Country Must Be Country Wide. An Editorial.

(Source: Taylor Swift)

Hello Taylor Nation,

Here at the Swift Agency, still just one guy who knows who hasn’t done an editorial in a long time, we’d like to remind you that I tend to get quite wordy whenever I write one of these. You have been warned (picture the Lorax telling you that).

Today, it’s one that I’ve been thinking about for a while, and none better than Brantley Gilbert’s song to use as a title to say it. Country music is a success up and down the board. American Idol has created success stories who have resulted in country stars such as Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery. Even Kelly Clarkson sings both pop and country. NBC’s successful show The Voice has made Country star Blake Shelton a household name.

(Source: Selena Gomez)

But it does seem than even on those shows, Country music seems like the rare choice and road less traveled. The very exception is current Idol’s contestant Skylar Laine, who continues to wow and amaze. On The Voice instead, Team Blake started strong with four country performers with Adley Stump, Gwen Sebastian, Jordan Rager and Rae Lynn. Unfortunately, they are all out at this point. I’ve been hoping that coach Blake Shelton brings a lot more Country on board, but most of them were out early and even then they were rarely given Country songs to perform.

Now that Country is starting to go mainstream, I just wish mainstream media and pop culture started catching up. Country music has several styles. It can be traditional, bluegrass, folk, americana, blues, rock and roll and even pop.

(Source: Dianna Agron)

If mainstream media thought about rock the way they think about country, we wouldn’t be hearing anything newer than Rock Around The Clock. There has been some new Country music written since the 50’s, you know (read: sarcasm).

I’d like to think Blake Shelton was going to give us a lot more Country on network television, but at this point he doesn’t have any strong country performers left. Rae Lynn was the last hope, although hardly my first choice from all the talent that started on Team Blake.

There was a very poor attempt by Mathai from Team Adam to sing Carrie Underwood’s hit Cowboy Casanova that was downright painful to hear. Sorry, there’s very few people on the world that can sing that song other than Carrie, and about none that can sing it even close as good as her.

Tonight, Skylar Laine was on the bottom three on American Idol, albeit briefly. It really got me thinking. There’s a lot of America out there. And I believe it’s time to acknowledge that ratings soar when Country Music events are on TV. And as much as network television makes money out of it, it’s time to give it credit where credit is due. It is a big deal. It is now more than ever one of the largest growing musical genres. Trust Country a bit more, people! It does pay off:

  • Carrie Underwood’s fourth studio album is coming up,¬†Blown Away. She’s going to be interviewed by Billboard for a Live Q&A this Friday, April 27 at 2:30pm ET. She’s also performing at the 2012 Billboard Awards and is nominated for five CMT Music Awards. You can hear¬†Blown Away¬†right now streaming for free on iTunes. It gets released on May 1st. She will also perform at the 2012 CMA Fest’s nightly concerts at LP Field.
  • Scotty McCreery’s latest single is The Trouble With Girls from his album Clear As Day.¬†He won 2012 ACM Award’s New Artist of the Year and will also be appearing at 2012 CMA Fest.
  • Lauren Alaina has an album out called¬†Wildflowers. She has two hit singles from it, both written by the great and talented Mallary Hope,¬†Georgia Peaches and¬†The Locket.
  • Kellie Pickler latest album is called¬†100 Proof.¬†When Skylar Laine picked Kellie’s Didn’t I Know How Much I Love You¬†(from her 2008’s self titled album) recently during the latest season of Idol, the judges were completely unfamiliar with the song, but I’m sure Skylar’s fans (the “skoutlaws”) knew the track. Kellie did make an appearance on Idol recently to sing her latest single¬†Where’s Tammy Wynette.¬†(Note: I got disappointed again tonight when Jimmy from Idol said Skylar should have gone with a more recognizable tune for her hometown – who doesn’t know Jason Aldean’s Tattoos On This Town?)
  • Blake Shelton often brings it not only his wife, Miranda Lambert, but previous Idol winner Kellie Clarkson to help coach the contestants on The Voice.
  • Network television is not blind to air specials for current ACM Entertainer of the Year and four grammy award winner Taylor Swift. As a promotion for new network The Hub, she did a special¬†The Road To Fearless¬†which later came out on DVD. NBC got the Sparkly Dressed’s Special¬†Speak Now¬†which aired as a Thanksgiving special. Country music awards -hell, all music awards actually- always, always feature her name on their promos because they know it brings big audiences.
  • Do I really have to mention that in a time where every album of every music genre has low sales expectations,¬†Speak Now¬†sold one million records in a week? No, not ship – it’s easy to ship a lot of units to stores and then mention those numbers as a proud achievement. Sold. The Speak Now World Tour went to set record numbers in ticket sales… ok, if I start with giving you numbers from the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar we’ll be here all week. She’s a big deal.

I’m going to stop there.

(Source: Claire Winter)

Did anyone notice dancer Marlyn Ortiz on American Idol tonight during Katy Perry’s performance? She’s a member of the Speak Now Dance Crew, the Residents. A shoutout to @_Jencita_ for reminding us of this one ūüôā

The Sparkly Dressed has been spending time with friends Selena Gomez, Ashley Avignone and Charity Baroni, another member of the Residents. She recently was at an informal and totally random get together celebrating Shirley MacLaine’s birthday with Glee star Dianna Agron (and without Shirley).

Yes, that’s what all the pictures are about. Perhaps it makes the whole post seems a bit whimsical… but that’s actually not a bad thing in my opinion.

Remember to VOTE for Taylor Swift for the 2012 CMT Music Awards! She is nominated for Video of the Year and Collaborative Video of the Year both along with the Civil Wars for Safe And Sound and Female Video of the Year for Ours.

(Source: Ashley Avignone)

Coming up in the Calendar!

  • April 30:¬†Grant Mickelson‚Äės Birthday.
  • May 1:¬†B.o.B‚Äôs album¬†Strange Clouds¬†is released. Taylor Swift is featured in the track¬†Both Of Us.
  • May 13:¬†Paul Sidoti‚Äės Birthday.
  • May 20: The 2012 Billboard Awards takes place in Las Vegas and is broadcasted live at 8/7c on ABC. Taylor Swift is nominated for Top Country Artist and Top Touring Artist.
  • May 27:¬†Elizabeth Huett‚Äės Birthday.
  • June 4:¬†Last chance to¬†vote¬†for the¬†2012 CMT Music Awards.

(Source: The Swift Agency)