Hi, I'm Dave Marsh-Program Director and host of "The Ride" home weekday afternoons 3-7p on 104.5 WFMB.
Here's just a little bit about me. I grew up in a tiny little town in Central Wisconsin. Got my degree in Broadcast Journalism at UW-River Falls and have been doing radio in some way shape or form since 1977. I've lived in a variety of locations including Colorado Springs, Lincoln, NE and near Madison, WI. I love radio as a career and the contact we have with the artists. Hobbies include: Fishing, motorcycles (when I can borrow one), outdoor activities, gardening, landscaping and yard work. Musical choices: Everything from George Strait to Pink Floyd. Love most kinds of music. TV: 24, Fringe, House, SciFi-Star Trek and a steady diet of NatGeo, History, Discovery and Science Channels Sports: Packers, Brewers, Bucks--but I have a healthy respect for the Cardinals
I love hearing from our wayward listeners on line at wfmb.com. Shoot me an email and let me know where you are.
The Year's Top Stories: Country music opened 2010 with the ascension of a new multi-platinum superstar group, drew the year to a close with a record-setting album release from music's biggest international superstar and, in between, rallied around its hometown. We've collected the year's top stories below and, at bottom, posted some of 2010's best photos.
» 1. Nashville Rises: The story of Music City's road to recovery is impossible to tell without mentioning the country artists who raised their voices and urged oil-and-Times-Square-fizzle-obsessed networks to inform the rest of the nation. Nashville's stars organized telethons and benefits, and wrote sizeable checks (Taylor Swift chipped in $500,000) that made them in every respect exactly like the thousands of volunteers who weren't about to wait around for help from someone or somewhere else.
In some ways, the outpouring was more than could be imagined. In others, it will never be enough. The struggle continues for too many. Some things are too precious to replace. But when the histories are written, they will have to tell a story of hope and community and connections between people that are bigger than floating cars and flooded buildings. They must tell of a time when a great city, challenged, found out it was even greater.
» 2. Well Spoken: Boasting the biggest debut week of 2010 (take that, Eminem), Taylor Swift watched fans scoop up a record-setting 1,047,000 copies of her third album Speak Now. "I... Can't... Believe... This..." Swift tweeted upon hearing the news. "You guys have absolutely lit up my world." According to Nielsen SoundScan data provided by her record label, Speak Now was the first million-seller since Lil' Wayne's Tha Carter III (2008) and the top sales week since 50 Cent's The Massacre in 2005. Swift now claims the best one-week sales total of any woman in country music history, topping Shania Twain's 2002 album Up! (874,000). The release fell just short of the best one-week tally in country history, held by Garth Brooks with Double Live (1,083,000 in 1998).
» 3. Brooks & Finally Dunn: As Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn embark on brand-new solo careers, it's safe to say their two-decade collaboration has cemented its place as one of country music's greatest. "This ain't a funeral," Brooks said at one point during the pair's final concert as a duo in Nashville (9/2). The Last Rodeo Tour closed in Nashville, with proceeds benefiting the Country Music Hall of Fame. Their last song, fittingly, was their first single "Brand New Man."
» 4. Lady Ascension; Miranda & Blakethrough: Just because it was way back in January doesn't mean the incredible rise of Lady Antebellum isn't one of the biggest stories of the year. Not only was "Need You Now" a huge multi-week No. 1 single, the album it shares its name with bowed atop the Billboard Top 200 and powered the trio into the ranks of music's elite. "[This year] will go down in the record books for us," Hillary Scott says. "If nothing were to happen for the rest of our lives, we would be so happy." The trio nabbed CMA's Vocal Group of the Year and Single of the Year for "Need You Now," as well as ACMs for Top Vocal Group, Single and Song of the Year. Lady A also leads country artists with six 2011 Grammy nominations including all-genre nods for Album, Record and Song Of The Year.
Speaking of breakthroughs ... or should we say, "Blakethroughs" ... the betrothed Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton hit some pretty big career milestones over the last 12 months. They count five CMA trophies, four ACM wins and one engagement ring between them. "It's unique and it's odd that our careers are peaking at the same time," Shelton says. "Hers has blown up. It was said to me that my career has been like a 747 trying to take off the ground bouncing off the runway and it's finally in the air. For whatever reason, we kind of got going at the same time. It's not what's important as far as a career goes, but personally, it's [a big] part [of our lives]. We just sit there and stare at each other, and what do you say? 'I'm proud of you' is not enough. To have all of it happen at the same time, you don't talk about it. You absorb it."
» 5. Crop Drops & On A Roll: Superstars and terrible weather may have dominated the headlines, but the arrival of some promising newcomers bodes well for country's future. The Band Perry ("If I Die Young"), Easton Corbin ("Roll With It" and "A Little More Country Than That") and Jerrod Niemann ("Lover, Lover") were among the newbies who experienced their first No. 1 hits. And they're still getting used to the attention it brings. "I was asleep on a plane ... and felt a flash in my face," Niemann says. "[I] woke up and thought, 'Man, am I losing my mind? Did someone not just take a picture right in my face?' So I sat there and I saw this little girl peek over the chair in front of me ... then I see her mom's camera come over the chair. I was like, 'Your flash is on.' I think it just shows you how great of a song it is." Corbin is feeling it, too. "I went to church last time I was down [in Florida and] ended up giving a lot of autographs and taking pictures after church," he says. "It's always good when people are asking for autographs and pictures — no matter where it's at — because when they stop, then you have a problem."
» In Memoriam: As 2010 closes, the country music community remembers these influential figures who passed away this year: session guitarist Fred Carter, Jr. (7/18), Country Music Hall of Famer Jimmy Dean (6/13), songwriter Joshua Ragsdale (7/1), producer/musician/songwriter George Richey (7/31), and Country Music Hall of Famer Carl Smith (1/16).
» Life Note: Best wishes to LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian, who got engaged over the holidays. The couple confirmed the news via Twitter. "We are extremely excited and look forward to a beautiful future," Rimes tweeted Monday (12/27). "It's been an incredible last few days, I was shocked!!! We are blessed, our families are so happy and our lives are filled with love."
» Crib Note: Congrats to Dierks Bentley and wife Cassidy on the birth of their second child Jordan Catharine. "Say what u want about Santa's physique, but [there's] no arguing his impeccable timing," Dierks Bentley tweeted Christmas Day. "Evie wanted a little sister for Xmas and Jordan just arrived!" Girls now outnumber dad three to one.
George Strait and redshirtfridays.org have partnered to dedicate every Friday on his spring tour with Reba and Lee Ann Womack to wearing a red shirt to show support for servicemen and women. "I want to see a building full of red shirts, if possible," Strait says. Details here.
Dolly Parton and folk/country group the Kingston Trio are among the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement award recipients. The honorees will be celebrated during an invitation-only ceremony Feb. 12 leading up to the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. Complete list of recipients here.
Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Reba, Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Josh Turner, Laura Bell Bundy, Easton Corbin, The Band Perry, Steel Magnolia and Uncle Kracker will help GAC's Nan Kelly count down the network's fan-voted Top 50 Videos Of 2010 this week. The Top 10 will be revealed New Year's Eve. Complete schedule here.