Advertisement
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)

THE VIEW FROM HITS LIST
Time to get the hell outta Dodge. (7/19a)
NEAR TRUTHS: MIDYEAR MOMENTUM
The score at the half (7/19a)
SONG REVENUE:
ZACH ATTACK
Hat trick (7/19a)
EMINEM'S STREAK AT #1: LET'S DO THE NUMBERS
He's a one-man dynasty. (7/19a)
GEFFEN ON ROSENBLATT: "A BRILLIANT BUSINESS PARTNER"
One titan salutes another. (7/19a)
THE GRAMMY SHORT LIST
Who's already a lock?
COUNTRY'S NEWEST DISRUPTOR
Three chords and some truth you may not be ready for.
AI IS ALREADY EATING YOUR LUNCH
The kids can tell the difference... for now.
INDIE DISTRIBUTION'S RISE TO GLORY
The discovery engine is revving higher.
Music City
WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE CATCHES A HEATWAVE
6/7/24

The CMA Fest kicked off Thursday (6/6) in Nashville, where WMN braved the scorching Tennessee temps for its Heatwave House event at Barstool Nashville.

Attendees were treated to performances by William Beckahm, Matt Schuster, The Castellows, Braxton Keith, Chase Matthew, Dasha, Cole Swindell, Tyler Braden and Drew Parker.

No party would be complete without the team who made it happen. WMN Co-President/Co-Chair Cris Lacy and Warner Records VP, A&R Kelly Bolton were among the many on deck to celebrate day one of the annual music extravaganza. While we, of course, were barred from the premises, we did get our grimy little hands on a photo or two.

Pictured above, standing, are (l-r) Dasha Management’s Alex Lund, WMN SVP Strategic Marketing & Analytics Victoria Mason, WMN VP Artist Development Jamie Younger, WMN VP Radio Anna Cage, Bolton, WMN SVP Radio & Commercial Partnerships Kristen Williams, WMN Director of Radio Accounts James Marsh, WMN VP Radio Accounts Tom Martens, Warner SVP Streaming Strategy Axel Hyge and Warner’s Director Media & Strategic Development Connor Hunt.

Kneeling: Lacy, Warner’s VP Adult Formats & Analytic Jeremy Rubin, Dasha, Warner’s VP Streaming & Revenue Ben Farber and Dasha Management’s Katy Cooper.

Whew, now we need a cold drink.

UMG NASHVILLE TAKEOVER LINEUP GROWS
6/5/24

The UMG Nashville Takeover at Skydeck on Broadway has added Carter Faith and Tucker Wetmore to its star-studded lineup.

The newly signed UMGN acts will join previously announced artists like Anne Wilson, Caylee Hammack, Dalton Dover, Josh Ross, Josh Turner, Kassi Ashton, Kylie Morgan, Maddie & Tae, Mickey Guyton, The War and Treaty, Tyler Hubbard, Vincent Mason and more from 6/6-9 for the label’s second annual takeover during CMA Fest week.

Additionally, two exclusive listening events have also been added to the week’s program, allowing fans to enjoy a preview of the full forthcoming album from George Strait, Cowboys and Dreamers, as well as an advance listening of six songs from Johnny Cash’s new album, Songwriter.

Rising acts Dillon James, Timothy Wayne, Belle Frantz, Owen Riegling and Colt Graves are also set to perform as part of a new artist showcase, presented by Whiskey Jam.

The UMG Nashville Takeover is free to the public, open to all ages and is ADA accessible. Fans can RSVP and peep the full schedule here. And for those who can’t join the festivities, a livestream will be available Thursday through Saturday via Twitch.

KANE BROWN LOGS 11TH COUNTRY #1
6/5/24

On 6/4, BMI-repped Kane Brown celebrated his 11th #1 at Country radio with “I Can Feel It.”

Hosted by BMI and ASCAP and emceed by BMI’s Mason Hunter, the shindig saw the Sony Music Nashville/RCA Nashville star joined onstage at BMI’s Nashville office by his co-writers Jaxson Free (BMI) and Gabe Foust (ASCAP) to commemorate the milestone.

The song serves as the first #1 for Foust and second for Free, as well as the fourth #1 for Brown’s pubco Verse 2—which Foust is inked to—since the company launched four years ago. Incorporating Phill Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” the track also marks Collins’ first career #1 at Country radio.

Additionally, Studio Bank’s Kari Barnhart made a special donation presentation during the celebration on behalf of Brown and the songwriters in support of the Boys and Girls Club of America.

Seen feeling extra grateful HITS was not in attendance are (back row, l-r) Concord’s Brad Kennard, SMP’s Rusty Gaston, Verse 2’s Kent Earls, BMI’s Hunter, Goat Island Sound’s Sam Shelton, SMP’s Steve Hodges, Goat Island Sound’s Kos Weaver; (front row, l-r) Foust, Brown, Free, Studio Bank’s Ron Cox and ASCAP’s Kele Currier.

Photo Credit: Larry McCormack for BMI

PATCHWORK WITH BIG LOUD RECORDS
5/30/24

Big Loud Records has upped Patch Culbertson to EVP/GM. Effective immediately, he becomes the company's first-ever EVP and will empower a new class of leaders who will report directly to Big Loud partners Seth England, Joey Moi and Craig Wiseman.

Culbertson first joined Big Loud Records as VP of A&R in 2017, rising to SVP/GM in 2021. In his new role, he continues to oversee day-to-day operations, strategizing on commercial tactics and helping to expand the creative development of the roster.

“Patch has been a critical part of Big Loud's success for over seven years now,” said England. “He's a brilliant strategist with an unmatched ability to process information and make sound decisions.”

“I am immensely proud of the accomplishments of our roster and staff these past seven years,” added Culbertson. “A special thank you to Seth, Joey, Craig, and [Big Loud COO] Austen [Adams] for their support and leadership.”

“What sets Patch apart as a GM is that he – like all of us at Big Loud – continues to keep songs first,” Moi says. “We're grateful for his continued leadership.”

Previously, Culbertson spent eight years at Republic, rising to Director of A&R. He played a key role in signing and developing acts like Aminé, Florida Georgia Line, SoMo and The Naked and Famous. He also spearheaded releases from Colbie Caillatand Florence + the Machine, along with soundtracks from Ted, Safe Haven, Snow White and the Huntsman and more.

Photo credit: Brayln Kelly Smith

SMP, KETCH SECOR HAVE SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT
5/29/24

Old Crow Medicine Show frontman Ketch Secor has teamed with Sony Music Publishing Nashville for a new global administration deal, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the group's song "Wagon Wheel." That Secor co-write later became a smash hit in the hands of Darius Rucker and has been certified for 16m U.S. sales by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Secor has also written songs from Molly Tuttle's last two albums as well as co-writing the musical Hooten Holler, which premiered in 2022.

Meanwhile, Old Crow Medicine Show is celebrating its own 25th anniversary this year and is touring heavily in support of their latest LP, Jubilee, which won the GRAMMY for Best Folk Album. The group will also continue its annual New Year's Eve run at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

"Ketch Secor is more than a ‘fiddler in an old-time string band'—he’s a brilliant storyteller," said SMP Nashville CEO Rusty Gaston. "He writes songs that tell the tales of the rural American spirit."

Added Secor, "I’m mighty proud to be joining Rusty Gaston and the hardworking, fun-loving Sony Music Publishing family. Since its earliest days on Music Row as historic Acuff-Rose, Sony Music Publishing has become the steward of Country’s most iconic catalog. What an honor to bring my collection of songs past, present and future to these esteemed ranks."

RAISE A GLASS: MARTINI & BARNER LAUNCH GRAVEL ROAD
5/28/24

Anthony Martini and Rich Barner have partnered on a new Nashville-based record label and management firm called Gravel Road. The fast-growing roster includes Compton Cowboys, Randy Savvy, Justbrandon and producer Scattered Brains (Yelawolf, Struggle Jennings, Jelly Roll), among others.

Martini, who’s worked with Tyga, Jelly Roll, Killer Mike and Lil Dicky early in their careers, previously owned Commission Records and served as CEO of Royalty Exchange. He soon realized he needed to be back in management and Gravel Road was born.

"I've always been drawn to artists who take the road less traveled, and that is the significance of the Gravel Road,” Martini said. “We partner with artists who don't follow someone else's path but want to blaze their own."

Barner, meanwhile, has worked with top talent across multiple verticals. His film company, Global Pictures Media, has produced films starring actors like Robert DeNiro, Keanu Reeves and Woody Harrelson. His fragrance company was recently honored by the New You Awards with "Best Innovation in Fragrance" for ASH by Ashley Benson.

Together, they plan to provide artists with the "flexibility and freedom of an indie and resources and muscle of a major." Pictured is Barner with the beard and Martini. That reminds us, it's 5 o'clock somewhere.

SPOTIFY HOUSE RETURNS TO CMA FEST
5/23/24

Spotify House is returning to CMA Fest. Taking over downtown Nashville for the fifth year, the three-day country music showcase takes place at the Ole Red venue and features more than 40 performers from 6/6-8.

Presented by Spotify’s Nashville team and flagship Hot Country playlist, the weekend’s mainstage lineup includes acts like Ashley McBryde, Avery Anna, BRELAND, Cole Swindell, Dylan Gossett, Jordan Davis, Koe Wetzel, Lady A, Luke Bryan, Mickey Guyton, Old Dominion, Parker McCollum, Tucker Wetmore and Tyler Hubbard, among many others. Lily Rose and Cassie DiLaura will also serve as hosts for all three days.

Additionally, country singer/songwriter Wyatt Flores will take the mainstage for the first time after debuting at Fresh Finds Rooftop last year, joining other rising stars like Shaboozey, Tanner Adell and Dasha. More surprise acts are to be announced.

“It’s hard to believe that we are about to celebrate our fifth year bringing Spotify House to CMA Fest in June,” said Jackie Augustus, lead, country & folk, artist partnerships at Spotify. “We feel so privileged to have been able to present the many incredible artists who have graced our stages, and we are excited to once again bring our playlists to life and showcase some of the best and brightest in country music today.”

Spotify House will be open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis and runs from 10am-2am daily.

Check out the full schedule below.

SMP NASHVILLE & CAM CREATIVE INK RYAN LARKINS
5/22/24

SMP Nashville and CAM Creative have inked Ryan Larkins to a global publishing deal.

A promising newcomer in the country music scene, Larkins has already penned with the likes of Tony Lane, Tom Douglas, Lee Thomas Miller, Craig Wiseman, Tim Nichols, Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip and Country Hall of Famer Bill Anderson. He also co-wrote Bill Anderson’s Grammy-nominated “Someday It’ll All Make Sense” f/Dolly Parton.

More recently, he saw chart success for his work on Cody Johnson’s “The Painter,” which hit #1 on the Country Airplay chart and secured him his first ACM Award nom for Song of the Year.

Additionally, Larkins has expanded his team and inked with Huskins-Harris for business management and McClanahan Management for artist management. Earlier this year, he dropped his debut EP, Meet Ryan Larkins, via Red Street Records.

From the moment I first met Ryan, it was obvious he had the heart of a true American storyteller,” said SMP Nashville CEO Rusty Gaston. “It has been amazing to watch him celebrate his first #1 single and now his first major award nomination, and we look forward to many more of his successes in the future.”

“Rusty Gaston and his team share the vision, as do Trisha McClanahan and Becky Harris, of how special Ryan Larkins is and we are watching it come to fruition together,” added CAM Creative founder Carole-Ann Mobley.

“Rusty, Aubrey [Landon] and team have been huge champions of mine. I am so excited to see what the future holds. I am so excited to partner with Trisha McClanahan. Her success, experience and belief in me and my music left me with no doubt she was the right person for me. Carole-Ann has believed in me from the beginning and I’m so thankful to continue to work with her,” said Larkins.

Seen actively ignoring our emails are (l-r) back row: Morgan Barnes, Harris, McClanahan, Gaston; front row: Mobley, Larkins and Landon.