Bobby Karl Works “Blake Shelton Week”

Blake Shelton brought music back to the Row for the final installment of Warner Music Nashville’s Pickin’ on the Patio 2015. Thousands of people filled the streets to celebrate with the reigning five-time CMA Vocalist of the Year. Shelton performed an hour long set that included many of his 20 No. 1 singles, all featured on his forthcoming album Reloaded: 20 #1 Hits due October 23. Photo: Alan Poizner

Blake Shelton brought music back to the Row for the final installment of Warner Music Nashville’s Pickin’ on the Patio 2015. Thousands of people filled the streets to celebrate with the reigning five-time CMA Vocalist of the Year. Shelton performed an hour-long set that included many of his 20 No. 1 singles, all featured on his forthcoming album Reloaded: 20 #1 Hits due October 23. Photo: Alan Poizner

BOBBY KARL WORKS THE ROOM

Chapter 507

It’s Blake Shelton Week here in Music City.

Thousands thronged the streets of Music Row last night (Sept. 23) for his free concert. Even more heard his fifth anniversary celebration as a Grand Ole Opry cast member on Tuesday (Sept. 22). Today (Sept. 24), BMI and ASCAP are throwing a bash for five of his most recent No. 1 hits at Losers. More on this to follow.

Trace Adkins and Blake Shelton. Photo: Chris Hollo

Trace Adkins and Blake Shelton. Photo: Chris Hollo

The fun began with Blake’s appearance on the Opry. The show’s chief Pete Fisher presented him with a fifth of whiskey to commemorate the fifth anniversary. Not just any fifth, mind you. This one looked just like a fifth of Jack Daniels, except instead of “Jack Daniels,” the distinctive white-on-black label script read, “Blake Shelton.” It also read, of course, “Old No. 5,” and on the back Pete had inscribed the megastar’s “distilling” process.

Trace Adkins was the one who invited Blake to become an Opry cast member and the one who inducted him. He was on hand to sing “Hillbilly Bone” with Blake. “He’s still as cranky as ever, and that’s why I love him,” said Blake of Trace.

A heavenly host of fabulons gathered at Warner Bros. Records on Wednesday for a party celebrating Blake’s 20 No. 1 hits. By the way, there have been 15 of them in a row. Soon to be 16. Warner Bros. honcho John Esposito told us so, adding that Blake has won nine CMA awards, is a five-time CMA male vocalist, co-hosts the ACMs and is a four-time winning coach on TV’s The Voice. “Blake could sing the phone book,” Espo averred. He said that the A&R department is the heart and soul of his label while introducing producer Scott Hendricks. “I hope we’ve made you proud with the records we’ve made,” said Scott.

Then it was Blake’s turn to take the mic. “This is unbelievable,” he began. “This whole day, I’ve been running into people I haven’t seen in a long time. I ran into Jim Ed Norman. He looks the same as he did 100 years ago! It makes me realize how important the Nashville community has been to my success. More than ever, I realize how important great songs are. Thanks to the songwriters.”

Scott and his staff have sifted through 20,000 songs for Blake’s records. Frankly, I don’t think I would have the patience.

“It’s just been a magical day….I feel like it’s not about me,” Blake added later. “There are the songwriters, the record label, my agents….and that’s why I wanted to do something free for the community, for the fans.” The fans were there. Typical of the devoted, dedicated country lovers, many had found out about this Music Row event and travelled to Nashville, just to attend. Chris Cannon and his Channel 5 crew aired awesome helicopter video views of the assembled multitude.

(L-R): Kevin Herring (SVP, Promotion), Peter Strickland (EVP & GM, WMN), John Esposito (President & CEO, WMN), Scott Hendricks (EVP, A&R), Narvel Blackstock (Starstruck Management), Brandon Blackstock (Starstruck Management). Photo: Alan Poizner

(L-R): Kevin Herring (SVP, Promotion), Peter Strickland (EVP & GM, WMN), John Esposito (President & CEO, WMN), Blake Shelton, Scott Hendricks (EVP, A&R), Narvel Blackstock (Starstruck Management), Brandon Blackstock (Starstruck Management). Photo: Alan Poizner

Among the lucky ones in the party space and patio above the crowd were Charlie Cook, Charlie Chase, Lorianne Crook, Rob Simbeck, Rob Beckham, Kyle Young, Mary Ann McCready, Julie Boos, Gold and Platinum RIAA plaque maker Deborah Lotz (who is moving here from L.A., another coup for us), Leslie Fram, R.J. Curtis, John Marks, Stuart Dill, rising star Brett Eldredge, Hunter Hayes, Narvel Blackstock (we tried to get Kay West to pry him for Reba divorce details, but she wouldn’t do it), Cindy Watts, Shauna Russell, Tom Roland and Sherod Robertson.

The songwriters and other creative citizens who contributed to those 20 chart toppers were given crystal trophies. The ones I schmoozed included David Kent & Kristi Manna (“Austin”), Paul Overstreet (“Some Beach”), J.T. Harding (“Sangria”) and Ryan Hurd (“Lonely Tonight”).

There will be more of these folks at today’s Blake bash celebrating his most recent No. 1 hits.

Blake Shelton performs for the final installment of Warner Music Nashville's Pickin' on the Patio 2015 to thousands of fans. Photo: MusicRow

Blake Shelton performs for the final installment of Warner Music Nashville’s Pickin’ on the Patio 2015 to thousands of fans. Photo: MusicRow

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