A giant spaceship has landed in Nashville and finally opened its doors this week. And it’s breathtaking in its immensity and breadth and most of all in its promise. Nashville’s new Music City Center may as well be called Starship Nashville or even Starship Music City for its grandeur and unlimited potential. Read More
My, my, but this whole flap about Brad Paisley’s new song “Accidental Racist” and the rap by LL Cool J in the song is beginning to get out of hand. People all over the Internet world are taking sides, when there are really no sides to take. Read More
Radio station WHN in New York City will always occupy a special place in radio history as well as in a lot of listeners’ hearts and memories. For me, when I moved from Austin to New York in 1974, I was leaving a lot of spiritual anchors behind. Some were music and cultural venues such as the Armadillo World Headquarters and the Broken Spoke. And great barbecue and fabulous Mexican food. There was also the scintillating progressive radio station KOKE-FM. Read More
So, what will likely be remembered about these 2013 Grammy ceremonies and awards? Judging from the past, not a lot. What is most remarkable every year is that the producers manage to take a huge mess of a multi-genre, multi-generational variety show and mash it all together into a good-looking and mildly entertaining spectacle for a wide audience. Read More
Look at the production credits on the music rolling out of Nashville’s production line, and the producer is almost always a man. Why? Well, many guys I have talked to over the years say, matter-of-factly, that’s because being a record producer has always been a man’s job. Like being George Martin with the Beatles. Or like cooking barbecue or working on cars or playing football. Read More
It’s very fitting that two new solo albums are being released from the Glimmer Twins of country music. Buck Owens and Don Rich were the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of country, the original Telecaster cowboys from Bakersfield.
Nobody rocked country back then like Buck and Don. Read More
Thanks to the many readers who embraced my modest suggestion for subjecting wannabe country singers and budding superstars to a rigorous grilling about country music’s history and legacy.
Also thanks to those who upbraided me for including several more recent artists, instead of just concentrating on the older stars and musical antiques. Anything that has happened in country music is now country music history. To me, it doesn’t matter if it happened three hours ago or 30 years or 70 years ago.
By the way, I hope everyone saw the latest excited article lauding Nashville as the current it city in The New York Times. How interesting it is these days to live and work in the middle of a virtual amusement park.
Here are the quiz questions and answers: Read More
I was throwing this idea around the other day with a couple of comrades from the ultra-secret Country Music Identity Committee, and we came to the conclusion that it’s time to implement a licensing system for budding country singers.
We agreed that complete ignorance of country music’s heritage and tradition is not a proper way for the music to be presented around the nation and around the world by the current crop of wannabe country stars.
You know, it’s getting lonely down on Music Row anymore, what with all the “for rent” and “for sale” signs sprouting up as the few successful companies that are still around exit the Row for downtown Nashville or exurban offices. Some afternoons, you can see the tumbleweeds tumbling down Music Row where all the BMWs with their Cali plates used to frolic.
So — what’s left for the rest of us? Read More
Some year, huh, in 2012? Let’s just wipe the slate clean and start with a clean, new 2013.
For one thing in this new year, I want to extend congratulations to Big Machine chief Scott Borchetta for being named one of the “most disruptive” people in the music industry. I consider that an honor. May Scott continue to vigorously disrupt the corrupt, hidebound side of the industry in 2013. And to keep stirring the soup. Read More