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Country Music Vacations
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Fan Fair June 9th - 12th, 2005
FAN FAIR 2005: The dates for the 2005 CMA Music Festival are June 9 - 12, 2005. For a $100 deposit you can now reserve your tickets, seating priority and hotel choice. It is never too early to make plans to go to Fan Fair 2005
As we begin our 8th year of operation, I would like to thank you for your interest in Country Music Travel and for your business. I also want to let you all know that you can now view our 2005 line-up of Nashville, Dollywood, Memphis, Branson and Myrtle Beach coach tours and vacation packages as well as country music, bluegrass and NASCAR theme cruises at http://www.CountryMusicVacations.com  . Special hot event packages happening soon in Nashville include:

Nashville Star TV show hosted by LeAnn Rimes on Tuesdays during March and April
CMT Awards Show with Reba, Alan, Kenny, Toby and others hosted by Jeff Foxworthy on April 11.
Call me about George Jones’ appearance at the Ryman on March 12.

We went on our first Grand Ole Opry Cruise in January and had a fantastic time hanging out with Terri Clark, Trace Adkins, Little Jimmy Dickens and Bill Anderson. Visit http://www.OpryCruise.com  to see our busy on-board activity schedule along with photos of the fun plus details on the 2006 cruise. Charley Pride and Roy Clark have been announced with two more Opry starts to be added soon. We have already reserved our own cabin as private concert seating is on a first-come basis.

Downtown hotels and close-in seats for this June’s Fan Fair (aka CMA Music Festival) have already sold out. Quality hotel accommodations in nearby areas and a limited number of tickets are still available but selling at a faster pace that we have ever seen. If you are planning on going this year and haven’t made your reservations, call soon. If you are thinking about next year, plan on booking early. For those of you with reservations, I will be following up on final payments shortly. The initial list of 2005 performers has been posted to http://www.cmaMusicFest.info  . We will post updates as well as this year’s event schedule as soon as it becomes available. Keep checking back.

It was great meeting some of you on the Opry Cruise, and we hope to see more of you at Fan Fair.


PO Box 10171
McLean, VA 22102 USA
Ph. (703) 759-0575 or (800) 472-3054 Fax (360) 237-8218
Bill and Mary Aldacushion
Great Falls, Virginia  USA
Dear Country Music Travellers: I just wanted to let you know about some exciting new information that has been posted to the Country Music Travel web site in addition to our year-round vacation packages in Nashville, Dollywood, Branson, Memphis and Myrtle Beach. The new items include:

Full details on the 2005 Grand Ole Opry Cruise which will sail out of Port Canaveral, FL on January 26 for the Eastern Caribbean with Trace Adkins, Bill Anderson, Jimmy Dickens, Eddie Stubbs plus one more artist to be announced soon - Book now before this cruise is advertised on the Grand Ole Opry and while the full choice of cabins is available.
An early bird Fan Fair 2005 package from one of our most popular suppliers - It is never too early to make plans to go to the 2005 CMA Music Festival on June 9 - 12.
2004 Tennessee Christmas Packages in Dollywood and Nashville - Great for a holiday getaway or ask about gift certificates for parents, family and friends.
Special Bluegrass and the Opry and Opry Birthday Bash packages

"See Rock City" and the other sites that Chattanooga has to offer - A perfect "whistle stop" on your way to or from Dollywood or Nashville.

For those of you with Fan Fair 2004 reservations, we will be mailing a final information packet to you this week. Be sure to see the preliminary Fan Fair 2004 Schedule on our web site which is still very dynamic. The official program book will be included in the Fan Fair credential material that will waiting for you at your hotel.
Thank you for your business, and safe travels to you all.
PO Box 10171
McLean, VA 22102 USA
Ph. (703) 759-0575 or (800) 472-3054 Fax (360) 237-8218
Bill and Mary Artist Recommendation
A recommendation of an act to check out: Bill Kirchen & The Paladins. If you miss them at Byron Bay, they will appear at the Basement in Sydney on April 15 and the Prince Band Room in Melbourne on the 18th. Don't miss this slice of classic Americana that is going strong today.  

Mary and I attended a concert by Bill Kirchen and his local Washington, DC Band “Two Much Fun” last night. I was browsing his merch table after the show when he noticed the “Kasey Chambers - The Captain” baseball cap that I was wearing. He was aware of her music, and then said he was heading to Byron Bay next week where he will appear with The Paladins on Friday, April 9 at 10 PM and again on Saturday at 10:45 PM.

A strong Bob Wills influence in his repertoire. He and I talked about something we had in common - the trombone which I haven't played since my days at uni, but he still plays during his shows. It was quite a sight to see him pick up his horn while his telecaster was still strapped on across his back. What an accomplished musician/picker!

After many years as a country/rockabilly icon in this area, Bill has relocated to Austin and was part of the SXSW Festival last month. We also chatted about The Greencards who he saw playing in the arrival area of Austin Airport prior to the festival.

Bill stared his career way back when with Commander Cody and the Lost City Airmen which may have been best known for its 1972 hit Hot Rod Lincoln which is still his closing number.

“Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen were one of the first bands to combine elements of western swing, rockabilly and truck-drivin' country and get results over to a mass audience. Their version of "Hot Rod Lincoln" proved that they were no staid purists when it came to putting a little drive in their brand of country. With the advent of MTV, "Hot Rod Lincoln" was put to video. Their version begins with a re-write of the Charlie Ryan/Johnny Bond final line: "My pappy said, 'son, you're gonna drive me to drinkin, if you don't stop drivin' that hot rod Lincoln'"
Texas-based Country Music Today Magazine
Hi Helen - just wanted to tell you that the latest (Mar/Apr) copy of Texas-based Country Music Today ( http://www.cmt.com/countrymusictoday/magazine/pages/index.htm )  magazine arrived at our home today. The "Spotlight" article was titled "Foreign Relations - Country music today travels the globe to find country music in some unexpected places!" by Jeremy Brown. The article included a couple of paragraphs on Tamworth and the Australian country music scene:

"In Australia, the longest running festival remains the Telstra Country Music Festival Tamworth, now in its 32nd year. The festival is so big that the entire town of Tamworth, generally regarded as the country-music capital of Australia, holds a pre-festival countdown for seven days. The 10-day show itself offers more than 2,500 events and plays host to more than 800 artists. The centerpiece of this year's event was a Slim Dusty tribute. Often hailed as the father of country music in Australia, his first single, 'A Pub with No Beer,' was the country's first-ever gold record. Slim died in September 2003 after a long bout with cancer. In addition to the Slim Dusty tribute, 2004 attendees enjoyed performances by the Basalt River Boys, Kelly Black and the Kelly Gang, and the Wolverines, as well as a busking showcase and the 32nd Annual Toyota Golden Guitar Awards.

"Australia also holds the City Muster Festivals, which are held in Adelaide, Darwin and Perth. This year's Perth festival featured such Aussie superstars as Lee Kernaghan, Gina Jeffreys and Becky Cole.

"In August, the bushland is the site of the Toyota National Country Music Muster. An earthy, down-home festival, the show has a laid back feel with crackling campfires, poetry readings and venues ranging from the main stage to taverns and wine bars."

The other geographies covered in the article include UK, Italy, Argentina and Japan

Bill Aldacushion
Country Music Travel
Great Falls, Virginia

Country Music Festival 2004
Thank You and Photos from the Overseas Visitors
Mary, Bill and Carol Young "THe Greencards"
Thank you Australia; thank you Tamworth for making last week such a wonderful experience. And thank you Rage Page for helping us plan our activities.

We just arrived in Surfers and had a lovely dinner with my nephew and his partner and her folks. Mary and I are still suffering from TWS (Tamworth withdrawal syndrome), but we are slowly coping with coming down from the euphoria of the best country music festival with the best REAL country music and the best country music fans, bar none!!!

The Bluegrass show on Saturday afternoon was certainly a highlight. We are going to try to see Green Card again State-side. It was also at that show when I had my Kasey-moment. With encouragement from Kerry, we just went back behind the curtain after the show. I said, “Excuse me Kasey, but I would like to say hello to you AGAIN. The first time was when I was the first in line for your autograph at the 1999 Nashville Fan Fair.” She laughed and replied, “No, you weren't the first in line. You were the ONLY person in the line.” That made my day. We just chatted about the baby for a few seconds and said good-bye. No pictures, no autograph, just a person-to-person conversation. Wow!

I am savouring a bundle of other memories and feelings that I will share later on down the road, but for now let me just share a few snaps of some of my personal highlights:
Bill Aldacushion
Great Falls, Virginia USA


Mary, Helen and Bill
Who says, "but they never play my requests." I was just listening to
> http://www.KCUVradio.com (American Music) this afternoon and typed in a
> request for "Life's A Freeway." Within 5 minutes I got "Love's Not A
> Word I Throw Around." Close enough, eh? Attached is a image of the
> KCUV Internet playslist.
> Sincerely,
> Bill Aldacushion
> Great Falls, Virginia
Dear Country Music Travellers:
As we begin our seventh year of serving country music fans from around the world, I want to thank you all for your interest and for your business. It has been a pleasure to work with you by phone or e-mail and to meet many of you in person.

We have just posted our 2004 vacation packages to the Country Music Travel web site. In addition to our year-round vacation packages in Nashville, Dollywood, Branson, Memphis and Myrtle Beach, you will find these special offerings:

Luxury Country Music and Bluegrass Riverboat Cruises with a stop in Nashville
Fully escorted multi-city coach tours:
Nashville - Memphis
Memphis - Branson - Nashville
Smoky Mountains (Dollywood) - Nashville - Kentucky
2005 Grand Ole Opry Eastern Caribbean Cruise which will sail out of Port Canaveral, FL on January 26 for the Eastern Caribbean.

Although some hotels have sold out, it is not too late to book your 2004 CMA Music Festival package. For those of you who have Fan Fair reservations, see the preliminary Fan Fair performer and schedule information that is now on our web site. Check back regularly for updates.

We just returned from a marvellous trip to the Tamworth Country Music Festival that is held each January in Australia. We are fans of the wonderful sounds and artists that can be found Downunder - traditional Hank Williams & Merle Haggard roots with a unique Aussie twist. We are still searching for a Tamworth package we can offer, but let us know if you might be interested so we can get a sense for the demand. We would be happy to share our experiences and photos with you.

Looking forward to hearing from you or seeing you in Nashville during Fan Fair!
PO Box 10171
McLean, VA 22102 USA
Ph. (703) 759-0575 or  (800) 472-3054  Fax (360) 237-8218
Mary from the States with Lee Kernaghan in background
Catherine Britt with Bill and Mary
Mary, Thelma and Kerry
Print out and have the memories