.'s Prediction: Carrie Underwood Entertainer of the Year. I've seen her fans in action.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hey Garth!

John Rich is looking for you!

Think Allen Reynolds is shaking in his boots?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coming Soon...

... a new "Protecting the Guilty" column! It's written... I just need to sleep on it, to make sure I'm not forgetting something.

For some unknown reason, I spent some time tonight reading a few so-called country music blogs. Oh. My. Gosh. Do people even read back what they wrote? I mean, this blog is far from Honors English, but I think it usually at least makes sense. Tip to wanna-be writers: Read your stuff out loud. And spell check. And the profanity really has no point.

And for goodness sakes, learn the difference between the CMA's and the ACM's. Because Miley Cyrus performing on the ACM's next month is NO reason to badmouth the CMA's.

I miss Country Nation.

By the way, can someone please explain this whole "followers" thing? Because it kind of freaks me out. For a long time I had 12... so I pretended that y'all weren't there for fear God would smack me down. But I don't have any idea what it means to follow me. I don't Twitter, LOL. Please tell me you don't get an email every time I update something, because I'm going to have to constantly be apologizing since I'm constantly tweaking this thing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Intern X-perience - Week 6

Well, it has been a whirlwind couple of weeks here in Nashville. And I don’t use that term lightly… within about 10 days, Jason Aldean, Rodney Atkins, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, AND John Rich all came in to talk about their new albums for upcoming episodes of ShortCuts! I mean really, when I applied for this internship I was hoping that I might meet one or two artists, but this was too good to be true! I know I am working in the music industry and this shouldn’t be any big deal, but I am an intern from Idaho and a huge country music fan, so this is all a dream come true!

The Keith Urban interview was the highlight of the past two weeks for me, he is a really nice guy and such a talented artist (and he liked my name). Given that Sweet Thing went #1 on the Billboard Charts, there was also a party at BMI last week to celebrate. It was the usual awards ceremony with lots of plaques and speeches… except for the minor difference that he brought his whole band on stage to do a few songs! Joyce and I had front row spots for this and it was so cool! It beats driving to Salt Lake City to see him perform…

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But in reality, I did actually learn a lot and was not jumping up and down all the time. I helped Joyce put together the scripts for all of these ShortCuts, and even got to do a little editing of my own. :-) My main job was to pull out the liners and get those ready for air play, and there are tons! I also learned that just because something is scheduled doesn’t mean it actually happens… but that’s a whole different story.

Oh and I almost forgot that I went to Blake Shelton’s #1 party for "She Wouldn’t Be Gone" by myself! I got to do the round robin interview (we won’t talk about the audio on that) and hang out for the party. Jeffrey Steele, Steve Wariner, and (supposedly) Barry Bonds were all there to hang out too. (J.'s note... she was the envy of the other interns, who had to sit in the corner, while she was at the main table, and got to ask Blake a question!)

Now the editing fun begins! So be listening for all of these upcoming ShortCuts episodes. They are telling me that next week will slow down, but I don’t believe it…

The Intern X-perience -- (Belated) Week 5

Is anyone still out there? I posted all those CRS pictures and didn’t get hardly any comments, so I haven’t been back here in a while, because I wanted them to stay on top. Sydney and I have been SLAMMED with shows lately… another day, another superstar dropping by, LOL. We’re spoiling her for life! But we’re working hard to catch you up on everything you’ve missed here in Music City. Lots of scoop and pictures coming. First up – her post-CRS blog, which complete and utter exhaustion prevented me from posting until now. My bad – sorry! Heeeeeere's Sydney!

Well, I don’t know where to start. In a nutshell, last week was Country Radio Seminar Week! For those of you who don’t know, CRS involves lots of seminars for people in the radio industry… for me, this translated into concerts all week! Country music singers and songwriters come in and give special interviews and performances.

I kicked off the week with a party at Fuel where Kate and Kasey opened for Justin Moore. Jack Ingram, Jimmy Wayne, Emerson Drive, and Adam Gregory were all there to hang out and listen to the music. I was able to see several acoustic performances… I really enjoyed David Nail’s music, and his new song Redlight is new on Sirius XM this week! Love and Theft were also amazing and they have a new single Runaway! Caitlin and Will came into the Music Row Happy Hour, and were also just as good in person as they were on Can You Duet.

Then came the Miranda Lambert Round Robin. I am a huge Miranda fan, so it was great to meet her and hear about her new album that is in the works. (J.’s note – Miranda spent a nice little bit of one on one time talking to Sydney about her internship and her upcoming show in Boise.)

A friend of mine had an extra ticket for the New Faces show (J. again… Sydney’s friend just happens to work for one of the country music trade magazines…), so I got to see the Zac Brown Band, Chuck Wicks, Kellie Pickler, James Otto, and Lady Antebellum perform all in one night! Amazing! Everyone but Chuck received a standing ovation from the industry crowd. These are the people who will be taking country music by storm (and they have already started) so watch out!

I would have to say the highlight of my week was going to see the Randy Rogers Band. I am a huge fan of these guys and they always give a great live performance! Plus Holly Williams (yes, part of the legendary Williams family) opened for them and I surprised how much I enjoyed her voice. Oh and we had Adam Gregory, Jimmy Wayne, and Gloriana live in the studios! The music industry people were everywhere as well, and it was very cool to meet the people behind the scenes in Nashville, and really all over the U.S. I know I am forgetting something… Did you know Adam’s tour manager is Jason Aldean’s dad? That’s the kind of behind the scenes scoop I’m getting here at Sirius XM!

Oh, and be listening to ShortCuts in the next few weeks… there are TONS of new episodes in the works!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Random Pics Around CRS

A few assorted pics from some of my CRS schmoozing. BTW the highlight of the week was discovering what a hottie Ryder is from The Lost Trailers (bottom right.)

Sony Music Nashville Boat Show



An amazing night, for sure. A couple things to note in this collage: Check out Kenny holding the lyrics sheet. It was the first time he'd ever performed the song which will be his next single. He seemed to really enjoy the looseness of it. That's Brett James with him, who co-wrote the song. That's John Kay from Steppenwolf with MG. (Look at me pretending to know rockers!) Martina's album cover is awesome, I think. And Gretchen's photo comes with a PG 13 rating.
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Keith Urban at The Rutledge


This was a small club... 300 people... he played for probably an hour? Show started around 11pm... he joked about it being past his bedtime, that he has a baby in the house, so he needs all the sleep he can get. Treated us to some new music, including a song called "Kiss The Girl" that does NOT involve singing fish or crabs waiving conductor wands.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Blogging From The Boat

Greetings from the Sony Music Nashville extravaganza aboard the General Jackson. This is my favorite event of CRS week.

I was sent ahead to secure a table for 10... Which I have done. Now I'm fighting off grouchy radio chicks that can't believe I'm holding 'the WHOLE table?'

I smile sweetly. Sipping an amaretto sour and oogling Troy Gentry. There are worse ways to spend a Thursday evening, eh?

For those new to my CRS blogging, this should be an evening of heavy hitter performances. Carrie, Kenny, B&D, Martina... Usually a special guest too.

Updates on Facebook as I'm able.

Sent from my Windows Mobile® phone.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Overheard On the Streets of Nashville

So Sydney and I are walking back from the Jamey Johnson thing, and we're behind this group of business suits, and they're talking...

"Hey who was that guy that did Beer For My Horses"

"Beer For My Horses.... ha ha ha ha ha..."

"Wasn't that Willie Neslon?"

"Yeah, but who was the other guy? There was some other guy singing with him."

...discussion...

"Oh! I've got it! Toby Keith!"

Sydney and I were definitely laughing... out loud.

Morning Came Way Too Early

Just spent about an hour with Miranda Lambert in a hotel suite. Love her. Not as much as Sydney does... But I do love her.

On the way back to the office we stopped in to listen to Jamey Johnson who is playing a concert in the middle of a downtown street.

Great Beer For My Horses story on the way!

Sent from my Windows Mobile® phone.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Hangin' With Reba

Just left Starstruck. We heard 4 of the new songs...one of which will premiere on the ACM's as Reba's new single. We got to rate them each on a scale of 1 to 5. She describes the music as ''sassy with attitude.'' Jay Thomas and I had a nice chat with Reba. She's hard at work on her dresses for the ACM's.

Off to the next party... Jack Ingram and the rest of the Vallory / Big Machine gang.

Sent from my Windows Mobile® phone.

Testing Blog Publishing

This is a test to see if I can email a post to my blog…

 

The Intern X-Perience -- Week 4

Hello all! I'm here to fill you in on another week of happenings in Nashville! I have to say, it was pretty exciting. If you didn’t already know, Billy Currington’s song "Don’t" went #1, and that (apparently) calls for a celebration! In honor of the success of the song, I got to go to my first and second #1 parties in one night! This is because the song was the product of the collaboration between ASCAP and BMI writers. I guess they like to party in Nashville! There were two ‘round robin’ interviews, one with Billy and the other with the songwriters. They each told a little bit about the song and also on their own lives. Each party had food set up (I still haven’t decided who had the better food) and awards were presented to just about everybody who had anything to do with the song. While rubbing elbows with the elite of Music City, I got a better understanding of the songwriting process; it is an extensive and intriguing! I am looking forward to more songs going #1…

Another highlight for me was watching an interview with Sirius XM DJ Mike Terry and Ronnie Milsap. My grandma was a huge fan of Ronnie Milsap, and his music was always played while I was growing up, so it was an honor to be in the same room as him as he told some of his stories. The interview took place at Starstruck studios, which is owned, and also used by, Reba McEntire! Sadly, I did not get to meet Reba, or see her infamous quarters on the top floor of the building. Oh well maybe next time… This interview will be playing Thursday night at 6pm on The Roadhouse, so be listening!

I also had my turn at editing an interview of a Driver’s Ed taping, but I don’t really want to talk about it… it's still too painful... my only advice is to remember not to ‘over edit’.

Although the verdict is still out on whether or not I will be allowed to stay and work Music Fest in June, I am gathering info for all of the fan club parties, and I hoping that I actually get to go! I hope y’all can make it as well! If you feel the need to get in touch with me, or just want more info about Sirius XM, you can check out my NEW Myspace site . I’m looking forward to hearing from you! And check in all week, rumor is it is going to be crazy here in Nashville!

Psst! I'm now #5 in the Sirius XM Fantasy NASCAR standings!

Mobile Blogging Test

Testing the ability to blog from my phone. What I've discovered is that it's a pain in the butt... I think it's going to be easier to update my facebook status on the go.

Unless of course... I happen to have a reader who works for...say... Google... that knows of any mobile blogging tips and tricks... ;-)

We've added a lot of events to the calendar this week... Faith, Dierks, John Rich, Billy Ray Cyrus...gonna be busy for sure!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Can You Figure This Out?

The invitation came from the General Manager of The Ryman Auditorium, and simply says..

Please Join Us on March 5th

On this historic date, please join us as we celebrate the return of a great country music legend.

You'd be crazy to miss it! We'll treat you to ham & biscuits. Then we'll take you to your seat for some breaking news and song. Bring your cameras!

Detective J. and her trusty assistant Sydney think they've figured it out. Go ahead and give it your best shot -- we'll report back on Thursday afternoon!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Here's to the Class of '89

I was a little baffled by the long winded explanation released yesterday by the Country Music Hall of Fame, and couldn't put it in layman's terms well enough to make the witty remarkes that I wanted to. Fortunately, Radio & Records boiled it down to this description:

The CMA Board met last week in Orlando and apparently spent a lot of time working on categories and voting procedures for the Country Music Hall of Fame. There will still be three inductees a year, each representing a different category. Starting with the 2010 selections, the redefined categories are: Veterans Era, where professionals have been in the industry longer than 25 years; Modern Era, 20 years in the industry, but no more than 25 years; and rotating categories, where every third year someone in the recording and/or touring musician, non-performer and songwriter designation will be selected.

Yeah... that middle category there looks just a tad transparent, to me. Just in case math isn't your strong point, allow me to lend you my fingers and toes. Starting in 2010... the Modern Era category will induct artists who began their career between 1985 and 1990. Hmm. I'm thinking that in about 10 years, that spot is going to get a little trickier to fill. Couldn't they have just done a special election and inducted Randy Travis and Garth Brooks and gotten it over with? Because with all due respect to other artists... once you get those 2 in, everyone that's left is pretty much... leftover.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pre-CRS Late Night Ramblings

I wish I kept a diary. There have been some CRAZY days lately, where one minute I'm cleaning the kitchen, the next I'm editing a fabulous show, and the next I'm setting up the studio for a visit from the NHL commissioner. There was a 24 hour period last week where I worked with mainstream country and bluegrass artists, NHL radio, and covered the Gospel Music Association's press conference for the Dove Awards nominees. I should have kept a list of everything I did.

Actually this blog is the closest thing I've got to a diary... I can't tell you how many times I've come here and done a search to figure out what outfit I wore to which award show, or when I worked with a particular artist. I'm sorry I haven't been here much lately. Believe me, I'll regret it later when there are large gaps of my memory I can't fill in.

I am, however, gathering lots of good scoop for an upcoming edition of Protecting the Guilty. I just need to put a little more distance between the stories and the shows they revolve around. Hee hee hee.

A couple of things though I want to point out to you. First off... we've inherited this survey thing from Sirius, that polls Highway listeners about what they like and don't like about the channel, and what they think of the music. You don't get flooded with surveys, I promise. But because this came over from the legacy Sirius country channel, 99.95% of the participants are Sirius subscribers. So go boost the XM contingency for us, ok? Sign up here. I will tell you though, the results are NOT anonymous, so if you make comments like "ShortCuts is the most well produced show I've ever heard on the radio," the person who gets the survey results (my boss) is gonna know that you're related to me. LOL. But this is a cool chance for you to voice your opinions about the channel.

The channels all have new email addresses too, that they can take requests and comments. It's a very simple formula - channelname@siriusxm.com. Channels like THE Highway and THE Roadhouse do use the THE. Similarly catchy phone numbers are on the way.

Other recent events... a Ronnie Milsap interview that you'll hear on the Roadhouse next week... lots of in studio guests... and taking my intern Sydney to her first and second number one party all in one night - which included meeting the writer and photographer behind this article. She'll probably be too busy in her blog telling you about how Billy Currington gave her a personal shout out in the Round Robin to tell you that one of them had much better food than the other. It was Mardi Gras themed -- and it reminded me of Mary Ann. The king cake was awesome. That really was my Fat Tuesday too -- I've given up all sweets for Lent.

Next week is CRS - what my longtime readers affectionately know as Hell Week 1.0. (Stick around here long enough and you'll learn when 2.0 and 3.0 are!) Amongst the events I'll bet attending: a private show with Reba, Pat Green in a honky tonk, a Jamey Johnson street party, and the ever-fabulous Sony Boat Show. (Relive Amy Paige and I's 2008 double date, the 2007 extravaganza or 2006, complete with the debut of Chicken Fried, if you wish.)

I shall try to be better about blogging. I need to see if blogger offers mobile blogging from my phone.

So that's me. What have YOU been up to?

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Intern X-perience - Week 3

Yes… it’s me... Sydney the intern again! I hoped y’all missed me! It was a pretty good week here in Nashville, and the studios were as crazy… as usual.

Monday, although a holiday, proved to be a pretty fun day… the Zac Brown Band was in the studio recording a new Driver’s Ed show! They are very talented and it was great to see the guys perform live. Katie Armiger, an up-and-coming artist was in on Thursday for her own Driver’s Ed show, so be listening for new episodes!

I also got to go on a field trip to the legendary Music Row, where the music magic happens here in Nashville. The commissioner for the NHL did his live show for NHL Home Ice from our Nashville studios this week, which was especially exciting since there was a game that day (although sadly, the Detroit Red Wings were not playing). The other big event this week was the announcement of the Dove Award nominees at the Nashville Visitor’s Center., right downstairs from our studios. This was my first time at a press conference, and it was quite lively.

There was also the day-to-day fun of working in EPG, Dalet, and TracFiler, where all of the behind the scenes magic takes place (and I am just beginning to understand). There is never a dull moment…

Monday, February 16, 2009

Guest Blog: The Intern X-perience, Week 2

I’m back! I survived another week at the Nashville Sirius XM studios! What’s the theme from this week? Sound waves!

I got to listen to previous interviews of ShortCuts and Driver’s Ed and pick out audio clips that could possibly work for on-air promos. What’s so awesome about this? I actually picked things that Joyce liked! So be listening for new promos soon on The Highway!

Another extremely important event that has begun for the employees of the Sirius XM country stations: NASCAR. Yes, we are all in a fantasy NASCAR league. I have never done ‘fantasy’ anything, but I do watch NASCAR. Since the Daytona 500 didn’t actually end (the weather ended it early) I personally don’t think it counted… of course, I’m second to last in the overall group standings. (I won't mention who's dead last, or I may wind up reorganizing filing cabinets for the next 3 months...) There will be a comeback though; we are only one race in to this thing!

The Music Row Happy Hour has also been star-studded lately. Billy Currington, Ryder Lee and Stokes Nielson from the Lost Trailers, Heidi Newfield, and Jack Ingram have all been in for live interviews with Storme. I have to say that they were all very nice, and have a great sense of humor. Heidi- unlike every other star I've met so far - was only barely taller than me. She played cupid for the pre-Valentine’s Day show, which was a riot. Jack Ingram was great too, and nice enough to record promos for The Wild West Radio Show - my gig back at Boise State! Billy, Ryder, and Stokes were awesome as well. My photo album is really growing now… Be sure to stay up to date over the next couple of weeks, rumor is that the Zac Brown Band and Katie Armiger will be coming in for Driver's Ed tapings!

-- Sydney

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Public Apology to Connie

As anyone who knows me knows, I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong. And with regards to my earlier post about Billy Currington, I owe Connie Smith an apology.

When Billy was in the studio yesterday, I asked him about the story, in front of someone from his management office (who had also read the story and thought it was Connie Smith.) Turns out, it not only wasn't Connie Smith, it was apparently bad journalism.

The couple in question aren't married, nor is she an Opry member. In fact, it's not anyone any of you will have ever heard of. They completely got the story wrong.

So my most humble, sincere apologies to Connie Smith, who undoubtably knows the difference between Billy Currington and Dierks Bentley. On behalf of myself AND the bad journalist who led me to think otherwise.

Guest Blog: The Intern X-Perience

Hey y’all! My name is Sydney and I am the lucky new intern for Sirius XM radio. I am not a native to the south, so I am trying to work on my southern accent. I guess I should start with a general introduction of myself… I am a senior at Boise State University (yes, we have the blue football field, and yes, we did beat Oklahoma with an amazing Statue of Liberty play to win the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma a few years ago) and I am majoring in Mass Communication and Journalism. I am also the host of the Wild West Radio Show for Boise State’s student run radio station, The Pulse. The show is on hold while I am in Nashville - my 5 fans were ok with this.

Although I was born in Michigan, I feel that I have lived in Idaho long enough to claim it as my home state. Enough history though, I bet you want to hear about the glamour and glory that accompanies the intern lifestyle!

I must say that I had a pretty fun first week in Nashville. I am shadowing Joyce to learn the ins and outs of satellite radio, and I have learned a lot already. I have worked with (or at least observed) Dalet, Team News, Track Filer, and Alfresco… which I think makes me pretty important. Oh, and I am also an expert at getting the mail, activating Opry songs, and general housekeeping. Also, if anyone is interested in seeing my work I will be updating the Highway Traffic Report every week.

I think the highlight of my week was meeting Jake Owen. He came in to do a GAC interview with Storme Warren, and followed up by joining Storme live for the Music Row Happy Hour, heard live on The Highway. Being a huge fan of Jake, I had a blast watching his interviews and talking with him (just as cool in person as I had hoped). I can’t wait for Billy Currington and The Lost Trailers next week!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I thought she was hanging up her dancing shoes?

So much for focusing on the music... she's stealing our artists!

Nashville, TN – RCA Nashville hit recording artist Chuck Wicks is among the celebrity competitors poised to take to the dance floor for the eighth season of the enduringly popular ABC series, Dancing with the Stars. The new cast was revealed this evening as series host Tom Bergeron presented the “All Night Name Drop,” announcing this season’s competitors throughout ABC’s Sunday night prime-time programming.

ABC also announced in a press release this evening that Chuck’s dance partner in the competition will be his girlfriend and fellow country recording artist, two-time Dancing with the Stars champion, Julianne Hough.


Is it just me, or does this seem like a bad idea on many, many levels?

Jewel and Ty Murray also on this season.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Taylor Obsession

Like all other girls, my 10 year old daughter went through the Hannah Montana phase. She watched the TV show, went to the concert, bought the junk that was hawked everywhere, and sang along with the CD's.

Hannah, however, was merely the Opening Act. Because as an 11 year old, the Hannah Infatuation made way for the Taylor Obsession. And I'm beginning to think it's getting out of hand.

We sat down tonight to watch TV, which is something I haven't done in... WEEKS. At least. And I'm flipping through the TiVo, I watch "Headline Country" and then we check out the stuff in the TAYLOR SWIFT category. You know... you tell your TV to record anything that Taylor Swift shows up on. And guess what? You show up on a lot of things when you're the best selling musical artist in the universe.

So first we watch the Grammy special. Fast forwarded through Lil' Wayne and Katy Perry, but I did watch Justin Timberlake. Then we watched a ridiculously old episode of GAC Nights that apparently repeated recently. However, the Taylor fix was not yet met... and as soon as I flipped back to Live TV, guess what? The GAC show with the making of the Love Story video was on.

And for 30 minutes all I heard was "She's SOO funny! Oh my gosh she's funny. I love Taylor, she's so funny. Isn't Taylor funny mommy?" And then my favorite, when they did the little sketch at the end of the show, and Delaynie is on the living room floor laughing hysterically:

"Oh. My. Gosh! She's so funny! She's the funniest teenager that's famous that I've ever met!"

Ok kiddo. Reality check. She's the ONLY famous teenager that you've ever met.

So THEN she says... "Hey, how about I go upstairs and get the Beautiful Eyes DVD and we can watch some more videos?"

Stop the madness! I swear... I was never like this over Van Halen.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The week that was....

This week was incredibly productive, and it flew by! It was quiet at the office, with Kyle, Jon & Amy all out all week. I'm getting settled into a nice little routine with the Roadhouse programming I've been doing for Kyle, and I actually make it home in time to have dinner with my family a couple of nights this week! Life is good. And it's getting better -- because my Spring intern started on Monday! Woo hoo! Her name is Sydney and she's here from... Idaho.

Gary is teasing me that I keep going further and further for interns. So far I've had Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Florida, and now Idaho. Now accepting applications from Hawaii....

Someone needs to remind me on Monday to ask Billy Currington about the little story below. He'll be on the Music Row Happy Hour around 4pm ET. My other big projects for next week are editing a Jake Owen World Premiere and writing a Zac Brown Band episode of Driver's Ed. I brought the CD home with me this weekend.

First though -- I have to get through a 12 year old's birthday party. We've got like 12 kids coming over to the house... I have no idea where we're gonna stash them all. And about half a dozen haven't RSVP'd, so I really don't know how many to expect.

Guavaberry Coladas by dinner time, I promise you!

I know this is a pretty uninspiring blog entry, but I just wanted to say hey to everyone. I think Sydney might start guest blogging soon... then you'll get the real scoop!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Class of 2009

The newest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame are...

Charlie McCoy
Roy Clark
Barbara Mandrell

Monday, February 02, 2009

Protecting the Innocent, Revealing the Guilty.... husband

I'm not sure I can tell this story while protecting the innocent while I expose the guilty, but in this case it's my husband who's guilty, and it's so funny... I just have to try. He's going to be the only one I name by name. Feel free to email me if you can't stand not knowing the artists involved... I just don't want it to show up in some Google alert that their children gets, ok? So here we go...

My husband was a fan of an artist who died tragically at a young age... and he's always blamed the artist's wife for his death. Artist's wife is also an artist, and my hubby can't stand to hear wife on the radio, because... in his mind, the wife killed him. Even though it was not any sort of murderous circumstance, and Gary was no where near Nashville at the time, and therefore, has no evidence of such a thing. He just knows....it was her fault.

Ok, let's give everyone names. We'll call him Allen Artist, and his wife Susie Singer.

So Gary went out of town last weekend, traveling by car with several other managers from his district. And Donna Driver put on some music. The conversation then went something like this.

Gary: "Susie Singer? Ugh, I hate her!"
Driver: "How can you hate her, she's great! I have all her CD's."
Gary: "She killed Allen Artist you know."
Driver: "What? Shut up."
Gary: "I'm serious. She drove him to [what lead to his death] and if it wasn't for Susie Singer, Allen Artist would still be alive today."
Driver: "I'm serious too. Shut up. You don't know what you're talking about."
Gary: "Ask anyone. They'll tell you. Susie killed Allen."
Driver (getting very upset): "You need to stop that right now. I mean it."
Gary: "Fine... but I'm right. Susie killed Allen."
Driver: "You know my cashier, Candy?"
Gary: "Yeah..."
Driver: "Did you know her last name was Singer?"
Gary: "No..."
Driver: "She's Allen and Susie's daughter."

They listened to Susie's music.

And of course... I had to go look at photos from a charity event we did a couple of months ago that "Candy" was with us at... she doesn't really look like either of her parents... but in this town, you can't make that kind of thing up...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Protecting the Guilty?

Billy didn't name names.... but just because he's protecting the guilty doesn't mean I have to!

"Someone from the Grand Ole Opry came up to me the the other day," he recalls. "We were in an airport, and I've sung on the Opry with this lady 500 times, so we know each other. We were getting on the same plane, and she was like, 'Oh my God, Dierks! What's goin' on?' She gives me this big hug, and I'm thinking, 'Should I tell her?' I never told her. [laughs] So 30 minutes later, she's sitting by her husband who's also on the Grand Ole Opry, and I walk past him, and he's like, 'Billy, what's up, man?' And she's like, 'That's not Billy. That's Dierks.' And I'm like, 'No ... I'm Billy.'"
-- TheBoot.com

I can come up with two married couples on the Opry, but only one that plays there regularly enough that he'd have sung with her 500 times (or at least, a whole bunch.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

They're Comin' to Your City

It's a Big & Rich 3 Ring Circus on the Music Row Happy Hour.

Today we played a new John Rich song called... called... it's so new I can't remember the title. "Burning Detroit Down." I think. When the label brought over an unmastered copy to play it for us yesterday, the song was 8 days old... the recording 4 days old. After taking many calls on the song during his show tonight, Storme got a phone call from Mr. Rich, who was somewhere out of town promoting his solo project.

Tomorrow... Big Kenny is coming by. He's doing a film screening at the Hall of Fame, and will swing by around 5pm ET to promote his solo documentary project.

Next Tuesday... Two Foot Fred is coming in. Why? I don't know. Maybe because someone needs to promote Big & Rich together? As a duo? With a tour coming up?

We've also got Dusty Drake coming in tomorrow (was going to be today, but we had a snow day) to talk about his new song, The 12th Man, which is in support of one of the Super Bowl contenders. Tune in to find out which one!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Statler Brothers Therapy

It's all the rage on Facebook now to do those "25 Random Things About Me" lists. So last night I did one, and one of my random things was that no matter how rotten my day was, Statler Brothers music makes it better.

Today, after one of the crappiest days I've had in months in which I was beat up from 3 different states, Wade Jessen made it all better. Just call him the 5th Statler.

One of my tasks as the acting PD of the Roadhouse is putting together a show Wade does called "Rear View." If you didn't hear me raving over it on the air last week, allow me to rave for you now -- it's a fabulously entertaining lesson in country music history.

But before it hits your airwaves, it's a 3 hour block of music that has to be hand scheduled, and each week there are a few songs that have to be ingested into our music library, and several more that get activated from other channels. The last 2 weeks there have been Statlers songs to load in. No complaints from me!

Today, in the early afternoon, The Statler Brothers Sing Country Symphonies in E Major appeared on my desk. The song I was to ingest was "Monday Morning Secretary." Looking at the title on his song list, I couldn't come up with it, but once it started playing, I could sing right along. (Funny how much of it was applicable to me!) I played it at least 3 times, and it made the day much better.

The BEST though, was another track on that CD. Track #8.

Now y'all know I love me some Statler Brothers. But Oh. My. Goodness. They cut "Delta Dawn." And I was in tears all over again.

This time, from laughing so hard.

It's funny, too, because on my drive home last night I heard Conway Twitty singing "Fifteen Years Ago," which was the hit version, and thinking how much better I liked the Statlers version, which lead me to thinking about "All I Have To Offer You Is Me" which I also knew as a Statlers song, even though Charley Pride had the hit with it. I guess back in the day, before every waitress in town was a songwriter, there wasn't so much material to choose from.

But Delta Dawn... I'm cracking up all over again just thinking about it. Do yourself a favor, and go raid your mom's record collection and find this.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The return of Lady J

When you are born with a name like Joyce, you spend your life wondering why you don't have a normal name like Melissa or Jennifer or Lisa (all hugely popular names in my graduating class.) My mom was a Joyce too, so at home, to this very day, I'm Joyce Maree. I also spent my life wondering why they elongated my name, instead of shortening it to something hip and cute like Joy.

Of course now, I have no idea why I didn't start using that myself when I went off to college, but I guess after 18 years I'd gotten used to it.

When I moved to Nashville I was the only female director at the tv station I worked at... just as I'd been at the tv station back home. There was a guy about my age who pretty much ran the weekend studio crew, and he took it upon himself to nickname me Lady J. It was his way of making sure the crew guys showed me respect.

So when I got out of TV and stumbled into radio, I produced a Nashville midday show and did some on-air sidekick type work, and adapted Lady J. to Producer J. Because let's face it... no one is going to turn in to hear a Joyce. Very unhip. Producer J. followed me to LiveOnTheNet.com, CountryCool.com, PlanetGarth.com, and eventually, XM, where I was back doing some side kick type work and co-anchoring special events like Award Show coverage, and at various points, some specialty programming and then a Sunday night show on our classic country channel.

New company, new channel names, new on air names. As much as I like Producer J. because it explains that I'm not first and foremost a jock, and therefore, should be forgiven for not having a voice like Devon O'Day, I decided it was time for a change. So last Saturday afternoon, Lady J. made her debut on The Roadhouse, filling in for Kyle Cantrell. Somehow it fit with the channel better than Producer J. Maybe because once again, I'm the only girl in the joint.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Late Night Ramblings

I keep trying to figure out how to blog everything that I've been doing in the past week and a half or so, since my failed promise of blogging under the influence of painkillers, and I just can't do it. Too much. I'd be writing for days. So... I'm just gonna bullet point the highlights of last week.

- Three less teeth in my mouth
- One 4am trip to the ER
- Playing the role of Roadhouse program director
- School cancelled because of cold
- My awesome friend Dianne who watched my child AND cleaned my house
- Sandi arriving in town for the weekend!
- Seeing Sylvia at a Janis Ian / Gretchen Peters show that I was way to exhausted to have been going to but Sandi made me go and I was glad I did. (Y'all remember Sylvia, right? "Nobody" "Snapshot" "Matador" -- LOVED her. She still looks as beautiful as she did 20 years ago when those songs were hits.)
- Introducing Sandi to Janis Ian
- Big G Salsa -- and lots of it
- Breaking my blender just by turning it on
- My adorable husband going and buying a new blender, and whipping up delicious Guavaberry coladas
- Georgia Cooking in a Tennessee Kitchen
- Playing with Baby Cebastian, and watching him do laps around the coffee table trying to get to the Big G Salsa

- The Pancake Tree
- My first visit (of MANY future visits) to the Loveless Cafe
- Having both of my hairdressers in the same place at the same time and not needing to have my hair colored
- Slumdog Millionaire
- More dental appointments
- A studio visit from the ladies of Little Big Town (where the best stories happened OFF the air)
- Working a very very long MLK day, including finishing a script around midnight, under the influence of painkillers

Which brings us to today.

First off, we have to talk about the Dierks Bentley script I wrote last night. I've never been all that big of a Dierks Bentley fan... I think I'm too old and too married for his little white tank top demo. Great guy, but just never really got all that into his music.

This new album -- Feel That Fire -- LOVE.IT. Probably, I relate to it more because he's now closer in line to my life situation - being married with a child. Great stuff. Diverse stuff, a great well rounded package of music. Was a totally fun script to write. For one thing, it's easier to write a show where the artist is a songwriter. For another, him and Jon have known each other a while, so it's easier to write a more "comfortable" script than a script for strangers. For another, I haven't gotten to write a ShortCuts script in a couple of months, so I was jazzed to do it.

The show turned out AWESOME. He and Jon talked about everything... it was very casual and loose, and he was so appreciative of getting the chance to dig in deep to the music the way we do on ShortCuts. I can't wait to edit it and put it all together. It will air the last weekend in January.

One funny note... the crazy boy came in wearing SHORTS. It's been crazy cold in Nashville... snowed again today... and he's running around in shorts.

We've been rocking on the Music Row Happy Hour lately -- that's Storme Warren's live show, from 4-8pm ET on The Highway. Today Kellie Pickler came in. I don't know how long she was on the air for, but in total she spent 2 hours hanging out in our studios. After she got off the air, everyone started talking politics. Kellie is NOT the airhead blonde she plays on TV. (In fact, if you were listening you got some cool scoop related to that, that she's never told anyone else!) I really enjoyed seeing a different side of her.

I've edited the interview, I think it will run again this week. Later in the show, songwriter Monty Powell (a zillion Keith Urban hits, including "Sweet Thing") came in. Wednesday we're expecting Trent Tomlinson, and Friday new duo Caitlin & Wil, who won the CMT reality show "Can You Duet." Oddly enough, I'd thought Joey & Rory had won that. Unless Caitlin is really Joey.... and Wil... hmm....

So it's a pretty exciting time up in the Big Blue Cone we now call home... we've worked so hard and waited for so long to get to a point where we had these awesome studios to show off to everyone, and I'm so excited we're finally really up and rockin' and parading people through! Now I just need to get the energy back to rock with them.

The days right now are long and exhausting, and my To Do list grows each day with things I'm not getting done, but we knew going into this merger it was probably going to be a really tough first year. It's hard to get down about it when we have these beautiful studios to walk into and the most awesome programming now getting almost double the listeners. Life is good. Crazy. Stressful. Exhausting. But good.

So now... I'm just counting down the days (12 to be exact) until my Spring intern arrives!