May 7th, 2010
01:07 PM ET

Nashville fundraisers starting to fill the calendar – with or without a national media spotlight

During the last few days, I've received a number of calls and emails from colleagues in Nashville, frustrated with how the catastrophic flooding in their city has not seemed to receive the amount of attention it deserves on many national news outlets – including CNN.

My friend Heather left an impassioned message from her cell, as she pulled moldy siding off a pal's home in Bellevue. Another friend, Jules, opened up her vast rolodex for contacts we needed. And Schatzi Hageman, publicist for Trace Adkins, apologized for delays in responding to emails – never using the fact that her office was uninhabitable as an excuse.

We caught up with Trace himself in Southern California, where he was shooting a music video for his new single, "This Ain't No Love Song." The Louisiana native was defiant about his adopted city's tenacity, and didn't think the national media was obligated to shine a bigger spotlight. "I don't feel slighted in any way," he said. "I'm not worried about it, because I think that Nashville – as a community and as a city – we'll cowboy up, and we'll take care of this situation, and we'll fix what needs to be fixed, and we'll carry on. We don't need everybody in the country to come run to our aid."

Indeed, Tennessee is living up to its moniker as "The Volunteer State." As Vince Gill headlined a telethon on the local NBC affiliate, raising more than $1.7 million, a flurry of press releases hit my BlackBerry:

* GAC will host a telethon on Sunday, May 16 with Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Rodney Atkins and more to benefit the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

* This year's CMA Music Fest will donate 50% of its proceeds to flood victims (also through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee). The other 50% is earmarked for music education programs in metro Nashville public schools.

* The "12th Annual Grammy Block Party" is going on as planned next Tuesday with Darius Rucker, Steel Magnolia, Trombone Shorty and others. 100% of every dollar raised will go to the newly-created MusiCares Nashville Flood Relief Fund (word has it that Keith Urban and and Nicole Kidman were among the first to contribute).

* Ke$ha becomes the first non-country artist to hold a benefit for families and animals affected by the flooding. Her concert will take place June 16 at Limelight. The Nashville native-turned-pop sensation is offering special $ 100 VIP packages, which include a Meet & Greet.

Also, a shout-out to Miss Taylor Swift, who wrote a $500,000 check for flood relief in Nashville.

Thursday night, Tim McGraw told CNN's Anderson Cooper, "This is going to take awhile here... just because you saw it on TV one day and the water had gone down, it's not going to be going away." Faith Hill added, "The worst is yet to come. The disaster remains."

But the city's recovery is off to a promising start.

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    Why don't we help the people in Nashville like we have helped Katrina folks and Haita folks???? The people will not see any aid for about 10 months. We are the ones that are helping by paying taxes, it always seems that the people that feed the system get nothing in return. It is kind of like a Illegal allien can get more than a tax payer for 30 or 40 years!!!

    Not affected by the storm, Jeff in Crossville, TN

    June 2, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. JC

    JB – I'm from KY and my sister and I would like to help out if possible. We don't have money to donate, but were wondering if there were neighborhoods we could drive through to take lunch, snacks or drinks to people who are working and cleaning up their homes. Would that help in any way? If so do you know of some neighbors for us to go to?

    May 10, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. christian

    fat asses your gay

    May 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Stephany


    May 10, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mr. Speed

    I'm with phillip!!!

    He didn't get my vote the first time...
    He won't get it this time either!!!

    Maybe the community organizer in chief will be briefed on that!!!

    May 10, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |

    When Bush didn't show up for katrina . He was slammed. where is Obama. Oh yeah he had a commencement to attend at a all black university. That was more important. Oh yeah Kayne West. What did he say about Bush. "Bush doesn't care about black people. Where here is my Kayne moment.. OBAMA DOESN'T CARE ABOUT TENNESSEE!!!

    May 9, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CFrost

    What about Bob? Bye, Bob. He was just a lonely soul just trying to test our emotions. We will get thru this as a community / neighborhood / street / block / etc. Let's thanks the ones that are helping / those that helped / the heroes that saved and be silent to the ignorant. It's time to move forward and do what we do as people / a community / as one. If being proud to be from the South labels me a redneck, then so be it.
    One world, one love.....

    May 9, 2010 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Lisa

    Having moved to Nashville from another part of the country five years ago, I can tell you that Bob has no idea what he is talking about. He couldn't be more wrong if he tried. I have never EVER encountered a better group of human beings than I have here. People will give you the shirt off their back-they will help you even if you're a total stranger-don't even get me started on how polite people are in traffic here! When anyone has anything bad happen, Southern people come out of the wood work to lend a hand and give comfort. I've never seen anything like it anywhere else in this country. People here have all the qualities good human beings should have, and it is why people are flocking here to live. It's amazing what life is like when you are around people who care about each other and help each other through life as neighbors. The rest of the country could learn a lesson about manners, humility, work ethic, and kindness from the people of Nashville...and the South in general. I am proud to call it my home.

    May 9, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. JC

    Shame on you Bob, Nashville lost 1/2 our water supply. One plant is working 24/7 to get back up. The power people are doing the same all over town. We have churchs' from all over arriving to supply and cook food for the hungry. Not a one has thumped a bible. We have neighbors helping neighbors. God bless them all, and Bob, may God bless you.

    May 8, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. roderick m. f. petty

    Juda to Ephraim, let's make peace!?

    May 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. roderick m. f. petty

    Luda to Ephraim, let's make peace.

    May 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JenJen

    I am a native Nashvillian and I have never been more proud of a group of people in my lifetime!! My dad lost everything...almost..he didn't lose HOPE!! We will get through this and we will be better than ever. We practice southern hospitality everday and Tennessee is the
    VOLUNTEER state. We would even help Bob if he needed it!!

    May 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lindsay

    Nashville is an extremely diverse city. I have had the honor of being a Nashvillian for the past 13 years. Not only are the people diverse, but the talent, music, districts, restaurants are diverse as well. It's a city that has everything. Unfortunately there are always going to be people who slam the South and stereotype it as "redneck." For those people, I welcome you to visit a Southern city and experience the hospitaltiy the South is famous for. My grandfather from Boston, MA loved Nashville so much, and he loved to visit us here saying, "he never met an unfriendly face." Tennessee is a kind and generous state. We will make it through regardless of whether the media attention is there or not, but it would be nice to not bury our situation under other stories less deserving.

    May 8, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sunlover10

    Obviously, Bob is ignorant. To paint southerners w/ a broad paintbrush shows his stupidity. So, where are you from Bob? I'll bet you could be painted w/ the broad paintbrush, too. But, would you consider it truth? Stupidity is everywhere. See ya Bob...wouldn't wanna be ya.

    May 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mysti

    I tend to agree with Jake. I don't think people would turn down whatever help was offered, but we don't need to wait around to see if it shows up. Tennesseeans are masters taking care of their own; when people were stranded and Emergency Services were overwhelmed, people got out the fishing boats and canoes and went door-to-door, trying to find stranded neighbors.
    Which is why we won't get the same level of national attention or help that any other city would get. People don't see us as victims because as soon as the water started receding, we started rebuilding our lives, our homes, and our communities.

    May 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Ron

    Bobs just ignorant.,with the internet NOW we have to idiots listen speak without education other than knowing how to use a computer. Bet hes never been 50 miles from where he grew up.....

    May 8, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  17. Rileysmom

    Bob's a Boob

    May 8, 2010 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  18. Jake

    Bob's an idiot. Trace is just expressing the general opinion of most real Southerners (from heres – not come heres). We don't need to be seen on TV all over the country begging for help. We take care of our own. There's enough $ in Nashville, to get things going. There SHOULD be federal flood relief. Things have a way of working out, especially when everybody pitches in. All donations and help is appreciated, but it is not begged for. You'd be surprised how many towns and cities get flooded each year, but most don't sit on their butts or walks the streets wailing to the TV cameras waiting for somebody to come with the handouts. I'd be willing to say Trace will be there with on the front line to help when the water recedes. Oh, FYI, Yankee Bob, look up the origin of "redneck". It's not what you think. . . or can you think???

    May 8, 2010 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  19. Kathy

    Bob........I'm almost speechless to hear those types of comments....BUT, since YOU HATE Bible's so much, here's a real good scripture that you can "meditate" on......"As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man." -Proverbs 27:19 NIV.....I'll say a prayer for you, sir...............And for all who is in need and suffering with pain and grief, I pray for peace and comfort for you all........God Bless.....Kat in Va.

    May 7, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Jeff

    Free Internet Access Locations for Nashville Flood Victims. Saturday 5/8/2010 9AM – 5 PM – If you know someone that needs to apply to FEMA please tell them this info. Computers will be provided on site for every one to access FEMA online.

    Brentwood Baptist
    7777 Concord Road West
    Brentwood, TN 37027

    Clearwire Store
    604 Gallatin Avenue
    Nashville, TN 37206

    Antioch Church of Christ
    2142 Antioch Pike
    Antioch TN 37013

    May 7, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Wayne

    Well I live up north in Vermont. We have rednecks here also. But Bob's comment is just deplorable. I've been to Nashville and the surrounding area many many times. I could not have met nicer people. To make some blanket statement about an areas population is totally stupid and must come from a totally stupid person. Bob I'm sorry you are totally stupid, but you are. Sounds to me like you are the hater here not the people of Tennessee. And by the way, what have you got against the Bible anyway? We should not wast our time with a waste of skin like Bob. My prayers go to the people of Tennessee.............

    May 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Fay

    "Well Trace, maybe you don't need people to come running to your aid because you're rich. The rest of us who've lost property and are finding out none of it will be covered by insurance could use some aid. We don't need media attention because we crave publicity – we need it to spark charity. What a jerk. But then, most folks around here knew that already."

    I think you misunderstand Trace... He is simply saying that Tn is very resilient and will help each other in whatever is needed. If you asked Trace if he would help a complete stranger (like yourself) he would be there in a heartbeat to do whatever he could to make things better for you and he would do it even if he knew about your comments. Think twice before making such negative comments about someone you do not even know.

    May 7, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  23. david

    bob.i think your drunken father made love to a flower pot and raised a blooming idiot.god bless tennessee!!!!!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Tnradman

    This flood was the worst natural disaster in Tennessee history. Without a doubt, if it had happened in NY or California the coverage by the national media would have been far greater. But it's OK. Tennesseans know how to take care of themselves. "A country boy (even if it's only one at heart) can survive." This is something Bob could never understand.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Tomasz

    Marine Mom, thank you for your kind words.

    But I would like to make something clear: while we're working hard to fix our city, we cannot do it without the help of the federal government. Damage to Nashville alone is estimated at $1.5 billion, and counting the surrounding areas, I expect the cost to be at least three times higher.

    The federal government IS here, and they ARE helping. Our flood was declared an emergency days ago, which is very fast action from FEMA and the President.

    We need America's help, and especially the federal government's help. They are experts at delivering and coordinating relief in catastrophes. Please do not let any political beliefs you hold lead you to think that Nashville can handle this without government help, or to think that the feds are not helping, because they are.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  26. focus

    Bob- Table for 1 in front row of hell. You are an idot.

    May 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Marine Mom

    It amazes me how the folks in TN are relying on themselves and not waiting for government handouts. Those "rednecks" as you call them know how to take of themselves. They could use a little help, but ultimately they will recover.

    The country music folks in Nashville are going above and beyond to help their neighbors. They are one of the most generous groups of folks I have ever met.

    May 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  28. david

    bob,you are a true idiot,sounds to me like your own do not even claim you.try helping someone today and for once look in the mirror and hope you see someone who can become of luck to all the southerns as the south has always risen.

    May 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Regan

    God be with the folks in Nashville and thanks to those who have tried to lend a hand to help those in need.

    And may those who ignore or attack the victims of this flood never, ever need anything from those who are offended by their callousness.

    This is AMERICA – I don't care if you kicked my dog – you lose your home to nature's wrath, I'll come to bat for you, help you out, donate money, food, and anything else to help you – I don't care who you are or what you think of my skin color.

    And if it happened to me and my beloved Charleston, SC???

    I wouldn't ask for your help – I wouldn't need to. You're Americans just like me – you'd be there before I could ask...

    All I would ask is that if you had a microphone and camera that you would get the word out......

    BTW...this happened six days ago...

    May 7, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  30. mid-tn proud

    Bob, you're ignorant. I live in TN. I want to be angry over your comments but only feel pity for you.

    May 7, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  31. ladyracer71

    Bob – I was born in Charlotte, NC, grew up in So. Cal & now live in Santa Fe, NM. All of us Bible thumpin' rednecks will be praying for God to Bless you with some humanity. By the way, those of us who have read the Bible know that God has to judge you first before he can bless you. The people of the South are some of the most resiliant people I've ever met and they'd give you the shirt off their back if you asked them and if you were hungry they'd feed you. Shame on you. Kuddo's to all of you giving souls for helping out. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    May 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  32. MT

    My heart goes out to all of those folks in Nashville who are trying to find ways to get their lives back together. We had a lot of flooding up in the north in March, and there's just loads of work to do. Guess the silver lining is that many jobs were created. I don't think that folks like Trace were downplaying the devastation or need, but was speaking of the resilience of the southerner and their ability to fight through adversity. The aid will come - it did up here. Took a few weeks for it to start flowing.

    May 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  33. cl

    "I live in Nashville, and I don't hate immigrants or muslims. But now I hate Bob."

    This made me laugh out loud! Short, sweet and to the point. Best of luck to all in TN – your neighbors to the west (AR) are rooting for you!

    May 7, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  34. nashville res

    It is obvious that Bob has never visited the South ; which is terribly unfortunate for him. We are not all rednecks ; although if you had any knowledge of this country's culture you would know that 'rednecks' live all over this country not just in the South. In the South they just have prettier accents. And no we are not all 'bible thumpers' either. I would suggest spending some time here as it appears you could use a lesson on Southern Culture and possibly one in manners as well.
    As to the flood, we are in need of assistance. However, as is already being shown we are quite self-reliant here in Nashville and are well on the way to assisting those in need through many local fund raisers.

    May 7, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  35. JB

    I live in Nashville, and I don't hate immigrants or muslims. But now I hate Bob.

    May 7, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Tomasz

    Bob, you don't seem aware of the tens of thousands of Kurdish, Mexican, and Central American immigrants in Antioch and other parts of town who were flooded and badly affected. My wife speaks Spanish and is working a Spanish language flood hotline right now.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for your bigoted comment.

    May 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Linda mash

    At a time of great tragedy these people who spew hate and make the most God awful statements crawl out from under rocks. if you don't have anything nice to say or constructive,please don't say anything Calling people names makes you look like an imbecile..

    May 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Tom Johns

    "These rednecks shouldn't be helped by anyone. Let's be honest, people who live in these areas of the country are just a bunch of haters. They hate immigrants, muslims, etc. Let them float on their bibles."

    Well, Bob. I have lived In Nashville, Baltimore, Greensboro, NC and Akron, OH and traveled all over this countyry. I can tell you that rednecks and haters are everywhere. Right where ever you live as well – just look in the mirror!

    May 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  39. JB

    Well Trace, maybe you don't need people to come running to your aid because you're rich. The rest of us who've lost property and are finding out none of it will be covered by insurance could use some aid. We don't need media attention because we crave publicity - we need it to spark charity. What a jerk. But then, most folks around here knew that already.

    May 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Andrew Swicegood

    And so..... this article still does not answer the question.... even this short video does more than all the national coverage I've seen:

    May 7, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |

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