November 4th, 2006 03:23 EST
Holiday radio special features country music stars
SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) -- Country music stars Vince Gill, Toby Keith, LeeAnn Womack and George Strait share their favorite holiday memories and traditions in a "Red, White and Air Force Blue Christmas" radio special, slated for release this month.
Produced and marketed by the Air Force Recruiting Service's Strategic Communications Division, the one-hour show features in-depth interviews with each of the stars along with songs from their holiday albums. The program will be sent to American Forces Radio and Television Service affiliates and more than 3,300 country radio stations, according to Jimmy Spacek, AFRS broadcasting manager.
The show, co-produced at Spotland Productions in Nashville by Ben Holland and Senior Airman April Adkisson, features Mr. Strait's hit "It Just Comes Natural," the title track from his latest album. He also discusses his recent induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
"It's truly our honor to have George Strait and the other country stars on our show this year," said Airman Adkisson, broadcast producer at AFRS headquarters. "It's a great way to help commemorate the Air Force's 60th anniversary."
The artists said their thoughts and prayers are with those military members who can't be home for the holidays.
"I want them to know how much they're doing for not only their families but for families all over the world," said Ms. Womack "They're making such a huge difference, making their mark ... and changing the world."
"Red, White and Air Force Blue Christmas" is a public-service program promoting goodwill in local communities by encouraging young people to achieve their goals through hard work and determination, Mr. Spacek said. This year's show includes public service announcements from Charlie Daniels, Lonestar, Mr. Keith and Ms. Womack containing the message, "You can do anything if you set your mind to it."
"Our program gives stations an opportunity to pay tribute to the men and women in uniform serving our nation around the world," Mr. Spacek said. "It's also our gift to program directors to help make their job a little easier over the holidays."
The Air Force enjoys a great relationship with the country music industry, Mr. Spacek said. "Red, White and Air Force Blue Christmas" traces its roots back to the 1970s when the Air Force first produced "Country Music Time," a weekly radio show featuring established and up-and-coming country stars.
In the early 1990s, the program revamped its format to an annual Christmas special known as "The Gift," and later was renamed with its current title.
by Dale Eckroth
Headquarters Air Force Recruiting Service
SOURCE: US Air Force