Well, we made it back from Europe.
Performing at the Royal Albert Hall, in London on June
the 4th, was a tremendous thrill. I got to see Eric Clapton
in that hall back in 1989 and dreamed of getting a chance
to perform there. It was a special night for the band
and me because we had the National Symphony Orchestra on
stage with us. It's springtime in London and it was
On June the 5th we flew from London to Naples, Italy where
we had a great time getting to perform for the troops on
Sunday, June 6th. We got the opportunity to tour the base
where they work and live. It was a tense time for the troops
because they have been gathered from several bases from
different countries around the world and were waiting for
their orders to help with the peace process in Kosovo. I
was so impressed with our men and women in the armed forces.
We are very fortunate to have such bright men and women
serving our country. Getting to perform for them was a thrill
and an honor. They were very happy to see someone from home
and hopefully we were able to take their minds off the work
that is before them.
After the show on Sunday night we returned to New York City.
Summer had definitely hit in the east. It was 103 degrees
when we landed in New York on Sunday evening. Monday morning,
June the 7th, on "The Today Show," Katie Couric helped me
announce that I will be the National spokesperson for First
Book. First Book is an organization that collects and
distributes new books to under privileged children to try
to insure that every child has their very own new book. First
Book has a local board in 200 different communities and has
distributed 2,700,000 new books in its 7 years. Literacy
is a very serious problem in our country and hopefully we
can help our youth have a better future. Shelby and I have
read together since he was a very small child. It's easy
to take for granted the value of a child owning their very
own book. Hopefully, with First Book's efforts, less
fortunate children will get books and have a brighter future.
After "The Today Show", we flew to Ft. Dix, New Jersey and
read a story and passed out books to the Kosovo refugee
children. This was a very moving day. The refugees arrive
at Ft. Dix after a 12 hour plane ride from Macedonia with
all their belongings in a small plastic bag. Once again we
got the opportunity to see what a phenomenal job our troops
are doing to help these folks adjust to their new situation.
Many don't speak English so the troops have a very tough but
rewarding job. I was there to read to the children, with
the help of an interpreter, and then hand each child their
very own new book from First Book. We hope we shared a
little American hospitality. Monday evening I flew home.
Tuesday and Wednesday I got to stay in Nashville and
regroup. Wednesday morning I went in the studio and did
the finishing vocals for my new album. Thursday I got to
go to a very interesting birthday party in Houston, Texas.
President and Mrs. Bush were celebrating their birthdays
and asked if I would sing "Forever Love" at their party.
I was thrilled because they are two of my favorite people
in the world. It was a star-studded event with Bruce Willis,
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bush sons and Governors Jeb and
George W. Bush, and many other artists in attendance to
wish them Happy Birthday.
Saturday I headed for Vancouver, Canada where I've started
filming my 10th movie. I've been looking forward to this
movie because it's a Christmas western. The location is
beautiful. The mountains are still snow capped and the
temperature is great. I'm filming this movie for CBS and it
will air on Thanksgiving night. I'll tell you more about the
filming as we go. This is my first week and I have 4 weeks
left to shoot.
I hope you have a good summer. I will look forward to seeing
you on our summer tour once the movie is finished.