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As the host of Teen Country, a new nationally syndicated radio show aimed at young listeners, Jenny Gill Ã¢ÂÂ daughter superstar Vince Ã¢ÂÂ gets to put country's brightest stars in the hot seat and introduce country's best songs on a weekly basis.
And she's already had on-the-air chats with Emerson Drive, Blake Shelton, Chalee Tennison and others. "With Teen Country the audience focus is in the teenagers," explains Jenny. "And I'm in a cool position where I know enough about the industry to ask decent, intelligent questions, but at the same time I know what younger people want to know."
The one-hour show, taped in Nashville, just launched on 25 Canadian stations and is just now expanding into U.S. markets. Jenny writes her own interview questions and does the interviews, then either she or the guest co-host introduces the songs.
"Country music has kind of changed," notes Jenny. "It's becoming more pop and becoming more trendy. And it's bringing a lot of younger people to the sound. It is cool to be country, and there isn't a show out there that taps into that. We're trying to reach those teenagers who think Tim McGraw and Keith Urban are cute and expose them to all of country."
Teen Country producer Steve Graham, a 25-year radio veteran with a number of hit country shows, believes Jenny is the ideal host. "She has a youth perspective that delivers a show that is received by listeners as fun, and in her interviews she really gets information that's interesting Ã¢ÂÂ things that not only youth want to know, but things everybody wants to know."
In fact, Blake Shelton, who recently scored his second No.1 with "The Baby." Reveals that Jenny's got a real knack for getting guests to open up. "She pulled some stuff out of me that I've never said before," he explains. "She's a sweet girl, a real natural, and she's determined. She's going to do well no matter who her parents are."
As for her famous last name, Jenny, a freshman recording industry major at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., knows people will "react to it," and she's used to that. But don't expect to hear either of her famous parents (her mom is Vince's ex-wife, Janis Cummins, of the duo Sweethearts of the Rodeo) as a co-host on Teen Country anytime soon, if ever. "I think it would be really weird to have my dad on the show," notes Jenny. "I mean, what would we talk about? 'Hey, Dad, how was your weekend?' I think it would just be too weird. And it'd be even weirder with my mom on the show, because I know we'd just goof off."
Jenny is anxious to have Rascal Flatts on her show. She confesses when she first spied guitarist Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts Ã¢ÂÂ when he played guitar in Chely Wright's band Ã¢ÂÂ she "immediately developed this humongous crush on him."
Then at Fan Fair a couple years later, she slipped him her phone number and hoped he'd call. "I was batting my eyes and flirtin'. I really really was interested in him, but he never called. But that's OK." An ear-to-ear grin spreads across her face. "Because he's gonna have to be on my show sometime!"
But Jenny assures she's "over" her Joe Don crush.
"I've moved on," declares the brown-eyed brunette with a wink. "It was time."