YESTERDAY’S SNOW STORM HAS AREA SCHOOLS STILL CLOSED OR DELAYED
BHK Houghton/Keweenaw Headstart
Crossroads Christian Academy
Mini Miracle Learning Center
NICE Community Schools
North Star Academy-Polaris
Redeemer Lutheran Preschool
Saint Christopher Day School
Ewen-Trout Creek – 2 HR DELAY
Hannahville – Bus #2 and #4 are running 1/2 hour late
Little Huskies Child Development Center – OPEN AT 10AM
Ontonagon – 2 HR DELAY/NO AM KINDERGARTEN
Wells Township-2 HR DELAY
LET SARAH PALIN HUNT YOU UP A GREAT HOLIDAY FEAST
Keith was born Toby Keith Covel in Clinton, OK, in 1961 and grew up mostly on a farm in Moore, near the outskirts of Oklahoma City. He took up guitar at age eight, inspired by the country musicians who played at the supper club his grandmother ran. He listened to his father’s Bob Wills records and fell in love with Haggard‘s music. He worked as a rodeo hand while in high school, and after graduation, he found work in the nearby oil fields. In the meantime, he formed the Easy Money Band and played Alabama-style country-rock in area honky tonks. After about three years, the oil industry hit a major downturn, and Keith turned to playing semipro football for a USFL farm team, even trying out (unsuccessfully) for the short-lived league’s Oklahoma City franchise. Following two years as a football player, Keith decided to focus on music and adopted a much more rigorous touring schedule. He cut a few records for local indie labels, and his demo tape eventually found its way to onetime Alabama producer Harold Shedd, who helped Keith land a deal with Mercury.
In 2003 Keith released Shock’n Y’All, which despite its title was chock-full of enough rough-and-rowdy hits to once again connect hugely with heartland America. Honkytonk University followed in May 2005, the same year that Mercury released Chronicles, a collection of three of his biggest albums: Toby Keith, Boomtown, and Blue Moon. After departing from Universal and longtime producer Stroud, Keith established his own company, Show Dog Nashville, and in 2006 released the label’s first record, the number two hit White Trash with Money. A year later he released Big Dog Daddy, the first album he produced himself, and also a holiday album, A Classic Christmas. That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy followed in 2008. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide
..A LITTLE SONG FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T READY FOR THE SNOW YET…
STUDIO 330 IN THE MORNING SESSION CUT OF THE DAY
Gretchen Wilson was born on June 26, 1973, and raised in rural Pocahontas, Ill., 36 miles due east of St. Louis, where numerous trailer parks are clustered among cornfields and pig farms. Her mother was 16 years old when she had Gretchen, and her father, unfortunately, had moved on with his life by the time she was 2. Whenever they couldn’t make rent, which was every few months, they packed up what little belongings they owned and moved down the road only to find yet another trailer.
With only an eighth-grade education, she was cooking and tending bar at Big O’s, a rough-and-tumble bar five miles outside of town, alongside her mom at age 14. A year later and living on her own, she was managing the roughneck joint with a loaded 12-gauge double-barrel shotgun stashed behind the bar for protection.
The father she never really knew provided her with the musical talent to sing. “My dad just picked around on the guitar and has a quiet voice,” Gretchen says. She made it a point to meet him for the first time when she was 12. “His family, I’m told, had a little traveling band. I think it was a gospel band.” In any case, from an early age she could sing. Long before karaoke machines, she got up on stage every night at Big O’s with a microphone and sang along to various CDs for tips. She soon found herself fronting a cover band and for the first time she felt like maybe there was a life for her outside Bond County. She moved to Nashville in 1996.
Wilson became somewhat discouraged after a brief encounter with a local musician, whom she happened to recognize at a Nashville music shop. She asked for advice, and he said she needed to create a buzz. It would take her four long years to figure out what he meant. In the meantime, she got a job slinging drinks at a bar in Printers Alley.
A few years later, and now with a daughter, she still had no luck in terms of getting a record deal. One Friday night, singer-songwriters Big Kenny and John Rich (of Big & Rich) walked into the bar and heard her sing with the house band. She remembers, “John followed me up to my little cubby hole bar upstairs with his trench coat and cowboy hat and I think his exact words were, ‘Hey, how come you ain’t got a record deal yet?’ I looked at him in disgust … threw him a business card and a little homemade demo and said, ‘I’m busy. I’m working right now.'”
For months he tried getting in touch with her, and for months she ignored his calls until someone finally said, “Look, you should really return his call. He might be able to help you out.” He not only introduced her to his circle of friends — “they started to use me singing on some demos” — but he also taught her how the Nashville songwriting community really works. She also became a member of the Muzik Mafia, a loose-knit group of singers, songwriters and musicians who get together to jam (and party) every Tuesday in a local Nashville nightspot. It was in front of her peers — very honest peers — that she honed her songwriting style. She later signed with Sony Music Nashville.
Her sassy debut single, “Redneck Woman,” took off like a bottle rocket — five weeks at No. 1 on Billboard‘s country airplay chart in 2004 — leading to a whirlwind, worldwide promotional tour. Her debut album, Here for the Party, sold nearly five million copies. The title track, “When I Think About Cheatin'” and “Homewrecker” all did well on the charts too. As a result of her immediate success, she won the CMA Horizon Award in 2004.
Wilson released All Jacked Up in 2005 and won the CMA female vocalist trophy that same year. A book she co-wrote about her experiences appeared in 2006.
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