Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tales from the set....American Country Awards

Today I put on my "stand in" hat again to work the American Country Awards in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Event Center.

Because there are a few major country music awards shows they often get mixed up in people's minds... there are the ACA's, the ACMA's, and the CMA's. I work the ACMA's and the ACA's.

The "American Country Awards" are the awards voted by the fans, (like the People's Choice Awards).

As a rehearsal actress it can get very busy running from backstage to the stage to rehearse presenting an award or performing then out to the house seats standing in and accepting an award for a winner. Today wasn't one of those days because the performers were all mostly already there so I was able to watch and enjoy. It's nice when this happens, but rare.

NASCAR driver Danica Patrick made her debut as a TV host and I thought she pulled it off! Loved her attitude and confidence. Since she has a job risking her life on a regular basis I suppose live hosting is not that scary if you compare the two. This is probably how she was able to gather the courage to strut on stage in a showgirl costume and look amazing while doing so!

Danica Patrick...World's first race car driver/show girl!

I must say that the ACA host, (for the fourth year), Trace Adkins sure knows how to fill out a racing suit!...(He also wears a showgirl costume...kind of...YouTube it and you'll see). I like Trace as host because he nails the straight man role to a "T"...He is as tall as he looks at 6' 6"...So he makes everyone seem small. I have worked with him several times on various shows and the only thing he ever really says to me is "Who are you?".....(I'm kidding)!

Trace and Danica...bingimages.com

The two best performances of this show in my book are the duet with Sheryl Crow and Darius Rucker and then LeAnn Rimes' tribute to Patsy Cline.
Sheryl Crow and Darius Rucker (formerly Hootie of Hootie and the Blowfish, he has been a country singer for several years now), sounded great together....The song is called 'Wagon Wheel' and it's a bit of a hokey title but it reminds me of something Johnny Cash would have done.

LeAnn Rime's career has cooled off a bit these past few years so I am betting she is feeling pretty good right now after blowing us all away tonight! Good for her, everyone needs a second wind.

For LeAnn it is the mark of a 20 year journey that started at ten years old. Although she began performing at age five, it wasn't until she was ten that she was discovered by disc jockey and songwriter Bill Mack, while singing the "Star Spangled Banner" at a sporting event in Texas.

Bill Mack was so impressed with her talent he helped her get her big break, which was recording a song he wrote called "Blue" that he had originally began composition of for Patsy Cline just before her death in 1963. He had never done anything with it, until LeAnn Rimes came along. Although she had recorded a few songs independently before this, "Blue" is what gave her her career. Several years ago I worked with Bill Mack a few times and he talked to me about this. What he said was that he didn't hear a ten year old girl when he first heard LeAnn sing, but a full fledged gifted artist, far beyond her years. He felt compelled to help her and boy did he ever! (The success of "Blue" did not hurt him either, he won a Grammy Award for the song as did she).

Watching her rehearse her Patsy Cline tribute today it seemed there couldn't have been a better artist to do so. I have seen LeAnn perform other songs and she has exceptional "pipes" but there is something about when she sings Patsy Cline that is goose bump inducing, it is as if Patsy is right there with her!

So, the National Finals Rodeo concluded today after ten days in town as well as the American Country Awards. This is the end of my awards show work for the year. Will have to see what awards show surprises next year brings!

Rounding off our 12th year on awards shows.
Have worked with my sister Karen since the beginning.

Leann Rimes Patsy Cline Tribute....YouTube

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