H2H Lines Up Top Talent For Fundraiser

h2hTim McGraw will headline the 2nd Annual Halfway to Hazard Charity Trail Ride, a weekend of music and over 1,000 ATV’s on Aug. 22-23 in Eastern Kentucky. Hosted by Halfway to Hazard—the duo signed to McGraw and Byron Gallimore’s StyleSonic Records—the concert will also feature Dierks Bentley, Danielle Peck, Gabe Garcia, and Krista Marie performing to raise money for Buckhorn Children’s and Family Center in Crockettsville, Kentucky. Special appearances will be made by NASCAR legend Kyle Petty, Motorcross great Ricky Carmichael, and country artists James Otto and Keith Anderson, who will participate in the ATV ride.

Last year’s inaugural event drew over 7,500 people and raised over $110,000 for Buckhorn Children’s and Family Center, an organization committed to caring for suffering children and families in Kentucky and Ohio.

Halfway to Hazard is currently on a radio tour promoting their new single, “I Know Where Heaven Is.” The single began impacting Country radio on July 20 and will appear on the duo’s yet-to-be named sophomore album (StyleSonic/Picnic Hill Records/Bigger Picture) due out in the third quarter of 2009.

For additional information on the 2009 Halfway to Hazard Charity Trail Ride visit www.h2hcharitytrailride.com.

Chris Hanners

“It’s My Lie (Let Me Live It)”

Little House Records

channers-playlistSigned to Nashville-based Little House Records, Chris Hanners‘ fun, catchy new single “It’s My Lie (Let Me Live It)” is connecting with fans nationwide. GAC’s Headline Country New Music Page exploded with positive comments week after week as fans voted for Chris’s traditional country sound and the song’s clever lyrics.

Penned by noted tunesmith Mark Schlemmer and produced by Randy Jack Wiggins, the whole song is a lie; from his supermodel girlfriend to buying his third Mercedes Benz. But Chris’s strong performance might make you believe it’s true.

The Georgia native made his debut performance singing solo at his Baptist Church in La Grange, Georgia when he was seven. In addition to his musical family, Chris was inspired by such country greats as Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Conway Twitty, Randy Travis and Johnny Cash. Hanners began his musical career as a teenager with trio The Sky Is The Limit.

Fans and friends are invited to share their tallest tale by entering the “Biggest Lie” contest posted here through September 1st.

“It’s My Lie (Let Me Live It)” is available for download on iTunes. Little House Records is distributed by Memphis-based Select-O-Hits.


Sugarland Special Debuts On ABC

sugarSugarland swaggered into ABC’s primetime line-up last night (8/3) with spunk and enthusiasm, trademarks of the duo’s performances. They were debuting the new concert DVD, Sugarland: Live On The Inside, the day before it hits shelves exclusively at Wal-Mart as part of a package.

Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush covered most of their hits (“Settlin’,” “All I Want To Do,” “Something More”), as well as tossed in two R.E.M. songs as a nod to their fellow Georgians. With career growth comes artistic freedom, and Nettles and Bush are testing the waters with class.

For their song “Joey,” Sugarland uses R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming” as a lead-in, and Nettles delivers it gorgeously. She sings the ode with as much heartfelt emotion as their award-winning “Stay.” Under Shaun Silva’s talented direction, the film is a showcase for the duo’s theatrics. For “Nightswimming/Joey” Nettles sports a sequined red cap and holds a white parasol while bubbles float through the air. Later, the pair rolls through the crowd in gigantic plastic bubbles. And for the rootsy “Genevieve,” Sugarland and their band members gather in a close singing circle to strum and play.

The ratings from Zap2It.com show that the special didn’t fare as well as the other networks. The hour-long event came in fourth in the 8 PM/ET hour, behind first place CBS with reruns of How I Met Your Mother (4.8 million viewers) and Rules of Engagement (5.3 million). Also trailing NBC and Fox, ABC’s special garnered 4.2 million viewers. The network is reaching out to Country fans with programming like this, as well as the upcoming CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock which airs Monday, Aug. 31 and is expanding to three hours for the first time.

Swift, Other Nashvillians Among VMA Nominees

Taylor in the video for "You Belong With Me."

Taylor in the video for "You Belong With Me."

MTV today (8/4) announced the nominees for the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, with several Nashvillians making the list. Up for Best Female Video is Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me,” directed by Roman White and produced by Revolution Pictures, with Producer Randy Brewer. Kings of Leon (“Use Somebody”) and Paramore (“Decode”) are both nominated for Best Rock Video. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus’ “7 Things” is up for Best Editing.

The women lead the pack as Beyonce and Lady Gaga earn nine nominations each: Beyonce for “Single Ladies (Put A Ring on It),” and Lady Gaga for “Poker Face” and “Paparazzi.” Britney Spears follows with an impressive seven combined nominations for “Womanizer” and “Circus.”

As previously announced, Russell Brand will host the awards and set to perform are Green Day, P!nk, Taylor Swift and Muse. The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards will air live on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 9PM (Live ET/Tape delayed PT)

Viewers can vote for general VMAs categories, including Best New Artist, by visiting vma.mtv.com beginning today (8/4). Best New Artist voting continues through the show, live on Sept. 13.  In addition, Verizon Wireless subscribers can vote by texting VMA to 97979.

Morgan To Join Nichols On Broadway

Lorrie Morgan

Lorrie Morgan

Lorrie Morgan will join Joe Nichols in a Broadway bound version of Pure Country, the hit movie starring George Strait. According to producers Randall L. Wreghitt, Chris Presley and Ellen Rusconi, the play is set to debut in early 2010. Nichols will play the role of Rusty, played by Strait in the movie version and Morgan will become his manager, Lula (previously played by Lesley Ann Warren.)

“I never thought my life’s path would take me to Broadway, but when I heard they were creating a musical based on one of Country music’s best-loved films, I knew I had to be part of it,” Morgan said. “I’m very excited about making my Broadway debut and becoming part of the Theater community. I’m also looking forward to working with Joe Nichols. He’s an amazing talent and I hope Country fans come on up to the big city to see us!”

Pure Country is based on the 1992 Warner Bros. film of the same name, written by Rex McGee and directed by Christopher Cain. It starred George Strait (in his film debut), Lesley Ann Warren, Kyle Chandler and Rory Calhoun (in his final film appearance). The soundtrack went to No. 1 on the U.S. Country Album Chart and spawned two No. 1 Country singles, “Heartland” and “I Cross My Heart.” Both songs were written and co-produced by Steven Dorff, the composer of the musical, and are included in Dorff’s otherwise new and original score for the musical Pure Country.

Additional casting and dates for Pure Country will be announced in the coming weeks. For more info visit www.PureCountryOnBroadway.com

Briefs: Netflix, Snow Leopard, Pandora & Twitter

Report: Netflix To Stream iPhone
Multichannel News reports that Netflix DVD service will soon begin offering its Watch Instantly streaming service on iPhones, iPod Touch and Nintendo Wii. The streaming service currently offers fewer titles than the DVD-by-mail version, with the most popular titles conspicuously missing. However, Watch Instantly titles are included at no extra cost over the base Netflix subscription unlike iTunes titles which are available on a pay-per-view basis. Another major difference is that iTunes titles are downloaded, while the Netflix system streams the content without storing it on the device. Pundits expect the service would only be offered while connected via WiFi.

Snow Leopard No. 1 Pre-Order
The Unoffical Apple Weblog reports that Snow Leopard, the upcoming new Apple operating system, is currently the No. 1 pre-order item at Amazon. Although a release date for the software has not been announced, the $29, highly anticipated upgrade is expected sometime in September. The Apple product is due approximately one month before the launch of Microsoft’s new Windows 7. Www.tuaw.com’s Dave Caolo says, “Microsoft hopes to dig itself out of the hole created by public reaction to Vista, while Appe is giving Mac OS X Leopard a shine.”

Pandora & Katz Team For Audio Ads
Online music discovery radio channel Pandora Media has pacted with Katz Online Network, a Clear Channel subsidiary. Katz will begin selling audio ads for the network along with Pandora’s in-house team. Pandora, which generates playlists based upon musical preferences, claims over 11 million monthly unique visitors and 30 million registered listeners. Its database currently contains over 600,000 songs. Pandora users can listen to 40 hours of free music per month that includes visual and audio advertisements. A $36 annual fee option provides unlimited music, removes the ads and provides a higher audio quality stream.

Twitter Filtering Links
Without fanfare, Twitter has begun new security measures aimed at cleaning malware links included in tweets. The Wall Street Journal, reports that online security firm F-secure says Twitter “is increasingly targeted by worms, spam and account hijacking.” The new system is designed to safeguard against such links. Offending tweets are now deleted and replaced with the message, “Oops! Your tweet conatined a URL to a known malware site!”

Industry Updates: HFA at SOURCE Awards, ASCAP Awards Date, SXSW, ICMs

Source honoree Peggy Lamb (center), is pictured with HFA’s Ed Hunt and Danielle Boone.

SOURCE honoree Peggy Lamb (center), pictured with HFA’s Ed Hunt and Danielle Boone.

HFA was proud to be a sponsor of the 2009 SOURCE Foundation Awards, honoring Joyce Jackson, Peggy Lamb, Pat McCoy, Sandy Neese, Margaret Parker, and Marion Keisker MacInnes (posthumously). The event was held at the Musician’s Hall of Fame and Museum on July 30.


The 47th Annual ASCAP Country Awards will be presented on Monday, October 19 at the Ryman Auditorium. As always, the black-tie event is invitation-only.


South By Southwest (SXSW) 2010 is now accepting conference registrations, hotel requests, and music festival showcase applications for the event taking place March 17 – 21, 2010 in Austin, Texas. Comprised of Music and Media Conference and Festival, SXSW is geared toward music industry professionals from around the world. A keynote address anchors four days of panels, interviews, workshops, mentor sessions, peer meetings, and the trade show. Daytime events at the Austin Convention Center flow into the world-renowned music festival, which showcases over 1800 acts on stages throughout downtown Austin. Click here to learn more and to register to attend. Sonicbids is the exclusive online musical event submission platform of the 2010 SXSW Music Festival. To apply, click here.


Power Source Music Group will present the 15th Annual Inspirational Country Music Awards Show (ICM Awards) on Thursday, October 15 at 7 p.m. CST at the Trinity Music City USA Auditorium in Hendersonville, TN.  Tickets are $45.00 and are on sale now. David Keith, actor and Tennessee native will host the ICM Awards show which will feature performers Ricky Skaggs & The Whites, Jeff Bates, Cherryholmes, and current ICM Entertainer of the Year CrossCountry. For tickets, more information and show highlights, please visit www.icm-awards.com.

The ICM Week Celebrity Golf Tournament & Benefit Concert will be held on Monday, October 12 at the Bluegrass Yacht & Country Club in Hendersonville with the benefit concert at Trinity Music City USA that night. Current celebrities include Tracy Lawrence, Bobby Capps (.38 Special), and Halfway To Hazard. All proceeds from both the golf tournament and benefit concert, along with help from Midland Radio, will go towards the purchases of potentially life saving emergency weather radios for residents of Sumner County. Information on playing and sponsoring can be found at http://www.ccma.cc.

Artist Notes: Bobby Bare, Kellie Pickler, Mallary Hope

Bobby-Bare-at-12th-&-PorterBMI staged another installment of its 12th & Porter series on Thursday, July 30, featuring legendary singer/songwriter Bobby Bare. He charmed with mid-song recitations and quirky stories.

Joining Bare on the bill were Charlie Pate and Dixie’s Finest, including songwriters Dale Dodson and Ronnie Bowman; as well as family trio the Henningsens. The free show co-hosted by the venue and BMI drew a hodgepodge of Music Row executives, Americana aficionados and classic country fans.


Kellie Pickler joined the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crew recently to surprise the Terpenning family and tell them that their home had been chosen to receive a makeover. She will perform at the family’s final and emotional reveal. The episode is set to air on ABC in the fall.

BNA Records is planning to release her new single, “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You” to radio later this month. It first appeared on Small Town Girl and was re-recorded for her latest album. Currently, Pickler’s busy with a tour schedule that includes her own shows plus the Fearless Tour with Taylor Swift, and she can be found on the August cover of Nashville Lifestyles.



mallary-hopeMCA Records is releasing Mallary Hope’s three-song digital EP entitled Love Lives On today (8/4). It will be available at iTunes and all other digital partners. Mallary is a co-writer on all three tracks – “Love Lives On,” “Times Like These” and “Wildflowers.” The 22-year-old singer/songwriter from Georgia wrote the single/title track with Matthew West and Shane Stevens.

Big Green Ringtones, IBMA, and More

aldeaNJason Aldean’s “Big Green Tractor” is in its fourth consecutive week at the top of iTunes’ all-genre ringtone chart. Additionally, among Verizon’s 84 million subscribers, it is this week’s No. 1 most downloaded ringtone, in front of such megastars as The Black Eyes Peas, Mariah Carey and the late Michael Jackson. Aldean’s “Big Green Tractor” is consistently more than doubling any other country song on the Ringscan chart.


Del McCoury and Alan O’Bryant will announce the final nominees for the 20th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards at a press conference on Thurs., Aug. 13 at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Ford Theater. IBMA Hall of Fame inductees and Distinguished Achievement Award honorees will also be announced.  The awards show will take place on Thurs., Oct. 1, at the Ryman Auditorium. An all-star collaboration of reigning and former IBMA Award recipients, including Dailey & Vincent, Dale Ann Bradley, Adam Steffey, Stuart Duncan, Scott Vestal, Phil Leadbetter, Josh Williams and Mike Bub, will perform at the press conference.


Clear Channel will start selling ads for Pandora, with its ad sales rep firm Katz Media Group handling the placements. This is significant because online radio station Pandora is expanding its inventory beyond simple display advertising into in-stream audio advertising, a growing market. The free radio service credits the addition of in-stream audio inventory for its ongoing sales growth.


JB Rocket and Steel Magnolia are the last duos remaining on CMT’s Can You Duet. After weeks of  auditions and performances in front of a live audience, the winning duo will be announced on Sat., Aug. 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on CMT. Hosted by CMT’s Lance Smith, Can You Duet’s panel of celebrity and expert judge/mentors includes Naomi Judd, Big Kenny, and Big Machine Records’ President Scott Borchetta. JB Rocket were paired by the judges. The winning duo will record an album to be released by Big Machine Records.

Sugarland: Live on the Inside airs tonight, (8/3) from 7-8 PM/CT on ABC. Tomorrow, the Grammy winning duo will release their CD/DVD set, entitled Live On The Inside, exclusively at Walmart.

GAC To Air “Country at the White House”

brad-paisley-ar10Great American Country will debut its exclusive coverage of Country at the White House, with performances by Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss and Charley Pride, on Sat., Aug. 15 at 8 PM/CT.

The coverage of the invitation-only event at the White House will give fans a front row seat to both the afternoon educational workshop and evening concert events.

Created by First Lady Michelle Obama  to encourage arts and arts education, the country music event was the second in a series that launched in June. More than 125 students – including 40 from Nashville’s W.O. Smith Music School, sponsored by the CMA – gathered in the White House Grand Dining Room for an afternoon workshop that included a Q & A and performances by Paisley and Krauss. GAC host Storme Warren was in the heart of it.

Music City was represented by audience members Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Congressman Jim Cooper, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, GAC president and W.O. Smith Music School board member Ed Hardy, and many others.