Picks and Pans Review: All-Star Salute to Country Music

updated 03/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

TNN (Wed., March 7,9 P.M. ET)


Not being much of a country fan, I didn't put this tape on play with much enthusiasm. So much for prejudice. This often rousing show could make anybody a country convert. Actually, this "salute" to country is really an excuse to give a This is Your Life-like tribute to veteran country radio—TV personality Ralph Emery, host of TNN's Nashville Now.

Johnny Cash calls Emery "one of country music's best-kept secrets." Meanwhile, Cash's co-host, Barbara Mandrell (also the show's executive producer), fairly slathers all over Emery. All in all, the tribute is sweet. And more than 70 big-name country performers (among them Chet Atkins, Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, Alabama, Dolly Parton, the Oak Ridge Boys, Tanya Tucker, Randy Travis and Crystal Gayle) pay homage to Emery. Even President Bush gets his two cents in with a taped tribute.

If there is a downside, it's in the humor, which gets a mite silly and corn pone at times. And I lost count after I heard the word "love" uttered for the 674th time or so. No matter; lively and spirited music more than makes up for the excesses.

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