After 17 years, the NYC area finally has a country radio station. NASH FM 94.7 entered the airwaves on January 21st of this year. NASH debuted its morning show named ‘America’s Morning Show’ on June 20, 2013. National Radio Hall of Fame Inductee Blair Garner anchors the show with co-hosts Sunny Sweeney, Terri Clark, Chuck Wicks, Lee Ann Womack and Robin Meade delivering the news. On Thursday night, July 18th, at The Cutting Room in Manhattan, the station threw a private launch party for its listeners.
The show began with Jon Foxx, PD, telling the audience that tonight would be “a journey through sound…stories…with life experiences” being shared. He stressed how the personalities on the morning show have much in common with the listeners: from their love of country music to how they get excited and upset about many of the same things their listeners do.
Kelly Ford and Jesse Addy, other members of the NASH on air team, said a few words. Kelly, to much applause, commented that “Americas greatest city now has Americas greatest music.” She stressed that NASH is a family team and so, wanted a family launch party and hopes to see everyone in 20 years for the 20th anniversary party. Jesse laughingly added “ditto” but then went on to introduce Blair Garner, “the artist formerly known as Skye Walker” (a reference to his days at WPLJ) as an amazing person in the industry and proud father.
Blair Garner is a native Texan who told the crowd that he is a divorced father to 9 year-old twins, a boy and a girl and is an animal lover, (he has five dogs). His 20 years in the business shown through as he was extremely warm, personable and funny on stage. He said when he took the position on the morning show he was asked with whom he wanted to work. He thought about his friends and who were some of the best interviews he has experienced through the years. One such good friend he thought of was Robin Meade who joked about being “up past 6pm.” Another dear friend who “makes you laugh even when he doesn’t mean to” is Chuck Wicks. He is also fond of Sunny Sweeney who makes him laugh and Terri Clark who holds a special place in his heart, while she is never without a smile.
Blair Garner had each co-host tell a little bit about themselves. Robin Meade spoke of being a preacher’s daughter who grew up in the middle of a cornfield and has been happily married for many years. Chuck Wicks talked being a dog lover who already has two dogs and was on his way to a third. Sunny apparently has a love of looking for the perfect lip gloss and powder. She told a funny story that many women can relate to about coming into work when her “face didn’t match my neck” due to wearing different shades of powder. She quickly remedied the situation after co-workers saw her and said “Noooo.”
After introductions, the rest of the evening was basically a guitar pull. Each artist took three turns singing a song and chatting. It was a very relaxed and fun evening. Even though the artists really didn’t know one another prior to working together, they interacted like a family. They were laid back, cracking jokes and very comfortable with one another. Sunny even said Chuck was now like a little brother to her and Terri.
Robin Meade started the night off with a song called “Here For You”, a lovely ballad on which the amazing songwriter (and producer of Robin’s album) Victoria Shaw came out to sing. Robin also sang “Your Glory Days” which she said was her version of “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen. It is a song that asks why can’t a person have more than one set of glory days in their life. The song was co-written by Kristian Bush of Sugarland. As Blair Garner said when she was finished “who knew??” Robin Meade cannot only anchor a news desk ladies and gentleman, her voice is very strong. She sounded fantastic and gained many new fans. Her final song was one she wrote with Lee Brice called “Get Up.” It was an up tempo number that had the crowd singing “Get Up” back to her. She concluded by telling insider secrets about knowing when anchors were having good or bad hair days: hair down is a good day, ponytail is so-so, but if there is a side pony “you don’t want to come near.”
Chuck Wicks sang “All I Ever Wanted” after he jokingly told the group he “forgot his strap on” when he was having difficulties getting his guitar strap hooked up. Terri Clark commented that since they were not live on radio they did not have to censor what they said that evening. His second song was one which he wrote and was originally going to be on his second album. He said Jason Aldean heard it, liked it and it landed on his ‘Night Train’ album: “I Don’t Do Lonely Well.” Finally he sang his latest single, the breezy “Salt Life.” He showed the audience that not only is he a talented singer/songwriter, he is very funny and also extremely personable.
Sunny Sweeney, a 2013 nominee for ACM Best New Female Vocalist, sang the terrific “Drink Myself Single” off of her ‘Concrete’ album. Her second song, “A Table Away,” was her first charted single at country radio and a top 10 hit. We learned Sunny loves high heels to make her 5’4 frame at least a 5’7 and that night because her shoes were so worn down she colored them in with a sharpie!! Chuck Wicks called her a true redneck and she wholeheartedly agreed! Sunny ended with a sing along to “Kiss My Ass” a song for the working class she wrote about her boss Tammy, a micromanager who fired her because she was on the internet at work. Everyone’s drinks were in the air as they sang along.
Terri Clark was just nominated for 4 CCMA Awards (Canadian Country Music Association). She joked about the heat (it was over 100 that day) and how she was sweating down her back. Wearing her signature white cowgirl hat she sang “I Just Wanna Be Mad.” We learned she enjoys bass fishing, cooking and a good “holler n swaller.” She joked she had multiple personality disorder as she did a voice for the crowd, one she uses when she talks to her dog Charlie. She sang “Girls Lie Too” which includes a line “size doesn’t matter.” While she sang, Chuck Wicks held up his pinky and winked at a lady in the audience to much applause and laughter. And then, with a bit of encouragement, he did a little dance. Terri finished with “Better Things To Do” substituting the original lyric of ‘Donahue’ with ‘Ellen’. As with the others, many in the audience were singing along to the chorus.
Blair Garner stressed that “the core is, we’re authentic people” and that definitely came through on Thursday night. You not only got to know the America’s Morning Show team through their music, but their personalities as well. You also learn that they were real people with interests just like everyone else. You can listen to NASH FM on your radio at 94.7, online HERE and everywhere on iHeartradio.