Entertainment Magazine / AZentertain
Country Music News 2004
Tony Conway Receives Nashville Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - In recognition of his dedication to the Nashville Chamber of Commerce organization, Tony Conway, President of Buddy Lee Attractions, was named one of the 2003-2004 Volunteers of the Year, receiving a special honor at the 157th Annual Membership Meeting. This award is given annually to those who have made exceptional contributions toward furthering the goals and missions of Chamber departments and affiliates.
Arts, Entertainment & Music: Tony Conway, Buddy Lee Attractions, served as vice chairman of arts, entertainment & music, helping bridge the gap between the music industry and business community. He established a music association’s leadership group to meet monthly with Chamber members. Representatives from all genres of music, as well as leaders of music-related associations, are involved in this group, which is planning to conduct an economic impact study on the music industry and potential strategic planning with the business community. Conway also served as promotions chair for the CMA Music Festival (formerly known as Fan Fair). In this role, he developed specific programs to garner increased local business participation and attendance during the four-day event, including special ticket prices for Chamber members and backstage tours for site location consultants and visiting CEOs of prospective area companies.
Buddy Lee Attractions Signs Cory Morrow
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Jon Folk agent of Buddy Lee Attractions, is pleased to announce the signing of Cory Morrow to the agency for booking representation.
Holding true to his Texas music roots while continuing to develop his unique style of country music, Cory Morrow’s presence in the country music scene has grown exponentially since his 2002 album release Outside The Lines. “Morrow’s a great addition to our ever-growing roster,” say Folk. “With Texas artists ever-so-emerging on the national scene, it is only fitting that Buddy Lee represent this caliber of artist.”
Morrow’s current album, titled Full Exposure (Released 2003) is far more than a CD alone. It consists of a live audio album capturing Cory’s July 2002 concert at Austin’s Waterloo Park. The album contains three new studio tracks, produced by veteran producer Ray Kennedy (Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams.) And as a significant bonus, the package contains a free second disc -- a two-hour DVD visually capturing the Austin concert as well as behind-the-scenes footage for fans.
NEVER A DULL MOMENT AT THE 2004 COUNTRY THUNDER USA FESTIVAL IN TWIN LAKES, WISCONSIN
Multiple Stages Offer Up a Variety of Talent to Keep Country Thunder USA Patrons Thoroughly Entertained</u> <br />
(Nashville, TN) If you’ve never experienced Country Thunder USA (CTUSA), the premier Country Music and Camping festival in Wisconsin and its jam-packed line-up of events, then you’re not only missing out on the top performers in country music, but you’re depriving yourself of exposure to new up-and-coming artists and a “whole lot more!” <br />
In addition to headliners Brooks & Dunn, Reba McEntire, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Lonestar, “up and comers” Country Thunder USA’s multiple stages feature hot new up-and-coming acts, such as Harry Luge, who will be dishing tunes and keeping the party crowds jamming in an area of the festival opposite the mainstage, known to Country Thunder connoisseurs as the Miller Lite Saloon. Luge is a seasoned entertainer, an electrifying crowd pleaser, a spectacular vocalist and a very personable young man. Harry is sharing his time in the Miller Lite Saloon with one of the best independent country bands currently touring, Chasin’ Mason. Be sure to visit www.countrythunder.com for complete information.
LEE GREENWOOD TO HANNITY & COLMES ON JULY 5th
GREENWOOD IS SPOKESPERSON FOR USO and PATRIOTIC COUNTRY ALBUM PROJECT
Nashville, TN Multi-platinum, multi-Grammy winning recording artist, and writer of “God Bless The USA”-- the song that has become a 21st century national anthem--Lee Greenwood is putting his influence where his song lyrics are. Greenwood has stepped up on the national platform to promote the USO and their newest project PATRIOTIC COUNTRY a music CD that features a collection of top entertainers including Hank Williams, Jr., Charlie Daniels, Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Alabama, among others. Patriotic Country hit stores on Tuesday, June 15, 2004.
Greenwood will make an appearance on Fox News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes on Monday, July 5th. Greenwood will chat about his weekend trip with former President Bush at his birthday celebration, the USO, and Patriotic Country.
JOE DIFFIE: “PUMPS UP” THE MUSIC IN SUPPORT OF NEW RELEASE
(Nashville) 6/8/04 -- You don’t expect to see a country music superstar at your favorite local gas pump-even in a day when “superstar salaries” are pretty much a standard requirement to fill your tank!
Imagine the surprise this week when local country radio station Kix 106 in Memphis sponsored a “gas giveaway” and BBR recording artist Joe Diffie’s famous face appeared to help pump gas for the station’s winning recipients of 10 free gallons. Free gas proved to be great, but the chance to meet one of country music’s most enduring hitmakers: priceless. The autograph line at the pumps slowed traffic in the usual rush of Kix 106 listeners to get their morning coffee and get to work.
Diffie, who pumped up the music for his debut album “Tougher Than Nails” is heating up the charts in the early weeks of summer. The success of the single of the same name, is making Joe attend to a hectic schedule of summer touring on the “Rockin Roadhouse Tour,” with Mark Chesnutt, on his agenda as well as a major round of promotion with radio and retail.
While in the Memphis market Joe also made a major in-store appearance that drew crowds to Spin Street, the local record retailer owned and operated by Value Music. The store located at the busiest intersection in Memphis, played host to Diffie for an acoustic set promoting the “Tougher Than Nails” release. Joe performed several songs from the new release and stayed to accommodate a long line of autographs.
Always innovative in his approach both to his music, Joe has specialized in the art of bringing a touch of reality to his audience-whether from the stage or in day to day life were the ‘rubber meets the road’-a theme often found in his songs. “The working man has been a major factor in the acceptance of my music over the years-and ‘Tougher Than Nails’ is one more link in that chain that I feel is making a statement of my loyalty to my audience,” noted Joe. “No one can escape the reality of gas prices-so this week was a little reminder to me and to all of us that we might as well enjoy some good country music on the drive!”
With a major tour schedule and promotional schedule on the runway in the weeks ahead, Joe Diffie has a full tank of gas and is ready for the road.
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LEE GREENWOOD CELEBRATES FLAG DAY IN NEW YORK CITY ON NATIONAL TELEVISION
LEE IS SPOKESPERSON FOR USO and THE PATRIOTIC COUNTRY PROJECT THAT HITS STORES THIS TUESDAY
Nashville, TN 6/13/04 Multi-platinum, multi-Grammy winning recording artist, and writer of “God Bless The USA”-- the song that has become a 21st century national anthem--Lee Greenwood is putting his influence where his song lyrics are. Greenwood is stepping up on the national platform to promote Flag Day, the USO and their newest project PATRIOTIC COUNTRY a music CD that features a collection of top entertainers including Hank Williams, Jr., Charlie Daniels, Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Alabama, among others. Patriotic Country hits stores this Tuesday, June 15, 2004.
Greenwood will make the media rounds while in New York starting Monday morning with ESPN’s Cold Pizza, where he will chat about his recent visit with Mrs. Reagan at the late President Reagan’s funeral, his weekend trip with former President Bush at his birthday celebration, the USO, Patriotic Country, and Flag Day. The day will continue with stops at Fox News Channel and MSNBC. Lee will appear on CNNfn on Wednesday before heading to Washington, DC for a Thursday appearance on the G. Gordon Liddy show.
About Flag Day:
Mr. Francis Bellamy, an ordained minister of Rome, New York is credited with the authorship of the original Pledge. It was he, who on the eve of the 400th Anniversary of the discovery of America, initiated a campaign for the establishment of a national holiday on October 12, . . . to celebrate the day on which Columbus discovered America. In his concept, he envisioned that flags should be flown over every school-house and public building from coast to coast.
In the material which he nationally circulated, he wrote, “Let the flag float over every school-house in the land and the exercise be such as shall impress upon our youth the patriotic duty of citizenship.” He also included the original 23 words of the Pledge which he had developed. “I pledge allegiance to my flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Thus it was that on Columbus Day in October 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance was repeated by more than 12 million public school children in every state in the union. The wording of the Pledge has been modified three times. In 1923, the words “the flag of the United States” were substituted for “my flag.” In 1924, “of America” were added. On Flag Day 1954, the words “under God” became a part of the Pledge. Thus the 23 words have become 31 words.
By a Joint Resolution on June 9, 1966, the Congress requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as National Flag Week and calling upon citizens of the United States to display the flag during that week.
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LORRIE MORGAN CELEBRATES 20th ANNIVERSARY AS GRAND OLE OPRY MEMBER AND PARTICIPATES IN CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL
(Nashville, TN) 6/6/04-- For Lorrie Morgan, everything finally fits. In life and in art, the glamorous and gifted country stunner has a new record label, a renewed alliance with a mega-hit producer, a great husband and home life, confidence, contentment, and a spectacular new album.
“Everything fits,” she says, “If there could be any theme, it would just be that everything fits.”
Fitting it is, Lorrie will celebrate her 20th Anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member tonight (June 8th) during her 8:45 pm performance. In addition to this appearance, Lorrie will perform and have breakfast with her fans at her annual fan club party on June 10th at the Nashville Nightlife. And it would not be as fitting if Lorrie didn’t show her fans her archery skills…Lorrie will participate in the Andy Griggs Archery Contest on June 11th (1 pm) during the annual CMA Music Festival activities.
And Show Me How, the twelfth LP in her stellar career, is sure to fit snugly at the top of country music’s charts. The album is a collection of eleven songs that examine life from the perspective of lessons learned and wisdom earned. On it Morgan tells tales of love, friendship, family, and flirting with clear authority but leaves any trace of melodramatic angst behind. It’s simply a mature yet witty take on reaching a point in life where you’ve learned enough to feel confident and comfortable in your own skin. Which is exactly where Lorrie Morgan is now.
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"YOUNG GUNS" TO BLAZE AT THIS YEAR'S ARIZONA COUNTRY THUNDER USA!
New Talent Can Audition Online for Chance to Perform Onstage with Superstars!
(Nashville) -- Country Thunder USA officials have announced a unique twist to this year's April 22nd-25th presentation of the four day music/event spectacular that has become one of the most exciting concert presentations of its kind.
"Young Guns" is being rolled out this year as a first time opportunity for Country Thunder USA to audition new talent online. The competition, to be judged by voters at the event website, will allow new artists to compete for cash prizes, as well as the ultimate opportunity to perform a live 40 minute set on the Arizona Country Thunder USA mainstage, with superstars such as Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, and Sawyer Brown.
First place talent will receive a $3,000.00 cash award. Second and third prize winners will be awarded $2,000.00 and $1,000.00 accordingly. In addition to cash prizes, all winners will receive twenty 4-day general admission tickets to the "Country Thunder USA" event. Deadline for entry is February 28th. Voting will start online on March 4th. More information on registration and voting in the Young Gunsî competition can be resourced online at www.countrythunder.com
Country Thunder USA is staged on concert grounds at Canyon Moon Ranch in Florence, Arizona, 40 miles southwest of Phoenix. The four day event has become a presentation of one of the finest outdoor music, camping and food festivals of its kind anywhere in the U.S. It yearly attracts the biggest names in country music, as well as top local and national arts and crafts vendors. Thousands of onsite campers are among the average 150,000 participates in Country Thunder USAís annual extravaganza of music, food, and fun.
The 2004 Country Thunder USA talent line-up already includes: Reba McEntire, Trick Pony, Travis Tritt, Montgomery Gentry, Neal McCoy, Rodney Atkins, Sawyer Brown, Chris LeDoux, Cowboy Crush, Cledus T. Judd, Gary Allan, Phil Vassar, Shevy Smith, and Blue County. Additional talent is being set.
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JOHN CONLEE: HIS HIT BUSTEDîHELPS FEED THE CHILDREN
To date John Conlee's live concert performance of "Busted" have earned more than $176,000 for Feed The Children.
(2/27/04 Nashville) -- Country hitmaker John Conlee sold a lot of records and made a lot of new fans with his rendition of the hit ìBustedî when it was released as one of Conleeís chart topping singles. Now heís found a way to spin the song into help for needy children.
The soft spoken singer whose signature song, "Rose Colored Glasses," became a country music classic and won him a membership in Nashville legendary Grand Ole Opry, has in more recent days found a wonderful way for the down and out "Busted" to turn into blessings.
At one of his performances, Conlee launched into "Busted"only to be taken by surprise when concert goers came forward to throw dollar bills on the stage. "It was funny at first, but when we added it up we found we had $60.00- a serious enough amount of money I felt obligated to do some good with it," recalls the singer.
When the scenario started repeating and the money continued to mount, many singers might have just pocketed their good fortune and gone on. Not Conlee, who to date has performed in nine Farm Aids, and helped raised more than 13 million dollars for Americaís family farmers. He looked around for a deserving spot to plant his ever growing crop of ìBustedî cash. He found it in an organization called 'Feed The Children.'
"I called Larry Jones at 'Feed The Children' in Oklahoma City and told him my dilemma," noted Conlee by phone from Nashville. "I also told him Iíll keep doing the song as long as it makes money for the organization.
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COUNTRY THUNDER USA ADDS MORE
APRIL 22-25 FESTIVAL
Honky Tonk Tailgate Party, Comedian Etta May Join Superstar Line-up
(2/24/04 Nashville) -- Country Thunder USA is living up to its promise to make 2004 the biggest presentation yet of Country Music being set at the four day event thatís become one of the finest outdoor music extravaganzas in the nation.
Latest artists to be added to the line-up at Country Thunder USA include the 'Honky Tonk Tailgate Party' stars - Rhett Akins, Daryle Singletary, Chad Brock and David Kersh - who are now in their 4th season as an in-demand tour package. The four artists who comprise the 'Tailgate Party' collectively bring a lot of hit power to the stage on the major concert dates, fairs, festivals, casinos, rodeos and open air arenas that fill their schedule. It will the first time the four artists will hit the Country Thunder USA stage as the collective 'Honky Tonk Tailgate Party.' They're set to appear on Saturday, April 24th.
Also new to the festival stage this year will be comedian Etta May ó lovingly dubbed by her legion of fans ìMinnie Pearl with a migraine!î The reigning ìQueen Of Country Sass,î best known for her trademarked floral blouse, polyester pants, horn-rimmed glasses and print bandana will bring her hilarious corn fed comedy to Country Thunder on Sunday, April 25th.
Country Thunder USA is staged on concert grounds at Canyon Moon Ranch in Florence, Arizona, 40 miles southwest of Phoenix. The four day event has become a presentation of one of the finest outdoor music, camping and food festivals of its kind anywhere in the U.S. It yearly attracts the biggest names in country music, as well as top local and national arts and crafts vendors. Thousands of onsite campers are among the average 150,000 participates in Country Thunderís annual extravaganza of music, food, and fun.
The 2004 Country Thunder USA talent line-up already includes: Reba McEntire, Trick Pony, Travis Tritt, Montgomery Gentry, Neal McCoy, Rodney Atkins, Sawyer Brown, Chris LeDoux, Cowboy Crush, Cledus T. Judd, Gary Allan, Phil Vassar, Shevy Smith, and Blue County. Additional talent is being set. Tickets and campsites can be purchased by calling (480) 966-9920 or resource online at www.countrythunder.com
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ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AND YAHOO! ANNOUNCE A NEW PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM INTERNET VOTING FOR MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (February 24, 2004) - In a move that continues its long tradition of making country music accessible to fans, The Academy of Country Music, in conjunction with LAUNCH, the music destination on Yahoo!, announced today the creation of a new Associate Membership program, a premium online fan club available at http://www.acmcountry.com or http://acm.launch.yahoo.com. This program was designed to give fans of country music a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite artists and music.
In addition, an Associate Membership gives fans a voice in the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, as the Academy is taking the step of extending voting rights to Associate Members in the category of the Academy of Country Music/LAUNCH Video of the Year. The results will be broadcast during the 39th Annual ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS live from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 26th, 2004 at 8:00 PM ET/PT on CBS.
The Associate Membership program is a groundbreaking way for country fans to stay connected with their favorite artists. The associate membership program is available in two tiers. A one-year Gold Associate Membership, priced at $15, includes all of the above benefits. A Platinum Associate Membership is available for an annual $60 fee to an elite group of the first 1,500 fans, who will have all the benefits of Gold Associate members plus the opportunity to purchase two tickets to the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS in May.
As an organization were constantly searching for new ways to bring country fans closer to their favorite performers, said Bob Romeo, Executive Director for the Academy of Country Music. Yahoo! has provided us with an amazing new way to do that very thing.
We are thrilled to be working with the Academy of Country Music to create a comprehensive online offering for country music fans, said David Goldberg, Vice President and General Manager of music at Yahoo!. The addition of this club to our roster of artist clubs is part of our continued efforts to create unique marketing initiatives that help connect fans with their favorite artists.
Radio personality Peter Tilden, the voice of this special Associate Member website, is currently the host of KZLA-FM (Los Angeles) drive-time morning show. Tilden has been a force in the entertainment industry with stints as host of NBCs Later, ABCs The Midnight Hour, as well as hosting both morning and afternoon drive time for KABC Radio in Los Angeles. Tilden, an Emmy-nominated writer, has also written and produced projects for CBS, Nickelodeon and ABC, along with producing music videos such as Brad Paisleys Celebrity. He was recently producer and creator of televisions Bob Patterson.
LAUNCH, the music destination on Yahoo!, offers the most comprehensive music-related content, features and information available online. LAUNCH provides a wide selection of streaming audio, the Web's largest collection of music videos, exclusive artist features and music news covering all genres of music to Yahoo! visitors. Yahoo! Inc. is a leading provider of comprehensive online products and services to consumers and businesses worldwide. Yahoo! is the No. 1 Internet brand globally and the most trafficked Internet destination worldwide. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Yahoo!'s global network includes 25 World properties and is available in 13 languages.
About the Academy of Country Music
The Academy of Country Music was founded in 1964 with a mission to support, promote, and enhance the advancement of the country music industry worldwide. The Academy is best known for presenting its annual ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, which are televised live on CBS and honor excellence among the industrys brightest stars. The Academy, which is comprised of 3,000+ professional members, is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.
About the Academy of Country Music Awards
The Academy of Country Music Awards is produced for television by dick clark productions. The show is executive produced by Dick Clark, and produced by R.A. Clark and Barry Adelman. The executive in charge of production is Bob Bardo, and the executive in charge is Fran LaMaina. For more information about Academy of Country Music, visit www.acmcountry.com
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Tracy Byrd First Performer Confirmed
(Nashville 2/20/04 ) -- The "MA Music Festival" may be the flashy new name for the annual fan trek to Nashville in June, but one staple will remain constant. The 37th Annual presentation of the FCO Show will kick-off the week agenda with a star studded line-up on June 8th at the Ryman Auditorium. Noted music critic, author, screenwriter, journalist, and television personality Robert K. Oermann will once again this year emcee the IFCO event, always considered a premiere showcase for major artist performances during Fan Fair past.
Loudilla Johnson co-President of IFCO, made the announcement that Tracy Byrd is the first headlining artist confirmed for this year event. "Tracy Byrd has a huge fan base and always brings a lot of excitement and fan response to every event, so we feel we are off to an excellent start this year in setting our major name talent," noted Ms. Johnson. Byrd,whose current single "rinkin' Bone" is cruising in the Top 10, is having a high profile kick-off to 2004. He recently performed in concert for the Super Bowl Host Committee on Superbowl Sunday in Houston, and will be seen in February on the Food Network, cooking up his favorites recipes on meril Live.î Also on the runway: Tracy will this spring launch a new outdoor show for the Outdoor Channel sponsored by Strike King Lures.The 2004 IFCO Show will once again aid in funding the programs of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, targeting the FAN CLUB CHALLENGE for St. Jude Kids.
The Fan Club Challenge, which began two years ago and has already raised close to $100,000.00 for St. Jude , is the brainchild of artist Keith Urban and Fan Clubhouse president Sharon Eaves, both of whom have been longtime strong supporters of the charity. Urban personally called on the members of his fan club to join the challenge for St. Jude during a reception at Fan Fair 2002. Since that initial launch, clubs supporting other country artists have come alongside to join Urban fan club with innovative and creative fundraising efforts of their own--from bake sales, and car washes to creating specialty artist calendars.
In addition to ticket sales, IFCO participation includes Front Row seating at the show thru the ake Us An Offer' project, which allows ticket proceeds to be designated for the fund to support St. Jude. A portion of proceeds from ads in the IFCO program book are also earmarked for donation to the cause. Noted Ms. Johnson: e are very optimistic that this year an Club Challengeî will be even bigger than last year . The response over the past twelve months has been overwhelmingly positive!î<br The International Fan Club Organization (IFCO), a regulatory body with an international scope, is widely regarded as the foremost authority on the set-up and operation of fan clubs. Founded in 1967 by Loudilla, Loretta and Kay Johnson, they have since established IFCO as a respected force in the entertainment industry, clearing house for fan clubs, and consumer watchdog for the fans. SHOW TICKETS can be ordered online at www.ifco.org, or by calling 615.371.9596. Tickets are $38 (includes tax/p&h/contribution to the Fan Club Challenge). All seats are reserved. Those interested in purchasing tickets are urged to do so early as this show traditionally sells out.Show begins at 7:30 pm sharp.
New Talent Can Audition Online for Chance to Perform Onstage with Superstars!
(Nashville 2/20/04) -- Country Thunder USA officials have announced a unique twist to this yearís April 22nd-25th presentation of the four day music/event spectacular that has become one of the most exciting concert presentations of its kind.
"Young Guns" is being rolled out this year as a first time opportunity for Country Thunder USA to audition new talent online. The competition, to be judged by voters at the event website, will allow new artists to compete for cash prizes, as well as the ultimate opportunity to perform a live 40 minute set on the Arizona Country Thunder USA mainstage, with superstars such as Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, and Sawyer Brown. First place talent will receive a $3,000.00 cash award. Second and third prize winners will be awarded $2,000.00 and $1,000.00 accordingly. In addition to cash prizes, all winners will receive twenty 4-day general admission tickets to the 'Country Thunder USA' event.
Deadline for entry is February 28th. Voting will start online on March 4th. More information on registration and voting in the ìYoung Gunsî competition can be resourced online at www.countrythunder.com Country Thunder USA is staged on concert grounds at Canyon Moon Ranch in Florence, Arizona, 40 miles southwest of Phoenix. The four day event has become a presentation of one of the finest outdoor music, camping and food festivals of its kind anywhere in the U.S. It yearly attracts the biggest names in country music, as well as top local and national arts and crafts vendors. Thousands of onsite campers are among the average 150,000 participates in Country Thunder USAís annual extravaganza of music, food, and fun.
The 2004 Country Thunder USA talent line-up already includes: Reba McEntire, Trick Pony, Travis Tritt, Montgomery Gentry, Neal McCoy, Rodney Atkins, Sawyer Brown, Chris LeDoux, Cowboy Crush, Cledus T. Judd, Gary Allan, Phil Vassar, Shevy Smith, and Blue County. Additional talent is being set. Tickets and campsites for the 2004 event are now on sale. Resource online at www.countrythunder.com or call (480) 966-9920 for complete festival information.
ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC ANNOUNCES ONLINE VOTING TO ALL MEMBERS WORLDWIDE IN EVERY CATEGORY FOR THE 39th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS
TELECAST TO AIR LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS
WEDNESDAY, MAY 26th AT 8:00 PM ET/PT ON CBS
BEVERLY HILLS (February 10, 2004) - For the first time in its history, the Academy of Country Music has announced the launch of online voting for all members, in every award category, for the 39th Annual ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS to be broadcast LIVE from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Hosted by Reba McEntire, the event will honor country musics top artists as well as the industrys hottest emerging talent and will air on Wednesday, May 26th, 2004 at 8:00 PM ET/PT on CBS.
As part of our commitment to remain on the forefront of changes in the industry, we are the first major televised network awards show to offer online voting to all of our members worldwide in all categories, said Bob Romeo, Executive Director for the Academy of Country Music.
Beginning February 9, 2004, all Academy members-including more than 3,000 country music performers and professionals-will have the option to vote via the Internet or paper ballot for all awards presented in conjunction with the 2004 show. In 2005, all voting will take place via online ballots.
The Academy hired Broadjam, a music technology company in Madison, Wisconsin, to ensure a smooth online voting process. Broadjam, whose clients include Warner Chappell Publishing and Billboard, will manage, build and conduct the online portion of the voting. All votes, whether via online or paper ballot, will be tabulated by the independent accounting firm Call and Call of Encino, CA. The results will be known only by Call and Call until they are announced live during the 39th Annual ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS on Wednesday, May 26th, 2004 at 8:00 PM ET/PT on CBS.
Were excited to have this opportunity and applaud the Academy and its Board of Directors for taking the lead in bringing the ease and efficiency of online voting to the award show industry, said Roy Elkins, Broadjams founder and CEO.
The Academy of Country Music was founded in 1964 with a mission to support, promote, and enhance the advancement of the country music industry worldwide. The Academy is best known for presenting its annual ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, which are televised live from Las Vegas on CBS to honor excellence among the industrys brightest stars. The Academy, which is comprised of 3,000+ professional members, is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. Its home on the Web is www.acmcountry.com
Broadjam provides software and web tools for record companies, music publishers and independent musicians to catalog, host and transmit songs across the web. These same tools can be found on Broadjam's world-class web site, at www.broadjam.com which is home to musicians, labels and publishers from over 100 countries around the world.
For more information about online voting and the Academy of Country Music, visit www.acmcountry.com
DAYTONA 500 ANNOUNCES LEE GREENWOOD TO PERFORM; BEN AFFLECK TO SERVE AS GRAND MARSHALL
High energy event to pay tribute to America
(2/10/04) Daytona Beach, FL- The heart-pumping pre-race revelry leading up to "The Great American Race" - the prestigious Daytona 500 on Feb. 15, 2004 - will feature some of the most popular and well-known people in the world, sensational musical entertainment and a world-class, first-of-its-kind pre-race show at Daytona International Speedway to be televised live on NBC.
The NEXTEL-sponsored pre-race extravaganza, the culmination of events leading up to NASCARís most prestigious race, will be entitled the Nextel Tribute to America and will feature nearly 4,000 cast members on the Speedway's historic five acre tri-oval grass. The show's finale will feature Grammy Award Winning Musician, Lee Greenwood singing his marquis track, ìGod Bless the USA".
"It's only natural that the "Great American Race" would be celebrated by the Nextel Tribute to America Pre-Race Show and who better to cap it off than Lee Greenwood?" said Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig. "We're thrilled and proud to work with NEXTEL on this exciting, first-of-its kind pre-race tribute to enhance the entertainment experience for the fans here at the World Center of Racing and for those watching at home on NBC."
Actor, director and writer Ben Affleck, who captured the 1997 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting and has starred in blockbuster films such as Armageddon and Pearl Harbor, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 46th annual Daytona 500.
Affleck will give the command "Drivers, start your engines" in NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious stock car race in the world. His Grand Marshal duties also include leading the 43-car field in the pace laps from the Grand Marshal pace car.
"We're excited to have Ben take part in Daytona 500 pre-race festivities to help start the first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race of 2004," said Speedway President Robin Braig.
Additional performers and dynamic special effects will give the show a Super Bowl halftime-type atmosphere with an NBC-produced video montage of Great American Icons throughout history. The show, produced by Q&A Entertainment will arguably include a larger cast than any show of its kind at any sporting event.
"What an energized way to debut in Americaís most watched sport," said NEXTEL Communications Inc. Director of Sports Entertainment Michael Robichaud. "This high-energy pre-race show will be worthy of the excitement that surrounds the Daytona 500."
"NBC is proud to be able to bring not just NASCARís most prestigious race into Americaís living rooms, but also a taste of the excitement surrounding the race," said NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer. "Our coverage of the pre-race events is just one more reason for those loyal race fans to tune in early to kick off the 2004 NASCAR season."
HAZEL SMITH: QUITE THE "DISH" WITH ELLEN DEGENERES!
(Nashville 2/9/04) -- Nashville's favorite "dish" of both home cooked vittles and homegrown country music gossip- everybody's favorite red hot mama, Hazel Smith's cooking up her third national appearance this Friday (Feb. 13th) on the show that's got all America laughing- the popular talk variety daytimer "The Ellen Degeneres Show."
Ellen has in the recent past hosted Hazel in her onset kitchen for some finger lickiní good recipes from "Hazel's Hot Dish: Cooking With The Country Stars." The book, published by Dalmation Press, is selling like hotcakes nationally- due in part of Hazelís forays into daytime television with the popular Emmy winning blonde comedian.
Hazel's creations, to lose your diet over, have to date on "Ellen" included her "Secret Recipe Turkey Dressing" (Hazel admits one "secret" is using Martha White corn meal - the tried and true brand of the country stars among us!), and her "World's Best Banana Pudding"- a favorite with all the big name country stars Hazel cooks for back home in Nashville.
This Friday, Hazel is back in Los Angeles with all the ingredients to stir Ellen's taste buds- and those of her millions of viewers- courtesy of Ms. Smith's "Red Velvet Cake." A real slice of life, Hazel style. "It's a piece of cake to make with my recipe" noted Hazel in an interview from her kitchen in Nashville.
When not rattling those pots and pans, Hazel is a beloved figure around Nashvilleís celebrated Music Row. Her columns on the latest news from Nashville have made national publication including "Country Music Magazine," and "Country Weekly."
Her close relationships with the top stars have won their respect and trust- much as her recipes have made her a national author and celebrity in her own right.
"The Ellen Degeneres Show" airs in national syndication- check local listings for time in your area. And- oh yes- bon appetite!
12th Annual Joe Diffie and Friends Concert to Benefit First Steps
Nashville, TN 2/04----What started out as a small fundraiser twelve years ago, has now grown into one of the most anticipated events of the year. BBR/C4 recording artist, Joe Diffie has consistently brought out the est of the bestî to raise funds for the First Steps Program, a private, non-profit, licensed organization for the education and development of children with special needs.
This year is no exception with stars Buddy Jewel, Sherrie Austin, and Lila McCann all taking time out of their tour schedules to take the stage for this worthwhile organization.
"I have to say, though, it the unannounced stars that always seem to be the highlight of the evening for ticket buyers," said Diffie. ans hear about the small town atmosphere here in Nashville, and that the stars are always willing to give of their time for a cause of this nature, but when they see a Wy or a Tim McGraw on stage, it just knocks them out. I feel I e been fortunate to have friends like them "step out" in past years." When asked who the surprises might be for this years event, Diffie laughed and said "comment, it a surprise."
This year event is being held Sunday, February 8th at the historic Ryman, with tickets on sale at the Ryman and through Ticketmaster outlets, and online. Ticket prices range from $18.50 to $28.50 with a special Gift-Pack Ticket which includes a DVD from Buddy Jewel, an autographed CD and photo of Sherrie Austin; and autographed Joe Diffie T-shirt and a Lila McCann T-shirt all for the price of $38.50 with 100% of the proceeds going to First Steps Program.
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