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On June 21, 2017, about six months after NAOMI JUDD committed to appearing at a (subsequently canceled, "due to illness," but not rescheduled, as was the announced plan, "at a later date") January 30, 2017 ticketed talk and book signing, as part of an ongoing authors' series, most often held- as Naomi's was to be- at the Nashville Public Library's main, downtown Music City location, I received an invitation from JANICE GRAY in anticipation of the June 30, 2017 release of The Judds' All-Time Greatest Hits, a 21-song set featuring "the duo's top ten hits,
as well as a 2011 recording, You Can't Go Home Again (Flies in the Butter)."  Product number B07259RB43  

The invitation read "W
e are organizing a virtual press conference with Naomi Judd this Friday, June 23 at 1:30p CST.  A virtual press conference is just like a press conference, but on a telephone conference line.  If you're interested in participating, please respond and let me know so we can send you call-in details.

"Naomi will call into the line as well and be available for questions. We will moderate the call like a press conference. While we cannot guarantee you a chance to ask a question, it's a great opportunity to be on a phone call with Naomi Judd. Once the call is complete, we will send you audio from the call so you can transcribe it or use the sound as needed."  

No offense intended, but as one of the first reporters to interview Naomi (at an RCA Records Vandyland news conference, introducing the mother-daughter duo to Nashville media prior to the release of the Judds' first recording) and one who deals in exclusives, I have to prioritize my time.  It may be  "a great opportunity" for the starstruck "to be on a phone call with Naomi Judd," but, as this is not the first provisional invitation I've received, at least one reporter, who regards journalism as a business, must take a stand for allowing time for every journalist invited to a news conference- virtual or not- to ask a question.  

It's simply a matter of respect.  

My question would likely be about why Naomi is only taking questions by phone.  Due to the singer's fragility, as Judd candidly expresses in 
River of Time..., I don't think a truthful answer would be forthcoming.

The legitimate phone interview takes place when the news is pressing and the interview subject is geographically unavailable (such as when an
artist is on tour).

In my nearly half-century of covering music, I have rarely accepted invitations to do phoners.  I have often been asked to do them- the worst are with groups.  

Which voice belongs to whom?   Is a comment being made seriously- or is it to be taken in jest? (Please don't make me guess...)

After interviewing EDDIE RABBITT a few times over the course of his career, Eddie asked me to do a phoner.  I refused, though it may have
made history as the last one he gave.  (Rabbitt did not want anyone to see him because he knew, by the spring of 1998, he had only days to live; a secret Eddie successfully kept from everyone, other than family and friends, throughout the progression of his battle with lung cancer.)




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Thanks to LINDSAY WHITE for inviting me to the June 21, 2016 invitation-only performances of AARON LEWIS and EMILY EARLE on the BMI rooftop.



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Memo to PAM LEWIS and JOHN LOMAX III (who, technically is not JL III, nor his son JL IV, but that's another story, probably only of interest to purists, music historians and genealogists charged with precision, even when it gets in the way of a neat narrative...): Sheperd University History Professor BENJAMIN BANKHURST pays tribute to folklorist ALAN LOMAX and, to a lesser extent, Alan's father, JOHN in an episode of Lectures in History, titled Appalachia in the American Imagination, currently airing on C-SPAN 3.    




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"You are invited to the music event of the year..."

So begins an invitation from EMMANUEL JAL, host of the June 10, 2017 We Want Peace benefit concert.  The concert, celebrating refugees worldwide, will be held at the Fleck Dance Theatre at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Canada.

All ticket proceeds will be donated to charities that support and educate  "those displaced by war, conflict and poverty: Gua Africa, Love Peace & Harmony and Matthew House Refugees Centre."
.

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KIVA KAMERLING has extended an offer of media credentials to the sixth annual A2IM Libera Awards June 8, 2017 at the Playstation Theatre.

The awards show, a red carpet event, honors independent artists and labels for their achievements in 19 different award categories.  

For a complete list of 
nominees click here.  

General Admission tickets are available for purchase by clicking here.    

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Attention Publicists: Do you represent A-list country-music stars who have also created a successful business empire and are eager to offer "actionable entrepreneurial advice"?

If so,  a major website is poised to provide her/him/them (and, by extension, you) with an opportunity to be interviewed for a feature story and podcast interview combo on the subject of successful investing.  An one-to-two sentence emailed story pitch response indicating, if selected, how you will "creatively engage and share the interview and advice, once published, with those of us on your media contact list, begins the process of
of scheduling background and podcast interviews.

While interviews will be scheduled over the next six months, in order to meet the publication's May 26, 2017 (7 p.m. EST) deadline for those who wish to be considered,  please 
email me before May 25, 2017 so that I may pass on the required contact information.


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BMI hosts the latest in its series of invitation-only (courtesy of SCOTT ADKINS) Rooftop on the Row events May 23, 2017.  MAGGIE ROSE opens for event-headliner LOCASH.

The following day BMI's boardroom will be the venue for a meeting of the Music Row Administrators Group  featuring American Federation of Musicians Local #257 President (and veteran Music Row session musician) DAVE POMEROY.



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The Belmont United Methodist Church Community Center was the place to be at noon on  May 19, 2017.  Actor ED ASNER was on hand at the free brown-bag lunch for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, telling those gathered at the Nashville IDD Housing Group-sponsored event of his own personal connection to, and advocacy for, those on the autism spectrum.

Asner was happy to answer all questions about the subject at hand, as well as queries about his multifaceted career- and even country music.

As he signed autographs for, and posed for photos with anyone who asked, Ed indicated that, while, as a child, he didn't particularly like country music,  as an adult he witnessed the music becoming more creative and expansive to the point where he is now a country-music fan:  "They found out what I like and they brought it to me," Asner joked.



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Attention PublicistsA fitness magazine wants to hear from those of you whose clients include celebrities or fitness stars who, with your help, prepared for a photo shoot, film or some other event on short notice, by engaging in an emergency get-in-shape regimen.

You will be featured in the magazine with the quid pro quo that you  "follow us on social media and promote it in your social media.  If you can
give us a glimpse of a sample workout or plan you did, or fitness star if you put one together" so much the better.

If the above seems like a great promotional opportunity for you and your client(s), you are willing to dish, and are able to meet the magazine's May 27, 2017 deadline, please email me before May 20, 2017 so that I may pass on the contact information you will need.    


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TOMMY CASH understandably doesn't want to leave out any of those who have been a significant part of his life as Cash is moving toward completion of the remaining two-thirds of his long-anticipated autobiography.  Knowing his friend, BOB WOOTON was ill, Tommy and his ghostwriter were in the process of trying to determine the proper placement of a mention of Bob, given Wooton's importance to Tommy but lack of significance in Cash's career.  Should Bob's name be simply included on an acknowledgment page?  Would there be context and the ability to segue from why Tommy thought it important to mention Bob to a more expected topic?

While in the throes of making a final decision about which direction to go and being able to inform Wooton of Tommy's plans (Tommy knew Bob was too ill to contribute a "blurb" for Cash's book), Cash received word of Wooton's passing.

Just days before Bob's death, Tommy told his wife, "MARCY that I wanted to go see Bob.  Too late... I did go to the wake, however."

Tommy, who has known of, and worked, with any number of lead guitarists, added that Bob Wooton "was the only lead guitar player that could play like the original JOHNNY CASH sound [of] LUTHER PERKINS."

The lesson?  Don't let death come between you and whatever appreciation you want to express to the departed before they depart!


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Many who were surprised at the subject matter, not to mention the "candor" bordering on TMI in NAOMI JUDD's latest book, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope will be surprised that, following the book's December 6, 2016 publication date, Judd committed to a January 30, 2017 ticketed talk and book signing, as part of an ongoing authors' series most often held at the Nashville Public Library's main, downtown Music City location.

Judd's commitment was not publicized.  It was buried on the public library's web site and otherwise unusually unavailable on the library's event sponsors' web sites.  As I was about to be the first to break the news of Naomi's appearance to anyone who had not stumbled on it (most people do not read down to the bottom of a page unless they are looking for something in particular and finding it is crucial), I sensed something was not quite right.

Rechecking,  I found across the board mentions, in page placement and fonts too large to miss, the following notice: "This event has been canceled due to illness."  

Isn't illness, specifically mental illness, what the book is all about?

Sure, we all have had to cancel commitments due to physical illness, but, again, this cancellation came before widespread notice of the commitment.  (There's no point in having such an event if you don't publicize it in a manner commensurate with the size of the crowd you hope will attend.)

As terse as the announcement was, it wasn't even certain who was ill.  Those interested in attending were left totally out of the loop as to whether, say, Naomi's ghostwriter, MARCIA WILKIE planned to join her subject at the event.
 
A later announcement read "With deep regret Naomi Judd has had to cancel her upcoming Salon@615 event in Nashville.  She sends her apologies, and we do hope to reschedule the event at a later date." 

With the passage of  "a river of time" and other authors being added to the series, finding a mutually-agreeable rescheduling of time to plug and sell an increasingly-dated book may result in the activation of the law of diminishing return.

Assuming- to the extent there has been any written authorization by those vested in the event- the truth was being told in the first place.

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KELLIE PICKLER's appearance on the Main Fashion Stage will be one of the highlights of the Southern Women's Show running March 30- April 2,  2017 at the Music City Center.  

The "four days of bliss" ("shopping, food, fashion, health, beauty, fun")  is an annual opportunity to interact with exhibitors, watch cooking demonstrations, attend money-saving lectures, receive vendor coupons, test-drive products ranging from the latest in exercise equipment to cars, receive everything from a flyswatter to a flashlight, buy a newspaper subscription at a reduced, show-only price, 
leer at Nashville Firefighters, as they strut their stuff as you fork over your Benjamins (all for charity, of course!), and much, much more.

For further information on show times, ticket prices and direction click here.

Thanks once again this year to show manager STACEY ABERNETHY and assistant show manager, MEREDITH MENNINGER

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Have some Country Music Hall of FameELVIS PRESLEY memorabilia for sale at the right price?

Elvis autographs?  Personal items?  Clothes?

A collector (who is not interested in "decanters, baseball cards or records") is willing to pay $250 to $50,000 depending upon the item and its condition.

Call (702) 545-8484 or click here for more information.

Thank you very much!

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Thanks to COREY BARGERMAUREEN O'CONNOR and JOE SCHNEIDER for the invitation to join fellow media as MELISSA ETHERIDGE, CAMORIANTHI, TROI IRONS, LINDSAY ELL and others TBA walk the red carpet in advance of "a very special night of music" March 20, 2017 at Nashville's Skyville Live studios.

If your invitation to the show that follows media interviews and photo ops was lost in the mail, never fear, as always, the "conceptually groundbreaking online music series online series "will be streamed via Facebook Live on Rated Red's Facebook Page."



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What would PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP's Ides of March 2017 rally at Nashville's Municipal Auditorium have been without musical entertainment?

The Donald, for one, would likely have been very bored, seeing as presidential candidate Trump told crowds during his 2015 presidential campaign visits to the Nashville area how much he enjoyed the live performances of our area artists at the National Rifle Convention, at Rocket Town and at The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee.

President Trump, while in campaign rally mode for his most recent visit, held no news conference this time around, so, with media types being given the worst seats in the house, I chose to sit with "the folks" where, five rows from the front of the stage, I could see not only the commander-in-chief, but performances leading up to the "main event," courtesy of RUDY, STEVE and LARRY GATLIN as well as LEE GREENWOOD


The Gatlins performed their hits (notably Houston and All the Gold in California) and America the Beautiful, crediting BILLY DEAN as the brothers launched into American With a Remington (I'm guessing the Gatlins missed a recent segment of 60 Minutes when they fired up the crowd- no pun intended- with that one.) 

Greenwood sang God Bless the USA and then introduced President Trump to the crowd.
                                          
Headed back to the press area following the rally, I introduced myself to MAJOR GARRETT and, as I left, greeted my fellow Minnesotan CHRIS BUNDGAARD, just as Chris and his camera operator wound up a series of interviews with attendees outside of the auditorium.

My White House-issued media pass contained the notation that it was government property, but, absent HOPE HICKSANNA KOPPERUD and/or ALEX HINSON asking me to surrender the press credential, I will keep it as a souvenir, hoping that, in the event of future coverage           opportunities,  it does not brand me in their (or the Commander-in-Chief's) eyes as a member of the "dishonest media."


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Report readers keeping up with up with the continuing corruption in  Nashville's courts will recognize SEAN McKINNEY's name.  The attorney represented one of TAYLOR SWIFT's stalkers, succeeding in his role as a criminal defense lawyer when, a few years ago, McKinney persuaded prosecutors to drop the charges against Taylor's knife-wielding intruder, previously charged with attempting to break into Swift's Nashville home.


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Music fans are welcoming the Home + Remodeling Expo to Nashville's Music City Center for the first time March 10-12, 2017. With celebrity
and other expert speakers  boasting ties to Nashville's music community and popular national TV shows,  the expo showcases "more than 250 experts, products and ideas" as well as exhibitors ranging from A(udio House) to Z(erorez).

The longest line I witnessed was the one for entry into the Tiny Home Village.  It represents amazing ingenuity and use of resources and one solution to the problem of affordable housing.

For further information on show times, ticket prices and direction click here.

Thanks to LAURA GRONINGER and  DANIELLE STASIAK for providing media access. 
 

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You've heard about the snobbish luxury car salesman who kicked himself after a customer (who the salesman sized up as not being able to afford a new luxury vehicle) left the premises, only to learn later the scruffy-looking customer, was a famous country-music star who then chose to purchase the same new make and model luxury car at a competitive dealership- paying the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) in cash?

Similar things happen in the real estate market.  While there are no reports of anyone having been turned away from the October 21-22, 2016 TOM T. HALL preview and estate sale (which you about read here first), there's an interesting chain of events leading up to the actual listing of Fox Hollow (which you are also reading about here first).

After I broke the news of the impending listing in early October 2016, Realtors were all over themselves to obtain the listing; this despite the fact that it's harder to sell property in Hall's (list) price range than it is to unload even the most desirable, more-moderately listed properties.   The reason for the seeming contradiction is simple: the higher a property sells for, the higher (in dollars, not percentage) the Realtor's commission.

The two-story, 4,657 square-foot brick home, which sits on 54.14 acres, was finally listed on March 1, 2017 for $3,750,000.  Should the Franklin, Tennessee property command that figure, it represents three-million and several hundred thousand dollars in profit on the home Hall purchased from (EARL) BURTON TALLY, JR. for $10,000 and assumption of an $80,000 loan)  on November 22, 1972. 

The traditional-styled home itself boasts three bedrooms (16 x 15, 14 x 12 and 15 x 12), a den, a kitchen, a living room, a formal dining room, four fireplaces (?),  a Master bathroom suite (two bathrooms, one half-bath), a wet bar, an intercom, a walk-in closet, extra closets and storage area, finished wood and "other" flooring, a balcony, a covered patio, covered porch and an entry foyer.

In addition, the "lucky" buyer of the wooded lot will have access to a long, aggregate driveway, central heat and air (gas heating,  electric cooling), a septic tank, a recording studio, sprinklers and a barn.   

The main house is in good, solid condition, but will require some updating.   

Numbers crunchers will want to know that Hall's list price is 247% higher than the average list price ($1,080,263) of other property sales in his zip code and 343% higher than the average list price ($846,003) for Franklin real estate.  Tom's list price is 800% higher than the average sales   price ($416,870) for his zip code and 758% higher than the average sales price ($437,169) for Franklin.  

The price per square foot for Fox Hollow ($805) is 374% higher than the average ($170) for Tom's zip code.  Fox Hollow's value is projected to increase by 2.6% in 2018 (compared with a projected 2.2% rise for Tom's Franklin neighbors), making Hall's home 906.4% more expensive than the median home price of his neighbors' abodes. 

The purchaser's estimated mortgage will be $14,896 per month.   Estimated property tax will be $3,960.  Add another $2,031 for homeowners insurance.  

Those are the specs- and the digression.  A Report reader, who is also a Realtor, was tipped off to the impending sale when I first reported it.  Had the Realtor been pro-active,  there would be a hefty commission to pocket rather than its loss to a competitor.

By the time another rich Realtor's relative was prepared to make what would likely have been the best offer Hall would have received March 3, 2017, the  prospective buyer gave up after discovering Hall's Realtor's Web site had evidently crashed, after several attempts to access it during normal business hours.  Eccentric multimillionaires are not the most patient of people.

You read about prospective staging issues, apparently resolved.  But there is yet another that remains and, in fact, breaks a cardinal rule about what to avoid when staging a home.   Word is the prospective buyer, who was eying the property for some time, was prepared not only to pay the 20% down payment ($750,000) in cash, but also (if necessary) Hall's list price!

Apparently, the pre-qualified, bank-qualified, prospective buyer was not dissuaded by Fox Hollow's lacking a basement and garage, but otherwise lost interest

To each her/his own.

Not knowing the rest of the story (at least to this point), Tom's Realtor will likely be happy, whatever the dollar amount of the commission realized. 

And don't cry for Tom, who will likely celebrate his 81st birthday before the property is sold (depending on how soon, with commensurate price reductions, he wants to unload it) and isn't one to have many regrets anyway.   It's not likely the failure to realize the sale that would have been will make a serious dent in the likelihood that Hall's retirement savings will outlive him.

When you reach Hall's net worth, numbers are nothing more than a mechanism by which to keep score.  Something that, while others may be obsessed by it, once he attained financial independence, has never mattered much to Tom.


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KATHERINE FERRELL extends a speaker/media pass for Collision and Web Summit, "Europe's largest technology and media event" to be held in New Orleans May 2- 4, 2017.

"Would love you to join us for some jazz, music and technology and a few drinks... first round on me."

For a list of speakers and further information click here.


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Veteran music trade journalist, author, popular CMT contributor- and now playwright- EDWARD MORRIS is sure to turn revisionist history on its ear when Theatre Craft Inc. presents The Passion of ETHEL ROSENBERG at the Atmalogy Caf  and  Event Space, at 2300 West End Avenue on March 4, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. 

Collaborating with director CAROLYN GERMAN and actress KERI PAGETTA in the title role, Ed gives a historian's take on a cautionary tale of judgment, possible misjudgment and intrigue, underscoring a well-known 20th century spy story's contemporary relevance. 

Tickets are $10 at the door.  Seating will be guaranteed to those who make timely reservations by calling 615-874-8715.

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"Send me an email and I promise I'll respond to you."

So said PAUL WILLIAMS, who, when standing thisclose, apologized that he couldn't hear me above the din of wall-to-wall celebrants at The Valentine February 23, 2017.  Leave it to a songwriter to express what many other people are feeling. 

The #1 party was a joint BMI and ASCAP salute to RHETT AKINS, ROSS COOPERMAN and JEREMY STOVER, writers of LOCASH's chart-topping I Know Somebody.

All of the honorees were present, as were SCOTT ADKINS' "charges,"  PRESTON BRUST and CHRIS LUCAS (I Know Somebody is the duo's first #1 recording), the record's producer, LINDAY RIMES, MICHAEL MARTIN, DAVID PRESTON and host of industry luminaries.  LORRIE MORGAN, the apparent butt of an inside joke told during the de rigueur presentations, was, accordingly, noticeably absent

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Death can be so painfully difficult on loved ones and, as BILLY RAY CYRUS can attest, to a lesser extent, on those of us who don't know what to say, other than the seemingly inadequate words of condolence we often awkwardly offer to the bereaved.

Cyrus, JAMEY JOHNSON and VINCE GILL joined other noted Nashvillians at funeral services for a man they had never met, by their presence making a statement of outrage at the passing of yet another police officer killed in the line of duty.

That Nashville police officer ERIC MUMAW, a young husband and father, died while heroically trying to save a woman who threatened suicide, added to the poignancy of the televised church service at which Cyrus, Johnson and Gill performed.

Chalk it up to nervousness, but when Billy Ray took the makeshift stage his first words to fellow mourners were "How y'all doing?"  

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On a related subject, those of us who gathered in support of our friend, DIANE JORDAN following the untimely passing of Diane's husband,  LARRY FULLAM were already profoundly aware of not only Diane's (and our) loss, but, thanks to an audio-visual presentation at the celebration of Larry's life, we were reminded of the country-music industry's loss of one of the finest voices music has ever known.  We listened to Larry's recordings and wondered why the celebrated sideman and featured road show/TV series vocalist never got his due as a solo artist.

Diane's Facebook friends have seen the chronological slide slow of photos she chose to memorialize Larry.  Diane advises that Nashville photographer RONNY LIGHT has since taken the photos, adding "Larry's beautiful voice to serve as the soundtrack."  

The enhanced presentation underscores and expresses the loss of Larry better than any words used to convey the same thought.  Judge for yourself by checking it out here


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