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Published: Friday, 1/6/2006

Country music s trip to the Big Apple pays off

No doubt about it, the Country Music Association took a calculated

risk by taking their awards show to New York City at the end of


That decision seemed to backfire when the numbers came in for the

broadcast. After being watched by 37 million people in 2004, the

November broadcast had a drop of about 500,000 viewers. Officials at

the CMA and others were predicting a dramatic increase.

However, additional numbers continue to come in supporting the

success of the event.

The event got more exposure than at any other time in its history.

More than 500 members of the media covered the event. In the weeks

leading up to the event, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight,

Extra, CBS The Early Show, Good Morning America, Late Night

with David Letterman, Late Show with Conan O Brien, and several

other network news and programs either ran performances or stories

promoting the event.

There are a couple reasons why the publicity may not have paid off in

television ratings, including severe weather across the South and the

fact that it was CBS last year of televising the event, but the

publicity has resulted in a tremendous record sales boost for the

artists who performed.

Lee Ann Womack had an incredible 356 percent gain in sales of her

album, There s More Where That Came From, in the week after the

event. Womack was awarded with Album of the Year during the


Brooks & Dunn s Hillbilly Deluxe had a weekly gain of 157 percent,

Keith Urban s Be Here gained 110 percent, and Miranda Lambert s

Kerosene gained 102 percent.

To put those sales in perspective, the top gainers in the week after

the 2004 show were LeAnn Rimes, What a Wonderful World, up 87

percent; Billy Currington, Billy Currington, 76 percent; Gretchen

Wilson, Here for the Party, 74 percent, and Keith Urban, Be Here,

61 percent.

I d say it s turned out to be a good move, and country purists should

be relieved to know that the 40th annual CMA Awards show later this

year will return to Nashville, where it will be broadcast from the

Gaylord Entertainment Center.


David Kersh, who notched several Top 10 hits in the late 90s, is

closing the book on my singing career, according to a letter on his

official Web site, www.davidkersh.com. My heart is just not in the

music business anymore. I can t deal with all of the B.S. that goes

on in this industry now. Nothing is in my control anymore, and it all

just makes me a miserable person.

His hits include Goodnight Sweetheart, Another You, and If I

Never Stop Loving You.


Again, I can t say enough good things about Country Music Television.

They have quality programming all around, and viewers continue to

realize that. The fourth quarter of 2005 was the station s 15th

consecutive quarter of growth. The channel is now available in 79

million homes and is expected to reach 80 million very soon.


And finally, not only is CMT a quality station, but their Web site,

www.cmt.com, is one of the best sources for country music news.

On Wednesday, the site reported that singer-songwriter Barry Gibb of

the Bee Gees has purchased Johnny and June Carter Cash s former home in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tenn.

The 13,880-square-foot home was officially purchased by Balinda LLC, a Florida company wholly owned by Gibb and his wife, Linda.

The couple plans to restore the home to its original condition, CMT


This place will always be the spiritual home for the Cashes, Gibb

said in a written statement. My wife, Linda, and I are determined to

preserve it, to honor their memory. We fell in love with it. It s an

incredible honor for us. We plan to use the home to write songs

because of the musical inspiration.

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