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American News Idols

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Former Chicago WMAQ-Channel 5/now HLN news anchor Robin Meade makes her debut Saturday night at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and will release a country music album next year. This opens the door for "America's News Idol":

Chicago sportscaster Mark Giangreco sings Frankie Valli--"Let's Hang On!"
The persona of overly intense weatherman Tom Skilling is perfect for Devo.

Tom S.jpg


Kathy Brock does cabaret.

There's always a place in the Spinners for weatherman Steve Baskerville. He seems like a "Rubberband Man.".....

"Don't Know Why" Channel 5's Paula Faris can't interpret Norah Jones

Mercy, mercy me, Bob Sirott is a Buckingham in his heart.

Amy Freeze = a stormy, rainy, wet Joan Jett.



A wide-eyed country boy, weatherman Jerry Taft can cover Roy Clark of "Hee-Haw"

WLS-TV private eye Chuck Goudie reminds me of Jerry Vale, just sayin'.....

WBBM-TV sportscaster Ryan Baker is spot on for Jay Z material. Jay is part-owner of the New York Nets. I saw Baker cheerlead at a Chicago Sky basketball game.

Bill Kurtis & Walter Jacobson, "The Simon & Garfunkel Songbook"

But Meade is actually trying her hand at songwriting. She's already collaborated with John Rich of Big & Rich and has written with her Nashville producer Victoria Shaw, who scored hits like "The River" for Garth Brooks and "The Way You Love Me" for John Michael Montgomery. They both wore big hats.

Good country lyrics are a plain spoken narrative of the American experience.

"I definitely draw from things I've seen or issues I've dealt with," Meade said during a Tuesday interview from her Atlanta office. "Even though I'm allowed to have a lot of personality in our show, it deals with facts and things that aren't pleasant sometimes. Songwriting and performing is a way to express my creative side. It's like two different realms of Robin. When you listen to my music, you'll think 'That's not the woman I know.' In other words, I'm not singing about dancing on a bar, something that's not very news anchor-ish.

Robin Meade...the next.........


"One of the first songs we wrote was a question I get all the time, which is 'How can you talk about that stuff all day long, even though you do it in a positive way?' I talk about missing children, fires and war. How do I stay sane? I wrote a song about that."

I wondered if Meade consulted with CNN superstar Larry King's latest wife Shawn King, who recorded a country album of her own called "In My Own Backyard." Shawn is the daughter of Los Angeles studio singer Jerri Engemann, who recorded with Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan.
"I don't because she's out in L.A.," Meade answered.

Jerry Taft and his inner Buck Owens.

Roy Clark. I have a "Hee-Haw" lunchbox.

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Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra has been a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer since 1985. His collection of Sun-Times travel columns, "Ticket To Everywhere," was published in 2000 by Lake Claremont Press. He was lead writer for "Farm Aid: Song for America" (Rodale Press, 2005) which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Willie Nelson inspired effort.
He won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick O-Type Award for Column Writing. Hoekstra wrote and co-proudced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special: "The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement," nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for a documentary program/cultural significance.
He lives in Chicago.


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This page contains a single entry by David Hoekstra published on November 3, 2010 3:20 PM.

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