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EDDIE RABBITT's recordings are resurging 16 years after Rabbitt's untimely death at age 56.

Eleven of the songs Eddie recorded during the '80s and early '90s were rereleased on a compilation CD earlier this year as a part of Capitol's Icon series. 

More recently, one of Eddie's #1 hits, one that didn't make the "icon" cut, has been excerpted in the soundtrack of national TV ad campaign: Yoplait.  I'm not sure what I Love A Rainy Night has to do with yogurt, but I'll bet Eddie's family and Rabbitt's co-writers,
DAVID MALLOY and EVEN STEVENS aren't complaining!

BTW, I was fortunate to interview and otherwise observe Eddie from the time of his first syndicated country-music TV appearance onward and to see the subtle changes that sudden fame brings on even when the person is as well-grounded as Rabbitt. 

Rabbitt was a great interview from day one so I was rather puzzled when, at the time I was scheduling what would have been my last interview with him, he requested a phoner.  I have never liked doing phone interviews, for several practical reasons I have previously enumerated here, and the experience of having done them caused me to politely decline when I could afford to do so.

Such was the case when Rabbitt's request was made.  I only agreed to phoners when an entertainer was on the road and so heavily booked it made no sense to postpone the interview until s/he was back in Nashville.

Eddie's request struck me as rather odd but, as it turned out, had I agreed to it I might have had the dubious distinction (as I did with STRINGBEAN) of being the last person to interview him. 

For, as I learned following Rabbitt's death from lung cancer, at the time of my interview request Eddie had been experiencing the effects of radiation and he, as very few people even knew he was ailing, let alone terminally ill, he did not want to be seen in such a weakened physical state of deterioration.

If fans remember Eddie as being even younger than six months away from his 57th birthday at the time of Rabbitt's death, it's because, as they correctly recollect, Eddie was no "spring chicken" at the time he began having hit records in an industry, even then, that prized youth.  So, at whose suggestion- if anyone's- it remains unclear, a few years were shaved off Rabbitt's age early on. 

As to whether Eddie was a smoker or not, perhaps Stevens or Malloy would like to tell me.  Publicly the truth is a matter of which anonymous reports one chooses to believe.  Some say Eddie was a light smoker, others says he took such interest in his health that he never would have smoked.  The latter blame his death on the cumulative exposure Eddie had to second-hand smoke as a result of all the clubs he had to play while paying his dues before he hit the big time.


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"Kirt and I would love for you to join  us."      

That was attention-getting subject line of an email I received from MARTHA "SKATES" MOORE.  Details of the invitation (from Skates and KIRT WEBSTER) that followed indicated that the two "would like to invite you to join us for dinner (or lunch) to meet our client, LIZZIE SIDER."

Alternative dates and times were listed along with the explanation that  "We are having small gatherings at The Palm.  Please let us know which one works best for you."

I did and on April 3, 2014, I joined, Martha, Lizzie, CHUCK DAUPHIN, BEV MOSER, WENDY PEARL,
PHYLLIS STARK and DAMON WHITESIDE for dinner in a private dining area, the better to hear ourselves converse- and to get to know Lizzie!

At 15, Lizzie is an articulate and poised teen who has already had a Top 40 country hit song/video, Butterfly.
The popularity of the song, which particularly resonates with those whose optimism has been met with, or even crushed by, naysayers, has served as the impetus for Sider's spearheading a nationwide,  70-school Bully Prevention Assembly tour of elementary and middle schools.

Sider's story- she knows of what she sings, and speaks- is a familiar one to her peers, particularly those who have been bullied and Lizzie is gratified that she has been able to overcome the bullying she has experienced while serving as an inspiration to her contemporaries.

Lizzie gave each of her Palm dining companions a choice of colorful plastic wristband bracelets, all inscribed with what has become her trademark message (words of wisdom she received from her father, DON: "Nobody has the power to ruin your day."

Sider not only charmed her newest dinner companions, she has created a following at Nashville's famed Bluebird
Café.  Lizzie has also performed the national anthem at a Nashville Predators game.


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With taping of the second (and perhaps final) season of  ABC's NASHVILLE set to wrap during the second week of April, you may be aware of a campaign to renew the series despite its uneven ratings.

Ratings would be stronger were it not for the producers' resistance to authenticity even as they suggest getting it right has been their mantra.  Scripts consistent with the purported mission would not free the show from criticism- it would bring a different form of criticism from those who, forced to look in the mirror don't like what they see.

What is most interesting about the petition drive is that those behind it do not include in their petition to the network any insistence, let alone plan, that the series continue to be taped in Nashville.  At the same time, Nashvillians are being recruited not only to sign a petition but also spread to the word of encouragement that others will do so.

On a related note, many of you know that I have been privileged to be cast in episode during both seasons of NASHVILLE and that those credits have "beefed up" my profile in the Internet Movie Database.

If you've ever taken a detailed look at the IMDB you know that it lists numerical ratings of television shows by episode.  Graph TV, in turn, relying on those ratings, displays them on a scatter chart allowing viewers to "visualize IMDB's ratings and trends of TV shows by episode."

I have my own ideas about when NASHVILLE "jumped the shark," some of which I have written about here and in the comments section of Internet articles chronicling the series, but if you want to see it charted click here.


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The  annual  Southern Women's Show (which continues through March 30, 2014 at the Music City Center) features the usual mix of fashion, food and fun, but the musical entertainment at this year's event  promises to fill all the seats around the show's Sound Stage.

NORTH 40 makes its debut at this year's show as does another duo, EMERALD BLUE.  Ticket-holders will also want to catch CARMEN BRANDY in performance along with SONJA HOPKINS, the ROBERTSON COUNTY COMMUNITY BAND, SARAH STIVERS and Ms. Nashville 2014 KAILEIGH BULLARD (who doubles as HAYDEN PANETTIERIE's backup singer on ABC's NASHVILLE).

The show's new venue allows it to accommodate growing crowds without show-goers feeling crowded as it also affords more bang for the buck in terms both of comfort and expansion from the economic cutbacks of recent years.  As a result, this year's show is reminiscent of its earlier years when smaller crowds and a greater number and variety of exhibitors made for a full day of fun and relaxation.

More information  including hours, admission and exhibitors may be found here.



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 TAMMY WYNETTE's fans are rejoicing now that the First Lady of Country Music's stage name has been restored to her burial crypt.  (See below)

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From the bookshelf: DEBBY CAMPBELL's My Life with My Father, GLEN CAMPBELL (ghosted by MARK BEGO).  Publication date is April 14, 2014.


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If the obstacle to restoring the stage name TAMMY WYNETTE to the singer's burial crypt is that that GEORGE RICHEY's daughter won't defer to the wishes of Tammy Wynette's daughters, then won't organized public pressure only further serve to alienate DEIRDRE RICHARDSON HALE?

I feel for Tammy's daughters because they are the victims of a legal system that favors the rights of parties to criminal cases over those involved in civil court litigation. This does not leave Tammy's Dear Daughters (to borrow the title of one of their mother's recordings) without options, however.

A legal crusader in civil, private practice is their best bet, because many legal eagles who work for high-powered law firms are now increasingly forced to receive permission from the firm's partners before they can agree to take cases that they are passionate about, whether on contingency or otherwise, when there is little to no money at stake.

If Tammy's daughters were misled by Deirdre they have a compelling reason to pursue the case and I urge them to file suit and represent themselves.  JANICE HOLDER realizes that Tennessee's courts are behind the curve when it comes to recognizing and respecting the rights of pro se applicants and she has left the door open for those whose names open doors to lead the challenge for the rest of us who have had those same doors slammed in our faces, due to the iniquity resulting from the fact that the right to an attorney, guaranteed in criminal cases, does not extend to the rights of civil litigants.

BTW, there is an irony to the effort to restore the name Wynette to Tammy's crypt: Wynette, as the singer's fans know was christened Virginia Wynette Pugh. I had the pleasure of interviewing Tammy several times and one of those occasions I asked her about the constant mispronunciation of her middle name/stage surname.

While Tammy confirmed that the correct pronunciation has always been "Winnette," she claimed it didn't bother her in the slightest that even her biggest fans mistakenly referred to her as Tammy "Why-nette."


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AMERICAN MEDIA, having tried unsuccessfully for years to sell Country Weekly (known on Music Row as Country Weakly), has convinced Cumulus Media that the magazine has value within the context of a larger agreement struck between the tabloid and radio conglomerates.

So far, the only change, in the form of an insert, has been cosmetic.  The publication remains photo rather than content-oriented. 

The alliance of two media giants has tremendous potential.  Sadly, neither party to the deal seems to realize this. 

If the situation changes, the rebranded magazine could force a change in the dumbing-down industry agenda, as set by the usual suspects.  But as things stand that will not happen unless readers send a message that their (continued) patronage provides an incentive to do.

Even then, without attracting a much larger number of readers,  it may not matter to these two heavy-hitters:  With so little at stake, relative to the companies' "big picture,"  the true value of Country Weekly "as is" might ultimately be as a tax write-off.


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TONY BROWN and his wife, JAMIE NICOLE BROWN continue to keep the Davidson County Criminal and Fourth Circuit Civil (D-I-V-O-R-C-E) courts  (and timeline-watchers) busy.


Tony, having posted a $5000 bond, still awaits his trial date on a charge of "assault, domestic bodily injury" against Jamie (as previously reported exclusively here, that trial, already continued twice, is now set for May 16. 2014).  Judge GALE ROBINSON  will be once again presiding, this time in Room 4B of the A. A. BIRCH Building


The reason for yet another delay?  ICEBERG- FAQS #21 tells me "Judges normally will allow one continuance but they start to get angry after that.  In this case, Tony needs to finish his anger management classes."

As for Tony's attorney, GLENN FUNK,  Funk has things other than Brown's defense on his mind.

Meanwhile, in divorce court, following the January 24, 2014 hearing on Tony's Motion to enforce his and Jamie's antenuptial agreement,  during which Tony sought "to limit or quash the scope of any deposition taken of him... in light of the... antenuptial agreement, " the terms of which, again,  Brown wanted enforced, on February 16, 2014. Judge PHILIP SMITH issued an Order limiting the scope of any deposition taken of Tony.

Judge Smith's Order not only limits discovery to questions and the production of documents pertinent to "the enforceability of the antenuptial agreement," Jamie's attorney must finish any such inquiries within 60 days of the Order.  After that, Tony's attorneys have, if they so choose, 30 days to file a Motion for Summary Judgment.

Should such a Motion be filed, after allowing time for Jamie's attorney's response, upon "a Motion to Set on the issue of the enforceability of the antenuptial agreement," a court date will be set for hearing that Motion.

However,  in the unlikely event that there is no dispute at that point about the enforcement of the antenuptial agreement, "the court will entertain a Motion for Scheduling Order or an Agreed Scheduling Order."   

 

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From the "Has It Come To This Department?" (a/k/a "Where is Ms. Manners when you need her?): MARIA DRUMMOND writes "Hi, STACY, Maria here from the Press House.  See below the press release announcing SpinMedia's SXSW partnership with Vans for 3 days of curated music.

"Let me know if you are attending SXSW and would like to cover this event.  Please be specific with your media requests and know that your RSVP   See below the press release announcing SpinMedia's SXSW and would like to cover this event.  Please be specific with your media requests and know that your RSVP is a spoken guarantee of coverage."


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"You're invited!"  So reads MARIA FERRERO's invitation to "the 3rd Annual Awards Gala and RONNIE JAMES DIO This is Your Life Tribute Album Preview/Listening Party," March 17, 2014 at The Avalon, Hollywood.

 

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Thanks to Kore Public Relations for the invitation to "meet the cast of  Private Lives of the Nashville Housewives" February 20, 2014 at Manuel's.

 


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