November ‘Inside Track on Music Row’ posted now

Tracy Lawrence & Friends Mission Possible, Garth Brooks, LANCO and more

My column, ‘Inside Track on Music Row,’ is America’s longest-running monthly country music column, published monthly at Nashville Music Guide  That’s where you can find the November column. It is also posted at my other website, I Know Country.  Meanwhile, here’s a taste of a few items from the column…

Get ready for Tracy Lawrence’s turkey fry concert

After raising more than $135,000.00 with the music event last year, Tracy Lawrence is back with his 3rd Annual Tracy Lawrence & Friends Mission: Possible Turkey Fry Concert on November 21st at the Wildhorse Saloon, with doors opening at 6pm, following his 12th Annual Turkey Fry, all benefiting Nashville Rescue Mission.  Scheduled to appear: Luke Combs, Clay Cormier, Ben Gallaher, Halfway to Hazard, William Michael Morgan, Jamie O’Neal and host/headliner, Tracy Lawrence.  Ticket & show info at turkeyfry.org. Lawrence is gearing up for the release of his new album GOOD OLE DAYS on November 10th featuring collaborations with Jason Aldean, Brad Arnold, Big & Rich, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Easton Corbin, Craig Morgan, Dustin Lynch, Tim McGraw, Justin Moore, Kellie Pickler and Chris Young. Music and tour info at tracylawrence.com.

 Garth Brooks launches book & CDs anthology

‘The Anthology from Garth Brooks Part 1: The First Five Years’ is now available for pre-order.  Garth has launched a new website for the book: anthology.garthbrooks.com. The Anthology can also be pre-ordered at amazon.com.  Promising to be a massive 5-part anthology, Part 1 is a detailed look at the first 5 years of his career. It is told by Garth himself and those involved with the creating, recording, and promotion of the first five albums. Not only that but Garth has packaged 5 CDs inside the first book he has ever written. The 5 CDs contain music that has never been heard, songs written long before the debut album, outtakes, first takes, demos, over 150 never before seen photos, sessions charts, tracking sheets, all in a 240 page hardcover complete package written by Garth Brooks. It will be on sale November 14. Follow Garth at facebook.com/GarthBrooks and on Twitter and Instagram.

Solo-writer hit for LANCO’s Brandon Lancaster

LANCO

Songwriter/lead singer Brandon Lancaster of Sony Music Nashville’s breakout band LANCO is earning his stripes in Music City songwriter circles as the sole lyricist behind the band’s hit, “Greatest Love Story.” It has been 10 years since a country artist/writer has penned a chart topping hit alone. A look back in time to the early 2000’s reveals that the last artists able to make that claim are Taylor Swift (“Our Song”), Zac Brown (“Free”) and Jennifer Nettles’ (“Stay”).  That success has propelled Lancaster to the No. One spot on the Top 60 Country Songwriters Chart this week, based on streams, sales and airplay. “I wrote a song alone in my bedroom one night about the girl I wanted to marry, and then she actually said yes,” said Lancaster. “Now our story is resonating with people all over the country… it all feels too good to be true.”  More information on LANCO and upcoming Fall tour dates, visit LANCOMusic.com.

Plus … news about Jason Aldean’s ‘Won’t Back Down’ Las Vegas fundraiser, Billy Burnette’s book and CD, Mark Chesnutt’s Trailblazer Award, Kip Moore, David Lee Murphy, the Bluebird Café documentary and more.

Read the complete column at www.nashvillemusicguide.com or find the latest column and an archive of many previous columns at www.iknowcountry.com and check out my music Q&A book, “I Know Country!”

Logan Mize inspires singers, songwriters: Never give up

New video series: “Somebody to Thank”

If you’re a singer or songwriter and thinking that you should forget your dream and go get a ‘real’ job, take heart from Logan Mize’s story.

Click to watch Logan Mize’s new “Somebody to Thank” video

His new album, COME BACK ROAD, notched up a Top 20 debut on Billboard and iTunes’ All Genre charts, but his personal road has not been an easy one, filled with roadblocks that would have stymied lesser beings.

Logan, a native of Clearwater, Kansas, came to Nashville with the goal of becoming a success in the music business.  But that success seemed to slip from his grasp at every step of the journey. He was turned down again and again by every music publisher and record label on Music Row.

Logan Mize. Photo: Montgomery Lee

To make ends meet, he took on day jobs, including driving a party bus and even a dump truck, while writing songs and playing club dates wherever he could snag them. Then in 2010, several years after arriving in Nashville, he signed a publishing and record deal with Big Yellow Dog Music, and a booking deal with a major agency.

Many artists would look at those contracts and figure they’d achieved their goal, but Logan knew that this was only the beginning. He spent the next seven years playing seemingly every venue in every town across the United States, building his fan base at every stop along the way.

Use the power of social media

Logan understands the power of social media. In 2016, he undertook a solo acoustic tour, promoted entirely via social media, traveling more than 20,000 miles in less than two months in a 1989 station wagon that he named ‘Glenn.’

He ran his own sound and lights at each show, performing 3-hour sets, before packing everything back in the car and moving on to the next venue.  He knew that every stop along the way added to his fan base, and each fan was a potential buyer of his music and would probably spread the news to their own social media contacts.

Thankful to those who have helped

As well as knowing the importance of sheer hard work in developing his music career, Logan is also deeply thankful to those who have helped him along the way. He has now partnered with Budweiser to create a new monthly video series based around his song, “Somebody to Thank.”

“It is so important that we always remember and give thanks to those who helped us get to where we are,” he said. “Even the smallest gesture of gratitude can make a big difference in someone’s life.”

A new video will be released monthly via Logan’s YouTube channel and Facebook spotlighting the relationships built around the struggles, gratitude and opportunities that have helped shape Mize into who he is as a person, artist, husband and father. He hopes it will also remind everyone to always say thank you to those who were a part of one’s journey.

Persevere despite the setbacks

There are two lessons that can be learned from Logan’s story. Firstly, if you believe in your music, persevere. Keep going, despite the setbacks and treat each roadblock as a ‘learning experience’ while you steadfastly follow your dream.  It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

Secondly, take charge of your own destiny.  Don’t put your career entirely in the hands of others. Certainly, seek guidance and develop business alliances with those who can help you, but understand that only you can make the decisions and take the steps to achieve your goals.

COME BACK ROAD includes the hit single “Ain’t Always Pretty” which has been featured on major playlists across digital streaming platforms garnering over 25 million streams on Spotify alone.

More information at loganmize.com and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Induction ceremony set for October 23

Four of Nashville’s finest will receive one of the music industry’s most coveted honors: induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The class of 2017 consists of Jim McBride, Walt Aldridge, Tim Nichols and the late Vern Gosdin.

Pictured (l-r) are: Pat Alger, Buddy Cannon (representing the late Vern Gosdin), Jim McBride, Tim Nichols, Walt Aldridge and Mark Ford, executive director of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. (Photo courtesy: Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame)

The announcement was made at a news conference on August 9 by Pat Alger, chair of the organization’s board of directors. The induction ceremony will take place on October 23 at the Music City Center.

As in previous years, there are several categories for the new inductees. Aldridge and Nichols will be inducted in the Songwriters category, McBride is the inductee in the Veterans category, and Gosdin will be honored in the Songwriter/Artist category.

Walt Aldridge

Walt Aldridge

Walt Adridge has written hit songs for artists such as Ronnie Milsap (“There’s No Getting Over Me”), Earl Thomas Conley (“Holding Her and Loving You”) and Conway Twitty (“She’s Got a Single Thing In Mind”). Florence, AL, native Aldridge was also an integral part of the Muscle Shoals music scene, working at the aptly named Fame Studios.

Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols wrote “You’re Not in Kansas Anymore” for Jo Dee Messina, “I’m Over You” for Keith Whitley and “Cowboys and Angels for Dustin Lynch. One of his biggest hits was his 2004 song for Tim McGraw, “Live Like You Were Dying,” co-written with Craig Wiseman. That song won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song at the 47th Grammy Awards and was the ACM ‘Song of the Year.’

Jim McBride

Jim McBride

Jim McBride, the honoree in the Veteran category, has had a long career as a songwriter, having written his first song when he was twelve. Success eluded him until he moved from Huntsville, AL, to Nashville and began to get cuts including “A Bridge That Just Won’t Burn” for Conway Twitty. The song won McBride’s first BMI Award along with co-writer Roger Murrah. Other McBride hits include “Chattahoochie” for Alan Jackson and songs cut by John Anderson, Waylon Jennings and many more.

Vern Gosdin

Vern Gosdin

Vern Gosdin racked up nineteen Top-Ten Country chart hits between 1977 and 1990, including three Number Ones: “I Can Tell By the Way You Dance,” “Set ‘Em Up Joe” (a tribute to Ernest Tubb), and “I’m Still Crazy.” He faced several setbacks including signing with record labels that either shut down or went bankrupt. He almost left the music business entirely in the 1970s, operating a glass company in Cartersville, GA, before being coaxed back and creating a string of hits including 1983’s “Tennessee Courage,” a song Gosdin co-wrote with Louis Brown and Max D. Barnes.  Known to his many fans as ‘The Voice,’ Vern Gosdin passed away following a stroke in April 2009.

The Hall of Fame

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring and preserving the songwriting legacy that is uniquely associated with the Nashville music community. Its purpose is to educate, celebrate and archive the achievements and contributions made by members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame to the world.  The class of 2017 will join be joining the 203 members previously inducted in the NSHoF.

Read more about the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and see photos and info about all the inductees here.

Triple Number One party for Aldean and songwriters

Celebrating three Number Ones from latest album

It was a songwriters’ night with a difference: each of the featured writers on stage was a co-writer of a Number One hit for Jason Aldean from his album, THEY DON’T KNOW. The event also marked some ‘firsts’ for some of the writers.

First row (L to R): Deric Ruttan, Brian Kelly, Tyler Hubbard, Jason Aldean, Josh Thompson, Michael Knox / Second Row (L to R): Wendell Mobley, Jimmy Robbins, Tony Martin, Brad Martin, Jordan Schmidt, Jerry Flowers, Brett Warren
Photo Credit: Steve Lowry

Two-time and reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean took over Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon August 2nd to celebrate each single off his seventh studio album THEY DON’T KNOW reaching No. One. Marking 19 career chart-toppers, Aldean gathered alongside friends and family to perform “Lights Come On,” “A Little More Summertime” and “Any Ol’ Barstool” with each of the tracks’ songwriters. For the event, fans were invited to Lower Broadway’s famed venue, which is the same place Aldean played the showcase that landed him his record deal with Broken Bow Records.

Lights Come On

Serving as the lead single and No. One hit from THEY DON’T KNOW, Jason Aldean performed the smash hit “Lights Come On,” sharing vocals with songwriters Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley (BMI) and Tyler Hubbard (BMI), as well as Jimmy Robbins (ASCAP), Jordan Schmidt (ASCAP), Brad Warren (BMI) and Brett Warren (BMI). The hit serves as Schmidt’s first No. One as a songwriter as well as the first for Kelley and Hubbard’s Tree Vibez Music publishing company.

A Little More Summertime

Following suit, Aldean was joined on stage by songwriters Jerry Flowers (ASCAP), Tony Martin (BMI) and Wendell Mobley (BMI) to perform a stripped-down version of THEY DON’T KNOW’s second No. One single, “A Little More Summertime.”

Any Ol’ Barstool

To close out the round, Aldean invited Deric Ruttan (ASCAP) and Josh Thompson (BMI) to the stage who serve as the songwriters behind his “Any Ol’ Barstool.” It is the third consecutive chart topper off his seventh studio album. Aldean’s 19th career No. One serves as Thompson’s first No. One as a songwriter.

Aldean’s most recent album, THEY DON’T KNOW, follows each album release earning PLATINUM certification or better, tallying more than 15 million total album sales and 19 No. One hits. The longevity of his career reached new heights as he debuted at the No. One position on Billboard’s all-genre Top 200 Album chart for the third consecutive time. In addition to his THEY DON’T KNOW TOUR, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is showcasing a special exhibit titled  ‘Jason Aldean: Asphalt Cowboy,’ commemorating his wide-open sound that has been one of the defining influences on today’s Country Music. For more information and for a full list of upcoming tour dates, visit www.jasonaldean.com.

Information provided by the Green Room, Nashville.

Hit songwriters kick off ’30 Days of Hope’ at 3rd & Lindsley

Hope Nation Radio concert to support families of children with cancer

Songwriters can always be relied upon to step up and offer their time and talent when the call for help goes out.  I can attest to that from personal experience!  And now, some of Nashville’s finest singer/songwriters are joining with Hope Nation Radio to kick off their 8th annual ’30 Days of Hope’ campaign.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Hope Nation Radio will host a fundraiser at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville on Wednesday September 6, 2017. Doors open at 6:00 pm and the show starts at 7:00 pm. The show will benefit the Live4Tay Foundation. Proceeds raised this night will go directly to the foundation to support families of children with cancer.

And just look who is on the bill! You’ve gotta see this one!

All-Star singer/songwriter lineup

The all-star lineup will feature acoustic performances from Brady Seals (formerly of Little Texas, “God Blessed Texas”), Buddy Jewell (Nashville Star winner), Gordon Kennedy (multi-Grammy winner), John Berry (with 20+ hit singles), Keith Anderson (hit songwriter for Big & Rich, Garth Brooks and George Jones), Paul Jefferson (with hits for Aaron Tippin, Keith Urban, etc), and Sonny Lemaire (formerly of Exile “Kiss You All Over” + 9 Number Ones).

Tickets are $15 online at www.3rdandlindsley.com or $20 at the door. Kids 12 and under get in FREE.

About Live4Tay Foundation: The foundation financially supports families who have children with cancer by raising money and awareness through benevolent fundraising events. They have helped 110 families in Tennessee and raised around $200k for local families. They also assist other organizations in financing research for preventing and curing cancer, especially in children. Find out more about the live4Tay Foundation here.

About Hope Nation Radio: Formed in 2013 by Nile “Big Daddy” Peaytt and Thomas Hammonds, this station plays a variety of country music, pop, rock, contemporary, Christian and gospel from signed and independent artists. This is a station anyone can listen to, including the children in the hospital; whether it be for a lengthy stay or to help pass the time while getting treatments. Visit their website here and follow them on all social media @HopeNationRadio.

Who owns the songs you write?

What you must do to ensure you receive your share of the song’s royalties.

Rule Number One: Be sure you don’t leave the writers’ room without noting each co-writer’s contact info, publishing info, percentage split and P.R.O. affiliation.

Rule Number Two: Only people actively involved in writing the song should be present in the writers’ room.

Let’s see why those rules are so important to you, the songwriter.

You’ve just written a new song and you feel pretty certain that it has real ‘hit’ potential, if it gets cut by the right act. In fact, the song is a co-write: you co-wrote it with John and Mary during a two-hour session in a writing room.  At some point – maybe not right away – but at some point, you are going to get the song lyrics typed up in the correct format and submit it to the US Copyright Office using the online electronic (eCO) system.

You’ll also register the song with your P.R.O. because that is how you will earn royalties when the song gets cut. As there are three writers, it is possible that it will be registered with as many as three P.R.O.s: ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. (See note at the end of this article for links to song registration info for each of the three P.R.O.s.)

But wait a minute.

Who actually owns the copyright to the song the three of you have just written?  More importantly, what percentage of the royalties generated by the song does each of you own? What is your ‘split’?  Maybe it doesn’t seem important right now because if the song never gets cut, then a hundred percent of nothing is still nothing.  But what if your hunch was right and the song does have hit potential?  What if the song is a Number One hit single and then gets added to a multi-platinum ‘Greatest Hits’ album and also scores millions of downloads?  Now the writers’ split issue gets very important indeed!

As a general rule, if you agree to a co-write, it’s understood that each of the ‘collaborators’ (to use the legal description) is entitled to an equal split of the writers’ share of the royalties generated by the song. (We’ll get to the Song Publishers’ split in a minute.)

More than once, I’ve heard a songwriter emerge from a writing session and mutter that “[name] didn’t contribute anything” to the co-write. But an entire song might have been spawned by a single line – maybe three of four words – that one writer brought to the table.

A single line can spawn a hit song

That’s exactly what happened when Jerry Butler and Otis Redding got together after performing in a show in Chicago in the mid 1960s.  They talked about writing a song together and Butler said he had a line going around in his head: “I’ve been loving you too long to stop now.”  They didn’t take it any further that night, but Redding returned to Memphis and fleshed out the song from that one line. He recorded the song as a soulful ballad, with that line as the song title.  It sold millions of copies, making it the second biggest seller of Otis Redding’s career.

The only line Jerry Butler contributed was the one that became the song’s title, but without that, the song wouldn’t exist. (As a side note, early copies of the single only list Redding as the writer, something that was rectified after Butler pointed out the error!)

Keep it ‘writers only’ in the writers’ room!

It is advisable to have an agreement before you start any writing session as to what the split will be, if there is to be anything other than an equal split. Again, unless you specify otherwise, in writing, everyone in the writing session gets equal writing credit regardless of each individual’s participation. And that is a very good reason to consider your writing session a ‘closed door’ affair.  That means not letting anyone just ‘hang out’ with you and your co-writers unless you consider them to be actively involved in the creative process. Anyone present in the writers’ room could be entitled to get a writer’s credit!

Case in point: Infamous song producer Phil Spector managed to insinuate himself into early writing-recording sessions where songs were composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. As he was there when some songs were written, he gets writer’s credit.  Okay, so it’s unlikely that Phil Spector will crash your writing session (you’d better hope not) but if someone is in the room when you are writing, there’s a strong chance you will find yourself including them in the credit.  And splitting the $$$ with them, if the song gets cut.

What about the song publishers?

Up to now, we’ve talked about the writers’ splits.  But each song gets published and traditionally, the publisher retains half of the revenue from the song.  If you write alone and own your own publishing company, it’s simple: you own the publisher’s 50% AND the writer’s 50%.  If you co-write with one other person and she owns her own publishing, the two publishing companies equally split the publishers’ 50% and the two writers split the writers’ 50% of the total revenue.  The more writers and the more publishing companies, the thinner the slices of the revenue pie become. (I go into more detail about song publishing in my book, “The College of Songology 101: The Singer/Songwriter’s Need To Know Reference Handbook.”  See the note at the end of this article.)

If anything, that situation makes it even more vital that you have an agreement before you write as to whether you all agree to an equal split or not. There could be instances when one writer agrees to take less than an equal split: for example, a novice writer co-writing with a major hit writer, mainly for the experience he or she gains from the session.  But in a case like that – where there will be an unequal split of the writers’ credit – it is essential that the percentage split is clearly spelled out in writing. Never assume that the other collaborator ‘understood’ that would be the case.

Specify the split on the P.R.O. song registration

When you submit your song registration form to your P.R.O. you will see a space where you specify the percentage of the royalty – the split – that each writer is entitled to. You’ll make a similar entry regarding the publishing split.  As there’s a possibility that you and your co-writers are affiliated with different P.R.O.s, it is essential that you agree on the split before the song is registered because the split info must be the same on each P.R.O.s registry.

When it comes to registering the song with P.R.O.s, if two or more writers are affiliated with the same P.R.O. it is important that the song is registered only ONCE with that P.R.O.  For example, if you and John are affiliated with ASCAP and Mary is with BMI, the song you wrote together would be registered once with ASCAP (because you and John are both with ASCAP) and once with BMI. If you and John both submitted the same song to ASCAP, there would be confusion over duplication of writer and publisher. Both you and John receive writer’s credit even though only one of you registered the song with your P.R.O.

The takeaway is this: The writers’ credit is split equally between all the collaborators who created the work, regardless of each collaborator’s actual contribution, unless there is a prior agreement that there will be an uneven split. As the registration with your P.R.O. will include this vital information, be sure all writers are in agreement about the split!

Notes: Each of the P.R.O.s in the United States have slightly different processes when it comes to song registration. Although it is helpful to understand how each of them operates, you only need to be fully familiar with the workings of your own P.R.O.  And, of course you can only register a song with the P.R.O. with which you are affiliated. Here are links to song registration info for ASCAP, BMI and SESAC:

ASCAP registration here. 

BMI registration here.

SESAC registration here. 

Preshias Harris is the author of “The College of Songology 101: The Singer/songwriter’s Need To Know Reference Handbook.”  It is available in print and e-book versions at www.collegeofsongology.com  The book includes more detailed information about the copyright process, song publishing, working with your P.R.O., licensing your music and much more.

Thomas Rhett’s ‘Craving You’ single tops Airplay charts

Dave Barnes and Julian Bunetta write Rhett’s 8th Number One

Thomas Rhett

Congrats to Thomas Rhett for his single “Craving You” hitting Number One on both the Billboard Country Airplay and Mediabase charts, sky-rocketing to the top in just 15 weeks as the fastest-rising song of his career so far.

And, of course, special congrats to the song’s writers, Dave Barnes and Julian Bunetta!  Dave’s other songwriting credits include tracks recorded by Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton and Billy Currington. He is also a recording artist with nine studio albums to his name. Julian has cuts on artists as varied as Harry Styles, One Direction and Little Big Town.

Julian Bunetta
Dave Barnes

Second Number One this year

“Craving You” (featuring Maren Morris) marks Rhett’s second Number One this year and the eighth of his career. It is the lead single from his upcoming third album due later this year. Rhett is continuing his HOME TEAM TOUR. After drawing capacity crowds overseas last year, he returns with plans to go back to Europe while also making his debut headlining run in Canada in addition to US dates. It’s one more success for Rhett who was named ACM Awards Male Vocalist of the Year.

For more information on new music and for a full list of upcoming tour dates, visit Rhett’s website. And be sure to check out the really creative music video for “Craving You,” designed to look like a movie trailer.

Brett Young celebrates new Number One

First ‘Number One’ for three co-writers

It’s always a great day for me when I can celebrate songwriters’ success, and nothing says ‘success’ like a Number One party.  When it’s a writer’s first-ever Number One, that’s an even greater thrill.

On Monday, July 17, Nashville’s music community showed up at FGL House at a party co-hosted by ASCAP and BMI to acclaim Brett Young’s second consecutive Number One hit, the Platinum-certified “In Case You Didn’t Know.” Brett was on hand to celebrate with his three co-writers, for whom this song was their first chart-topper.

Kyle Schlienger (ASCAP), Tyler Reeve (BMI) and Trent Tomlinson (BMI) had apparently gotten together ‘south of the border’ to pen the hit with Brett.

Pictured (L-R): Kyle Schlienger, Brett Young, Tyler Reeve, Trent Tomlinson. Photo: ASCAP

“In 2015, I asked these guys to come to Puerto Vallarta with me to write some songs,” explained Brett. “I was lucky enough that they agreed even though they didn’t know me well. But who passes up a free trip to Mexico? We knew we had something special with ‘In Case You Didn’t Know’ from the start, but I’m so thankful for how this song continues to change my life.”

Song’s ‘Making Of’ video shown

At the party, we saw a video that had been recorded during their songwriting retreat, showing how the song developed from the original concept.  For novice songwriters attending the Number One party, it was a fascinating opportunity to watch ‘behind the scenes’ as the four guys collaborated on the song’s creation. If you are a ‘rookie’ songwriter and, even if a hit recording artist isn’t likely to ask you to join him on an expenses-paid trip to the beach, it certainly was an inspiration to see how hard work and persistence can pay off in the long run.

The song ultimately landed at No. 1 across multiple platforms: Mediabase and Billboard Charts, Sirius XM’s The Highway, Vevo Country Chart for six consecutive weeks and No. 1 CMT Hot 20 Chart for two consecutive weeks. With “In Case You Didn’t Know,” Brett is also currently nominated for a Teen Choice Award in the Choice Country Song category and fans can vote here

For additional information and a full list of tour dates, including stops on Lady Antebellum’s YOU LOOK GOOD WORLD TOUR, visit Brett’s website.

Music Row Award Winners honored

Music Row’s Song of the Year: “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

MusicRow, Nashville’s leading music industry publication, presented its 29th annual subscriber-voted awards on Wednesday, June 28, during a private ceremony hosted for the first time by SESAC and sponsored by Anderson Benson insurance in the CMA event space.

MusicRow Song of the Year winning co-writers perform at the 29th Annual MusicRow Awards. Pictured (L-R): Clint Lagerberg, Steven Lee Olsen, Hillary Lindsey. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments by Moser

The 2017 MusicRow Awards recognized Song of the Year “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” recorded by Keith Urban and written by Hillary Lindsey, Clint Lagerberg and Steven Lee Olsen. Sony Nashville’s Maren Morris was honored as Breakthrough Artist. An award Morris received in 2016, Breakthrough Songwriter, went to Parallel Music Publishing’s Jesse Lee. Universal Music Group’s Lauren Alaina won the inaugural award category, Breakthrough Artist-Writer, for co-writing her first Top 10 hit, the No. 1 “Road Less Traveled.Jay Joyce received his second plaque for Producer of the Year, having worked in the studio with Eric Church, Brandy Clark, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, Brothers Osborne, Devin Dawson, LANCO, and The Wild Feathers.

Top 10 Album All-Stars

The event also recognized MusicRow’s Top 10 Album All-Stars, studio whiz kids who appeared on the most Billboard Top 10 album credits in eight categories over the past 12 months. Those players include: Jimmie Lee Sloas (bass), Justin Niebank (engineer), Aubrey Haynie (fiddle), Ilya Toshinskiy (guitar), Charles Judge (keyboards), Russell Terrell (vocals) and a tie for Fred Eltringham and Greg Morrow (guitar), and Dan Dugmore, Paul Franklin and Russ Pahl (steel).

“It’s our honor to feature the winners MusicRow subscribed members voted to become the 2017 class,” said MusicRow Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson. “Often a key predictor of future awards ceremonies, these honors allow this publication’s subscribed members to select who they think best represents today’s top music makers. Our 2017 Top Ten Album All-Star Musician Awards salute studio players creating the sound that reaches all corners of the world.”

The MusicRow Awards was hosted for the first year by SESAC and sponsored for the second year by Nashville-based insurance company Anderson Benson, a company dedicated to serving and supporting the entertainment industry. Read more here

LOCASH receive BMI’s Million-Air Award

“You Gonna Fly” for Keith Urban passes one million spins mark

Kudos to my friends LOCASH (Preston Brust and Chris Lucas) who received the prestigious BMI Million-Air Award from David Preston, BMI’s Senior Director, Writer-Publisher Relations. The Award recognizes the achievement of one million-plus spins on the radio.  They received the award in a laid-back ceremony on the BMI rooftop patio, Tuesday May 23.  Although they are successful recording artists in their own right, in this case Preston and Chris received the award as songwriters (along with ASCAP writer Jaren Johnston) for writing the song “You Gonna Fly” recorded by Keith Urban.

BMI’s David Preston presents Award to LOCASH. Photo: Preshias Harris

The BMI “Million-Air” Award is given to songwriters, composers, and publishers whose songs accumulate to over one million U.S. broadcast performances.  The designation has been bestowed upon many of BMI’s iconic songwriters, including Sir Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton, Isaac Hayes and Roy Orbison. One million continuous performances of a song of the average length of 3 minutes represents 5.7 years of continuous airplay.  Continue reading “LOCASH receive BMI’s Million-Air Award”