With studio television cameras on tripods and track and rail, Skyville Live launched last night (Jan. 14) in Nashville in a leased warehouse across from Skyville’s headquarters in Berry Hill. Premium inaugural talents included Gladys Knight, Martina McBride and British singer Estelle, who tantalized a few hundred live audience members while viewers at home got the front row seat.
“To my knowledge, there has never been a network-quality program featuring major artists that has appeared on the Internet first,” said show creator and Executive Producer Wally Wilson. “Now, at the dawn of the era of ‘smart TV,’ Skyville Live has come along to change that.”
Skyville has around 12-15 streaming shows planned for each year, featuring major national and international stars and up-and-coming artists from every genre of music. Thirty minute edited versions will be later available on demand. Forthcoming artists will be announced in coming weeks but are rumored to include Kenny Chesney, Merle Haggard, Meghan Trainor, Trey Songz, while Kris Kristofferson and Lady Antebellum are tapped for a taping in the spring.
“I’ve been keeping up with all of [these singers],” said Knight from the stage about McBride and Estelle. “My spirit reaches out to people with talent. I love all kinds of music, there are no boundaries.”
McBride, singing many tunes from her latest Everlasting album, kicked off the set with “In The Basement” followed by “Wild Night.”
The three vocalists joined for “Do Right Woman” before Estelle delivered a solo-performance of her hit “American Boy.”
With her husband John McBride behind the soundboard, the Nashville songbird sang her only career original, “Broken Wing.” Gladys continued with “Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me” prior to her Grammy-winning “Neither One Of Us.”
Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Jim Weatherly, who wrote the two aforementioned Knight originals, was front row and stood up to accept applause. Knight welcomed the three performers to the stage while prefacing Weathely’s “Midnight Train To Georgia.” Knight explained why the title was changed from “Midnight Plane to Houston” and that Cissy Houston sang the demo once the title was switched.
Estelle took to the stage for “Conquerer,” a title off her fourth studio album, True Romance, slated for release Feb. 17. The three women then stood side-by-side to end the evening with “End Of The Road” and an obligatory encore performance of “Son Of A Preacher Man.”
Wilson, a songwriter in his own right, owns Skyline Music Publishing with Paul Worley. Executive producers additionally include Dan Bean and Tisha Fein. Bean has 40 years of marketing and branding experience after having produced and promoted thousands of live entertainment shows with numerous artists, including the Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, Metallica, Jimmy Buffett, Moody Blues and Aerosmith. Bean also has over 12 years of video and placement in the entertainment and travel industries, and was one of the first producers to sell sponsorships for the concert and theater business. Fein has been a producer and talent executive for the Grammy Awards for over 30 years and has produced and secured talent for numerous television specials, most recently the Billboard Music Awards (2011-2014) and Fashion Rocks, which aired on CBS in September.
View Skyville Live’s official website.
View Skyville Live’s YouTube channel.
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