August 9, 2013 |
Willie Nelson didn't get labeled an outlaw for nothing. Having turned his back on the Nashville-based country music establishment that tried to reign him in as a performer in the 1960s, Nelson hit his stride in the 1970s with a series of singles and albums made pretty much exactly the way he wanted them made. But that was hardly the end of the story for his idiosyncratic ways. After scoring his first No. 1 country hit as a performer in 1975 with "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" and returning to the top spot on the country chart that year in tandem with Waylon Jennings with "Good Hearted Woman," Nelson helped usher in a new era of maverick country music.
September 28, 2010 |
A depressed gorilla walks into a bar. Likes the band he finds there playing to an audience of two: the bartender and one passed-out patron. Dances a happy dance, promptly befriends the lead singer and exits one happy ape. If that doesn't sound like much of a punch line, it's because the scenario is no joke — just the whimsical story line for a new music video being shot in Hollywood last week for country singer Jamey Johnson's forthcoming...
April 6, 2009 |
The 44th Academy of Country Music Awards swung political, personal, playful and patriotic on Sunday and ultimately opted for popular in bestowing its top honor on "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood, naming her entertainer of the year over veteran male performers George Strait, Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban. "I've had a lot of good moments in the past four years," the Oklahoma-born Underwood said at the climax of the three-hour event at the MGM Grand Arena, "but this one takes the cake."
March 29, 2014 |
The characters in Brandy Clark's songs aren't necessarily where they thought they'd be in life. There's the woman buying pharmaceuticals out of some guy's trunk in "Take a Little Pill. " There's the woman living for religion and lotto-winning dreams in "Pray to Jesus. " And there's the married woman, in "What'll Keep Me Out of Heaven," standing in front of a hotel elevator, contemplating a rendezvous with a married man. "Ten floors up he's waiting with Champagne and candlelight," Clark sings, her voice leaking both hope and preemptive regret, "What'll keep me out of heaven will take me there tonight.
April 10, 1989 |
For some of us, one of the more satisfying moments in recent country music history came 2 years ago during the Academy of Country Music Awards show. There the members of Alabama sat in aisle seats, smug looks on faces, sporting sequined Admirals' uniforms and other suitably respectful attire, waiting to snork up their yearly pile of awards. And there they continued to wait, as new-traditionalists such as Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam walked by with all the trophies. Maybe it was cruel to enjoy their discomfiture but it can't be any more cruel than what Alabama continues to do to country music, evidenced most recently by the group's deposit of treacly effluvium Friday evening at the Pacific Amphitheatre.
April 2, 2009 |
A new album from "Hannah Montana" star Miley Cyrus fell short of No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts in its first week of release, raising the question: Are the tween star's fans ready for her to go a little bit country? Only a year ago, Cyrus' 3-D concert film set records, and scalpers were charging thousands for tickets to her live concerts. Her last three major releases debuted at the top of the charts. But the new record's sales were a fraction of her previous studio albums' first-week sales.
June 22, 2012 |
Dick Clark was fond of saying "music is the soundtrack to your life. " It probably won't be the soundtrack to the sale of Dick Clark Productions. Put on the block last week by Red Zone Capital Management, a private equity firm controlled by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Dick Clark Productions counts among its assets more than 30 years of episodes of "American Bandstand," the weekly dance show of top hits that usually featured big-name singers performing as well. That would seem to be a potential gold mine of rock 'n' roll history, but making money off of it is another story.
April 4, 2014 |
Broad of shoulder and booming of voice, Bob Romeo is a memorable guy with a seemingly memorable job title: chief executive of the Academy of Country Music. Based in Encino, it's one of that genre's two principal trade groups along with Nashville's Country Music Assn.; both seek to promote the style through concerts, festivals and, most visibly, televised award shows. But although they have their differences, the organizations are commonly known by acronyms - ACM and CMA - that can lead to confusion.
April 9, 2013
Roll over, Hank Williams, and tell Patsy Cline the news: Nashville has a new top music awards show. Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards show on CBS drew 15.4 million viewers, according to early data from Nielsen (final ratings won't be published until Tuesday). It was the first time since at least 1987 that the ACMs beat the same season's airing of its rival, the Country Music Assn. awards telecast on ABC. Last November, the CMAs crooned for 13.7 million viewers. This was also the largest audience for the academy show in 15 years.
August 26, 2011 |
With the huge rise in popularity of young female country stars such as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood taking home Grammys and other awards and climbing to No. 1 on Billboard charts, it's difficult to imagine a time when the women of country music did not appeal to such a wide audience. But before Swift, Underwood and Miranda Lambert, there were a handful of women like Dolly Parton paving the way for female country stars. "Dolly created a very powerful and realistic role model picture of artist and songwriter for aspiring young female country artists.