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May 23

Memorial Day Salute: GAC’s Top 20 Songs & Videos Honoring Our Troops

Country songs are often a mirror to the world, a reflection of the times. As a tribute to  the men and women who have served our country, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite songs and videos that honor our troops – heartfelt compositions that look at war through the eyes of the men and women who fight, as well as the families who are left behind to pray that their loved ones return home safely.  If you don’t see your favorite on our list, leave us a comment below and let us know!

We at GAC extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation to all soldiers and their families!

“‘Til the Last Shot’s Fired” – Trace Adkins

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This heartfelt song is about the life of soldiers through various wars, starting with America’s Civil War and continuing through our current conflicts in the Middle East. Trace Adkins conveys the soldiers’ fervent wish that their job would at some point be eliminated for good. Trace delivers as only Trace can.

“American Soldier” – Toby Keith

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This song depicts the everyday life of a soldier, from not being able to call in sick to working through the holidays while standing up for liberty. Toby never fails to bring the soldiers to their feet when he performs this one on his many USO tours.

“Angel Flight” – Radney Foster/Darius Rucker

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The title of this song refers to the flight on which a soldier killed in war comes home. Radney wrote the song with Darden Smith, then asked Darius Rucker to sing on it with him. The song was inspired by a series of Angel Flights that brought home a group of men known as the Red River Four. Proceeds from sales of the song benefit the groups who help families in crisis. Continue Reading


Posted at 11:35 am | Permalink
Apr 2

Backstage at the ACM Awards: a Melting Pot of Music

Ashton Kutcher, Jay DeMarcus, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Jake Owen

Actor Ashton Kutcher, musicians Jay DeMarcus, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Jake Owen pose backstage at the 47th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for ACM)

Anyone strolling the halls backstage at the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards Sunday night might have thought they were experiencing April Fool’s Day visions. While walking down one hallway, they might have come face to face with the rock group KISS. Heading in another direction, they might have found rapper LL Cool J. Or they might have met actor Ashton Kutcher and singer Marc Anthony within the space of a few minutes. Or maybe they would’ve seen Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw casually chatting in the hallway with Taylor Swift and Martina McBride.

As Jason Aldean said when asked about that diversity, “This is a country awards show; it’s our show. But I think great music is great music. As an artist, you have a ton of respect for other artists, no matter what kind of music they play.”

Jason won Single of the Year and Vocal Collaboration of the Year with Kelly Clarkson for their duet “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” He continued with his assessment of the awards show as he spoke to reporters backstage in the ACM Awards Press Room. “I met LL at the GRAMMYs this year; he’s a really cool guy. I’d never met KISS and that was interesting. The great thing about music is crossing genres. Look at Kelly and I; she’s not a country act but we did this song together. It’s okay to like different things. You don’t have to like one style of music. I grew up listening to everything.  I love coming to these shows and getting to meet people like that and seeing people. It’s a cool thing. I think those meetings lead to collaborations. I think it’s great for the industry and great for music in general.”

KISS presented Group of the Year to Lady Antebellum.  “KISS was the coolest thing on the red carpet,” said Lady A’s Charles Kelley. “All we could focus on was them coming in because they looked larger than life. They had 12-inch heels on. We didn’t realize they were going to be giving our award to us tonight.”

Entertainer of the Year winner, Taylor Swift, shared the details of her busy weekend with the media backstage. “This weekend has been amazing. Yesterday I was at the Kids’ Choice Awards and I had never been there before. The First Lady (Michelle Obama) gave me the award for Charitable Contributions and Giving Back. I had never met her before, and I was so nervous. She’s a role model, and she was so cool and so nice! I met her daughter and it was an amazing time. Then I flew to Vegas and this happens. I’m really happy right now.”

Taylor also took time to acknowledge the role her fans had in her becoming Entertainer of the Year. “I am so amazed that they keep doing such incredibly nice things for me. They have done so much for me in the last couple weeks, it has been amazing. I just want to hug them all the time and thank them for everything. It really blows my mind.”

Eli Young Band took home Song of the Year for “Crazy Girl,” written by Lee Brice and Liz Rose. Lead singer Mike Eli admitted he wasn’t sure whether to get up when he heard the band’s  name called. “I kept waiting for someone to say April Fool,” he said with a laugh. “It is totally surreal for us, starting out as a grass roots band, just four guys making music in college bars. Now here we are.”

Lee admitted that receiving the award for Song of the Year was cool, but “it’s even cooler for the Eli Young Band.” The singer/songwriter explains that he and Liz wrote the song in 2002 or 2003. “It had been around awhile and I had wanted to record it myself, but the timing wasn’t right. Then these guys heard it and wanted it and I could see how sincere they were about it. I’m so happy for them.”

The win for Lee and the Eli Young Band was a first for both.

Toby Keith kept the party going all night, from the red carpet to the press room. He walked backstage to speak with the media, drinking his own brand of spirits, Wild Shot Mezcal – in a red solo cup, of course. Continue Reading


Posted at 12:46 pm | Permalink
Sep 7

Top 20 Cowboy and Rodeo Songs


Photo courtesy of the PRCA.

In no particular order, here are our picks for the Top 20 Cowboy & Cowgirl Songs. Leave us a comment below and let us know your favorite! 

“Amarillo By Morning” – George Strait

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Although Chris LeDoux recorded this song first, most people remember George Strait’s version, which begins with a beautiful intro played by fiddle great Buddy Spicher. Here’s a clip of George singing “Amarillo By Morning” live. The song is about a cowboy’s love for the sport of rodeo, no matter what happens to him and no matter what he loses, saddles and girlfriends included. George, as most of his fans know, sponsors his own Team Roping Classic in San Antonio each year. He is no slouch as a roper either!

“Good Ride Cowboy” – Garth Brooks

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This song, written by Jerrod Niemann (performing it in the clip above), Richie Brown, Bryan Kennedy and Bob Doyle, became Garth Brooks‘ tribute to his friend Chris LeDoux after the rodeo champ and singer passed away in 2005. It chronicles Chris’ rise to fame in the rodeo world and as a singer, as well as his down-to-earth ways as a father and husband. Chris and Garth became friends after the Oklahoma singer named the rodeo cowboy in his first single, “Too Young to Feel This Damn Old.” They also recorded a duet in 1992, “What’cha Gonna Do With A Cowboy.”

“Night Rider’s Lament”Suzy Bogguss

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Upon hearing this song, one would assume it was written in the heyday of the cowboy. A little research finds it was written by real-life cowboy Michael Burton, but in a much more recent setting, circa 1975. It describes how one cowboy chose career over true love and how he sometimes thinks about what might have been. Those thoughts don’t linger long, however, as he quickly remembers why he chose the life of a cowboy on the range. The tune has been recorded by everyone from Chris LeDoux to Garth Brooks and Nanci Griffith, but Suzy has one of the great versions of the tune. Here she is singing it with Jerry Jeff Walker.

“Should’ve Been A Cowboy” – Toby Keith

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Despite the fact that he is as much at home on a horse as he is on a stage, Toby Keith laments in this song that he should have been a cowboy. The Oklahoma native thinks he should have learned to rope and ride in a cattle drive, because he thinks as a cowboy he could have stolen the young girls’ hearts like his heroes, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Who among us hasn’t thought how glamorous it would be to be a cowboy on a big ranch somewhere out west, or at the very least, in a movie?

“Someday Soon” – Ian Tyson

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Written by Ian Tyson, “Someday Soon” has been recorded by Judy Collins, Suzy Bogguss and many others and has charted in pop, folk and country. This 2009 video features Ian singing it – and you can see Suzy’s version HERE. Continue Reading


Posted at 4:23 pm | Permalink