Oh, the trials of being a Party Boy – Should I go and celebrate with one of my best old pals or salute Music Row’s new Platinum puppy? The answer is, of course, do both: Nobody said this job was going to be easy.
So it came to pass that on Tuesday eve (5/22), we began the cocktail party at BMI to fete the publication of Secrets of the List, the debut book by David Ross. Waiters circulated with mini crab cakes, bacon-wrapped asparagus, smoked salmon on toast points, mozzarella-and-tomato skewers and other delights.
“I first met David in 1981 when I was a waitress at the Music Row watering hole Close Quarters,” recalled BMI’s Kay Clary, adding that at the time Ross was inventing himself as our “town crier” with his innovative publication of MusicRow. “It is hard to imagine us without MusicRow as a resource.” She introduced the magazine’s current owner/publisher, Sherod Robertson.
Sherod read congratulations from Suzanne Clement, the assistant to the Dean at the Curb College at Belmont University, and added his own felicitations. “Today is all about David and not about MusicRow,” he said. “We’re very proud of you. We have something very unusual – It’s a plaque!” It actually was kind of special – at the bottom was space for a card to be signed by everyone there. “We’re very excited to see where Secrets of the List takes you.”
“I hate surprises,” quipped Ross. “I used to know everything that was going on at MusicRow.
“I first met BMI as a songwriter, so it’s really a pleasure for me to have this party here. This is my first event as an author, so this is a new thing for me.
“If you’re going to be successful at anything, you have to have friends, supporters and loyal followers, and you all have been that for me. I love all you guys.” A portion of last night’s sales of the book will be donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame, he added.
The cast of characters attending was multi-generational, ranging from young tech nerds to industry vets. This is because the book is about maximizing marketing using email and social media, and we all need to learn about that.
Schmoozing fabulons included Jon Walker, Jeff Walker, Mark Wright, Janie West, Whitney Daane, Garth Shaw, Victoria Shaw, Vanessa Parker-Davis, Sherrie Austin, Tom Baldrica, Tom Corley, Tim McFadden, Tony Conway, Martha Moore, Mike Martinovich, Mike Milom, Jay Frank, Pat Finch, Dan Keen, Dean Unkefer, Ed Benson, Neal Spielberg, Eileen Littlefield, Jimmy Harnen, Katie Gillon, Jana Talbot, Woody Bomar, Lisa Harless, Kitty Moon Emery and Debbie Schwartz Linn.
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Onward! Meanwhile, across the river on the C and D parking lots of LP Field, Luke Bryan took the stage (5/22) to whoop it up on account of that increasingly rare phenom, a Platinum record.
He couldn’t resist ad libbing. Luke was romping through hits such as “Rain Is a Good Thing” and “Someone Else Calling You Baby,” and during “Drunk on You,” he interjected, “I guess I’m drunk on you and high on Platinum Time!” He also flung the contents of a Solo Cup over the heads of the crowd. “We’re just gonna kinda play ‘em and have a good time,” he proclaimed. He and the band sounded especially good. So kudos to whoever was in charge of sound.
The album in question is Tailgates & Tanlines. As usual, Luke Bryan was cheerful and ingratiating.
Scene makers at this sunshiny Platinum party included Joanna Carter, Jimmy Carter, Steve Bogard, Steve Buchanan (to whom we offered congratulations on landing the network TV series Nashville), Dan Hill, Dale Bobo, John Grady, Rob Simbeck, Charlie Chase, Lisa Konicki, Walter Campbell, Mike Vaden, Sarah Trahern, Tracy Gershon and Donna Hughes. Oddly enough, the fiesta attracted few interlopers or local on-lookers. I guess nobody expected us to be there in such an out-of-traffic locale. Especially during rush hour.
Miller Lite beer stations were numerous and convenient. Food trucks offered pizza, smoked barbeque and ice cream shakes. Carl Black Chevy had tented tailgate parties.
If you wanted to keep rocking that night (5/22), there was the Opry salute-to-the-military show, featuring a red-carpet walk of those who serve, instead of the stars. Rascal Flatts, Kellie Pickler, John Conlee, Ronnie Milsap, Montgomery Gentry, Mark Wills and more were on the bill.
“This show continues the Opry’s long and very important tradition of recognizing our nation’s armed forces with a hail and ‘thank you’,” said Opry VP and GM Pete Fisher. The show will air as the premiere episode of GAC’s new Noteworthy at the Opry series on Saturday at 9:00 p.m. It will also be seen by US military around the world as part of the American Forces Television Network.