Can you introduce yourself in a few words and explain us what's
your job at GAC ?
My name is Lee Hall and I am director of communications for
Scripps Networks, the company that owns Great American Country
(GAC), HGTV, Food Network and other television channels in the
U.S. My job involves finding ways to spread the word about our
television channels to both journalists and the public. It is
a great a job, because we have such great stories to tell.
2- What's the aim of GACtv ? and do you think that one day,
we could watch GACtv in france ?
GAC's "mission statement" is to be the main street
for the widest variety of country music, its artists and the
lifestyles they influence. Music remains the main focus. As
far as getting GAC in France, who knows what the future will
3- Who are your favorites artists?
My interests run the gamut from the classic artists like Johnny
Cash and Ronnie Milsap to the bluegrass of Flatt & Scruggs,
Ricky Skaggs and Alison Krauss. I also very much enjoy modern
performers including Faith Hill, Gretchen Wilson and Garth Brooks.
What do you think about country music evolution ?
The popularity of country music in the U.S. seems to go in waves.
The so-called "urban cowboy" craze of the 1970s helped
to elevate country to a more mainstreet acceptance in America.
Today, many popular country artists get a lot of play on non-country
radio stations, which helps to spread the word to audiences
who might not otherwise listen.
5- What do you think about americans artists performing in Europe
and especially in France, as Hal Ketchum, David Lee Murphy,
Marty Stuart, etc...?
It is wonderful to see audiences around the world embrace this
kind of music. It proves that country music has a universal
6- How we must work in France to promote country music correctly
At GAC, we find that country music fans are most passionate
about both the music and the artists. And many of the best American
songwriters today are writing country songs, in part because
it is about the only music genre around today that allows for
the kind of passion and expression. Country performers are also
among the best popular musicians around today. When you combine
the passion, the lyrical quality and the musicianship, you get
a very potent mix. It's been shown here in the U.S. that the
more people are exposed to country music, the more become fans.
No reason to believe it would not work in France and elsewhere.
7- Can you imagine that people in the world, and especially
in Europe, and especially in France could listen country music...and
appreciate it ?
It is often said that we are becoming a global society. In my
hometown in Tennessee, we have restaurants that feature what
we might consider "exotic" foods of other lands. It
stands to reason that people all over the world could embrace
American country music. It has universal appeal.
8- What's your best memory about country music ? and the baddest
When I was in college, I got to hear the legendary Earl Monroe
play a concert a little club near my school. It was a magical
moment. As for the worst experience, without question it was
the death of Patsy Cline, whose plane went down near my hometown
in Western Tennessee. I was a very young child then, but I remember
it very well.
9- How do you explain popularity of country music and of the
Among the types of music available to American consumers today,
country is the only genre that combines great story lines, memorable
lyrics and great musicianship. People find it easy to appreciate.
It's also available everywhere on local radio as well as on
GAC on television. Country for many years has been the most
popular musical format on American radio. GAC's popularity is
increasing because we remain true to the music. A national ratings
service here in the U.S. reported recently that GAC played 42
percent more music than its nearest competitor. Other music
channels in the U.S. are moving away from their music roots
and into other types of programming that they believe will draw
a larger audience. Our mission to is to focus on the music and
to bring GAC viewers the story behind the music with interviews
and special programs that put the fans in touch with their favorite
10- Some words for FACM and Country music fans in France
Enjoy the music and spread the word. As I said before, the more
people who hear the music begin to appreciate it more. Congratulations
on your success with the French Country Music Awards and thank
you for your interest in GAC. It would please me greatly to
one day be able to turn on a television in Toulouse and see
Faith Hill on GAC. I look forward to that day...