Thursday, July 5, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

What did you do – and what did you think about – on Independence Day? The 4th of July evokes a lot of memories and emotions from country artists. Here are some of them…

Dierks Bentley: “The definition of America to me is getting the chance to travel across the county in a tour bus, stepping on stages, whether it be county fairs, state fairs, arenas, rock bars, the Opry stage - anywhere across this county and looking across the crowd and seeing the people. The people to me are what America is all about.”

Tim McGraw: “Country music, baseball, trucks – look from where I came from, the small town I grew up in, the situation I grew up in – I don’t think there’s any other country in the world that I could have had the success I had, and come from where I come from.”

Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts: “I used to watch my Uncle Jimmy light firecrackers and then hold them until they got down to the end and toss them. You’ve got to throw it. You can’t hold it that long. You’ve got to throw it sooner than later. I was about 12 years old when it went off in my hand. Oddly enough my fingers were numb for a few minutes, but it didn’t do any damage.”

Carrie Underwood: “America really is, you know, the land of opportunity. It’s the only place in the world that I could try out for some show and win and…amongst hundreds of thousands of people…and go on to do great things. I mean, it’s just the land of ‘anything could happen.’ The people in it are what makes it great.”

Eric Church: “The Fourth of July growing up for me, we would always go on the lake. We didn’t live on the lake, but we would always go to the lake. I had a buddy who had a pontoon. We would always get on the pontoon - you’d go out and tie all of the pontoons together and just have a big time.”

Jake Owen: “Some of my favorite Fourth of July memories were spent on Lake Blackshear down in Georgia with all of my family. I was always in charge of driving home from Tennessee and picking up all of the fireworks. My nieces and nephews always got excited when I rolled in because they knew I had all of the fireworks, but it was always a great memory and I miss not getting to do that as much as we used to.”

Andy Griffith, the star of Matlock and The Andy Griffith Show, passed away on Tuesday, and country artists mourn the loss. Two who worked with him, Brad Paisley and Randy Travis, weigh in with their thoughts on the loss of an icon. According to Brad, “You know, when you think of ‘Andy Taylor,’ the character that Andy Griffith played on the show, he was the ultimate sort-of stand up guy. He was the guy you could count on. If he gave you his word, he was gonna keep it. If he, you know...he was trustworthy, he was a good dad to his son, he passed on great lessons and every show pretty much had a great message.” Brad asked Andy Griffith to help him out on the 2008 hit, “Waitin’ On A Woman.” Brad said, “He’s my favorite TV character of all time, and to be able to take that guy and not only honor the song with his presence, but in some ways honor him. He’s just as proud of it as I am. It’s just a great thrill for me.” Randy Travis worked with Andy Griffith, and talked about working with him: “I got to know him personally while working on Matlock. I actually did two episodes two years, back to back, and I found him to be one of the nicest, easiest to like, down to earth man I ever met in my life. So it was just an incredibly good experience for me.”

Charles Kelly of Lady Antebellum pranked Darius Rucker during the final show of their tour. Darius closes his set with Prince’s “Purple Rain,” and Charles, all decked out as the tallest Prince impersonator ever, showed up on stage to help. Watch him crack Darius up…

Sugarland is offering one fan the chance to join them onstage August 9th and sing “Baby Girl” at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip motorcycle rally. You have to post a video of yourself singing the song and complete an entry form on their website. Good luck!

If you were part of BamaJam last month, you helped do good deeds in the Wiregrass area. BamaJam 2012 is donating $25,000 to 17 area organizations as a way to thank the southern Alabama region for supporting the annual music festival.

Congratulations to Phil Vassar, who has been named Distinguished Virginian by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters. A native of Lynchburg, VA, Phil has distinguished himself as a successful singer/songwriter and has a man cave full of awards. This latest one honors him for substantial contributions to the wellbeing of Virginia, it’s citizens and the broadcast industry.

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