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10 Questions with Lance Smith

27 August 2008 One Comment

10 Questions with Lance Smith

We got a chance to sit down with CMT Top 20 Countdown host, radio host, and author Lance Smith to talk about his new children’s book, his favorite artist he’s interviewed, and much more. Check it all out below.

1. For all of those country music fans with no TV or radio give us a quick explanation of who the “Face of CMT” Lance Smith is.

He’s a peculiar fellow with a penchant for buffalo wings. Actually the “Face of CMT” does tend to sum it up. For over seven years I’ve hosted a variety of programming, but mainly the Top 20 Countdown. (Fri - Sun) I also host the CMT Radio Insider with Lisa Dent from Chicago’s US99. (also Fri - Sun) I basically just hang out with today’s country stars and shoot the breeze.

2. How did you get your start in the entertainment industry and country music to be more specific?

I grew up just south of Nashville in Franklin, TN, which is the craziest part of a rather common story. CMT held a nation wide search to find a new face to anchor their programming. As luck would have it I was visiting home after ending a tour, performing crowd warm-up, with the Dixie Chicks in 2000. I was about to head back to Los Angeles where I had moved two years prior to follow an acting career. My first agent called to see if I was still around and could make it to an audition. Three auditions later CMT hired a 22 year old me. Lance, meet the world. World… Lance. But to be honest, I never would have lasted this long if not for my southern roots. I often forget that CMT broadcasts into almost 90 million homes. All the crews I work with are southern like me so it takes the “industry” out of it.

3. To many people you have the dream job, what is an average day like for you?

Always different. And those people are correct. The job is a dream. But like I said, each day is different. Some days it’s early to work and some days it’s a long night. Typically I’m prepping for an interview or discussing future shows. Other than that I’m standing in front of a camera or inside a vocal booth. It’s never the same.

4. Out of the many stars you have interviewed or hung out with which ones have been your favorites?

I always love it when Blake Shelton comes by. We cut up quite a bit and I’ve actually received letters from fans complaining that Blake is mean and doesn’t treat me fairly. We’re just joking around. He rubs my shoulders when the cameras are off. Blake has soft, girly hands. Don’t let that good-ole-boy persona fool ya. Little Big Town is another favorite. They have girly hands too, but only Karen and Kimberly.

5. Today there seem to be so many new artists coming up in country music, which ones do you think will be stars for years to come?

It’s too late to say Taylor Swift but everyone at CMT saw that one coming. And though he’s not really “new” Jason Aldean has major staying power. It’s artists like that who end up taking the torch ten years later. Look at Chesney’s career.

6. What inspired you to write this children’s book, “The Old Man and the Cat”, and what is it about?

Hemingway did The Old Man and The Sea, and I get sick on boats, so I went with a Cat. Seriously though, I’m a HUGE Shel Silverstein fan. I’ve actually been writing children’s poetry since I was a little kid. Last year, with A LOT of encouragement from my wife, Carrie, I decided that I would follow through with my little hobby as a side project, except the “little” project has gotten considerably larger in scale. But the book itself was originally intended to be a single short poem in a collection that I was looking to publish. However, the story kept going and it became too long for the collection so I turned it into a story poem/picture book. It’s just about an Old Man and his best friend The Cat and their small fishing adventure. The age range will probably be listed at 4-7 but I really think it’s more like 3-35. Once you’re eligible for U.S. presidency you should probably stop reading children’s books.

7. Part of the proceeds of your new book go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, what made you pick this charity?

Well I wanted to do something for someone. I have quite a few charities close to the heart but with my current status at CMT I felt I could make this a family affair and hook up with one of our CMT One Country partners. And since it is a children’s book, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America seemed to fit. This way I can help kids by helping kids.

8. Do you plan on making the writing of children’s books a large part of your career or is this a one time thing?

If I can have at least half the success with my book that CMT has given me then I’ll be happy. Quite honestly I’m so proud of such a simple little thing as a 32 page picture book that I would love to continue doing this. I have more books ready to go so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. My biggest dream for this project would be for as many children as possible to embrace this story like I embraced the books of my youth.

9. If we were to look on your Ipod what songs are you playing the most right now?

I spin albums, beginning to end. So the three I’m glued to currently are Dierks Bentley’s Greatest Hits, Steve Earle’s Washington Square Serenade, and Limbeck’s self titled album (it’s my favorite album of any genre in about 15 years!)

10. Where can we learn more about the book and what else you have going on?

Good thing you asked. Stop on by the myspace page at myspace.com/lancesmithofficial or visit lancesmith.net or theoldmanandthecat.com. I’m taking over the web one url at a time. And of course check out the Top 20 web page at CMT.com.


One Comment »

  • Glen Campbell Tribute Planned for Americana Music Festival | The 9513 said:

    […] Nashville4U has a 10 question Q&A with Lance Smith–the host behind a lot of the programming at CMT. He explains how he got his job and which artists are his favorite to hang out with and interview, plus his appreciation for Shel Silverstein and details behind his new children’s poetry book. […]

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