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 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


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.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


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.

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