Monday, April 11, 2016

Merle Haggard RIP.

As you can see, I haven't blogged in several years.  Merle Haggard has inspired me to do so once again.  Merle (along with Johnny Cash) IS the reason I fell in love with Country music and later, Country radio.  He could do it all.  Write, sing, perform, even produce. Merle was a great collaborator with Willie Nelson and others. He did it his own way, sometimes to his own detriment.  I can't believe it took until 1994 for him to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Seriously?  I had two brief encounters with the man prior to shows.  Once early in my career, and later in 2013.  As you can see from this picture, he looked you in the eye and made the moment count.  This picture is one of my most prized possessions.  When he saw the picture again in 2013, he remarked, "you've aged better than me".

While I feel sad, I feel honored to have grown up with Merle's music and his presence in the world which will never be replaced.  As Eric Church said in a recent song, "I Pledge Allegiance to the Hag".

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Barbara Mandrell

On Christmas day, I find myself reminiscing about one of the greatest entertainers ever - Barbara Mandrell.  Today is her birthday.  She personifies grace, beauty and talent.  How difficult it must have been to be a woman (let alone a tiny woman) in a man's business.

When I was an on-air PD at WEEP (then WDSY's sister station) in Pittsburgh in the 80's - Barbara surprised our station with a visit.  I was on the air.  She entered the lobby.  Unbeknown to me, I started playing one of her songs (I think it was "Woman to Woman")
- and talked about how she had really come into her own - and how her career was blossoming.  She heard every word I said over the lobby speaker.  Once the on air light went off, Barbara burst into the studio, sat on my lap and finished the show with me.  Barry Mardit was there too.

A luncheon was held in her honor that day - and she insisted that I sit next to her.  From that day on, I was a lifetime fan.  I was sad when she retired in 1997 - but not before winning countless awards, hosting a successful network TV show and entertaining millions.  She never carried the bitterness that some performers have when the next generation surpasses their popularity.  Barbara left us wanting more - as it should be.

Monday, November 11, 2013

CMA Awards 2013

Luke Bryan opened the show wearing sequins and a baseball cap with "That's My Kind of Night" ... and Florida Georgia Line cruised through their biggest hit. Do sequins and baseball caps go together? Just askin' ...

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley's monologue was excellent as always! Best laughs were for Obamacare jokes. 

Loved the Zac Brown-Luke Bryan hug during Brad and Carrie's monologue. Is the hatchet buried? Was there ever a hatchet to begin with?

Song of the Year was "I Drive Your Truck". Lee Brice graciously congratulated the writers of his number one hit.

The network censored "roll a joint" from Kacey Musgraves song.  Wonder if the unsensored version aired in Colorado and Washington?

Florida Georgia Line had a big night with a Single of Year win for "Cruise" and the Vocal Duo of the Year award.

Taylor Swift increased her Country "cred" performing with Vince Gill and Alison Krauss on an acoustic version of "Red".

Blake Shelton wins Album of the Year - the award he really wanted to win. He also walks off with Male Vocalist of the Year.

Tim McGraw looked painfully thin ... (Steve Jobs thin) - is he OK? Let's hope so!

Taylor Swift's Pinnacle award was presented to her by all the stars she opened for ... Rascal Flatts ... George Strait ... Brad Paisley ... Tim and Faith ...and Keith Urban. She seemed genuinely touched.

Miranda Lambert has now tied Martina McBride & Reba McEntire for most Female Vocalist of the Year awards (four).

Blake Shelton wins Male Vocalist.

George Strait wins Enterainer of the Year.  Did anyone see that coming?  A great honor to cap off an amazing career that's still going strong. 


Friday, May 17, 2013

Paul Drew

I met the legendary Paul Drew in Cleveland when I was a young Program Director.  He was giving seminars for Program Directors.  My station paid for me to go.  Mike McVay, also a Cleveland PD at the time, was also in attendance.  Little did our companies know that Mr. Drew was giving a seminar which included a lengthy discussion on how programmers could get better deals for themselves.  We didn't know that until we arrived. 

What stood out to me from that day was the common theme of the session.  "You don't ask, you don't get".  It seems obvious and
simple, yet how many times do we assume that something would or should come our way when we have neglected to ask for it?  "You don't ask, you don't get".  It never hurts to ask.  You might get a lot more than you might have expected in the first place. 

From that day forward, I learned to ask.  And I got a whole lot more.  Thank you, Paul Drew. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Randy Travis

CNN's Phil Gast has an excellent article on what Randy Travis faces both personally and professionally:

Click here: Can country singer Randy Travis get past his rough patch? -