Sunday, September 30, 2007

Which Listeners Should You Upgrade?

American Airlines invented loyaltry marketing. They were among the first with an inflight magazine, so when they start something new it gets my attention.
Celebrated Living is billed as 'the luxury magazine for American Airlines' premium class passengers' and it certainly made me feel special to receive a copy in spite of the fact that AA is clearly making some nice bucks on it, judging from the ads.
.. which prompts this question:
Do you know who your premium class listeners are?
* Heavy users of radio who are deeply engaged in your radio station?
* Your at work listeners?
* Your listeners who love winning contests and prizes?
* The ones who enjoy giving their opinions in surveys?
* Your morning show regulars?
* The folks who love the kind of music you play?
* People who use you to stay in touch with the local community?
What can you do during this current ratings survey to make money with that information and make them feel more engaged with you? That, after all, would be 'the Amercian Way.'

Friday, September 28, 2007

CBS Is Doing B&D Too..

"Your mission: To infiltrate Brooks & Dunn headquarters in Vegas! Get past the security guards, outmaneuver the body guards - don't be distracted by the dancing showgirls and blackjack tables. Here's the classified information: We're sending YOU to party with Brooks & Dunn in Las Vegas! Meet Brooks & Dunn at a private a party, and see them perform live! Plus, you and your guest will be attending the National Finals Rodeo. Listen all next week for Major Getaway to give your calling orders and unstintingly score new music from Brooks & Dunn! And, you could be deployed to Vegas to complete the mission with Brooks & Dunn from 94.1 KMPS!"

The new Brooks and Dunn CD "Cowboy Town" is in stores October 2, check it out for free here.

Clear Channel's Fall Country Group Contest

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Stickiest Brand And Slogan I've Ever Been Involved With

I have been associated with many, many Frogs, Wolves, KIX's, Colts, Cats, Ducks, Bears, Young Countries and a veritable menagerie of other names and position statements in my more than three decades in the country format, but only one of them has ever been parodied in a cult TV show which continues to live on in YouTube form while also continuing to live on numerous very successful American and Canadian radio stations:

"Turn Your Knob To BOB 100 FM." (click to watch the silly web video of the episode)

I wish I could say I thought of it, but I (as KB would say) "was there" when a great team of strategists put it all together and brought it to life in Minneapolis.

The individuals who made some radio history: GM Kevin McCarthy, PD Bob Wood, sister station KQQL PD Kevin Metheny, along with brilliant architects Randy Michaels, Joel Lind and an amazingly talented staff they all put together.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New York's HDRadio Country Station Could "POP" In PPM!

Fact #1: The average daily in-tab for a "healthy radio station" in ARB's Portable People Meter sample is reportedly seven people.

Fact #2: New York's very first 9/20-10/17 monthly PPM info will be out on 11/7 and the first week (10/18-10/24) data releases on 11/13.

Sure, there were HDRadio stations broadcasting country in Houston and Philadelphia, but in New York City, there's only three places to get country music on your radio: XM, Sirius and WXTU-HD-2.

(It's nice to hear that, after some grumbling earlier this summer, the folks at Edison Research in New Jersey are back to being regular listeners again to the station, programmed by the very savvy and talented Clear Channel format captain for country, Atlanta-based Clay Hunnicutt.)

Now to the non-fact, educated guesses and wishful thinking:

Knowing that all it takes is seven or so to show in PPM numbers, I'd bet that Clear Channel has a longterm Critical Mass Media "Weekly Audience Report" database for New York that goes back years and years. If so, they could email, call and direct mail the former cume and partisans of Y-107, WWYZ (comes in like a local on Long Island), etc in the city to let them know they can get country on HD now and try to drive sales of radios and PPM cume.

Based on New York's former country radio stations (i.e. Michael O'Malley-consulted Y-107, the most recent one and he also programmed the original NBC-owned WYNY), you'd have to guess that there are about a million country fans living in the Gotham metro area.

How many of them are research responsive, meaning that they love giving their opinions in surveys and are the most likely to agree to carry a PPM? 400,000?

In the diary methodology, that means you'd likely have to reach at least 400 of them during a typical 12 week survey period in hopes you could impact their radio usage. With the PPM, it only takes seven, and they might remain in the panel for up to two years.

So, yes, it's a needle in a haystack, but the payoff for searching for it could be huge, not only for country music in New York but also to show the impact of HDRadio. And, I wouldn't be surprised if Clear Channel has the tools already in-house to make that search a lot easier.

Using SSI and Prizm plus the CMM WAR historical database, I'd lay odds that Clear Channel could do a mailing, followed up with automated calling, emails, giving away free or at the least very low cost ($25-$50) HD Radios to those people who they know love country radio and are quite likely to be willing to become an ARB PPM panelist very efficiently.

Wouldn't it be impressive if New York Country 103.5 HD2 showed up with seven active panelist listeners in the first few months of PPM results? What would that do for country? For HDRadio? How much would that be worth to all of us?

I hope Clear Channel isn't so preoccupied with
going private right now that they don't have the time to consider such exciting possibilites..

Monday, September 24, 2007

How To Get People To (Hopefully) Buy TWO Male Group Albums Tomorrow

You have to take your hat (and more than that if you happen to be in the shower!) off to Whiskey Falls. They clearly know how to build image and do cross-promotion, while getting a little viral video action going too!

Identify YOUR Brand

If you are in the music business, you'd want to read the entire Music Row (August 2007) "Think Tank" Special Report on "Embracing Change .. The New Rules Of Engagement." If you're on the radio, I want to call a section (on page six) to YOUR attention:
"Artists need to identify their brand and constantly reinforce it. Good examples are Dierks Bentley, a modern day drifter, young hip but a little dangerous; Kenny Chesney with the beach party; Toby Keith, the patriotic bad ass; and witty, topical Brad Paisley. But there is also a group of male one hit wonders that don’t have strong brands and therefore can’t translate that one hit into a career. Loretta Lynn identified her brand as the Coalminer’s Daughter and it has carried her for 50 years. Identifying the brand doesn’t mean that it is the only concern, but if you look at artists that have endured, they all had what we now call a brand; Johnny Cash was the man in black; Waylon the outlaw… You can’t afford to be in business with somebody that you have to teach to be an artist."

Can your audience describe your personal brand as succinctly?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bob DiPiero Compares "The Hitmen of Music Row" To The Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch"

"The Hitmen of Music Row" on GAC will allow country music fans the opportunity to put the songwriter's face to their favorite song.

"It's kind of a hillbilly 'Seinfeld,'" DiPiero said in an interview with his hometown newspaper - The Youngstown Vindicator - today. "It's a show about nothing. People when they turn in to see 'The Hitmen of Music Row,' they're not going to see a bunch of guys in a room trying to rhyme you with blue, new or dew. It's really about what happens before we write the song."

For all intent and purpose, that process is just plain old living, as the four songwriters hit New York City, Las Vegas and Atlanta with cameras rolling.
"We just live our lives, and hopefully people will get a window as to what it means to be a songwriter," DiPiero said. "I never considered what it was like to catch an Alaskan king crab. I just ate them. I've got a lot more respect for what's on my plate these days after seeing that show. And you get into their lives and just like their lives, we hope people will enjoy getting into our lives."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Kind Of Publicity You Can't Buy

I don't know about you, but I always get nervous when a reporter like Paul de Barros calls and asks for quotes, but last weekend's "Pacific Northwest" magazine from Seattle's Times newspaper got it right, by and large. Well worth a thorough read!
"Country Music is so much about God, family and country," says Becky Brenner, program director at KMPS. "I think that post 9/11 created an environment in our country where people are valuing what they have more. When the twang went away, it just became America's music."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Idea File

Watch the latest web video from Lynch & Meyers as they prep their show for The Brew, Milwaukee. Thanks for Sean Lynch for sending it along.

WSSL, Greenville, was the first station (almost 15 years ago now) that I heard put their daily morning show promo on the station's music on hold, so everyone who calls the station hears a plug for tomorrow's morning show while they wait for their party at the station.

OK, what have YOU been up to?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Something Interesting To Watch For As Keith Urban Performs Live In Your Market

(A&O May 2007 National Online Gold Test/Client Stations)

At times, Keith's music has failed to chart as well as you'd think it should due to how polarized some of his hits are with men.

There's no question that females simply love this guy, as JRN's Lia said after seeing him in Seattle Saturday night:
"I have never been to a show that I've enjoyed more. From the backstage experience, to the 90-foot HD screen, to the catwalk...visually, it was stunning. Musically, it was second to none. Without question, Keith Urban is the most talented person in the business."
An interesting thing is also happening, I've noted, in the markets where Urban has appeared live in concert. His songs begin to test better with male country radio listeners! As he comes to your town, watch for this. Urban is REALLY helping himself as he tours, it appears, as men seem to be hearing songs they've heard before with new appreciation for them.

Monday, September 17, 2007

"Nashville" on FOX-TV Tanks

For those hoping that the new Fox-TV reality show would boost the careers outside the country universe, the ratings of Friday night's debut episode were a big let down. ABC averaged a 3.8/7 to win the night, beating the 3.0/6 for CBS and the 2.8/7 for CBS. The CW did a 2.6/5 for the night, leaving FOX in last with a 2.5/5.

"...plastic people pretending to have hearts.."

TV critics from Boston to Chicago are already panning the show. However, contestant Chuck Wicks' "Cinderella" is getting a nice (charting in the mid-30's already) welcome from country radio this week. Watch the entire show for yourself online.

Fans Won't Let Willie Slow Down

CMT reports Willie Nelson is playing those cancelled Midwest Shows after all.

Nelson's representatives attributed the cancellations to exhaustion, concert promoters said. "He got bombarded with e-mails, calls and requests, and he decided he didn't want to let the fans down," promoter Jeff Fortier told WDAF-TV in Kansas City. Also back on Nelson's schedule are shows on Sept. 21 in Lake Ozark, Mo., Sept. 22 in LaSalle, Ill., Sept. 25 in Sioux City, Iowa, and Sept. 26 in Rapid City, S.D. According to the Web site for the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua concert series in Bayfield, Wis., his Sept. 23 show is canceled there, although it was listed on the tour page of Nelson's official Web site late Friday (Sept. 14).

Cancon Content: An Uphill Battle North Of The 49th

The name of Joseph Brant's blog may mean that many folks won't read his very insightful posts because they don't want the computer user in the next cubicle seeing them read something with the word "Homo" in the title.

Not me, of course, (but I do advise a bit of caution if you're both homophobic and tempted to click around his sassy, smart blog) which is why I call this one to my Canadian readers' attention especially.
It's an interesting and probably valid argument, but the fact remains: if American broadcasters, and American media, are going to hype (meaning: advertise, publicize, push) their programming, and if 80% of us still live within 100 miles of the American border, we're probably going to want to watch the shows we're reading about and whose promos we're watching. It's that simple. You'd think the satellite and 500-channel cable TV era would bring with it a (Friedman-esque) flattening of the market, or better, that everyone would find a way to benefit from the "Long Tail"ing of the market.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Class Of 1991 Grad Brad Paisley Goes Home For His Next Video

Brad is returning to his West Virginia hometown of Glendale (near Wheeling) to shoot his latest video. Paisley's dad, Doug Paisley, says his son has always wanted to showcase the small Marshall County community but his other songs just didn't lend themselves to it. The video is for the song "Letter to Me," from the new album "Fifth Gear." The song is about the advice the singer would give himself if he could send a letter back in time to when he was 17.

"When you get a date with Bridgett, make sure the tank is full." (from Letter To Me)

The video will include shots of the community and John Marshall High School, from which Brad Paisley graduated in 1991. The video crew is expected to be in Glendale over the next few weeks but the final shooting schedule is still being worked out.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jay Trachman Drops A Bombshell

Each Thursday for the past 32 years, I have been opening my mail to read the inspiring, educational, funny, helpful, heart-felt, family-oriented, giving, caring, sometimes edgy but mostly values-based musings and sharing of Trachman. First in "Fruitbowl," later renamed "One To One," but always called CreeYadio (now the name of his website), I and thousands of others have come feel a part of the community he calls "family."

Today, as usual, I opened his weekly prep sheet and read the following announcement:

"One to One plans to end publication on December 24, 2007. I've agonized over this decision, and I've thought long and hard beforetelling you. But this is what I must do, and it's past time to bite thebullet. Other than raising children, this newsletter has been the principal work of my life. I've enjoyed every minute of it - most times, passionately."

Not surprisingly, this guy who has been teaching his radio family how to be successful as a communicator and entertainer for these three decades has been lured into retiring "One To One" by school teaching. Anyone who knows Jay knows that he was born to teach and inspire. At first, when I read his announcement, I was stunned. Then, when the realization that he'll get of the satisfaction of passing his knowledge on to young people dawned on me, I thought how fortunate we subscribers will be in the next 90 days will be to savor his final columns as he moves on to the only job I can think of that he'll be even better suited to than the one he has created for himself for the last 30 years .. teaching. As Trachman put it today in his swan song to his readers:

"If someone wishes to buy the publication, hire me at some fabulous salary to continue doing what I do, I would be open to it. But for now, it's time to move forward with as few regrets as possible. One to One will continue through the end of this volume. I will write more reflections, and a lot of thank you's, in coming weeks. Family, thank you. It's been a wonderful ride."

It sure has, Jay. It absolutely has been. Bon voyage, my longtime friend.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Project for Excellence in Journalism Must Not Listen To A&O Client Stations

Thanks to Jim Carnegie for the update on the most-covered stories of the past week, but who says there was no radio news on Toy recalls, Health care, Immigration, Steve Fossett missing and the Missing UK girl? It would be interesting to see these breakdowns by format.

You would hope that country especially, and music radio generally, scores higher on these family, heart and health topics than news radio does.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sunday Night Football Theme To Premiere at

Faith’s Sunday Night Football opener, “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night,” premiered last Thursday night as part of NBC’s opening night coverage of the NFL season. Now, the audio from Faith’s weekly opener will premiere every Wednesday night at before its broadcast debut on Sundays. Each week’s recording contains brand new lyrics recorded specifically for the team’s competing. (Hopefully, your WB promo rep can find you a copy with your team on it)


* Faith’s first greatest hits release, The Hits, arrives in stores on Tuesday, October 2nd. Her appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, for which she debuted her new single “Red Umbrella,” has garnered nearly 1 million online views across the web. (watch the video)

* Faith wowed the audience of over 100,000 in Indianapolis’ Monument Circle, with a 30 minute set that included a preview of The Hits. During the performance, which included “Red Umbrella” and many of her #1s including “Wild One,” “This Kiss,” “Breathe,” “The Way You Love Me,” etc., she took the audience by surprise when she pulled out a camera in order to take their picture.

A&O hears that she will be doing more local radio events like that, a very smart idea.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Reba = Excellent Example For All Of Us

Reporter Ken Tucker is working on an article for next week's Billboard to coincide with the release of Reba McEntire's new "Duets" LP. He's been emailing two simple questions to inductry executives. His questions and my replies:

KT: Why has Reba’s career lasted so long?
JA: She and (her manager-husband) Narvel are the MASTERS of customer service to both radio and her fans, making us feel like partners in her success and many ventures. She's an inspiration and a great example to many other artists that it really pays off to cooperate constantly with even the smallest radio stations when they make reasonable requests of her. Reba is tireless in her commitment to communicating and sustaining her relationship with radio and fans, while always producing awesome music and selecting terrific songs.

KT: What does her music offer to radio and to listeners?
JA: Reba's ability to keep reinventing herself over and over, while extending the platforms on which her prodigious talent shines so brightly engage us all is not just impressive, but is also a wonderful example for any brand manager who wants to learn how to masterfully ride the inevitable product life cycle in the marketplace.

I can't wait to read what others are saying!

Kenny Chesney Goes Long In Atlanta

With two big shows in Atlanta Friday & Saturday, Kenny Chesney's Flip Flop Summer tour, already declared the biggest selling and highest grossing country tour of the year, finished with a bang turning the town into Hot-lanta.

The first night was a great example (see photos of the show at the AJC's Access Atlanta pages) with 35 songs, super guest appearances by Dave Matthews, Joe Walsh, Dierks Bentley and Uncle Kracker. The first night was reportedly hot enough to be the second burning of Atlanta, according to reporter Neil Haislop. Chesney turned in sets longer than two hours, saying,
“Now that was some fun! We've never done 35 songs before, but man we just had to get'em all in.”

MEANWHILE, Chesney's top tour of 2007 is prelude to the release his new album this month. Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates hits streets Tuesday, Sept 11 -- as “Don't Blink” closes in on the Top 10 after 3 weeks and his 5 week #1 “Never Wanted Nothing' More” stays in the Top 10.

Chesney describes his new CD, as reflecting a lot of who he is in the songs he chose and those helped write,
“I think that we’ve made a record that kind of reflects that…and that goes down a lot of different avenues. You’ve got to listen—this album has a lot of chapters. And it’s got a lot of emotions—up and down. When I listen to somebody’s record, I want to be taken on a ride… emotionally. And I think that we’ve done that with Poets & Pirates.”

Also in the paper this morning some steamy charges as well in their gossip column ("Evans + Chesney? court paper asks").

A&O Congrats To Our CCMA Award-Winning Friends

* JRfm, Vancouver, was named Major Market Station Of The Year at the CCMA Gala Dinner and Awards.

* KICX-104's Ted Roop was named Secondary Market Music Director Of The Year, the station's "Roop & Carey" morning team were also named Secondary Market Personalities of the Year and to top all of that the Paul Larche station was named Secondary Market Station of the Year as well.

* Country 105, Calgary's "Odd Squad" morning crew of Doug, Robin and Dan were named Major Market On Air Personalities of the Year.

* Cliff Dumas, morning guy at KSON, San Diego, and longtime voice of the CCMA Awards was inducted into the CCMA Broadcast Hall Of Fame.

* Standard Radio Country Format Captain/EZ Rock, Toronto, PD Brian DePoe was voted to the CCMA Board Of Directors.

A&O is proud to be associated with these winners both professionally and personally. As JRfm PD Gord Eno wrote in a congratulatory memo to his entire station staff:
"This year's submission was judged by our peers to be the best presentation and represents the pinnacle in Canadian country radio. Thank you for your contributions in making JRfm the winner that it is. I am proud of all of us. Those who worked on the submission can be especially proud of the hard work that went into our winning package."

Sunday, September 09, 2007

CMT: Last Friday Was Party Time For Garth & His Songwriter Friends

Garth Brooks wanted the No. 1 party for "More Than a Memory" to focus on the songwriters. As a result, he spent most of Friday morning (Sept. 7) at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum ducking out of the limelight, while hundreds of people celebrated the success of his new single, the first song ever to debut at No. 1 at country radio.

At the private industry party in the rotunda, Brooks had to be summoned from a back room to come on stage. There, he joined songwriters Lee Brice, Kyle Jacobs and Billy Montana as a parade of executives lauded the accomplishment. Representatives from ASCAP, BMI, Big Machine Records, Billboard, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Country Radio Broadcasters, Curb Music Publishing and Pearl Records (Garth's own label) all took a turn at the microphone before asking the songwriters to say a few words. Most of those words were along the lines of "amazing," "excited" and "I'm still in a dream."

Brooks, who first retired from music in 2000, concluded the afternoon with a gracious and good-natured speech. Dressed very casually in a faded orange T-shirt and blue jeans, he was quick to give a shoutout to the songwriters by saying, "It's a great day for country music when we get our priorities right."

Brooks made it a point to praise his longtime producer Allen Reynolds and engineer Mark Miller, who both watched the festivities from the crowd of about 200. He also teased Jacobs, who had earlier praised his publishing company. "He just hasn't been in the business long enough," Brooks quipped, and when the laughter died down, he thanked his own publisher and manager, Bob Doyle. He noted that a song plugger from Doyle's company, Major Bob Music, pitched "More Than a Memory" to Brooks, even though it wasn't in the Major Bob catalog. Brooks said he called Doyle, who replied, "If it's a hit, that's what we're looking for and I don't care whose name is on it."

In his final words of the day, Brooks went on to praise the songwriting community in Nashville and advised the industry to nurture its greatest asset: "You have to fight and protect the rights of songwriters. Radio and records are nothing at all without the songwriters."Earlier that morning, Brooks and the songwriters answered questions from reporters in the museum's Ford Theater. When the first question was directed toward the songwriters, Brooks rose from his plush armchair and walked backstage, saying something about how he didn't want his presence to distract the writers from telling the story. He wandered back in a few minutes later as the writers were still talking. When a reporter would ask Brooks a question, he'd put his hand over his own mouth, appearing to be nervous or concerned that he might be talking too much.When the songwriters mentioned that Brooks had changed a few song lyrics (which they were agreeable with), Brooks explained his actions by saying, "I want to know where I am in a song when I hear it on the radio." Asked if his No. 1 debut might set a precedent for new country singles, Brooks said, "I hope it's a rare thing because songs should earn the right," and that the fans should be the ones who get it there.

Brooks will release The Ultimate Hits on Pearl Records on Nov. 6. The package will offer 33 music videos and 30 of Brooks' past hits, plus three new songs and a bonus track, according to his Web site. "More Than a Memory" was released as a single on Aug. 27 at midnight. Big Machine is handling radio airplay for the single, and speculation at the party was that it might dip in the airplay charts, then rebound in a few weeks for a second turn at No. 1. Brooks wasn't shy about telling reporters that he's keeping his fingers crossed, saying he'd be delighted to celebrate the songwriters one more time.

View CMT's photos from "More Than a Memory" No. 1 party.

Welcoming The Usual Pre-Christmas Superstar LP Releases

Reporter Kelefa Sanneh has a review of all the upcoming albums from country's biggest stars:
It’s a yearly tradition: Summer ends, the fourth quarter looms (after a dismal first three), and the fragile hopes of record executives head south, to Nashville. After 50 Cent and Kanye West gave interviews speculating about whose new album would sell more in its first week, the country-rock heartthrob Kenny Chesney spoke up, politely suggesting that his new album, “Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates” (BNA) — due out on Tuesday, the same day as theirs — might outsell them both.

Sammy Kershaw Qualifies To Run For Lt. Governor In Louisiana

Sammy Kershaw (pictured with his wife, Lorrie Morgan) announced his candidacy and intentions to run in the upcoming election as a Republican for the Lt. Governor of the State of Louisiana back in the summer. He has an official website that states his platform and expectations. This week he made that commitment official as he qualified to run on Tuesday, September 4, 2007 and filed all documents with the Secretary of State's Office.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Interest In Categories Of News Varies More By Story Than By Decade

War on terrorism, bad weather, disasters, crime, social violence interest goes up and down over time.

Pew Center Research (click to see the full story): Only one category among the six provides a clear-cut case of decade-by-decade increase in interest -- stories that touch at or near the family purse.

iProspect Research Validates Online And "Old" Media Integration

iProspect president, Robert Murray:
"Search is no longer an add-on consideration for marketers... it's clear that its efficacy is multiplied when combined with offline channels... The bottom line is that integration is no longer optional... but at the end of the day, it's pretty much meaningless if a purchase isn't made."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Most Days, I Am Proud To Be In Radio

.. then there are days like today, when - after looking at the pathetic web video of Bo Reynolds last Friday at the 2007 Taste of Colorado trashing his competition - I feel ashamed of our format and medium that we have to deal with desperate tactics like this which are no good for anyone involved.

Thankfully, KYGO appears to be ignoring this stupid, shameless dirty trick, which I guess was supposed to be funny but actually makes them look to me like the country station in Denver I'd rather have as my friend. If KYGO is old, I guess that makes me old too.
My "message to Bo:" focus on creating a great product, figure out what listeners love and do that intensively. Stop making our medium look repulsive and mean-spirited. You are not helping yourself or your station.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Garth Debuts At Billboard's #1

He ranks #4, last I looked, in pure SPINS on the monitored BDS chart, but when Country Charts Editor Wade Jesson factors in the cume audience numbers, Neil Haislop says that will give Garth another piece of history!

Some historical background and other country news from the Nashville A-Man:

Garth's "More Than a Memory" debuts at #1 this week BDS, becoming the first song to debut at the top of the charts since RAY PRICE's "City Lights" did so in 1958.

RODNEY ATKINS' "These are My People" slips out of the top spot to #2, RASCAL FLATTS' "Take Me There," takes 3rd place, the REBA/KELLY CLARKSON duet, "Because of You," slips to #4 and BROOKS & DUNN's "Proud of the House We Built," marks time at #5.

Keith Urban extends his tour with concert dates slated well into the fall. The North American leg of the tour, which originally kicked off on June 8th in Phoenix, has now had an additional twenty cities added.

This second leg of the “Love, Pain & the whole crazy World Tour” will continue in Columbus, Ohio after its last “summer performances” in Edmonton, Alberta on September 21st and 22nd.

A 56 foot wide by 28 foot high-def video wall projects pre-recorded imagery, including recently added footage direct from the fans playing during Urban’s performance of “Days Go By”. Combined with live footage from six cameras in high-definition (including a flying rail camera), the concert production, with two stages, fully complement Urban’s reputation as one of the industry’s best live performers.

Gary Allan, one of country music's most independently creative, and emotionally powerful artist/poets, is opening for Keith for the final 20 dates.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Paisley Pranks Jack Ingram

After a summer of successful shows, Saturday marked the last night on Brad Paisley’s Bonfires & Amplifiers Tour for Jack Ingram and Kellie Pickler, and, as you can imagine, the pranks were aplenty! In the opinion of observers on the ground, the best one of the night was pulled on Jack. From what we hear, Brad’s camp made Jack get in a cage they built out of PVC pipe immediately before he was set to walk onstage. As Jack’s show started they wheeled him out on stage in the cage with only his mic and a hack saw! The crowd went wild! Two songs into Jack’s set, he was still singing from behind the walls of the make-shift PVC cage, trying to saw his way out. Prior to the third song, he still couldn't get out, so Brad sent out a crew guy to free him. Pranks and all, Jack went on to perform a revved up set, capped by the crowd-favorite “Love You”. Up next, Jack sets out on a series of solo dates prior to joining Dierks Bentley’s Throttle Wide Open Tour in October.

About Those '07 CMA Award Nominations..

There have been lots of opinions expressed since the CMA nods came out, pro/con (see below for links to a few juicy ones), but the one I love most is Brad Paisley's to the BBC about sharing the honor of having the most nominations with His Highness Sir George.

"Had he not existed, I don't know who I would be. He's one of the reasons I wear a cowboy hat."

OPINION: " A Sunday Point Of View " - Has Music Row Lost It's CMA Voting Power...?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

It's Not Too Late For You To Attend The ARB Consultant's Fly-In

A big thank you to whoever bought that digital video camera for news-talk gadfly-guru Holland Cooke last Christmas:

Click for his latest FREE download 2-fer: Cooke's notes (and HIDDEN CAMERA VIDEO) from Arbitron's PPM Consultant Fly-In AND his always-idea-filled September newsletter.

From "The Headlines I Thought I'd Never Write" Department

Gretchen Wilson Will Be George Stephanopoulos' Guest Sunday
Gretchen is heading back to school after dropping out of high school after her freshman year. She will talk to "This Week" about the importance of getting a general education degree and finishing high school. Good for you, Gretchen!