Belmont Pipeline Think Tank Helps New Artists

(L-R): Back row: Wesley Bulla (CEMB Dean), Ross Hill, Lisa Sekscinski, Jessica Pangrazio, Chase Geiser, Gia Vangieri. Front row: Molly Shehan, Kyara Rafferty, Kevin Grosch, Sarita Stewart (Pipeline faculty advisor)

Earlier this summer Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business (CEMB) announced the launch of Pipeline, an entertainment industry solutions think tank of Belmont’s best and brightest students.
With support from the CMA and Steve Moore, students began their Pipeline experience in June attending the Billboard Country Music Summit where they learned about important issues facing music industry professionals. Reed Arvin, one of the adjunct faculty members, led the group through a Creativity Bootcamp, challenging them to get “outside the box” and mine their creativity. The group also met with Mark Montgomery, former CEO of Echomusic, to discuss engaging the audience. Pipeline recently hosted a concert at Nashville’s Club Roar with performances by artists Mackenzie Scott, Natalie Royal, and Foxes Have Foxholes to explore the impact of audience engagement.
The three artists performed live in the studio for an exclusive audience and offered a catered meal while watching the show. The production cost of the event was under $3,000 making it affordable for up-and-coming artists. Each artist also received a six-song EP, video footage, and press pictures for use in future marketing efforts. With cost savings per artist as much as $4,000, this type of performance provides unique benefits for artists with limited fan-bases.

Sarita Stewart, Pipeline faculty advisor, says, “By combining the studio experience with live performance, the students helped the artists create a fun and interesting experience. The intimacy of the artist engagement process was reflected in the individual comments following the event.” Performer, Mackenzie Scott, said of her experience, “The stillness and attentiveness I received from the audience was a complete gift and, honestly, every musician’s dream. I hope they felt as moved by the intimacy of the music as I did.”

Weekly Chart Report (8/05/11)

Ronnie Milsap has been busy promoting the release of his album Country Again with a Satellite Media Tour, a visit with Cody Alan for CMT Radio Live, and an interview with Eddie Stubbs (who produced Country Again) on 650 AM WSM. The album’s first single is “If You Don’t Want Me To (The Freeze).” (L-R) Milsap, CMT Radio Live’s Cody Alan

Every once in awhile, you land a big one. Trace Adkins has done just that with “Just Fishin’,” which ascends to No. 1 by jumping over Zac Brown Band’s “Knee Deep.” The big man’s latest gains 72 spins in its 21st week charting with 98 stations on board. Also advancing are Kenny Chesney’s “You and Tequila” at No. 3, Toby Keith’s “Made In America” at No. 4, and the Paisley/Underwood juggernaut “Remind Me” at No. 5.
Fishing is a pretty common theme for the summer country singles climbing the current chart. Bigger Picture’s Craig Campbell is promoting his second single, “Fish,” which moves to No. 33 with a gain of 160 spins. Newcomer Kelly Parkes is at No. 45 with “Girl With A Fishing Rod.” Right behind and red hot is Justin Moore’s “Bait A Hook,” which reels in 322 new spins and moves to No. 48.
Speaking of red hot, there are big debuts from The Band Perry and Miranda Lambert. TBP’s “All Your Life” is the fourth single from the group’s self-titled Republic Nashville album, and clocked in at No. 62 for the week’s highest debut. “Baggage Claim” is the first single from Lambert’s anticipated Four The Record album due November 1, and programmers spun it enough out of the box to earn the No. 69 spot with no prior reports.
Our thoughts and best wishes are with KBOE/Oskaloosa, IA PD Steve Shettler, whose mother recently suffered a stroke. According to Shettler, she’s showing hopeful signs of progress in the last few days. Reach out to him here.

Upcoming Singles
August 8
Danny Gokey/Second Hand Heart/RCA
The Band Perry/All Your Life/Republic Nashville
August 15
Crystal Shawanda/Love Enough/Sun/Nine North
Brett Eldredge/It Ain’t Gotta Be Love/Atlantic/WMN
Tyrone Vaughan/Downtime/CO5
Casey James/Let’s Don’t Call It A Night/BNA
• • • • •
New On The Chart—Debuting This Week
Artist/song/label — chart pos.
The Band Perry/All Your Life/Republic Nashville — 62
Miranda Lambert/Baggage Claim/Columbia — 69
The McClymonts/Wrapped Up Good/BSM — 75
Brad Wolfe/Love Ought To Be Perfect/Evergreen — 78
Ashton Shepherd/Where Country Grows/MCA — 80
Greatest Spin Increase
Artist/song/label — spin+
Miranda Lambert/Baggage Claim/Columbia — 348
Blake Shelton/God Gave Me You/Warner Bros./WMN — 337
Justin Moore/Bait a Hook/Valory — 332
Taylor Swift/Sparks Fly/Big Machine — 297
The Band Perry/All Your Life/Republic Nashville — 293
Most Added
Artist/song/label — New Adds
Miranda Lambert/Baggage Claim/Columbia — 31
The Band Perry/All Your Life/Republic Nashville — 26
Justin Moore/Bait a Hook/Valory — 26
Montgomery Gentry/Where I Come From/Average Joe’s — 14
Bradley Gaskin/Mr. Bartender/Columbia — 11
Mark Wills/Crazy Bein’ Home/Tenacity — 11
Tracy Lawrence/The Singer/Lawrence Music Group — 11
Martina McBride/I’m Gonna Love You Through It/Republic Nashville — 10
On Deck—Soon To Be Charting
Artist/song/label — spins
Eric Paslay/Never Really Wanted/EMI Nashville – 200
Cash Creek/Unlikely Angel/Ohana Music Group – 200
Kevin Fowler/Hell Yeah, I Like Beer/Average Joe’s Ent. – 191
Keith Bryant/Can’t Tell Somebody (Who To Love)/Jordash Records – 178
Big & Rich/Fake ID/Warner – 162

WMN’s Frankie Ballard recently visited with KEGA/Salt Lake City. Ballard’s single “A Buncha Girls” is currently at No. 49 on MusicRow’s CountryBreakout Chart. (L-R): KEGA MD Jon Watkins, Ballard, KEGA PD Alan Hague, W.A.R. West Coast Regional Rhonda Christensen

Charlie Cook On Air

PPM Pitfalls

If you’re reading this, my second note for MusicRow, then last week’s article didn’t end my writing career right out of the chute. That is great for me as there is so much to say about the relationship between radio and records.
Last week I touched, briefly, on research and how it is used and misused by stations and researchers themselves. Comprehensive research is a valuable tool for everyone looking for the truth and a navigable direction for your label, artists, individual songs and radio stations.
There is no more comprehensive research for radio than Arbitron. I remember sitting in the audience at an Arbitron seminar where they detailed the People Meter process. I said to myself, “wow, what a great system. Truthfully track the listeners and report their listening.” The presenters then went on to explain the system and detail what it takes to familiarize them with the participants. Then I thought, “Who the heck would take this project on?” It is not easy and the results make half of the station’s personnel angry on some level.
The People Meter has caused concern in both radio stations and then at record companies, as so much of what we do impacts the other industry. Radio programmers in the top 48 markets in America are living with PPM measurement and many Country Stations are thriving. Wow, Americans like Country Music. Wow, Americans like music that they can understand with lyrics about life experiences that are similar to theirs. Wow, Americans want to be able to share their radio with their families on the way to school, shopping and church.
We should all be very pleased with the current success of Country radio stations in PPM markets but I am afraid that long term PPM could be bad for building artist careers. The way stations are reading PPM many of them are removing the passion for the artists. We have passion for individual songs without building a foundation for the artists.
Many stations have eliminated on-air interviews or moved them to the station’s website. Many stations have eliminated disc jockey interaction with the artist.
Radio people will remember that famous PPM experiment in Houston years ago around a Kenny Chesney interview on the two Country stations. One of the stations was clearly more successful with the interview, ratings wise. PPM allows us to look, minute by minute, to rating’s results.
Apparently unfocused and uninteresting interviews are bad. Uninteresting chatter is also bad at cocktail parties, during dinner, on the phone and in the workplace. If you want to hold someone’s attention say something interesting, concise and with a punch line.
Suggestion number one for artists for PPM markets: come with something interesting. Come with something that can be transmitted to the listener in short order. If I am going to play “A Buncha Girls” give me five bits of information about Frankie Ballard that I can communicate in 5-7 seconds. WYCD would want to tell listeners that Frankie grew up across the state in Battle Creek. What about that Frankie toured with fellow Michigander Uncle Kracker. That he has opened for (another Michigander) Bob Seger. In fact, Frankie performed in front of two sold out audiences in Nashville. Opening for Seger one night and singing the National Anthem at a Predators Playoff game a few nights later. He also opened for Taylor Swift.
Nothing earth-shattering but it is a beginning of building a picture of Frankie and he is coming to life.
Second PPM tip for record companies. And this one is off the wall. PPM has seen a resurgence of Classic Rock radio. I contend that there are two reasons. Familiarity and…long songs. PPM measures listenership differently. If you can score 5 minutes of listening in a quarter hour you get credit for the entire quarter hour. Not any 15 minute segment, but: 00 to: 15 or: 15 to: 30 and so on.
So many of the Classic Rock songs are near the 5 minutes that makes collecting that quarter hour’s listening pretty simple. Play the right songs and you have minimized opportunities for tune outs. If you can collect listening with one hit song instead of having to pair two hit songs, you’re more than half way there.
Country record producers can identify some music that should be re-edited to approach that 5 minute length. How many Country stations would object to “Need You Now”-Lady Antebellum being 5 minutes long? That would pretty much guarantee that quarter hour’s listening. “Remind Me”-Brad and Carrie is 4:31. Give me a 5 minute version. Everyone knew that was going to be a huge record.
In single Country Music station markets you can play as much music as possible and depend on the popularity of the music. In markets with more than one Country Music station it is the subtle things that gain the advantage over your competitors.

UK Realigns IP Laws

Summary: UK approves expanded fair use definitions which might include digital lockers plus bans all attempts to block copyright infringing (filesharing) websites…

Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The UK has announced sweeping changes to its intellectual property laws in response to a comprehensive analysis delivered last May titled, “Digital Opportunity: an Independent Review of IP and Growth.” An official UK government communication characterizes the report, authored by Professor Ian Hargreaves, saying it “sets out a powerful vision for the UK’s future success through better uses of IP. The Government is grateful to him and his team for their hard work and particularly commends their resolution to ground their report in reliable evidence. This response to that report … also indicates the way we will be tackling online copyright infringement, both through the Digital Economy Act and through voluntary action by responsible businesses. This is not the limit of the Government’s ambitions for IP. We are publishing alongside this document the UK’s IP Crime Strategy and International strategy for IP, which expand on our plans to defend brands and creative content from illegal copying and to encourage other countries to share our vision for a future where more value is created from IP not just in the UK but across the world.” Business Secretary Vince Cable said the move will bring copyright law into line with the “real world” and with “consumers reasonable expectations.” (Download the complete government response here.)
Below are some key points of the new strategy as outlined on the UK Business Innovations & Skills website (BIS). Most notable are a softening of the “fair use” concepts with respect to individuals copying legally purchased digital files which may change the UK rules for digital cloud based lockers. A parody can be created without permission from the copyright holder and the report calls for the creation of a digital license clearinghouse. A key component of bringing the copyright laws into the “modern era” is that plans to block copyright infringing websites are to be dropped.

  1. That the UK should have a Digital Copyright Exchange; a digital market place where licenses in copyright content can be readily bought and sold. This could add up as much as £2 billion a year to the UK economy by 2020. The Government will announce arrangements for how this work will be driven forward later in the year.
  2. Copyright exceptions covering limited private copying should be introduced to realize growth opportunities. Thousands of people copy legitimately purchased content, such as a CD to a computer or portable device such as an IPod, assuming it is legal. This move will bring copyright law into line with the real world, and with consumers’ reasonable expectations.
  3. Copyright exceptions to allow parody should also be introduced to benefit UK production companies and make it legal for performing artists, such as comedians, to parody someone else’s work without seeking permission from the copyright holder. It would enable UK production companies to create programmes that could play to their creative strengths, and create a range of content for broadcasters.
  4. The introduction of an exception to copyright for search and analysis techniques known as ‘text and data mining’, allowing research scientists such as medical researchers greater access to data.
  5. Establishing licensing and clearance procedures for orphan works (material with unknown copyright owners). This would open up a range of works that are currently locked away in libraries and museums and unavailable for consumer or research purposes.
  6. That evidence should drive future policy – The Government has strengthened the Intellectual Property Office’s economics team and has begun a program of research to highlight growth opportunities.


In the above video Vince Cable says, “We’ve updated the law and made it much more friendly for individual consumers and business while protecting the very real rights of creative artists, filmmakers and protecting them from criminal piracy, getting the balance between those things correct.

Photo Friday

NuCorp Entertainment flagship artist Darren Warren visited MusicRow to perform for the staff this week. He has been on the road promoting debut single “Cowboy Up and Party Down.”

(L-R): MR's David Ross, Jon Freeman and Sarah Skates, Darren Warren, and NuCorp Entertainment's Chuck Rhodes

• • • •

At Turner Field, Darling caught up with American Idol champ Scotty McCreery. Photo: Sara Kauss

Sarah Darling performed the national anthem July 25 when the Atlanta Braves took on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Darling closed out her “Something to Do With Your Fans” promotion at the game with Atlanta’s WUBL, The Bull and performed a private acoustic set to listners in the luxury suite. Her most recent single, “Something to Do With Your Hands,” celebrated a No. 2 rank on the GAC Top 20 Countdown.
• • • •

Director Peter Zavadil, and RCA artist Sara Evans

Taillight TV’s Peter Zavadil directed the new video from Sara Evans. “My Heart Can’t Tell Me No” was shot on location in Nashville.
• • • •
Big Machine Records presented the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon (7/31). Among the label group’s artists who performed for the 115,000 NASCAR fans were Rascal Flatts, Reba, The Band Perry, Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert and Thomas Rhett. Driver Paul Menard and his Richard Childress Racing Team won the race.

2011 Brickyard 400 winner Paul Menard (C) poses with (L-R) team owner Richard Childress, Big Machine Records' Scott Borchetta, winning team chief, Reba McEntire, Justin Moore, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Pres. Jeff Belskus, and Sandi Borchetta in Victory Lane. Photo: Rick Diamond/

Leadership Music Names New Board

Lori Badgett has been elected President of the Leadership Music Board of Directors.

Lori Badgett, VP Entertainment at City National Bank, has been elected President of the Leadership Music board of directors.
Additional Officers include
President-Elect—Jeff Gregg, Agent, CAA
Secretary—Linda Bloss-Baum, VP Public Policy, Time Warner
Treasurer—Drew Alexander, Dir. of Publishing, Curb Music Group
Joining them on the Executive Committee will be Past President Jamie Cheek, Business Manager/Partner of Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy.
New board members elected to three-year terms include John Allen, VP, Bug Music Publishing; Carey Nelson-Burch, TV/Film Agent, My Own Shingle; and Lynn Morrow, Partner, Adams & Reese LLP.
Continuing board members include Mitch Bainwol, Chairman & CEO, RIAA; John Beiter, Attorney, Shackelford, Zumwalt & Hayes; Fred Buc, General Manager, Tuned In Broadcasting/WRLT-FM; Karen Clark, Sr. VP/Financial Advisor, Pinnacle Financial Partners; Pat Collins, President & COO, SESAC, Inc.; Fletcher Foster, Manager, Red Light Management; Jay Frank, Sr. VP Music Strategy, CMT; Garth Fundis, Record Producer, GMF Music; Bill Lee, Sr. VP Licensing Operations, SESAC; Mark Montgomery, Founder, FLO {thinkery} | EIR :. Claritas Capital; Ken Paulson, President & COO, Newseum, Freedom Forum and First Amendment Center; Larry Stessel, President, Revolver Marketing Group; John Styll, President/COO of Far Further LLC; Bethel “Bo” Thomas, VP University Advancement, Belmont University; Randy Wachtler, EVP, 615 Music Companies; Stacy Widelitz, President, Stacy Widelitz Music, Inc.; and Sally Williams, General Manager, Ryman Auditorium.
Leadership Music’s executive director Karen Oertley continues to serve as an ex-officio member of the board.

Lewis Joins GAC

Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis has joined Great American Country (GAC) in the new position of Director of Programming & Development and will report to Suzanne Gordon, VP of Programming. Lewis will work on new series development as well as management of some of GAC’s current series and specials.
“Paul Lewis will play a key role in bringing new lifestyle programming and projects to GAC,” said Gordon.
Prior to joining GAC, Lewis served as head of development and acquisitions at Fireworks International in Los Angeles. He was also director of current programming for Fox Broadcasting Company, where he worked on shows such as Family Guy, That ‘70s Show, Party of Five and more.
GAC broadcasts original country music programming, music performance specials, live concerts and music videos. It is available in more than 60 million households.

Hot Times At Jake On The Lake

Sony salutes the Gold digital certifications of two Jake Owen hits. Pictured (L-R): Sony SVP Promotion Skip Bishop, SVP Marketing Paul Barnabee, Jake Owen, Assoc. Director Sales Caryl Healey, and VP Promotion RCA Keith Gale.

Jake Owen treated music tastemakers to an afternoon retreat on Tuesday (8/2) at Jake On The Lake. The Nashville press corps and industry execs braved the heat and gathered on Music Row to board buses bound for Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville, Tenn.
At Anchor High Marina, Owen performed songs from his upcoming release Barefoot Blue Jean Night and shared details about the project which has tracks produced by Joey Moi, Rodney Clawson, and Tony Brown. Against a backdrop of sweltering summer heat and squawking ducks on the lake, Owen candidly told about his background and journey to Nashville.
Particularly he spoke about his search for outside songs for his third studio set. For example, the lead single and title track from the pens of Eric Paslay, Dylan Altman and Terry Sawchuk, has turned out to be the fastest rising single of Owen’s career. It lands at No. 7 this week on MusicRow’s CountryBreakout chart.
“I’m from Florida and I ran around barefoot my whole life,” says Owen of the song. “I think all music fans crave authenticity and this song is as realistic as it gets.”
After his performance, Sony execs surprised him with gold digital single plaques for 500,000 downloads of “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and “Eight Second Ride,” from his previous album Easy Does It.
Guests at the Sony-fest enjoyed a southern smorgasbord of fried chicken, catfish, hushpuppies and coleslaw. Cool drinks were from Island ROX, a new frozen cocktail mixer from the brains behind Dippin’ Dots.
Owen will perform Saturday night (8/6) in Nashville as the special guest on the U.S. leg of Keith Urban’s Get Closer 2011 World Tour.

Thursday Thoughts

>>NSAI and CMT will partner again to present the 12th Annual NSAI Song Contest. The annual event starts Aug. 1 and runs through Oct. 31, 2011. Aspiring songwriters in any genre are encouraged to send their best songs to be judged by a panel of experts, and a new Lyric-Only category has been added this year. The Grand Prize includes a mentoring session with songwriter/musician/industry icon Charlie Daniels!
A grand prize winner will be named, plus a Lyric-Only winner and a CMT Listener’s Choice Winner. The entry fees are $35.00 (Current NSAI members) and $45.00 (Non-Members) per song submitted. Songwriters may submit as many songs as they would like, but the preceding fees apply to each song submitted. Entries will be accepted from August 1 until October 31, 2011. For details on submitting songs as well as the official prizes and rules & regulations go to
>>RPM Transportation Consultants has moved from Brentwood to Music Row, 1101 17th Ave. S. The company which designs bicycle lanes and contributed to the Music Row roundabout, has 12 employees in the new location. RPM President Bob Murphy told the Nashville Post, “Our new location on Music Row brings us closer to our clients than ever before. With innovation and sustainability part of our mission statement, we now have better access to public transportation and bike routes for travel to and from the office. What better way to continue work on Nashville’s transportation future than to be here in the heart of the city?”
>>New industry career group, the Young Entertainment Professionals (YEP) began last January to help members of the industry network, and has grown to over 700 members by organizing mixers and educational events. YEP is headed by Executive Director/founder Andrew Cohen. “We hold mixers and showcases for young, up‐and‐coming talent [at venues] around town such as Tin Roof, Roosters BBQ, The Gold Rush, etc. as a way for people to develop one on one relationships with similar people who are looking to make their mark in the industry,” explains Cohen. YEP’s Board includes ten directors from various labels, publishers and other companies. “Our events are open to anyone,” says Cohen. “The next YEP mixer, will be held in tandem with the successful Whiskey Jam series at Winner’s Bar on Monday, August 22nd at 6pm. Visit the “Young Entertainment Professionals – Nashville Network” group page on Facebook for more information on upcoming events.

Photos: Rising Artists Making The Rounds

Mandisa Celebrates First No. 1
On Monday (8/1) ASCAP celebrated the writers and publishers of “Stronger,” Mandisa’s No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart, with a reception in Franklin, Tenn. Written by Ben Glover, David Garcia and Chris Stevens, the song marks Glover’s eleventh trip to the top of the charts and Garcia’s first. Publishers Brentwood-Benson Publishing and EMI CMG Publishing were also honored. “Stronger” is Mandisa’s first trip to No. 1 and is the lead single from her third studio album on Sparrow/EMI CMG, What If We Were Real.

Pictured (L-R): EMI CMG Label Group's Peter York, EMI CMG's Bill Hearn, ASCAP's Tim DuBois, Ben Glover, EMI CMG Publishing's Matt Ewald and Eddie DeGarmo, Mandisa, Brentwood-Benson Publishing's Dale Mathews and John Andrade, David Garcia, ASCAP's Michael Martin, Brentwood-Benson's Stacey Willbur, EMI CMG Label Group's Brad O'Donnell, Brentwood-Benson's Eric Hurt, EMI CMG Label Group's Karrie Hardwick. Photo: Cami Steger

UMPG Inks Striking Matches
Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville recently signed Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis of Striking Matches (formerly Common Thread) to an Exclusive Songwriter & Publishing Agreement. The duo is managed by John Grady of Crush Management. Philadelphia native Zimmerman met Atlanta native Davis when a professor at Belmont University paired them to perform for a classroom full of guitar majors. Their wide-ranging influences include Jerry Reed, The Beatles, John Mayer and Patsy Cline.

Pictured (L-R): seated: Striking Matches’ Justin Davis and Sarah Zimmermann. Back row: Universal Music Publishing’s Kent Earls, Pat Higdon, Crush Management’s John Grady and Universal Music Publishing’s Cyndi Forman. Photo: Rory White

Brett Eldredge Visits CMA
Atlantic Records’ Brett Eldredge stopped by the CMA offices this week to perform several songs from his upcoming debut album including the Top 25 single “Raymond” as well as his recently released “It Aint’ Gotta Be Love.”

Pictured (L-R): Violator Nashville Manager, Brad Kennard; Warner Music Nashville VP of Publicity, Tree Paine; Violator Nashville GM, Rob Baker; CMA Sr. Manager of Membership & Balloting, Brandi Simms; Brett Eldredge; CMA Chief Executive Officer, Steve Moore; CMA VP of Strategic Partnerships, Sheri Warnke; CMA Sr. Coordinator of Member and Industry Relations, Betsy Walker; Warner Music Nashville VP of Marketing, Kelli Cashiola; and BMI Director of Writer-Publisher Relations, Bradley Collins. Photo: Amanda Eckard / CMA