What an awesome evening of camaraderie, great food, and awesome entertainment. We were graced to have some of the greatest legends in all of country music. I am adding many pictures to this article so you can see why this turned out to be one of the most successful Awards Show that R.O.P.E. has ever had. Seeing old friends, new found friends, sitting down to a great dinner, trading stories that we forgot about, anticipating who will win the awards, and then being entertained royally by Moe Bandy and his great show. He topped the evening off with one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. If you wanted to hear traditional country music at its best, then you missed your chance this night, because Moe sang for over an hour, stayed after to meet his fans, shaking hands, signing autographs, taking pictures, and spending time with his fellow artists. He most definitely put the finishing touches on this great evening. If you did not make it, you missed a night filled with pure traditional country music with steel guitar and fiddle and the voice of one of country music’s giant legends, Moe Bandy. And please believe me when I say his vocals were pure. He was thrilled to be with us, as much as everyone in attendance was thrilled to see and hear him. Oh yes, no one left the room until Moe closed his show with “Americana” which brought everyone to their feet during the song, as Moe asked all to join him, and we did, and then he came back because everyone wanted another song which he was so gracious and happy to do.
Now for the news you have been waiting for, and the R.O.P.E. Award winners for 2010 are as follows:
DJ Award (New Award)— George Riddle
Musician– David Russell (Fiddle)
Songwriter– Ray Pennington
Media– Stan Hitchcock
Business– Jack Clement
Entertainer –(Co-Winners) Charlie Louvin & Bill Anderson
Mac Wiseman Nightengale Awards— Leeann LaLonde (Her care for Jack Greene) & Gary Scott (For his care for his wife Jeanette Scott)
These are awards are given to people who have taken care of someone who that is close to them in time of need or sickness. Very special award’s that Mac Wiseman has designated each year to be awarded to special people.
A special achievement award was given to Jeanette Scott, who is a member of our Board of Directors. She was given this award for her continuous outstanding service to R.O.P.E. Well deserved.
As President of R.O.P.E., I was hoping that we would have a great evening because of all the great things going on in Nashville on October 7th. There was Bill Anderson taping Country Reunion, but Bill still made it out to the Awards Show, then the Grand Ole Opry had their Classic Country night at the Opry House, but when all was said and done, we are so proud of the turnout for our R.O.P.E. Awards Banquet. I cannot express in words how exciting the evening was, and I thank all of our Board of Directors for a super job well done, and a special thanks to the many fans who attended, and to so many of the legendary veterans who were in attendance. I can promise you now that 2011 will be sold-out.
The evening started out with one large and welcomed surprise, and I must say a wonderful way to open the doors. I went over to Jeannie Seely and the gentlemen she is dating, Eugene Ward, who incidentally is R.O.P.E.’s Legal Counsel and is part of the legal staff at our Nashville Electric Service. I gave Jeannie a hug and shook hands with Gene, and before I could a word, Jeannie grabbed my arm and put her hand in front of me, and on her finger was one of the biggest engagement rings I have ever seen. Gene and Jeannie became engaged the night before our show. How exciting it was to see them so happy, and being that I know both of them so well, I know that this match is such a
wonderful time in both of their life’s and we in the country music industry are so happy for them. Wedding is set for Nov. 20th, 2010.
Jeannie looked as happy as I have ever seen her, and Gene was all aglow. We all wish them much happiness and we hope that they will continue to be a part of R.O.P.E. for many years.
This article would never be complete without commenting on our host, Keith Bilbrey, who is becoming a fixture for our annual Award Banquet, and I hope he will continue to want to be with us on all of our shows. As I have said before, Leslie Elliott our Exec. Director or R.O.P.E., and myself, all we have to do is give Keith the agenda for the evening, and just let him do the rest, and this night was no different than the rest, because he has everything in order and walks everyone through the show with his comments and love and hugs for his friends in our industry. He is missed so much by his radio friends, his industry friends, and I am hoping that another radio station in Nashville will see the light and hire Keith Bilbrey. He would be perfect for WSIX when we get rid of Gerry House.
I wish that I could list all of the great artists who attended our show, but I know that I would miss someone and I am not going to take that chance because they each deserve recognition. I am hoping that this article will make you realize how great of a show you missed, how many artists you missed saying hello to and meeting some of the greats in country music who are always accommodating to their fans. The show was timed to perfection and we hope that you will inquire about joining R.O.P.E to be with us in 2011. We have a monthly social where we meet for dinner, friendship, and entertainment by one of our greats, legends, or new recording artists for the get together. After the main artist performs, there is an hour when any artist can get up and sing and play, and the great staff band that we have makes it so great for all. We hold our monthly dinner at John A’s restaurant on Music Valley Drive, next to the gas station. It is one of the best places for everyone to meet. So think about joining with us as Friend of R.O.P.E. or as member who works in the industry in some capacity. I promise you that you will enjoy what we are all about with our monthly newsletter.. In 2011 we are planning new and exciting events and we will keep you informed. If you would like more information please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward you an application, along with a brochure that explains everything about R.O.P.E.
Our dinner table was graced with the beautiful blue bottles of water and the chicken both sponsored by Gus Arrendale, President of Springer Mountain Farms, located in Mt. Airy, Ga. Gus has been of the greatest supporters of traditional country music, as you can tell by his commercials on WSM/AM, and for his generosity in offering each year to assist in any way he can to make our R.O.P.E. Banquet a great success, and we give our thanks to Gus for his continuous support to our organization. Please take a minute to view their website at the following: www.SpringerMountainFarms.com
A thanks to Peter Cooper of The Tennessean and all Tennessean entertainment writers for his great support of our show, to Jim Asker of AllAccess.com, Lon Shelton of Country Aircheck, Bill Hennes of AllAboutCountry.com, to Bill Cody and Charlie Mattos of WSM/AM for their great support of our event, and to all those who got the word out to the fans regarding our Awards Show. Without media, no event can be successful. A special thanks to Randy & Joe Matthews of the Nashville Music Guide which they were kind enough to furnish magazines to all ticket holders at the banquet. I am writing a column in the magazine, along with editorials, questions, and opinions. Just go to nashvillemusicguide.com and learn more about this first class magazine.
My thanks and R.O.P.E. thanks our friend and exclusive photographer, Jerry Overcast. He has always been there to make sure that we get as many photo’s as we need to use for promoting R.O.P.E., and the 2010 show was no different. As you can see by the pictures I have included in this article, they are awesome and they ARE PROFESSIONAL-DONE BY A PROFESSIONAL-a person who loves country music and a dedicated supporter of our organization. We are so proud to have him as a part of our team.
In closing I want to thank the production staff that Steve Tolman assembles for us each year. The sound and lights were perfect for the Masonic Temple. Steve has always given of his time and talents to make sure that the artists and musicians are totally happy with the production. I also want to thank all of the staff from catering for a job superbly done. The venue looked great and we are already planning for next year and I hope that we will surprise everyone with the name that will be on our marquee for the 2011 R.O.P.E. Awards Banquet. We hope you might consider joining us. From age 15 to whenever, you can be a part of our great organization.
Story by Marty Martel
Pres., MSP Inc.
Photos by Jerry Overcast