Entries in Alabama (3)


Bruno Mars Will Make Donation to Alabama Tornado Relief Efforts

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Bruno Mars announced Wednesday that he will be making a donation to the American Red Cross of Central Alabama to support their efforts in giving relief to those that were devastated by the storms that hit there on April 27. Tornadoes that touched down in Alabama area caused an estimated $4.2 billion in damages.

Bruno is scheduled to headline the 35th annual Jubilee CityFest in Montgomery, Alabama this Friday. Collection canisters will be placed at the entrance of the event where fans can make donations that will also be given to the American Red Cross.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Others to Play Disaster Relief Concert

Rick Diamond/Getty Images(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- CMT has announced plans for a Disaster Relief Concert to broadcast live from Nashville on May 12. Hank Williams, Jr. spearheaded the event after seeing the devastation from last week's deadly tornadoes in Alabama.

"I just couldn't believe what I was seeing on TV,” Williams said. “Alabama is home -- I am really pumped about helping."

Alabama, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Ronnie Dunn, Sara Evans and Tim McGraw have also signed on to perform on the show, and more artists will be announced soon. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Alabama Town Says No Thanks to 'Redneck Riviera,' Passes Law to Block Filming

Photo Courtesy -- Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce(GULF SHORES, Ala.) -- A production company hoping to film what could be the South's answer to the "Jersey Shore" has had the door slammed in its face by Gulf Shores, Ala. that would rather be known for pristine beaches than Confederate flags.

The city council's response after finding out the beach town was being scouted for filming a new reality show titled "Redneck Riviera" was to unanimously pass an amended filming law that allows city officials to deny permits for productions deemed to imply inappropriate messaging.

"Anything like this has the potential to be very disruptive to our community," Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said, but insisted the newly updated ordinance wasn't intended solely for "Redneck Riviera."  "We knew we needed to do something a little different here."

The show's title is a play on the long-held nickname for the region, one that many officials try not to advertise.

"I don't think it would be welcome," Linda Whitlock, president and CEO of the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce, said of the show.  "This area, this community of Alabama, has worked very hard, for many, many years to erase the image of the Redneck Riviera."

But Jodi Redmond, creator and executive producer behind "Redneck Riviera" said Gulf Shores may have the wrong idea about her show.

"I think it's unfortunate because I think it could bring a credible amount of tourism back to that place," she said.  "I love Gulf Shores."

Despite Gulf Shore's imposition of the new ordinance, casting for "Redneck Riviera" is ongoing.  According to the show's Web site, producers are looking for native southerners whose idea of a perfect vacation includes "Miller beer by the case, partying and dancing the night away ... while spending the day on the beach with a cold one in your hand and watching bikini bull-riding contests."

Redmond, however, said the casting call was "jazzed up" and that she hopes to focus the show on a single town and the people in it, rather than having a congregation of young adults living in a house a la the "Jersey Shore" gang.

For all the concerns Gulf Shores may have, one mayor who's been in the same situation said, "Tell them to try it."

P. Kenneth Hershey, the mayor of "Jersey Shore's" Seaside Heights, N.J., said the show that made Snooki, The Situation and fist pumping famous has helped fill the town's coffers.  "It gave us a couple millions worth of publicity -- at least," Hershey said.  "It brought a lot of people into town.  And they were orderly people."

The Redneck Riviera is loosely defined as the coastal area that stretches from Florida's Emerald Coast to the shores of Alabama.

Redmond herself is familiar with the region, having grown up in Alabama.  She came up with the concept well over a year ago, but then hesitated.

"My concern was, 'How comfortable am I doing this considering I'm from there and the fact that reality TV and TV in general is exploitative?"  Redmond said.

In the end, it was the BP oil spill that ravaged the coastline that pushed her to move forward and begin casting.

"It killed me," she said.  "I just couldn't believe what businesses and towns were going through."

Though she has heard from some city mayors who aren't thrilled with the show's premise, others, Redmond said, have reached out to her saying they want the tourism dollars.

On the show's Facebook page, there seems to be more enthusiasm than disappointment.

"Just as soon as I get ahold of a video camera, you'll have my application," one Facebook poster wrote.

And another, "My husband & I own a little honky-tonk in Foley, Alabama ... We are rednecks & proud of it!"

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio