Saturday, August 28, 2004
NEW IN THE JUKEBOX
Friday, August 27, 2004
Concert Preview: Reba McEntire at the Dollar Bank Jamboree
Country star balances busy life on stage and screen
Nashville is no place for sissies. But in a business that's predictably unpredictable, Reba McEntire is a consistent anomaly.
The cute redheaded rodeo singer with the big voice from tiny Chockie, Okla., signed her first record deal in the mid-1970s and cracked the country charts in 1976. Despite the dramatic twists and turns that have rocked Music Row over the past 30 years, the major players still consider her a major player. In an industry that worships and demands youth, especially among women artists, country radio played middle-aged McEntire's "Somebody" enough times to propel the CD, "Room to Breathe," to the No. 4 spot on the Country Albums chart. Capping a long list of industry awards, she recently set a record (51) for the most solo Top 10 hits by a country female.
In 1990, McEntire surprised film critics with a credible role as a gun-toting survivalist in the cult thriller "Tremors." In 2001, she delighted stage critics after inheriting the lead in a Broadway production of "Annie Get Your Gun." The discovery of her acting chops led to a namesake role in The WB TV series "Reba," which begins its fourth season Sept. 17.
On the set during a break in taping, days before traveling to Pittsburgh to headline the 10th annual Dollar Bank Jamboree Sunday at Point State Park, McEntire talked about "Room to Breathe," "Reba" and what it takes to survive in the business.
You must be busy.
Well, sure, this is a busy time. We're in the second week of the TV show, we're pushing the second single from the album, and we have this tour coming up. ... It's very exciting, if my body can keep up with me.
Do you think of this as a two-tiered career or does it all seem like one big blur?
Both [laughs]. It's just what you have to do today, and you compartmentalize. Sometimes I'm an actor or a script editor, sometimes I'm a musician, sometimes I'm a business person.
I've had a great 25 years in the music business, and if it was going to end I was wasn't going to worry about it. The Broadway thing came up and while I was in New York, the TV show came up. But I do like my music. It's very rewarding. We decided to do the TV show and the tour at the same time.
Sometimes artists stretch themselves too thin and their fans sort of lose focus. Was that a concern?
It was. It's been four years since my last album, I've never gone that long before. I didn't know if my fans would stay with me or not. But they stayed with me on Broadway, they came to L.A. for TV tapings, they stayed with me on this album, and they're active on the Internet and fan club. I've got the best fans.
They were slow to pick up on the single.
Yeah, that had us concerned. The album came out in November and it took 30 weeks for "Somebody" to work its way up the charts. Usually, it's 15 weeks. But this one had a resurgence of life, especially after the video came out. RCA is really kicking butt with it.
You wear so many hats, how do you know which one to wear? I mean, do you set up a business situation where you can make art, or do you make your art and put on your business hat to sell it?
Good question. What you have to do is be an artist first, whether it's finding the right music or getting a good script. With songs, if it touches my heart when I sing it, hopefully it will touch the listener's heart. I've had some discussions with producers about that when they disagreed, but if I'm gonna sing it, I have to love it first. Once you have that done, you put the politician hat on and work it through the system, then you put the business hat on and market it.
"Somebody" is a great song. Where'd you find it?
It was pitched by the publishing company. It was on the songwriter Dave Berg's first album. I was a little worried about that, you know, didn't want to steal his thunder. He's sort of an alternative roots-rock guy, but this song isn't and the demo sounds a lot like what we did [on "Room to Breathe"].
The second single, "He Gets That From Me," is very subtle, very sensitive -- you have to hear the whole song to get the story. It's almost too sophisticated for radio.
It's about a bitter divorce. I'll tell ya, toward the end it went real sour for me. I called [writers Steven Dale Jones and Phillip White], and I talked with them about changing the end.
You asked them to rewrite their song?
That only happened one other time before. I don't know if I could have done that without editing all those scripts on "Reba." The first season, I just did the scripts as they came in. But by the second season, I was taking them back to the writers and asking for this and that. It's gotten me much more involved in the show, and it's crossed over some to the music side of my career. At least on this song, I got more involved in the writing.
How do you see "Reba" evolving since that first season?
In the character development. It's gone from a woman jilted, to a child pregnant, to grasping life, to screwing up life, raisin' kids and grandkids. The writers are just fantastic and so are the actors.
Do you want the show to be more issue-oriented or comedic?
Right now, I think it's a great blend of both. When an issue comes up, we talk about it. And I think people see that on TV and they sit around and talk about things that are sometimes hard to discuss. These are issues that people in the United States have to deal with. It's not a joke every four lines or anything like that, but you can find humor in the most sad things, at the darkest hour.
What's Reba doing this fall?
She has another love interest, she's always trying to find a new boyfriend. This year we're dealing with where Kyra will be staying and Van's going to have something happen in football.
Are you looking forward to getting back on the road?
Like I said, if my body can keep up with me. The good thing about touring is we get back to our Nashville home more often. We've done some shows already on the West Coast. I'll tell ya, it was weird the first time on stage. I was just standing there savoring it. When I was touring for 25 years in a row, all the clothes changing and razzle dazzle was done to make it interesting to me. Some people have drugs, I have costume changes. Now, we have nice staging, but no bells or whistles. We're gonna make this tour about the songs, and we're bringing the two sides of my career together. We do "Love Revival" [from "Room to Breathe"] on the TV show. Kids in the audience were saying, "Gosh, mom, I didn't know she sings, too."
- by John Hayes / Sent by Bernie
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Thursday, August 26, 2004
Tony Brown Receives Dale Franklin Leadership Award
Highly-Respected Producer/Executive Honored At Star-Studded Gala
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- While the Olympics were being staged in Athens, Greece Tuesday night (August 24th), close to 500 music industry artists and leaders gathered at Nashville's replica of the Parthenon to honor one of their elite, Tony Brown, with the first ever Dale Franklin Leadership Award. Established earlier this year by Leadership Music, a 15- year-old service and educational organization in Nashville, the Dale Franklin Leadership Award is intended to honor exemplary leadership and is named for the organization's first executive director, the late Dale Franklin.
The sold-out gala benefited Leadership Music, and was attended by a number of artists associated with Brown over his four-decade career as a musician, record company executive and award-winning producer. Guests included Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell, with whom Brown is currently reunited in the Notorious Cherry Bombs. Also in attendance were Lee Ann Womack, Gary Allan, Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys, Donny Osmond, Elton John songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, Amy Grant, Ronnie Dunn, Jon Randall, and Alison Krauss, along with new artists such as Katrina Elam, Jessi Alexander, Holly Williams, and Matt Jenkins. Joining the festivities via pre-recorded tribute were Emmylou Harris, Reba McEntire, Steve Earle and Wynonna. Nashville radio personality Gerry House served as emcee of the event and provided a number of the evening's most light-hearted comments.
The Dale Franklin Leadership Award, which will be presented on an annual basis, was established to honor individuals who make extraordinary contributions to and are leaders in the music community. "It is fitting that Tony Brown be our first honoree," said Malcolm Mimms, president of Leadership Music. "His commitment to promoting better communication, interaction and debate among industry professionals parallels that of Leadership Music and its beloved founding executive director, Dale Franklin."
He continued, "This award's namesake, the late Dale Franklin, dedicated herself to the best leadership principles: communication, interaction and debate among professional peers. It is only fitting to honor Tony Brown for his accomplishments and his continuing commitment to leading by example."
Franklin, who had been assistant manager of the Grateful Dead as well as lodging director for Woodstock, was founding executive director for not only Leadership Music, but Leadership Nashville, as well. She lost a valiant battle with cancer in 1994.
For Tony Brown, music has been his passion through most of his life. He began playing piano in a family singing group led by his preacher father when he was only 13. He went on to perform with the legendary Stamps Quartet, as well as the equally noted Blackwoods and the Oak Ridge Boys. He advanced from playing piano for the Sweet Inspirations, backing megastar Elvis Presley, to playing for Presley himself, performing with The King from 1975-77 as his last piano player. After Presley's death, Brown toured as keyboardist in Emmylou Harris' legendary Hot Band. He began his career as a record company executive in the A&R department at RCA Records in the late 70s, signing the group Alabama and Vince Gill to the label.
Although he left RCA briefly to join the Cherry Bombs, Rodney Crowell and Rosanne Cash's revered band, he returned to the company in 1983, and began producing albums. He moved to MCA Records the following year, earning a reputation as the chief architect of the alt-country movement by signing artists such as Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith. He also made highly-successful albums on superstars such as George Strait, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood (whom he signed to MCA), Wynonna, Vince Gill, Jimmy Buffett and others. He worked with George Jones, the late Tammy Wynette and The Mavericks, as well as producing songs for major motion pictures such as Thelma and Louise, The Horse Whisperer, Honeymoon in Vegas and others.
Brown spent 18 years at MCA Records, the last seven as president of the label. The recipient of numerous industry awards for his artistry, including Grammys and CMA awards, Brown has made several appearances on Entertainment Weekly's 100 Most Influential People in Entertainment list, and he continues to be profiled in national magazines, including GQ. Just this year Brown was featured as a "Star Maker" in People magazine's 30th Anniversary Special Issue.
Brown is currently a senior partner at Universal South, the record company he started in 2002 with former Arista Nashville president Tim DuBois. A joint venture with Universal Records in New York, the label is dedicated to signing artists from any genre. Brown and DuBois hit an immediate home run with the platinum success of their flagship artist, Joe Nichols. The roster also includes award-winning Russian ensemble Bering Strait, and chart-topping Christian music artist Matthew West, among others.
"I have worked over the years with many people who have commented on the closeness and the spirit of cooperation that exists in the Nashville music business," Brown commented. "Leadership Music and the influence it has on its participants is directly responsible for creating and sustaining this attitude. It is an organization that is unique to the music business and to the Nashville community and should be considered a model for other facets of the entertainment industry. Dale Franklin's determination helped make it possible, and I am proud to be honored in this way. This award humbles me."
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Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Reba's new single "He Gets That From Me" is the most added single on R&R and debuts at #45. She also came in at 50 on Billboard.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker & Reba!?
Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker are about to take a further step away from their rock base to appear with Reba McEntire on an annual country show.
Rock, Kracker and McEntire will perform at the 7th annual Country Bash on October 9 in Irving, California.
Other performs will include Rascal Flatts, SHeDAISY, Chris Cagle, Lee Ann Womack, Julie Roberts, Shiloh, The Jenkins and Josh Gracin.
The Country Bash is put on by radio station KZLA which boosts to be the most listened to country radio station on the planet.
Both Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker are no strangers to country music. Both have dabbled in both kinds (country AND western) on the last few albums.
Proceeds from the Country Bash will go to needy children.
By Paul Cashmere
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Monday, August 23, 2004
Rock Goes Country as Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker Perform at KZLA Country Bash 2004 Saturday, October 9th
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 23, 2004--Reba McEntire announced the lineup for the KZLA Country Bash Monday morning, during the Peter Tilden Morning Show. The World's Most Listened to Country station will celebrate its 7th annual Country Bash Saturday, October 9, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine, Calif. This year's all-star line-up includes Rascal Flatts, Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker, SHeDAISY, Chris Cagle, Lee Ann Womack, Julie Roberts, Shiloh, The Jenkins, Josh Gracin, and more.
The County Music Association (CMA) and Country Music Television (CMT) named Rascal Flatts Top Vocal Group in 2003. They took the CMT Flameworthy award for Top Vocal Group home again in 2004. Alternative Rockers Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker have embraced the country music genre and found a new set of fans.
The KZLA Country Bash is an all-day country festival featuring the hottest artists in country music! The Bash benefits "Tilden's Children...helping children in need prepare for a positive future."
Tickets for the KZLA Country Bash will go on sale Saturday, August 28th. at 10:00 a.m. at all TICKETMASTER locations or by calling TICKETMASTER at 213-480-3232, 714-740-3232, 805-583-8700, or 619-220-8497. Visit KZLA.com for more information.
For more information contact: Bonnie Marquez or Deanne Saffren at 818-525-5000.
KZLA 93.9FM is owned and operated by Emmis Communications. Emmis Communications (NASDAQ:EMMS) is a diversified media firm with radio broadcasting, television, and magazine publishing operations.
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THE RE-EMERGING SOUTHERN VOICE
"Rodney," "Blue Collar TV" and the WB's successful comedy "Reba," starring country music star Reba McEntire, point to a re-emerging Southern voice on television. It's a voice that has rarely been heard in prime time since "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Green Acres" and "Hee Haw" ruled the airwaves more than 30 years ago.
In 1971, CBS pulled those classic shows from its schedule and turned toward more urban-directed ones like "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "All in the Family." That reconfiguration changed the prime-time landscape, said Ron Simon, television curator at the Museum of Television & Radio. "Advertisers wanted to reach young, urban, sophisticated viewers," he said. "The type of audience that shows like 'Hee Haw' reached was not what the networks and advertisers were looking for." So they stopped trying to reach a mass audience and began directing their programming toward a more specific and, they believed, more lucrative market.
Lately, though, the enormous popularity of reality television has demonstrated that viewers enjoy watching people like themselves. Reality shows have "knocked the gloss off" the medium, Foxworthy said, adding, "You don't have to be slick or suave to be on TV anymore."
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The cowboy way
Lushsingers bring spirit to annual Texas Ranch Roundup
By Don and Sharon Chance/For the Times Record News
Before the first wild cow was milked, before the first bronc was ridden, before the first steer was wrestled, all eyes and ears at the upcoming Texas Ranch Roundup turned to a tiny red-headed woman with a big voice.
Susie Luchsinger stepped up to the microphone and once again thrilled the audience with her heart-warming rendition of the National Anthem, opening Friday night's festivities on a patriotic and poignant note.
In the latest of many performances at the Texas Ranch Roundup, Susie Luchsinger will open tonight's action at Kay Yeager Coliseum. She and her husband, Paul, also will be hosting Sunday's Cowboy Church, scheduled for 9 a.m. at the MPEC Exhibit Hall.
But what is it about this diminutive dynamo's singing that appeals to those in the ranching and rodeoing community?
It could be her intimate knowledge of what it's like growing up on a ranch. Luchsinger's parents, Clark and Jackie McEntire, raised their children on a small ranch in Oklahoma.
It could be her first-hand knowledge of the rodeo world, since her father was a world champion steer roper, and her husband, Paul, was a professional steer wrestler.
But it is probably her breathtaking voice, with its uncanny resemblance to her big sister, Reba McEntire, that leaves so many audiences wanting to hear more.
Luchsinger started her singing career performing with her sister, Reba, and their brother, Pake, as the "Singing McEntires." As her sister's country music star begin to rise, Luchsinger toured with her, singing backup as well as taking the occasional turn in the spotlight herself. The sisters made appearances on the "Grand Ole Opry," "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" and "Hee Haw," as well as touring with Ronnie Milsap and Merle Haggard.
Luchsinger soon broke out on her own, scoring several chart hits. But gospel music always held a special place for Luchsinger, and she soon began to seek out a career performing the music that touched her heart.
Since finding her footing in the gospel music community, Luchsinger has been honored with numerous award nominations for her work, including the Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards, Christian Country Music Association awards and Music City News Awards, and she has been named Christian Country Artist of the Year four times by Gospel Voice magazine.
Luchsinger's latest album, "You've Got A Friend," has received rave reviews for its warm and endearing message of faith and hope.
Luchsinger and her husband travel throughout the country holding Cowboy Church at rodeos and roundups, ministering primarily to cowboys and their families. The couple also makes many appearances at conventional churches where they share their testimony of God's guidance in overcoming physical and emotional abuse in their marriage.
The story of their struggle is told in their book, "A Tender Road Home." It is an encouraging testimony about Luchsinger's decision to stay with her husband "for better or for worse" and her prayers to God for a miraculous healing in her marriage that, in time, came to pass.
The couple is looking forward to returning to this year's roundup to perform, preach and renew old acquaintances.
"It's kind of like a homecoming for us," said Luchsinger in a phone interview from Salt Lake City. "We love coming to the Ranch Roundup because we are ranchers ourselves. We love the environment; we love the causes it raises money for; and we love watching the ranchers compete."
She went on to explain, "The ranches really have to sacrifice a lot of time and money to come to this event, and it's so great to see them doing it for such worthy causes, such as the rehab centers."
Reflecting on how many years she and her husband had been coming to the roundup, she laughed, "It think it was our daughter Luchesse that was just a wee baby in a basket when we first started working with the Roundup, and she just graduated from high school this year, so it's been a long time."
As much as they love the Roundup and all the events and excitement that go along with it, they are most looking forward to holding their annual Cowboy Church meeting on Sunday morning.
"Back when the Roundup was held at the rodeo grounds, we had a huge white tent to have Cowboy Church in," said Luchsinger. "We would have 600 or more folks come and worship with us on Sunday mornings. Since the roundup has moved to the coliseum, we have our church at the Exhibit Hall in one of the big meeting rooms. We want to invite everyone to come out on Sunday and experience this unique time of worshiping with us. It's not just for cowboys or ranchers, but for everyone."
-Sent by Bernie
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