I saw something that said today, July 28th was Hamburger Day. I fact checked it, after the spot of controversy we had on the show about National Hot Dog Day. I was sad to learn, that Hamburger Day is May 28, not July 28. In fact, it's not even Hamburger Month! That too is May!
But be that as it may, I think that having a burger today is fine. In fact, upon further review, hamburgers are a food I could eat every day. EVERY day. Easily one of the best foods on earth. And hot dogs are not far behind!
So lets eat a burger today, and call it even. And lets get ready for NEXT years Hamburger Day, which is a Friday to boot. Friday, May 28th 2028. I am so in!
Blake Shelton was the guest today (July 24) for the TODAY Show's Summer Concert Series! He talked to Carson Daly and Hoda Kotb about new music, working on "The Voice", and performed his new song with Gwen Stefani, "Happy Anywhere"! Click here for more and watch their performance below!
Blake Shelton / Gwen – And Trace Adkins - Doing a huge Drive-In Show at local Drive-Ins Saturday Night - (Ticket Info)
AMC Theaters - NOW will open in MId-August (Story)
Number One at the Box Office - Beauty And The Beast (Live Action)
Unhinged - With Russell Crowe, next Friday
One Year Ago - The Lion King was #1 – 185 Million (Live Action)
Fun Fact - The Movie Human Capital DID come out last week to 12 theaters and brought in about $4,300 nationwide (Preview)
Radioactive - On Prime Today – Rosamund Pike, story of Madame Curie, looks great!
Tenet - Delayed again, (BTW - this has a 200 Million dollar budget) no new date set yet (Preview)
Mulan – Theaters August 21 (Live Action) (Preview)
Bill And Ted 3 - August 28 release date (Preview)
New Findings - Road House, starring Patrick Swayze, is shown on basic cable more often than any other movie in America. (Story)
There is a TikTok hack that is going viral, freezing your cereal! It's the solution to soggy cereal according to those who have tried it. Just put your bowl of cereal in the freezer, let it sit for a while (even overnight), then add milk when you are ready to eat. The next time you're about to eat a bowl of cereal, why not try it out?
WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS SOONER!? ##frozencereal♬ original sound - thekatcurtis
HARDY took to social media today to announce he will have a new album out soon! It's called A Rock and is due out on September 4th with pre-sales beginning this Friday, July 24th.
Part 2 (Read yesterday's post, Part 1 if you missed it)
In 1985 a song was released to Country Radio that peaked at #67. The artist had been turned down by every record label in Nashville until Warner Brothers signed him. He was told by everyone he was "too country" But they did release one more song from him titled 1982, it went top 10 and fans loved it. THEN his song that peaked at #67 a few months earlier was re-released and it skyrocketed to #1 - And the rest is Country Music history. That #1 song was On The Other Hand - by a new singer named Randy Travis.
On The Other Hand - Changed a lot of things
On The Other Hand is a very important song in Country's history. Maybe one of the most important, as it put Travis in a bright spotlight. We knew it was different, it was a smash, and Randy Travis was too. Fans instantly loved him, his music, voice, his incredible range, and albums. Travis was on the map, on his way, and was pure country. His albums sold millions, when many other artists of that era were selling thousands. We couldn't play his music enough for our listeners on the radio. He reminded fans of the old guard with his big, warm, and honest voice and brought the youth to us we needed, and he was country! And he was OURS! I hosted a concert of his during his prime and the arena was jammed with an audience that was more than ready. Very refreshing in those days.
Forever And Ever Amen - Songs don't get much bigger than this!
Travis sold over 25 million records, won seven Grammy Awards, six CMA Awards, eleven ACM Awards, 10 AMA Awards, eight Dove Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He and the next artist I will chronicle were the turning point of our format. The number of albums he sold was simply staggering and completely unimaginable to us then. And his appeal went far beyond music. Acting, movies, TV. Randy Travis really opened a whole new era.
It's Just A Matter Of Time - What a version Of This Song!
The other artist was coming up through the music scene during Urban Cowboy. He came to Nashville about the same time as Travis, but his style was different. His style was dubbed "way too hillbilly" and was told it, and he, were not at all marketable. So he recorded a thing back then called an EP in 1986 that was picked up by Reprise Records. The first song off it was Honky Tonk Man. The EP was Guitars And Cadillacs and we all met Dwight Yoakam for the first time, from Columbus, Ohio. The album was a smash, and we could have played it every 15 minutes on the air, and no one would have minded. I emceed a show of his in a club on High Street in Columbus in 1986, and I think people were literally hanging from the rafters. It was a new day!
Honky Tonk Man - A huge debut song that got him noticed!
Yoakam was more than just great music. He was a whole new deal. His way, his style, his avant garde look, the way he moved and he made very cool videos and that was fairly new for us too. He began to change the country stage show as the days of standing there stoically with a guitar were over with his presence. He was so incredibly cool, refreshing, new and still traditional at the same time. The Country core now had two new heroes, and those two put the format on the launching pad with the fuse lit.
This Song - Brought Yoakam huge critical acclaim
Yoakam recorded more than twenty albums and compilations, charted more than thirty singles on the Country Charts, and sold more than 30 million records. Understand these numbers have become more common place this century, but then it was unheard of. He too went on to movies, TV and other projects. Yoakam kicked down door Travis had opened, and now we were ready to go.
Little Sister - Very Cool Song!
The New Traditionalist Movement had begun!
Now with the flood of new younger fans and listeners, George Strait and Reba McEntire walked through the door with them, and would become The King, and The Queen, of Country and well was and is well deserved. Next to have great success were Keith Whitley, Ricky Van Shelton, and the solo emergence of Vince Gill, plus the continued success of The Judds. Now we had a solid base of new traditionalists and stars. Then we all braced for 1989 when Garth Brooks, Clint Black, and Alan Jackson exploded onto the scene and they sealed the deal that Travis and Yoakam started by selling so many albums we seemingly lost count. A bit later Joe Diffie, Tracy Lawrence, Brooks And Dunn, Shania, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, and the rest of the class of the early 1990's. Country has never looked back. And we continue to evolve with today's big stars led by Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Jon Pardi, and Luke Combs!
But the tipping point was Travis and Yoakam. They were the right stars in the right place and the right time. They ended what was left of Urban Cowboy, focused our format, and brought in a whole new era. They did it with the music, style, and shows. Plus, they began the celebration of the lifestyle that Country listeners love. Many that have followed have gone on to bigger success than them, But Travis and Yoakam changed the playing field - forever.
They gave us a gift we should remember. I have always been thankful for them.
I have played Country Music on the radio for 41 years all over the country, and have seen many phases of our beloved format. Some have been great, others not so much. But there was a watershed moment years ago, that upon reflection I feel, was the most important thing to happen to us, as it changed the status quo and allowed many more great things to happen to us - still. In my two-part series, this is what I saw from the morning show control rooms, and concert venues of the era.
Country has always been part of our landscape, and Country got a big shot in the arm with the Urban Cowboy craze in the late 1970's into the 80's. But that's not the answer. True, many new people found us and that was great. But in the end what it did was give us a type of music that was hard to categorize. The music was good, and solid, and I and many fans liked it. But, it didn't really resonate with our core "country" listeners, as it was largely supported by fringe and crossover fans. It was too "pop" for the core, and we held on to this movement too long. After a while it was vanilla, safe, not really dance-able, and was not really country committal.
George Strait - Kept us going in the early 1980's and would become the undisputed "King Of Country" Deserved!
By the mid-eighties we had problems playing music that had no real true format, and no real new stars, and we were treading water. The Judds had made the scene and they were different and very popular. They rapidly became stars and certainly made people take notice. George Strait and Reba McEntire had been on the charts since 1981 and 1980 respectively, but much of thier music wasn't getting the exposure it needed and deserved in a format that was struggling. They were traditional and on point, but even George and Reba needed a larger vessel to sail in. Ricky Skaggs had a nice following with real hard core country fans, but he had the same problem Strait and Reba had. Alabama carried us for years, but that was not going to last forever. There was only one Alabama. We are always thankful for them. They were heaven sent.
Alabama - The dominant country act of the early 1980's - They were incredible!
We needed to get younger. George Jones was still on the charts, as was Don Williams, Kenny Rogers, Ronnie Milsap, Conway Twitty, Dolly, Tammy Wynette, Willie, Waylon, Barbara Mandrell, Mickey Gilley, Johnny Lee and others. There was not one thing wrong with any of them, but Country was a format that was aging, and that was undeniable. We could not get a lot of young people to listen. I loved all of them, but we all could see the writing on the wall. Sales of "records and tapes" very low, concerts sales slow, and #1 songs that were easily forgotten the next week.
Ricky Skaggs - Had a real strong hard core fan base - Still Does!
I was at my second Country station then, WRMZ in Columbus, Ohio and we all were wondering what was going to happen in the next few years. Urban Cowboy had run its course, and now we were searching. We needed something to jump start us, to reinvent Country and to set the coordinates for a new course. Our mindset was so geared towards not "being too country" we had taken our eye off the ball and forgotten our core. If we lost the fringers, and the crossovers then what? Our thinking was flawed.
Reba was as country as it got, and Up To Heaven was her early calling card....
It was so flawed that one of the two people I will tell you about tomorrow who "saved" us was turned away for coming to Nashville and told it was "too country". And the other one well, was just never gonna work. The industry had it wrong, but in the end the fans got it right. Country fans were looking for someone(s) to bite into, relate too, and call their own. Fans wanted stars that wanted to be on Country Radio first, not the Pop stations. They wanted stars that talked with them - and like them. They wanted stars that they wanted to be like, they wanted their own identity in music, style and sound.
Johnny Lee - Lookin' For Love was one of the biggest hits of the Urban Cowboy Era! A smash!
And they would get it. And when they did, the floodgates opened and have never closed. There have been many gigantic stars since. In fact, the biggest stars the format has ever seen have happened since them! But it can be traced back to the two artists I will talk about tomorrow.
Every lock has a key, and from my seat behind the mic, and by talking, and hanging with listeners then, these two were that key. What and who was on the other side of the door, should thank them for unlocking it. Find out who saved Country Music here tomorrow.
This week baseball returns to regular season play. The NBA starts "pre-season" The NHL is ramping up, and the NFL camps start up - in theory. I like all these sports, I'm just wondering what they will look like this year. I hope they all go well, and all stay healthy.
Starting with MLB. They are very lucky in the fact that the game itself lends itself to our troubled times. The game is somewhat socially distant by nature, and played in a huge expansive area. No fans of course stinks, and the overall setting will feel very different. The game is still the hardest game in the world, you still have to hit a 100MPH ball and try to catch it. If players stay healthy, things should be relatively OK. (Big IF) Not optimal, but OK. But injuries and health, and some of the games biggest stars opting out will hurt. But the game should be decent to watch on TV.
The NBA, I have no idea how this is going to work out. I do have this sense that it will be an even more amplified version of itself. My feeling is if you shoot well, you'll do well. The current NBA has no real interest in playing defense in regular times. Here, I think it's gonna be shoot, and ..shoot. Running and shooting the ball. I do not see fighting on the boards or tight D, with guys hanging on each other. Will they wear more clothing? T-shirts? The sweat, the physical exposure, this is gonna be tough. Games will be even more high scoring than normal. I'm not so sure how fun it will be to watch after the initial splash.
The NHL should be fun because there is only one way to play hockey. Fast. The players are all geared up too in very heavy equipment with minimal exposure. Plus hockey players are very energized and they will have center stage with thier postseason. Hockey, true no fans, but they will put on a product that will film well on TV. I think Hockey comes in second, maybe even rivals MLB for being the most successful. PLUS, what sport has a better post season than Hockey? None!
Football in general I think has the most problems, whether its the NFL or college. The game itself is predicated on physical contact more than any other, in every way. The ultimate goal of course is NOT to have contact when you have the ball. Guess what? That happens to a couple guys a few times a game. EVERY play is EVERY one ENGAGED in huge contact. We are in very strange period of time when no one is supposed to touch anyone.
Think about this. A center, gets sick, and now about 80% of everyone in the game has been exposed on both teams, except for a lucky few many yards away from the line of scrimmage. And everyone in the huddle has been exposed too. This is not a knock on centers, say a guard, or tackle, or tight end. Same problem. Oh yeah, half the officials too. This is going to be very tricky. Plus, the atmosphere is the game, no fans really hurts football.
Hey, I love sports and miss them. And I hope that they all can get going, figure this out and bring us something we all need. Normal.
It will be a huge shot in the arm, when we are all waiting on, well, the huge shot in the arm.
July 20th is a very important day, as it marks the anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first people to ever walk on the moon in 1969. Over the next few years, 10 more would do the same. Every time we did it, it was incredible without question, but the first time was the most riveting.
But the one thing that has always stuck with me was the "story" my dad told me that night, and I believed him. He told me in a typical "dad fashion way" that they waited till it was his birthday to walk in the moon, July 20. I was like, "wow, dad!" OK, I was a little kid, and my dad was my hero, as was yours at that age. I think he was pulling my leg.....
Truth is, my dad died a few years later, and that was sad. But with that said, I was glad he saw it that night, as he was from a very different time. My dad lived through The Great Depression, he also was an Ice Delivery Man as a teen. He brought a block of ice to your house to keep food cold in your wooden chest for the week as most did not have a fridge as we know it. He played high school football with a fold-able leather helmet and no face mask. He was in WWII in the U.S. Army Air Corps, because the Air Force has not been invented yet. He was born before talking movies, television, played golf with wooden shafted clubs, and his parents never really spoke English, drove or owned a car. And he met my mom at a Dude Ranch! Seems like the Middle Ages.
Even though he "downplayed" that event that night with Neil and Buzz, he had to have been in awe to see how far the world had come since he was born as he turned 45 that night. From block ice delivery, to walking on the moon? It had to be astounding to him, as it was, and still is to me.
My dad's birthday is today, he would have been 96. Too bad he never saw even 56, as 53 was all he was given. It's OK dad, I'll mark the 51st anniversary of the moon walk for you.
After all, they still celebrate it every year on your birthday!