Country Music News - May/June 2004 -Page 9
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May / June, 2004 Issue

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Nashville Song Search
Seeks Country Music's Next Big Hit!

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – June 8, 2004 – From Music City USA, “Vocal Group of the Year“ Diamond Rio invites songwriters to enter a world-class songwriting contest –– Nashville Song Search(TM) www.nashvillesongsearch.com.

Nashville Song Search offers struggling songwriters the critical exposure they need to launch a dream career in songwriting.

Top music industry professionals choose finalists in eight different categories: Ballad, Up Tempo, Perfect for Diamond Rio, Traditional Country, Crossover/Pop Country, Folk, Under 18 and Christmas/Holiday.

Judging is based solely on originality, lyrics and melody. Since recording quality will not be considered, the playing field between professionals and amateurs is level. Nashville Song Search is a unique opportunity for aspiring writers to gain rare exposure to music industry “insiders.“ Contest judges include legendary songwriters, publishers and producers: Catherine Blasingame, Gary Burr, Kent Earls, Gary Harrison, Chris Lindsey, Vince Melamed, Pat Pattison, Troy Verges, and Thom Schuyler.


The Grand Prize winner will receive

  • An audience for the winning song from Universal Music Nashville, Warner-Chappell Music, and Sony/Tree Publishing

  • The opportunity to co-write a song with Grammy Nominated Songwriter Chris Lindsey

  • a professional promo package to pitch his/her song to major record labels

  • A half-day songwriter’s inside tour of Music City

  • A lesson with master guitarist Gary Talley

  • A one-year membership to SongU.com

    Winners in all eight categories, will be flown to Nashville, provided hotel accommodations for three days, play in the round at the world-famous Bluebird Cafe, receive coaching from hit songwriters, including Craig Wiseman, ASCAP 2003 Songwriter of the Year, and Vince Melamed, two-time recipient of Music Row Song of the Year, receive one complimentary song posting on Songscope.com.

    Prizes are awarded at all levels of judging, and every entrant receives a free copy of Performing Songwriter Magazine.

    The entry form and contest details can be found at www.NashvilleSongSearch.com. Deadline for entries is June 30, 2004.

    All proceeds benefit Crisis Center (www.crisiscntr.org), a non-profit organization that has provided free, 24-hour telephone crisis counseling to Music City and its surrounding communities for 35 years.

    CONTACT
    Nashville Song Search
    Stephanie Barger
    615-298-3359 x224
    Email: info@NashvilleSongSearch.com
    Web site: www.nashvillesongsearch.com


Country Music Lovers Remain Pro-War

JOHN GEROME
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Jun. 08, 2004 - Country music artists are hardly united in their support of the war in Iraq - but you'd never know it from listening to the radio.

While Toby Keith, Darryl Worley and Charlie Daniels scored hits with patriotic, war-themed songs, others such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Nanci Griffith released anti-war, or at least questioning, songs that went nowhere.

"I think country radio does enough research that they understand listeners are supportive of the military in Iraq and just don't want to get involved with those songs," said John Hart, president of Nashville-based Bullseye Marketing Research.

"I work with 32 stations, and I have not seen one test any of these anti-war songs."

But the patriotic tunes that were everywhere at the beginning of the military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq have slowed. John Michael Montgomery's touching "Letters from Home" is the only current chart hit with a war theme, and it is neither an angry call to arms nor a love letter to America.

Hart believes the flag-waving songs reached a saturation point. He also says the continuing hostilities in Iraq and recent prison abuse scandal may have tempered the enthusiasm expressed early in the conflict.

"I think right now the labels and radio feel they have come to a line in the sand where they need to slow down," Hart said. "And the artists are hesitant to release anything right now that they think might be overkill."

Country fans remain firmly behind the war, according to a survey completed last week by Hart's company. The survey of 845 country music listeners found that about 54 percent support U.S. involvement in Iraq and 55 percent would vote for President Bush if the election were today.

Patriotism is a strong undercurrent to this week's Country Music Association Music Festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday in Nashville.

In addition to donating tickets to soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, CMA will also hold a reunion of entertainers who performed for troops in Iraq last December. Guests at the Friday event include Worley, whose "Have You Forgotten" remains a conservative rallying cry, as well as liberal comedian and author Al Franken and "JAG" actress Karri Turner.

Franken said the backlash against the Dixie Chicks after lead singer Natalie Maines criticized President Bush on a London stage last year had "a chilling effect on what people felt they could or couldn't say" in country music.

"And that's too bad," Franken said. "I think people should be free to express their politics."

Worley also cited the Dixie Chicks' incident.

"They made a pretty strong statement about the president, and we haven't heard much of them on country radio either. There is a silent majority in this country, and it is a whole lot stronger than people might think."

Country artists are regarded as more conservative than those in other genres, but there are exceptions. Alt-country icons Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Rosanne Cash and Lucinda Williams lent their names to a petition by the protest group Musicians United to Win Without War. Respected songwriters Rodney Crowell and The Mavericks' Raul Malo have been frank about their opposition to the president. A new group called the Music Row Democrats formed this year to give a political voice to country songwriters, musicians, producers and record executives.

Still, the few country songs that have express reservations about Iraq have failed to click.

Worley believes some of that has to do with the artists releasing them, noting that veteran singers such as Nelson and Haggard have had trouble cracking the charts with any kind of song in recent years.

But market researcher Hart thinks it is more than that. He says an anti-war song by a hot contemporary artist would fizzle as well because of the conservative tilt of country audiences.

"I've been in country music since 1972, and I think every conflict is that way," said Hart, a Vietnam veteran. "Everytime we bomb somebody it's 'Hell yea!' Let's kick their ass.' That's where country music is coming from."

Singer Kenny Rogers, whose group The First Edition had one of the most poignant hits of the Vietnam era with "Ruby," a dark tale about a crippled Vietnam veteran whose woman is cheating on him, says the political climate today is much different than in the 1960s and '70s.

"I think people are afraid to write about it, and people are afraid to play it," Rogers said. "Everybody is so afraid now to be politically correct.

"I don't know of a successful song that has said 'We need to stop this,'" he said. "But I do think if one were written well and had an honest thought process behind it and was not strictly politically driven, radio would play it."


Walking Through Tomorrow
Click here to listen to WALKING THROUGH TOMORROW
Click here to download free player.

Writers: Anthony Ray Sutton & Jerry Mac Sutton
© BMI Work #4084304

Female Version

She's walking through tomorrow
With yesterday's dreams.
He can't bring her to today,
Even with all of his schemes.
The other man she had before him
Hurt her bad it seems,
And now she's walking through tomorrow
With yesterday's dreams.

On the surface she looks happy,
But inside-inside she's crying.
He can't warm her chili heart.
However, he's really trying.
He told her that all the yesterdays
Are gone and will never return.
She's reliving the pain of a heartache
She didn't earn.

It seems the man before him
Broke her spirit and heart.
The memory of that lost love
Is keeping them apart.
He's tried to erase the pain,
But it just keeps lingering on.
Their live won't stand a chance
'Til his memory's gone.

She's walking through tomorrow
With yesterday's, yesterday's dream.

Male Version

She's walking through tomorrow
With yesterday's dreams.
I can't bring her to today,
Even with all of my schemes.
The other man she had before me
Hurt her bad it seems,
And now she's walking through tomorrow
With yesterday's dreams.

On the surface she looks happy,
But inside-inside she's crying.
I can't warm her chili heart.
However, I really am trying.
I told her that all the yesterdays
Are gone and will never return.
She's reliving the pain of a heartache
She didn't earn.

It seems the man before me
Broke her spirit and heart.
The memory of that lost love
Is keeping us apart.
I've tried to erase the pain,
But it just keeps lingering on.
Our live won't stand a chance
'Til his memory's gone.

She's walking through tomorrow
With yesterday's, yeste
rday's dream.

Attention "Country Music Songwriters"
Become members of Music Highway Songwriters Association

Country Music Planet presents Jerry Mac, editor

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