Iconic country radio announcer Bill Cody‘s voice has been heard on the airwaves for nearly 50 years. The Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Famer is 25 years into his role as host of WSM’s Coffee, Country & Cody show, and as a Grand Ole Opry announcer/host.
But now, Cody is venturing into a new television show with Circle TV called, Bill Cody Presents, where he will sit down with some of country music’s biggest stars in places that are special to them.
Cody isn’t a stranger to television, as he previously worked for TNN and GAC. “A lot of us who were on radio were also doing things over at the television networks,” explains Cody in an interview with MusicRow. “So I’ve always had that connection to television.”
With Bill Cody Presents, Cody and Circle are bringing fans a long-form interview show where legendary country artists get to tell stories of their past in specific places that are special to each individual. Garth Brooks, Ray Benson (Asleep At The Wheel), Kathy Mattea, Pam Tillis, Marty Stuart, Brenda Lee and Ronnie Milsap will be featured on the first season.
“Radio is helping me in television in large part because I know these artists,” says Cody. “I was an on-air personality playing their records as they were starting their careers. So in a way, we all kind of grew up together.”
The first episode of the new series is with Brooks at his famed Allentown Studios, named in honor of his legendary producer Allen Reynolds. This interview stood out to Cody in particular, not only because of where it was, but because of how he has followed Brooks’ career from when he was just a young writer from Oklahoma doing radio tours.
“To sit in that room where it all happened, there was a spiritual nature to that visit, I can’t explain it,” says Cody. “There were ghosts in the room.”
Every single note Brooks has ever recorded, except the Chris Gaines project, was recorded in that studio, Cody explains. The Brooks interview was emotional at times, and Cody could feel the energy from stories Brooks told.
“That was forever memorable to me and I think it will be for the people [who watch]. Certainly if you’re a fan of Garth, you’ll feel that way. If you are on the fringe and he’s not your favorite artist but you know who he is, I think you’ll be endeared to him in a way that you never have been before [after watching the interview].”
Though Cody has interviewed many of the artists, many times throughout the years, he was able to learn something new about each of them. Cody gleaned insight from Pam Tillis at her interview at the Exit/In and the Villager Tavern about her making her own way in the music industry without the help from her father, Mel Tillis. He also spoke with Marty Stuart on his tour bus about his love for the road, traveling, and the memories made on tour busses.
“I think each episode, as much as you may be a fan of a specific artist, or a country music trivia expert, I think you’re going to learn something,” says Cody. “You’re going to hear some things you didn’t know about these artists.”
Cody is most excited for fans to see the honest and personal side of these artists. Because the interviews were at places that meant something to these country legends, Cody feels that the setting brings out more than it would in a standard TV studio.
“It’s a conversation between two old friends, who’ve known each other through the best of times and the worst times, in many cases on a very personal level. We share things with each other,” sums Cody. “I hope that my curiosity in asking some of these questions comes through and marries the curiosity of the viewer.”
The dates and times for Bill Cody Presents episodes:
February 9, 2022 – 8/7c – Garth Brooks
Cody and Garth Brooks sit down in the famed Allentown Studios. The studio is full of history including being the place Garth recorded all of his albums.
February 16, 2022 – 8/7c – Kathy Mattea
Cody and Kathy Mattea take a trip down memory lane (and Music Row) including the publishing company Kathy called home (literally).
February 23, 2022 – 8/7c – Ray Benson
Cody and Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson look back at the band’s 50-year history including a stop at the studio where they recorded their first album.
March 2, 2022 – 8/7c – Marty Stuart
What better place to revisit Marty’s history than his tour bus? A place he’s called his home away from home since he was a little kid. Cody visits with Marty to talk about his storied career.
March 9, 2022 – 8/7c – Pam Tillis
Cody and Pam Tillis visit the Exit/In and the Villager Tavern to talk about life as Mel Tillis’ daughter and making her own mark on the music industry.
March 16, 2022 – 8/7c – Ronnie Milsap/Brenda Lee
Join Bill Cody backstage at the Grand Ole Opry House as he sits down with the iconic Brenda Lee & Opry legend Ronnie Milsap to talk about their careers and memories of the Opry stage.
- Worldwide Stages Announces Investment Opportunity In Its Production Campus - September 29, 2023
- Fifth Annual Charlie Daniels Patriot Awards Raises $400K For U.S. Military Vets - September 29, 2023
- Darius Rucker To Perform As Part Of The ‘Recorded Live At Analog’ Series - September 27, 2023