Thursday, March 17, 2005 News: "Volunteers Wanted for 2005 CMT Music Awards Mosh Pit
Wed. March 16.2005 6:44 PM EST

Seats for the 2005 CMT Music Awards are almost sold out, but the show's producers are looking for volunteers who can help provide an enthusiastic audience on the main floor of Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center. Many of the locations in the free admission area will be in key camera shots for the April 11 awards show. Those on the floor will be required to stand throughout the entire evening without any breaks."

What??? Come on. This is amazing.

1st, mosh pit and country music do NOT go in the same sentence. 2ndly, if you want great shots of fans having fun, you create an exciting show to have fun at, not coach the crowd into having a good time and faking it. See, this is exactly the problem with the big media. They don't understand what country music is about. CMT, owned by Viacom, which also owns MTV and among many other media outlets, is trying to create a MTV persona to CMT. The only thing that a channel like MTV is like CMT... is the "T."

I haven't missed a CMT Award show in an extremely long time, even back when it was the Music City News Awards. Of course, it isn't the same show. I just may pass up watching this one. They are trying to create country music into something that it isn't supposed to be. Come on, bring country music and honor the makers of the music with awards in the tradition and respect that is deserves.

Now, LeDoux Gets Noticed

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Here are 2 things scheduled in memory of LeDoux:

XM Satellite Radio is airing an encore presentation of a conversation with Chris LeDoux, Friday at Noon, Saturday at Midnight -- and Monday at 5am (all times Eastern) on XM 10.
In April 2002, Chris joined XM's Shannon for a reflective chat celebrating his life and career, as he looked forward to the relase of his upcoming CD, After the Storm. The hour-long feature was recorded at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

GAC's Storme Warren will host a 30-minute special on the life and music of Chris LeDoux, Saturday night. As of now, it's scheduled air following "Grand Ole Opry Live."
Filming took place at the site of LeDoux's last long-form on-camera interview, the log cabin porch of Charlie Daniels' office in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
Included the GAC special is footage of Chris' 1976 bare-back rodeo championship, live performance, music videos and Chris himself.

The Impact of Country Music Videos

Do you realize how much influence that a music video has on your interpretation of a song?

Take this example:

Listen to Toby Keith’s “My List.” Read the lyrics and come up with your own judgment of its meaning. My thought is the song is a reminder of life in general, remembering we aren’t here for an eternity. So, be sure to do the things in life that are important, with focus on family.

In my mind, I can see a beautiful day, front porch swing on the porch, kids around playing with a loving father.

Now, watch the video for the song.

The video gives the song an visual twist that has seem to have a large impact on the country music audience in their perspective of the song. The video portrays the events of 9-11 and the personnel. This portrayal may be somewhat along the lines of the theme of the song, but not exactly.

If you listen to a country music listener that watches videos, you will hear them add this song to the list of patriotic themed lyrics that Keith sings. If it is a country music fan that doesn’t watch videos, you will not hear a connection to patriotism.

The song itself mentions in no way 9-11, New York, or anything alike. The videos made the song take a theme of difference.

Videos have seemed to limit the creativity of our own minds. Interpretation of a song should be left to the listener, in most cases.

Are videos, to me, a bad thing? No; not at all. A video is a great promotion piece for the artists (just like radio.) Also, videos are a great entertainment source. However, I just believe that the video should not interpret a song for the viewer. If it is a song that has a defined meaning, then tell the story. If not, don’t create the story for the listener.

Country music videos have become a huge part of the industry. CMT, GAC, and VH1-Country, have all become vital sources of promotion. A video can make a song that sometimes may not be a hit, become one. The more exposure the artist receives, the better from the artist prospective.

Country music videos can be a very good thing and quiet important to the country music industry, however, the artists and producers of these videos must keep in mind the impact they have on interpretation.

My Thoughts on Chris LeDoux

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

It is yet another sad day in country music. The death of Chris LeDoux is a tough one for me, personally. Sure, LeDoux may have not been the most know country music artist, but to me in high school he meant so very much. Chris LeDoux deserves so much more credit in the mainstream country music community than he seems to get. His live shows were amazing, his talent of songwriting is at the heart of country music in sharing lyrics of true life, and his vocals were distinctive, fun, and could share a story perfectly. He has recorded with Garth Brooks, Bon Jovi, and Charlie Daniels. He influenced Garth, that says something.

LeDoux's music taught me something about country music and their fans.

A very good friend of mine in high school, that I have lost contact with, was in love with his music. If you wanted to see a smile come to her face or really get her singing and having a good time, pop in anything from Chris LeDoux. It would do the trick every time. She introduced me to his music, and I too became a lover of his music. Unfortunately, being on the east coast, LeDoux didn't make his way to the side of the country often. LeDoux reminded me somewhat of George Strait in some ways. LeDoux loved performing his music and writing, however, he liked being close to home and spending time on the rodeo circuit and his ranch. However, a little stroke of luck came my way and LeDoux came to a fairly large club in Greenville, North Carolina; 6 1/2 hour road trip from here in Richmond, Virginia. My friends and I planned a trip down to see him as a bit of a surprise for my good friend. We kept it a secret as much as we could due to being close to her birthday.

That night, I learned something I never really experienced in my life until then. I saw a face light up and an outpouring of intense energy be expressed by her when he took the stage. The connection she felt, standing a few rows of people back from him was something I will never forget.

What I learned from this experience has to do a lot with my dedication to music, especially country music. The intensity of feeling music brings us is extreme. The connection between the artist and the fan is also powerful. From that point in my life on, I understood music like never before. Before then, I was a huge country music fan, however with this little lesson in life it changed me. Music became even more of an important part of my life and has grown even more so through the years.

I can thank Chris LeDoux for this lesson in life. It is most definitely a sad day in country music. One of the great talents is gone. Today, he may be gone, but tomorrow and everyday of my life he continues to be a part of mine through this story I have shared.

Thank you to my friend, wherever she may be, and thank you Chris for your music.

For more about Chris LeDoux:

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