GAC's "CMA Celebrity Close Up" features Lonestar, John Corbett

GAC gives viewers an intimate view into the lives of two fan favorites
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- (July 5, 2006) -- GAC's "CMA Celebrity Close Up" brings viewers a real look at life on the road, including the practical jokes and offstage antics that fans seldom see. The program, recorded before a live audience at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, features candid interviews conducted by veteran country music journalist Lorianne Crook with the popular group Lonestar and actor-turned-country singer John Corbett. The show airs on GAC July 9 at 8 pm ET.

The four members of Lonestar talk about pranks that sometimes get out of hand. One April Fool's Day the group covered vocalist Richie McDonald in ketchup and dropped him alongside the tour bus, telling bystanders he had been hit by a car. When a frantic security guard approached, McDonald says he had to admit it was all a hoax.

"This guy is running up and grabbing at his gun, and I get up and tell him it's a joke and 'ha ha, we got you,'" McDonald recalls. "He tells me that's not very funny and what's the name of your band? And I tell him 'Ricochet' [another country music band]."

Lonestar drummer Keech Rainwater talks about his video prowess. He has documented virtually every day of the band's decade together, even following bandmates into private places.

"You'll be in the little room, you know, taking care of business and you look up and there's Keech with that camera," McDonald says.

In a revealing conversation with Crook, John Corbett ("Sex and the City," "My Big Fat Greek Wedding") explains that he curtailed a successful acting career because it ceased to satisfy his creative needs.

"When you are up on the stage and you're playing music for people, it is such a great feeling, and it's a feeling that as an actor, I never got," Corbett says. "I have played now about 100 shows in the last seven months, and I have felt that feeling 100 times."

Corbett says despite his Hollywood notoriety, he considers himself a start-up act who has to endure the same hardships as any other country music wannabe. For example, his band still travels to gigs in a conversion van, rather than a decked-out tour bus.

"It's expensive, and I have to pay for all of that," Corbett says. "There is a reward for having to do a hard-day's work. I never really worked that hard as an actor."

His initial success aside, Corbett says he considers himself "half of a country star," because he has yet to experience female fans who throw panties onto the stage during his shows.

"We've had a few bras, does that count?" he asks, acknowledging that he displays all the garments collected in his music room at home. "My room looks more like a 17-year old boy lives there," says Corbett.

"CMA Celebrity Close Up" was created to provide another avenue for artist-fan interaction, a signature event of the CMA Music Festival, held each June in Nashville. GAC is a presenting sponsor of the interview series.

"GAC programming aims to bring our viewers and country music fans closer to their favorite artists," says Sarah Trahern, GAC senior vice president. "The personal format of the CMA Celebrity Close Up sessions creates entertaining television that fans enjoy."

CMA Celebrity Close Up air dates and times: July 9, 8 pm and midnight ET; July 10, 10am and 3 pm ET

About Great American Country
Great American Country is America's main street for the widest variety of country music, its artists and the lifestyles they influence. In addition to country music videos, GAC features original programming, special musical performances and live concerts, and is the exclusive television home of the Grand Ole Opry. GAC is available in more than 41 million households and on the World Wide Web at