This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Photos: (clockwise) Alan Jackson


©P.Hullquist for S.Parks Creative, Carrie Underwood ©S.Parks Creative, Band


Perry ©S.Parks Creative, Martina McBride ©P.Hullquist for S.Parks Creative, Rascal Flatts ©S.Parks Creative


Music City Summer: music, music & more music S


ummertime in the USA can only mean three things—music, music and more music. Artists tour the country, travelling to their fans and, in between shows on the road, they hurry back to Music City to entertain the fans who have


travelled from all over the world to see them. Although the CMA Music Festival is the star of the Nashville


summer, numerous events claim to be the ‘kick-off’ as the sizzling season begins earlier with each year: a parade down lower Broadway with Glen Campbell as the Grand Marshal, followed by a block party with a number of big-named artists, including Little Big Town who were utterly fantastic. Marty Stuart’s annual fan club party and ‘Late Night Jam’ with Wynonna, Roger McGuinn and Stonewall Jackson at the Ryman Auditorium also began the country celebration, extending into the early hours of the morning with a meet and greet session with Marty, Connie and his Fabulous Superlatives. The Walk of Fame added two additional stars to the existing


sixty now lining the walkway adjacent to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Grammy award winner Steve Winwood, whose illustrious career is known to all, was celebrated for his Nashville connection and work with the Spencer Davis Group to his accompaniment on Miranda Lambert’s Baggage Claim. Bob Babbitt, of Motown’s Funk Brothers band, was also honoured as one of the most recorded bass players of all time, appearing on recordings that have sold over a hundred million copies and 200 Billboard Top 40 hits. Unfortunately we lost Bob shortly after his induction into the Walk of Fame but not a day goes by that we don’t hear his work and remember those bass lines with roots deep in the soul of the American songbook. The Billboard Country Music Summit has become a new southern


tradition. At the Cannery Ballroom, industry leaders assembled for panels and programs that touched on all aspects of the music industry. In a rare interview with Billboard’s Ray Waddell, the very gracious Willie Nelson spoke candidly about everything from the Highwaymen, Kris Kristofferson, and Farm Aid to the bio-diesel


16 Maverick


fuel they make from cooking oil to run their buses. An artist development case study with Luke Bryan and his team brought us closer to the process as he answered questions from hopeful artists in the audience. Dwight Yoakam gave advice to young performers and reviewed his historic career whilst touching upon his work in film and the release of his first studio album in several years. The Celebrity Softball Game to benefit the City of Hope annually


draws thousands of fans to the Nashville Sounds’ Greer Stadium for a very early morning rivalry between teams of country music artists. The ever-present softball enthusiast, Carrie Underwood, was joined by Scotty McCreery, both of whom have a history with the sport. Lauren Alaina, Chris Young, Olympic figure skater and Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton, Vince Gill, Brantley Gilbert, James Otto, RaeLynn, Chuck Wicks, Robin Meade, the LoCash Cowboys, Bucky Covington and David Nail— who experienced a broken finger—all played to a tie. Scotty McCreery rushed from the game to his first fan club


party at Rocketown where he treated us to his favourite fried chicken dinner, met and greeted everyone, and performed an intimate concert. At our meeting before the very first Band Perry party at the Hard


Rock Café, Kimberly, Reid and Neil were excited to tell us that they’re very impressed that their fans in Great Britain can sing along with their lyrics and they were looking forward to their upcoming UK tour. Then, with a unique fan event, they wanted to turn the spotlight on their fans and make them the true stars by having them walk the red carpet to meet the band. The elegant affair was adorned with their industry awards, flowers, framed band photos, fan awards and cupcakes topped with gold glitter. Kimberly said: ‘Ya’ll look beautiful! We wanted to do this, because in the Band Perry’s eyes, ya’ll are the stars!’ They presented the Betty Lou Award—which was their equivalent to Entertainer of the Year—to their grandmother, Betty Lou, who has supported them from the beginning. The fans had been asked to choose the name of the official fan club, and the Band Perry announced the club’s new name: ‘The Fans Perry’.


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