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Music

Charles Kelley

By Booze, Faith, Mental Health, Music, Personal Growth No Comments

This powerful episode from Charles Kelley with Lady A kicks off our Mental Health series for May, Mental Health Awareness Month. Many months into his sobriety, he has an open and honest message he’s sharing about what life is like without alcohol.

This Episode is Sponsored By:

In This Episode:

  • The realization that his drinking was out of control
  • Slipping after the first time he tried to curb his alcohol consumption
  • Tapping into an honest side of himself
  • Fears that come along when you stop drinking
  • What he’s discovered since he’s gone dry
  • Discovering WHY he would drink
  • Why Tim McGraw goes for a 5-mile run before a show
  • Finding a stronger faith
  • Seeing God in everyday moments
  • How they’ll be connecting with the audience this tour
  • Mickelson vs Woods

Quotations:

“The thing that’s really helped me get through it is being ready for a change, but also my wife–just how much work she’s doing around it and how much we’re able to kind of talk about all these things, you know, and what I was drinking over; a lot of it was boredom. Some of it was a little bit of fear, but a lot of kind of just became this routine and boredom.” ~Charles Kelley

“It’s interesting…when I would turn into a different person, and it was so consistent, and I didn’t like the man and the things I would hear afterward about my behavior.” ~Charles Kelley

“I let a liquid control my life.” ~Charles Kelley

“If it took drinking to be overly social, then maybe that wasn’t really who I was.” ~Charles Kelley

“It [not drinking] doesn’t have to be a thing.” ~Charles Kelley

“I don’t think I would’ve stopped if it wasn’t for, you know, the risk of, of. Losing my marriage or the band.” ~Charles Kelley

“I know what the highs feel like, and I know what the lows feel like, and you know, it’s kinda nice just to live in that middle spot where just; you almost start appreciate it. It’s just the little moments.” ~Charles Kelley

“The goal is longevity. I mean, you can kind of definitely see artists kind of come and go and, and a lot of it is self-destruction, you know, and I think that’s one thing.” ~Charles Kelley

“I think it’s been the beauty about being in a band is they’ve held me accountable, and we’ve held each other accountable.” ~Charles Kelley

Guest’s Bio:

Charles Burgess Kelley (born September 11, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, lead singer, and founding member of the country music trio Lady A, which was formed in 2006 and signed to Capitol Nashville.[1]

Guest’s Contact Info:

https://www.instagram.com/charleskelley

Conner Smith

By Music No Comments

In this week’s episode of Here’s What We Know, Conner Smith dives into how he communicates through song, getting started in Nashville, College football, collaboration, and the examples of the industry stars that have gone before him and paved the way.

He also talks about what he has in common with Michael Jackson.

This episode is also sponsored by:

In This Episode:

  • Living out childhood dreams
  • Telling stories through song
  • Meeting your heroes
  • Being a new artist on the radio
  • College Football
  • “Take it slow” song with Ryan Hurd
  • The example of older stars
  • The impact of social media

Quotations:

“I’ve been a product of being in the right environment, and that’s something that I don’t take for granted.” – Conner Smith

“Growing up … song was just how I expressed things.” – Conner Smith

“As a new artist with your single on country radio, it’s like all of your dreams hang inside of that one song.” – Conner Smith

“How much of Tennessee’s success right now is dependent on Hendon Hooker? Is it this the sort of thing where, you know, we’re gonna continue this and really kind of build a program that can sustain itself and last for years to come? Or is this kind of the perfect mix of ingredients? Either way, we finally have a coach that I can trust in, and that means something.” – Conner Smith

“Well, at the end of the day, it’s been a long time since we have been worried about another team taking our coach.” – Conner Smith

“I’ve kind of just become the Tennessee guy a little bit, with the songs, and it’s become so much a part of the brand.” – Conner Smith

“Are there some student athletes? Yes, there are. And the majority of those kids are student athletes who are truly trying to get the education and stuff. But also, I’ve talked to so many division one athletes who go, ‘It is all-encompassing. All you have time to do is workout, practice, train, workout, practice, train.’” – Conner Smith

“That’s a special song, and it’s one of those songs. I think you put out songs in the world and, you know, some of them catch fire and some of them don’t. That was the one that did, and fans just really gravitated towards it.” – Conner Smith

“Thomas Rhett … more than anything he’s ever done for me, he’s taught me how to do this thing the right way.” – Conner Smith

“It [social media] definitely changes the way you kind of view life and for better or worse, and it’s something you grow to live with. I think, especially my generation, you kind of grow up understanding that you’re accountable at every second.” – Conner Smith

“Keep the people around you that truly know your heart and truly know who you’re trying to be” – Conner Smith

Watch the Video:

Guest’s Bio:

Just 22 years old and already a seasoned veteran of Nashville’s elite songwriting community, Conner Smith has become one of Country’s most hotly-anticipated new artists – an uncommon talent mixing prime-of-life passion with old-soul perspective. After penning his first song at 6 and scoring a publishing deal at 16, the Country prodigy wrote five of the six songs on his Zach Crowell-produced 2022 debut collection DIDN’T GO TOO FAR (The Valory Music Co.). The charismatic effort laid an artistic foundation that earned Smith 2022 Artist to Watch status from Spotify, Amazon Music, and Opry NextStage, while also making him the only Country artist on Pandora’s Ten List 2022 and securing 2023 recognition from MusicRow Next Big Thing, CMT Listen Up, and more. Often hiding deep-thinking themes in plain sight, Smith scored his first Top 40 hit with the young-at-heart “Learn From It” and followed up with love-savoring “Take It Slow,” which quickly racked up nearly 100 million global streams to date. Tracks like “I Hate Alabama,” “Orange and White,” and “Summer On Your Lips” are my unexpected insight from vivid everyday stories. As Smith grows up in full view of his fans – both on the page and the stage – CMT calls him “an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.” That momentum will keep building in 2023. Smith follows a year of touring alongside Thomas Rhett, Parker McCollum, and Ryan Hurd with upcoming select dates opening for Chase Rice and promises a new batch of “next level” music, further mixing in-the-moment energy with timeless meaning. Smith is currently on the road for his first-ever headline IF I WENT TO COLLEGE TOUR with special guests Mackenzie Carpenter and Jonathan Hutcherson, presented by the Monster Energy Outbreak tour, and joins Luke Bryan’s COUNTRY ON TOUR this summer.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Mark Corona

Mark “Kid” Corona

By Fun, Music No Comments

In this week’s episode of Here’s What We Know, Mark “Kid” Corona joined me to talk about how his career in radio was affected by the shift away from music being the star of radio. And what unique career path he’s on now. Hint: if you like trivia, stay tuned!

This episode is also sponsored by:

In This Episode:

  • Why Kid sees a decline of passion among radio listeners
  • How streaming affected his career choice
  • Value of podcasts for personalized content creation
  • The creation of Jack Trivia, the world’s first TV-gameshow-style trivia show for bars and restaurants
  • Learning to let others have their moment
  • Admiration for Rick Dees’ radio talent and success
  • What meeting Mark Wahlberg was like
  • Negative experience trying to approach Ben Affleck

Quotations:

“Not a lot of people can do that [create comfortable conversations], and I think it was brilliant of him [Rick Dees].” — Mark “Kid” Corona 

“The Music Is No Longer the Star. Now the radio personality really has the opportunity to become the star. They, in fact, have to be the star now because you have to be able to tune in that radio station and get what you’re not going to get at the other five radio stations in town.” — Mark “Kid” Corona 

“I didn’t know that there was such a thing [trivia company]. It just wasn’t something I ever came across.” — Mark “Kid” Corona 

Pioneering the World’s First TV Style Trivia Show: “We are literally pioneering this whole thing. We are just going, and whatever happens next happens. But it’s worked out so far, and we’re the only ones doing this. And that, to me, is the most exciting part about this whole Jack Trivia thing that I’ve been doing for the last five years.” — Mark “Kid” Corona

“It’s time to think differently when it comes to your parties, meetings, and groups.”— Gary Scott Thomas 

“I’ve had my experience in Country radio where I feel like the Country artists are a lot more humble. The Country artists are the kind to invite us backstage and hang out. ‘Hey, dude, we got whiskey over there. We got some Jack Daniels. Do whatever you want, man. Yeah, let’s go have pictures over here.’ We’ll get some drinks over here. They’re always taking care of you. I remember many of them would come up, ‘You guys good?’ And I’m like, dude, you’re the star, not me. But you’re checking up on me to make sure that I’m good. And your room is full of stock. They’re just more humble than any other types of artists I met through pop and hip-hop radio. And that’s what I love about Country.” — Mark “Kid” Corona

Watch the Video:

Guest’s Bio:

Breaking into the commercial radio business at just 15 years old, Corona made his first international cameo on the top-charting hit “AZ Side” by Nasty Boy Klick, which would be his first and last appearance as something other than an absolute goofball of a person. It would all go downhill from there.

In 2008, long before the birth of TikTok challenges, and perhaps even their creators, Corona made national news for an on-air April Fool’s joke called “Tattoo Your Toddler.”

From hosting mornings on Los Angeles radio to a Saturday night music video and entertainment television show, the many talents (and characters) of Kid Corona show just how versatile he is.

And if you aren’t convinced just yet, Google the “Republic of Slowjamastan,” and it won’t take long to find Corona in the mix as the country’s Chief Border Patrol Agent, donning a beret and aviators while wielding a flamethrower as he protects the borders of the world’s newest nation – whose biggest threat is invaders wearing Crocs. True story!

But if you’re hoping to increase your odds of meeting Corona these days – in person or virtually – you’ll want to play along with America’s most exciting trivia game, Jack Trivia! Compete at your local restaurant or watering hole or online –  either way, you’re sure to have a blast. Play solo or with friends as a contestant on this new and addictingly fun take on classic bar trivia. 

www.markcorona.com

Guest’s Contact Info:

www.markcorona.com

Raffaella Braun

By Music One Comment

Sometimes a chat with a friend is the order of the day. In this episode, Gary is joined by his friend Raffaella Braun with Triple Tigers Records to discuss current trends in the music industry and how these trends impact artists.

In this episode:

  • Social Media vs. Ratings
  • The Competitive Nature of the Music Industry
  • How the Music Industry Had Changed
  • Commentary on Various Artists and What They Add to Country Music
  • Maintaining A Connection with the Audience When Life Happens

Quotations:

“But now what you’re seeing physically is a resurgence of vinyl instead of CDs and tapes and DVDs.” ~Raffaella Braun


“And I looked at ’em and they said, ‘Hey, Gary, you have way too much talent and way too much ability for what we have planned here.'” ~Gary Scott Thomas


“But really, once you strip her [Cam] down, she’s independent, she’s authentic, she’s thought-provoking.” ~Raffaella Braun


“Music’s just as competitive as sports. But it is that drive, and you almost have to be at echelon above to even start on a level.” ~Raffaella Braun

Bio:

Raffaella Braun has built a multi-faceted career with a wide range of experience in the music business. She started with Premiere Radio Networks and Westwood One in 2002 (through 2009), handling live radio remote logistics around such major music events as the ACM Awards, CMA Awards, CMA Music Festival, and Grammy Awards, among others. Always possessing a passion for music and live concerts, she moved on to Creative Artists Agency in 2003 and became an Agent in 2008, negotiating concert deals and contracts, seeking out new talent, and executing promotions for a roster of 60+ Country and Classic Rock artists. She collaborated on projects with the CAA Sports division and LA clients like Pete Wentz.  In 2011, she moved to the Radio Promotion realm and began an eight-year run with Warner Music Nashville as Manager of West Coast Radio and Streaming, winning the Regional of the Year Award in its 2nd year of existence.  She returned to Nashville in 2019 to Triple Tigers Records as their first-ever National Director of Promotion.  There, she has assisted in guiding their artists to an additional 5 #1 singles, a Top 10 record, and breaking Billboard records for consecutive #1s (Scotty McCreery) and weeks in the Top 10 (Russell Dickerson). Braun won Country Aircheck’s National Director of the Year Award (Crystal Microphone) in Feb 2022, the same year Triple Tigers won its 2nd award for Gold Label of the Year. 

A 2002 graduate of Vanderbilt U., Braun is a member of both the Academy of Country Music (serving on the Special Events Committee from 2010-2014) and the Country Music Association, as well as an alum of SOLID. She served on the CRS Agenda Committee in 2016-2017 and again in 2017-2018 for the 50th year of CRS. A finalist for the 2008 Nashville Emerging Leader Awards, she went on to create Music Row Madness, an industry bowling event to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle TN, which is now hosted by SOLID and grew last year to $50,000. Since 2017, she has helped Musicians on Call expand their volunteer mission at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and now as a Nashville guide and she sits on the Boards of the TN Innocence Project and The Collective Nashville (Gerald Allen Scholarship Fund).