Ralph Emery

RFD-TV: The Best Thing Ever?

March 13, 2010 // 14 Comments

Like many country fans who discovered the genre in the nineties, CMT and TNN were central to my experience of discovering music. When CMT shifted to non-music programming, GAC quickly became the channel of choice. But as that channel grew in popularity, it shifted its emphasis to only mainstream country music, losing the diversity that defined it in its early years.

When moving late last year, I switched cable companies. Initially, I thought the best country-related channel I’d gotten in the switch was CMT Pure, which plays only music. Unfortunately, older videos are limited to a 1/2 hour of programming called “Pure Vintage”, a pale comparison to the three-hour early morning extravaganza “CMT Classic” that once ran on CMT proper in the wee hours of the weekend.

By a fluke, I discovered RFD-TV, which bills itself as “Rural America’s Most Important Network.” I could care less about the horse and agriculture shows, but with country music, this channel has hit the jackpot.

Ten Ways to Fix the CMA Awards

November 15, 2008 // 15 Comments

The CMA Awards should be the evening every year where country music is shown in the best possible light. However, it’s been many years now since the CMA fully took advantage of the opportunities that prime-time slot presents. Here are ten ways the show can get back on track, and maybe even be better than ever. 1. Expand the Ballot Limiting the second ballot to only twenty entries per category was a disaster, resulting in some truly lackluster nominees. Take a page from the Grammy playbook and put all eligible submissions on the second ballot, regardless of vote total. Have the CMA voters choose five entries from a wider swath of nominees, and create a more level playing field for all of the labels, major and indie. 2. Limit the Number of Entries per Artist The CMA can go one step further and improve the Grammy model by eliminating the first ballot entirely, Read More

Mel Tillis, Vince Gill & Ralph Emery newest Hall of Famers

August 7, 2007 // 5 Comments

Singer-songwriter legends Mel Tillis & Vince Gill will join country media icon Ralph Emery in the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year. Tillis enters the Hall of Fame in the performer category for artists that received national prominence between World War II and 1975. In addition to being a former CMA Entertainer of the Year, he’s also the writer of classics for other artists, most notably “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”, “Detroit City”, “I Ain’t Never”, “Burning Memories” and “Honey (Open That Door.)” Here’s hoping daughter Pam will help induct him, just like she did at the Opry this year! Gill is the third inductee in the new performer’s category for artists that received national prominence from 1975 to the present day, following Alabama in 2005 and George Strait in 2006. At age 50, Gill might be the youngest living inductee ever, but I have to Read More