With theaters, sound-stages and studios closed due to Covid-19, country artists are turning to live-streaming and at-home concerts to stay connected. Garth Brooks has been doing it long before the current virus with his Inside Studio G at www.garthbrooks.com but now the Internet is abuzz with other artists performing for fans.
Last Saturday, I caught an hour-long show by Brad Long, star of the Carolina Opry in Myrtle Beach, as he sang and played from his basement, taking requests coming in from texts and Facebook messages. He’ll be doing it again at https://www.facebook.com/blongmusic/
Other regular streaming shows include:
The Grand Ole Opry every Saturday night, 8:00pm EST
- Third Man Records (the brainchild of Jack White)
- A nightly Instagram show titled “Risky Jam” from Nashville’s Whiskey Jam at 8:30pm
- Robert’s Western World via Facebook
- Brandy Clark’s “You Can Come Over But You Can’t Come In” live stream, Wednesdays at 7:00pm EST
- “Wariner Wednesday” with Steve Wariner, every Wednesday at 8:00pm on Facebook.
A must watch: “Penned Up,” hosted by Matt Stell, featuring new songs from “four bored writers, one brand new song each, every Wednesday at 8:00 pm CT on Instagram Live, until the end of the world is over.” Recent guests included hit songwriters Hardy, James Rodgers and Lindsay Ell.
You can find more if you Google: Livestreams and Virtual Concerts.
One unexpected benefit of the current situation: artists and fans can actually interact much more personally than the can at ‘regular’ shows and concerts, with the artists often responding in real time to viewers’ comments and requests.
Stay-at-Home TV Special: Little Big Town are among the stars who will be part of The Disney Family Singalong, a ‘separate but together’ concert that will be broadcast Thursday April 16 on ABC-TV at 8:00pm EDT. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, other artists appearing include Ariana Grande, Christine Aguilera and Donnie Osmond all singing selections from popular Disney movies and shows. There will be a special performance of “We’re All In This Together” from reunited members of High School Musical.
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse for Nashville: The 2020 CMA Fest has been officially canceled. The annual country music fest (formerly known as Fan Fair) has been an international attraction every June for decades, bringing in fans from all over the world. In a release, organizers said, “We cannot in good conscience risk the health and wellbeing of our fans, artists, staff and Country Music community.”
The CMA said that fans who purchased four-day passes for this year’s CMA Fest can use them for the 2021 festival, set for June 10th through 13th. Full refunds are also being offered.
- At the 1996 Fan Fair, Garth Brooks signed autographs for 23 straight hours.
Big & Rich is back with a light-hearted single doubling as a PSA called “Stay Home.” John Rich enlisted a few friends including Larry Gatlin to collaborate on the timely song that accentuates the serious times in which our world is facing, while hopefully putting a smile on the listeners face. A video is currently being shot for the song in an unprecedented fashion.
John Rich said, “Like the rest of us, I have seen the president on TV going ‘stay home’, I just want all Americans to stay home, just STAY home’. So I called up a few of my buddies on a conference call and we nailed this little PSA down in 42 minutes. I called up Big Kenny and he listened and loved it and within a day, we had it recorded and ready to roll.”
The song debuted on John Rich’s Fox Nation concert, A Night with John Rich Live last Friday. You can hear the song at https://orcd.co/stayhome
“I Know Country” Q&A from www.IKnowCountry.com
QUESTION: “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want To Be Right)” was an R&B hit for Luther Ingram in 1972, and then became a No. 1 Country chart hit on April 15, 1979 for which female artist?
“Songland” is back. The second season of the show kicked off on NBC Monday evening. The concept of the show is for aspiring songwriters to get the songs they’ve written in front of recording artists and producers. Each week a guest recording artist joins the regular panel consisting of Nashville multi-hit-writer Shane McAnally, Ryan Tedder of One Republic, and songwriter/producer Ester Dean. The guest artist and the panel listen to songs from four aspiring songwriters then discuss ways to improve the songs’ ‘recordability’. As the season progresses, the songwriters and producers work together to turn the chosen songs into hits. The show airs on NBC affiliates at 10/9c.
- Last season “Songland” produced multiple chart-topping hits, including seven songs that achieved a No. 1 ranking on an iTunes music chart.
Stuck indoors? Order a book from Amazon… such as: Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust by Lorretta Lynn. Loretta and Patsy Cline had a lot in common but did not meet until 1961 when Loretta performed Patsy’s hit “I Fall to Pieces” on a radio show and dedicated the performance to Patsy who was recovering in hospital from a near-fatal car crash. Patsy called her up and asked her to visit her in hospital, the start of a close friendship (until Patsy was killed in a 1963 plane crash). Apparently – among other things – Patsy taught Loretta how to drive, how to shave her legs and… how to stick up for herself in disagreements with her management. “Those boys are your managers, not your bosses!” said Patsy! I’m looking forward to getting my copy.
Billboard Country Airplay Top 5 for the week of April 18: (last week’s position in parentheses)
- (2) “Catch” Brett Young
- (3) “I Hope” Gabby Barrett
- (4) “Nobody But You” Blake Shelton w/Gwen Stefani
- (7) “Chasin’ You” Morgan Wallen
- (5) “More Hearts Than Mine” Ingrid Andress
- “Catch” is Brett Young’s fifth consecutive No. 1s Country Airplay single.
- Meanwhile on the Billboard Country Album charts, Sam Hunt’s Southside debuts at No. 1. Southside follows Hunt’s previous album, Montevallo, that topped the album charts in November 2014 and spent a total of 267 weeks on that chart.
“I Know Country” Q&A ANSWER: “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want To Be Right)” was a hit in April 1979 for Barbara Mandrell. Her version was nominated for Single of the Year at the 1979 CMA Awards (losing out to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels). Don’t feel bad for Barbara: She received the Female Artist of the Year Award at the 1979 CMAs.
- Many artists have recorded “If Loving You Is Wrong” including Millie Jackson, Rod Stewart, Isaac Hayes, LeAnn Rimes and Tom Jones.
On this day in Country Music
April 15, 1959 Johnny Cash played his first ever show outside the USA – in Melbourne, Australia.
April 15, 1977 Kenny Rogers topped the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart with “Lucille” written by Roger Bowling and Hal Bynum. (It would also be a hit in many other countries reaching No. 1 in Canada, the U.K. and Ireland.
This week’s Country Music Birthdays
April 12 Vince Gill, 1957
Easton Corbin, 1982
April 14 Loretta Lynn, 1932
April 15 Roy Clark (Hee Haw), 1933. (Died Nov 15, 2018)
Chris Stapleton, 1978
Preshias Harris is the author of “I Know Country” with 366 daily country music questions and answers. You can buy and instantly download your e-book copy at www.IKnowCountry.com.
Harris is also a music career development consultant with the emphasis on new and aspiring artists and songwriters. Visit www.collegeofsongology.com for more details. Follow her blog at www.nashvillemusicline.com