Durante Plays WPOC Show


(L-R) Nine North’s Stan Marczewski, WPOC’s Justin Cole & Margaret Durante.

Emrose/Stroudavarious/Nine North’s Margaret Durante played the WPOC Charm City Country Showcase at Hightopps Backstage Grill in Baltimore last night while promoting her single “Mississippi’s Crying.”

Durante, now 22 years old is a native of Potomac, Maryland. Some of her influences include Mary Chapin Carpenter and Bonnie Raitt whose voices gave her a love of “soulful, story-telling music.”

Durante has been writing with such Nashville songwriters as Stephony Smith, Shelly Fairchild and Lisa Carver. Her debut album project is scheduled for release in early 2011.

Artist Tidbits: Jay DeMarcus, Eddie Montgomery and Joanna Smith

Rascal Flatts member Jay DeMarcus (L) and wife Allison DeMarcus (R) welcomed their first child on Fri., December 17. Madeline Leigh DeMarcus was born in Nashville at 4:49pm, weighing in at 6 pounds and 9 ounces. “Allison and I are thrilled!” shares Jay.  “Madeline is absolutely gorgeous; she looks just like her daddy! Both mom and baby are doing well.” Jay and Allison were married on May 15, 2004.

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Eddie Montgomery is happy to report that he is resting at home after a successful surgery to treat prostate cancer earlier this week. The doctors report that no further treatment should be needed, and he plans to enjoy some down time at home with his family. After a break to enjoy the holidays, Montgomery and duo partner Troy Gentry will be heading out on a USO Tour in early 2011.

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Columbia Nashville’s Joanna Smith (R)  helped cook a Christmas dinner on Southern Fried Flicks with Hazel Smith (L) which aired twice Sunday 12/19.

Nashville’s Street Corner Symphony In “The Sing Off” Finale

Nashville’s own Jeremy Lister and Street Corner Symphony have made the finals of NBC’s The Sing Off, which will air live tonight (12/20) at 7 pm CT. The a capella singing competition began with 10 vocal groups and has been whittled down to a final four groups: Street Corner Symphony, Committed (Huntsville, AL), The Backbeats (Los Angeles, CA), and Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town (Oakland, CA).

The Sing Off is hosted by Nick Lachey, with help from judges Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men), and Nicole Scherzinger (Pussycat Dolls).

Hot Schatz Adds Lorge; Al Brock Launches Spin Doctors

Hot Schatz PR has hired Michelle Lorge as Associate Publicist and Operations Manager. In this role, Lorge will be responsible for implementing regional media campaigns for Hot Schatz artists as well as overseeing the office’s day-to-day administrative functions.

“I’m very excited about adding Michelle to the Hot Schatz PR team,” says President/Owner Schatzi Hageman. “With her hard work ethic and publicity expertise, I have no doubt that we can continue to offer the very best to our clients.”

Lorge’s previous experience includes stops at Sony Music, Sweet Talk Publicity, and Nicole Pope Gaia Publicity. Reach her at [email protected] or 615-782-0078.

•  •  •  •

Radio programming veteran Al Brock has launched Spin Doctors Promotions, LLC, offering promotion services for labels and independent artists. The Nashville-based company will also offer media training, venue tour support, and creating broadcast specials.

Spin Doctors is currently working with Andy Griggs on his new single “Can I Get An Amen,” which goes for adds in January. Reach Brock at POB 17159, Nashville, TN, or 615-969-2259 or [email protected]

Cannon Records Curtis and Luckey

Grammy winning producer and songwriter Buddy Cannon and KMG recording duo Curtis and Luckey recently recorded new music at Blackbird Studios. Cannon said of the duo, “The songs these guys are writing and recording offer a fresh, energetic and exciting take on country music.” (L-R): Cannon, Curtis Baxter and Luckey Moore (standing).

• • •

Almon Opens Private Practice

Orville Almon has announced he will open a private practice on Jan. 3, 2011. Almon, a founding partner of Zumwalt, Almon and Hayes and known for his expertise in contract law, is now making the jump to focus more on business affairs for entertainment and corporate entities.

“The business model for an entertainment law firm has changed and I needed to change with it,” Almon said in a prepared press release. “I felt that, for a lawyer based in entertainment and corporate law, the current economic changes called for more strategic focus on the business side of the entertainment field.”

Joining Almon in the new venture will be Noah McPike, Esq. McPike recently left a Music Row firm he had practiced with for approximately 3 years. McPike will focus on, among other things, all related services within all areas of the entertainment industry, new media, intellectual property, copyrights, trademarks and corporate business matters. Also joining Almon Law, PLLC will be Almon’s longtime assistant, Karen Thomas, and industry vet, Lynsey McDonald.

Almon has earned many awards and accomplishments including being recognized in Best Lawyers in America (2007-2010), Mid-South Super Lawyers (2007-2010) and recently by BusinessTN as one of Tennessee’s Best 150 Lawyers (2010).

iTunes And Amazon Consolidate Leads

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Amazon Can’t Dent iTunes,” when it comes to selling music.

One of the key differences between the two music retailers is pricing. Amazon often employs steep discounts to draw consumers. For example, Amazon will sometimes price new front line albums $3.99. iTunes usually sells albums for $9.99 to $14.99 the article states. However, despite Amazon’s retail price, it normally pays the entire wholesale price to the supplier. Amazon’s also offers monthly promotions of up to 100 specially priced CDs at $5 each. This product, the article states is the result of a cooperative deal between record labels and distributors.

According to NPD Group, iTunes share of the paid digital music market rose in 2010 from 63.2% to 66.2%. Amazon’s hare also increased shifting up to 13.3% from 11% in the previous year. While album sales overall are shrinking, the digital percentage of those sales continues to grow as consumers switch to the non-physical  format. YTD 2010 physical album sales are off 20% while digital album downloads are up 13%. (The article doesn’t mention that digital album downloads are about 27.5% of total album sales for 2010.)

Image source; WSJ. Click to read full article.

Wall Street Journal article, “Amazon Can’t Dent iTunes,” when it comes to selling music.

One of the key differences between the two music retailers is pricing. Amazon often employs steep discounts to draw consumers. For example, Amazon will sometimes price new front line albums $3.99. iTunes usually sells albums for $9.99 to $14.99 the article states. However, despite Amazon’s retail price, it normally pays the entire wholesale price to the supplier. Amazon’s also offers monthly promotions of up to 100 specially priced CDs at $5 each. This product, the article states is the result of a cooperative deal between record labels and distributors.

According to NPD Group, iTunes share of the paid digital music market rose in 2010 from 63.2% to 66.2%. Amazon’s hare also increased shifting up to 13.3% from 11% in the previous year. While album sales overall are shrinking, the digital percentage of those sales continues to grow as consumers switch to the non-physical  format. YTD 2010 physical album sales are off 20% while digital album downloads are up 13%. (The article doesn’t mention that digital album downloads are about 27.5% of total album sales for 2010.)

Upcoming Media Appearances For Adkins and Reba

Trace Adkins will appear on CBS’ new daytime talk show The Talk today (12/17) at 1 pm CT as a guest and performer. He will talk with show hosts Julie Chen, Leah Remini, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Marissa Jaret Winokur, and Sara Gilbert as well as performing the holiday classic, “The Christmas Song.”

Adkins will also appear on World Wrestling Entertainment’s Tribute to the Troops on Saturday (12/18), which will air 8 pm CT on NBC. Adkins will perform “Whoop A Man’s Ass” from his Cowboy’s Back In Town album. Other guests on the special include Sean “Diddy” Combs, Cedric The Entertainer, The View’s Sherri Shepherd, and many more.

• •  • •

Reba will join After MidNite host Blair Garner to co-host a three-hour commercial-free New Year’s Day special. The two will play top music from 2010 and listeners will hear interesting insights from Reba. The special is available to After MidNite affiliates in the U.S.

“I’m so honored that Reba agreed to host this special with me,” said Blair Garner. “She has been a huge supporter of After MidNite and is one of the hardest-working entertainers in the business. I’m looking forward to kicking off 2011 with Reba and our listeners.”

Weekly Chart Report (12/17/10)

Curb recording artist Steve Holy visited WIVK/Knoxville to promote his new single “Love Don’t Run.” (L-R): Holy and WIVK's Colleen Addair.

SPIN ZONE
Note: Today’s chart edition is the final one of 2010, and we will take the next two weeks off. The first chart of 2011 will be published on Friday, January 7. Happy Holidays!
• • • •

Keith Urban will close out 2010 with “Put You In A Song” at the top of the CountryBreakout Chart for a second week, followed by his Capitol Nashville cohort Luke Bryan’s “Someone Else Calling You Baby” at No. 2. Most of the Top 10 looks strong heading into the break, particularly Kenny Chesney’s “Somewhere With You” as it moves up to No. 6.

Thompson Square’s “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” is seeing a spike in activity as it moves 19-17 with 149 spin gain. It’s trailed by Darius Rucker’s “This” at No. 18 and Brad Paisley’s quickly rising “This Is Country Music” at No. 19. Entering the chart this week are Trace Adkins’ “Brown Chicken, Brown Cow” at No. 73, Jadi Norris’ “Home Is Where The Heart Is” at No. 79, and D. J. Miller’s “A Snowman In Birmingham” at No. 80.

Upcoming Singles
Holiday Airplay
Jason Michael Carroll/Christmas On The Farm/Stray Records/Quarterback
Danny Gokey/Tennessee Christmas/19/RCA
Deborah Allen Feat. Cledus T. Judd/Redneck Christmas/GMV/Aristomedia
Kenny Rogers/The Chosen One/Joy To The World (Live)/DCE
Rachel Holder/Christmas Eve
Burns & Poe/Hear The Angels Singing/Blue Steel
Rodney Carrington/Camouflage and Christmas Lights/EMI Records Nashville
Darius Rucker/Candy Cane Christmas/Capitol Nashville
Mishavonna with Crystal Gayle/Christmas Everywhere/Redrum/GrassRoots
Sandy Kastel/Santa Baby/Silk and Satin Records
Williams Riley/Celebrate Me Home/Wide Open Music Group

January 3
Ashton Shepherd/Look It Up/MCA
Andy Griggs/Can I Get An Amen/
Randy Montana/1,000 Faces/Mercury

• • • •

New On The Chart—Debuting This Week
Artist/song/label — chart pos.
Trace Adkins/Brown Chicken, Brown Cow/Show Dog – Universal — 73
Jadi Norris/Home Is Where The Heart Is/ — 79
D.J. Miller/A Snowman In Birmingham/Evergreen — 80

Greatest Spin Increase
Artist/song/label — spin+
Brad Paisley/This Is Country Music/Arista — 345
Taylor Swift/Back To December/Big Machine — 248
Darius Rucker/This/Capitol — 234
Trace Adkins/Brown Chicken, Brown Cow/Show Dog – Universal — 204
Kenny Chesney/Somewhere With You/BNA — 188

On Deck—Soon To Be Charting
Artist/song/label — spins
Karli Whetstone/I Didn’t/Ohio Records — 252
Taylor Made/Quiet Kind of Crazy — 228
David St. Romain/Live, Laugh, Love And Drink — 202
Mickey Utley/Cry Like Memphis/Mick-Armour Records — 192
Chuck Wicks/Old School/RCA Nashville — 188

Two Week Most Added*
Artist/song/label — New adds
Trace Adkins/Brown Chicken, Brown Cow/Show Dog – Universal — 15
Miranda Lambert/Heart Like Mine/Columbia — 10
Steel Magnolia/Last Night Again/Big Machine — 9
Sugarland/Little Miss/Mercury — 9

Chick Wicks and Frankie Ballard played recently at the WPKX/Springfield, MA Toys for Tots show. (L-R): Warner Music MW/NE Regional Lindsay Walleman, WPKX PD Mike Tyler, Ballard, Wicks, KPKX’s Kera Burke, and WPKX PD Don Gosselin.

EMI Records Nashville’s Eric Church and radio programmers gathered in Las Vegas last weekend for the final show of the 2010 CMT tour. (L-R) back: KSOP’s Deb Turpin, KNTY’s Kelly Symone, Church, KRTY’s Tina Ferguson, KTRY’s Nate Deaton, EMI Records Nashville SVP Promotions Steve Hodges, and KCYE’s Justin Chase. Front: WKIS’s Ken Boesen, KWNR’s Cary Rolfe, EMI Records Nashville VP Promotions Angela Lange, EMI Records Nashville Promotions Trudie Daniell, and EMI Records Nashville Ron Bradley.

Paisley and Aldean Enjoy Two Times The Airplay

Recently, two country artists’ teams successfully deployed new singles and managed to keep their current singles on the rise. At the 44th edition of the CMA Awards, Brad Paisley and Jason Aldean both debuted songs other than their current singles. Thanks to years of hard work at radio by the artists and labels, the move has allowed them both to enjoy significant airplay on two titles apiece.

Aldean was joined by pop star Kelly Clarkson on “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” a slow burning ballad from his recent My Kinda Party album. Shortly after, Paisley performed a previously unheard song called “This Is Country Music” that managed to encapsulate the traditions of country music past and present. Before the week was over, both songs had been digitally shipped to country radio for immediate airplay.

Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” was doing well on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs at the time of the Awards, but the Broken Bow star didn’t have any nominations despite numerous chart successes and impressive album sales in 2010.

“The producers of the show needed a TV moment,” says Broken Bow Promotion VP Carson James. “And we still had ‘My Kinda Party’ working. It was going strong, researching and converting well. We didn’t necessarily want to kill it, but we also wanted the TV exposure with a dynamic song.”

James says the label knew “Don’t You Wanna Stay” would most likely be a single, but didn’t know exactly when. And with “My Kinda Party” at a critical stage in its chart ascent, it was a risk to release something new. “You always try to give radio what they want,” he adds. “But at the same time, we’re telling them we’re still actively pursuing ‘My Kinda Party.’ We’re not coming off of it.”

Paisley had a Top 5 single at the time with “Anything Like Me,” but felt passionately about playing the title cut from his upcoming album This Is Country Music. It was eventually going to be a single as well, but the reaction after the Awards was so swift and strong that Arista couldn’t ignore it.

“‘Anything Like Me’ was so strong rolling into the top of the chart that we really didn’t feel like it would be damaging at all,” says Sony Nashville Promotion VP Skip Bishop. “But the reason we came with the song [“This Is Country Music”] earlier than originally planned was that several stations had started using the audio from the television show and the quality wasn’t what we’d want them to be playing. So we played a little hurry up football and finished getting the actual mastered single together and got it down to radio.”

The gamble paid off in spades for both artists. “We really made a round of phone calls and said, ‘I know you’re playing the version off television. We want to do the right thing for you,’” recalls Bishop. “We said ‘Remember we’re not finished with ‘Anything Like Me’ and everyone pretty much said ‘We’re not either.’ There’s no reason to dampen that kind of enthusiasm.”

“It’s a testament to Jason as an artist and our radio strategy,” adds James. “We’re saying ‘Play ‘My Kinda Party’—play it in power, and play the duet in light. Why can’t you play two Jason Aldean records? Most of the folks in radio are going, ‘Now’s the time!’”

Paisley’s “Anything Like Me” did eventually reach its No. 1 peak on the Hot Country Songs chart, and has since worked its way off. “This Is Country Music” is at No. 19 and very strong as we head into the break.

Aldean’s future looks bright as well. As of this writing, “My Kinda Party” is at No. 3 and stlll rising, and “Don’t You Wanna Stay” is quickly piling on the impressions at No. 26.