Country Music Alive Updates: Win Jewel's CD

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hello Everyone!

Two exciting updates for you today.

First, the website has been update with the current list of upcoming new release dates. Take a look at the list and get to pre-ordering! The links are available there to immediately pre-order from Amazon.

Second, very shortly, there will be links posted to enter to win an autographed copy of the upcoming country muic release from Jewel titled "Perfectly Clear" from Valory Music. I have included the link right here for you to use, and your friends can visit the website and enter to win from the website.

There you go! Good luck on winning the CD... Until next time

As Always, Keeping Country Music Alive

Kirk Fitzgerald

Chris Cagle & Girlfriend Arrested

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Chris Cagle and his girlfriend Jennifer Tant have been arrested in Nashville on domestic assault charges. Tennessee domestic assault laws apparently have a mandatory 12 hour jail time before bond can be made. The reports say the incident occurred around 4:00 am this morning, CST.

The actual affidavit and mugshots are available on for further reading.

So far, I'm pretty impressed with the posts and reports I've read thus far. It is a news story and I believe it needs to be reported, but nothing more or less. No speculations or "gossip like" comments appearing in the stories. This is how things of this nature should be treated.

There a few lighthearted comments on some of the posts, but I certainly can't blame them. Domestic assault situations are very serious and that is why many states have very percise and strong procedures on how the situations are handled. However, reading the documents, its hard not to have human nature take over and mention the umbrella and purse assault after a being out for drinks.

I will just say this, I wish them the best in the situation before them and I hope the media will continue to just use the information available in the form of public records and not try to turn into it something more or less.

Happy Memorial Day

Monday, May 26, 2008

In all the goings-on of the Memorial Day weekend, sometimes we really do forget the real reason behind the holiday, and day off for some.

In all the events of your day, remember to take the time to pause a few moments and give honor to all the individuals that have sacraficed their life in service to our country. That is the reason for the holiday, above all the other social reasonings we have.

I would be amiss if I didn't mention to be sure to include country music in all your daily events of the day through some of the patrotic songs we have. Country music is one of the best styles of music in the world for this very thing due to the lyrical stregth in storytelling.

There is an extremely well written blog post on this very topic over on The 9513 blog:

The post includes a list of 20 songs that are very fitting for this day, and the article talks about many others as well.

I wish your Memorial Day is a very safe day and that is full of joy, yet be sure to take the time to remember and honor those the day is truly about, those that have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great country.

Summer Is The Time For Concerts

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Well, its that weekend of the year a lot of people look forward to: Memorial Day weekend. The weekend that is the beginning of summer, socially anyway. Around here, the pools start to open, Sunday is spent watching both races, and friends, neighbors, and family gather for backyard events. Also, its the beginning of the summer concert schedules. Not only your nationally known artists, but your local artists as well.

This summer, look for Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, and many others out there with great concert tours. Be sure to check and your favorite artist's official websites for tour information and on-sale dates. Then, if you need help, just e-mail me and I will be happy to help you out.

The CMA Music Fest this year will be June 5-8 and is always a great time. If you haven't ever been, make your plans now for next year. It is a paradise for a country music fan. We will talk about that later on this coming week.

However, something to keep in mind and support is your local artists and your local venues, especially with the high cost of living these days. Yes, the big shows and major concerts are great fun, a large part of how the artists connect to their fans, and make their living, but, don't forget to check your hometown offerings. From the smallest town to the largest city, there are so many local artists and small-scale music events going on. You may surprise yourself in how much fun you'll have, make new friends, and really get a chance to discuss music with the artist you just saw perform it. Not meaning a quick "meet and greet," but a true conversation.

So, as we prepare for Summer, be sure to add your local events on the calendar as well.

Country Music Alive Website Updates

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hello everyone,

I have been pretty busy with a major project at my full time job, so not much has been done to the website in a little while. That situation will be completed in the upcoming week. I hope to update the new releases either after I write this e-mail is written or tomorrow. I will keep you updated, because I know that part of the website is very important to many of you.

Starting with this e-mail, website updates will be automatically posted to the blog as well as to your e-mail. Some of you will see duplicate messages one from your blog subscription and one from your e-mail subscription. If you are a blog reader, in which I hope you are, you will see the exact same e-mail that is sent to your inbox on the blog. If you are reading this on the blog, you can sign up on the website for e-mail updates on changes over on the website. On occasion, unannounced special contests and such are available only to e-mail update subscribers, and those will continue to be that way, but general update e-mails will be posted in both spots to keep everyone updated.

There is one change to the front page of the website. You will see in the feature spot (where the Chris Cagle welcome message was) you will see featured a new group called Carter's Chord. This group was selected by Toby Keith and has been signed to Show Dog Records. Their new single "Different Breed" is featured there and Country Music Alive visitors have the chance to hear the full song on my website. Visit the front page and take a listen, then look for their album digitally on June 17 and the CD release later on this year.

There a few people over on the discussion board. Don't be shy and try it out! Get involved in the discussions and creat new ones. Tell your friends and jump in. I think I ! have som e great site visitors and this is the place to show off your love for country music. Now, if you have suggestions for new sections of the board or want improvements, just e-mail me and let me know! You can directly access it by going to:

I need a new poll question to post of the front page... anyone have suggestions? Let me know!

Remember, I love hearing from you all! Send your comments or heck, just say hi. I love feedback in some way to know if you all are out there.. and yes, I personally respond to every single e-mail I get. The e-mail address is the apply address to the e-mail or on the blog there is a text link under the Keith Urban autograph jeans contest link. I do not type the e-mail address out due to spam issues when I do.

That does it for now, thought I would just quickly update you and will keep you posted on all the updates over on the site!

As Always, Keeping Country Music Alive!

Kirk Fitzgerald

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Top Earning Country Music Stars

Forbe's recently did a very interesting article on the top earning country music artists.

Forbes' Top Earning Country Music Stars
(Dated 05/21/2008)

1. Toby Keith (48 Million)
2. Rascal Flatts (40 Million)
3. Tim McGraw (23 Million)
4. Kenny Chesney (22 Million)
5. Brooks & Dunn (20 Million)
6. Brad Paisley (16 Million)
7. Faith Hill (12 Million)
8. Keith Urban (12 Million)
9. George Strait (11 Million)
10. Alan Jackson (10 Million)

Not too surprising of a list. What is interesting though is the difference between the top 2 and the rest of the list. The rest are fairly close in numbers. Selling records alone no longer makes you earn the most in music. It takes being involved in every aspect of the music industry including selling albums, writing your own songs, owning your own label, writing your own songs, being on long term tours, merchadise licensing, and endorsements to come out on top. That's why Toby Keith is at the top. Also, younger audience target and cross-over appeal appears to help, in which is a great factor in why Rascal Flatts is in the second position.

Something else the article mentions deals with country music artist sales as a whole, that I found quiet interesting. It said that the country music industry hasn't been hit quiet as hard with the transition to digital sales rather than CD sales. I find that very true in talking with country music fans, they might purchase a download here and there of a new song or new artist that they have been exposed to. However, dealing with established artists, the typical country music fan rather buy the CD. I have always, and will always, support the purchase of the CD. There is so much in a CD cover and the design work of the overall CD package that we lose from digital downloads. So, even though the country music industry has taken a hit in someways due to the ability for digital downloads, maybe not quiet as much as pop and other music styles.

Another thing I noticed when looking at the list is the lack of female artists in the list. Only one female on the list, Faith Hill. She makes the list I am speculating due to the recent tour with husband Tim McGraw, however, his earnings according to the list are almost double of her earnings. I think there many reasons for the earnings being lower. Some of it most of the female artists performing today do not have the cross over appeal as some of the male artists. The female artists tour schedules seem to be lacking lately. There not many long term female headlined tours going in the past year. If they do headline, it is in smaller venues, rather than large venues. I haven't looked into it real hard, but I expect there more male artists writing their own songs. Some females do, no doubt. Some of the females, comparing to the list Forbes did earlier in the year on female artists in music, the top females in country would show up just outside the top 10.

So you are probably asking why isn't Taylor Swift on the list. Well, good question. However, she is a good example of it takes so much to be a top 10 earner, I'm sure is pretty high up, but not quiet to the top 10 level. She does have the album sales, thats for sure. Her debut album is triple platnium and been on the charts for 82 weeks. She is a songwriter, all the songs on her album are written by her. However, whats missing is the tour sales. That is where a lot of the artists make their money these days. Currently, with only one album, she isn't headlining the tour. She remains an opening act, but no doubt draws ticket sales. So, give her success on the first album, when her career is ready for headline status of a long term tour, then, we will see her name in the top 10.

ACM Awards Accolades

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I was checking some of the many press releases I got after this year's ACM Awards and ran across a photo from the Sony/BMG after party.

From a fan prospective, how cool would it be to be at such an event. All those highly talented stars in one spot on a very important evening.

From a professional prospective, what an incredible night for the label group, they certainly had a lot to celebrate. Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley were both double winners, with Chesney claiming his fourth consecutive Entertainer of the Year trophy along with Vocal Event (“Find Out Who Your Friends Are”), while Paisley walked away with Top Male Vocalist for the second year and also won for Video of the Year (“Online”). Carrie Underwood was named Top Female Vocalist for the second year in a row, and Miranda Lambert was honored with Album of the Year for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Brooks & Dunn claimed Top Vocal Duo and extended their lead as the most-awarded act in ACM history. Wow, pretty amazing the accolades that indeed deserve a time for celebration and recognition.

Some other facts from the ACMs include...

• Lady Antebellum, Jack Ingram and Jason Alexander each won their first-ever
ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS tonight. Lady Antebellum won for Top New Duo or Vocal Group; Ingram won for Top New Male Vocalist; Alexander won for Video of the Year (for Brad Paisley’s “Online”)

• Brooks & Dunn hold the most awards in the Top Vocal Duo category with a total of 15 wins. Rascal Flatts win for Top Vocal Group tied Alabama’s record for the most onsecutive wins in this category – with six years running.

• First time in Academy of Country Music history that fans chose the winner of the Academy’s highest honor, selecting Kenny Chesney as Entertainer of the Year for the fourth consecutive year. Brad Paisley won Top Male Vocalist and Carrie Underwood won Top Female Vocalist, both for the second consecutive year.

• Sugarland, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney each won two Academy Country Music Awards tonight: Sugarland for Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Stay”; Paisley for Top Male Vocalist and Video of the Year; Rascal Flatts for Top Vocal Group and Academy Of Country Music / The Home Depot Humanitarian Award; Chesney for Entertainer of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year (with Tracy Lawrence and Tim McGraw).

Pictured (l-r) at Sony BMG Nashville’s post-show dinner celebration: Sony BMG Nashville Executive VP Butch Waugh; Ronnie Dunn; Carrie Underwood; Kix Brooks; Miranda Lambert; ACM show host Reba McEntire; Brad Paisley; Kenny Chesney; Sony BMG Nashville Chairman Joe Galante and Executive VP A&R Renee Bell. Photo credit: Tyler Powell/Christie’s Photographic Studios

Eddy Arnold 1918-2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wow, a sad day for country music fans for sure. In fact, for all music. An icon of music died, just short of turning 90 years old. eddy Arnold will be deeply missed by the country music community, I know I will for sure.

Eddy Arnold holds the most charted singles of any artist. Thats an amazing accomplishment in itself. Eddy Arnold became one of the most popular country performers of our time. He spent more weeks at the top of the charts than any other artist. Arnold not only had 28 number one singles, he had more charting singles than any other artist. Notice, the "any other artist," not just country or anything like that.

In 1966, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 167 he was the first Entertainer of the Year named by the CMA. The ACM gave him the Pioneer Award in 1984 and in 1987, he was awarded the Songwriters Guild's President's Award. However, one of the most incredible accomplishments would be his record sales. He has sold over 85 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of the 20th century. His 100th album was released in 2005 by RCA Records. No, thats not a typo, 100 albums in a career. Pretty amazing...

It surely saddens me to hear the news of his death, however, what a better day than to listen to some of his music and think back on all the wonderful memories his music has given us.

For more information on Eddy Arnold:

Dierks Bentley is a Bud Light "Real Man of Genius"

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

You gotta love the "Real Man of Genius" commericals Bud Light runs on radio. I don't know about you, but when I hear that now famous tune playing, I turn it up a listen. They are just plain funny and well, a genius advertising tool for Bud Light.

Country music fans may want to listen a little closer starting this month. Dierks Bentley is featured in one of these commericals.

You can listen to it at this link:

For the second year, Bud Light is sponsoring Dierks Bentley's tour, and is only the 3rd music tour they have sponsored. The other two were Tim McGraw and George Strait.

Dierks Bentley's "Greatest Hits: Every Mile a Memory" CD was released today that includes two brand new songs and five live songs selected exclusively by his fans for a total of 17 tracks. Dierks has given his fans creative control of this project, allowing them to handpick the content of the album, cover art, and the album title. How awesome is that, I don't think any other style of music would come up with this way of putting a greatest hits CD together.

Toby Keith CD Giveaway!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Remember, you have until noon tomorrow, May 6th to get in your e-mail to have your chance to win Toby Keith's new 2 CD set "35 Biggest Hits"

I have one (1) copy of Toby Keith's "35 Biggest Hits" to give away to 1 lucky blog reader in the United States. This will be posted here only, and not on the website. Send an e-mail to with your name and city/state by 12:00pm EST Tuesday May 6th and you will be entered. One entry per person, per e-mail address.

Toby Keith "35 Biggest Hits" (Win a Copy!)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Fan of Toby Keith? Well, May 6th you are in for a real treat. Toby Keith's "35 Biggest Hits" makes its way to store shelves. This is a 2 CD set that has 35 tracks, one of those being is current single "She's A Hottie." The other 34 takes you through Keith's career of hits chronologically.

One of the most interesting things is that from the first track you get a chance to listen to one of country music's talents evolve. For the positive or negative, country music has changed so very much since 1993 when Toby Keith's first #1 hit, Should've Been A Cowboy." Keith is one of the few artists that have been able to keep up with those changes and keep his music contemporary with the trends, yet at the same time stick his own personal style.

If you are fairly new to country music, this is an album for you, no doubt. It is the best way to get caught up on Toby Keith's music without buying his entire collection of albums. The album cover includes a listing of each track and what album it appeared on. If you hear a couple songs that you like from the same album, I highly suggest you pick up that one and dig deeper into that particular album. Greatest Hits packages setup this way are excellent for this type of further exploration of an artist. I always l tell people that the "hit" from the album isn't always the best song on an album.

If you have been a fan of Toby Keith from the beginning, this album is for you as well. First, you get one new song, "She's A Hottie," plus you also get a 2 CD set that has all those hits you dig through your collection to hear in one place.

It isn't often that we get such a complete package of greatest hits. I compare it to Alan Jackson's first greatest hits package, and I have a feeling like Jackson, Keith will have a second greatest hits package one day as well.

I have one (1) copy of Toby Keith's "35 Biggest Hits" to give away to 1 lucky blog reader in the United States. This will be posted here only, and not on the website. Send an e-mail to with your name and city/state by 12:00pm Tuesday May 6th and you will be entered. One entry per person, per e-mail address.

Win A Trip to the CMA Music Festival!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Its getting close to the country music fan's favorite week of the year, the CMA Music Festival.... This year it is June 5-8, 2008. 4 days, 30 hours of autograph signings, 100 hours of live music, 400 Country Music artists and celebrities come together with thousands of country music fans to create one of the most special musical experiences you will ever have.

If you are a country music fan, and haven't experienced the CMA Music Festival... well, all I gotta say is you are missing out. 4 nights of all your favorite country music artists performing in one venue, plus concerts all day long. Also, the convention center is open with a lot of artists signing autographs, a family fun zone, and other special events ongoing throughout the City of Nashville all for country music fans

Country Music Alive has a special opportunity to give the readers of my blog and visitors to the website a chance to win a trip for two with airfare from anywhere in the continental US to Nashville and two four day passes to the CMA Music Festival including concert tickets to the Stadium show each night. Plus, 5 Runners-up each get a CMA Music Festival Hoodie & T-shirt.

Now, dont wait to enter... click the banner below to enter now, the contest deadline is 5:00pm CST May 12,2008 and you can enter once a day.