Thursday, October 25, 2007

MySpace and YouTube Help Market Country Artists

I am doing a research paper titled “The Effect of MySpace and YouTube on the Marketing of Country Music”. Though country radio is still the number one force in marketing country artists, new media such has MySpace and YouTube are making it possible for country artists to be noticed, and have commercial success with limited radio exposure. One example of this is Miranda Lambert.

Miranda has released 6 songs to country radio, and has no top ten hits. Still her debut album Kerosene sold around 900,000 units, and her new album Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is selling well.

Miranda has found an audience not only with the help of country radio, and touring, but with the help of her active MySpace page and YouTube. These new mediums allow talented artists like Miranda to expose their music to people who perhaps do not listen to the radio, or want to listen to artist’s music when they, the listener, want to listen to it, not when some radio station wants to play it.

This is one advantage to using MySpace and YouTube. There are more, but you will have to read my paper, or attend my presentation to learn about them. However, here is a YouTube video posted by nwmac of Miranda singing one of my favorites “Dry Town” at her fan club party earlier this year.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Carrie Underwood - Carnival Ride

The new album by Carrie Underwood called Carnival Ride will hit stores next Tuesday. I have listened to a preview of the album on, and it is good. What struck me most though was how country sounding the album was.

“Flat on the Floor” and “Let’s Get Out of This Town” were songs that caught my ear not just for the fact that they were good, but that they were country sounding. With all of Carrie’s crossover success with her debut album Some Hearts, Carrie could have followed Shania Twain and Faith Hill’s example, and gone more pop like in her music instead she went more country. That can only be good news for country music.

Country Music needs Carrie Underwood. Along with Miranda Lambert and Ashton Shepherd, Carrie is going to be the leader of a new era for women of country music. Country needs strong, young, female artists for it to thrive, and it looks like Carrie Underwood as decide she wants to be one of them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Biography of Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson is the foundation of Country Music. Since his 1989 debut, Alan has produced one of the finest bodies of Country Music. His well crafted, commercially successfully, traditional, Country singles have been a beacon of excellence in unsettled musical times.

Born in Newnan, Ga. on Oct. 17, 1958 Alan spent much of his early adult life selling cars, driving forklifts, and hoping for a career in music. The career started when Alan’s wife, Denise, who was a flight attendant, happened upon Glen Campbell in an airport. She approached Campbell and told him about her husband and his dream. Campbell invited them to come to Nashville, and eventually gave Alan a job writing songs for his publishing company. Alan, first though, had to take another job working in the mailroom of The Nashville Network.

Alan was delivered from the mailroom by Tim DuBois. Arista Records had vast success in the pop music world under its legendary founder Clive Davis. Davis’ instincts had told him the late eighties were the time to establish a presence in Nashville. Davis retained Tim DuBois to head Arista’s Nashville division. DuBois, a former producer and songwriter, was impressed with Alan’s singing and songwriting, and moved to sign him to a recording contract.

(The rest of the article can be found by following the link below. Back in the day, I had to prove I could use HTML to build a basic Web site. I dedicated the site to some of my favorite country music artists. One of the articles I wrote up was this one.)

Copywrited © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007

The Class of 89 - Country Music's Renaissance

Their arrival signaled a new era in Country Music. An era filled with platinum selling records, standing room only concerts, and new found respect for a music form perpetually looked down upon. They were called the Class of 89, a group of young, dynamic, singer-songwriters who emerged together over the course of the year 1989. They were diverse in style, sound, and background. Some of them exploded onto the scene, others would build up slowly, emerging with greater success in the years to follow. What they shared was a love of Country Music and a legacy of changing the Country Music landscape.

Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Travis Tritt, and Mary Chapin Carpenter are names recognizable to even the most peripheral country music fan. In January of 1988 it was a different story. Country Music was going through dramatic change. The new traditionalist movement lead by Randy Travis had taken Country back to its roots and made commercial inroads with record buyers. Travis entered 1988 on top of the Country charts with his hugely successful “Always & Forever” album, which would go multi-platinum within a year of its release, a nearly unheard of feat in Country Music.

Randy Travis’ success proved Country was ripe for a commercial boom, and every label in Nashville wanted to be part of it. With many aging stars fading, Nashville record labels were looking for young talent to supplement the new traditionalist artists. What the labels found was more than a supplement, it turned out to be new foundation for Country Music. Every member of the Class of 89 would come from a different record label. In fact one, Alan Jackson, would come from a label, Arista Nashville; that did not even exist in Nashville in 1988.

(The rest of the article can be found by following the link below. Back in the day, I had to prove I could use HTML to build a basic Web site. I dedicated the site to some of my favorite country music artists. One of the articles I wrote for the site was this.)

Copywrited © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

1979 & 1987 Twins

I attended my first Twins game in 1979. I watched as the Twins won their first World Series in 1987. I decided to commemorate these events by collecting autograph baseball cards from the living members of both teams. Some autographs were obtained in person others though the mail.

I have had better success with the 87 Twins. The 87 Twins I have gotten to date include:

Frank Viola - got in person, does not sign through the mail
Gary Gaetti
Greg Gagne
Kent Hrbek
Tom Brunansky
Bert Blyleven – charges for autographs, but I got him at Twinsfest for charity donation
Jeff Reardon
Dan Gladden
Juan Berenguer – included a signed card of his own along with mine
Randy Bush
Roy Smalley – also a member of the 79 Twins
Gene Larkin
Mark Davidson
Sal Butera
Don Baylor – got in person, does not sign through the mail
Les Straker – got during the 20th anniversary celebration of the 87 team, lives in Venezuela
Mike Smithson
Tim Laudner
George Frazier
Keith Artherton
Tom Kelly
Andy MacPhail – the team’s general manager
Carl Pohlad – the team’s owner
Ralph Houk – a senior advisor to Tom Kelly and also manager of the 61 Yankees

I have not gotten:

Steve Lombardozzi
Al Newman
Dan Schatzeder – He is known for taking months to sign or not signing at all.

Decease members of the team include:

Kirby Puckett
Joe Niekro

The 79 Twins are proving harder to get. The 79 Twins I have gotten to date include:

Ron Jackson
Bob Randall
Roy Smalley – was also a member of the 87 Twins
John Castino
Mike Cubbage
Glen Borgmann
Glen Adams
Dave Goltz
Roger Erickson
Pete Redfern
Gary Serum
Willie Norwood

I sent requests to these individuals, but have not heard back. Some of the requests have been out for months.

Rob Wilfong
Butch Wynegar
Ken Landreaux
Paul Hartzell – just got this back, and I had the wrong address
Geoff Zahn
Darrell Jackson

I will be getting around to these individuals:

Bombo Rivera
Hosken Powell
Danny Goodwin
Dave Edwards
Jose Morales
Mike Bacsik – It was his son that gave up home run 756 to Barry Bonds
Jerry Koosman

Deceased members of the team include:

Calvin Griffith – the team’s owner
Gene Mauch - the team’s manager

Mike Marshall refused to allow a baseball card of him be made that year. I also hear he does not sign autographs.

It has been an enjoyable experience collecting these autographs. Former Twins players seem to be quite nice about signing autographs both in person and through the mail. It is also nice to get something other than bills in the mail.