Levitan To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Ken Levitan will receive the Jack Emerson Lifetime Achievement Award for alevitann Executive at the Americana Music Association’s 8th Annual Honors and Awards ceremony, on Thurs., Sept. 17 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

As founder and Co-President of Vector Management, Levitan guides the careers of Americana stalwarts Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, John Hiatt, Buddy Miller and others. Also signed to his powerhouse roster are Kid Rock, Kings of Leon, Hank Williams Jr., Bon Jovi, B-52s, Ben Folds, Michael McDonald, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Trisha Yearwood, Peter Frampton, Trace Adkins, and Dierks Bentley.

Levitan, whose first foray into the music business was as chairman of the Vanderbilt Concert committee, is also a Grammy Award-winning producer for his work on The Apostle soundtrack. Of note, others serving on that same Vandy committee are now current industry leaders Steve Buchanan, Ted Mankin and the namesake of the lifetime achievement award, Jack Emerson.

Slated for Wed., Sept. 16 through Sat., Sept. 19, the 10th Annual Americana Festival and Conference will offer daily seminars, panels and networking opportunities at the Nashville Convention Center. The event’s highlight will be the 8th Annual Americana Honors and Awards ceremony, Thurs., Sept. 17 at the Ryman Auditorium.

Country Stars With Nashville Lifestyles

nlNashville Lifestyles showcases several Country singers in its new issue. In the cover story, Reba McEntire talks about her career and latest album Keep on Loving You.

keith-aThe September issue focuses on Music City’s Best Dressed which includes singer/songwriter Keith Anderson. He says he counts on “self-confidence (and a great cologne) to make any ensemble work.” Anderson was photographed in Armani and Hugo Boss suits, adding his own flair in the form of his signature black cowboy hat. When asked what trend he plans on following this season he replied, “I will definitely follow the male trend of watching football and drinking beer every weekend this season!” Sporting his shaved head, Anderson added, “I’m also not big on any of the new fall trends in hair styles.”

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Jessica Harper

Other articles in the issue include a profile on singer/songwriter Emily West. And there is a Person of Style feature on Jessica Harp.

Last month’s Hot List issue featured Kelly Pickler on the cover and O’Shea among the celebs inside.

IMI Music Partners With Weather Channel

weatherIMI Music has partnered with The Weather Channel for the launch of www.theweatherchannelmusic.com. This new initiative becomes the climate obsessed channel’s first offering in the digital music space under the signature franchise, “The Weather Channel Presents…” Grammy Award nominees, IMI, have written and produced music for a variety of media including E! Network, PBS, NBC, ESPN2 and done music for commercials and films.

Marketing Group The Consortium who began working with The Weather Channel’s licensing group almost four years ago, has been retained to tackle the site’s marketing and promotion and. To date the new relationship has produced three TWC-branded CD and three DVD releases. “The debut of
The WeaterChannelMusic.com is a natural extension of TWC’s on air music strategy, and we’re enthused to be involved in its marketing and promotion,” commented Consortium partner Mike Martinovich.

Photo Friday: Carrie, Megan, EYB, Jonathan Singleton

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Photo credit: Russell Jenkins/ Ravinia Festival

Carrie Underwood performed 2 sold-out shows last weekend at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. Her first scheduled “evening with” show on August 30 was the fastest sell-out in Ravinia’s history, which prompted the addition of a second show on August 31. The second concert also sold-out immediately and approximately 38,000 fans were on hand for the performances. Underwood headed to Chicago after making a surprise appearance in her hometown at Checotah High School in Checotah, Oklahoma where her C.A.T.S. Foundation and ACM’s “Lifting Lives” charity donated $117,000 in musical equipment to the school system.

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Stoney Creek Records’ singer/songwriter/animal lover Megan Mullins has teamed up with the Nashville Humane Association (NHA) and Comcast On Demand for an innovative way to help rescued and abandoned animals find new homes. She is featured in a public service announcement explaining the new pet adoption program, and in segments introducing the pets. Pet Adoption On Demand features video profiles of available pets, which cable viewers can access any time. Go to Comcast On Demand, then Get Local, then select Pet Adoptions.

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Morning show host Bill Thomas with the Eli Young Band

Morning show host Bill Thomas with the Eli Young Band

Oklahoma City’s King Country 93.3 recently hosted the “Newface Showcase” featuring ten acts at the Riverwind Casino. The 3-hour free show for listeners welcomed the Eli Young Band, Joe Nichols, Justin Moore, David Nail, James Otto, Kate and Kacey, Caitlyn & Will, Mac MacAnally, Jonathan Singleton, and Jessica Harp.

Morning show host Lynn Waggoner with Jonathan Singleton

Morning show host Lynn Waggoner with Jonathan Singleton

New Music: Joe Nichols, Chris Young, Terri Clark, More

Joe Nichols was surrounded by WIVK “Believers” when he performed at the Cotton Eyed Joe in Knoxville recently. The Universal Records South artist will release his first album in almost two years on Oct. 27. Old Things New, features his current Top 30 hit single, “Believers.”
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Pictured (L-R): WIVK air personalities Josh Blanchard and Ashley King; WIVK Promotions Cindy Arnold; Nichols; air personality Jack Ryan and WIVK OM/PD Mike Hammond.

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Chris Young released his sophomore album, The Man I Want to Be, on Tuesday (9/1), with lead single “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)” already a radio hit. It’s Young’s first album since his self-titled 2006 release earned him the highest selling album debut by a new country male that year. With veteran producer James Stroud at the helm, The Man I Want to Be, includes a duet with Willie Nelson on the Waylon Jennings classic “Rose in Paradise.” Other highlights are the title track penned by Brett James and Tim Nichols, a take on the Brook Benton hit “Rainy Night in Georgia,” and three songs Young co-wrote, one of which is “Gettin’ You Home.” The RCA Nashville artist almost didn’t make it home from Seattle to celebrate and perform on release day, but when his flight was delayed the label sent a plane and got him to his hometown of Murfreesboro, TN for a WSIX supported performance and autograph signing at the Walmart Supercenter.

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On Sept. 29 Atlanta based Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke will release their album Little Piece of Dixie through BamaJam Records, a new imprint of Stroudavarious Records. Blackberry Smoke is comprised of brothers, Richard (bass/vocals) and Brit Turner (drums), with Paul Jackson and Charlie Starr on guitar and vocals. The album, which was recorded with hit producer Dann Huff and engineer Justin Niebank.

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On Sept. 1 BLEVE Records released its debut single, “My First Ride,” by Ronnie Milsap. The track also features Capitol Nashville recording artist Trace Adkins and is available for download at major outlets. “My First Ride” is the first single and title of the multi-artist compilation CD (available Nov. 1) that will benefit the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) emergency relief funds.
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Rockie Lynne played the 99.9 WFRE/Frederick, MD stage recently at their Summer Concert Series. Pictured here with WFRE staffers. (L-R) Will Robinson, Jess Wright, Lynne, and Tom Whalen

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Terri Clark’s first new music in five years, an album called The Long Way Home, was released in Canada this week. It topped iTunes’ Country chart the first day. Single “Gypsy Boots” is gaining momentum at country radio each week. The project, recorded over three days at Sound Emporium, will be in American stores on Oct. 1. Clark is nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year at the upcoming Canadian Country Music Awards on Sept. 13.

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Broken Bow/Holeshot Records artist Krista Marie unveiled a new Web site and single, “Tomboy,” this week. In addition to news and tour information, the site includes a media section where fans can listen to new music, view photos, and read the blog.

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Black River Music Group’s Emma Jacob will host a live chat on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 7 PM CST. She just released new single “Julianna.” To submit questions for the chat, send them to [email protected] To log onto the chat, go to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/emma-jacob

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Derek Webb, formerly of hit CCM group Caedmon’s Call, released Stockholm Syndrome this week and is supporting it with a 20-date tour and a DVD documentary of the project. He co-produced the album with former bandmate Josh Moore.
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Other new singles are from Kevin Fowler (“Beer Season”), exclusively through AirPlay Direct,
and The New Relics (“Beautiful”) out on Blues Alley / Spinville.

Worley Plans Exciting River Run

worleyDarryl Worley is planning lots of events around his 8th Annual Tennessee River Run, with a concert, golf tournament and worship event, all to benefit the Darryl Worley Foundation.

Both the morning and afternoon flight for the golf tournament have sold out. A total of 65 teams have registered to play the Shiloh Golf Course.

The concert line up features hometown hero Worley, chart-topper Craig Morgan, CMT’s Can You Duet 2008 winners Caitlin & Will, and country newcomers Jonathan Singleton & The Grove. Coon Dog Funeral, winner of this year’s Tennessee River Run Battle of the Bands, will kick off the Saturday, September 12 concert at Pickwick Landing State Park.

The 8th Annual Tennessee River Run will also host a Sunday event with Holy Ground Ministries called “Praise, Worship & Prayer.” This will take place at Pickwick Landing State Resort Park on Sunday, September 13 beginning at 5:00 pm with a community mass choir led by Geron Davis and Kindred Souls and featuring Richie McDonald (former lead singer of Lonestar) and Jason Crabb (from the Crabb Family). The Sunday Praise, Worship & Prayer Concert is free to the public with donations accepted.

All proceeds go to the Darryl Worley Foundation and its efforts to complete the cancer treatment center in Savannah, TN. Tickets for Tennessee River Run concerts are available now at select Kroger stores, O’Reilly Auto Parts, online at www.darryleworley.com or call the Darryl Worley Foundation Office at 1 (866) 484-3877.

ASCAP To Salute JD Souther

J.jdD. Souther, one of the principal architects of the Southern California country-rock sound and the pen behind numerous hits by the Eagles and others, will receive the prestigious ASCAP Golden Note Award this fall. He will be honored during the 47th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards, set for Monday, October 19, at Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium.

Known for his extraordinary song crafting abilities, Souther co-wrote some of the Eagles most beloved hits including “Best of My Love,” “Heartache Tonight,” “New Kid In Town,” and “Victim of Love.” His collaboration with the band continues through the Eagles’ 2007 release Long Road Out of Eden. Artists including George Strait, The Dixie Chicks, Glen Campbell, and Michael Buble have recorded his songs. He’s also written several hits for Linda Ronstadt including “Faithless Love” and “White Rhythm and Blues,” produced her Don’t Cry Now album and recorded several duets with her, most notably “Prisoner in Disguise” and “Sometimes You Can’t Win.”

As an artist the Texas-raised singer charted two Top 10 hits with “You’re Only Lonely,” and “Her Town Too,” a duet with James Taylor. After a 25-year break from recording, Souther released If The World Was You in 2008.

“Having written hits for nearly four decades, J.D. Souther is in a class all his own,” says Connie Bradley, ASCAP Senior Vice President. “Many of the hits he’s written have become part of the soundtrack of the lives of multiple generations. We are thrilled to honor J.D. with the ASCAP Golden Note Award.”

The honor is reserved for songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Past recipients include Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Alan Jackson, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, André Previn and Tom Petty among others.

The ASCAP Country Music Awards is an invitation-only gala that will also salute the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP’s most performed country songs of the past year. Special awards will be given to the Songwriter of the Year, Songwriter/Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Publisher of the Year. A party honoring the evening’s winners will follow the awards ceremony.

CMA Award Nominees To Air On ABC, CMT

Randy-HouserThe final nominees for the 2009 CMA Awards will be revealed  Wednesday, Sept. 9, with some of the nominations airing on Good Morning America and the remainder following on a special edition of CMT Insider.

The final nominees in select categories will be announced live during ABC’s Good Morning America with Darius Rucker and Lee Ann Womack on Sept. 9 during the 8:30 AM/ET half-hour of the morning news program.

Following those announcements, CMT will be broadcasting live from its Nashville studios with exclusive coverage of the remaining categories. Universal Records South artist Randy Houser joins CMT personalities Cody Alan and Alecia Davis to reveal the remaining CMA Awards finalists on Insider Special Edition: 2009 CMA Awards Nominations premiering Wednesday, Sept. 9 (10:00 AM/ET; 9:00 AM/CT). The special will re-air on CMT immediately following the live broadcast at 10:30 AM/ET (9:30 AM/CT); and throughout the weekend. Additionally, CMT.com will stream the nomination special following its on-air premiere.

“The 43rd Annual CMA Awards” will be broadcast live from the Sommet Center in Nashville Wednesday, Nov. 11 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET/PT) on ABC. Reigning CMA Male and Female Vocalist of the Year Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return to host “Country Music’s Biggest Night.”

Faith’s Fragrance And More

faith_homeA series of webisodes follows Faith Hill as she gears up to launch her first fragrance this fall. Premiering each week on FaithHill.com, these exclusive videos highlight all the behind the scenes action as Hill prepares for this upcoming release. You can watch the first videos here.

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Kenny Chesney officially launched Blue Chair Bay Clothing, the line inspired by his music and life, this week at the annual Magic Marketplace apparel trade show in Las Vegas. He set up at the Hard Rock Café pool and gave an intimate stripped down performance for an invitation-only audience of 1000 clothing industry tastemakers.

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Seventeen- year-old actress and Capitol Nashville singer Jennette McCurdy will be the star of Kmart’s “Be a Schoolebrity” back-to-school sweepstakes. McCurdy will surprise the contest’s grand-prize winner at school and then accompany him or her on the ultimate Kmart shopping spree. Since 2007, McCurdy has starred on the top-rated Nickelodeon television show, iCarly. She has also guest starred on a number of other television series, including Malcolm in the Middle, Zoey 101, Will & Grace, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and others.

Underwood’s Rockin’ New Single

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The lead single from Carrie Underwood’s third album, Play On, is out now and fans can hear it at her official Web site and on YouTube. The rock influenced song “Cowboy Casanova” offers a cautionary word about a sneaky man. Underwood wrote the track with Mike Elizondo and Brett James, one of the writers behind her GRAMMY-winning “Jesus, Take the Wheel.”
Originally slated to arrive at country radio on Sept. 8, the leak of a rough, unfinished version of “Cowboy Casanova” prompted a rushed-to-radio delivery of the real single late Wednesday evening.

A four-time GRAMMY Award winner, ACM Entertainer of the Year, and reigning, three-time CMA and ACM Female Vocalist winner, Carrie is continuing work on Play On, which releases on November 3. She is again teamed with Mark Bright, who produced her Carnival Ride collection as well as seven tracks from Some Hearts.

Since the release of her debut album, Some Hearts, in 2005, Underwood has amassed sales of more than 10 million with her first two albums.