Chapter 373—Part 1
The party circuit is on warp speed this week.
In just the first three days of it, there were multiple schmoozefests to attend on the same day, often at the same time. This party boy sometimes felt like he was juggling multiple plates on sticks. Filled with hors d’oeuvres.
Ten Out of Tenn Launch Party
“I am the TOT Mom,” explained Kristen Dabbs when Clay Bradley introduced us at BMI (9/12). “This is our seventh tour and our fourth album.”
The BMI party was to launch this year’s edition of “Ten Out of Tenn,” the compilation CD and its accompanying fall tour, which starts this week. Each year, Nashville’s pop/alternative community pulls together to show just how fabulous our non-country music makers are. They not only share the TOT Vol. 4 CD, but also a bus.
After the first successful compilation, Kristin approached BMI about hosting its annual TOT kick-off celebration, which the organization has been doing for the past three years in a row.
This year’s TOT participants are Katie Herzig, Matthew Perryman-Jones, Gabe Dixon, Tyler James, k.s. Rhodes, Andrew Belle, Trent Dabbs, Amy Stroup, Butterfly Boucher and Jeremy Lister. Most of this collective attended the soiree.
“These are the most unique, valuable songwriters in our community,” said Clay in welcoming the crowd. This year’s tour will hit 16 cities with sensational TOT sounds.
“Everyone at BMI has been amazing in supporting this whole concept,” said Trent. “There’s so much happening – so many people are moving here. Tell all your friends [who live] in the cities that we’re playing.”
Trent introduced Gabe, who recently splendidly showcased his new One Spark CD at the newly expanded and renovated 3rd & Lindsley (9/4). Gabe followed that with a performance of the CD’s “Running on Fumes” on Jimmy Kimmel Live (9/8), which is the same song he did at BMI. The participants all sang and played percussion behind him, then gathered at the front of the stage to form a circle around Trent for an unplugged moment.
Amy was next, followed by k.s. Rhodes, whose ebullient “Where I Come From” fully captures the spirit and camaraderie of Ten Out of Tenn. Last week (9/8), k.s. performed with The Nashville Symphony, by the way.
Susan Myers, Suzanne Alexander, Jon Randall Stewart, David Wykoff, Dan Keene, Heather Byrd, Luke Laird and more were digging the sounds and sampling the roast beef mini sandwiches, quiche slices, fruits, cheeses and beverages.
City National Grand Opening
The party bar has officially just been raised. The opening of the Music Row office of City National Bank (9/12) was among the most flashy and opulent of celebrations. After touring the office, we entered a massive white tent on the blocked-off South Street. Inside, it was like an igloo Casbah. White couches, white carpet, white flowers, white chandeliers, white cloth, white tables, white, white, white. Palm trees stood in the corners.
Bartenders were serving “CNBtini’s,” a specially concocted blue martini. Wait staff circulated, bearing trays of sushi, bacon-wrapped asparagus, mushroom tarts, cheeseburger sliders and other assorted canapes. Las Paletas frozen treats of various flavors were also served.
In one corner was a green screen where you could have your photo taken with a Times Square, tumbling dollar bills or CNB logo digital backdrop. Before you departed, they handed you the finished snapshot in a leather CNB frame.
I am told that event planner Jayne Bubis put the bash together. Well done, Jayne.
Lori Badgett shushed the schmoozing fabulons to introduce celebrity impersonator Pete Peterkin. He came out wailing as Little Richard, then had the crowd clapping and laughing as he “did” Elvis, Tom Jones, Tina Turner, Neil Diamond, Chuck Berry (complete with duck walk), Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown and Michael Jackson. “I taught them all!” he brayed. “Shut up!” It was quite entertaining.
Tim DuBois, Joe Galante, Dwight Wiles & Diana Johnson, Ed Hardy, Becky Harris, Bob Doyle, Kerry O’Neil, Susan Stewart, Chuck Flood, Pete Fisher, Harry Chapman, Beverly Keel, Dan Hill, Jayne Rogovin, Jon Freeman, Karen Oertley, Barry Coburn, Sherod Robertson, Allen Brown, Sarah Brosmer, Mary Ann McCready, John Lytle, Sally Williams and Mike Vaden were in the throng.
The office, itself, at 54 Music Sq. E., gleamed with modern décor. Posters of the Hollywood films that CNB has financed were placed throughout the space. This is, after all, the bank of everyone from Jack Benny to Marilyn Monroe. CNB loaned Lucille Ball the moolah to buy out Desi Arnez and become the first female head of a major studio, Desilu. CNB provided the big cash for Frank Sinatra to pay off the kidnappers of his son. We are talking loaded and show-biz connected up the wazoo.
And now the CNB largess extends to Music City. At the party, the bank made a $15,000 donation to Jonah Rabinowitz for the W.O. Smith Community Music School.
Let the record show that Holly Bell, who heads the new Nashville division, chose the smaller office and gave the bigger ones to Diane Pearson and Lori Badgett.
“We’re very proud and excited to be here,” said Lori. It showed, believe me.
Connie Smith Wraps Residency
Zipping on down to the Country Music Hall of Fame, we caught the finale of Connie Smith’s three-concert Artist-in-Residence shows at the Ford Theatre (9/12). So did Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, Dallas Frazier, Marty Stuart, Hunter Kelly, Craig Havighurst, Steve Betts and David McCormick. Bill Denny and Barry Mazur had perfect attendance records, having witnessed all three shows.
Her theme of the eve was “Connie and the Girls.” She welcomed mentor Jean Shepard and disciples The Quebe Sisters Band, Tanya Tucker and Martina McBride. “I stole everything from you,” Tanya told Connie. “Well, not everything, because you’ve still got it.” And how.
Connie closed with “Take My Hand,” featuring daughters Jodi Seyfried, Jeanne Haynes and Julie Barnick. She encored with a hand-clapping “Satisfied.”
Many of the attendees, by the way, were also at the BMI party last week (9/8) celebrating the release of Connie’s awesome Long Line of Heartaches CD.
Onward. The festivities continued on Tuesday (9/13) with a downtown party to salute the 80th birthday of George Jones.
Read Pt. 2 of Bobby Karl Works the Room tomorrow exclusively on MusicRow.com.