Friday, December 7, 2007

Hallmark To Exclusively Sell New Reba McEntire CD

Reba McEntire is joining the legions of major label recording artists to channel their releases through unconventional distribution networks. Good for her !!

Reba McEntire's new "Love Revival" will be sold exclusively at Hallmark Gold Crown stores in January and February, making her the latest in a string of top artists to release holiday-related albums through the retailer, Billboard has learned.

Josh Groban, Michael Buble and Martina McBride have put out Valentine's Day sets, while George Strait, Michael McDonald and James Taylor have done Christmas releases. Barry Manilow's "In the Swing of Christmas" is currently available at the independently owned stores.

And while McEntire agreed to participate, there was a hitch. "I said, 'I'd love to,'" she recalls, "but the problem is, I didn't have that many love songs that I've recorded during my 31-year career, believe it or not." Cliff Williamson, who works for McEntire, went through her back catalog and found what they were looking for.

The set includes McEntire's 1993 duet with Vince Gill, "The Heart Won't Lie," which spent two weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. The title cut is an amped-up gospel-style piano thumper that first appeared on her 2003 set "Room to Breathe." "Somebody," a 2004 No. 1, is also included.

In addition, the album contains four songs recorded exclusively for Hallmark, among them a version of Restless Heart's 1987 No. 1 single "I'll Still Be Loving You" and three songs -- "Bad for My Own Good," "With You I Am" and "Big Blue Sky" -- that McEntire had considered, but never wound up using, for previous projects.

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Watch this incredible and rare, one-time only performance of Reba singing "I'm Checking Out."

Reba McEntire was riding at the top of success, however, personally, her world would come crashing down in the spring of 1991. On March 16, a plane carrying seven of McEntire's band members and her road manager crashed killing all on board. McEntire was devastated. There was a minor controversy over her decision to perform on the Academy Awards a week after the crash. But, she appeared on the show to dedicate the nominated song, "I'm Checking Out" from the film Postcards From the Edge, to her fallen band members. During the performance, McEntire was visibly emotional, holding back tears. She had been known to refer to them as her "Crazy Eight." Ultimately, she earned the respect and affection of her peers for her decision and her stoic toughness and perseverance.

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