The story of how we got two versions of the same song is pretty crazy. It starts with hit songwriter Diane Warren, actually wrote the song to be considered for the soundtrack for the 1997 action movie starring Nicholas Cage called Con Air.
You have to be happy with this class overall. Certainly, you can look over the elongated list of other potential inductees that grows even longer every year due to the Hall of Fame’s austere approach to induction, and do a healthy level of second guessing.
Thursday, April 6th, 2017 marks the one year anniversary of country music legend Merle Haggard passing away on his 79th birthday. Today would have been his 80th. To mark his passing, and his birthday, here are 11 “Fightin’ Side” quotes from Merle.
Today most well-informed country fans know what a death sentence a Curb Records contract can be for an artist, at least for most of them. But in 1990 when Merle Haggard signed with the label, Curb was seen as one of the most trustworthy labels in town. They didn’t have to answer to higher ups in New York and Los Angeles, and could pass that freedom on to their artists.
When LeAnn Rimes and Hank Williams III fought very public battles with the label, people chalked it up to a couple of artists with declining careers who couldn’t handle being professional. But after high profile and nasty exits by Hank Williams Jr. and then superstar Tim McGraw, the word was out on the streets about Curb Records’ unfair business practices.
Hank Williams Jr.’s politics and boisterous attitude will always make him one of the most polarizing figures in country music history. But those who are quick to overlook his musical contributions both on and off the stage, the amazing body of work he’s amassed over his legendary career, and the mark he’s made on country music are doing Bocephus and themselves a huge disservice.
Let’s just start this off by drudging the big elephant right out in the middle of the room and shining a big ‘ol spotlight on it. Mike Curb, Herr Führer of Curb Records—the man who has made millions off of the indentured servitude of many of country music’s most famous names, has thrown his money behind the much-ballyhooed preservation of Music Row’s historic Studio ‘A’ in Nashville.
It looks like Hank Williams Jr. might be the next signee to the Cumulus Media / Big Machine Label Group joint venture known as NASH Icon meant to give new life to aging artists who’ve been passed over by mainstream country radio. In the midst of Hank’s ACCA performance, he switched over from a cowboy hat to a black hat with gold lettering that simply read “ICON” across the front.
That’s right, the Curb Records madness continues, and continues to reach for comical, if not maniacal heights. Apparently Curb Records is readying the release of a new Hank III album called “Take As Needed For Pain.” Meanwhile Curb has prepped the 10th compilation/Greatest Hits album from Tim McGraw, and has more greatest hits albums ahead for LeAnn Rimes and Rodney Atkins.
As recently as the middle of last week it looked as if the fate of historic Studio ‘A’ in Nashville’s Music Row district was all but sealed, and its date with a wrecking ball was a forgone conclusion despite preservationist’s best efforts. But in one fell swoop, one man came in and did what thousands of people could not do despite their best efforts: preserve Studio ‘A’.
Friday (8-29) evening, local internet traffic in Nashville buzzed with the news that the recent buyer of the city’s historic Studio ‘A’ building had concluded an assessment of the building and decided that bulldozing would be a more cost-effective fate for the building compared to renovations. Bravo Development pulled the West Wing tactic of releasing the information on a Friday afternoon…
So now the question is, who, if anyone, would be in a position to purchase the property with the intent of preserving the Studio ‘A’ space, and potentially the building it occupies? As Bravo Development has stated, the building is in poor shape. All indications are that financially, the most feasible move for most any developer would be to demolish the building and build on the property footprint.
The grandson of Hank Williams and the son of Hank Jr. falls in line with the other country artists covered in Saving Country Music “10 Badass Moments” series by being a rough and tumble character both on and off the stage, but also in showing great character by giving back and using his famous name for good. Here’s 10 Badass Moments from Shelton Hank Williams III, or Hank3.
Not since Blake Shelton called traditional country fans Old Farts and Jackasses has a sitting country music star painted such a grim and disparaging picture for traditional country music as Clay Walker, The 44-year-old Curb-Asylum artist says that “Traditional country music died,” and that George Strait’s win for Entertainer of the Year was a “closing of the door” for traditional music in the country format.
Curb Records is releasing yet another album from Tim McGraw; an artist that hasn’t called Curb Records home officially for over 2 years. The album will be called Love Story and will feature Tim McGraw’s “12 biggest love songs,” two previously-unreleased recordings, and will be released exclusively through Wal-Mart on February 2nd, 2014.
ABC’s Wednesday night drama Nashville just entered its second season, and though like many network television dramas, the drama can feel over-the-top and contrived, the show’s impact on a wide range of issues that fall under the charge of Saving Country Music is undeniable, if not unprecedented. Though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the show, it’s still important to understand Nashville’s impact.
Since music no longer holds any intrinsic value to the American consumer and they’d rather steal a song than have it be sold to them for less than a pack of gum, merch, MERCH is where all the money is now. Major labels manufacture merch in the textile industry’s version of puppy mills somewhere in southeast Asia. Here’s some country music T Shirts you won’t see for sale anytime soon.
2012 was a high profile year for Halls of Fame. From the kilted screecher Axl Rose pulling like a Sex Pistol and telling the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to kiss off, to the Baseball Hall of Fame not inducting a single member as the steroid era falls like a shadow on the eligibility timeline. The Country Music Hall of Fame has kept its legitimacy and honor over the years by being an exclusive get…
Mike Curb’s repressive stance towards artists and his sharky dealings with other labels is a given amongst the informed country music community, with his latest ploy being the release of a duets album from Tim McGraw two weeks before the former Curb artist is slated to make his debut on Big Machine Records. But Hank3 and Tim McGraw are just the tip of the iceberg.
This year in popular country music, there were some glimmers of hope. Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go ‘Round” found some surprising traction and success, and Kellie Pickler’s 100 Proof may go down as one of the best mainstream country albums in years. But of course this was all counter-balanced by a gaggle of the worst songs “country” music has ever seen.
Curb Records’ talent roster continues to contract. The latest defector is Jo Dee Messina, whose charted 9 #1 hits and sold more than 5 million records worldwide during her 18-year career. The reason? Just like Tim McGraw, Hank Williams III, Clay Walker, Lyle Lovett, and LeAnn Rimes to name a few, Jo Dee Messina is fed up with Curb refusing to release her music.
The Country Music Anti-Christ Scott Borchetta has decided to unleash a new wave of pestilence on the human eardrum, this time in the form of the glorified boy band Florida Georgia Line; a horrible combination of Rascal Flatts pretty boy hyper-pop, and designer jeans Jason Aldean “backroad” laundry list bullshit. They are everything bad about quotation mark “country” in 2012.
Like most fictional characters in popular culture, the characters of ABC’s new drama Nashville are probably based more on stereotypes than real-life folks. But for fun, let’s see if we can’t match up who the real-life inspiration is for the principals of the Nashville cast, and through the experiment see if the show really does represent all aspects of the Nashville music scene.
The Country Music Anti-Christ, Big Machine Records owner Scott Borchetta was on American Public Media on Friday and said on Taylor Swift and pop country, “If you don’t want to consider it country, I really don’t care. That means nothing to me.” He defined country as, “Whatever fans of country music listen to and like. It’s younger. It’s youth.”