On Wednesday’s Nashville, Edgehill Republic record label boss Jeff Fordham resorted to blackmail to save his struggling company and his job. Jeff believes 15-year-old Maddie Conrad has the talent and appeal to produce a hit album to turn his fortune around, but he knows his arch-enemy and Maddie’s mother, Rayna Jaymes, would never allow him to sign her daughter to a recording contract. Jeff used the Tennessee law that only one parent has to sign a recording contract for a minor to hit up Maddie’s dad, Mayor Teddy Conrad, to sign the deal. When Teddy refused, Jeff threated to reveal the mayor’s short relationship with a call girl. Jeff told him, “I don’t think the good people of Nashville would take kindly to their mayor’s salary being used to pay for sex.”
Maddie is unaware of the backroom drama to secure her contract, but she feels she’s ready to be a recording star. Meanwhile, Maddie’s biological father, Deacon Claybourne, refuses to take her calls or continue teaching her guitar lessons. Maddie’s mother, Rayna, suspects Deacon pulling away from Maddie may have something to do with Rayna and Deacon’s complicated relationship . Neither of them knows Deacon has disappeared from their lives because he has an aggressive form of liver cancer brought on by his years of alcoholism.
Deacon’s cancer will claim his life unless he can find a donor to give him a portion of their liver. Since his niece, Scarlett, isn’t a match, she ends up calling her estranged and abusive mother, Beverly, to come to town without telling her about her brother Deacon’s medical condition. Beverly is furious that Scarlett only wanted to see if she could be a donor for Deacon. She eventually agrees to undergo testing, and it looks like Beverly might reconcile with Deacon and Scarlett after all.
After getting the test results, Beverly lies and tells Deacon and Scarlett she isn’t a match. Once Scarlett finds out Beverly is simply refusing to help Deacon, she goes off on her mother, who psychologically and physically abused her as a child.
The situation is full of drama, but Scarlett, Deacon and Beverly shared a sweet moment before the test results came back. Deacon and Beverly were singing an old song their mother taught them, “Friend of Mine,” while making dinner, and Scarlett came in and joined them to create a trio. For Charles Esten, who plays Deacon, that moment showed the power of music to create harmony in the midst of very tense situations.
Charles tells ABC News Radio, “Right in the middle of all that sadness and hard time that’s going on, this song does what a song can do, and it lifts the three of us out it, and it pulls the three of us together. So, that’s what I really love about this one. “
Clare Bowen, who plays Scarlett, feels the lyrics about devotion to a close family member or friend capture the way her character feels about her uncle Deacon. The song applies to her personal life, as well.
Says Clare, “I sing it to a totally different person myself to who Scarlett sings it to. That’s good lyrics. It’s a universal thing.”
“Friend of Mine” is available for download at iTunes along with more music from Nashville. The show returns with an all-new episode next Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
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