|Posted on April 26, 2013 at 7:35 PM||comments (0)|
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(April 26, 2013) Earlier this morning, a dark cloud of unfortunate news was sent to me via text message by a friend. I was shocked, like everyone else to hear that the music world, the country music family most especially, lost yet another one of its greatest voices, member of the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame, George Jones.
It would take too much time to list all the countless awards, honors, highlights, and achievements that George Jones earned during his storied career, but that isn’t the focus today, rather I would like to personally write a farewell note to a very special person, who made country music everything that it should be, and without him, it would never be where it is today.
I grew up listening to George Jones like many of you, because my parents and grandparents exposed me to his music. Every once in a lifetime, there comes along an artist like George Jones who has the “it” factor; the voice, personality, and stage presence, and when you discover an artist like that, it’s that much harder to lose them.
Since founding Country Stars Central in the summer of 2006, one of my aspirations was to meet and interview George Jones. After years of hard work and networking, my first dream of meeting him came true in the spring of 2008, thanks to his daughter, Georgette Jones. My assistant Donna Stroup and I were in Nashville for CRS, and George was the keynote speaker at a special panel inside the Nashville Convention Center. Before George took the stage to address the audience, his daughter took us to a room off the side for a personal meet and greet. That day will forever remain special to me, and I am most grateful to Georgette for arranging my very first meeting with her father.
A few years later, in the fall of 2010, I had the honor of interviewing George for a cover story on Country Stars Central. His sweet and loving wife Nancy opened her and George’s busy schedule to grant me the opportunity to shine!! After that interview, I joined Nancy and George many times on the road for backstage meetings and photos. We shared some very special times together, and had a lot of fun.
I can’t help but think of the night that I presented George with his Country Stars Central cover in Rockford, Ill. He was so thrilled to receive the plaque, and gave me many kind compliments about the cover and interview article. It meant a lot to me to get that praise from such an iconic star.
I am thankful for the night that I took my Bappa to see George in Waukegan, Ill. My Bappa is a huge fan of George’s, and had never seen him live in concert before. That night, Nancy took him backstage to meet George, and get an autograph. **I’ll share a little funny story behind this meeting, if you don’t mind. Once my grandpa got backstage, and made his way over to George, he said to him “I can’t see too well, but I am happy to be here with you.” Then George quickly replied, “Well I can’t hear too well, so I guess between you not being able to see, and my not being able to hear, we are in pretty good shape!” ** Seeing my Bappa and George share that moment together was something I’ll never forget, and will always cherish.
I also can’t even begin to describe how grateful I am to Kirt Webster and his publicity firm for the kindness they have bestowed on my magazine through the years. Ever since I started Country Stars Central, Kirt has been there to support our publication in every way possible. The countless interviews, cover stories, media passes, and show reviews that he has granted will forever be appreciated. I would like to thank Kirt for giving me a platform to use my talents, and for allowing me to work with his wonderful clients. I look forward to many more years of building our relationship together.
George may have been a superstar, but his heart was real, his spirit giving, and soul full of love. These are the reasons I started CSC, to pay homage to all the greats that made country music what country music was, and always should be; TRADITIONAL all the way!! For as long as Jones lived, he maintained that sound, and style, because he truly cared about preserving the foundation of country music’s origins with the world.
I just wanted to share my thoughts with all of you, and I hope that you will join me in spirit to pray for the soul of George Jones, to pray for his loving wife Nancy, his daughter Georgette, extended family, and of course all his loving fans all over the world who are mourning the loss of a great, real country music, singer and songwriter.
In closing, I can’t help but think of two popular songs of George’s, “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair,” and “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes.” The first, to me, correlates to his final tour that was underway this year. George never seemed like the type who would want to retire from doing what he loved best, and in a sad, but fitting way, he never passed away as an artist retired from the road, but left it doing what he loved best; performing.
The second song, I think about all the time…. Who is going to fill these shoes as we continue to lose these great legends one by one? I am sure there are many that you can name while you read this, but I will list some of the ones that I think are best suited to continue carrying the torch in honor of George Jones; Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Gene Watson, Alan Jackson, Tanya Tucker, Randy Travis, Patty Loveless, Lee Ann Womack, LeAnn Rimes, Joe Nichols, Josh Turner, Kellie Pickler, Easton Corbin…..you finish the rest.
While we are hurting, and missing George down here on earth, we can pray that he now joins our Lord in his heavenly kingdom with all the saints and angels. There is also a very special country music club up there in Heaven that George is now a part of; Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, Tammy Wynette, Dottie West, Jack Greene, Porter Wagoner, Vestal Goodman, Dottie Rambo, Ernie Ashworth, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, and so many others are celebrating the joyous occasion of being together in the light of Eternal love.
Rest in peace George, I will always admire your music, talent, and the kindness you bestowed upon me through the years. I didn’t know you for very long, but those few short years will mean more to me than I could ever explain. I pray that you rest peacefully, and with my help, and that of many others, we will see to it that your legacy never ends, and the music always lives on.
Until we meet again…..
God Bless you,
Christian F. Scalise
Our final interview with George Jones; http://www.countrystarscentral.com/georgejonesinterview.htm
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|Posted on March 15, 2013 at 1:10 AM||comments (0)|
Tonight, my heart is broken, for today on this earth, we lost one of country music's greatest treasures, a humble and sweet man, with the best voice in the business. Jack Greene, a member of the Grand Ole Opry and country music legend, someone who always put his fans first and gave every performance his all. Jack and Lee Ann took me under their wing several years ago, and ever since that day, they have become like family to me. I will forever cherish the many memories that I have made with Jack and Lee Ann. He will always be in my heart and soul... but tonight, I mourn the loss of a sweet man. It also makes me upset to think that this well deserving man NEVER was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame…. Long live the music and legacy of Jack Greene. I love you Jack. Rest in Peace with our Lord and the angels. Jack Greene; January 7, 1930-March 14th, 2013
|Posted on February 4, 2013 at 3:40 PM||comments (0)|
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CHICAGO, IL (February 4, 2013) - In honor of our Winter 2013 issue featuring country music superstar, Jo Dee Messina, we are pleased to reveal the cover presentation from backstage at Jo Dee’s Jan 25th concert at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Ill. Jo Dee is currently recording material for a brand new record and touring in support of those new songs in addition to performing her greatest hits! Stay tuned to CSC later this month for Part I of our exclusive interview with Jo Dee.
In the meantime, check out our recent show review here; http://www.countrystarscentral.com/jdmshowreviewjan13.htm
|Posted on January 27, 2013 at 4:00 PM||comments (1)|
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Since this offensive and disheartening statement by Blake Shelton in regard to the legends of country music has been verified to unfortunately be true, I now too, will make a statement on how I feel about it.
We all say things we don't always mean, or eventually end up regretting, but I can't seem to understand why Blake would make such a statement about the great artists in the country music family who have come long before him. Those old "farts," including his management's wife, worked their asses off for years and years to pave that smooth road his boots are walkin' on.
Yes indeed the music business is ever changing and many of the artists that I grew up listening to and loving are rarely ever given any radio play, performance slots on awards shows, or even mentions on country music news channels.
Artists like Lee Ann Womack, Trisha Yearwood, Patsy Cline, John Anderson, Dixie Chicks, Jo Dee Messina, Sara Evans, LeAnn Rimes, Barbara Mandrell, Pam Tillis, Loretta Lynn, Julie Roberts, The Judds, Jamie O'Neal, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Patty Loveless, George Jones, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Darryl Worley, Phil Vassar, Tanya Tucker, Jessica Andrews, and Little Big Town are people who got me loving country music. **And hey, look how far LBT has come. It’s about DAMN time!!! I remember when they were so new; I'd sit and chat with them outside their merch table like old friends. It makes me proud to see how far their pure talent has taken them. They really deserve it!
Then again, I've always loved one special country gem since I was just 3 or 4 years old; Dolly Parton. That buxom blonde has had my heart since the start. She may be a little too "Hollywood" for my liking, but I would like to believe that deep down in her heart, she is still a country girl and in her soul, I know she LOVES the Lord Jesus. One thing I've always admired about Dolly is she shamelessly upholds her faith and devotion for Jesus in EVERYTHING that she does. I strongly believe that is why the Lord has blessed her with so much success; because she has BLESSED him through her works. One day, I’d like to think that she will join him in Heaven for all of eternity.
Through the years, I've come to know many great artists new and old, that have been so good to me as a fan and now as a writer for Country Stars Central. People like Pam Tillis gave me my first interview, Crystal Gayle has treated me like a dear friend, Ray Price has let me sit up on his bus many a times, Joe Nichols never passes up a chance to shake my hand and say hello, Kellie Pickler is the most sweetest girl I'll ever know, Little Big Town has never lost their sense of who they are, Jean Shepard got me into the Opry a dozen times and gave me an interview in person, which is rare, Leona Williams texts and calls me often, Kenny Rogers has given me so much of his time, LeAnn Rimes, Gloriana, and SHeDaisy are also always so great to me when I see them!
There are many others of course, that also have been so good to me, but I can't think of them all- you will see who they are on Country Stars Central!
There is a way and it is possible to mix all genre formats together and still have a successful business for all the artists. Country music is known for being so real, so exceptional and just like everyday people. They value God, country, faith, family and freedom. They work hard, they care about their country, and they would never pass an opportunity to help one another out.
I for one never want to see the traditional country music format go away. The reason I started CSC is because of this very reason; I felt that our legends were not getting enough recognition or the coverage that they deserved in the business. I wanted to create a magazine where every type of country music artist was welcome, but I will be honest, the foundation that I built CSC upon runs deep in that good ole' true, solid & REAL COUNTRY MUSIC!!!! And that will never change, and that will always define who I am, what I do, and where I stand.
I hope and pray that the country music family would never allow our legends to be treated this way. So many of them are getting up there in age and soon, they will all be gone. We will regret that day because by then, it will be too late. So for as long as I live, and as much as I am able, I will uphold that tradition in every which way that I can.
Now before I close out this letter, I must say there are two people, well three actually, who gave me so much guidance and advice, opportunities and memories that shaped my magazine and everything that it has done.
Jack Greene and Lee Ann Lallone are two of the most generous people I'll ever know. There aren’t even enough words available to fill this page for how grateful I am to both of them. They took me under their wing and gave me so much insight on the business, how it works and what the most important things to learn are if you want to be successful. Hearing about Jack and his recent health ailments make me sad, but through the pain, I think about all the joy he brought me. Lee Ann is the only reason he's with us. She would give anything for him. She is a selfless woman and I admire her so much.
And now you all know who the last name is.... I'll give you a hint.... Sparkly gowns, thick country accent and hair that's always jacked to the heavens....
Yes, Loretta Lynn! I've come to know this gorgeous woman since the very first time I met her in October of 2007. Since that night, the rest is history. I have SO many memories with Loretta and her crew that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
It drives me crazy to think that a simple guy, with a big dream would end up sharing time with one of country music's BIGGEST & GREATEST icons on the stage and off. I've spent many a times with Loretta, and I can tell you she is the most genuine, funny, and sweet woman you will ever meet.
As big of a star as she is, she has never let her success affect her. When I'm around her, it’s just like I'm sitting with my Nana at her house. No crazy talk, no weird assistants around, just Loretta's kin.
Speaking of family, Loretta Lynn is a family woman and that's the only thing that surrounds her on and off the road. Her assistant Tim is so special to me. I treasure him beyond words. Her twins Patsy and Peggy are two of the funniest and nicest girls you'll ever know. And both of them know, especially Patsy, how thankful I am for all that they have done for me and allowed me to do. I love them all so much. Even Loretta's band is a hoot! They are so laid back and I'm happy to call them all friends.
So enough of my blabbing for now; I think you understand by reading this letter how I feel about the situation and what was said. I don't want to judge anyone, because that's not my place, so I pray that Blake really didn't mean what he said and truly makes amends for it. I'm sure it’s hard to be yourself when everyone around you is telling you to be someone "else." I've come across a lot of wicked publicists, difficult managers, insane assistants and crazy artists. Lol, you'd think this was a circus rather than the music industry, then again, don’t they play music at the circus?!?
A lot of people have told me that I'm not a real writer or that my site is nothing. It's all just a fan site or I'm not going to get anywhere. It used to hurt me, but now it makes me happy, because I look back at what I have accomplished and it was all on my own merit; just me and Jesus, working together to make one dream come true by another. No CMT, GAC, Country Weekly, or any major news channel, magazine or publication helped me accomplish any of the things that I have done over the past 7 years. That is amazing, and I know it is only because the Lord has given me these opportunities based upon my God-given talents.
I never thought I'd get this far. I never imagined any of these dreams to come true. Those remarks have only made me stronger now. I don't need to end up filthy rich because that doesn't define me and I don't want to be corrupted by materialism. I just want to be successful in what I do, healthy, happy, and be able to provide a living for myself.
I don't mean to brag, but I've never opened up in this way before and I feel like I should be honest with my readers and fans. I realize now that many of those who work for the artist tend to have bigger egos, and absolutely no rhyme or reason to their method of madness. Maybe one day, I will write a book about these stories and include "more" details! he he From what I've seen on my end, the music business can be VERY mean, and VERY, VERY ugly.
Thanks to one good friend’s piece of advice, I learned long ago to never take it personal, or at least not try to, and never to expect friendship from these artists. Most of them just want the free publicity and then on to the next. And that's okay! Few and far in between do you make real friends in the business, but the ones you do, treasure them with your life!!
So in closing, dear Lord, I thank you for all that you have blessed me with. I thank you for my life and my friends; I thank you for my talents and the gifts that I have been given. I also ask that you would bless every soul in this world and fill their heart with your endless love.
No matter where this road leads us, I pray that mine will lead me to your Eternal Kingdom of Heaven on the day that you claim my soul.
Love, Christian F. Scalise; CEO of Country Stars Central.
|Posted on January 4, 2013 at 6:00 PM||comments (0)|
Happy 2013! CSC would truly like to thank all our loyal readers for their continued support. To kick off the New Year, be sure to check out PART II of our interview exclusive with Gloriana. The band talks about collaborating with big time producer Matt Serletic, their individual songwriting techniques, life on the road and MUCH MORE!
Check out PART II of the GLORIANA interview right here: http://www.countrystarscentral.com/glorianainterview2012.htm
|Posted on August 19, 2012 at 9:00 PM||comments (0)|
CHICAGO, IL (August 19, 2012)- CSC is pleased to reveal an exclusive sneak-peek of our upcoming fall 2012 cover story interview with blonde bombshell, American Idol alum, Kellie Pickler for our loyal supporters! We recently presented the country superstar with her fall 2012 cover story this past July 28 in Michigan City, IN at the Blue Chip Casino. Kellie’s latest studio album, “100 Proof” has delighted fans with brand new material that resembles the pure and rootsy sounds of the 1960’s and 1970’s era of traditional country music.
Stay tuned to CSC this September for Part I of our highly anticipated interview with Kellie Pickler!
|Posted on August 14, 2012 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
Nashville, TN (August 14, 2012) - In 2013, George Jones, the country music icon often referred to as the "the greatest living country singer" will mark the end of an era with a farewell tour for his fans titled "The Grand Tour". After over fifty years of touring, Jones has decided he is ready to slow down and spend more time with his wife, children and grandchildren. Jones was quoted as saying "It is tough to stop doing what I love, but the time has come". As a tribute to his loyal fans he wants to tour one more year and let them know, this will be his last. The Grand Tour will visit approximately 60 cities in 2013. The star will perform many of his hits such as "White Lightning," "He Stopped Loving Her Today," "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" and "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair".
The legend also plans to record a new studio album for the fans, and Dolly Parton has been writing songs for him. It will be an album he loves and wants to do. There is no scheduled street date at this time.
After a brief bout with an upper respiratory infection earlier this year, Jones has returned to the road. Fans can see him at his upcoming concerts listed here or at www.georgejones.com
George Jones on Tour (2012)
08/10 – Boonville, MO – Isle of Capri
08/11 – Lula, MS – Isle of Capri
08/17 – Savannah, GA – Johnny Mercer Theater
08/18 – Durham, NC – Durham Perf. Arts Ctr.
08/30 – Woodstock, VA – Shenandoah County Fair
08/31 – Northampton, MA – Calvin Theatre
09/07 – Biloxi, MS – IP Casino
09/08 – Houston, TX – Arena Theatre
09/21 – Huntington, WV – Big Sandy Superstore Arena
09/22 – Myrtle Beach, SC – Alabama Theater
09/28 – Manistee, MI – Little River Casino
09/29 – Fort Wayne, IN – Embassy Theatre
10/04 – Wichita, KS – Orpheum Theater
10/05 – Arlington, TX – Arlington Music Hall
10/12 – Branson, MO – The Mansion Theatre
10/13 – Renfro Valley, KY – Renfro Valley Ent. Ctr.
10/26 – Wichita Falls, TX – Kay Yeager Coliseum
10/27 – Midland, TX – Wagner Noel Perf. Arts Ctr.
11/02 – Mahnomen, MN – Shooting Star Casino
11/03 – Deadwood, SD – Deadwood Mountain Grand Casino
11/09 – Branson, MO – The Mansion Theatre
11/10 – Morton, MN – Jackpot Junction Casino
11/16 – Peoria, IL – Peoria Civic Center
11/17 – Hiawassee, GA – Anderson Music Hall
11/23 – Winnie, TX – Nutty Jerry’s Winnie Arena
11/24 – Bossier City, LA – Horseshoe Casino
12/01 – Elizabeth, IN – Horseshoe Casino
12/15 – Jackson, TN – Carl Perkins Civic Center
|Posted on July 5, 2012 at 4:05 PM||comments (3)|
CHICAGO, IL (July 5th, 2012) -In honor of our July-August 2012 cover story on country music icon, Loretta Lynn, Country Stars Central presented the music legend with the cover during her sold-out trio of shows at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook, Ill on June 22nd-24th. This upcoming weekend, July 7th, Loretta Lynn will be performing at her Hurricane Mills Ranch with special guest Chubby Checker as both pay tribute to the late Conway Twitty. Lynn also has unveiled a brand new exhibit, “Remembering Conway” inside the Coal Miner’s Daughter Museum.
Coming soon to Country Stars Central this month is part one of our exclusive interview with Loretta as she speaks about her brand new book, “Honky Tonk Girl: My Life In Lyrics,” the Coal Miner’s Daughter Broadway Musical and much more!
You may purchase your very own 11x14 copy of the Loretta Lynn cover here: http://www.countrystarscentral.com/apps/webstore/products/show/1821351
To purchase tickets to see Loretta Lynn this coming Saturday July 7th, please visit her official site here: http://www.lorettalynnranch.net/main/?p=809