by Michael Todd
Turns out there are at least 190 ways to sing "the Great Plains of Nebraska." As part of Union Pacific's 150-year anniversary, the railroad company is hosting those 190 ways — videos that feature the song "Great Big Rollin' Railroad" — in a contest to remake a classic commercial.
Nebraska music has pitched in, too, with a handful of videos from the Ryan Olsen-directed trip through history with Bolzen Beer Band to Delinea Design's animated charcoal and chalk with Brad Hoshaw's take on the "Great Big Rollin' Railroad," as produced by Eli Mardock. Bob Boyce, formerly of Grasshopper Takeover, and Michael Gagliani of 3 Day Meat Sale also submitted train-supported songs.
Of the 190, two dozen videos call Nebraska home, though none so far have won any of the six monthly prizes so far. Tim McMahan, UP's senior manager of media technology and Nebraska music columnist from Lazy-i and The Reader, says the final judging will take place during a live program hosted in UP Center's atrium that will be streamed live at noon on July 25. More details about the three "celebrity judges" to come later.
A good deal of money is on the line, too. One grand prize winner earns $15,000, two finalists take home $5,000, and six runners-up win $1,000. This follows the monthly winners who each made $1,000. See all videos via this link, and check out this roundup of the Nebraska music entries:
RYAN N. OLSEN with BOLZEN BEER BAND
DELINEA with BRAD HOSHAW
JULIANNE FUREY, ANJIE GAGLIANI, & MICHAEL GAGLIANI
Michael Todd is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. He wonders why his childhood wasn't filled with railroad wonder. Reach him at email@example.com.