Fox News' Lauren Green Trades News for Music on 'Huckabee'

Today's cuppa: Scottish breakfast tea

Each week, as part of our syndicated feature package, we do a column devoted to music on television. I suggested talking to someone whose day job is very far removed from music, but whose private life is full of melody and rhythm...

Lauren_Green_Fox_News Lauren Green finds freedom on 'Huckabee'

 

By Kate O'Hare

©Zap2it

 

Usually when Fox News Channel viewers see Lauren Green, she's either talking about news -- which she used to do daily as news anchor for the morning show "Fox & Friends" -- or she's talking about faith as FNC's religion correspondent.

But there's another side to the former Miss Minnesota -- she's a concert pianist with a degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota . And she released a CD, "Classic Beauty," in 2004.

While Green says that dealing with the neurological disorder dystonia keeps her from performing up to classical concert standards these days, she still keeps the keyboard fingers warm as part of the Little Rockers, the house band on Fox News' weekend talk show "Huckabee," starring former Arkansas governor, GOP presidential candidate and bass player Mike Huckabee.

"This is a real experience for me," Green says. "When they asked me to do this, I said, 'You do understand that I'm a classical pianist. I don't play country, pop, that kind of stuff.' They're like, 'Oh, yeah, it'll be fine.'

"So the first rehearsal was so interesting. I'd gotten the music, and I was practicing, and I realized the drums and the bass and the guitar take over most of the melody, and the keyboards are really there to fill it out.

"So I don't have to worry about doing all of that, which is what I was doing before, trying to play the whole piece. What I've learned is now I'm basically filling in and adding texture, color -- musicwise."

After spending her musical career in the rarefied air of classical piano, Green has cut loose playing with Huckabee's pop and country guests and with the band, which is chiefly made up of behind-the-scenes FNC staffers.

"What I've learned," Green says, "in playing with the governor is the freedom of the music. I was always so tied to the written music, the notated music.

"Working with pop musicians without very much training, formally, there's a lot of freedom involved in music that is so wonderful to be a part of."

As for singing, Green says, "Not on the show. A couple of times, somebody has asked me to do a couple background things. I think I did OK in rehearsal, then when the show was on the air, I really just forgot everything, and I just didn't sing at all."

Asked when her fellow Minnesota native, pop star Prince, was going to be on "Huckabee" and play with the Little Rockers, Green says, "I know! He should. I haven't really kept in contact with Prince -- not that I was ever really in contact with Prince -- but whenever I'm in contact with him, I'll say, 'Hey, want to be on "Huckabee?" ' That'll be my opening line."

Because of her classical focus, Green isn't familiar with many of the guest musicians who've sat in with the band -- except one.

"Well," she says, "Rick Springfield  -- he was like a heartthrob for me years ago.

"But I didn't play with him. I think he played with Mike himself, a solo thing. But I was there Fox_News_Lauren_Green_Screengrab when they recorded it, so it was nice to be around."

She also became a new fan of one country star.

"Oh, Aaron Tippin," she says, "I love Aaron Tippin. We played with him twice. He was just wonderful. I really like him, and I didn't know who he was before."

As a religion reporter, she also got to have an interesting behind-the-scenes talk with Rick Stanley, the stepbrother of Elvis Presley.

"We had discussions about Elvis," she says, "and his spirituality and what he believed. He was a tormented sinner. I thought that was really powerful."

In addition to her FNC duties, Green is busy writing a book called "A Living Reality," exploring the universal implications of the First Commandment, and being host of the one-hour "God Talk," a segment of the Fox News online show "The Strategy Room," presented Fridays.

But when it's suggested the Little Rockers should release a CD, Green says, "Oh, you'll have to talk to Mike about that. We kid a lot that we should be on tour."

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