Stan Hitchcock passed away earlier this week, and though his name may not immediately jar your memory as one among the class of country music performers, if you were a fan of country music in the 60s through the 90s, the face very well might. Stan Hitchcock was one of the founders of CMT.
The recipient of the inaugural CMT Equal Play Award has been announced as Jennifer Nettles, known both as a solo performer, and most notably for her work in the country music duo Sugarland. But there is a problem with presenting Jennifer Nettles as a “equal play” advocate.
Holly Williams, Sam Williams, and Hilary Williams were featured on a new CMT series called “Another Round” that looks to capture performers in an intimate setting. But noticeably absent from this assemblage of Hank Jr.’s progeny was Hank Williams III.
The CMT Awards transpired Wednesday night, June 6th at the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. Did you notice? Most likely not. Did you tune in and follow along? Even more unlikely. But this isn’t just about ratings. This is about the overall impact of the awards, or the lack thereof.
Sort of a mix between Party Down South and the original Jersey Shore, it puts eight 20-something party animals into a house together in Panama City Beach, and fuels the party with plenty of booze and stupidity, trying to sell it all as something resembling an accurate portrayal of Southern living.
A show that gave a fresh shot in the arm to the legacy of Sun Records and artists like Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis will not be renewed for a second season. CMT’s series ‘Sun Records’ has been canceled after an eight episode run behind the network’s now signature series, ‘Nashville.’
Now ‘Nashville’ has moved to CMT, where it will play second fiddle to a sitcom starring Billy Ray Cyrus as an Elvis impersonator, 16 airings of Smokey and the Bandit per year, and some reality show hosted by wrestling washup Steve Austin. And it only costs the City of Nashville and Tennessee government $11 million dollars in grease money to make it happen.
No, I’m not going soft, and I’m certainly not endorsing CMT or any of its programs or online properties. I can list dozens of other better alternatives to CMT for your country music and lifestyle needs, and the Viacom-owned entity would probably come near the bottom of the list of recommend media sources. If boiled down to one word, the way to describe CMT would be “filth.”
Many prayers, criticisms, concerns, and even a petition or two will be answered after the upcoming season of the filthy and culturally-bereft reality series Party Down South. CMT, who airs the program, has announced that after the fifth season of the show scheduled to start on January 28th, they’re putting the series on on ice.
Artists, labels, and PR firms being able to speak directly to consumers more than ever through the vehicle of social media arguably doesn’t make music media obsolete, it makes it more necessary than ever to help listeners navigate through a crowded marketplace, and make sure they’re not being misled by an industry trying to deal with their own revenue and contraction issue in the digital age.
Starring none other than the country music punch line himself, Billy Ray Cyrus, CMT’s latest epiphany for solving their ratings and revenue tailspin is to cast Billy Ray as an Elvis impersonator named Vernon Brown, who appropriately, was a previous country music one hit wonder who then becomes the minister of a church outside of Nashville.
Not all is happy in TV Land. Or MTV, CMT, or VH1—all channels owned by the behemoth media company Viacom, and all companies that have been affected by big layoffs coming down late last week and stretching into this week as part of a massive corporate restructuring. Though the dust has yet to settle, the layoffs and restructuring could see big changes on country music’s biggest television outlet.
In just the two short seasons of Party Down South, the cast has accrued a laundry list of unlawful offenses. And no, we’re not just talking about a few trumped up pot charges and other crimes of questionable concern. We’re talking burglary, rape accusations, and one cast member is even in trouble for not using his hefty CMT salary on proper child support.
Many already regarded the Travis Tritt song “Country Ain’t Country” from his 2002 album Strong Enough as a slightly-veiled protest song preaching against the changes in the country genre, even though the actual lines of the song deal much more with wider reaching cultural and geographical issues. But apparently there’s an original verse that doesn’t appear in the recorded version that overtly criticized CMT.
More bad news for CMT’s flagship reality show Party Down South. One of the most popular cast members, Taylor “Lil Bit” Wright, has quit the show due to safety concerns over what transpires in the Party Down South house, and because she feels like the message of the show is in conflict with her religious beliefs.
Yet another cast member of CMT’s Jersey Shore-style reality show Party Down South has found himself in legal trouble, and this time it involves the show directly, and accusations of rape on the set. Ryan “Daddy” Richards, famous for being the beer funnel toter of the eight-person cast, was accused of raping a woman who partied with the cast in their Athens, GA location in April during the taping of the current season.
When the news broke last week that there would be yet another new country music awards show squeezing its way into the already-crowded TV event space, it stimulated a collective rolling of the eyes from many over-saturated music fans and industry types. Really, how many of these things do we need? Buried in the details however was the insight that the Awards wasn’t just the latest ploy….
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Saving Country Music Official ANTI-CMT Awards LIVE blog sponsored by nobody. CMT and Viacom are by far the biggest perpetrators of cultural erosion in the country music community, and their annual fan-voted awards are a laughable attempt to showcase talent and bestow accolades that in the end are meaningless.
More legal troubles and location battles for the cast and producers of CMT’s new reality show Party Down South. The latest fugitive from the show is 24-year-old Mattie Breaux of Louisiana, who is wanted by police for a bench warrant after she failed to appear in court as part of a pretrial hearing in March. Also in March, the show got kicked out of Pensacola, FL.
Thursday night is the finale for season one of CMT’s flagship reality show series Party Down South. The show has stirred up quite a bit of controversy for its sexualized and graphic content, especially in its ads. With a servant’s heart, and wanting to pitch in and make sure Party Down South sticks around, Saving Country Music thought we would make some ads for CMT pro bono.
This week in Nashville is the annual CRS or Country Radio Seminar where executives and personalities in country radio gather with executives and artists in the country music industry to hobnob, network, and attend workshops and presentations about the direction and future of radio and country music. This year the backdrop of CRS most certainly will be the Country Music Media Arms Race…
CMT, who has been dramatically reshaping their broadcast schedule recently, featuring a whopping 7 new reality TV shows in their latest lineup, is looking to add yet another one called Ow! My Balls! in the upcoming months. The show reportedly features a man continuously getting hit in his testicles, with no other significant plot or characters.
As Saving Country Music has been reporting, many people are incensed over CMT’s new reality show Party Down South made by the same producers of Jersey Shore. Ben “Cooter” Jones, an original cast member of The Dukes of Hazzard as mechanic Cooter Devenport and a former United States Congressman, has taken the point on the matter. Now Ben “Cooter” Jones has crafted an open letter.
As if Ben Jones didn’t have enough on his plate, he has also decided to join the voices of dissent again CMT’s new reality show Party Down South. Incidentally, reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard also air on CMT, and the confluence creating a showdown between Cooter and CMT. As a former actor on a Southern-based television show, Ben “Cooter” Jones’ opinions seem to be especially poignant.