#TBT: Our ‘Garth Please’ Campaign in 1992 Worked…in 1994
Let's start with some quick history that everyone knows. The Garth Brooks phenomenon exploded in 1990 with the one-two punch of "The Dance" and "Friends in Low Places."
That was a springboard to the kind of high demand I have rarely seen unfold in the music industry.
By 1992, Garth Brooks had changed country music and was largely responsible for its huge boom in sales and popularity. His live shows had begun selling out at mind-boggling record pace. Those tickets were precious and super difficult to secure.
The venues HAD to get bigger. And if that couldn't work out, then he'd add shows wherever he played, if necessary.
And so it WAS, in 1992, that WBKR launched a campaign to get Garth to come to Roberts Stadium in Evansville.
We commissioned the creation of an enormous banner we draped on the side of a semi that was parked at the stadium and had folks come by and sign it. It became one of the largest "petitions" I have ever seen.
But it wasn't just the banner.
A client let us use a motorhome that we parked on a grassy area on the stadium parking lot and we all broadcast there for a week.
Our then-morning team, Zack Mitchell and the late Nick Weber, spent the night in it.
Mind you, this was a couple of years before we even had the Internet and a good decade and half ahead of any form of social media.
And yet, word got to Garth and he put Roberts Stadium on the docket for 1994. And it was magic time.
I can't remember who his opening act was in '94, but when he returned in 1998, it was his future wife and a country superstar in her own right, Trisha Yearwood.
The night we all went in '98, there was a mix-up regarding the number of meet & greet passes and we were two short. So we drew straws. Since I'd already met Garth, I bowed out.
One of our former on-air personalities, Jeanne James, drew a short straw and was unable to go back. So the two of us stood in the hallway waiting for the rest to get finished. While we waited, we ran into and chatted with Garth's then-wife Sandy, who was a blast. And then Trisha's road manager spotted us and asked if we'd like to come visit with her since we didn't get to meet Garth.
It's really one of my all-time favorite experiences meeting a country star. She was sensational and had just performed on the Oscars three nights earlier and talked about it like a kid meeting Santa Claus. Thoroughly charming.
Now, here's the cool part. Jeanne and I returned to our seats just as Nick ran up and told us that Garth heard about the mix-up and told him to come get us. So we got the meet & greet after all.
We've always believed that Garth's 1994 show led him to remember this area and Roberts Stadium again in 1998.
And we'll never let ANYONE tell us any different about the effect we're fairly certain the "Garth Please" campaign had on his decision in '94.