Industry Ink Tuesday (7/26)

• • • Pitch group Singles Only hosted its third quarterly A Night of Hits show on July 20 at Winner’s Bar & Grill. The evening featured performances of some of their writers’ best uncut material. Singles Only is made up of pluggers from eight successful independent publishing companies.

Pictured (L-R): Natalie Harker (Cal IV Entertainment), Scott Ponce (Liz Rose Music), Shane Barrett (Shane Barrett Music), Penny Everhard (Love Monkey Music/Tom-Leis Music), Denny Carr (Roots Three Music), Taylor Lindsey (BMG Chrysalis), Eric Gallimore (Red Vinyl Music), and Daniel Lee (Ten Ten Music Group)

• • • John Clore has joined Word Entertainment as Director of Brand Management. He makes the move from Sony Music Entertainment’s Provident Label Group, where he served as Associate Director, Digital Marketing & Campaigns, working with RED and Jars of Clay. His track record also includes time handling publicity at Provident Label Group, Webster & Associates PR, and PLA Media. The Illinois native is a graduate of Belmont University’s Music Business program. He can be reached at [email protected] or 615-726-7870.
• • • Capitol Records Nashville Sr. Director of New Media Dawn Gates raised $81,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and was named 2011 Woman of the Year. Her campaign in honor of young cancer patient Tanner Page included a celebrity memorabilia auction. The organization’s total campaign raised $341,000.
• • • CMT One Country’s Lucia Folk is featured in a new article in AdAge. In the interview she talks about promoting local volunteerism among CMT viewers, offering rewards and prizes, as well as making charitable donations on behalf of artists.

JP Dansereau

• • • The Fontanel Mansion & Farm has hired Jean Pierre (JP) Dansereau as General Manager. In the newly created position he will oversee business development, sales and operations for the property that includes The Fontanel Mansion, Woods Amphitheater, Farm House Restaurant, Studio Gallery and more. Dansereau previously served as Director of Travel Industry Sales for Gaylord Opryland, and as Vice President of Tourism for the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau. He will assume the new role Aug. 1 and can be reached at [email protected], or 615-724-1600.

Kathy Olen Launches Atticus Brand Partners

Kathy Armistead Olen

Kathy Armistead Olen, former Vice President and Brand Agent for WME, has launched Atticus Brand Partners, LLP, handling tour sponsorship, product endorsement, licensing, music placement and other forms of partnership between brands and artists. Her new company will continue to find sponsorship opportunities for WME’s roster.
During her career Olen has paired artists with major brands including Hershey’s, Chevrolet, Anheuser-Busch, Sharpie, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and Miller Brewing Company.
Olen’s career also includes time as Director of Marketing for the Nashville Arena and Starwood Amphitheatre, where she handled sponsorship, venue signage, publicity, and advertising.
Joining Olen at Atticus Brand Partners is Lindsay Friedgood, Director of Brand Partnerships. Friedgood also makes the move from WME, where she worked directly with Olen. Friedgood’s track record also includes handling brand management at the Nashville office of experience marketing agency George P. Johnson.
Atticus Brand Partners:
54 Music Sq. E., Suite 350
Nashville, TN 37203
[email protected]

CRS2012 Names Pittman Keynote Speaker

Bob Pittman

CRS 2012 will kick off Feb. 22-24 with keynote speaker and media legend, Bob Pittman, MTV Founder and currently Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms for Clear Channel. A 35-year industry veteran, Pittman’s keynote is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 9:30 a.m. in downtown Nashville.
“Bob Pittman’s resume speaks for itself,” says CRS President Mike Culotta. “His experience in radio, television and marketing will undoubtedly provide our CRS attendees with unique insight into the issues the Country radio industry is facing today. We are once again anticipating another informative keynote address at Country Radio Seminar, and we encourage everyone to do themselves a favor and attend.”
CRS 2012’s limited-time, $399 Early Bird registration is now available.  To register, visit

Editorial: Seduced By Technology?

Sometimes the step-by-step development of an event, like technology, becomes society’s total focus and its historical, political or social meaning gets obscured. A space shuttle landing on the moon, an oil leak spewing in the Gulf of Mexico, the invention of nuclear power, or a demonstration for social change in Cairo’s Liberation Square. Is the medium actually the message as Marshall McLuhan prophesied in 1964? Has technology’s time horizon been curtailed to a day-by-day time cycle? What about its long term implications?
I’m reminded of Nineteen Eighty-Four, published in 1949 by George Orwell. Highly praised for its ability to glimpse the future, this work of political fiction introduced terms such as doublethink, Big Brother, thoughtcrime and gave rise to the adjective, Orwellian. It was dystopian fiction about a political construct where society was ruled by an oligarchical dictatorship.
Orwell envisioned that it would be necessary to use brute force to enslave mankind in a way that would allow for a total and complete invasion of personal privacy, and glorify the end regardless of the means.
But what if Orwell got it wrong? How could he have imagined the Internet in 1949? Or the smartphone. Certainly not Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and Google+. Or a scenario where Big Brother was smart enough to create a subjugating influence so seductive and desired it didn’t require the force of a dictatorship?
Today we carry GPS-equipped phones that know exactly where we are 24/7. The words we search for online, our emails, personal calendars and more are perfectly positioned for Big Brother’s inspection in the cloud. And then there are the social networks where little by little we are pulling back the curtain on privacy and willingly sharing our every movement and thought with friends, followers, likes and circles…. Are we moths flying toward technology’s flame?
The important questions aren’t, “When will Google+ open up its new service to corporate brands?” Or what about the latest software update?
We should be asking, “Where are we going?”

Average Joe's Inks Ira Dean

Average Joe’s Entertainment has added Ira Dean to its growing roster. The former Trick Pony member will release his first single for the label, “Something About A Sunday,” this September. He’s also had some recent radio activity with the album cut “Beer or Gasoline,” which he co-wrote and was previously recorded by Chris Young. Dean’s self-titled solo debut CD is set to be released by Average Joe’s Entertainment in late 2011.
“Ira is a true triple threat: he’s a hit songwriter, a great singer and a true entertainer! We are thrilled to welcome him to Average Joe’s,” said Pres. Tom Baldrica.
“I’m very excited to be working with Tom Baldrica and Average Joe’s and to be label mates with my good friends Colt Ford and Montgomery Gentry,” added Dean.
Chart-topping hits written by Dean and recorded by Trick Pony include “Pour Me,” and the Grammy nominated “Just What I Do.” Since leaving the trio in 2008, Dean has been busy writing songs for artists including Joe Nichols, Chris Young, exband mate Heidi Newfield, Jake Owen, Gary Allan, and Montgomery Gentry, including their big hit “One In Every Crowd.” He also has the writing credits on the title track of Proud To Be Here, Trace Adkins’ album, due out Aug/ 2.

Wynonna Set For Symphony Series

Stars at the Symphony
Wynonna will perform as part of the Nashville Symphony’s Bank of America Pops Series on Sept. 15, 16, and 17. Elsewhere on the upcoming schedule is Béla Fleck’s Banjo Concerto, part of the SunTrust Classical Series, on Sept. 22, 23, and 24. The Symphony’s Regions Free Day of Music will be Sun., Oct. 1.

Brad Paisley recently performed on Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series, live from Central Park in New York City. (L-R): Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion, Josh Elliott, Robin Roberts and Paisley. Photo: Ben Enos

Wayne’s Journey in Documentary
Jimmy Wayne’s 1700-mile, seven-month walk across America will be the subject of a new documentary. The journey, called Project Meet Me Halfway, was to help raise awareness of homeless youth. Colorado–based i25productions is set to begin filming in Nashville this month.
Wills Hosts TV Show
Mark Wills, an avid marksman and gun collector, will return as host of 3 Gun Nation on the Versus network for the 2011-2012 season, kicking off Sunday, July 31.
Laura Cantrell Salutes Kitty Wells
Nashville-born, New York-based country/folk artist Laura Cantrell will celebrate the release of her Kitty Wells tribute album in her hometown on Thurs., Aug. 4 at 3rd and Lindsley. Kitty Wells Dresses: Songs of the Queen of Country Music features Cantrell’s newly written title track and nine renditions from Wells’ catalogue. Free download at
Michael Martin Murphey Tapped For Celeb Wedding
Singer Michael Martin Murphey will perform at the September wedding of Lauren Bush, niece of George W. Bush, and David Lauren, son of fashion icon Ralph Lauren.
Nitty Gritty Live
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band have released a new live EP called Under the Big Top Vol. 1. The EP features six fan favorites performed live at the band’s 2010 performance at Big Top Chautauqua in Wisconsin.

Brother and sister bluegrass duo The Roys kicked off the main stage entertainment at the Country Thunder Festival in Wisconsin on July 21, opening for Lady Antebellum. (L-R): Charles Kelley, Elaine Roy, Hillary Scott, Lee Roy and Dave Haywood. Photo: Rick Diamond


Smartphone Data Usage Climbing

According to a new study from The Nielsen Company, data use by smartphone owners is growing at an “astounding pace.” The market research company bases its findings on analysis of over 65,000 lines. Not unexpectedly, Android and iPhone owners are at the top of the data use tree. BlackBerry and Windows (mobile and Phone 7) are also growing, but overall use less data.
Presently 37% of U.S. mobile subscribers have smartphones and the number continues to grow robustly. Data usage per month, per user, according to the report has grown in the last 12 months 89% jumping from 230(MB) in Q1 2010 to 435(MB) in Q1 2011.
Why is data use growing? Perhaps it is a combination of apps and friendly operating systems which encourage users to consume data. At this time (see graph) the average Android user consumes 582 (MB) per month while the average iPhone user chews 492 (MB) per month.
This writer recently switched from an iPhone to an Android Samsung Infuse, setting it up on the same ATT account. Data consumption using the Android phone (with 8 days remaining in the period) is already higher than any previous iPhone month, although it looks like it will be below the average total per user per month mentioned above of 582 (MB).
A happy note for consumers is that with usage up and prices steady, the result is a lower cost per MB. In fact Nielsen computes that the cost per MB has dropped from 14¢ Q1 2010 to 8¢ Q1 2011.
An accompanying Nielsen article, written 6/30/2010, notes that the rise of usage-based pricing may be the fairest as well. It concludes that the top 6 percent of smart phone users are consuming half of all data and a quarter of these early adopters are not using their device for data services at all.
Over the past year both ATT and Verizon have shifted from flat rate, all you can eat plans to tiered pricing based upon usage as have other carriers. (Verizon charges $30/mo. for 2 GB; ATT charges $25/mo. 2 GB.)
With the increased bandwidth speeds of 4G close at hand, it seems sane to project that data usage will continue to rise. Let’s hope, as consumers, that prices don’t.

Elvis's Sidemen To Share Stories at Famed RCA Studio B

Elvis with The Jordanaires recording in RCA Studio B. Photo: Country Music Hall of Fame

Some of Elvis Presley’s most important collaborators will gather at a special event on Tues., Aug. 9 to share stories and remembrances of the late King. Acclaimed musicians including Country Music Hall of Fame member Harold Bradley, David Briggs, and Norbert Putnam, will reunite to host the program at historic RCA Studio B on Music Row. The famed studio is where Presley recorded classic hits such as “It’s Now or Never,” “Little Sister,” “Are You Lonesome Tonight?,” and “How Great Thou Art.” Newly added to the line-up are special guests Ronnie McDowell and DJ Fontana.
The 7:30 p.m. program titled, Legends of RCA Studio B: Conversations with All the King’s Men, includes a dessert and cocktail reception with the hosts, so guests can mingle and discuss Presley’s legendary career.
The evening is a fundraiser for the acclaimed Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Tickets are $150 and may be purchased here or by calling (615) 416-2069.

"The Voice" Auditions Coming To Nashville

Producers of hit singing competition The Voice will be in Nashville holding open auditions this week. They are looking for contestants for the show’s second season on Friday and Saturday July 29-30 at the Municipal Auditorium.
Interested candidates must be 16 years of age and register online prior to the audition. Contestants can be solo artists or duos that perform any type of music.
Those who are not able to attend an Open Call Audition, can send a video submission.
All the casting details are here.
Celebrity Coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera will not be at the auditions. Praised by viewers and critics, The Voice has become one of the most successful new television shows in years, averaging almost 13 million viewers in its first season.

BMI Licenses Spotify &

Spotify and are now licensed by BMI covering public performances of BMI’s more than 6.5 million works.

“We are pleased to confirm that we have reached agreements that guarantee fair compensation for the more than 475,000 songwriters, composers and copyright owners who entrust BMI with their public performance right,” said Richard Conlon, Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy/Communications & New Media. “Both agreements represent yet another step in our long tradition of breaking new ground in licensing music for digital distribution.”

Spotify and join other music services in the growing roster of more than 9,000 digital properties licensed by BMI.
In an exclusive outreach to music creators, Spotify offered BMI songwriters, composers and music publishers an invitation to experience its library of over 15 million songs.
BMI tracked 1.6 billion performances on BMI-licensed websites in the last quarter and is paying more songwriters, composers and music publishers than ever before.
ASCAP previously announced an agreement with Spotify reported here.