Hifi Magazine Bounces Back from Tornado Outbreak

Posted May 15, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

After weeks of survival and recovery, Hifi Magazine finds light at the end of the tunnel

Apologizes to our viewers and faithful readers at Hifi Magazine for the lengthy delay in updates and posts. To make a very long story short, On April 27, 2011 at 4:55 p.m., our headquarters located in West Birmingham, Ala. was hit pretty hard by a 1-mile wide, EF-4/EF-5 tornado. Thankfully, we survived and so did our building (and my home). Unfortunately, the recovery process is going to take longer than expected. The Southern region was completely devastated, leaving families homeless, hundreds dead and billions of dollars in damage. It has been confirmed that the tornado outbreak of April 27 is Alabama’s deadliest natural disaster since March 1932, when more than 300 people were killed by twisters.

In our postponed, but soon-to-be released second issue of Hifi Magazine (June/July 2011), we plan to cover the storms that ravaged the southern region of the U.S. and some of the inspiring stories that emerged from the lives of the survivors. (view photos and story at Washington Post).

Celebrities and notable dignitaries including President Barack Obama, Bill Cosby, radio jock Tom Joyner, Hank Williams, Jr., Governor Robert Bentley, Lance Bass, Charlie Sheen, Musiq Soulchild and Rev. Jesse Jacksonvisited the devastated region after the storms passed, hoping to raise awareness of April’s fury. According to compiled news resources, the state governor of Alabama has reported that the official death toll has climbed to 238. Since the storms of April 27, the South is being ravaged by another system of natural disasters spun by the swelling of the Mississippi River due to record-breaking flooding.

With the commercial help of CMT, Hank Williams, Jr. organized a 90-minute charity special for Music Builds, a fundraising benefit aimed at raising monies for the American Red Cross. The live-recorded Nashville, Tenn. concert event, featuring performances from country superstars Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Sara Evans, Alabama, Tim McGraw and Hank Williams, Jr., aired on CMT on May 12 and received permission from CNN and on Fox-affliated stations in selected markets. The 90-minute special was also simulcast on CMT.com.

After visiting hard hit areas including Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Cullman, Ala., the event’s organizer, Hank Williams Jr., got the ball rolling on the event this past weekend by contacting CMT to express his urgent desire to address the disaster. “I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing on TV. Alabama is home — I am really pumped about helping. I want to raise lot of money, and thanks to my good friends, we are going to be able to make a difference,” he said.

A full story on the Alabama tornadoes, the aftermath and the celebrities that responded will be chronicled in the next issue of Hifi Magazine, slated to go online next month.

Cover story photo // courtesy of Lance Bass (www.twitter.com/lancebass)

Editor-at-Large, HifiMagazine.net

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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