Jo Dee Messina’s show in Abingdon, Va., the not-so-good part
This article isn’t what you usually see on Country’s Chatter. It is not a review of Jo Dee Messina’s show in Abingdon, Va., last night. We did that earlier today. This is, however, as important as that review. And I think everyone in the entertainment business who does not understand this needs to. The part an artist’s staff plays in his or her career is every bit as important as the performance the artist puts on, and the way the artist treats their fans.
Any of you who have been reading Country’s Chatter for the past five years know that I never put up a show review, album review, or any news about any country artist without linking that post to the artist’s web site. And, if any of you were looking for that link in my review about Jo Dee Messina’s show, you didn’t find it. There is a reason for that.
You see, Jo Dee has this tour manager, who apparently thinks country music web sites are just not important. In fact, what he said to my husband was, “Anyone can have a web site.” That’s right, tour manager person – anyone can. But not everyone does. I, however, do. Your remarks about me ‘not being with the press’ are inaccurate. In addition to having this web site, I work for a newspaper, where I have worked for nearly 30 years. I am a member of the Tennessee Press Association, and you need to check your facts before making accusations.
Not only do I have a web site, it just happens to be one that is highly respected by many public relations firms, record labels, management teams, and even the artists themselves. They have been extremely helpful in sending me press releases, advance copies of CDs to review, press photos, and everything I need to offer my readers the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. This is not a site read by a small handful of readers. This site averages 150,000 readers every month.
While this tour manager is the main focus of this post, I don’t really think he can consider this an honor. His name, I was told, is Cliff Young. I would think at least part of his job would be to help promote this artist. He should want the artist to be seen in her best light. And he should want her fans to think as highly of her ‘team’ as they do of her. He should be there to do as much waving, smiling, and ‘just saying hi’, as the artist does. If he can’t accept the fact that people are going to be hanging around to ask questions, or hope for an autograph – then perhaps he is in the wrong job.
It seemed to me that this tour manager really made a special effort to be rude. It was more important to him to organize t-shirts, and make sure the money was right at the merchandise table than it was for him to give me 60 seconds of his time. I wasn’t looking for an autograph, or a picture of Jo Dee Messina. All I needed from him were the names of the band members so I could include them in an article (posted earlier). I got those names – but I didn’t get them from him. He wasn’t about to do anything to help me with an article on my web site. And it didn’t matter that all I was trying to do was recognize six extremely talented musicians who helped Jo Dee Messina put on an awesome concert.
It has been a long time since Jo Dee had a hit record on the radio. It’s been a long time since she’s done much of anything as far as recording is concerned. I’m not sure why that is. As I said earlier today, her vocals are powerful, and her performance was perfect. Everyone loves her music, and I think we’ve all missed hearing her on the radio. However, Jo Dee, if you are trying to rekindle that career, please don’t let someone like ‘Mr. Rude Guy’ be a part of that. Because he really didn’t make a very good impression on anyone who met him before, during or after your show.
I hope he’s reading this. I’ve ‘tweeted’ the fact that it has been posted. I’ve ‘facebooked’ the fact that it has been posted. And several of the people on that bus have my card. To that, I want to add this. I have been attending concerts for more than 50 years. I have a great deal of admiration and respect for who these artists are, and for what they do. And, because I feel that way about it – I choose to spend my time writing about them, and hopefully helping other people to discover their music.
So, to Cliff Young, I have only this to say – don’t underestimate the power of a web site. “The pen IS mightier than the sword” – English author, Edward Bulwer-Lytton.
I do want to take this opportunity to thank the folks at the Washington County Fair, in Abingdon, Va., for always being helpful and going out of their way to accommodate me whenever I visited their fairgrounds. Each of their board members have always been courteous, and eager to help in any way they can. I never take anything for granted. I appreciate that so much!
I’m sure I’ll get a lot of feedback on this one. I don’t often write editorials, but I believe I just did. I always appreciate your e-mails and your comments, so feel free. I’ll be back with more soon. Hopefully, from here on out – Country’s Chatter will return to the positive, site it has been over the past five years.
♪♫ Country ♪♫
Tags: Abingdon, country music, entertainment business, management teams, press photos, public relations firms, tennessee press association