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Top 10 News Stories of 2008

January 1, 2009

The final addition of the end of the year features for 2008 is the list of the 10 most popular stories either here on Country Music Central or throughout the country music world. So here they are and Happy New Year everyone.


#10: Vince Takes A Crack At Kanye After Grammy Win
It was quite amusing watching Vince Gill take the trophy for Country Album of the Year at the 2008 Grammys, but not because it was a joke that he won, far from it, his These Days project was among the very best the genre had to offer in 2007. No, what was funny was the crack he took towards rapper Kanye West. The entire night Kanye had been showing off a sense of accomplishment and self-righteousness as an artist. Upon accepting his award from Beatles Ringo Star Vince commented “I just got an award presented to me by a Beetle. Have you had that happen yet, Kanye?”, a comment that even had Kanye laughing.



#9: Equity Closes its Doors
As another unfortunate sign of shallow times and poor status for the music world, country star Clint Black was forced to close the doors of his records label late in 2008. The issue was due to slow artist success, partly due to changing radio interest and lack of investment money to support them, and lack of sales. The label beganto fall this year after losing both it’s major artist, the group Little Big Town, and half of it’s founders in Mike Kraski. The label held the careers of Carolina Rain, Laura Bryna, Kevin Fowler, newcomer Blake Wise and Clint, all who are now unemployed musically as well as the entire staff of the company.



#8: Jamey Johnson’s Surprise SuccessThat Lonesome Song cover
Afterlosing bothhis record deal and his wife in the past few years, Jamey Johnson found himself at a personal crossroad. With his life falling apart he claims he drank himself to sleep in the seat of his truck on the side of the road and when he woke up began his life a new, writing the material that would become one of the most cherished projects of 2008. Jamey’s That Lonesome Song has become a hit with bohtcritics and fans containing songs fashioned in traditional acoustic country style, one which seemed to have faded away with time in the genre. However, Jamey defied expectations and scored a top 10 hit with “In Color” making his a rare treat by bringing traditional back to the top of the charts. In true country music fashion Jamey took the tragedies of his life and the things he loved the most and used them to take back a career that was rightfully his.



#7: Shania and Mutt Lange Split
After fourteen years of marriage and a professional partnership spanning Shania’s entire career, her and husband, producer and co-writer Mutt Lange declared their separation in 2008. Many rumors started over why the two were divorcing, the latest being that Lange was caught cheating on the country super star with a friend of hers. Whatever the case the two have kept the matter as private as possible, but the issue has no dought slowed the return of Twain to country radio which was expected hopefully for early 2009 by fans and media, but will now be bumped to even later so that Twain can deal with the issue at hand.



#6: New Opry Members
Three new Opry members were inducted this year representing three different strands of country music. Legend Charlie Daniels finally got his well deserved invite, fitting for a man who has dominated the road sense the 70’s and has become one of the great figures that merged country with southern rock. Craig Morgan also got a well deserved invite as an artist who worked hard to earn his spot among the underdogs of country music and score a few hits along the way. Finally Ms. Carrie Underwood got her invite this year as well representing a new generation of aspiring singers and songwriters. Congrats to these three very deserving inductees to the Opry.



#5: Eddy Arnold and Jerry Reed Pass
Country music icons Eddy Arnold and Jerry Reed both lost their lives sadly in 2008. Jerry Reed, famous as a popular actor and Grammy Winner, most notably for his performance of “East Bound and Down” from Smokey And The Bandit, stood as an icon in both film and music specifically for his ability to achieve greatness in both fields and became a notable guitar legend in the country genre. Eddy Arnold is credited as one of the pioneers of the Nashville sounds and one of the most popular country singers to ever live. His accomplishments earned him several prestigious awards in his lifetime and his popularity still remains to this day, a single called “To Life” being charted less than a week after his passing, a rare accomplishment for a diseased artist. They will both be missed.



#4: CMA Awards….Really???
Country music’s biggest night became it’s biggest blunder in 2008. In a genre already full of twists and turns the CMA’s were a huge disappointment. While many singers pulled off great performances of new and current hits, it was the addition of non-country figures that took the show to a huge low. While Darius Rucker pulled off a fabulous rendition of his #1 hit “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”, other “outsiders” were strangely accepted onto the stage. Kid Rock earned a spot to sing his hit “All Summer Long”, but when he got his chance he not only Incorporated hip hop style clothing, but invited rapper Lil’ Wayne to join him…really, Lil’ Wayne? In addition Kenny Chesney brought the Whailers….not required and I won’t even go into the horrid performances of some of the best the genre could offer. So much for country music’s biggest night.



#3: Nashville Star A No-Go
Once again Nashville Star was a huge flop. For it’s 6th season the show maaged to move to major cable station NBC, but that didn;t help it much. Only Miranda Lambert has managed to score a success story after the show, and it looks to remain that way. The latest winner Malissa Lawson has continued the trend and failed to take any real success from the show. The show was highly criticized and judge John Rich didn’t help to gain any support on top of that. So even with major network support, country music’s version of American Idol still fails to even matter in the world of country radio.



#2: John Rich
Well that’s all you need to say there. John Rich has been one of the biggest controversies in himself this year. A few things he’s done this year: further destroyed Nashville Star, spoke out against gay marriage, had the balls to speak for Johnny Cash supporting John McCain, produced two failed and pointless series of Gone Country with a third in the works, beganworking on a solo project with a debut single not worth the listening, accused of trying to enter bars with an underage lady, involved in a rumble with rock bassist Jerry Montano, and produced a number of failed projects that stretch the boundaries of country music just enough to be very bad. At least he kept things exciting.



#1: Wal-Mart Demands Price Cuts On Music
The biggest story on Country Music Central this year and one of the most searched was the story that Wal-Mart has demanded a future price cut on music. Even before the economic stumble really took its major toll this year Rolling Stone reported that the major retail outlet hopes to bring music prices down to less than $10 per alum. They also hope to have all CD’s off the shelves in a couple years. This has struck fear into the heart of the music industry, but also has helped define what could be the future of the music industry. So only time will tell how this ordeal plays out and if it represents the future or the inevitable end of the music industry over the next 10 or 20 years..or maybe even sooner.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. J.R. Journey permalink
    January 2, 2009 9:06 pm

    Nice list. I had almost forgotten Vince’s Grammy comment. Great stuff.

  2. February 23, 2009 4:49 am

    I remember selling The Wilburn Brothers shoes when I worked for Genesco in Nashville….trying to get into Country Music…And going back stage at the Opry thanks to Stonewall Jackson and Gene Breeden..I admired Loretta Lynn and worked on The Midnight Jamboree twice thanks to Ernest Tubb…I had lunch with the great Bill Monroe and followed these great artists in the kind of music I would write…Today I can’t even buy a TRUE COUNTRY MUSIC ARTIST…When you kill the root the tree dies…The fans that made country music are still here and trying to find country music that tells the story that was there 40 years ago…The songs of loss…the songs of pain..the songs of hope…faith…and the common knowledge that they are not alone in their golden years…Remembering where that were when Hank died…Porter sang with Dolly…and God was a part of every show… at least in one song…Country Music is drinking the brew of death by getting in bed with HOLLYWOOD…As for me….I’ll keep my money if it ain’t country…Thank God we’ve got Texas where Country Is Alive And Well…I don’t need a major label to sell my CD’s….I can write — record–and press right here on this computer…see ya Nashville….try to stop me now since I’m too country…My music will never be out of press…..

  3. August 30, 2012 3:24 am

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