who are the "Soap Sisters", and
who's the "Next Big
Deal" (and I'm not referring to the brand new CD by Vince Gill)?
What's the REAL story behind the INCREDIBLE red dress Reba wore at the
1993 CMA Awards show?
Who's the Queen of Blue-Eyed Soul, and was she really a "Hairdresser to
What's the "Nashville Sound" and who created it?
These questions and LOTS more are answered in
the great book I'm reviewing this month.
For several months
I've been writing about the ins and
outs of the music business, the how-to's of writing, getting copyrights
and deals, business managers, agents and road managers, and basically
taking you through the business, legal and more technical side of the
music world. This month, however, I've had the pleasure
of taking a wonderful journey through the world of Nashville along side
Ralph Emery, the undisputed King of Nashville Radio and TV in his
story-filled book, "The View
RIGHT man in the RIGHT place at the
chapter, excerpt after excerpt, Ralph shares
wonderful stories told to him over his 40+ years in the entertainment
industry. From his early years as the all night DJ at the mighty
through being the original host of Nashville Now from
1983 – 1993 on cable TV's The Nashville Network, to On the
Record, an in-depth interview program he developed, produced and
hosted, Ralph has touched millions of lives through his intimate
friendships with artists, songwriters, musicians, producers, engineers,
Music Row execs, etc., that have been the heartbeat of Country Music.
They say that if you want to be the best at something, you
have to know the history behind it. You're able to appreciate your
endure the obstacles, and can keep your "eyes on the prize" easier if
you know what others before
you have gone through. Whether it's music,
politics, science, athletics or whatever, knowledge of the past will
help you today and in the future.
For example, (and I know I'm getting away from Mr. Emery
and his book, but please bear with me for a moment, OK?), General
George S. Patton wasn't lucky as a tank commander during World War II,
the great conquerors of history and paid close attention to their
victorious strategies for war, and just as important, he also studied
opponents, especially the distinguished German tank commander General
Rommel, a.k.a. The Desert Fox. Patton knew Rommel and
his strategies so well, he could defeat Rommel over and over again in
his sleep before going out to face him in battle the following day.
So what has Patton's methods of studying the past and his
competition have to do with the music industry? Just
that if someone thinks they can waltz into any major music
center (whether it be Nashville, Los Angeles, or New York) and NOT have
at least SOME understanding of its rich history, they're shortchanging
themselves. The more you know of what's
gone on in the past, the more you're able to recognize and appreciate
the opportunities you have right in front of your eyes, and the more
can contribute to creating an even better future.
Ralph Emery's "The View from Nashville" is a must read
because he shares so much of
what makes a great music center like Nashville click. No
one can make it in this business by themselves ... we all need friends,
mentors, people who believe in us and can give us a chance to show what
we have. Story after story, Ralph shares how one star after
another wouldn't have made it if it hadn't been for someone
else; being in the right place at the right time, getting to know the
right people. Ralph's been the right man to
be in the right place at the right time, to be a part of these people's
lives, and then to be able to share their stories with us, to give us
give us inspiration, to get us to keep believing in ourselves, our
abilities, and our dreams.
Who knows ... someone reading this review and then reading
"The View from Nashville" may themselves one day become "the next big
By the way, to answer some of the questions I asked at the beginning:
The "Soap Sisters" are Naomi and Wynonna Judd.
The Queen of Blue-Eyed Soul is Barbara Mandrell, and at
the age of 13 was the hairdresser to Patsy Cline while performing on
the road together.
Ralph considers Faron Young and Brooks & Dunn the
"Next Big Deal" ... just 40 years apart.
The why's and wherefore's are in the book, so get it and enjoy!
Oh, yeah ... one more thing ... What IS the REAL story behind the
red dress Reba wore at the 1993 CMA Awards show? You'll just have
to read the book to find out!
Copyright © 2003 by Jace
lives in the Nashville, TN area and is a member of NSAI. A
Freelance Writer /
Photographer, Poet, Author, and former Radio DJ, he now enjoys a career
as a Songwriter, and a
collaborator much in demand predominantly in the Country genre, but
also enjoys occasionally writing for A/C, Pop, R&B, Smooth Jazz,
As a Freelance Writer he has contributed reviews on new CD's to online
newsletters and regularly contributed book and concert reviews along
with personal commentary on the music industry to Nashville's Songwriter's
Jace is also the creator of the Change Your Stars! website
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