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STANDING TALL SELECTED AS 2012 U.S. CAPITOL CHRISTMAS TREE SONG
Choose Outdoors, U.S. Forest Service, and New Earth Green Depot are pleased to announce the winner of Sing4TheTrees, a national songwriting contest searching for the official song of the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.
After receiving nearly 300 original song submissions, twenty-five semi-finalists were chosen. Standing Tall by Lindsay Lawler was chosen as the official U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree song. Lawler is from Nashville, Tenn., and will be awarded the grand prize of $2,500; the song will be featured at the Forest Service Chief’s Reception immediately preceding the tree lighting ceremony on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in early December.
In addition to the grand prize winner, 11 additional songwriters have been selected to have their submissions featured on a Sing4TheTrees compilation CD. This CD will be available online for download and may be purchased along the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree route after Nov. 2. All proceeds from CD sales will go toward a Forest Restoration Challenge aimed at providing funds to restore forests impacted by wildfires in Colorado this past summer.
“I am so excited and proud that my song was selected as the official U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Song and to represent Colorado,” said Lawler. “Spreading this message and celebrating our great outdoors is truly special and brings us all together as a nation, and that’s what I wanted to express in this song.”
Chuck Leavell, keyboardist and musical director for The Rolling Stones, author, entrepreneur, and tree farmer, was among those who evaluated song submissions on their ability to address forest health, musicality and originality.
“It was a very tough decision to choose just one grand prize songwriter to represent the Capitol Christmas Tree. The submissions we received were of very high songwriting quality,” said Leavell. “Ultimately, Lawler’s song summarized the essence of the Sing4TheTrees message, and I’m confident that the public will enjoy it.”
The 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree’s transportation and tour are made possible by contributions of cash and in-kind services by individuals, corporations and local communities. Major sponsors include the Colorado Tourism Office, U.S. Forest Service, Mack Trucks, The National Association of Convenience Stores, Gibson Foundation, and Vail Resorts. Randall-Reily is proud to be the trucking media sponsor of the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.
For more information on the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree and to track the tree’s route, visit www.CapitolChristmasTree2012.com. You can also follow the tree on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CapitolChristmasTree2012, Twitter: www.twitter.com/CapitolTree2012 and Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/capitoltree2012/.
Country Singer’s Radio Show Extends Reach of TCA’s Highway Angel Program
It has been 15 years since the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) launched Highway Angels, a program that heightens public awareness of professional truck drivers’ helpful, and often heroic, good deeds on the highways. Now, the organization is able to spread its positive trucking message throughout North America and beyond, thanks to a new Internet-based radio show hosted by country music singer and official Highway Angel spokesperson Lindsay Lawler.
“On the Road to Music City” can be heard twice a week on Renegade Radio Nashville, a unique Internet radio station that plays big name country stars as well as new, unsigned artists. The show attracts all types of listeners, but is especially tailored to truck drivers, who can call in to dedicate songs to their loved ones back home. In between the music — which includes both live, guest performances and pre-recorded tracks — Lawler promotes TCA; trucking events, people, and causes; and the trucking industry in general. During one segment, she describes the true life deeds of Highway Angels, who may have fixed a mechanical problem for an elderly person, helped locate a missing child, or even rescued an accident victim from a life-threatening situation.
“This show is going to do wonders for the image of drivers and trucking,” said Chris Burruss, TCA’s president. “It’s greatly expanding the reach of the Highway Angel program, since listeners can be located anywhere in the world. And, in almost every segment, Lindsay demonstrates a respect and appreciation for our drivers that is sure to have an impact on her listeners — both here and abroad.”
Leigh Foxall, director of freight matching for Internet Truckstop, the company that sponsors TCA’s Highway Angel program, agrees. “It’s obvious when you hear this show that it combines Lindsay’s two biggest passions — music and trucking. People identify with music and they’re going to be fascinated by the Angel stories, so this is an outstanding way for our program to gain a bigger foothold in the public consciousness.”
How did Lawler, who has not yet signed with a major record label, score her own radio show? For one thing, she already had 10 years of experience working in radio prior to launching her full-time music career. Another stroke of luck was that one of the founders of Renegade Radio Nashville, “Captain Jack” Aponte, is a former truck driver who has great respect for the profession. He has known Lawler for years and considers her to be a talented artist who brings a fresh, new dynamic to the station.
“I share Lindsay’s goal in wanting to reach out to drivers. With her, they have someone they can relate to… a friend to help pass all those lonely hours on the road,” he said.
Tune in to “On the Road to Music City” live every Tuesday and Thursday from 5-8 p.m. (CT) at www.RenegadeRadioNashville.com. Free apps for mobile devices can be downloaded from the site, or listeners can search for “Renegade Radio Nashville” wherever they normally shop for apps. Once an app is installed, drivers can listen by plugging their mobile device in to speakers, an iPod, etc. Song requests or comments can be phoned in during the show to (615) 696-6095.
For more details about Lindsay Lawler and her music, visit www.LindsayLawler.com.
Trucking Industry Encouraged to View New Highway Angel
As video gains popularity, another step is taken toward goal of changing trucking’s image!
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has an important job for each and every person reading this story: Help change the public’s perception of trucking by watching Lindsay Lawler’s brand new “Highway Angel” music video at www.youtube.com/highwayangelvideo and forwarding the link to everyone you know.
Lawler, a country singer who has a strong following within the trucking community, wrote and recorded “Highway Angel” as a tribute to TCA’s Highway Angel program. The lyrics applaud the many professional truck drivers who stop each day to help motorists in trouble on the highways.
“This song sends a strong, positive message about the good people of the trucking industry and deserves to be seen and shared by all of us. We hope everyone will share the link with their friends through Facebook and other social networking sites,” said Gary Salisbury, TCA’s chairman and the president and CEO of Fikes Truck Line, Inc., of Hope, Ark. “People are always asking me what they can do to change the image of trucking. This is something that is quick, easy to do, and doesn’t cost anything. The more people who spread the link, the more ‘buzz’ we can generate to help boost our industry in the eyes of the general public.”
According to Salisbury, TCA’s goals are to spread the video’s link virally to as many people as possible before the end of 2011 and have millions of views recorded by YouTube. It is hoped that the video’s popularity will catch the notice of the country music recording industry and result in additional exposure for the song, Lindsay Lawler, and the entire trucking industry.
In conjunction with the YouTube post, TCA and Highway Angel program sponsor Internet Truckstop hosted a special launch reception for the new video December 8th in Nashville, Tenn. Representatives from the Great American Country network, MTV, and several other music industry entities were invited, and TCA members from in and around Nashville attended.
The video will be played for the 30,000 fans in attendance at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday, December 17, 2011, at 3:30 p.m. MST at Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho. During the Bowl, TCA and Internet Truckstop will recognize Marcus Beam, a driver for Epes Transport System, Inc., as TCA’s 2011 Highway Angel of the Year. Beam pulled a mother and two young children from an overturned car while others stood by, refusing to help.
“Beam’s story is amazing, and I used many stories such as his to find inspiration to write this song. The video shows a situation similar to Beam’s, and I, the driver, am rescued by a Highway Angel,” said Lawler. “This kind of stuff happens every day. Highway Angels are out there helping people who may be lost, stranded, injured, or even dying. I wanted to record a song for them, a song that truly portrays them as the Angels they are.”
Narrow Places And Wide Open Spaces
Rising country star Lindsay Lawler plays various venues to reach her trucking industry fans
Every country music artist worth their salt comes to Nashville and plays at cafes and honky tonks hoping to be discovered. Over the years, places like The Bluebird Café, The Broken Spoke and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge have offered up-and-coming singers and songwriters a place to hone their craft while dreaming of playing on bigger stages.
Such was the case three years ago with Lindsay Lawler, who after fronting a rock band in Los Angeles, decided to be true to her country roots and moved to the Music City. An exceptionally strong live performer, Lawler soon landed a two-year resident gig at Tootsie’s, the same place where Willie Nelson got his first song writing job after singing to famous early customers like Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Patsy Cline, Mel Tillis, and Roger Miller.
Tootsie’s, which recently celebrated its 50-year anniversary and has been voted the #1 honky-tonk in the world, is where I first saw Lawler perform soon after she had just completed her debut solo album, Train Wreck. Lindsay had also just recorded her Highway Angel song for the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and formed a partnership with the trucking industry that would have her appearing at conventions and events across the country.
“The thing I love most about what I am blessed to do for a living is that you never know where you’re going to end up and every day is something new and special,” Lawler said. “Trucking has expanded my unique performances to a whole different level, getting to meet some of the most genuine, loyal, hard-working people that any industry has to offer.” A few weeks ago, Lawler may have hit the trifecta for the most unique venues ever performed by an artist in any musical genre. In a span of five days in June, she performed inside the world’s only tractor-trailer limousine, on the back of a flatbed trailer and in a downtown alley.
The limousine performance was in Las Vegas aboard The Midnight Rider, a “night club on wheels” which was recently placed in the Guinness Book of World’s Records. Representative of the luxury days of railroad travel, the interior of this one-of-a-kind vehicle is modeled after former President Ulysses S. Grant’s Pullman railroad car from the 1870s, and features a bar, three other lounges plus a professional sound system. Accompanying Lawler for this performance was Skip Courtney, who played keyboards/harmonica, and her producer (and Warner Chapel songwriter) Chris Roberts on guitar. Not long after boarding the limo, Roberts turned to Lindsay and said, “How in the world did we get here?”
You have to picture the scene:
The trio and their gear are positioned on playpen couches in the Fifth Wheel Lounge section in the front of the limo, facing a group of trucking industry professionals at the bar and in the overlook and rear lounges. Soon, the limousine is driving down the Las Vegas Strip. The windows are partially open, tourists are watching and cameras begin flashing as Lawler, Roberts and Courtney are making great music – and providing their own percussion while banging on the walls of the Midnight Rider. “It was a totally random, totally unique, and totally special “music moment” which I will not soon forget,” Lawler said.
Two days later, from the convention floor at the Great West Truck Show, Lawler, Roberts and Courtney set up shop on a flatbed trailer and wailed away, adding a whole new group of supporters and friends to her growing support team. Then they jetted back to Nashville to join Lawler’s full band and setup a Randall-Reilly Publishing-sponsored stage for CMA Fest in an old alley downtown that is used for many movie, video and TV shoots. And what do you think was used as a backdrop? A brand-new big rig provided by Western Express, a Nashville-based fleet, of course!
This shiny, white truck sported a Lindsay Lawler banner across the windshield, and the brick walls of the alley were lined with a banner featuring Lindsay’s “Come Along For the Ride” slogan. After this free concert for trucking fans and passers-by in town for CMA Fest, they retreated to The Music Loft, an exclusive VIP music venue overlooking Second Avenue downtown, to continue making music in a more stripped-down format to close out CMA Fest with a bang.
Lawler says it just never gets old doing what she does, and she sees that as the biggest blessing of her life. “Having the privilege of making music for this amazing industry has become such a huge passion of mine, and I’m thrilled and charged every day to come up with new ways to promote the positive image of trucking through my music,” Lawler stated. “I am totally committed to take the “good trucking word” outside of the industry by highlighting these every-day unsung heroes.”
This writer has now seen Lawler perform in honky-tonks, football stadiums, private parties and the three venues mentioned above – and as much as I love it when she brings down the house, I am equally as impressed by Lawler’s ability to lift your spirits up.
I had that experience sitting in the Fikes Truck Line booth at the Great West Truck Show in Las Vegas, where she previewed a new song called “THE WAY HE LOVES THE ROAD” for Fikes President and current TCA Chairman Gary Salisbury.
A duet with Roberts, the song goes back and forth from the male and female perspective of your significant other being out on the road, away from home for a good portion of their life. And the gist is that, in this case the man, loves his wife very much, but has to deal with the fact that no woman will ever live up to his love of the open road, freedom and all that it stands for. And the woman, in this case who is the one who has to stay behind, has to decide if she is strong enough to handle this lifestyle, missing her husband everyday and knowing he loves her, but he’s truly at home when he’s on the road.
It was truly a beautiful performance, and a “tear-jerker” of a song that will resonate with drivers; but it also can hit home with any couple where one is gone for work, or potentially even war.
Here is an excerpt of the lyrics:
THE WAY HE LOVES THE ROAD
(Written by Lindsay Lawler and Chris Roberts):
Can’t wait to see his face,
Seems like such a long time
Tired of counting the days,
and cold lonely nights
I know that he works hard,
but he’s hardly ever here
He says he’s doing it for us,
But sometimes that’s not enough
Sometimes I wish
that someone didn’t have to stay behind
And that leaving wasn’t always on his mind
And I wish to God
that he loved coming home
The way the he loves the road
She’s a real good woman,
I hate to see her cry
And I’d love to stand beside her,
guess I’m better at goodbye
Cause the wheels keep on turnin,
And freedom calls my name
I know that things get tough,
but I’m doing it for us
Sometimes I wish that someone
didn’t have to stay behind
That leaving wasn’t always on my mind
And I wish to God
that I loved coming home
The way that I love the road
If you are ever fortunate enough to hear Lindsay Lawler sing this or any of her other songs “live”, you’ll understand why she is an easy choice to be named this month’s Pro Trucker Pro Performer. In the meantime, you can check out her music at www.lindsaylawler.com