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ALBUM NEWS: Country ICON Garth Brooks has released MAN AGAINST MACHINE. This is Garth’s first album in thirteen years. It is still all we expect and more. His storytelling songwriting family has come together to bring him the cream of the crop. With heart pivoting anthems, traditional “Garth Standards” and first class production, our COUNTRY is back!
AMA NEWS: Shout out to Country Fans favs – Favorite Male was Georgia Boy Luke Bryan, Favorite Female Country Carrie Underwood and Favorite Band, Duo Or Group – Country Florida Georgia Line.
ARTIST NEWS: Dustin Lynch (Broken Bow) celebrated his first number one record with songwriters Cary Barlowe, Matt Jenkins and Zach Crowell. “Where It’s At” was the first number one for ASCAP songwriters Jenkins & Crowell. They were presented with plaques and ASCAP presented them with a custom signature ASCAP collectors guitar made by Boulder Creek.
BENEFIT NEWS: The music industry knows Robin Majors as a behind-the-scenes guy with a great smile and even better attitude who has spent his 37-year career supporting some of the biggest artists in the business. Inoperable liver cancer was discovered last year, and a miraculous 13 days after being placed on the transplant list, a healthy liver was found and successfully transplanted in January. A star-studded concert to help offset astronomical and ongoing medical bills was held at the Acme Feed & Seed in Nashville in November. There are two ways to make donations. Straight into the Robin Majors Gift of Life Fund, through Wells Fargo Private Bank, 3100 West End Ave, Ste 550, Nashville, TN, 37203. Attn: Danielle Bouharoun. Donations can be made online at http://www.robinmajors-gift-of-life.com
BLUEGRASS NEWS: Brother/sister duo The Roys won the Bluegrass Artist of the Year award for the fourth consecutive year at the 20th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country™ Awards show. “Truly humbled once again,” noted Elaine of the honor. “We thank the Lord Jesus and Mom and Dad,” added Lee. Following their acceptance of the award, The Roys sang “Mended Wings” from THE VIEW, their fourth Rural Rhythm Records’ release. The disc hit stores in September, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 10 Bluegrass Albums chart, and generated a #1 single with “No More Lonely” on the Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart. More at www.theroysonline.com.
BUSINESS NEWS: Buddy Lee Attractions (BLA) one of Nashville’s oldest and largest privately owned talent agencies, commemorated its 50th anniversary celebration with an expansion of services. The BLA umbrella now includes 38 Music Artist Development and 38 Music Publishing. The artist development division will help build the artist team and oversee day-to-day activities such as songwriting, publishing, marketing, touring and more. The company has also announced its Professional Speaker & Guest Appearances Division, headed by Mike Meade, and representing authors, personalities, business leaders, and actor/entertainers available for appearances as emcees, product endorsements, at seminars, corporate events, and educational programming. More at www.buddyleeattractions.com.
CHRISTMAS 4 KIDS NEWS: The funds generated by the “Christmas 4 Kids” concert, and the Tour Bus Show/Artist Meet and Greet event, are used to give over 400 children from 29 different schools, a day-long shopping excursion. The special day consists of a chauffeured trip from their school aboard an entertainer’s luxury tour bus, dinner, and a party hosted by Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Hendersonville Expo Center. To wrap up the day, the tour buses journey to the Hendersonville, Tennessee, Walmart, where the kids receive a brand new winter coat, and $150.00 to spend however they choose. The Bus tour is December 15th (5pm to 9pm) at the Hendersonville Super Walmart. The shopping day is Wednesday the 16th.
CONCERT NEWS: Garth Brooks has shattered his North American ticket sales record for a single city with over 188,000 tickets sold from eleven shows at the Target Center in Minneapolis and no sign of slowing down. The November sellout shows broke records across the US. Garth’s wife, Trisha Yearwood, was also on the bill. The record was previously held by Chicago where he sold 180,000 tickets from eleven shows at the Allstate Arena. Before that was his 1998 record for 162,833 tickets sold from nine shows at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
ICM NEWS: The 20th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country™ Awards, hosted by the Grammy-winning Ray Stevens and Megan Alexander of “Inside Edition,” were held at Cornerstone Nashville to honor artists, songwriters, radio personalities and others in the genres of Christian and Inspirational Country Music. Chuck Hancock and Russ Murphy were the top winners for the evening, taking home two trophies each. Hancock was awarded both Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year with Murphy claiming awards for Song of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. Winners from the mainstream category included Carrie Underwood for Country Female Artist, Alan Jackson for Country Male Artist and Lady Antebellum for Inspirational Country Song. Co-host Ray Stevens received an unexpected surprise by “NANCY” comic strip illustrator/writer Guy Gilchrist. Gilchrist, a die-hard Country Music fan and devoted Christian, presented Stevens with a one-of-a-kind artwork honoring his long, distinguished career and inspirational works.
INDUSTRY NEWS: RPR Media, a Nashville-based public relations company, launched the very first episode of the newly created web series yesterday via their YouTube channel. The new series titled “Reed All About It” is hosted by owner and senior publicist Brandy Reed who is well known for her work alongside musicians/artists from Texas and Oklahoma for over a decade. “Reed All About It” is a carefully crafted news segment that effectively highlights breaking news on RPR Media artists in an efficient time frame that is easy for the media to use. The first 4-minute episode features news highlights on Sam Riggs, one of the biggest buzzing names currently in the Texas music scene who has garnered national attention on his latest album “Outrun The Sun.” The segment also introduces new power-house vocalist Stephen Chadwick whose new single “Let’s Do This Thing” garnered a music spot on the past episode of ABC’s hit drama “Nashville” that aired Wednesday, November 12th at 10/9c. Watch the first episode here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMU0wyFqtyc.
INT’L MUSIC NEWS: Kentucky rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, Billy Adams, thrilled his European fans with a recent return trip to England where he performed at the 53rd Hemsby Rock ‘n’ Roll Weekender, held in October in Norfolk, England. Known as “Kentucky’s Own Native Rockabilly Son,” Adams, now 74, is widely acknowledged as one of the early originators of rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll. His 1957 single, “Rock, Pretty Mama,” is among the rarest and most sought-after 45 RPM records from that era. A “Legends” member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, Adams left the rock ‘n’ roll arena in 1964 to pursue a career as a singing evangelist. In 2000, Adams re-ignited his popular music career when noted Nashville music impresario Billy Block introduced him to a new generation of fans on his long-running radio show.
LABEL NEWS: (BMLG) Taylor Swift Performed “Blank Space” & Received Inaugural Dick Clark Award For Excellence On the American Music Awards and Swift’s 1989 Spends 3rd Week At #1 On Billboard 200 Albums. (Sea Gayle Records/Arista Nashville) Country music singer-songwriter Jerrod Niemann is helping fans get into the holiday spirit as the temperature takes a dramatic drop. Niemann has issued a new download of the holiday classic “Holly Jolly Christmas,”available now at digital retail. The Sea Gayle Records/Arista Nashville recording artist’s mellow baritone is the perfect fit for a song that hints at Niemann’s well-known penchant for good time vibes and a party atmosphere. Fans can add the new song to their holiday party playlist by visiting http://smarturl.it/jhollyjollychristmas. Fans can join the party by visiting www.jerrodniemannofficial.com. Follow Niemann at @jrodfromoz on Twitter and at www.facebook.com/JerrodNiemann.
LEGEND NEWS: The legendary Oak Ridge Boys are kicking off the holiday season with the Christmas Night Out Tour, and marking 25 years of one of the longest running Christmas tours in the music industry. This year’s series of concerts will journey across the U.S. with an unforgettable show featuring yuletide classics blended with some of the group’s greatest hits.
Tenor Joe Bonsall says, “The Oak Ridge Boys’ Christmas tour has become a solid tradition all across America. This year’s tour will play 28 shows in 23 cities across 11 states. It features 40 minutes of hits followed by a full production, 75 minute Christmas show that covers every aspect of this annual celebration from romance to presents, cookies and trees to Santa Claus, and the rocking chair conversations that are loved by all. We proudly end our show with 5 songs that reflect the true meaning of Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” The Oak Ridge Boys are also currently working on a new album that’s expected to be released in 2015. For the latest updates, including information on a concert near you, visit: oakridgeboys.com.
MEDIA NEWS: Shannon McCombs is now producing interviews and country news for Wrangler’s new media content site Wrangler Network. Shannon was trying to break a CMA Week record interviewing more than 80 artists in three days! Look for more country music news coverage from Shannon in the near future. I’ll keep you posted! Updates at her website at shannoncountry.com.
MUSIC NEWS: Nationally-syndicated television show Texas Music Scene aired a special documentary-style tribute to the late Ray Price billed as a “Backstage Pass on Ray Price’s Final Album.” The episode, taped at Fort Worth’s iconic Billy Bob’s, included interviews with Ray’s widow, Janie, and SiriusXM personality Dallas Wayne. The two discuss the late Country Music Hall of Famer’s life, career and last CD, BEAUTY IS … the final sessions, as well as share priceless memories. Released on Amerimonte Records, this iconic project is available at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations as well as Hastings, Walmart and online retailers, including Amazon.
PUBLISHER NEWS: Little Extra Music has signed singer/songwriter Kelsey Anna to her first worldwide publishing agreement, as announced by company president Lisa Ramsey Perkins. Nashville-based Little Extra Music was started in 2013 by music industry veteran Lisa Ramsey Perkins. In addition to full service music publishing, Lisa offers independent A&R and consulting for select clients.
RADIO NEWS: Country music newcomer Sandra Lynn made her SiriusXM’s “The Highway” debut on Nov. 26 with the premiere of her single “Afterparty.” Heralded by The Wall Street Journal as “Nashville’s newest hit maker,” programmer John Marks has helped break careers of many budding songwriters like Lynn. The upbeat yet soulful party tune, produced by Ross Copperman (Dierks Bentley, Brett Eldredge, Keith Urban), is available now at digital retail. “Afterparty,” co-written by Copperman, Nicole Gallyon and Jana Kramer, showcases Lynn’s smooth, timeless voice. More info at www.sandralynnmusic.com.
SONGWRITER NEWS: I am so proud of my friend Josh Martin! He is watching his friend Cole Swindell sing their song to the top of the country charts! The song, “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey” was written by Josh, Cole Swindell and Adam Sanders. Congratulations to the three musketeers on this fabo collaboration!