Being a southern-based University, sweet tea, sundresses and cowboy boots are exceptionally familiar sights. The sound coming from the speakers of the cars passing by on the street are booming with the lyrics of the latest country music songs.
Murray State is showing its pride in that country sound by holding the No. 1 position in a contest hosted by County Music Television (CMT). As of the publication date, Murray State still had the number one spot secured.
The university with the most votes in the “Country College Town Sweepstakes” win the opportunity to host an episode of the station’s show “Hot 20 Countdown” on its campus.
“Jim Carter, vice president for Institutional Advancement, called me after he saw the advertisement for the contest on CMT,” said Shelley Todd, director of the CFSB Center. “We knew without a doubt we could win this so the CFSB Center posted a ‘calling all country fans’ on our Facebook page and they responded by actively going to the CMT website and registering.”
At the moment, Murray State is the smallest university in the running and has held onto the No. 1 position for three weeks. Other universities in the running include Iowa State University in second place, Texas A&M University in third, Louisiana State University in fourth and Texas Tech University in fifth.
“I think it is awesome that we are beating out schools that are four and five times bigger than we are,” Todd said.
Having the opportunity to host such a popular show here in Murray has excited several students across campus.
“I voted the first day I heard about the contest,” said Kealey Staples, sophomore from Golconda, Ill. “I watch the show all the time and love country music, so being able to see it filmed live would be pretty exciting.”
Todd also said she believes country music fans at Murray State are the best around and having the CMT Top 20 Countdown shoot on campus will give everyone the chance to show their love of the southern sound.
In order to vote, students and community members must go to CMT.com and fill out the registration form. Voting ends Sept. 14. Later in the fall, CMT will invade the winning school to film that week’s Top 20 Countdown.
“It’s important for Nashville to know Murray State University loves country music so we can continue to have top artists on our campus,” Todd said.
Story by Breanna Sill, Assistant Features Editor