The Stories Behind the Stars

The Stories Behind the Stars
By: Wes Wallace

Country music's hottest stars took center stage Tuesday night in Las Vegas. The city played host to the Academy of Country Music Awards, but several different venues also welcome big country acts.

"The bigger the star, the nicer the people," says Pete Poe, director of the SEMO District Fair. Poe meets and greets all the musical acts performing each year, and knows a lot of what goes on behind the scenes.

"Waylon Jennings is a class act, one of the nicest guys, he's putty in kids hands, he'd do anything for small children," says Poe," He always had a smile on his face."

As for the 'Honky Tonk Man" that says "You've got to stand for something", Poe has high praise, "There's a million stories about Aaron Tippin. He's just one of the guys, when he hops of the bus he wants to know, where's the tractors, he loves tractors."

And what about the newlywed Kenny Chesney? What does he like to do when the sun goes down? "He was looking to play basketball, just like the other good ones," explains Poe, "Any big star is really grounded, usually, they just want to live a normal life off the stage."

However, Poe points out some stars have demanding 'riders'. It's an industry term that's a request list for food or other special accomodations. "A special crunchy peanut butter or a certain type of jelly, sometimes I think they just give us a list to see if we'll read it."