Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Buckling Down for Our CMA Awards Coverage

Buckling Down for Our CMA Awards Coverage

By: Calvin Gilbert

The 42nd annual CMA Awards show is just minutes away, and those of us at CMT have already had an interesting day. Not to complain (too much), but our offices in downtown Nashville were without electrical power from about 10 a.m. until almost 3:30 p.m. after a Nashville Electric Service transformer malfunctioned.

That meant no computers, no e-mail and no TV, which would be a problem for nearly anybody in this day and age. From our parking garage, you can see the Sommet Center, where tonight’s awards show is taking place, but that area across Broadway was not affected by the outage. And thank goodness for that. I can’t even imagine what sort of problems that would have created for the producers of the awards show.

As for us, several radio stations from throughout the nation were in the middle of artist interviews in the CMT Radio studios when the outage occurred. I heard that Darius Rucker was just about to step into the elevator when the power went out — proving that timing is everything, regardless of who you are.

But we’re back in commission. CMT’s Lance Smith and Katie Cook are at the Sommet Center, hosting the 2008 CMA Awards Red Carpet Special to run live at 7 p.m. ET on the channel and at We’ll be updating our Web site throughout the evening with photos and news.

A live blog will also be underway as Shane Caldwell sets up shop at the Paradise Park Trailer Resort, a bar in downtown Nashville. As they would say in East Texas, where I was raised, Shane is “one funny sumbitch,” so I’m looking forward to his observations. (I think.)

There’s supposed to be a surprise guest appearing on the awards show, but the CMA seems to be doing a good job of keeping this one a secret. Lon Helton and Chuck Aly, my friends at Country Aircheck, say the speculation on Music Row includes Shania Twain, Andy Griffith and Bruce Springsteen.

Twain is apparently working on some new music, and Griffith appeared in Brad Paisley’s video for “Waitin’ on a Woman.” So either of those make sense. I can’t imagine why Springsteen would be there, but who knows? We’ll have to wait until the show to find out if the surprise is of major magnitude.


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