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Garth Brooks: 1997 In Retrospect
And A Peek At 1998

Dateline: 12/29/97
Garth Brooks: 1997 In Retrospect And A Peek At 1998

The year 1997 was an exciting one for Garth, full of both ups and downs. Lets take the year month-by-month and see what happened...

The year started out with the American Music Awards, and Garth received the award for best male artist.

Next up the People's Choice Awards, where Garth received the award for Male Musical Performer.
Garth continued his tradition of awarding fans who see his shows by giving the 2,000,000 ticket holder a Caribbean trip and a new truck.

March contained some of the most exciting news of the year, regarding Garth... He would give a free concert in Central Park, on August 7th. This following stars such as Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, and Elton John.

Not only that, the whole show would be broadcast by HBO, and Garth would release his new studio album, Sevens, to coincide with the concert.

More good news this month... Garth won Blockbuster's Artist of the '90's.

April brought our first negative news in the fact that there were rumors flying that Garth and his record company, Capitol-Nashville were feuding. Capitol denied the rumors
May brought more happy news as Garth made a trip to Ireland for three sold out concerts. He set up a huge stage, and performed in front of 120,000 people. Besides the concert, Garth was also filming segments for an upcoming movie, "The Lamb," and the concert itself was filmed for release in the U.S. on the following St. Patrick's Day.

Trisha Yearwood and Garth finally get together and record a duet called "In Another's Eyes," which would be released on Yearwood's Songbook: A Collection of Songs, as well as Garth's upcoming Sevens album, which at this time had no release date.

An online auction of many unique items, including one of the white baby grand pianos used in the filming of Garth's "The Red Strokes" video. The piano eventually sold for $9,000, which went to the T.J. Martell Foundation, for research in Leukemia, Cancer, and AIDS.

The feuding between Garth and Capitol, which was denied in March turns out to be very true, and Sevens release is postponed.

The beginning of Summer brought with it an appearance by Garth on the Grand Ol' Opry.

July was the month that Garth went "home" again. He played 8 sell out shows in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Just when you thought Garth could do nothing better, along comes his Central Park concert. Garth succeeded beyond even his imagination, and broke the attendance record previously held by Paul Simon.

The HBO broadcast was the most watched and highest rated original program in 1997. It's said that the concert was watched by 14,600,000 people in 7.5 million homes that evening.

Garth's special guests were his idols, Billy Joel, and Don McClean.

Garth and Trisha release "In Another's Eyes," which will be on Trisha's September release Songbook: A Collection of Songs

Costs of running the Garth Store in downtown Nashville became too much, and the store sadly closed its doors at the end of the month, despite pleas from fans.

The Country Music Association Awards came around and Garth won the coveted Entertainer of the Year. Garth wasn't in attendance, however, he was out doing what he does best... entertaining his fans, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The end of the month also brought the 3 millionth fan to see Garth live, and of course, there was another celebration. Garth gave the Iowa couple, holder of the 3 millionth ticket, a car, a truck and a shopping spree at a local Lincoln, Nebraska mall.

Tickets went on sale in Chicago for an October 24th show at the Rosemont Horizon, and Garth set a record for selling out 8 shows in one city. He did 6 shows in October and 2 in December.

Nearing the holiday season, Garth and Capitol/EMI finally sat down and compromised on a deal to release Garth's album, Sevens on November 25th.

November was the month fans had been waiting for. Sevens would finally be released. The first single, "Longneck Bottle" came out in early November, and it had mixed reviews. There were stations that wouldn't play it, saying it was "too country" for their format. In the end, the song caught on and quickly soared to the top of the charts.

Sevens debuts at the #1 spot on both the Billboard Country Album and Top 200 Album charts. Sevens sells 897,000 copies in its first week of release, moving it to the #2 all time list of most copies sold by an album in a week.

Garth receives the prestigious Artist Achievement Award from Billboard Magazine. He's the first country star to receive this honor.

In 104 dates, Garth earns 25 million, putting him way behind acts such as the Rolling Stones, and U2 only because Garth keeps his ticket prices at $20.00 or lower.

A Peek At 1998
Garth is taking some time off touring, and will start up his tour in 1998 in Dallas, Texas in February, moving on to Fort Worth, and then in April to Houston. At the time of writing this article, no other dates had been set, but Garth will be covering more of the United States this year, ending in Minnesota next December.

In January, we can look forward to the release of Garth Live in Central Park on videotape.

Garth now has an e-mail address as well. The e-mail goes to the Believer Magazine, however, just as with the snail mail, Garth has access to all the e-mail as well. You can write him at: garthbrooks@earthlink.net

March heralds the Ireland television special. This is something fans have been waiting to see since last May.

Garth is currently recording a duet album with Trisha Yearwood scheduled for release sometime in 1998. Plans are also in the works to release a box set of his six previous studio albums for around $25.00. No word on if that price is definite. It's what's been mentioned in several places.

If that wasn't enough Garth, (and we never can have too much of him) he will record a second Christmas album for release around November of 1998.

It's unknown when the movie Garth has been working on, The Lamb will be released, but he's also recording the soundtrack for the movie, and that is said to be released sometime in 1998, so one would assume the movie will come out around the same time.

With all this album activity, people may wonder where this leaves the Live album that has been talked about for some time. Let us say, most likely it will be released in 1999.


Here are links to some of the
stories from the above article:

Garth Awards 2,000,000th Fan

Garth Receives Blockbuster's Artist of the 90's Award

Garth Announces He'll Give a Concert in Central Park

Garth Returns to Ireland

"In Another's Eyes" is released

Sevens Release Postponed

A Homecoming for Garth

Garth Ropes in New Yorkers

Garth Named CMA Entertainer of the Year

Garth Celebrates 3 million in style

Garth Sells Out 8 in Chicago

Garth's Attorney Responds to Warren G Lawsuit

Garth Announces "SEVENS" To Be Released!

Garth's Sevens Selling Out Across the Country

All graphics on this page © Shel Lahman.


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