Tele-buddy's Tinseltown Tales:

Oh my gosh! I snagged Kenny!

After 20 years as a reporter, my biggest rush is still getting to an elusive celebrity, the person no one else can touch. Ah! I know it makes me a loser to say that's what gets my juices flowing, but, hey, it's true. On Sunday night, when Kenny Chesney was in town for a small club show, I got my rush again.

Comments » 12

  • February 14, 2006
  • 8:57 AM
bec writes:

That is so cool!! Although I am not a country music fan, I admire Kenny for following his dream, and to find out that he's not 'above' talking to our Tele-buddy makes my opinion of him skyrocket.
(Do you think Bruce was talking to him about making an appearance at a game??--Come sit on the sidelines...that oughta move a few tickets.) And certainly, I don't think you are a 'loser' because you enjoy what you do for a living--I'd call you 'lucky'.

  • February 14, 2006
  • 9:23 AM
KennyNmbr1Fan writes:

Have you met him before? What is he like in person? I've only seen him on stage. I hope to meet him in person someday! You don't know how lucky you are!!!!!!!

  • February 14, 2006
  • 9:48 AM
Jane writes:

I care, Terry! I would love to hear your story about meeting Sean Penn. Despite his run-ins with the press, I think he's one of our finest actors.

  • February 14, 2006
  • 1:42 PM
Frank writes:

I have mixed feelings about Kenny.

I cannot argue with his current place in the world of country music. He's no doubt a Nashville superstar (taped barriers!). When I started my current show thirteen years ago, Kenny had just debuted his first album. I played it quite a bit when other stations (insert FROG noise here...) didn't give it--or him--the time of day. Things turned around for Kenny after a few more albums and I was happy that he found the success he was working for.

Part of my problem is the whole "star" thing and I think Terry's post brought a lot of that up for me again. I hate when musicians become big stars and become inaccessable. And I think I'm just bitter because guys like Kenny now are so busy kissing up to the big corporate stations, they ignore the smaller ones that didn't have programmers and consultants telling them what to play--or not play--and gave his early career its start.

My other problem is with Kenny's songs. At the risk of ticking off his serious fans here, I think his songs are all starting to sound the same. They're certainly all about the same thing...lamenting his youth...lamenting the loss of a friend...he likes the Carribean...more lamenting his youth...more Carribean...etc. I mean, John Mellencamp only did "Jack and Diane" once.

Believe me, I've listened to a lot of his music in thirteen years. His songs get almost one play every 60-90 minutes on our station when I'm not on the air. I try to break that Kenny/Toby/Tim rut so many country stations are stuck in. But I really feel Kenny's in a rut himself and I'm sure I'm in the vast minority in that opinion. And, again, maybe I'm just bitter.

And what's with the hat? It's like Dolly Parton and her wigs. Won't be seen without one on. Take it off, Kenny. We know the truth.

Glad to know he talked to you, Terry. And it's also cool he did the small show for charity. I don't want to sound like I'm really giving him a hard time. I'm just not impressed with him lately and I guess I find it disappointing.

And, to be honest, today I'd rather interview Bruce Pearl than Kenny Chesney.

  • February 14, 2006
  • 4:05 PM
terry writes:

To the questions first ...

KennyFan: I have met him before, and in the past year I have done 3 interviews with him in person. I doubt he remembers any of them. He has always been kind and professional in each situation (once in Hollywood, once in Nashville and once in Knoxville). I can't say he's a very open interview. There's always a feeling he's being guarded about his answers. Maybe, if I get to talk to him more in person, that will change.

  • February 14, 2006
  • 4:08 PM
terry writes:

Frank: I thought it was very funny that Coach Bruce Pearl said he had only read one thing about him in our paper -- and it was my review of his ABC special (which was, uh, less than glowing). I told him he obviously missed a few stories. Bruce wasn't here when Kenny married, and may not have been here when his marriage ended.

And, for the most part, covering Kenny is not really in my realm. He's a music performer, not a TV star. But, hey, I'm up for writing about any local star whose fame is rising.

So there you go.

  • February 14, 2006
  • 4:28 PM
bec writes:

Oh yeah!! I read that review too...
Based on that, I'd say Kenny knows exactly who you are....and NOW, I give him even more props for letting you on that bus.

  • February 14, 2006
  • 9:37 PM
SomeReader writes:

I just wanted to say I love your blog. Keep up the good work.

  • February 15, 2006
  • 10:34 AM
Tess writes:

I, personally, would be much more excited about meeting Coach Pearl than Kenny Chesney, any day of the week.

And, that is cool that he knew your work!

  • February 15, 2006
  • 4:36 PM
terry writes:

Jane: Very long story short -- I was a reporter in a small Tennessee town when Sean Penn made the film "At Close Range." No press allowed on set. The community was very interested in knowing what was going on. So, one day,I got myself hired to be a dishwasher at a local diner where the movie was being filmed (the owner of the diner knew I was a reporter). I spent all day washing dishes and hanging out in the back with Sean, Christopher and others. We talked about their work and why they were there. I even got photos of them. Then I left the diner and went to the paper where I filed my story. Christopher was not pleased. I never heard what Sean thought, but he was going through his "beating-up-reporters" phase. I loved the whole experience. Whatta rush.

  • February 16, 2006
  • 9:39 AM
Jane writes:

Thanks so much for the story, Terry! That does sound exciting. I'm sure your news story was enlightening--not intrusive. How neat to get a chance to talk to Sean as a regular guy, too, and NOT with that star/reporter barrier. Although maybe after the story was published, Sean hit a photographer just for you! :)

  • February 16, 2006
  • 10:36 AM
terry writes:

Jane: I can only hope!!!! ; )

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Terry Morrow is the News Sentinel's television critic. Email him at

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