Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?
April 8, 2016
Taking the approach for a moment ... a glass is half-full, not half-empty: At least more people than ever have been exposed this week to the music of Merle Haggard.
Garth Brooks sent out a statement that Merle Haggard was the greatest Country music artist ever. That statement is emotional one but hard to argue with. Nor do I want to.
Merle sang great. He was instantly recognizable and unique. Merle was a writer with few peers. He was complex and deep and simple all at the same time. He had a great sense of humor and was mysterious.
Many tried to sing like him ... I'm sure some tried to write like him ... No one ever even got close to being compared to him.
His life story has it all. The Hank Williams story is a good one ... Merle Haggard's story is a great one ... prison ... (an inmate not just jail)...think of the characters in this story... from Reagan to Obama, from Nelson to Campbell. Maybe I answered my own question ... Real life is better than any movie in this case.
If you had a dollar for every time a Haggard song was played on a jukebox or sung by some lonesome band at a two bit bar somewhere. You would have Trump money.
How many first dances at a Country bar were done to Silver Wings? Bob Dylan and Merle had their disagreements but ultimately Dylan got it right: "Totally himself. Herculean. Even too big for Mount Rushmore. No superficiality about him whatsoever." Amen..R.I.P.
Is the CMA show in November going to glance over his passing like so many of the greats? Will he get 30 seconds or something big? Better be something big!
The ratings for the two big award shows this week said it all. Why more award shows seem to be added everyday is beyond me. The audience has award show fatigue.
The effort to have a "Grammy moment" at every turn is enough to make you hurl. Nick Jonas ... two words that say it all.
Please stop dressing up actors, comedians, rockers, NFL players in cowboy hats and boots. They look stupid and who are they trying to dress like? Katy Perry's stylist ... three words that say it all.
The occasional rapper you can handle. But the tipping point has arrived. Intervention is needed. Trying too hard often looks like you are trying too hard.
The Class of 2015 project for ratings ... It will begin a whole new day. Well, it didn't feel good. New faces singing new songs ... Old faces sounding like arena rock acts. It was a very long three hours. It just felt like a 1,000 moving parts with little to no relation to each other. A big tent? Yes, but one that got eaten by hungry "Zombies"!
Using just the flavors of the moment, and not using the greatest names for one of Country's "biggest nights," is something that may last longer than ratings for just one night.
There is an expectation for "Oscar" night despite the movies of any given year. The powers-that-be might want to do a little homework in that area and stop these committee meetings that create these shows. Nick Jonas!
Vision ... entertainment ... ambition ... passion ... not just promotion of a labels "product" ... Too many cooks in the kitchen! I miss Dick Clark!
Cord cutters, audience fragmentation, increased competition is affecting all of TV, like it is radio. Working together not in competition should be the mission. Selling the Country brand will put "all hands on deck" ... The answer is not more award shows ... more talent shows ... just better award shows that create must-see TV ... must-hear radio. And better use of social media as a run up to the show...
Hundreds of people bust their ass to make these award shows ... sometimes you are North Carolina and sometimes you are Villanova ... maybe it is simple award show fatigue...
Who's gonna fill their shoes?