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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... fist round on me."

For a list of speakers and futher 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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Thanks to:  JESSI G for inviting me to watch her perform selections from her self-titled album (produced by GRETCHEN WILSON) at 3rd & Lindsley on February 21, 2017.  The artist's showcase coincides with the album's official release date, capping off a day finding me, some hours before, as the guest of KIRT WEBSTER, JEREMY WESTBY,  ZACH FARNUM and HEATH SCOTT for a "soft opening" of Nashville's newest upscale hot spot, ironically called The Diner.

The invitation-only preview event at the six-floor restaurant complex represents a commitment to what the general public will soon enjoy, including "20,000 square feet of entertainment, tantalizing food and a highly-anticipated oyster bar."  

Nashville Mayor MEGAN BARRY led the guest list of notables from Music City’s respective government, business and civic sectors marveling at  one of the complex owner's STEVE SMITH's newest acquisition.  (Steve succeeded TOOTSIE BESS as owner of Tootsie's Orchid Lounge.)

Nashville Fire Chief RICK WHITE was in attendance, along with CISSY BOATMAN who I assumed was related to the late BOB BOATMAN until Cissy told me she’d never heard of him, let alone Opry ANNIE!    


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And thanks also to MARTHA MOORE for the invitation to attend as DARIN & BROOKE ALDRIDGE join  JOHN COWAN in performance February 16,  2017 at the Franklin Theatre.


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Academicians have an ever-growing affinity for country music.  While C-SPAN's Book TV snubbed my fellow author BILL ANDERSON during its most recent visit to Nashville (where its cameras provided "live" coverage from the Southern Festival of Books, authors' talks, followed by audience questions, also videotaped for future broadcast) the network's American History TV (a/k/a C-SPAN 3) is acknowledging country music as a college lecture subject.  

As part of its ongoing 
Lectures in History series (in which American History TV viewers, from the privacy of their own homes, are invited to turn on the tube and"audit" classes on various subjects taught by college professors across the United States),  C-SPAN 3 sat in on 
Dickinson College American Studies' Professor COTTON SEILER's class.

Seiler's subject?  Colonial America, Race and the Origins of Country Music.

While he's no COTTON IVY, Cotton Seiler made an effort to engage his students and to interest them in the subject matter, by asking "How many of you like country music?"

The response (among its most desired demographic) would not impress the Country Music Association or the Country Music Foundation.  

Even though only a hand or two was raised, Seiler was not discouraged (at least as long as the cameras were on him): "By the end of class you'll all love country music.  I promise.  You'll be going to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

"You should all be going to the Country Music Hall of Fame if you're in Nashville."

Seiler's lecture is currently running in light rotation on C-SPAN 3.   You may also view it here.      


 
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Thanks to The Recording Academy Communications Team and Rogers & Cowan's Music Entertainment Team for the offer of media credentials for the 59th Annual Awards Grammy
 Awards airing February 12, 2017.

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Webster PR is ringing in the New Year on January 4, 2017 with a party at host KIRT WEBSTER's Big Buck Lodge in Hermitage, Tennessee.



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No known connection, as PAUL HARVEY used to say, but just prior to NAOMI JUDD's public announcement of her bout with mental illness, WYNONNA was featured on the Nashville edition of one of my favorite radio game shows, Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me.

As the younger Judd regaled program host PETER SAGAL (and program panelists) with her familiar tales of how she happened on her stage name, marrying "a guy named CACTUS (MOSER)" and journeying "from an outhouse to the White House," the singer found the need to enliven her answers to Sagal's stock questions, with her classic lines (Of her "Bon Juddi" coif, Wy advises,  "The higher the hair, the closer to heaven."), confessing to the National Public Radio host that, while growing up poor in Appalachia, "I was forced to listen to listen to NPR.")  

For his part, Sagal gave as good as he got.  Intrigued by a show researcher's finding that Wy is "something of an icon in the drag world," Sagal's observation reminded Judd of a "true story" of being told that "a black drag queen" once celebrated Halloween by dressing up as the singer.

Wy told people she'll "show up at anything... bar mitzvahs, nun conventions, Harley rallies..."

Intrigued, Sagal, who is Jewish, is amazed, imploring Judd to "go back" and tell the listening audience a little more about her performances at Jewish coming of age commemorations:  "So little Courtney Berkowitz is being bat mitzvahed and, at the reception-"

Wy interrupts, singing the first line of "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)," then remarking "Oy!"


Mesmerized, Sagal tells his guest "I would like to hear you do Hava Nagila, if you remember it."

Cultural divide firmly in place, Judd laughs, explaining "I don't even know what that means."

This time it's Sagal's turn to laugh.  "Oh, it's all right.  I'm just going to spend a minute feeling really terrible at my- about my bar mitzvah."
 

Next order of business is to see how well Wynonna does playing a game called "A Judd By Any Other Name."  As Peter explains, "You are part of the most famous Judd family in America, if not the world, so we thought we would ask you about some of the other Judds out there.  Answer three Judd-related questions correctly and you'll win a prize for one of our listeners."

As a native Minnesotan, I'm surprised WALTER JUDD wasn't the answer to one of Sagal's questions- but I digress.   To find out how Wy did, and for a transcript of the entire interview, email me with WYNONNA, Wait, Wait in the subject line, along with your name, city and state (province and/or country if outside the United States).  



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