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 - 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 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...