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Archive for the ‘Garth Brooks’ Category

Garth Brooks, Bob Doyle, Ben Farrell, and the late Joe Harris to be inducted into IEBA’s Hall of Fame

Ben Farrell, Tom Paquette, Garth Brooks and Tim Reese at Thompson Boling Arena

Ben Farrell, Tom Paquette, Garth Brooks and Tim Reese at Thompson Boling Arena

IEBA is honored to announce the induction of Garth Brooks, Bob Doyle, Ben Farrell, and the late Joe Harris into its Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place in Nashville on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at the close of IEBA’s 46th Annual Conference. IEBA’s Hall of Fame acknowledges elite entertainment industry professionals and includes Dick Clark, Johnny Cash & Lou Robin, The Doobie Brothers, Erv Woolsey, Dale Morris, George & Nancy Jones, and Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo.

Brooks is booked in-house and managed by Bob Doyle & Associates. His tour is promoted exclusively by Ben Farrell, president of Lon Varnell Enterprises.

“I was lucky that the people I found in those first couple of years were on the side of writers, artists, and musicians,” Garth told Patsi Bale Cox for her book The Garth Factor. “I met too many creative people who had been run over by the business and I won’t say it made me paranoid, but it did make me watchful.”

Bob Doyle was the Director of Membership Relations at ASCAP’s Nashville office the day songwriter Stephanie Brown introduced him to Garth Brooks – 29 years ago. A trained percussionist, Doyle had a fine reputation for treating songwriters with courtesy and respect. A pilot and Lt. Colonel with the Tennessee Air National Guard, his cautious no-nonsense business style was well-thought-of on Music Row. Within months of their first meeting, Bob Doyle resigned his position at ASCAP to manage Garth Brooks.

“When you sit across the desk from talented people, people with so much potential, you start wondering if you’re really helping them make their dreams come true,” Doyle reflected. “I thought a lot about the courage it takes to come to this town and put everything on the line – it takes a lot of nerve to go for a creative career. I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone with the guts to take that path. And in the end, what I decided was that I wanted to be someone who helped people live out their dreams. I don’t think I really understood the risk I was taking, quitting a safe job to try something completely new. But I had a line of credit and an artist I believed in.”

When booking agent Joe Harris heard Garth Brooks sing in 1988, he broke company policy and signed the new artist on the spot to a contract with Buddy Lee Attractions, before Brooks had a recording contract. Joe Harris was one of the most important people in Garth’s early career. “I give credit to Joe for breaking Garth as an act,” Doyle now says.

“In the beginning, Garth didn’t even have a label. But Joe used his contacts and his powers of persuasion to get him booked all over the country. These promoters and club owners had no idea what they were getting. They just took Joe Harris’s word. And then, of course, Garth delivered.”

Joe Harris was the only real booking agent Garth Brooks has ever had. “Uncle Joe, you know we owe it to you,” a lyric from “The Old Stuff” on Brooks’s 1995 release Fresh Horses, is a musical tribute to the man who recognized Brooks’s purpose, will, and unmistakable talent. Joe Harris died on Saturday, January 20, 1996 at age 57.

Legendary promoter Ben Farrell has been booking, managing and working with talent for Lon Varnell Enterprises for 46 years. The late Varnell, a founding Member of IEBA and also a Member of its Hall of Fame, established Lon Varnell Enterprises in Nashville in 1970. Ben Farrell was his first hire and has since worked with 21 artists in the Country Music Hall of Fame, booking and/or promoting more than 5,000 concerts and events with everyone from Elvis, The Statler Brothers, Merle Haggard and Elton John to Alan Jackson and George Strait in the earlier days. Often serving as an exclusive in-house promoter working directly with venues, Farrell has worked his friend and client Garth Brooks for 27 years starting in 1989, on Brooks’s first world tour in 1993, and again on Brooks’s 1996 – 98 tour. Now president of Varnell Enterprises, Farrell is a fixture on most “Promoter of the Year” lists.

“Ben Farrell is quite literally a tireless promoter of Garth Brooks,” proclaims Bob Doyle. “Ben’s work on our current tour began more than two years before we hit the stage on the first date. His relationships with venue managers and locals all across the country go back to the 80s and only get stronger with time. Much of the credit for the incredible success we are enjoying on this current tour goes to Ben for his savvy and his tenacity.”

IEBA will host its 46th Annual Conference October 9-11, 2016 at the Omni Nashville and Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum. Registration is open. For more information, please visit or call 615-679-9601. IEBA’s Honors and Awards Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, October 11 at 7:30pm at the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum. This is a free private event for Conference Attendees only.

That One Time Carrie Underwood’s Husband Duets with Garth Brooks Before Her

That one time Carrie Underwood‘s husband Mike Fisher did a duet with Garth Brooks before she did.

Garth Brooks Asks Fans for Patience


Garth Brooks came out of retirement with a bang and a massive tour. Naturally, fans were hoping that meant new music wasn’t far behind and originally, that was Garth’s plan. Unfortunately, timing among other things have changed that. Garth took to Facebook to ask fans for patience as he flexed his writing muscles.

In the fifteen months we have been touring, we have been fortunate to have seen a lot of faces and heard a lot of voices. When it comes to the new music, the one thing I keep hearing over and over is, “Where is the garth stuff?” I made the statement that when we came back on the road and into the studio, I was not confident in my own writing…it is a muscle and if you don’t use it, you just can’t turn it back on again…it takes time…but I DID hear you. And because of that, teamed with the touring schedule, I am asking a huge favor from you, I am postponing the release of the new studio record…I ask for your patience as I explore the writing again. I have been at it for over four months now, enjoying the challenge and enjoying the studio more because of it. This new album will be the most Garth thing I have ever done… whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, you will decide.

As a sort of consolation prize, Garth is inviting fans in on his process by sharing bits and pieces on social media.

I would like to invite you in on the process…see how we make records and see what goes on behind the scenes of the making of a record, from the production of the music, the manufacturing of the package, to the release of the record which should be sometime this summer

. I believe the g-team and Facebook have found a way to make this happen using Facebook LIVE like you have never seen it, to pull back the curtain on this process in a very cool and personal way. I really hope you are going to like this journey with me.

Luckily for Garth, he has TONS of hits to entertain his fans while we wait for new tunes…that hopefully live up to the old.

Garth Brooks, Lee Brice, Bobby Braddock and Jessi Alexander Play “The First and The Worst” to Benefit Music Health Alliance

Angela Talley

Photo credit: Angela Talley

Music City celebrated The First And The Worst from its talented creative community as hit-makers Jessi Alexander, Bobby Braddock and Lee Brice, along with special guest Sandy Knox, performed the very first and worst songs they have ever written, as well as their biggest hits, all to benefit Music Health Alliance. Joining for the sold-out show was Garth Brooks, who stepped in for Chris Stapleton after an unforeseen scheduling conflict. The second annual event raised over $200,000 for the non-profit, representing more than half of its annual budget. Music Health Alliance has secured over $10 million dollars in life-changing healthcare resources and enabled access to doctors, medicine, health insurance and financial assistance for 4,100 music industry entrepreneurs and professionals in only three years.

Photo credit: Angela Talley

Photo credit: Angela Talley

Highlights from the evening included Garth Brooks’ stirring performance of his quintessential hit, “That Summer,” while Lee Brice delivered a soulful rendition of self-penned “More Than A Memory,” recorded by Brooks.  Special collaborations for the evening included Jessi Alexander joined onstage with powerhouse vocalist Trisha Yearwood for “Nothin’ ‘Bout Memphis.” You could hear a pin drop as special guest Jon Randall wowed the crowd with “Whiskey Lullaby” and Alexander and Brice performed “I Drive Your Truck” for the very first time together. Among the more than 500 taking in the epic night were Kix Brooks and Major League Baseball’s Barry Zito.

Photo credit: Angela Talley

Photo credit: Angela Talley

Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Braddock received the “Crappy” Award for a song he wrote at the ripe old age of four, voted by over 500 audience members, as The First And The Worst’s most memorable song of the night. Last year’s recipient, Wynn Varbel, presented the award. Braddock later received a standing ovation for his iconic song, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

“It gives me chills to witness our amazingly talented creative community come together to support the long-term health of our own industry at The First And The Worst,” said Music Health Alliance Founder and 2015 Nashville Healthcare Hero, Tatum Hauck Allsep. “Not only was it an incredibly memorable night of music, the funds raised will allow us to provide access to life-saving medicines, surgeries, treatments and health insurance that is not readily available to the majority of the music industry who are self-employed and part of small businesses.”

The First And The Worst – an evening of really bad songs by really good writers – showcased songwriters Alexander, Braddock, Brice and Brooks as they divulged the stories and the songs that led to their biggest hits. Hosted by esteemed journalist and music historian, Peter Cooper, this unique event allowed the audience to peek inside the brilliant minds of hit songwriters long before they had ever written a chart-topper or had songs recorded by superstar artists, all for a worthy cause. Proceeds from The First And The Worst benefit Music Health Alliance, the music industry’s non-profit healthcare advocate. Funds raised help Music Health Alliance Protect, Direct & Connect music industry professionals with medical and financial solutions.

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