Make way, Emeril Lagasse. Paul Newman, watch your back.
Nashville country artists are looking for shelf space.... Celebrity-branded foods include George Jones' product line, which is expanding into bacon and bottled water....Jones used to watch his singles climb the radio charts. Now he follows the supermarket trades to see what grocery stores are adding his line of sausage, biscuits and condiments.
''It's like in the old days when you hear that 100 radio stations just added your single,'' said Evelyn Shriver, president of his label, Bandit Records. ''George is now caught up in the food chart.'' For Jones, 72, getting involved in the food business provided a new outlet for his energy. Contemporary country radio isn't friendly to his new singles, but he apparently still has marketing power in the grocery business: a 600-store chain in Illinois recently agreed to carry his products, all made in Tennessee.
''George just loves hearing (stuff) like that,'' Shriver said. ''He spends a lot of time checking on product. He goes to the supermarket all the time now, like he used to go to record stores. He still wants to participate.'' New products this spring include microwaveable bacon, sausage links and a line of bottled water from a Hohenwald spring called ''White Lightning,'' named after his first No. 1 record, in 1959.
I always thought "White Lightning" was about bottled water.