TNN's Birthday Bash - March 11, 1998
|The Nashville Network celebrated its 15th birthday with a party at the Wildhorse Saloon which was broadcast live on TNN and hosted by Marty and Katie Haas. There were guest appearances by Tracy Byrd, Buddy Baker and a performance by Joe Diffie, and comedian Killer Beaz did remotes from various locations inside the Wildhorse Saloon.
Marty's office (thank you, Maria-Elena) had arranged for fan club members to be allowed to sit at tables in front of the stage. Mario and I arrived at 5 p.m. expecting to stand in a long line out in the sub-freezing weather which included snow flurries and blizzard conditions every now and then. We were surprised when we were allowed inside.
The "rehearsal" was in full swing and Marty and Joe Diffie were onstage going over the song they were to perform together, "White Lightning." Marty and Katie also ran through some of their lines, and the televisions throughout the Wildhorse showed some of the videoclips they would be airing during the program.
When they finally allowed people down on the main floor, we were able to sit at the table front and center stage. Marty and Katie did a great job hosting. Those two are real characters especially when they are together. Marty brought his Rock & Roll Cowboy band, added Dennis Burnside on keyboards, and they provided the music for the evening.
Marty opened the show with "Hillbilly Rock" and from there it was non-stop fun. Naturally Marty completely ignored the words running on the teleprompter and Marty and Katie continued to be hysterically amusing during the commercial breaks.
The hour went by much too fast. At the end of the show, they brought out the huge birthday cake (which was delicious). The birthday party was a smashing success. I hope TNN doesn't wait another 15 years to do this again.
Naturally, we came with camera in hand. I hope you enjoy these photos Mario took during the rehearsal and actual show. The pages may take a minute to load, so please be patient.
Click here to read a transcript of the online chat with Marty after the festivities.
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