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Well, well, well…
Chely Wright suddenly finds herself (and her SUV song) in the hot seat!
It has been revealed that members of the Chely Wright Fan Club have spent months engaged in a campaign of deceit for the sole purpose of moving her song “Bumper of My SUV” up the charts.
The twist: Chely may have known about it all along!
Chely Makes Some Quick Changes
After learning that the Nashville-based newspaper, The Tennessean, was planning to publish an article about her Fan Club’s actions, Chely Wright dismissed Chuck Walter (her “best friend” and the president of her Fan Club since 1996), stating that his behavior was unethical and he acted without her knowledge or direction. A team of 17 other Fan Club volunteers were dismissed as well.
How It All Went Down
According to the Fan Club member who went to the newspaper with the story because her “conscience was bothered” by it, she and the other volunteers were given instructions (by the Fan Club president and vice-president) to pose “as members of the military or their families” in order to promote Chely Wright’s pro-military ballad and raise it up the charts. The methods they used involved a fairly sophisticated campaign of phone calls, e-mails, and letters sent to radio stations across the country. The volunteers were also given pre-paid calling cards, along with instructions to hit a certain code on the phone’s keypad so the radio stations wouldn’t know they were calling from out of state.
The most interesting part of this whole shebang in MY mind???
1. According to The Tennessean, the e-mail that included such instructions to the volunteers alluded to the fact that Chely was in on it herself! That she knew what was going on among this group of Fan Club volunteers, and she was just keeping quiet about it.
2. As reported in The Tennessean, one of the volunteers indicated that she was initially recruited to participate in this campaign to get the SUV song more airplay in MARCH of 2004. That is SIX MONTHS prior to the date that Chely herself indicates that the soldiers even heard her sing that song!
UPDATE: Though it was not clear by the way it was reported in The Tennessean article, this volunteer has since informed me that she was recruited in March of ’04 to help promote a different song by Chely Wright, NOT the “Bumper of My SUV” song.
A Change Of Heart
Based on this new information, I feel obligated to comment on my initial article about Chely’s “Bumper of My SUV” song.
In that article I referred to the song and its author as deserving lots of praise for being so “genuine”. I also made special note of how the song was skyrocketing up the charts solely on its own merits. However, both of those statements were based on the information provided by Chely herself — on her website and in the media, and it turns neither out the song’s chart ratings, nor the author, are particularly genuine in my book these days.
Read All About It
You can read the multi-page article as it appeared in The Tennessean on December 19th, including all the details about how Chely Wright’s Fan Club members lied in order to promote her “Bumper of My SUV” song. There, you can also read the actual e-mails and sample letters that the volunteers were sending to radio stations across the country.
What I Learned Today:
You can’t always believe what you’re told.
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).