Bobby Karl Works the SOURCE Awards

(L-R): Chuck Chellman accepting for his late wife Georgia Twitty Chellman, Millie Kirkham, Evelyn Shriver, Roberta Edging and Janice Erickson Wendell.

Chapter 371
Photos: Alan Mayor

Every year, the SOURCE organization honors the women of Nashville’s music business.

This year’s awards banquet, held at the Noah Liff Opera Center (8/25) put the spotlight on Janice Wendell, Evelyn Shriver, the late Georgia Twitty Chellman, Barbara Orbison and Roberta Edging.

Kay Smith, who founded SOURCE with Judy Harris and Shelia Shipley-Biddy in 1991, welcomed the sold-out crowd of 250 and explained the SOURCE mission of being a networking, education, financial support and job-bank organization.

Kay announced that the SOURCE plaques will have a home in the new Musicians Hall of Fame, thanks to the generosity of Joe & Linda Chambers. When the Municipal Auditorium celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012, it will do so with a new name, The Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum at Municipal Auditorium. The hallways surrounding the auditorium will hold historical exhibits about the venue. The Museum and SOURCE exhibits will be located in the 68,000-square foot exhibit hall that is on the ground floor.

(L-R): MusicRow's Robert K. Oermann, 2010 Source Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Frances Preston, David Preston and Source founder Kay Smith.

Jeannie Seely hosted the awards. Current SOURCE president Laurie Hughes gave out the plaques as each honoree took the stage.

“I’m amazed at not only our award winners, but all the women in this room,” said Seely. SOURCE membership is now approaching 200.

Roberta Edging was saluted first. The Nashville native ran Eddy Arnold’s business office for four decades. Jeannie described her as “a true family friend, even beyond the Country Music Hall of Famer’s death in 2008.” To the end, she typed Eddy’s  correspondence on a manual typewriter and took dictation the old-fashioned way. And, as Jeannie noted, Roberta always referred to her boss as “Mr. Arnold.”

“Roberta kept him functional,” noted Charlie Monk. “It was a little hard to keep his office tidy. It looked like the set of Sanford & Son.”

“That office still looks exactly the same, by the way,” said Arnold’s grandson Shannon Pollard. “We’ve kept it that way….I have literally known her my entire life. I consider her to be a grandmother to me, in many ways.”

“I appreciate all the kind words,” Roberta responded. “I appreciate the almost 43 years I spent with a gentleman, Eddy Arnold.”

(L-R): Evelyn Shriver, K. T. Oslin, 2008 Source honoree Hazel Smith, Carlie McCoy and 2009 Source honoree Pat McCoy.

Honoree Millie Kirkham is also a Nashville native. She began her career as secretary to the late Jack Stapp at WSM. When he formed Tree Publishing, she went with him to Music Row. She next became one of the most in-demand session vocalists in the industry. Jeannie recalled Millie’s unforgettable soprano on such hits as Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” and George Jones’s “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

Millie’s acceptance speech was a delight. Because of the demands of the recording studio, “I wasn’t home to cook dinner for my family,” she recalled. “Thank goodness, a company called Swanson’s came along. My daughter is living proof that you can survive on frozen TV dinners.

“This is the first award I have ever won. We had an earthquake and a hurricane on the East Coast, and Millie Kirkham finally got an award.” Hoots of laughter and applause greeted her as she left the stage.

Barbara Orbison was honored for managing Roy Orbison’s career, for establishing her successful Nashville music-publishing company in 1996 and for launching Pretty Woman perfume in 2009. She was unable to attend, but we all got samples of Pretty Woman when we left the banquet.

After a New York career as a publicist for Diana Ross, Cher, Henry “The Fonz” Winkler, the stars of TV’s Dallas and dozens more, Evelyn Shriver moved to Nashville in 1985. She has worked for Randy Travis, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson and many others. Named the SRO Publicist of the Year four times, Evelyn rose to become the first female president of a record label in Nashville (Asylum Records, 1998-2000). She now heads the George Jones imprint Bandit Records.

“I don’t feel like I have any claim to be here,” said Evelyn modestly. “I appreciate all the support I’ve gotten from the women in this business.”

Top executive Janice Wendell was saluted for her leadership of the powerhouse Ericson Advertising firm. Retired since 1992, she is the wife of Country Music Hall of Fame WSM/Gaylord executive E.W. “Bud” Wendell. Jeannie Seely noted that, “Mr. Wendell was my boss for many years [at the Opry]. He was always wonderful to work with. I assumed it was because he received such wonderful training at home.”

(L-R): Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Director Kyle Young, Bud Wendell, Janice Erickson Wendell, Frances Preston and Sony/ATV President/CEO Troy Tomlinson.

Janice accepted, saying, “I hope all of you find something you love to do. Because it won’t feel like working if you do….Enjoy life. It’s short. Do something nice for somebody every day.”

The late Georgia Twitty Chellman (1935-1992) was recognized for her work in television (Gospel Jubilee), radio (Music City Hotline), hospitality (Veeson Travel) and food (Tennessee T-Cakes). She was also an award-winning photographer, helped to found Country Radio Seminar and raised six children.

Georgia had an outrageous sense of humor. Her widower, Chuck Chellman, accepted by saying, “Georgia was special. Good or bad, it was never boring….Whenever you go to a music function, she’s still with us today.”

The banquet hall was packed with powerful music-biz female personalities. Karen Conrad, Karen Oertley, Karen Sturgeon, K.T. Oslin, Katie Gillon, Kerry Hanson, Kira Florita, Susan Stewart, Susan Nadler, Suzanne Kessler, Becky Harris, Judy Harris, Judy Newby, Lori Badgett, Laurie Hughes, Caroline Davis, Cathy Gurley, Ree Guyer-Buchanan, Debbie Carroll, Nancy Shapiro, Tracy Gershon, Lyndie Wenner, Diane Pearson, Brandi Simms, Barbara Turner, Betsy Morley, Sarah Brosmer, Shatzi Hageman, Mary Miller, Margie Hunt, Gillie Crowder and Pat Rolfe schmoozed mightily.

Past winners attending included Frances Preston, Jo Walker-Meador, Pat McCoy, Liz Thiels, Celia Froehlig, Sandy Neese, Hope Powell, Ruth White, Carol Phillips and Hazel Smith.

And lest you think this was a ladies-only event, some of the notable gents in attendance included Paul Burch, Charlie McCoy, Bill Denny, Chuck Neese, Bob Saporiti, Fletcher Foster, Frank Mull, David Preston, Andrew Kitz, Gene Ward, John Lomax III, Jay Orr, Alan Mayor, Chris Dodson, Roger Shriver, Michael Campbell, Sherrill Blackmon, Gordon Stoker, Bud Wendell, Ron Cox, Don Cusic, Kyle Young and Troy Tomlinson.

Pianist Ronnie Brown serenaded each honoree with appropriately chosen selections (“Make the World Go Away” for Roberta, “Georgia on My Mind” for Georgia, etc.).

This was the ninth annual SOURCE banquet. This event is always noted for its excellent cuisine, and this year was no exception. We began with tossed green salad with pine nuts, blue-cheese crumbles and strawberries. The main course was melt-in-your-mouth roast beef with mushroom gravy, asparagus spears and the most scrumptious flakey scalloped potatoes I’ve ever tasted. Lighter-than-air raspberry and vanilla mousse with kiwi slices, blackberries and whipped cream finished us off.

Gibson Statement: “No Charges Filed”

Yesterday federal agents raided the guitar manufacturer with little explanation to the media about the cause, today Gibson tells its side of the story.

Excerpt from Gibson Guitar Corp.’s official press release:

The Justice department bullies Gibson without filing charges

The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India.

On August 24, 2011, around 8:45 a.m. CDT, agents for the federal government executed four search warrants on Gibson’s facilities in Nashville and Memphis and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. Gibson had to cease its manufacturing operations and send workers home for the day, while armed agents executed the search warrants. Gibson has fully cooperated with the execution of the search warrants.

• Raid shut down Gibson factories and cost company money

• Nearly two years later, no charges have been filed

• Wood seized was Forest Stewardship Council Controlled

The wood the Government seized on August 24 is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier and is FSC Controlled, meaning that the wood complies with the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council, which is an industry-recognized and independent, not-for-profit organization established to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. Gibson has a long history of supporting sustainable and responsible sources of wood and has worked diligently with entities such as the Rainforest Alliance and Greenpeace to secure FSC certified supplies.

Industry Ink Thursday (8/25)

• Americana Defined—Merriam-Webster has added the word Americana to its Collegiate Dictionary. According to the dictionary’s editors Americana music is defined as: a genre of American music having roots in early folk and country music.

• Guy Clark’s live album Songs And Stories debuted this week. Recorded at Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre, Clark was joined at the show by longtime sidekick and co-writer Verlon Thompson, along with Shawn Camp, Bryn Davies and Kenny Malone. The Dualtone release sold over 3000 copies its first week—a great lead in to Clark’s upcoming 70th birthday. He is member of Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and a recipient of the Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

• Mike Rivers has exited his post as Sony Music Nashville Director Field Sales, Marketing & Catalog Development. He can be reached at [email protected] or 615-500-8346.

• Mark Bright will be the featured speaker at the Producer’s Chair tonight (8/25) at 6:00 p.m. at Douglas Corner.

• Marlee Scott visited the MusicRow offices recently to perform a few new songs. The rising singer has been on a radio tour promoting current single “Beautiful Maybe,” and has been getting airplay with the Wes Edwards-directed video. She often cooks her favorite chocolate Marls Bars for station visits, and is sharing the recipe with fans on her “In The Kitchen” video blog.
The Ontario native and Nashville resident is busy with upcoming events at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards and Country Music Week.

Back row (L-R): MusicRow's Sherod Robertson, Christie King, and David Ross, and Marco Promotion's Rick Kelly. Front row (L-R): Manager Gerry Leiske, Marlee Scott and MusicRow's Jon Freeman.

• Nan Kelley at WMBA Meeting—The Women’s Music Business Association (WMBA) welcomed Nan Kelley as its guest speaker for the Aug. 16 membership meeting. The host of GAC’s Opry Live and Top 20 Country Countdown shared her experience as a broadcast journalist, music historian, singer-songwriter and performer, with attendees honoring her with a standing ovation at the end of the meeting.

Pictured at the WMBA meeting (L-R): Holly Ashby, Vice President; Betsy Walker, Membership Chairman; Nan Kelley; Amanda Fletcher, Social Chairman; Brandi Simms, President; Kama Upton, Community Service Chairman; Susan Myers; Amery Fridenstine, Treasurer; and Trina Lloyd-Weidner, Secretary

A documentary produced in part by Nashville’s Thinking Bee Productions was awarded the Grand Prize for Best Documentary in the Rhode Island International Film Festival’s Viola M. Marshall Audience Choice Awards. The indie documentary is Family Band: The Cowsills Story. Thinking Bee is a visual production company founded by director/editor Bill Filipiak and producer Jo Hunt which focuses on music documentaries.

• Luna Chica Records has launched online radio station Indie Music Nashville (IMN), offering 24-hour programming of Americana, Country and indie rock at Those wishing to submit material can send a CD and contact info to Indie Music Nashville, 2826 Dogwood Place, Nashville, TN 37204.

Several songwriters are on the line-up for a benefit for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, scheduled for Wed., Aug. 31, 7-10:30 p.m. at The Building in East Nashville. Among those set to perform are Dave Pahanish, Lauren Lucas, and Channing Wilson.

• Musicians Corner, Nashville’s free weekly lawn party in Centennial Park, recently announced its fall season schedule which takes place on Saturdays from Sept. 3 to Nov. 5. See the line up at

Xtreme Muzik The Tour, featuring co-headliners Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson, has been a hit with audiences from coast to coast. For their Sept. 2 hometown show at The Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel, the artists will donate 100% of their proceeds to Operation Finally Home, a 501(c)3 organization that honors wounded and disabled veterans and widows of fallen soldiers with new homes.

Pictured at a recent Xtreme Tour date in Allentown, PA. (L-R): artist manager and Fontanel co-owner Marc Oswald; George King, OM WCTO/Allentown; Big Kenny; Gretchen Wilson; Sam Malone, AM Show WCTO/Allentown; Cowboy Troy; Becca Lynn, AM Show WCTO/Allentown; Lindsay Walleman, Manager Promo MW/NE; John Rich

CMA Awards Bidding War Draws To A Close?

As reported last week, the major television networks have been in a bidding war for broadcast rights to the CMA Awards. ABC has been the show’s home in recent years, and despite efforts by NBC and CBS, two outlets are reporting that “Country Music’s Biggest Night” will likely stay put on ABC.

The Hollywood Reporter has posted a story about a pending agreement between ABC and CMA.

The story is also on the website of Broadcasting & Cable, which reports, “One source says the price tag could reach more than $30 million per year in a multi-year deal that would also include the summertime CMA Music Festival and a Christmas special.”

Stay tuned for official word from the CMA…

Video: Lady A “Unplugs,” Discusses New Album

Lady Antebellum announces they will touch-down in three major cities surrounding their Sept. 13 Own The Night album release in a concert series labeled Own The Night: Unplugged. The evenings will feature stripped-down versions of new and old favorites from the band beginning in Chicago on Sept. 10, New York on release day (9/13), followed by Los Angeles on Sept. 15.

“The next few weeks are crazy, and we wanted to make spending time with our fans in a low-key, intimate setting a big priority,” says Hillary Scott. “We want to play some of our new songs and their favorites, and really live in this moment with them.”

These intimate shows will precede the band’s first headlining tour, hitting arenas in 21 cities, starting Nov. 11 in Knoxville, featuring Josh Kelley on all dates, with Randy Montana and Edens Edge on select dates.

Fans can purchase the very limited “Unplugged” tickets beginning tomorrow (8/26) plus receive information on the arena tour tickets through
A behind-the-scenes look as the band prepares for the upcoming Own The Night album release and tour can be seen with the video below.

“We named our new album ‘Own The Night’ after one of our favorite songs ‘We Owned The Night’ off the new album, and felt it was a great description of how we wanted our fans to spend each night of the tour with us,” explains Dave Haywood. “When people come out to our live show or hear the song on the radio it’s a call to action. Be confident, live in the moment and enjoy the experiences you’re going through—own them.”

Own The Night 2011 Stadium Tour

11/11 – Knoxville, Tenn. – Knoxville Coliseum*
11/12 – Macon, Ga. -Macon Centreplex*
11/13 – Pikeville, Ky. – East Kentucky Expo Center*
11/16 – El Paso, Texas – El Paso County Coliseum*
11/17 – Phoenix, Ariz. – Grand Canyon University*
11/18 – Las Vegas, Nev. – The Joint @ The Hard Rock*
11/25 – Huntsville, Ala. – Von Braun Civic Center**
11/26 – Florence, S.C. – Florence Civic Center**
11/27 – Savannah, Ga. – Savannah Civic Center**
12/1 – Colorado Springs, Colo. – Colorado Springs World Arena**
12/2 – Lubbock, Texas – City Bank Coliseum**
12/3 – Wichita Falls, Texas – Kay Yeager Coliseum**
12/4 – Belton, Texas – Bell County Expo Center**
12/8 – La Crosse, Wis. – La Crosse Center Arena**
12/9 – Sioux City, Iowa – Tyson Center**
12/10 – Springfield, Mo. – JQH Arena**
12/11 – Murray, Ky. – CFSB Center**
12/15 – Amherst, Mass. – The Mullins Center**
12/16 – Wilkes-Barre, Pa. – Mohegan Sun Arena**
12/17 – Roanoke, Va. – Roanoke Civic Center**
12/18 – Morgantown, W.Va. – WVU Coliseum**

*Tour Dates with Randy Montana
**Tour Dates with Eden’s Edge

Breaking News: Details on CMA Noms Announcement

The Band Perry and Jake Owen will reveal some of the nominations live on ABC's "Good Morning America."

“Country Music’s Biggest Morning” will be Tues., Sept. 6, when the final nominees for “The 45th Annual CMA Awards” are announced from two cities.

The Band Perry and Jake Owen will announce the final nominees in five CMA Awards categories live from the Good Morning America studios in the heart of New York City’s Times Square on the ABC Television Network. The announcement will air in the 8:30 AM/ET half-hour segment of the morning news program. During the broadcast, Owen will also perform his current Top Five single “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.”

Later that morning, Jerrod Niemann and Thompson Square will announce the finalists in seven CMA Awards categories from Nashville at a press conference at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

Also in Nashville, the JaneDear girls will announce the finalists for the 2011 CMA Broadcast Award Personality and Radio Station of the Year in four categories (small, medium, large, and major markets), as well as the finalists for the CMA National Broadcast Personality.

CMT Insider Special Edition: 2011 CMA Awards Nominations, featuring in-depth coverage of all the nominations, artist interviews, and more, will premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 7 (11:30 AM/ET). The 30-minute special will re-air on Saturday, Sept. 10 (1:30 PM/ET) and again on Sunday, Sept. 11 (11:00 AM/ET) on CMT.

CMA’s official radio partner, Premiere Radio Network, will carry the Awards and Broadcast Award nominations live to Country Radio.

The awards will be presented Nov. 9 on “Country Music’s Biggest Night.”

Quick Pics

Connie Smith Takes Up Residency at Hall of Fame
Connie Smith with featured steel guitarist guests Gary Carter, Robby Turner, and Weldon Myrick before her first Artist-in-Residency show Monday night (8/22) at the Country Music Hall of Fame ® and Museum. The theme for the evening was “Connie and the Steel Guitar.” Smith’s remaining residency programs will be Aug. 29 and Sept. 12.

Pictured (L-R): Gary Carter, Robby Turner, Connie Smith, Weldon Myrick, Marty Stuart and Vice President of Museum Programs Jay Orr. Photo: Donn Jones

Miller Harris Foundation Benefit
SESAC supported the annual Miller Harris Foundation Benefit show at the Bluebird Café, which featured a line-up of top songwriters including its own affiliates Rob Hatch and Lance Miller, who took the stage along with fellow hitmakers Dallas Davidson, Lee Brice, Jason Sellers, Doug Johnson and Jerrod Niemann. The event raised funds for asthma education and awareness programs. The 12th Annual Miller Harris Golf Tournament will be held Mon., Sept. 12 at Temple Hills Country Club in Franklin, Tenn. Registration at

Pictured (L-R): SESAC’s Shannan Hatch, Dallas Davidson, Karen Sturgeon, Lee Brice, Rob Hatch, Jerrod Niemann, Judy Harris, Jason Sellers, Doug Johnson and Lance Miller. Photo: Alan Mayor

East Side Sounds
BMI partnered with Rumours East Wine Bar to present another installment of East Side Sounds on Wed., Aug. 10. The free monthly showcase series hinges on acoustic, in-the-round sets by indie up-and-comers. Singer/songwriters Stephanie Lambring, Jimmy Robbins, Robert Kelly, and Julia Sinclair took full advantage of the intimate, outdoor setting, swapping stories and finely crafted songs.

Pictured (L-R): BMI’s Beth Laird, Lambring, Kelly, Robbins, Sinclair, and BMI’s Julie Stuckey and Mark Mason. Photo: Drew Maynard

Apple’s Steve Jobs Steps Down

Steve Jobs

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced his resignation from that post today (8/24), and was elected chairman of the board of the technology giant. The company’s COO Tim Cook, who has been leading Apple during Jobs’ recurring medical leaves, will succeed Jobs as CEO according to the company’s official press release.


Jobs has been plagued with health issues in recent years following a 2004 fight with pancreatic cancer. However, there was no mention of his health in his resignation letter to the board (below). The tech visionary has been on medical leave since January, though he did appear briefly in public in March to launch the iPad2.

August 24, 2011

Letter from Steve Jobs

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.



More here from the Wall Street Journal.


Gibson Guitar Raided

Gibson’s plants in Nashville and Memphis were raided today by federal agents. Law enforcement is not giving any details in the case, but The Tennessean reports that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents were executing search warrants at the offices.

Today’s searches could be related to past investigations about using endangered wood in Gibson’s instrument manufacturing. In November 2009, Gibson was charged with illegal importation of Madagascar wood.


Frank DiLeo Passes

DiLeo's signature look always included a cigar.

Legendary music businessman Frank DiLeo died today (8/24) following a lengthy illness. He was 63 and is best known as Michael Jackson’s manager during the pinnacle of the star’s career in the 1980s. DiLeo resumed the role in the months leading up to Jackson’s death, and continued working for his estate following the star’s passing.

DiLeo grew to industry prominence after being tapped by another legend, Walter Yetnikoff, to lead Epic’s promotion division, where the younger exec was an outspoken advocate for independent radio promotion, and helped build the careers of Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Meat Loaf, Ozzy Osbourne, Gloria Estefan and REO Speedwagon.

DiLeo’s work at Epic led to his management role with Jackson, during which he guided the singer through his post-Thriller skyrocketing career, including the monumental Bad World Tour, movie Moonwalker, and classic Pepsi commercials/endorsement deal.

In January 2007, he formed the Nashville based Dileo Entertainment Group and worked with singer-songwriter Galen Griffin and other new talents. He was a 2008 graduate of Leadership Music.

DiLeo also acted in famed mobster flick Goodfellas.

The Nashville Scene was the first media outlet to report DiLeo’s passing, and also featured him in a 2007 cover story.

DiLeo and Michael Jackson.