Country Music in 2006 is Hotter than Texas Chili & Jalapeno Peppers

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2006 is big year of success and expansion for country music worldwide according to veteran hit maker Robert Metzgar.

I admire Mike Curb and what he has done for country music more than any other man in country music history.

New Year’s celebrations on Fox News as well as CNN’s Larry King “Live” show were filled with country music stars that saw the New Year bringing a greater expansion of country music to major media markets than in any previous year. Fox News anchors Juliet Huddy and Mike Jerrick rang in the New Year of 2006 with the grand re-opening of the Nashville Palace along with Aaron Tippin, Janie Frickey, Jett Williams, Craig Morgan, John Stone, the LoCash Cowboys and Arista recording artist, Phil Vassar. In the audience, several people were seated at VIP tables in the Palace re-opening as guests of the club owner, Steve Smith who also owns Tootsies Orchid Lounge in downtown Nashville. *See

Seated at the front of the show was country music producer Robert Metzgar, Suzanne Daniel (Princeton Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama), Felicia Mitchell (State Farm Insurance), Attorney Eric Colley (Rainesville, Alabama) Susan Fairweather (Birmingham Investment Counselor) and A & R executives from Arista, RCA, Universal, and Sony/BMG Entertainment. After the show aired “live” on the Fox News Channel world wide, Mikel Gore of Entertainment Headline News here in Nashville stopped to interview VIP guest Robert Metzgar who was recently elected into the West Texas Hall Of Fame.

Q: Mr. Metzgar what do you see for country music in the coming New Year of 2006?

“I read in the Tennessean which is our highly awarded local newspaper here in Nashville, that Bill Bennett, the new Executive Vice-President at Warner Brothers predicted that country music is getting ready to expand exponentially in the future.” I really agree with him on that, Metzgar said. We have some of the greatest leadership ever here in Nashville at both the CMA (Country Music Association) and the country music labels and that is causing a big up-tick in country music sales, marketing and exposure. I think the leadership in country music today is the best I have seen in Nashville in my past 30 plus years here on music row. * See November 13, 2005 Business section

Q: Who are the people in leadership that are bringing country music success back to music city?

I think you have to give credit where credit is due. Mike Dungan, who is the new incoming President of the CMA board has been brilliant with what he has accomplished at Capitol-Nashville with Keith Urban. John Grady and Mark Wright have brought millions of Gretchen Wilson fans into our business with her back to back multi-platinum releases. Luke Lewis, who I admire so very much as a person and a record label executive has broadened the appeal of country music by taking Universal artists to a level that we have never seen in my 30+ years here in Nashville as a producer. Label leadership is at an all time high as far as I’m concerned,” Metzgar said. * See

Having the CMA Awards in New York was in my estimation “one of the smartest and most courageous decisions ever made by the CMA.” I think people like Ed Benson & Jeff Walker, who have been on the cutting edge of marketing country music to new fans and bringing a younger demographic into the country music business, are to be commended and should be rewarded in many ways. Artists like Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Keith Urban, and others have brought about a whole new generation of country music loyalists. And, lest we forget, the top 3 money making acts in the world last year were Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Toby Keith. What these acts have done for the country music business is remarkable.

Q: Do you have some all time heroes here at record labels in country music?

Yes, I do. Mike Curb is my all time hero in country music. Mike and his wife are wonderful spiritual influences in our business. He is the most awarded independent label and producer in history. Mike Curb has had 250 Billboard #1 records, 2,762 Billboard charted records, and his establishment of the C.M. Curb sanctuary at Baptist hospital this past year touched me very deeply. He established this sanctuary and the one at St. Thomas hospital to honor his grandfather, Reverend C. M. Curb. I think the entire city of Nashville owes Mr. & Mrs. Curb a great debt of gratitude for that. And, his influence through the Mike Curb College Of Entertainment at Belmont University here in Nashville is unparalleled in its influence in the offices on music row everywhere. "I admire Mike Curb and what he has done for country music more than any other man in country music history." He and his family have kept a firm faith in God, while establishing many of the greatest charitable organizations in Nashville. * See

Q: What about heroes in the business that are artists?

I said at the Canadian country music awards that “When you cut me, I bleed George Jones and Alan Jackson.” I am by nature very loyal to the traditional side of the business. I love Texas music with fiddles in the band. After all, I was born in Fairfield, Texas and grew up in West Texas along with Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Billy Walker, Willie Nelson, Lefty Frizzell, Tommy Overstreet, Buddy Holly, Delbert McClinton, Dan Seals, Tanya Tucker, The Whites, Mason Williams, Don Williams, and Pat Green. If you take a look at the other artists that are already elected to the West Texas Hall Of Fame, you will be amazed at how many great artists came into this business from Texas. I applaud Sid Holmes and all the great people who elected me into the "bluegrass pioneers" section of the Hall Of Fame and will be always grateful to them for that position along with all the other great Texas acts in history. *See

Q. So, you see 2006 as the year for country music to expand and get bigger than ever?

I do see a great expansion coming in our genre of music because of great label leadership. I commend every employee in the music business and all the studios and people on music row that are making this happen. And, really we couldn’t do it without Wal-Mart, Handleman, Anderson Merchandisers, Target, Tower Records, and other retailers who are helping to market the music of the greatest country artists in history. Retailers have given country music, Contemporary Christian music and bluegrass a bigger share of their stores than at any time in history. That’s an exciting thing. And the future of the music business in general is much more stable now than it was just 5 years ago. *See

Q: What concert did you see last year that impressed you?

Last year, I went to the Grand Ole Opry and saw Lee Greenwood. I personally bought tickets for all my guests which included Wayne and Diana Hall, film director, Judy Goss-Levitt who is a Ford model from New York and some others. I have never heard such incredible singing in my entire life. The entire audience rose to their feet to give Lee Greenwood a standing ovation that lasted for a very long time. And, Lori Morgan sang one of my very favorite songs of all time while I was there. Even I got tears in my eyes when Lee Greenwood broke into “God Bless The USA!” I think as long as the songs we record and the artists that we promote here in Nashville have their eyes and goals set on positive things about our country and nation, country music will remain in the forefront of music success in the coming years. *See

Mr. John Taylor

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

422 Broadway Avenue

Nashville, TN 37203

615-726-0463 (wk)

615-405-9670 (direct)
johntaylor @

Sid Holmes, Director

sidholmes @

Mr. Robert Metzgar, GM

Platinum Plus Universal Records

1214 16th Avenue South

Nashville, TN 37212-2902

800-767-4984 (toll free)

615-321-0600 (wk)

615-321-0182 (fax)
robertmetzgar @

Belmont University

Curb School Of Entertainment

1900 Belmont Boulevard

Nashville, TN 37212-3757

615-460-6000 (wk)

This article written by Mikel Gore

Entertainment Headline News Editor

Nashville, Tennessee
mikelgore @

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Tootsie's Orchid LoungeTootsie's Orchid LoungeTootsie's Orchid Lounge is located at 422 Broadway Street, Nashville, TN 37203 . Call 615-726-0463 or 615-405-9670 for reservationsBroadway view of Tootsie's Orchid LoungeBroadway view of Tootsie's Orchid LoungeOne of Nashville's most historic clubs, the owners of Tootsie's recently re-opened the Nashville Palace across from the Opryland HotelLoCash Cowboys Entertain at Nashville PalaceLoCash Cowboys Entertain at Nashville PalaceLoCash Cowboys are New Year's Eve smash at the grand re-opening of the Nashville PalaceTootsie's Hall Of FameTootsie's Hall Of FameKris Kristofferson is inducted into the Tootsie's Hall Of FameJudy Goss-LevittJudy Goss-LevittJudy Goss Levitt, Ford model from New York has first taste of country music at Grand Ole Opry as guest of Producer Robert MetzgarChristina AquileraChristina AquileraRecent guest of music city producer Robert Metzgar to see the historic sites of Nashville's music rowLegends Hall Of Fame member Robert MetzgarLegends Hall Of Fame member Robert MetzgarCelebrating the grand re-opening of the Nashville Palace is Legends Hall Of Fame producer Robert MetzgarJazz Artist Melody SwinkJazz Artist Melody SwinkMelody Swink was a recent guest of Producer Robert Metzgar at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Jazz Artist Melody SwinkJazz Artist Melody SwinkChicago superstar Melody Swink visits Nashville's Legends Hall Of Fame Producer Robert MetzgarGretchen Wilson Gretchen Wilson Country Female Vocalist Of The YearMelody SwinkMelody SwinkJazz Superstar Melody Swink at www.melodysongs.comFaith HillFaith HillWarner Brothers artist Faith Hill lifts Warner Nashville to the top record label in soundscan sales for 2005Jessica SimpsonJessica SimpsonRecently visiting the Grand Ole Opry in Music City *See www.capitolmanagement.comMike CurbMike CurbMetzgar's all time hero in the record business is Mike Curb, President of Curb Records www.mikecurb.comLegends Hall Of Fame Producer Robert MetzgarLegends Hall Of Fame Producer Robert MetzgarFor further information go to