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"We would love it if you could join us for an evening with CLAY WALKER to benefit Vanderbilt's MS research and Clay's charity, Band Against MS."

So reads an invitation from C2 Media Relations' CHELSEA DARTEZ to join Walker for media interviews and a show, Clay's seventh annual such benefit, at 3rd & Lindsley on June 8, 2016.  

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When MARTHA MOORE extended a media introduction to SOUTHERN HALO I knew to expect something special.   The sister trio (NATALIA, CHRISTINA and HANNAH MORRIS), who hail from Cleveland, Mississippi, joined their proud parents, emcee ROBBY LYNN assorted fans and friends (notably CLAIRE COOK, STEPHEN BETTS and yours truly, as the sisters performed selections from their self-titled album at 12th & Porter on May 24, 2016.

The Morris teens are not old enough to remember BOB DYLAN's 1967 original, but their rendition of All Along The Watchtower was the best cover version I've seen and heard since I witnessed DEAN HALL's performance.


Invited guests were presented swag bags upon leaving, containing among other mementos, a copy of the trio's CD.

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JOHN PRINE's biggest fans know that PAUL ANKA got to see and hear Prine (in the company of KRIS KRISTOFFERSON and STEVE GOODMAN) perform long before they did, while many of GEORGE HAMILTON IV's fans remember that George IV, JOHNNY NASH and Anka recorded a recitation called Teen Commandments of Love back in 1958.

When Anka returned to Nashville for his most recent concert appearance at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center (on May 17, 2016) he noted his return to Music City and made a transitional reference to DOLLY PARTON  (leading in to Anka's performance of Do I Love You, Paul's 1971 solo hit, resurrected as a duet with Parton on Anka's 2013 Duets album) .  But, in a movie-length mixture of 59 years of nostalgia with a contemporary focus, given performance time constraints Paul can be forgiven for any number of seeming omissions that would be noticeable only to those hoping to hear a particular anecdote or song that didn't make Anka's song list.

While I missed Paul's earlier visits to Nashville, I have a decades-old memory of seeing Anka in concert at the
1970 Minnesota State Fair grandstand show.  Admittedly, that recollection is vague,  other than I must have been seated in one of the cheap seats- since I don't see very well under the best of circumstances- and I either didn't bring binoculars in that pre-Jumbotron era- or they weren't of much value.  I also remember that I was struck by Paul's confidence, or bravado- perhaps foreshadowing the need to backpedal over a decade later.

Nearly 47 years after I first saw Paul at a stadium concert, I find his stage presence in a more intimate setting to be decidedly more personal.  The evening at the Symphony Center began with an audio-visual career retrospective; compelling, historic footage culled from network TV appearance, Anka's unforgettable 1962 Lonely Boy cinéma vérité documentary)  on the big screen (meant to serve as an introduction before Paul ever hit the stage), marred by the muffled sound quality rendering much of it unintelligible.

Thankfully, once Paul hit the stage, making his entrance through a door leading him past pleasantly-surprised audience members to that platform, the sound was perfect and remained so throughout his performance of all the songs his fans came to hear him sing (Put Your Head on My Shoulder, She's A LadyYou Are My Destiny The Longest Day), incorporating some into medleys featuring songs the prolific songwriter, who is, incidentally a friend and favorite of WARREN BUFFETT,  likely wishes he'd written, such as BOUDLEAUX and FELICE BRYANT's Bye, Bye, Love and DON GIBSON's Oh Lonesome Me.   

Evoking a nostalgic memory of Eastman Kodak with his performance of Times of Your Life (not unlike the wistfulness of Anka's instrumental composition of the Tonight Show Theme, featured in the audio-visual memories montage
),  Similarly, Anka tugged on emotional heartstrings with his introduction of It Doesn't Matter Any More, telling fans that he wrote the last song BUDDY HOLLY ever recorded after Buddy requested Anka write Holly a hit in return for Buddy's granting Paul's request that Holly teach Anka how to play guitar.  (Paul also demonstrated his proficiency on keyboards during the Nashville concert.)   

On one excursion through the audience,  mid-song (i.e., Puppy Love), Paul playfully grabbed a audience member's cell phone, serenading a surprised caller as Anka's audience convulsed in laughter.    

Fortunately, Anka stuck close to his original recordings, but occasionally tweaked lyrics as in when the line from a verse of Having My Baby subtly shifted to "having our baby."  With similar timeliness, Paul variously managed a non-partisan mention of DONALD TRUMP and memorialized PRINCE with Anka's version of Purple Rain

As the evening came to a close, Paul spoke of maturing in the limelight, indicating that he has learned that, as hard as life is, in the end all that matters is "family, friends, and health.  The rest?  Forget about it!"

With the mention of an impending box set release,  Anka closed with the logical finale, My Way, only to engage the audience, already on its feet, with the last of several singalongs of the evening: Paul's other signature song, Diana.

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Attn:
BONNIE RAITT fans (JOHN RAITT fans apparently need not apply):  In the event that you attended either or both of Bonnie's May 2, 2016 or May 3, 2016 concerts at the Ryman- and you still have your ticket(s)- a collector wants to make it worth your while to part with it/them.

Unused tickets will bring $150 each, while the used variety (presumably stubs) brings $100 apiece.  

More information is available at (304) 633-1991.

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While it may seem that TONY BROWN has received yet another legal break, there is more to this story than meets the eye.

Report readers will recall that after posting $10,000 and bonding out of jail, following an arrest on misdemeanor charges of assault and domestic bodily injury after an incident shortly after his remarriage to JAMIE NICOLE BROWN (the same woman from whom Tony obtained his most recent divorce) and a February 29, 2016 appearance before Judge ALLEGRA WALKER, Tony was granted a continuance, meaning Brown's Davidson Country criminal court trial date, originally set for March 29, 2016 was rescheduled for April 21, 2016.

The latter date was marked by yet another postponement.

Brown, who continues to be represented by criminal attorney ERIK REGIS HERBERT, is now set for trial on June 9, 2016 at 9 a.m., when Tony return to Courtroom 4C, in the A. A. BIRCH Building, for trial before an E team judge.    If the trial actually begins on that day, given the severity of the charges and some information that, though public now, will receive greater attention at that time, the criminal court proceedings will either be buried by, or will deflect attention  from, coverage of the 2016 CMA Music Festival.   

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Thanks to AMANDA CLARK and Sea Gayle Music for extending an invitation to attend C.J. SOLAR's August 21, 2016 Hard One to Turn Down EP release show (featuring BRINLEY ADDINGTON) at The Basement East.  Thanks also to CARLY CARAMANNA for the invitation to attend August 18, 2016 album preview showcase at the Station Inn for CARISSA LEIGH's Better Than I've Been.

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After posting $10,000 and bonding out of jail, following an arrest on misdemeanor charges of assault and domestic bodily injury after an incident shortly after his remarriage to JAMIE NICOLE BROWN (the same woman from whom Tony obtained his most recent divorce) and a February 29, 2016 appearance before Judge ALLEGRA WALKER,  Tony has been granted a continuance, meaning Brown's Davidson Country criminal court trial date, originally set for March 29, 2016, has been rescheduled.

Brown, who continues to be represented by criminal attorney ERIK REGIS HERBERT, is now set for is now set for April 21, 2016 at 9 a.m., when Tony will return to Courtroom 4C, in the A. A. BIRCH Building, for trial before an E team judge.    


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THOMAS RHETT (AKINS, JR.)'s publicist apparently had no script control over the April 20, 2016 episode of ABC's Nashville (featuring "Thomas Rhett's" brief performance as the fictional last-minute tour replacement for a fictional no-show when apparently first and second choices "DIERKS" and "BLAKE" were not available.  A savvy publicist would insist that a real-life client mentioned in the context of real-life competitors (for whom apparently no surnames are required) be referred to simply by his first name as well.

The failure here suggests a lack of name recognition for a presumed "B"-lister competing with presumed "A"-listers; hardly the desired positioning in an industry guided financially and in terms of recognition accorded by such perceptions.

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The Southern Women’s Show, now in its 30th year, runs through April 17, 2016 at The Music City Center.   (If you were born in 1986, and provide proof, organizers  will give you a complimentary ticket!)  


The annual event, now  boasts scores of exhibitors from A (A Beauty Must) to Z (Zipfizz) and is a cornucopia of opportunity.  Where else can you meet KELLIE PICKLER, watch cooking demonstrations, line up for free food samples, get a massage, take a test drive, collect celebrity autographs, shop for the latest fashions, get a makeover, and take advantage of discounts and giveaways?

The event is bigger and better every year, which is especially true this year now that STACY ABERNETHY and MEREDITH MENNINGER have been able to secure the services of ace event publicist CLAIRE RATLIFF.

Complete information, including ticket prices and hours of operation is available here.


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How would you like to know your favorite Grand Ole Opry members' and/or guest artists' social security numbers, how much money they made during Opry appearances during 2015 and their equally-private contact information?

You already have this information if you are responsible for a (phishing) email scam resulting in a Gaylord Gang employee divulging this information from the victims' W-2 tax forms.

Incensed Opry performers should know that their social security numbers have been readily available for years prior to the Internet Age.  Redacting of public records and music industry  policy changes have eliminated some of this irresponsibility, but where there's a will (a knowledge of technology, or an offer of enough money) there's a way.


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DON MURRY GRUBBS,  KAY WAGGONER and AMERIMONTE RECORDS have extended an invitation to join SHANE OWENS for a Beer and Barbecue Showcase of Owens' new album, Where I'm Comin' From, April 7, 2016 at Studio Instrument Rentals (SIR).


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The joke's on Nashville media who fail to join MARTHA MOORE on April 1, 2016 as she introduces local print and broadcast journalist to NICK RIGGINS & THE HARDDOGS.  The quintet's April Fool's Day showcase will be at The Country Nashville. (At least that's how the invitation reads!  And we're sure we have the right time!!!)

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FRED FOSTER spoiled the Country Music Association and Country Music Foundation's intended element of surprise on March 29, 2016 by spilling the beans, in his acceptance speech following his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, with the anticlimactic news that RANDY TRAVIS and CHARLIE DANIELS were also being inducted.     (The incident reminded me of when ED BENSON unintentionally tipped me off to
WILLIE NELSON's then impending-induction, instantaneously begging me not to report what I had learned.)   


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WEBSTER PR opened its Hermitage, Tennessee office to invited media March 15, 2016 as CYNDI LAUPER's publicity team hosted an Ides of March news conference during which Lauper took questions about her first album of country classics.

DETOUR (featuring guest appearances by , WILLIE NELSONVINCE GILL and ALISON KRAUSS- and yodeling courtesy of JEWEL) is Cyndi's 11th studio album.  It was recorded in Nashville and will be available May 6, 2016 on CD, LP and digitally.

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Following his arrest on misdemeanor charges of assault and domestic bodily injury (following his recent remarriage to the same woman from whom he obtained his most recent divorce), and release (after posting $10,000 bond),  TONY BROWN's next day in Davidson Country criminal court (following a February 29, 2016 appearance before Judge ALLEGRA WALKER), is scheduled for March 29, 2016 at 9 a.m.

Brown, represented by criminal attorney ERIK REGIS HERBERT,will return to Courtroom 4C in the A. A. BIRCH Building, for trial before a E team judge.       


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The March, 2016 issue of Country Music People (which includes a LORETTA LYNN cover story) features JANET ASPLEY's conversation with MEL TILLIS.  Tillis tells Aspley that his father, a baker, not only wanted his then-teen-aged son to quit school and work with him. he didn't care that Mel didn't want to become a baker: "My dad told me... 'I'll pay you $20 a week and $15 of that is going to be room and board.'"

Mel's response?  "Daddy, up until about 15 minutes ago it was all free."

Mel also explains to Janet why his professional relationship with WEBB PIERCE deteriorated, and unfortunately, was never mended.  


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The March 8, 2016 edition of The Tennessean contains guest columnist and transgender parent  GRETCHEN PETERS' opinion piece in opposition to "'Bathroom bills' designed to prevent transgender schoolchildren from using the facilities that match their gender identity." 

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Nove Entertainment was the site of a March 7, 2016  DOLLY PARTON press announcement of Parton's forthcoming Pure & Simple North American tour and similarly-titled double disc album,Pure & Simple with Dolly's Biggest Hits (a mixture of new material and a greatest hits compilation). 

Dolly's 60 city tour of the U.S. and Canada will be her first tour of such proportions in more than 25 years.  

Parton also announced that her critically-acclaimed NBC-TV movie, Dolly Parton's Coat of  Many Colors (the most-watched TV movie in more than three years and rerun in Nashville due to popular demand) will be available on DVD May 3, 2016.


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