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 BENJI MICHAELS is first with the news of "a radical new hybrid approach to collectively experiencing live music and social action.  

"EMERGE aims to reignite the role of popular music as a central driver of social change by showcasing headliners around women's and minority equality, LGBT rights, immigration, gender identity, and the political issues that define our generation."

The two-day event (May 31- June 1, 2019 at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel) features a great lineup of speakers and musicians.

For the complete list, showcases schedule and information on  how you can get involved, click here.

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MARTHA MOORE works as hard, in her capacity as MARTY BROWN's publicist, (and to greater success) as I did (during the Stone Age) as MARTI BROWN's publicist.  

You're reading it here first:  Martha has favored Report readers with an exclusive: Marty Brown will be receiving a "special presentation" during a May 16, 2019 CD release party at BMI.  The following day, Plowboy Records releases American Highway, Marty's first studio album in 25 years!
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Save the Date: DEBBIE MATHIS WATTS stars in a Tennessee Stage and Film Company production titled Spring, Sing and Bling: A Tribute to the Women of Country Music on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at The Women's Club.

The one-hour performance features Debbie's piano-vocal act "with my own personal anecdotes about my experiences with these great women."

Without giving too much away, one of the show's highlights will be Debbie "doing a MINNIE PEARL bit and song... My Minnie Pearl segment is not to be missed.   Ha ha!  I'm singing How To Catch A Man.

"Hopefully, by inviting event planners, tour group operators and the like, I will be performing this show many times...

"I'm also featuring my own pageant/stage wear boutique with sales items.  I'm inviting all my pageant sisters from both my pageants to be in the audience, wearing their banners and tiaras.  

"It's going to be a bling-y, sing-y afternoon!... I'll have your name on the VIP list at the door that day."

And, for those who would love to come but are unable, Debbie has just issued this update: "We have added another performance in Hendersonville on June 20th... 7:00 p.m. at the Lighthouse Event Center."


AND... Debbie writes, "When you mention my show in your Music Row Report would you mention that I would love to have in my audience any woman who's ever been touched by the glorious work of Minnie Pearl?  In fact, during the Minnie Pearl section of the show, I want to channel Minnie, along with any woman in the audience who wants to appear in complete Minnie Pearl costume.

"I think that will add an element of spectacle, don't you???

"At least it's my little effort to keep classic country alive!!!!!   Oh, btw, here's an exclusive:  My stage play next year, 'HANK'S GIRL, AUDREY.'"



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Thanks to SHEREÉ SPOLTARE for extending an invitation to The Global Songwriters Connection's 6th annual Spring Mixer March 28, 2019 at  SESAC (CMA Event Room.)

... and to DOUG HALL for extending an invitation to FATE McAFEE's March 21, 2019 performance at The East Room.  (You'll find my review of Fate's Diesel Palomino here.)

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The annual Nashville Home Decorating and Remodeling Expo returns to the Music City Center March 15-17.

Scores of exhibitors from A (A Kitchen Must) to Z (Zinga's Blinds, Shutters, Closets) will be on hand to answer all of your home decorating and remodeling questions, provide product demonstrations, brochures and special offers. 

Where else will you receive a satisfaction-guaranteed, full admission refund if the show fails to meet your expectations as well as the opportunity to "book a discount parking space ahead of time"? 

Show hours, ticket information and more are available here.

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Didja know that JOHNNY CASH once maintained an apartment at 40 Central Park South in New York City?

That's among ROSANNE CASH's family revelations.  Rosanne also tells BROOKE GLADSTONE that one of her Cash ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, prompting Rosanne to act on her eligibility to join the Daughters of the American Revolution

In reality, Cash applied for admission to the "super exclusive" and "very white ladies"' organization, for another reason: "I joined it because I hated (President DONALD) TRUMP's immigration policies so much... My family has been here since the 1630s and I welcome everybody, so I'm joining the DAR."
 

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Thanks to ZACH FARNUM for the VIP invitation to join FAREWELL ANGELINA at 3rd& Lindsley February 21, 2019 at the ladies' listening party in support of the quartet's new EP, Women & Wine. 

... and to ROB SCHEER inviting me to the February 19th  press screening of Mapplethorpe at Soho House NY.

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The Country Radio Broadcasters apparently couldn't find a qualified woman to join the 2019 male additions to the CRB's Country Radio Hall of Fame.  Not that they looked very hard...

This is particularly shameful because a number of women of a certain age have been excluded from consideration, since those who make these decisions either don't know of our backgrounds- or, worse yet, don't want to know.

RJ CURTIS
was publicly humiliated at a meeting he and I attended shortly before the 2019 inductions.  Not by me, I hasten to add.

I did approach RJ, whom I had never met, after the meeting, however, indicating I agreed with the larger points the speaker was making, though I thought the panelist's manner of self-expression was unfair to Curtis.  (I cited the circumstances that landed RJ in his present position, some of which he wouldn't have known because he wasn't present, as I was, at that earlier meeting.)

To his credit, Curtis seemed to take ownership of some of what had been said in his presence and indicated changes would be made.

A similar vow was made- and broken- at the other meeting I attended as previously recounted in this Report.

Many job applications no longer include the question "What is your current salary?" or variations thereof  related to earnings at earlier jobs.
The reason is because, historically, women's starting salaries have been lower than their male counterparts; so much so that even if some of us have been better negotiators than most women as they ascend the corporate ladder, financially we never catch up.

The Country Radio Hall of Fame has been around since 1975.  Its first female members, DANDELION and ROSALIE ALLEN, were inducted in 1999, NEARLY A QUARTER-CENTURY AGO!

Both had been in the forefront of country radio (though Allen was better known as an entertainer than an air personality) for so long they simply couldn't be denied (any longer).

The tokenism of these inductions is underscored by the fact that more than another decade would pass before the next woman, LAURIE DeYOUNG was inducted.


I had already been working in country radio for over five years before Laurie's career began.   Later I would work alongside RALPH EMERY and, later, HAIRL HENSLEY, BIFF COLLIE and GERRY HOUSE, in various capacities, before I joined the NASCAR Radio Network, MJI Broadcasting (where I wrote the Country Quiz radio show) and created a position for myself covering country music news and awards show for the ABC Radio Network and its affiliates.

RJ knows how to reach me, since I gave him my business card. I'll leave it to someone else to ask what he did with it.

For all of Curtis' posturing, and that of his (eventually) deposed predecessor (courtesy of JESSE KNUTSON), there's no accounting for people who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

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While it's been widely reported, thanks to a clueless Grand Ole Opry promotion team and a publicist with limited knowledge of a client, that WILLIAM SHATNER will make his Opry debut February 15, 2019, that is not the case.

I know. I was there, backstage at the Opry, some two decades or more ago when Shatner made a "surprise" appearance at the Opry where I ran into the actor.

Having never seen Star Trek, I didn't have that much to say to Shatner; my biggest memory of meeting him that evening having been being startled by his appearance.

Though his demeanor suggested otherwise, and in spite of the fact that I didn't detect alcohol on his breath, I thought Shatner had been drinking.

I surmised as much, surprised by Shatner's bright red, puffy face.  Little did I know Shatner was experiencing a rosacea breakout.

Surely, if asked, Shatner would confirm his Opry debut is in his distant past, but anyone who wants further verification will likely find it in JOHNNY SHEALY's precise logging of years of Grand Ole Opry show performances.   Shealy's meticulous show statistics, including calendar dates, segment hosts, performers' names and set lists- are easily accessible, the posthumous donation lovingly preserved as one of the Nashville Public Library's Special Collections.

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Thanks to ZACH FARNUM and HEATHER TROTTER for the invitation to join HONEY COUNTY at The Local February 6, 2019. The trio will be performing songs from their upcoming EP, including their single, Cigarette. 

... and to all the gang at the BONFIRE RECORDING COMPANY for the media invitations to "catch the JAKE BARTLEY BAND performing in Nashville  at the Whiskey Jam (January 24, 2019), the Dawghouse Saloon (January 25, 2019) and Frisky Frogs (January 26, 2019)." 

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JOHN McEUEN's new book,The Life I've Picked: A Banjo Player's Nitty Gritty Journey, is a real sleeper.    I haven't seen a news release about it, let alone a review copy (and my fellow authors wonder why their books aren't reviewed!), but here are a few highlights: John recalls that, on one occasion,  the NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND was booed when it toured with, and appeared on the same stage in advance of, the headliner.

BOBBY SHERMAN was one the hottest pop acts of the day, so, after the humiliating experience, NGDB figured out a way to do damage control, have their own hits heard and, in the process, possibly make some Dirt Band fans from Sherman's minions:  "We learned to ask after almost every song 'Are you all here to see BOBBY SHERMAN [emphasis, McEuen's]? '

"Here's one of this favorite songs..."

John adds that Bobby had a remarkable grasp of what his heartthrob status meant to his screaming audience, primarily of teen-aged girls, when McEuen asked the dreamy hunk about the screamers:  "'Well, I know something they don't.  I'm not a very good singer.

"'When they stop screaming they'll figure it out, and my career will be over.  I figure I have about a year-and-a-half run and I'm going to make the most of it."  (Self-effacing Sherman's time-frame was off, his chart life extended beyond his estimate and he branched out as an actor, before taking a "real job," but Bobby articulately made his point.)

Then there's the time when, during the course of the NGDB's adventures, it received a threat from HENRY MANCINI.  The famed composer held the band responsible for its roadie's transporting Mancini's underage daughter, MONICA (who said she was 21) across state lines.   

And how about the time John was nearly arrested at the Grand Ole Opry?  (Spoiler alert: It was a call to none other than LOUISE SCRUGGS- at 868-2254- and, as NGDB co-founder McEuen writes, Louise's intervention, that saved John from arrest after an Opry security guard threated to call the Nashville police.)  
 



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As I prepare to update my Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing (a tenuous process which appears much easier than it is) I'm grateful for not having auditioned for a role in Ticket to Nashville after a published report that checks for those who have may not be in the mail.

It's not clear if "background players" are the only ones feeling a pain these days that is thought to be reserved for victims of the government shutdown, though I'll assume that since neither has raised a stink (at least not publicly) LEE GREENWOOD and Report reader T. GRAHAM BROWN have been paid by a production company that bills itself as "committed to the development, production and distribution of high-quality family, faith-based and patriotic films" (the assumption being that the commitment extends to the espousing and practicing corresponding values, but, in any event, certainly not behaving in a way that flies in the face of such implied, fair play and good faith responsibilities).




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Thanks to 
JASON ASHCROFT for the complimentary invitation to attend AVA ROWLAND's January 14, 2019 showcase at the Listening Room Café.  (Ava will perform songs from her debut EP, Polaroid Picture at the venue, which is part of the BILL DILUGIO's Nashville Emerging Songwriters' Showcase.
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GET.TV aired it multiple times in December, 2018, so the special will likely air again in December, 2019.  But the 1976 JOHNNY CASH Christmas Special was "the worst in the history of history of television."

No, that's not my opinion (I've seen a lot worse).  It was Johnny Cash's!

In an interview with BILL HANCE, published in the December 8, 1976 edition of the Nashville Banner (and republished, most recently, in the Nashville Retrospect) Cash took it a step further, adding "I'm through with television, I've had it."

From the days of his eponymous hit ABC-TV series, Cash brooded about not being able to feature the performers with whom he felt most comfortable.   He felt the discomfort in being paired with network favorites, especially those with whom he lacked chemistry, showed in the interaction between host and performer(s),

Though TONY ORLANDO's being tapped to appear on the special most was likely not the Man in Black's idea, Cash's biggest beef about the 1976 Christmas show bearing his name was that, even with a cameo by BILLY GRAHAM, with whom there was a lot of mutual (if only figurative) back-scratching, most of the songs were not about the reason for the season.  

Cash, of course, was not through with television and, for that, his fans could not be more grateful.




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Nashville is now more than one year out from the dissolution of Webster PR.   KIRT WEBSTER has retained an unusual relationship with Nashville media, best characterized by private interchanges and public silence.

Webster's former employees are not of the same opinions as to whether or not their loyalty to Kirt was -or, as the case may be, is- deserved.  

But anyone who has been keeping up with AUSTIN RICK (media, as a general rule, being terrible on followup) has been kept waiting for Rick to make good on his threats against Webster.  And, as for Austin's book, it's not even close to Amazon pre-order status.

As I previously wrote back in February 2018, "Wouldn't you think Out& About would have been all over this?  It's been what- three months?  And nada- zilch!"

Same goes for Out & About's companion TV show.  And what about JESSE KNUTSON?  (I guess Jesse still wants to eat lunch in this town.)




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I was a constant presence on the Hee Haw set at Nashville's WLAC-TV and that was when I first saw ROY CLARK
 
But I didn't actually meet Roy at Channel 5.   It was actually elsewhere when, briefly, during show's CBS years, when I was dating TED RAY. (Ted took me to an upscale Nashville restaurant and who should walk in when we were dining but Roy Clark)!
 
"Oh, so you're with a young lady," was Clark's opening greeting, as Ted followed by making introductions. 
 
This would have been during the early '70s.  Since Roy didn't live in Nashville I never got to know him well, though he was exceedingly friendly to me when I would run into him backstage during an occasional Grand Ole Opry appearance.
 
And, thanks to CAROL ANDERSON (whom I would later interview in Carol's capacity as an author when I co-hosted a weekend WLAC Radio show), I was fortunate to interview Clark on more than one occasion, most memorably for the January 1989 issue of Country Song Roundup.
 
The article, titled Roy Clark: He's On a Friendship Tour, referenced Clark's 12-month tour of Bulgaria and the U.S.S.R.
 
Roy's final words during that interview (or at least the portion with which I concluded the article) summarize his feeling about the tour and life itself.  They could easily serve as his epitaph: "My belief is that if you go through life with your arms outstretched nobody's going to hurt you.
 
"But if you put your hands up in a defensive gesture, a preacher will throw a Bible at you."

 

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