Friday, March 16, 2012

LARRY’S COUNTRY DINER AND COUNTRY’S FAMILY REUNION FIVE-DAY “DOWN-HOME” CARIBBEAN CRUISE

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND:
LARRY’S COUNTRY DINER AND COUNTRY’S FAMILY REUNION
FIVE-DAY “DOWN-HOME” CARIBBEAN CRUISE


Fans to Enjoy High-Sea Shows featuring Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius, Gene Watson, Moe Bandy, T. Graham Brown, Ronny Robbins and the Cast of Larry’s Country Diner, with Special Stand-Up Performances by Nadine
Nashville, TN (March 16, 2012)Gabriel Communications announced today that its highly successful television shows, “Larry’s Country Diner” and “Country’s Family Reunion” will, once again, take to the high-seas for a five-day “down-home” Caribbean Cruise.  Fans can climb aboard the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas cruise liner January 19-24, 2013 and enjoy entertainment featuring Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius, Gene Watson, Moe Bandy, T. Graham Brown, Ronny Robbins, with more artists to be announced.  Of course, there will be a special onboard Larry’s Country Diner show, featuring the entire cast, and very special stand-up performances by the ever-popular Nadine.  The Liberty of the Seas, which will dock at ports of call including Cozumel and Belize, boasts amenities such as a 9-hole golf course, waterpark, full-sized sports courts, fitness center, day spa and unlimited onboard activites.  Based on the success last year’s cruise, these will sell out quickly, so fans are encouraged to book early by calling:  1-800-820-5405 or by logging on to www.cfrcruise.com.

Larry chats it up with Nadine during the sold-out 2012 Larry’s Country Diner/Country’s Family Reunion cruise.  The painted set and the duck shaped floatation device are just part of the fun as the diner adjusts to the high seas.
Photo Credit: Phil Johnson ©2012 All Rights Reserved
In just two short years, “Larry’s Country Diner,” has become one of country music consumers’ favorite “eateries.”  One of the top-rated shows on the RFD-TV network, this “down home” variety show serves up a heapin’ helpin’ of spontaneous country music performances by the stars of yesterday and today, with a generous portion of laughs.  Set in a rural, small-town diner, the show’s spontaneity and impromptu nature only add to its charm and unique appeal, pulling an estimated audience 1.4 million people each and every month to the upstart network.  During the cruise, fans will get to be a part of the “Larry’s Country Diner” studio audience, get up close and personal with their favorite diner cast members and enjoy stellar performance by iconic country artists.  On dry land, fans would have to wait over a year to get a seat at the diner given the current waiting list.    

Passengers will also enjoy special shows from “Country’s Family Reunion.”  Since 1997, Gabriel Communications has been reunited artists from the country music “family” to reminisce about their careers, perform signature songs and share stories while the cameras roll.  The result has been pure magic, leading to the highly-popular show airings on the RFD-TV network and successful DVD sales.

ABOUT LARRY’S COUNTRY DINER: 
Larry’s Country Diner is a unique down-home variety show which integrates entertainment, interviews and music in a weekly format, taped LIVE in front of a studio audience in a country diner setting.  The show features regular characters including Black, Keith Bilbrey, Sheriff Jimmy Capps, waitress Renae and avid church lady Nadine, along with special guest appearances by country music artists of yesterday and today.  Since its initial airing on August 3, 2009, Larry’s Country Diner has produced nearly 100 episodes and has become one of the most popular shows on RFD-TV, garnering 1.4 million viewers monthly.  For more information, please visit www.larryscountrydiner.com.

Larry’s Country Diner is another product of Gabriel Communications, started in 1996. Owned and operated by long-time disc jockey, Larry Black, the company specializes in “Reunion Videos.” The success of this series spurred the creation of more than a dozen more projects featuring hundreds of songs and stories as well as Country’s Family Reunion News, a monthly newspaper which highlights the music of yesteryear.  For more information on Country Family Reunion products, please visit: www.cfrvideos.com.

ABOUT GABRIEL COMMUNICATIONS & REUNION VIDEO PRODUCTS:
Started in 1996 as the idea of long-time disc jockey, Larry Black, Gabriel Communications specializes in “Reunion Videos.” The success of this television and DVD series spurred the creation of more than a dozen more projects featuring hundreds of songs and stories, Country’s Family Reunion News (a monthly newspaper which highlights the music of yesteryear), as well as a weekly format spin-off television show on RFD-TV called “Larry’s Country Diner.”   Gabriel Communications has additionally applied the Reunion concept to sports and created videos involving the legends of stock car racing and collegiate football teams.  For more information on Country’s Family Reunion products, please visit:  www.cfrvideos.com.  You can find all music reunion products under the Country’s Family Reunion portion of this web site.

Tammy Wynette's Stepdaughter Says Singer's Children Agreed on Name Switch

Tammy Wynette's Stepdaughter Says Singer's Children Agreed on Name Switch
But Reasons Her Tomb Is Now Marked "Virginia W Richardson" Still Not Clear
March 9, 2012; Written by Edward Morris

Tammy WynetteTammy Wynette's children and stepchildren authorized the name change on her Nashville tomb, according to stepdaughter Deirdre Richardson-Hale.

CMT.com broke the news Monday (March 5) that the name on Wynette's tomb at Woodlawn Cross Mausoleum has been changed from "Tammy Wynette" to "Virginia W Richardson." At the time of her death in 1998, Wynette was married to producer and songwriter George Richey, whose original surname was Richardson. 

Richardson-Hale, an attorney in San Diego, is Richey's daughter.

"I guess I'm curious as to why it's a story," she said to CMT.com during a phone interview conducted shortly after the name-change article was published. "I can tell you simply [the change] was a decision made by her six children for reasons known to us."

She declined to specify what those reasons were. The children involved are Wynette's four daughters and Richey's daughter and son.

Georgette Jones-Lennon, the daughter of Wynette and George Jones, confirmed Richardson-Hale's explanation but said she had a different understanding of what her mother's name on the tomb would be changed to. 

She also asserted the change had taken place more than six months ago and, like Richardson-Hale, wondered why the news of it was only now being reported. 

(For the record, CMT.com reported the story as soon as it could confirm that Wynette's name was no longer on her tomb.)

"Deirdre called my sister and relayed a message to her that it would be legally necessary -- just temporarily -- for us to change Mom's name [on her tomb] to her maiden name," said Jones-Lennon, "and that [the change] was in regard to things that were going on regarding Sheila, Richey's widow. 

"We did agree, but we wanted Mom's name to be changed temporarily to her maiden name, which we thought was going to be 'Virginia Wynette Pugh.' Of course, as you can see, it was changed to 'Virginia W Richardson,' which was not what we agreed to. ... I won't speak for all of us, but I can say my sisters Tina, Jackie and myself are very upset."

Richey married the former Sheila Slaughter in 2001, three years after Wynette's death.

In a written statement sent to CMT.com , Jones-Lennon said, "We are currently having to fight [Sheila Richey] in court due to decisions she made near the end of her husband's life to sell everything of our mother's to Bicycle Music, even though Mom's will specifically left everything to us four girls and Richey's two children after his death. She sold everything just a few months short of his passing."

A news release from Bicycle Music on Feb. 19, 2010, stated that the company, in league with the AF Circle C Fund, had acquired "a significant interest in the Tammy Wynette music catalog, name and likeness as well as the trademarks 'Tammy Wynette,' 'First Lady of Country Music' and 'Stand by Your Man.'"

Richey died just over five months after this deal was made.

Communicating by email, Sheila Richey told CMT.com she was unaware of what prompted the name change.

"Sadly, I cannot tell you the reasons why my stepdaughter, Deirdre Hale, would have requested Woodlawn to desecrate the resting place of this world-renowned country legend. My late husband, George Richey, had the name her fans knew, Tammy Wynette, placed there after she died in 1998. Over this issue and others, Deirdre and I no longer speak."

She criticized Wynette's daughters for having their mother's body exhumed after they had filed a lawsuit against Richey and Wynette's doctor, alleging they had contributed to her death. An autopsy determined that the singer died of natural causes.

"I would like to apologize on behalf of my late husband and myself to all of Tammy's wonderful fans around the world," Richey concluded. "I'm truly sorry for another stain on 'The First Lady of Country Music' brought about by her children."

"I can't believe there is still so much acrimony over this poor woman," said an industry insider who once worked closely with Wynette but who asked to remain anonymous. "Now someone has stripped her of her own celebrity. [Visiting her tomb now] would be like visiting Tony Curtis' grave and seeing his real name -- Bernard Schwartz -- on it."

Country Music News International March 16. 2012


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D. Vincent Williams, Chris Janson and Newcomer Ryan Kinder to Bigger Picture Group’s Artist Roster http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.com/2012/03/d-vincent-williams-chris-janson-and.html









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D. Vincent Williams, Chris Janson and Newcomer Ryan Kinder to Bigger Picture Group’s Artist Roster

BIGGER PICTURE GROUP SIGNS THREE NEW ARTISTS

Keith Stegall Welcomes Accomplished Artists
D. Vincent Williams, Chris Janson and Newcomer Ryan Kinder to
 Bigger Picture Group’s Artist Roster

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – March 15, 2012 Bigger Picture Group announced today three new signings to its Artist Ventures division.  Award-winning songwriter D. Vincent Williams, charismatic performer Chris Janson and new talent Ryan Kinder join the Bigger Picture family of artists, along with label mates Craig Campbell and Chris Cagle.  The announcement was made by Bigger Picture Group’s Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Keith Stegall.

“I'm thrilled to announce some of our new artists that will be joining ‘the family,’” Stegall says. “I'm most proud of the culture that we have provided for these talented individuals to thrive and continue to create.”

With the addition of these diverse artists, seasoned producer Stegall continues to shape and cultivate a strong and varied roster of incredible talent, style and experience at Bigger Picture Group.  Stegall, known for producing GRAMMY-award-winning country acts Alan Jackson, Randy Travis and Zac Brown Band, looks forward to putting his veteran touch on the music of these experienced and rookie talents.  With the well-rounded roster, Bigger Picture Group will continue to deliver exciting new sounds to country music audiences.

Williams
D. Vincent Williams
Photo Credit: Dale Manning
Click HERE to download hi res photo

Already a familiar name to many country music fans, established talent and ACM award winner D. Vincent Williams has enjoyed a remarkable songwriting career. Landing cuts on albums that have sold more than 15 million copies, his memorable songs have been recorded by a who’s who of renowned artists including Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Ronnie Milsap, Jason Aldean and Lee Ann Womack. Winner of the 2002 Academy of Country Music “Song of the Year” for Rascal Flatts’ “I’m Moving On,” Williams now combines his impressive songwriting skills and strong voice for country fans to enjoy. 

Janson
Chris Janson
Photo Credit: Dale Manning
Click HERE to download hi res photo

High-energy performer and talented multi-instrumentalist Chris Janson has been the talk of the Nashville country scene for years. Janson’s steady baritone and undeniable skills as a songwriter evoke a sound reminiscent of country strongholds Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams, but his lyrics and delivery have a decidedly modern tone.

Kinder
Ryan Kinder
Photo Credit: Eric England
Click HERE to download hi res photo

Alabama native Ryan Kinder is thrilled to bring his soulful Southern sound to Bigger Picture. Kinder, who has been writing for the company’s publishing arm, Songs of Bigger Picture, for the last year, will attract and captivate fans with his guitar savvy, soul-drenched vocals and charismatic charm.
 
About Bigger Picture Group (BPG)
Bigger Picture Group is a next-generation music company that is pioneering a new vision for the music industry. By taking a holistic view of each artist’s career and establishing a joint venture whereby the artists contribute both their art and their brand, Bigger Picture Group can then strategically provide the resources required to develop, promote and market the artist, all under one roof. Recently named the No. 5 country record label by Country Aircheck, Bigger Picture Artist Ventures includes country stars such as Craig Campbell and Chris Cagle. Bigger Picture Group has also been instrumental in GRAMMY-award-winning Zac Brown Band’s recording success, including the production and promotion of the highly successful band’s two albums. The company, an affiliate of Red Stripe Plane Group, is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. To learn more, please visit:  www.biggerpicturegroup.com.

JOSH TURNER RETURNS TO CO-HOST NBC'S THE TODAY SHOW

Photo Credit: George Holz
 
JOSH TURNER RETURNS TO CO-HOST NBC'S THE TODAY SHOW
 
Double-Platinum Selling Hit-Maker Will Bring His Southern Charm to New York City as Co-Host on Today with Hoda Kotb Monday, March 19
 
World Premiere of New Music Video, "Time Is Love,"  on Great American Country (GAC) at 10 a.m. EDT
 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Multi-platinum selling country artist, Josh Turner, will shake up his daily routine when he returns to co-host The Today Show with Hoda Kotb on Monday, March 19 at 10 a.m. EDT. Celebrating a new radio single, "Time Is Love" -- currently No. 23 on the Country Billboard chart this week and one of his fastest-rising singles to-date -- while also anticipating his forthcoming summer album release, Punching Bag, Turner will talk about his new music, songwriting, touring, family and more to Today audiences nationwide. "I'm looking forward to co-hosting again with my beautiful Egyptian goddess!" says Turner. "It's always a blast for me."
 
Photo Credit: George Holz
Also on Monday, Great American Country (GAC) will host the world premiere of Turner's highly-anticipated music video, "Time Is Love," which will air throughout the day beginning at 10 a.m. EDT / 9 a.m. CDT.
 
After his appearance on Today, fans can find Turner out on the road performing dates in cities including Austin, TX (March 21), Bossier City, LA (March 23), Fort Worth, TX (March 24), and more. 
 
Josh Turner behind-the-scenes on the set of his new music video, "Time Is Love."
Photo Credit: Stephen Shepherd
About Josh Turner
One of the format's most recognizable hit-makers earning numerous CMA, ACM and GRAMMY nominations since the release of his debut album, Long Black Train, Josh Turner has sold more than 4 million albums and garnered four No. 1 hits (including three multi-week chart-toppers): "Your Man," "Would You Go With Me," and "Why Don't We Just Dance" (a four-week No. 1 that was named the most-played song of the year in 2010 by MediaBase). His song, "All Over Me," from current album, Haywire, also reached the top spot on the charts, making him one of only seven country artists to have two No. 1 hits in 2010. A Hannah, SC native, he has been songwriting and performing since he was a young child, and in support of music education, created The Josh Turner Scholarship Fund to assist students interested in pursuing a future in arts/music. As a high school student, he had very little access to music education, therefore realizes first-hand the importance of arts in the schools. Celebrating the release of one of his fastest-rising singles to-date, "Time Is Love," Turner will soon release his fifth studio album, Punching Bag, this summer. For more information on Josh Turner including a list of his upcoming headlining tour dates, visit www.JoshTurner.com.

A SCARE FOR STONEWALL JACKSON FAMILY

A SCARE FOR STONEWALL JACKSON FAMILY

(Nashville, TN-3/15/12)  Grand Ole Opry Legend, Stonewall Jackson’s son Turp, and Turp’s daughter Savannah were on their way back to Nashville from a short vacation in Florida during Savannah’s Spring Break from school.  They were traveling through a long stretch of a sparsely populated wooded area in Alabama, when a high-powered bullet came through their windshield.  A scary moment for Turp and daughter, as well as Stonewall and Juanita. 

Turp was driving Stonewall’s large band van, which is set up to hold up excess gas for long trips.  Stonewall and Juanita said all they could think about was “what could have happened had that bullet hit the gas tank instead of the windshield.  Thank God no one was injured, just frightened.”  No updates on how this happened, but someone must have been watching over them.  Please keep Turp, Savannah, Juanita, and Stonewall in your thoughts and prayers.

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