BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE ACMA’s 2011: SHOWTIME!

So I haven’t had any time to write a post until now, just two hours before showtime. The dress rehearsal looked great, at least what I could see on the monitor in the production office. I’m looking forward to finding out the identity of Carrie Underwood’s surprise guest for her performance. Many people online were guessing Steven Tyler. I was thinking it might be Celine Dion, at least until I read Britney Spears was seen in Las Vegas this weekend. That’s who I would put my money on, but we’ll see!

Most of my duties have been preparing for the show they’re taping tomorrow, “Girls’ Night Out,” which will be broadcast on April 22nd on CBS. The reason I’ve been so busy is we keep changing things on the show to make them better, right up until the last possible minute. Mostly we’ve been improving the tribute packages, which are a glimpse into the early lives of our honorees. I’ve been asked to find photos of their hometowns, their families, and their early performances. Some of my favorite material came from Carrie Underwood’s management, who sent us footage of Carrie performing in a school assembly and even on a Tulsa Oklahoma TV station when she was in the seventh grade. Turns out she was a seasoned performer even then!

My favorite moments so far occurred at the rehearsals for the “Girls’ Night Out” show. As always on the second show, the house band sets up in a small room and the artists drop by to work on their songs. The great John Fogerty is performing two songs, including a duet with Wynonna Judd on one of his Creedence classics. Yesterday, John spent some time rehearsing his performance of a Judds song, followed by a run-through of “Proud Mary.” First the band did it like the original record, which sounded great. But then John announced that was the first time he’d played it that way in 40 years and that he’d taken a tip from the Tina Turner version and sped it up a bit, so they played it that way and that’s the way you’ll hear it on the show. And did I mention that John spoke to me? Sure, it was only to thank me when I got him a bottle of water, but still! Just observing him, you could see he was the nicest, most humble rock star you would ever want to meet.

Enjoy the show!

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