Nashville Memories – Wildhorse Saloon, Grand Ole Opry, CMA Music Festival
I have been blessed to see many of my dreams come true in Country Music, now as I depart for Nashville to host a special show for the CMA, I look back on my very lucky career.
As a kid, I had always set my sights on working in Country Music, never imagining the great success and opportunities I would have along the way. There are just too many to list, but today I focus on the great things I’ve been able to do in Nashville, Tennessee. As I prepare to host a series of heritage country artist reunions at the CMA Music Festival, June 6-9, at the Music City Center, on the CMA Close Up Stage, I am reminded of some of my career highlights that have taken place in Music City U.S.A..
My frist trip to Nashville came when I was just 15 or 16, compliments of my Grandparents motor home. Thankfully, with my first radio job at WSCG, I was able to get my Grandparents backstage access to the Grand Ole Opry, where they could watch the show from the stage and mingle with the stars. Since that first trip, I have been to Nashville over 20 times, with about half of those trips as group trips for my listeners and dancers. Every trek to Tennessee brought a new memory or career highlight. Here are just a few career highlights, that I can remember, from my trips to Nashville.
-Interviewing the legends of the Grand Ole Opry backstage in their dressing rooms- Bill Anderson, John Conlee, Little Jimmy Dickens, Etc.
-Hosting the Melodical Hearts Benefit Concert for David Church at the Ernest Tubb Texas Troubadour Theater- introducing Jack Greene, Brian Glenn, Katie Arminger and others
-Interviewing artists at the ‘old’ Fan Fair at the Nashville Fairgrounds- Mark Wills, Jo Dee Messina, T. Graham Brown, Gene Watson, Suzy Bogguss and others
-Hosting three national televised country dances on the Wildhorse Saloon TV show on TNN
-Guest instructing line dance lessons at the Wildhorse Saloon (3 guest teaches) and the Nashville Palace (1 guest teach)
-Interviewing the biggest new stars of Country Music for the CMA Awards live on WGNA with Jake Thomas- Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Hunter Hayes, Eric Church and others
-Hosting a Country Dance Show at Dollywood
-Accepting a CMA Award on stage at the Bridgestone Arena
-While hosting shows for Sirius radio 2001-2005, getting to host a program from their Nashville studios
-Interviewing legends backstage at the Cracker Barrel Songs of The Year concert- Lorrie Morgan, Ronnie Milsap and others
I am so grateful the Country Music Community and CMA have included me as part of their family, and I hope I have many more great years of promoting and sharing my love of Country Music. In 2013, I look forward to making a new memory- that I assume will overshadow everything I mentioned above- hosting the heritage country artist reunions at the CMA Music Festival, June 6-9, at the Music City Center, on the CMA Close Up Stage. Click here to learn more about the show.