One of the big story lines in country music over the past few years has been the rehabilitation of country music from a quarter century ago that emerged during the period known colloquially as the “Class of ’89.” Despite the commercial rise of country during the era, it’s also the period people love to point […]
The idea of retiring from playing music seems like such a foreign notion on the surface. We like to think that artists make music because they have to—because it’s all they know and it’s in their blood. Some just happen to make money and get famous from it along the way. Quitting music would be like deciding to quit watching sunsets or eating ice cream with your family or something.
So what’s to learn from hitching a ride in Marty McFly’s time machine and traveling back to 1985? That the problems country music is facing today are virtually the same ones that were being faced 30 years ago. It’s all cyclical, as canonized in the old Gospel tune enshrined in the architecture of the Country Music Hall of Fame asking the question, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?”
Alan Jackson, Bill Carter, Bobby Bare, Chris Stapleton, Clint Black, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Jason Isbell, Keith Whitley, Kris Kristofferson, Mo Pitney, Randy Travis, Ray Charles, Ricky Skaggs, Sturgill Simpson, The Highwaymen, Travis Tritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
All of the music Garth has been working on for a new release over the last six months? It’s currently sitting on a phone that’s dead, and nobody can get it to power back up at the moment. That’s right, there’s no backup, no Plan ‘B’, it’s all just gone unless they figure out somehow to salvage the files. Six full months of studio time and effort could be completely flushed down the drain.
It’s fitting that Clint’s last name is “Black” because he seems to have spent his entire career overshadowed by his peers, even when he was at his commercial peak. As part of the now famous “Class of ’89,” he was always vying for attention with Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and Brooks & Dunn. He still was wildly successful. 22 #1 singles is nothing to scoff at.
Garth Brooks has been told to hold it just one cotton pickin’ minute when it comes to releasing a new version of his signature super hit “Friends in Low Places.” First announced Thursday, September 3rd, the re-recording to mark the 25th Anniversary of the song includes contributions from Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, and George Strait.
Super secret sources are telling Billboard that Garth Brooks will be issuing an updated version of his 1990 mega hit “Friends in Low Places” to mark the song’s 25th Anniversary, and he will be enlisting a number of high-profile low friends to help him with the new rendition. Included on the new track are reportedly George Strait (yep), Keith Urban (err), Jason Aldean (nope), and Florida Georgia Line (puke).
Luke Bryan did not get here by happenstance, and he’s not going to blow his opportunity to remain on top by making poor decisions. Tell yourself his music won’t last through the cruel inquisition of time. Tell yourself he has no talent, and that he’s an idiot on and off the stage. Reassure yourself that eventually he will be relegated to a laughing stock of history with his shallow songs and shortsighted goals.
A group named “Induct Keith Whitley into The Country Music Hall of Fame” has started a campaign to try and get the Kentucky-born singer and songwriter who died tragically in 1989 into country music’s most elite class. The group has set up an online petition and is asking Keith Whitley fans to add their voices and signatures in support of the effort.
You may not be comfortable with how exactly to define the quasi country, quasi-rock music that comes out of the Texas / Oklahoma region known as Red Dirt, but what you can be confident in is that it would never have come to life like it did without a man named Tom Skinner. Bass player, songwriter, and father of Red Dirt music Tom Skinner passed away Sunday evening, July 12th.
There’s no better example of why Gary Overton’s radio comments were unfounded than the success Garth Brooks has experienced in the past year after coming out of retirement. The first two Garth Books singles from his Man Against Machine album positively bombed, but that didn’t get in the way of him earning $90 million dollars.
But possibly the most troubling sign that something is not right in the Toby Keith camp is the continued stories about strange closings and other curious issues surrounding the “Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill” restaurant chain. Keith founded the restaurants in 2005, and they are operated out of Phoenix by Boomtown Entertainment.
In a move that is so patently and unflinchingly Garth, the recently-unretired superstar says he might lip sync at Sunday night’s 50th Anniversary ACM Awards show in Dallas at Cowboys (AT&T) Stadium. There’s so many different ways this missive from Mr. Brooks can be taken. So Garth Brooks is a lip syncer?
A cultural institution of the country music world and the second longest-running radio show only to The Grand Ole Opry is in serious trouble. The Midnite Jamboree, a Saturday evening staple for over 68 years started by Ernest Tubb is in danger of shuttering after its historic run due to a lack of funds, and folks are banding together in attempt to rescue the show.
Even though Taylor Swift has 86’d country and said she wants nothing to do with the awards specifically, the ACM’s have minted a special 50th Anniversary “Milestone Award” crafted by noted jewelry designer David Yurman to be handed out to Swift and a few select others. The Milestone Award trophy is made up of more than 1,010 grams of sterling silver, with the top edged with 4.16 carats of black diamonds.
ACM Awards, Brooks & Dunn, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, George Jones, George Strait, Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, Milestone Award, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEnitre, Taylor Swift, Willie Nelson
Well the saga of Sony Nashville CEO Gary Overton’s comments to The Tennessean of “If you’re not on country radio, you don’t exist” uttered in late February just took another interesting turn. Gary Overton is out at one of Music Row’s very top executive spots. Announced Tuesday morning (3-17), Gary Overton is stepping down from his position as Sony Nashville’s top executive at the end of March.
Move over Sheryl Crow and Darius Rucker, apparently Steven Tyler and his size 14 lips will be belting out “country” tunes as early as this November according to a report from Billboard. Sources say the Aerosmith lead singer is getting ready to sign with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records.
Garth Brooks is causing a stir in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont and beyond after it was revealed the town shuttled $1 million dollars to the country superstar to secure the right to host his very first comeback concerts in September of 2014 at the city-owned Allstate Arena. Brooks also received discounted rental rates for the venue as part of his Rosemont deal.
As Tippin says, country music appears to be shifting away from so-called “Bro-Country” to music of a little more substance lately, and though there still seems to be much more work to be done and a few more Bro-Country hits could still materialize (or something even worse to take its place), positive signs that country is moving in a more positive direction are appearing.
Luke Bryan, you officially have a rival for the clumsiest entertainer in country music. When we first heard of the return of Garth Brooks, we all wondered if he would ring up the score on the younger Bro-Country pups, but we didn’t know it would be from how many times he’s waxed on stage. Garth experienced a pretty serious fall during his Saturday, January 10th show.