The Word from Behind-the-Scenes at GAC and during Hands On Nashville!
Hey everybody, Craig Campbell here again. I had the honor of hanging out with Randy again a couple of times last week. You may have already seen a couple of these air, but we spent last Wednesday at GAC taping GAC Nights, On The Street and GAC Nights with the beautiful and talented Suzanne Alexander. Journalists, editors, tv producers, hosts, etc. love Randy, because when they ask him a question they know they’re going to get an answer – not just a yes, no or grunt. He’s so passionate about this new music, the book, his family and one of his favorite subjects, St. Jude. We left GAC and went over to the Country Music Hall of Fame to tape Bill Cody’s “Master Series” show (which I think airs around November 17, but check your local listings.) Bill is a consummate professional, and his show tapes right in the museum itself. I don’t know if it had any affect on Randy, but for me it was surreal to be in that building with one of the artists immortalized in the Hall of Fame. Pretty Cool.
October 25 was “USA Weekend” magazine’s 18th Annual Make A Difference Day, which promotes volunteerism across the country. We partnered with Hands on Nashville and the Big 98 WSIX, and Randy visited three of the sites hosting volunteer projects in Nashville, and each one had a different affect on him.
The first stop was a huge thrift store called ThriftSmart. Randy helped sort books (and looked for a book of poetry,) and helped unload a trailer truck full of desks donated by Vanderbilt University. We then went to Eakin Elementary School, where volunteers were landscaping the front of the school. Randy grabbed a shovel and immediately began digging a hole for a new shrub. He said, “this is my kinda work – I can do this!” Our next stop visibly moved Randy – it was a home called Safe Haven, where destitute families can go to live while they get back on their feet. I’ve heard of places like that for women and children but not for entire families like this. They have classes on finances and other helpful topics, which help the families get their lives back in order. Nashville’s Hiller Plumbing company was there donating their services for the day, and that is what struck Randy the hardest – that this big company would send a huge truck and two men to fix things for free. What a blessing! When Randy was doing an interview with a local tv station, he grabbed the two men and started interviewing them!
We ended up at the Hall of Fame Park in Downtown Nashville where Randy and his keyboard player Steve Peffer performed an acoustic concert for all of the volunteers. Here’s a guy singing Alabama songs and songs from One On One, and 75 yards away is the Country Music Hall of Fame. He didn’t have to do that concert for those people, but he wanted to thank everyone for what they had done that day. Texas Roadhouse donated lunch, which was great. If you check out www.usaweekend.com and do a search for Make A Difference Day, they may still have photos on there. If you get the magazine in your Sunday paper, there will be a big wrap-up story that includes Randy in one of the first issues in December.
I’m heading to Huntsville tomorrow for the first stop on RO’s album/book tour, so I’ll give you a rundown later in the week.