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MSNBC Apologizes for Foul Comment About Country Music

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After a guest made a disparaging comment about country music, MSNBC host Ari Melber apologized on-air Wednesday (3/25) afternoon and informed his audience that the network does not condone such remarks.

During a “Now w/ Alex Wagner” conversation about GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz‘s statement that he became a country music fan directly after 9/11, guest Jamilah Lemieux opened up the conversation with this remark:

“Nothing says ‘Let’s go kill some Muslims’ like country music, fresh from Lynchburg, Virginia. Someone who obviously does not want to be a polarizing candidate, he wants to bring people together, I mean — really? That’s absurd.”

While co-panelists Joan Walsh and Michael Steele could be heard laughing at Lemieux’s remark, guest-host Melber responded:

“Well, I mean there’s plenty of country music that doesn’t have that message, right?”

A few segments later, Melber appeared on-air with an apology:

“We have a programming note. A few minutes ago on this show, a guest made a comment about country music. That comment was not appropriate, and we want to be clear this network does not condone it.”

I’ve heard a lot of ridiculous remarks about country music in the last few years but this one takes the cake!

Watch the original remark and the subsequent apology below, via MSNBC:


Grand Ole Opry to Celebrate 90 Years of Great Country Music With Nine-Month Celebration

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The Grand Ole Opry launched its 90th anniversary with special shows Tuesday evening, kicking off a nine-month celebration of nine decades of great country music. Numerous events and occasions are planned throughout the year, including Opry appearances by some of the genre’s hottest stars and most enduring legends including Florida Georgia Line, Charlie Daniels Band, Scotty McCreery, Oak Ridge Boys, Old Crow Medicine Show, Rascal Flatts, Reba, and more. Details on the celebration will be updated throughout the year at opry.com.

“The Opry’s 90th anniversary comes at an exceptionally exciting time for the show,” said Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager. “Fans around the world are engaged with our unique brand of entertainment like never before, and country music’s new stars, superstars, and legends continue to aspire to play the Opry stage and call it home. We want to officially invite fans and artists alike to come be a part of it all with us over the next nine months.”

90th ANNIVERSARY, ACTIVITIES,  SHOWS AND EVENTS

Among the activities already announced for the nine-month celebration:

Backstage Displays – After artists shared stories of some of the seminal instruments and artifacts from the Opry’s history during Tuesday’s kick-off show, they were placed backstage at the Opry House as part of a display showcasing the Opry’s nine decades of music. Such artifacts include the fiddle played by Uncle Jimmy Thompson on the very first broadcast of what would become the Grand Ole Opry, a steamboat whistle used by Opry founder George D. Hay to introduce Opry broadcasts, and a guitar strap used by Opry great Little Jimmy Dickens, who passed away at the dawn of the Opry’s 90th year. Also displayed are items from more recent Opry inductees including Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, and Steve Wariner.

Cause For Applause – The Opry is set to celebrate country’s heart throughout the year, bringing the Opry’s biggest stars and loyal fans together to support nine important causes over the course of nine months.  Called “Cause For Applause,” the initiative begins in April with “Thank God For Kids,” a partnership with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. During the month, Opry artists will visit hospital patients and Opry fans will be able to designate a portion of Opry show and special merchandise sales be given to the hospital in addition to a variety of other activities.  Additional causes include “Salute The Troops” and “Playin’ for A Purpose,” and will be announced throughout the year.

Guest Announcers – The Opry is again inviting noted personalities from the worlds of sports, show business, and journalism to be a part of the Opry’s anniversary as guest announcers on the show. Those with musical interests are also invited to sit in with the band on a song. Past guest announcers have included Garrison Keillor, Larry King, Robin Roberts, and Dan Rather to name a few. “I’m With The Band” participants have included Paul Schaffer, Bob Schieffer, Charles Osgood, and Lester Holt, among others. FOX & Friends’ Elisabeth Hasselbeck is scheduled to visit as a guest announcer May 30.

Opry 90th Birthday Bash – The Opry’s official 90th Birthday Bash Oct. 2-3 will feature four Opry performances; Opry House Backstage Tours; an Opry member concert; a two-day Opry Plaza Party including exciting new artists on the Plaza stage, and fan red carpet entries and photo opps, among other celebration elements.

Chris Janson Lands at #1 on the iTunes Country Charts

Chris Janson

Unsigned, independent artist Chris Janson was all the buzz Friday morning (3/20) when his dream-big anthem “Buy Me A Boat” sailed high at iTunes landing at #1 on the Country and #7 on the all genre charts. Continuing to make massive waves, the tune shattered digital sales with over 21K sold in only three days, an impressive feat since Janson is virtually unknown outside of Nashville and has no radio promotion staff.

“Buy Me A Boat” received a boost from DJ Bobby Bones who gave it a high-profile endorsement on his nationally syndicated Bobby Bones Show following the release. As Bones told Rolling Stone, “It’s not often that I play completely untested, unsigned artists…We played the same song [“Buy Me A Boat”] twice in a half hour, which is a no-no. It hit Top 15 and I realized this song had real legs…And I’ll be damned it hit Number One and took down Sam Hunt, which has been the Number One song for weeks.”

Janson, a formidable songwriter in his own right (Tim McGraw’s “Truck Yeah”), co-wrote the song with Chris Dubois (who has co-written a stream of #1 hits for Brad Paisley). “Every song I’ve written in the last couple of years, I was always thinking of who’s recording now, or who’s looking for songs, or what I could do to write for somebody else and get another ‘Truck Yeah,’” said Janson to Rolling Stone. “I just had to have that one [“Buy Me A Boat”] for me. It’s rare that I love one that much.”

Amidst the song’s heat wave, “Chris Janson” trended in the Top 10 on Twitter amongst superstars including Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. Celebrities and heavy-hitting songwriters also continued the momentum with endorsements on Twitter. Toby Keith exclaimed, “Check out this mofo of a song #BuyMeABoat from @janson_chris” while ABC’s “Nashville” actor Charles Esten tweeted, “A little @mrBobbyBones love for a great @janson_chris song helped put “Buy Me A Boat” to #1.” Additional Twitter support came from Country artist RaeLynn, GRAMMY-Award winning producer and songwriter Luke Laird (Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Chesney) and songwriter Ben Hayslip (Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan).

As the song continues its stronghold in the Top 10 on iTunes, Janson has a full schedule of dates where “Buy Me A Boat” is sure to be anticipated and echoed by the crowds including April 3rd and 4th at the Grand Ole Opry, followed by Country Thunder (Florence, AZ) on April 11th and Stagecoach (Indio, CA) on April 26th.

With undeniable charisma, Janson brings a blue-collar, working-class, boot-stomping hillbilly redneck attitude to bear on every live performance, earning him opening slots for Florida Georgia Line, music legends Merle Haggard and Hank Williams Jr., as well as over 60 appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. The talented songwriter began writing at just 18 with an impressive group of musicians from the likes of Guns N’ Roses to the esteemed Larry Gatlin and co-wrote Tim McGraw’s highest chart debut of his career, “Truck Yeah.” The Perryville, Missouri native first broke onto the music scene when he landed a year long, four show a day gig at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. Janson is currently focusing on a heavy summer touring season and writing songs for his debut album.

For more information and tour dates visit: www.chrisjanson.com.

Jo Dee Messina Co-Authors New Chicken Soup for the Soul Book

Chicken Soup for the Soul Thanks to My Mom

Are you looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift?   Look no further than Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks to My Mom written by award winning, multi-platinum recording sensation Jo Dee Messina and Amy Newmark.

Jo Dee Messina wrote the introduction and first chapter, a tribute to her own mom, re-telling her mother’s lifelong message to her that there would always be a string attaching their hearts no matter how near or far, through good or bad, in life and, when the time comes, even in death. The mother of two small boys, it is a lesson Jo Dee will pass along to them.

Jo Dee and Amy personally selected each of the other 100  stories by men and women from across the country honoring their moms through wonderful memories of experiences and the lessons that have helped to guide their lives.  Some stories are poignant, some tear-jerking, others funny and simply terrific homage to moms everywhere.

“This book is a gigantic Thank You to my mom and yours – with stories that will make them smile, laugh out loud, and even tear up a few times.” – Jo Dee Messina

The song “Me” from Jo Dee’s latest critically acclaimed (fifth) studio album is the perfect companion track to the book as it explores what every mother has asked herself at one time or another, if she is “enough.” The book includes the lyrics to “Me” and a link to a special performance of the song. With lyrics like “…I’m somebody’s teacher when they don’t understand. Got a seat in the bleachers I’m the world’s biggest fan. I wish I was half the woman I’ve got to be. I wish I had all the answers right in front of me. I’m everything to everyone and I’m scared as I can be…,” this song as well as the book will strike a chord with mothers everywhere. Listen to “Me” now.

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