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Mayor Megan Barry Proclaims May 10th Ryman Auditorium Day In Nashville  

Historic date commemorates the day Captain Thomas Ryman was inspired to build
the “Soul of Nashville”

(L to R) Vince Gill, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and Chairman and CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties, Colin Reed
Credit: Steve Lowry

In a ceremony held earlier today on stage at Ryman Auditorium, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry issued a proclamation celebrating May 10, 2017 as Ryman Auditorium Day in honor of the iconic venue’s 125th anniversary.

“From its beginnings as a church to its years as the home of the Grand Ole Opry to its revival as the coolest concert venue in the world, the Ryman has a story like no other building – anywhere,” Mayor Barry said. “I’m grateful for everything the Ryman means to Nashville, and I’m excited to celebrate its first 125 years while looking forward to many more.”

Colin Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of Ryman Auditorium’s parent company, Ryman Hospitality Properties and Opry Member Vince Gill joined Mayor Barry onstage to celebrate Ryman Auditorium Day, which is also the 132nd anniversary of the meeting between Captain Thomas Ryman and Reverend Sam Jones that inspired Ryman to construct a grand tabernacle for the people of Nashville.

“As the owners of this Nashville treasure, we view ourselves as both the stewards and protectors of its rich and storied legacy,” said Reed. “We are thankful that Mayor Barry has chosen to recognize not only the historical significance of the Ryman but also its continued influence on Nashville’s thriving music and tourism industries.”

“If you think about it, music has had a great history here, but the real purpose of this building was to save people… and 125 years later it’s still saving people,” expressed Gill. “This place just has spirit that you can’t even put into words. It really is a magical place. The very first time I ever sang in this building it was just me and a guitar, and it was one of the most majestic experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I really felt that spirit move through me. This place more than any place I’ve been…I really felt that spirit. Whether I play here with a seven-piece band or a bluegrass band… no matter what you throw at this place it takes it and elevates it.”

About Ryman Auditorium  

A National Historic Landmark, Ryman Auditorium was built as a tabernacle by Captain Thomas G. Ryman in 1892, served as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-74 and was completely renovated in 1994. The Ryman is open for tours during the day and at night offers a wide variety of entertainment performances, just as it has for over 125 years. The venue was voted the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Pollstar Theatre of the Year and recently took home its fifth-consecutive CMA Venue of the Year Award. Ryman Auditorium is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RHP), a Nashville-based REIT that also owns and operates the Grand Ole Opry, and 650 AM WSM. For more information, visit

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CMT CROSSROADS is back with two new artists for a night of collaboration like no other. Chart-topping rock band REO Speedwagon and country singer/songwriter Sara Evans are the latest musicians to be paired together for an all-new episode of CMT’s flagship music series. Evans returns to the CROSSROADS stage for the third time, teaming up with the popular ‘80s band in Franklin, TN for CMT CROSSROADS: REO SPEEDWAGON AND SARA EVANS which premieres on Saturday, September 19 at 10 pm ET/PT.


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Video: ACM Party For A Cause [PREVIEW]

Keith Urban and bandmates performing during ACM Party For A Cause.

Keith Urban and bandmates performing during ACM Party For A Cause.

Article, full videos with interviews, and many more clips of performances are coming! Until then, enjoy this short video preview from ACM Party For A Cause at The Linq during ACM week in Las Vegas.  Watch the video here!

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Want A Free Song Download From Green River Ordinance?

Well, it’s safe to say that FOCUS have become big supporters of Green River Ordinance and, as a special gift to our readers, Green River Ordinance is offering a free download of their song “Dancing Shoes”.  You’ll be seeing and hearing Josh, the lead singer, performing this song acoustically right here on FOCUS in the next few days along with his interview.   Until then, enjoy a free download of this song just by subscribing to this site on the left hand side of this page.  When I see your email subscription, I’ll send you the free download.  It’s that easy AND by subscribing to the site, you’ll never miss a thing!

Stay tuned for a lot more fun and more giveaways in the future from FOCUS on the 615!

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Laura Bell Bundy, You’ve Been GHERMed!

Here’s a fun picture of Matt Williams with the uber-talented, Laura Bell Bundy! Continue Reading →

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Song Review: More Trucks Than Cars By Craig Morgan

While I have sometimes criticized artists for being too cliche about their subject matter for their country songs, Craig Morgan has made a career out of writing songs that paint a portrait of life in small towns in the south and he does it well.  Puts me in mind of visits to my relatives’ towns in Arkansas during the summertime growing up and a simpler time.  This is what he’s known for and he does it right with strong vocals to go along with it.   I love the pictures that he paints with his songs.  They just make me feel good. Continue Reading →

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Song Review: Home To Me By Sarah Darling

Some songs you just know it’s going to be a hit because they get stuck in your head for days and you catch yourself humming along without even realizing it.  This is one of those songs.

I first heard Sarah Darling’s new single “Home To Me” back in June live during CMA Music Festival and then I heard it again on XM The Highway just the other day.  The song just grabbed me right away and I loved it instantly.  If it’s not a hit on the country charts, then something’s wrong.  I don’t even mind that it’s repeated about 5 times now on my computer since I’ve been writing this.  Just doesn’t get old.

It’s well-written by Caitlyn Smith & Bobby Hamrick.  So catchy with a great hook and flowing melody with great imagery.  Should make for a good video.  It’s a mid-tempo, contemporary country song that just makes you feel good inside and is beautifully-sung by Sarah Darling.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

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Song Review: Little Big Sky By Susan Cattaneo

Susan CattaneoI was pleasantly surprised by this single “Little Big Sky” that was co-written and sung by Susan Cattaneo. I found the vocals pretty strong and natural, enjoyed the melody, and the whole optimistic message behind this mid-to-uptempo song featuring a heavy dose of fiddle. I don’t know that it will enjoy much commercial success because of today’s standards or radio airplay, but it was a good song that I would listen to again. Good production qualities, but no real “wow” moments in this one or that made it really stand out. Her style of vocals put me in mind a little of Trisha Yearwood.

Overall a good effort not great, but still a song that I think today’s country music enthusiasts might enjoy listening to.

Rated 3 out of 5 stars.

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Song Review: Beer Money By Kip Moore

Kip MooreFinally got to listen to the new single by Kip Moore “Beer Money” and it’s been on repeat on my iPhone all day.  This new single is set to release July 9th.  Needless to say, I absolutely love this song! I enjoyed his recent hit, too, and was surprised it took a bit to catch on, but luckily it finally did.

This new song is upbeat, fun , and just the kind of song that is perfect for summertime.  People will want to roll down their windows, crank this one up, drive somewhere, and forget their worries for a bit.  It’s very catchy and you’ll be hooked on it just like me.  If “Something ‘Bout A Truck” and “Beer Money” are any indication, I think Kip Moore is destined for many more #1 hits!

Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

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Shame On You, Country Radio!

I have watched and I have held my tongue long enough about this subject.  WHY is country radio not playing and promoting more solo female artists? WHY do they not give these incredibly talented female solo artists, female duos, and female trios equal airplay like they give their male counterparts?

Female artists: solo, duos, and trios are being dropped from labels left and right because they aren’t selling as much as male artists.  This all goes directly back to they aren’t getting equal airplay as the male artists.   Airplay that means promotion that leads right back to album sales.  If they are never heard or heard very little, how can they be expected to sell albums and show tickets? WHY is this??? Most female artists can sing CIRCLES around most of the male artists out there.  You know this is true! I can run down a complete list right now and prove my point. Stop being a “good ole boys club”, country radio!

Why am I so frustrated about this? Because I know some of these female artists that have been dropped from labels or that are struggling to be heard on country radio, that’s why!

Now, there are some supportive radio stations and DJs out there, but for the most part, country radio is being run by these large companies and people at the actual radio stations have no say in the playlist.  It gets decided for them.  There are a handful of completely independent stations out there, but sadly, most of the large radio stations are owned by a large company like Clear Channel, who owns most of the radio stations out there and they are dominating the market–controlling it.

All I’m saying is give the female artists in country music EQUAL airplay and let their music be heard! Let your listening audiences decide if they like them and give them a chance to succeed.  Until you do that, I will just say “shame on you, country radio” because it’s wrong and you know it!!


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