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MAYBE, JUST MAYBE: "GO" TIME
The genesis of an anti-format hit (9/24a)
PMRC: WHO'S RUNNING THIS SHOW?
A trade news monopoly grows. (9/24a)
INGROOVES DEVELOPS AI TECH FOR MARKETING
A patent to identify audiences. (9/24a)
A NEW AGENCY IS MINT-ED
There's always room for one more. (9/22a)
SPOTIFY LEADS APP FAIRNESS ORG
David vs. Goliath, app-style. (9/24a)
GRAMMY TALK
We're full of it.
AFRICAN POP
Getting global with it.
IT'S PRETTY SMOKY
And this time it's not from our bong.
WHAT COMES AFTER TIKTOK?
Shorter videos! Weirder trends!
Music City
OPRY BRINGS BACK AUDIENCES
9/24/20

The Grand Ole Opry will allow 500 people in the audience for its 10/3 concert featuring Dierks Bentley, Terri Clark, Vince Gill and Lorrie Morgan. The show kicks off of the Opry’s 95th anniversary celebration.

“So many loyal fans make plans early to be a part of our birthday weekend every year, and I am especially excited that many of those devoted familiar faces will be in the first in-house audience since late last winter,” said Opry VP and Executive Producer Dan Rogers. “Of course we will only be truly happy when we can return to capacity audiences and full Opry shows that are known around the world.”

The Grand Ole Opry has not had an in-house audience since 3/14.

The Grand Ole Opry has developed operating plans with the Nashville Public Health Department and Vanderbilt Health.There will be physically distanced seating; mandatory masks for all guests, Opry House operations and production staff; no food or beverage service;  temperature checks for all staff; and enhanced cleaning practices.

STELL EP SET FOR OCTOBER
9/24/20

RECORDS/Arista has set 10/16 for the release of Matt Stell’s next EP, Better than That. The collection contains his current hit “Everywhere But On.”

 Co-produced by Matt with Ash BowersBetter Than That features five new songs, including the EP’s title track, which is available now along with the “Better Than That” lyric video.

 “I think the silver lining to quarantine and being off of the road is that I’ve been able to focus on writing and becoming more creative,” says Stell. “I’m really proud of these new songs, so it’s exciting to finally get them out to the fans.” 

 

BIG MACHINE UPS JONES
9/23/20

Big Machine Label Group has promoted Allison Jones to Executive Vice President, A&R, where she will continue to lead all A&R efforts for the entire BMLG roster. 

Most recently Senior Vice President, A&R, Jones has been with BMLG for 12 years.

“Allison Jones is one of those extremely rare A&R executives who just knows when it comes to great artists and great songs,” said BMLG President/CEO Scott Borchetta. “She continually blows my mind at her knowledge of what’s going on in the marketplace, where the great songs and songwriters are and what new artists are circling. It’s extremely rare that I can bring up a new song or new artist that she doesn’t already know about.”

Prior to joining BMLG, Jones worked in A&R at Universal Nashville as the Vice President, A&R, as well as at Dreamworks Nashville, Giant Records and BNA Records/RCA. She and Borchetta first worked together at Dreamworks Nashville in 1997.

iHEART COUNTRY FEST RESCHEDULES
9/22/20

Kane Brown, Jon Pardi, Gabby Barrett and Sam Hunt are among the stars participating in the virtual 2020 iHeart Country Festival that will be streamed on 10/23.

Recorded live on a single stage in Nashville, the show will also feature Dierks Bentley, Lady A, Kelsea Ballerini, Dustin Lynch, Riley Green and Morgan Evans. Bobby Bones will be on hand as well.

The livestream starts at 5pmPT/8pm ET on livexlive.com and will be broadcast live across iHeartMedia's Country music radio stations. Sponsor Capital One is offering a chance to play in a trivia contest with Ballerini.

The 2020 iHeartCountry Festival was originally scheduled for the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, on 5/2.

RECORDS ROLLS INTO TOWN
9/21/20

Barry WeissRECORDS will open an office in Nashville this month with Ash Bowers as President of RECORDS Nashville. For Bowers, a manager, songwriter, producer and former recording artist, it’s his first label executive gig.   

“We’re already stocked with talented artists, a killer promotion team and a legendary record guy at the helm with Barry Weiss. How great is that?” Bowers said.

Bowers co-founded of Wide Open Music, the management company that represents Jimmie Allen and Matt Stell. Stell, Allen, Keith Urban and Montgomery Gentry aare among ther acts who have recorded Bowers’ songs; he recorded for Stoney Creek.

“Ash has experienced success in all aspects of the music business,” Weiss said. “And while the role of label President may seem like a new title for him, there’s no one more fit to carry forth our fierce independent spirit and build upon RECORDS success in this market.”

RECORDS Nashville’s roster includes Stell, Chris Bandi, Jennifer Smestad, Lathan Warlick, Chase Martin and Dylan Brady.

The company has also added two radio promotion executives, Jamice Jennings and Andy Elliott as co-heads of promotion. Jennings comes over from in2une Nashville; Elliott was VP of Promotion for Garth BrooksPearl Records. Keith Gale of Good Company Entertainment will be a consultant to the label.

THE ACMS: MOSTLY LIVE
AND REALLY REAL
9/18/20

By Holly Gleason

It should’ve been April. It should’ve been Las Vegas. It should’ve been a live audience. It should’ve been a lot of things. But when the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards actually hit the airwaves, the sheer relief of finally getting the music moving was palpable.

A lot went into making the first mostly live awards show work. RAC Clark, Raj Kapoor and Glenn Weiss—alongside recently installed ACM chief Damon Whiteside—figured out a quick cut, three-location, green-screen extravaganza that celebrated The Grand Ole Opry, the teeny songwriter room The Bluebird Café and the Opry’s original home, The Ryman Auditorium.

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ACM WINNERS (AND TIES)
9/18/20

Who took home the big trophies? Luke CombsDan + ShayThomas and Carrie and many more...

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ANOTHER (NERDIER) TAKE
ON THE ACMS
9/18/20

By Simon Glickman

I should start by saying that Holly Gleason has doubtless forgotten more about country than I’ll ever know, and her analysis of the ACMS, which you can—and should—read here, is full of rare insight.

But this nerdy L.A. Jew also had some feelings about the night, so here goes.

First off: Awards shows are tricky to pull off even under ordinary circumstances. To see performers go full-tilt without an audience to give them even a drop of that energy back is weird—like a dress rehearsal in outer space. But damn if the performers on this show didn’t raise the roof anyhow.

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