Friday, April 27, 2012

"...One Is Tempted To Snap Their Fingers, Tap Their Toes...and Scratch Their Heads..."

Curious thing, fame.

In a culture that bestows celebrity, and its accompanying perks, on featherweights (translate: Kardashians)with no discernable ability beyond having celebrity bestowed upon them, legitimate, obvious, even blatant, talent often, too often, gets overlooked like a pristine, original issue "butcher's cover" version of The Beatles "Yesterday and Today" LP lying, hidden in plain sight, in the bargain record bin of any respectable flea market.

Curious thing.

Unless you're a Nashville music industry insider, in one incarnation or another, or you are a very devoted country music fan, the kind of country music fan who doesn't even break a sweat explaining to outworlders what "Fan Fair" is (was), I'm ready to bet my massively meager stock portfolio that you've never heard of Rebecca Lynn Howard.

And without taking anything away from the Carrie Underwoods and Kelly Clarksons and, even, Taylor Swifts who have floated and/or risen to the top of the talent pool and/or pop charts, I think it's fair to say wonder why more people don't know Rebecca Lynn Howard.

She's been around awhile. She's been making music for awhile.

And she is, even to those whose palates have been dulled by the constant ingestion of various and sundry flavors of the month, clearly a world class talent.

But Kim, Kourtney, Khloe and assorted other Klown Sisters just signed a forty million dollar deal.

And you've never heard, until now, of Rebecca Lynn Howard.

Curious thing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"...Can't You Just Feel The Sands Of Time Between Your Toes?..."

First, it's clear that a firm grasp of the obvious is required here.

Depending on your age, your reaction to this piece will fall somewhere to one side or the other of two extremes.

"Damn right!"

"Are you f***in' kidding me?"

So there will be no long, drawn out harangue on the merits, or lack, of this song and/or its presentation.

There will be, in fact, only one simple, and I believe arguably, fair observation.

First, let's give this platter a spin, cats and kitties.

(Push play, as the case and chronology may be).

As promised, no harangue.

Just this observation.

It will be interesting to see what, for example, Train has to offer us when each of their guys hit 70.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"...There Is Something I Would Like You All To See...And Hear..."

Re' the ad nauseum print stories about the "hit 70's disco group, The Bee Gees"...

...pertinent piece has already been spoken.

Re' opting to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem, here are five songs to get you started on the road to reality.

All from the same "Best Of" collection as pictured.

Without attempting to put words in any Gibb's mouth, allow us to presume that while the family is, and should be, proud of their "Saturday Night Fever" days, they are more than hopeful that all of these great songs wil be "stayin alive" for generations to come, as well..

Enjoy, kids...and learn.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"...Apparently, Bylines Now Come With Booster Seats..."

Mark Twain was the guy who said that getting older was about mind over matter.

If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.


That line popped up in the medulla a couple of times this week as, for one reason or another, I found myself engaged in conversation with someone and the subject of age, getting older, yada yada found its way into the chat.

At this point in my own life, I mentioned more than once this week, as I have both in print and on my broadcast shows for a long time now, that I have found the chronological number I am assigned to be less an awakening to my relative stage in life than the awareness that comes from things IN my life that put the whole getting older thing into perspective.

Put simply...

I am sixty years old, feel forty years old and act like I'm twelve years old.

So, the big six oh hanging over me like some digital sword of Damocles is no problemo.

Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, on the other hand, are, among others of their peer group, about to turn 70 years of age.

And Ringo Starr will be 72 in October.


Other little "life sign posts" do a pretty good job of slapping reality at me as if it were a metaphysical two by four.

It's been twenty years since Bill Clinton was elected President.

The little kid who played "Rudy" on "The Cosby Show" is thirty three this year.

And Mike Wallace, the perennial middle aged news icon, passed away a few days ago.

At the age of 93.

Back up six sentences for my feelings about that.

Damned if the whole thing didn't pop up again today with the sad news that Bee Gee Robin Gibb is, at this writing, seriously ill.

And here's yet another example of that "wtf" thing.

Without exception, every news item I have seen in print about the story in the last two days has had a section in it like this...

The Brothers Gibb -- calling themselves the Bee Gees -- soared to renown as one of the most successful British groups after the 1977 film "Saturday Night Fever" starring John Travolta was built around the group's disco songs.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, the Bee Gees have sold more than 200 million albums, and their soundtrack album to "Saturday Night Fever" was the top-selling album until Michael Jackson's "Thriller" claimed that distinction in the 1980s.

All of that information is, to be fair, factually correct.

With minor pickable bone.

The Bee Gees did NOT "soar to renown" after the 1977 film  "Saturday Night Fever".

They soared to renown in the mid 1960's with a pile of hits in the British Invasion style of The Beatles, their first big American hit, as a matter of fact, "New York Mining Disaster 1941" had a lot of us, in the day, thinking it was The Beatles themselves we were hearing and not the "newly discovered" brothers from Australia who went on to hit with "Massachusetts", "I Started A Joke", "Words"...feel free to Google and You Tube to your heart's content.

Their success in the disco era, post "Saturday Night Fever" was, by any reasonable definition, a second wave of success.

If all of this seems a little "picky picky", it should be said I'm only bringing it up to make the point about age and the relativity of it all.

If you were born, say before 1960, then you already know about The Bee Gees first hits.

If you were born, say, after 1970, all of that info may come as news to you.

At least it would, if anybody would report the damn news.

But they aren't doing that.

And that, and not the birthdate on my driver's license, is why I'm feeling old.

Because I'm logging on and reading Associated Press releases on

...that are being written by twelve year olds.


Monday, April 9, 2012

"...Familiarity Breeds Hor D'Oeuvres..."

Once upon a time, as the magic of Beatlemania faded and the Fabs began the painful process of going seperate ways, John Lennon took Mick Jagger to public task because Mick publicly badmouthed the group.

"What the hell?', Mick reportedly responded to Lennon, "all I've heard and read lately is you badmouthing The Beatles."

"Yeah," Lennon readily admitted, "but I can do's my f****n' band, mate, not yours."

I share that little chestnut with you by way of justifying the two cents I'm about to throw down and offering that because I spent twenty plus years living and working with some of the cream of the country music industry, I'm entitled to a say no matter how rude or crude.

BNA Records’ Kenny Chesney and songwriter Brett James celebrated their recent co-written No. 1 chart-topper “Reality,” produced by Buddy Cannon, at Sambuca’s Sky Room on Thursday (4/5). BMI and ASCAP co-hosted the event, which honored Chesney’s 23rd trip to the top of the charts.

Presentations were made by BMI’s Clay Bradley and ASCAP’s Mike Sistad, as well as Warner/Chappell’s Steve Markland, Sony/ATV’s Troy Tomlinson, and BMG Chrysalis’ Sara Johnson.

As I read the blurb about Kenny's number one bash, simply the latest in what has been, for years now, as common an occurance as that birthday cake coming down the hall in your work place, a name popped into mind that you wouldn't usually think would be conjured up at the reporting of yet another 16th Avenue edition of industry self congratulations and inner circle back slapping.

Albert Einstein.

And his definition of insanity.

"Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time."

Apparently, Nashville has some kind of waiver working in their favor.

Because, obviously, writing and releasing what amounts to the same song over and over again results not in any effort to have the patient institutionalized...

But, rather, in a pretty nice spread being put out for them.

Relatively speaking, of course.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"...What....You Mean You Guys Actually Dress And Sing Like That On Purpose?...

Here's two things you don't usually think of at the same time.

Country music.

And snakes.

Leave it to me, though, there's a connection.

Stand by.

When Ashton Kutcher showed up at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday night, he was ostensibly there just to hand out the female vocalist of the year award. However, he managed to take everyone's minds off the nominees for a few minutes, by showing up dressed in over-the-top cowboy gear and taking a stab at singing George Strait's "I Cross My Heart."

All in good fun. Right? Well, some country stars didn't take this little performance in a lighthearted manner. The artist to whom Kutcher presented the female vocalist award, Miranda Lambert, tweeted on Monday: "Was Ashton Kutcher making fun of country or is it just me?"

Turns out, it wasn't just her. Singer Justin Moore, who records for the same label group as Taylor Swift, went so far as to call Kutcher a "douche" on his Twitter account. "I don't care for people making a mockery of the way country artists dress," he clarified.

Kutcher answered Lambert's accusation on his own Twitter account Tuesday, stating "I Am One Of The biggest country Music fans you've ever met. Wasn't making fun at all." He then congratulated Lambert again on her success at the ACMs (she also won album of the year).

This morning as I paid my homage to the gods of physical fitness by walking on the treadmill for thirty minutes (brisk pace but actually getting nowhere, much like the Republican party these days, but, I digress), a favorite, but lesser known, pop song from bygone days showed up in my ear buds.

And while I didn't realize it at the time, it turns out that the song was not only providing me an appreciated aerobic tempo but was also a musical harbinger of things, in the form of entertainment news, to come.

Which will bring us back to do-re-mi-fa, so, give us a break, please, country music "artists".

The painfully obvious , even intelligence insulting, response to Justin Moore and Miranda Lambert and any or all other members of the song factory union, local number sixteenth avenue Nashville as regards their "being offended" at Kutcher's lame antics is, well, painfully obvious, even intelligence insulting.

Dear country music people....

You can't have it both ways.

You can't invite, include, embrace and/or encourage rock stars, sitcom stars, movie stars, sports stars, reality show stars, yada, yada, blah, blah blah stars to your little country music coronations and then be put out that they don't honor, embrace, endorse or respect your particular country music sensibilities.

Just as Justin Moore, et al, has no business handing out Tony Awards, Ashton Kutcher has no business handing out ACM Awards.

And, dear country music folk, if you're still not clear on the concept here, please re-read the first sentence of this little open letter.

If, after that, you still aren't getting it, allow me to offer you a musical illustration.

Fresh from my morning treadmill ear bud appearance to a blog near you.

Due respect, Justin, Miranda, et knew dern well he was Ashton Kutcher before you let him in....

So, shut up...