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  #1  
Old 09-10-2005, 09:13 PM
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This Year, New York Is Country Country



They'll take Manhattan (maybe): Kenny Chesney, left, Shania Twain and Keith Urban are among country music's current crop of stars.


--
Quote:
This Year, New York Is Country Country
By BEN SISARIO
WHEN the Grand Ole Opry first came to New York, to play two nights at Carnegie Hall in September 1947, the legendary cast - Ernest Tubb, Minnie Pearl, Rosalie Allen - was nervous. There had been little advertising or advance press, and the performers wondered how the big-city crowd would respond.

But the first night nearly sold out, and Tubb won over the audience from the first moments of the show with an aw-shucks country greeting: "Boy," he said from the stage, "this place sure could hold a lot of hay!" The next night it was standing room only, and the hall was mobbed with reporters.

Press should not be a problem when this year's biggest country spectacle, the C.M.A. Awards, comes to New York on Nov. 15, leaving Nashville for the first time in 39 years. Broadcast on CBS from Madison Square Garden, it will be a carefully orchestrated, glitzy event with big performance tie-ins at New York-area N.F.L. games and the return of the Opry to Carnegie Hall the night before the awards. Only 10 awards are scheduled to be given out during the show, which leaves plenty of time for performances - there should be more than 20 - and the organizers promise a jazzed-up set with appearances by "New York-type personalities."

Nashville knows the power of New York media, and the C.M.A.'s are coming here to capitalize on it.

"New York is the No. 1 media market in the world," said Ed Benson, executive director of the Country Music Association, which presents the awards. "This is a great opportunity to put on the show in a place that is accessible to a large number of media. There are a lot of them that attend the awards in Nashville, but you're not ever going to get the kind of coverage you can get in New York."

The arrival of the awards, however, will also cast a light on the complicated relationship between country music and the city. In the long view, New York has played an important role in the history of the genre - the song generally considered the first country recording, Eck Robertson's "Arkansas Traveler," was recorded in New York in 1922, and Vernon Dalhart, the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers all made records here.

But today New York is regarded as alien territory by many performers, a generally unfriendly market with little promotional infrastructure. There has not been a country radio station in New York for three years. Time Warner Cable doesn't even carry CMT, the essential country television channel (though it is available on digital and satellite cable systems). Songs like Buck Owens's "I Wouldn't Live in New York City (if They Gave Me the Whole Dang Town)" haven't helped the city's standing, nor did Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg when, at a press conference last October to announce the arrival of the C.M.A. Awards, he flubbed the names of the superstars Shania Twain and Tim McGraw.

As a result, New York is seen as a place that can reward the giants of the genre - like Garth Brooks, whose 1997 concert in Central Park was attended by an estimated 250,000 fans - but can be risky for anybody else.

"No one wants to come to New York and fail," said Louis Messina, a concert promoter based in Houston. "It's a tough place for a proving ground, and you don't want to go there unless you're going to be successful."

Mr. Benson, the director of the country association, says part of its goal is to prove that country has a viable fan base in the city, one that can sustain a commercial radio station. Indeed, in terms of record sales, country music doesn't do half bad in New York. According to Nielsen SoundScan, about 2.5 percent of all country albums sold in the United States are purchased in the New York region - a figure that has slipped slightly, but not too much, since the demise of the last New York country radio station, WYNY, in May 2002.

The country demographic is widely dispersed around New York, with the biggest constituencies in New Jersey and on Long Island, but sell-out crowds, whether for the Opry or for Faith Hill, are rarely as surprising to the fans as they are to others.

"The perception of the New York media," said Robert K. Oermann, a historian of country music, "is that it's always a surprise when Alabama sells out Madison Square Garden or when Dolly plays the Bottom Line." (Dolly Parton played to a rapturous crowd at Radio City Music Hall last month.)

Many in Nashville believe that the time is right for country music to get a higher profile in New York. The newest crop of stars, like Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson and Rascal Flatts, have a wide pop appeal. "If you go to a Kenny Chesney show," said Mr. Messina, "it's the same kids who are going to see Three Doors Down and AC/DC. Country music has become mainstream America."

And the right-leaning politics of much post-9/11 country, a potential liability in New York, has been toned down lately. Three years ago Toby Keith had a hit with "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," but his most recent album, "Honkytonk University" (DreamWorks Nashville), returns to a more universal theme: love and loss.

Luke Lewis, the co-chairman of Universal Music Nashville, sees changes like Mr. Keith's as a potential boon for marketing country music to blue states. "The music we're making now is more accessible," he said. "There's not quite as much flag-waving going on."

If there are any butterflies backstage at Madison Square Garden before the C.M.A. Awards, the performers might remember the experience of Patsy Cline, who came to New York with the Grand Ole Opry when it returned to Carnegie Hall in 1961. The performers were nervous then, too, particularly after the columnist Dorothy Kilgallen ridiculed them as "hicks from the sticks" and advised New Yorkers to head out of town during their appearance.

But the show was another smash, and Cline found that New Yorkers loved country music as well as anybody.

"Talk about a hen out of a coop!" she said in an interview a few days later. "I really felt like one up there, I'm a-tellin' you! But you know what? We made 'em show their true colors. We brought that country out of 'em, if anybody did! They was sittin' up there, stomping their feet and yelling just like a bunch of hillbillies. Just like we do!"



And the only one pictured who sold out MSG TWICE is Shania!! Funny how articles like this always spin Faith.

The mayor really screwed up Shania's name pretty bad..lol


-Chris
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Last edited by cbspock : 09-10-2005 at 09:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2005, 10:07 PM
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What did he call her??? I forgot!
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Old 09-10-2005, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AINAHS
What did he call her??? I forgot!



Shaniqua or something like that.


-Chris
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2005, 10:13 PM
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Shagana or Shanaga Twain
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  #5  
Old 09-10-2005, 10:13 PM
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Here is the reference..

Quote:
And Bloomberg also mangled "Shania" as something approximating "Shanaga."


Quote:
12. What do you think about the CMAs moving to New York City in 2005?

Dunn: For the record, I'm dead against it. This is Dunn here speaking, I am dead against it.

Brooks: I think New York is going to be a ball, something different. Something different -- like me doing a solo gig. (laughs)

Dunn: You can just mail my part in. It's funny they said the [New York] mayor in the press conference the other day. ... Kix tells this story a lot better than I do. ... Tell that. ... This is funny. He was announcing some of the artists and stuff, and they had phonetically written out the names.

Brooks: "Shun-agua Twain and Tom Ma-Graw." ... And when he said that, I looked at Trace Adkins. We were standing there beside each other. You know, they made the pitch for us to come in the first place, and it's really a cool deal. They're giving us the subways and the buses and taxicabs and all this stuff. And he said that, and I was just like "Oh no." After the press conference, I went over and looked at his notes on the podium, and they had phonetically spelled it for him so he wouldn't make any mistakes, and I'm sure he was just cruising through on autopilot.


http://www.shaniafans.com/mb/showth...ight=York+Mayor

They are so against the move, they are hosting the show.

-Chris
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2005, 10:31 PM
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If Shania goes, they should have the mayor introduce her.


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  #7  
Old 09-11-2005, 06:29 AM
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Many in Nashville believe that the time is right for country music to get a higher profile in New York. The newest crop of stars, like Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson and Rascal Flatts, have a wide pop appeal.

OOPS -- UH OH!
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Old 09-11-2005, 08:38 AM
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Ok, so when Shania left Nashville to "cross-over" and get a wider audience this was VERY bad....

But now, Nashville are promoting a move to take the CMA's out of 'Country-Ville' and into the city!!

Or am I reading this totally wrong??!!!
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Old 09-11-2005, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sas
Many in Nashville believe that the time is right for country music to get a higher profile in New York. The newest crop of stars, like Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson and Rascal Flatts, have a wide pop appeal.

OOPS -- UH OH!



I have yet to hear Gretchen crossover. She better hope no one from Nashville reads the NYT, she may get in trouble..lol They may find out she is only pretending to be country.


-Chris
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  #10  
Old 09-11-2005, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicker
Ok, so when Shania left Nashville to "cross-over" and get a wider audience this was VERY bad....

But now, Nashville are promoting a move to take the CMA's out of 'Country-Ville' and into the city!!

Or am I reading this totally wrong??!!!



You are reading it right. See was the first to crossover in a huge way that Music Row has not been able to copy. There was this comment in the XM Radio show by the narrator...."Shania turned her back on country music to become an international star". So that is how Shania's crossover is viewed.



-Chris
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Old 09-11-2005, 09:31 AM
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and Shania's reply to that --which I thought was right on

"I'LL NEVER NOT BE COUNTRY...HOW CAN YOU BE SOMETHING AND THEN NOT BE IT ANYMORE....I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT..COUNTRY IS SO DEEP IN MY ROOTS AND SUCH A HUGE PART OF MY YOUTH.... MY MOST IMPRESSIONABLE YOUTH THAT ITS JUST NOT GOING ANYWHERE........THE STYLE OF HOW I WRITE COMES FROM MY COUNTRY ROOTS...."
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Old 09-11-2005, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by sas
and Shania's reply to that --which I thought was right on

"I'LL NEVER NOT BE COUNTRY...HOW CAN YOU BE SOMETHING AND THEN NOT BE IT ANYMORE....I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT..COUNTRY IS SO DEEP IN MY ROOTS AND SUCH A HUGE PART OF MY YOUTH.... MY MOST IMPRESSIONABLE YOUTH THAT ITS JUST NOT GOING ANYWHERE........THE STYLE OF HOW I WRITE COMES FROM MY COUNTRY ROOTS...."



They don't like the fact she likes to play in the other sandboxes.

-Chris
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  #13  
Old 09-11-2005, 10:07 AM
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Yep you are right about that.....
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Old 09-11-2005, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by sas
Yep you are right about that.....



Shania does have one advantage, a great record producer. Look what happens when country producers make pop records, you get "Chris Gaines", and some of the other Shania clones which is just bland, bad, and music that all sounds the same. Mutt has a whole background of music production to bring in, as well as having one of the largest country music collections Shania has ever seen.


-Chris
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  #15  
Old 09-12-2005, 12:58 PM
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The ole' "hicks from the sticks" are heading up North. I wonder if it will make a big difference? They may gain some because, yes it is going to give country music larger exposure, but that could be a double-edge sword as well.

Steve
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