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Grand Ole Opry, Here We Come!

A few weeks ago, Chad says to me, “How would you like to do your show from the Grand Ole Opry June 7th?” The answer was a simple, “Uh, yeah!” Twist my arm, right? Can’t wait to see everybody who makes the trip down this week for the CMA Music Fest, the festival formerly known as Fan Fair. And, wow! It just now hit that it will mark kind of an anniversary for me.

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I understand that the 10th anniversary is aluminum. Well, I’ll have to find some when I’m on the Grand Ole Opry plaza this Tuesday. And I’ll be remembering when I broadcast from the old Planet Hollywood on Broadway in downtown Nashville back in 2001. I don’t know what the establishment is now, but every time I drive by the place, it takes me back. We were set up upstairs and I remember it was freezing. And that’s saying something coming from me. But I did two nights–Wednesday and Friday. And it was so cool, no pun intended. We booked the live broadcasts through Huntsman Entertainment and their representatives arranged artist visits. We had many come by, but these were the ones who stood out: Billy Ray Cyrus, who brought us all chicken tenders; Chely Wright, who picked up a guitar we were having autographed for a giveaway and played an acoustic version of her big hit “Single White Female” and another great song called “Emma Jean’s Guitar”; Brad Paisley, who was only a year and a half into his career at the time–really nice guy; Rascal Flatts, who sang an a capella version of the National Anthem; and a very mulleted Blake Shelton, whose breakthrough hit “Austin” had just hit the top 20 that week. Oh, and I remember on Friday night the Warren Brothers were playing at the little theatre that was next to our broadcast booth, and they asked me to introduce them on stage. Great guys. Great week. Hey it’s the CMA Music Fest. It’s one of the greatest weeks Nashville has to offer.

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