Archive for March, 2009

COUNTRY TIME

March 27, 2009

So in the end, I did twelve phone interviews with various performers that are scheduled to appear on our show. Everyone had great stories to tell about George Strait and certainly seemed to be in awe of his talent.

You know you’re working with country music stars when they apologize profusely for missing their appointed interview time. Dierks Bentley had just gotten off the road and took off for a relaxing day in the mountains, where he discovered his cell phone wasn’t working. Needless to say, he sounded mighty sorry the next day when we connected. Another country superstar, Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn, was under the weather and called me anyway. John Rich took time out from doing publicity in New York City for his brand new album that had been released that very day. LeAnn Rimes called from a recording session, while Jamie Foxx (hey, he is from Texas) called from a movie set.

Tomorrow we pack up the production office in order to move to Las Vegas to work on the show onsite. I’ve got my plane trip and room booked, I’ve got my meal vouchers and I’ve got my per diem. All I have to do now is remember I’m there to work…

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WE ARE BACK… AGAIN!

March 22, 2009

Had another time-out on my internet access, thanks to moving. True, I only moved from one bedroom to the other in my apartment, but the loss of my roommate and his internet connection and the subsequent painting and carpet cleaning of the rooms made for quite a lot of trouble right here in Studio City!

But I’ve now got my world straightened out (well, I still have some stuff to put away and I haven’t started my search for a new roommate yet but at least now I have my own DSL line) and I have plenty to write about.

Right now I’m working as a researcher for another Dick Clark Productions show, following up my jobs last year on “The American Music Awards” and “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” This time I’m helping to put together tribute montages for the “George Strait: ACM Artist Of The Decade All Star Concert.” This should be a really fun show with the biggest names in country music (including Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, LeAnn Rimes and Tim McGraw) paying tribute to George by performing their favorite George Strait songs. The All Star Concert will be held on April 6th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. That’s the night after the Academy Of Country Music Awards, enabling us to take advantage of the fact that all the country superstars will already be in town. I myself get to go to Vegas for a week, although I doubt I’m going to have any time to hang out by the pool…

I’m a big country music fan and so I’ve always wanted to work on a country music show, which isn’t so easy to do when you don’t live in Nashville. I still remember the night years ago at the American Music Awards when I was walking across the parking lot to the shuttle beside Garth Brooks and I didn’t say anything to him because I wasn’t a country music fan back then. I’ve always regretted that, so I’m happy to be getting the chance to talk to some of my country music faves. In fact, I’m getting to talk to many of them even before the show.

One of my jobs is to arrange and perform interviews with the singers to ask about their memories and affection for George Strait and his music so that the scriptwriter, my longtime colleague Fred Bronson, can use the information to make what the singers will say onstage more personal. So far I’ve done phone interviews with Blake Shelton (singer of my all-time favorite song, “Austin,” and don’t think I didn’t tell him that), Miranda Lambert and Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry. Every single one of them had great stories to tell, and with Taylor Swift and Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn calling me on Monday, I have a feeling the quality will remain high.

That’s it for now. More bulletins as events occur…