Gary Allan's loss bring country music fans closer

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Monday, it was very sad to hear the news of Gary Allan's
wife and mother to their combined 6 children died of a
self-inflicted gunshot wound. However, it seems when
the worst happens in life, some good or a ray of sunshine
comes through.

In this very sad situation, that my deepest sympathy and
condolences are sent to the family and friends, it is very
moving to see the comming together as we do in the time of
need. If you visit Allan's website, you will see hundreds
of posts from individual fans and numerous fan clubs
sending their sympathies. Just take a look at the message
board on his website, http://www.garyallan.com

This is one of the greatest attributes of country music
fans, and I hope all people in life, but it seems more so
in the country music community. It is so wonderful for
myself to see the messages, but I can't imagine how Im
sure it makes the families and friends that are dealing
this extremely difficult time in their lives.

George Strait Keeps on Going..

Friday, October 22, 2004

You know, it must be nice to be George Strait. He has this whole music business down to a part-time science. Just look at this press release's first paragraph:

George Strait’s 50 Number Ones Lands the #1 Spot on Billboard Pop and Country Chart
Boasts the Highest Debut Week Sales of His Career


Nashville, TN (October 13, 2004 – 3:45PM CT) – George Strait’s new MCA release, 50 Number Ones, has landed him the #1 position on Billboard’s Top 200 and Top Country Albums charts, beating out R&B sensation Usher by over 7,000 units. With sales of 342,969 units this week, it marks the highest debut of Strait’s illustrious 22-year recording career. Ironically, as “I Hate Everything,” Strait’s current single and the only new song off his 2 CD set, jumps to #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles and Tracks Chart this week, it becomes his 51st #1 and leaves Strait with the unique problem of giving his fans more number one hits than they bargained for.

Wow. Here is a guy that takes his 50 #1's (that aren't all number one's on Billboard, rather from Radio & Records, Billboard, and a chart no longer published. He only tours on the weekends now, basically. He does limited interviews and other marketing/publicity events are slim to none.

He has truly mastered the country music industry, but you know what? Good for him...he deserves it. Strait has done his time since the mis-80's and he has earned this break and still is on the height of his career.

George Strait is the king of currently performing country music artists in my book.

Country Music Is Really Alive...

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I am a volunteer for allexperts.com, where I answer
questions through an e-mail form that the information
seeker fills out with their question and then I respond
back with an answer. Most of the time I know the answer
or can find the information fairly quickly. Most of the
time, I deal with a lot of "Who sings..." or "Can you tell
me what this song is.." kind of questions.

However, yesterday, I recieved a question from the service
where he inquired about suggestions of artists he could
listen to. He explained that he is fairly new to country
and more of a rock music fan. I suggested a few artists,
such as Montgomery Gentry and Keith Urban to give a try.

That is the great thing about country music. No matter if
you like more of a rock sound, a pop sound, or any other
style of music... there is room for your likeness in the
country music community.

Country music has to be one of the most special types of
music because there is so very many sounds under the
category. From the classic traditional sounds of Hank
Williams Sr. to the newest single from Big & Rich we all
share one thing. The love of country music. Now, it can
be argued what exactly country music is, but let's face
it, country music has grown into a very large style with
sub-genres.

I also have found in keeping in touch with new country
music fans that once they get hooked on one style or
artist, it grows from there into liking more and more.

All it takes is one artist or one song to hook a new fan.
I know yesterday a new fan was born. I also know it
happens everyday over and over. Yes, country music fans
are truly born. With country's powerful lyrics that are
true to life, the first time listner starts seeing life in
a new light. This new look, a re-birth, is a happier way
of looking a life's challenges.


Greatest Hits

Monday, October 18, 2004

Is it just me, or has there been an overwhelming amount of
greatest hits albums lately? Terri Clark, Toby Keith?s
second greatest hits coming soon, Brooks & Dunn second out
this week, Shania Twain upcoming album, and I?m sure I
have left out a few more. Oh yes, the big one, George
Strait?s ?50 #1s.?

Do these artists really deserve to have a greatest hits
package be released? Well, I believe a greatest hits
package should be just that and nothing more. The latest
marketing strategy includes adding 3 new songs to the
project for two reasons. First, a tactic to get those
fans that already have all the albums for that artist to
have to buy it. Secondly, in order to be considered
eligible for award nominations the album must include
three original tracks.

I think there should be a checklist to releasing greatest
hits albums.
1. Does the artist have a substantial amount of albums out
where the listener benefit from a greatest hits album?
2. Does the artists have 10 true hits (Billboard Top 10?s
at least) since the last greatest hits album?
3. Is it being produced truly for the fans or a marketing
ploy?

If, and only if, these 3 questions can be answered yes,
then I believe it is ok to release a greatest hits
package. It should only be that though. Save the
original material for the next album. It will increase
sales of the next album. Release them together even. One
new album, one greatest hits. Even package them together
as a 2-CD set even. In fact, I like that the idea of a
2-CD set; 10 tracks of original material and 10 greatest.
This way the potential buyer of the album that already
has every album released, can have something to look
forward to.

Let?s take a look at just a few of the artists of today
and their ratio of studio releases to greatest hits/live
albums. From least to most:

Kenny Chesney- 8:1
Tim McGraw- 8:1
Martina McBride- 8:1
Reba McEntire- 7 1/2:1
Brooks & Dunn- 5:1
Terri Clark- 5:1
Alan Jackson- 5 1/2:1
George Strait- 5:1
Toby Keith- 4 1/2:1
Alabama: 2 3/4:1

I believe the rate of releasing these greatest hits
packages and re-release of material really shows the true
reason for being in the industry; the ones that are in it
for monetary reasons versus the ones in it for the true
love of the music.

Chely Wright/New Richmond Country Radio

Friday, October 15, 2004

It is so awsome to see Chely Wright on FOX's Dayside program talking about her experiences in Iraq. Just a nice gesture for her to do and I know that our troops appreciated her visit. Wright's appearance though wasnt to brag or try to make a deal out of it, but more so share the experience with us. That little interview was so nice to see.

Some local country music news. Richmond, VA now has another country radio station. This isnt the first time we have had 2 country stations in the market. They come and they go it seems. No one can seem to beat out WKHK-95.3 K95. I sure hope this station can however. K95 falls right into the mold of the typical radio station, especially country. Take 35 songs or so and play them all the time, with obnoxious and un-country educated disc jockeys. Of course, not all DJs are like that, but K95 has done a pretty good job of finding them. The new one is called 93.1 The Wolf. It used to be a smooth jazz station. They are just getting started. But so far, it is an great change. Sure, they play the top 40 like country, but they throw in a lot of the older music from what I can hear so far about the late 80's. I hope they will broaden out even more and grab into some of the even more classic sounds. Just have to see. The Wolf has an edge to it. Its programming is seemingly marketed to a male than female. Also, so far, it seems to be guided in a more dedicated country fan.

Best wishes to The Wolf and lets keep praying they continue to grow and they keep up what they are doing. It would be a breath of fresh air to have them truly give K95 a run for their money.


UrlWire Exposure

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I feel soo good right now. As of just a few hours ago, after a lot of updating work on the website and some very busy typing fingers, my URLwire campaign has begun. Eric did a great job in posting the information and is working hard I know on getting the word out as I type.

Hopefully a lot of people will hear about the website and will enjoy it.

Take a look and pass along this website to everyone you know and get the word out about Country Music Alive....

http://www.urlwire.com/news/101304.html

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Boy, I have been so behind in the last 2 weeks on getting reviews written. I stayed up til the early morning hours last night getting caught up some. Feels pretty good to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I have been blown away with Julie Robert's CD for awhile, so it felt good to get the review done so I can publish it soon.

Also, its pretty interesting how people notice that George Strait's new "50 #1 Hits" has a few that werent actually Billboard #1's but showed up on some of the other lesser known charts. It looks like he has had 38 #1 Billboard Country Singles. None the less, he is the king of country music. He has done so much for the sound and is just an amazing guy. CMT has posted a great interview with Strait. It doesn't happen often that he does any kind of interview, so when Strait speaks, I listen. Thats for sure.
http://www.cmt.com/news/articles/1492085/20041008/strait_george.jhtml?headlines=true

Also, as the new 50 #1's come out, so does a songwriters tribute album. Now, this is one hell of a CD. Songwirters are the mind behind all of the great music we hear. They don't get no where near the credit they should. "A Songwriter's Tribute To George Strait" is an album that has the sognwriter's of some of Strait's biggest hit performing them. It is a real treat to hear.

Well, time to get back to catching up on some reviews and things.

CMA Awards 2005

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Today the news hit my e-mail inbox that the 2005 CMA Awards will move to New York City, just for the year. It has been talked about for awhile and thrown around publicaly. If you don't know me, you should know the CMA Award night is probably my most favorite day of the year. It has been since I was very young. I think that this decision can go 2 ways. Either the best thing to ever happen to the show or the worst.

New York currently does not have a country music radio station. One of the largest media centers in the world, does not have a country station. Very few concerts from country acts even go up there, and I expect sales are slow in that area. So, if moving the show up there for this one year's show is marketed just right, over the next year and not just before the show, it may actually hook some new fans. The CMA also needs to put on the pressure to get a country radio station up there. Do it through the artists and get the word out to the fans in that area to get the support. There are country fans in the area. I know some of them and know they want country music and would support it.

Now, how can they go wrong? Easy. Don't take the time and gain support for the show. If they don't do this, what will happen is that country music will be laughed at, basically. It will just be a one night deal and hardly no coverage, and will be a hick convention in New York.

If they do it right... which I hope and think they will, it will educate, if you will, the people of New York on the talent, compassion, and power of country music. Time will tell...

404 days, 20 hours to go... I hope The CMA is hard at planning.

Getting Started

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Well,

Its official, Im a blogger now.... Ive heard so much about it and enjoyed reading others, but now its time for me to get into it myself.

What a great way to let people really learn about how much time I spend putting my website together and providing the best work I can for them...

I just finished a very hard week of updating the website and also writing a feature article on Anthony Michael James. I am really proud of this work and hope a lot of people get to read it.

But anyway, its time for the Opry to start, looks like a pretty good lineup tonight.. LeAnn Rimes is stopping by, so that should be a nice crowd pleaser Im sure.