The Tailgate Song
by Candy Neal
September 23, 2011
CARTHAGE, Tenn. — Sarah Ackerman spent the Saturday of Labor Day weekend working on a video set.
The temperature at the Smith County High School football field in Carthage registered 105 degrees. She was on a blacktop lot most of the afternoon, with some of that time spent toting sodas.
She was also dancing a lot.
“It was really fun, jumping around with the crowd,” the 14-year-old Jasper Middle School student said. “It was just like we were tailgating.”
She was out there with her father, Bret Ackerman, sister Elizabeth, uncle Keith Hedinger and cousin Adam Hedinger, all of Jasper. They were working as extras on a video for country singer Nathan Osmond’s song “The Tailgate Song.”
Hedinger’s company, Hedinger Beverage Distributing, sponsored the video. As a result, the crew was invited to be a part of the video and one of the company’s products, Dad’s Root Beer, is the featured beverage of the tailgate party in the video.
“It was an exciting day. But it was a lot of work,” Hedinger said. “I didn’t realize how many takes they had to do just to get three minutes of video. It will be neat to see how they put it all together.”
“The Tailgate Song” is the second song released from Osmond’s first solo album, “Feels Like Heaven.” The album’s first single, “Sweet,” was on the independent country charts for 22 weeks earlier this year, peaking at No. 1.
Osmond’s father, Alan, and uncle, Donny, were members of the family musical group The Osmonds. Nathan was a member of The Osmonds 2nd Generation.
Jasper resident Tom Roach, who is Osmond’s manager, got the Hedinger group involved with the video project. “They did great,” he said. “Several times I was (standing) behind the camera and would look to see where Keith and his family was. I would find them in the middle of the crowd scene having a great time. They all fit in well and really got into it.”
Along with filming the video, footage was taken for a 30-second commercial for Dad’s Root Beer. That should start airing in about two weeks, Hedinger said. Osmond also will do promotional appearance across the country, including one in Jasper on Oct. 7.
Ackerman said this was the group’s first time participating in a professional music video. “It was interesting to watch how things worked,” said Ackerman, who is president of Indiana Furniture.
“I was surprised that there was only one cameraman.”
But it wasn’t hard to get involved. “They had people (in the crowd) setting up canopies, tables and grills,” Ackerman said. “We were the last ones to show up to the tailgate with coolers (of soda). Otherwise, we were in the background, dancing around with different people.”
The group worked outdoors for about eight hours. “It was a long day,” Ackerman said, “but it was fun. The director (Matt Hauser) made it very easy.”
He felt sorry for Osmond. “Every time the director yelled, ‘Cut!,’ they had to touch up his makeup. He was out on that hardtop sweating in 105-degree weather,” Ackerman said. “But he kept smiling. He was very friendly to all of us. Nathan was a trooper.”
Osmond is very personable, in general, Roach said. “Here is a guy who has worked with some of the biggest names in show business but treats everyone exactly the same way,” he said. “Nathan has never met a stranger and loved every minute making the music video.
“In fact, after filming in 100-plus degree heat all day I had to drag Nathan away from everyone to go to an interview,” Roach said. “He would still be there if I hadn’t drug him away.”
“The Tailgate Song” video will be released on Country Music Television, YouTube and Osmond’s website, www.NathanOsmond.com, within a month, Roach said.