’s Top Stories of 2011 readers clicked like crazy in 2011. Driving traffic were news stories of all kinds, from major label signings to major label lawsuits. There was good news (giving bragging rights to Nashville’s music scene) and bad news when layoffs hit the Row. MusicRow covered the year’s tragedies, including the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair, and the passing of beloved members of the music community. Here’s a look back at some of the stories that most intrigued our readers:

New Sony Music Nashville Signing
Dec. 12 — Jon Freeman
—Sony Music Nashville has signed family trio The Henningsens to a recording deal. Comprised of Brian, Clara, and Aaron Henningsen, the group is working on its debut album with Paul Worley and will be assigned a label imprint soon.

“Rolling Stone” Declares Nashville “Best Music Scene”
April 19 — Sarah Skates
—In its new Best of Rock issue, Rolling Stone lists Nashville as the nation’s Best Music Scene. The one-page spread covers Music City restaurants, bars, venues, shopping and record stores, with quotes from local rockers about their favorite hangs.

Curb Records Sues Tim McGraw
May 17 — Sarah Skates
—Curb Records has filed suit against Tim McGraw claiming breach-of-contract. Curb alleges that the tracks on McGraw’s upcoming Emotional Traffic album were recorded outside of a contractually designated time period.

Letter From Sugarland
Aug. 16 — contributor
—Sugarland has just released this statement regarding the tragedy that occurred Saturday before the duo took the stage at the Indiana State Fair.

The Woods Amphitheater Gearing Up For First Full Season
Mar. 7 — Sarah Skates
—The Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel has several big-name artists on the line-up for its first full season, which opens Sat., April 23 with Chicago and Los Lonely Boys.

Aldean Duels Rapper T.I. For Ringtone Title
Sep. 2 — David M. Ross
—Most country fans would not be expected to know that rapper T.I.’s real name is Clifford Harris, but judging by purchases of 248,000 ringtones and close to 1.98 million downloads of “Dirt Road Anthem,” they certainly know Jason Aldean.

Songwriter Harley Allen Passes
Mar. 30 — Sarah Skates
—Respected songwriter Harley Allen succumbed to cancer early this morning, Wednesday, March 30, 2011. Known as a country traditionalist, Allen is credited with hits including Blake Shelton’s “The Baby,” Joe Nichols’ “I’ll Wait For You,” and Darryl Worley’s “Awful, Beautiful Life.” He was 55.

Radio Veteran Coyote McCloud Dies
Apr. 7 — Robert K. Oermann
—Music City radio icon Coyote McCloud died Wednesday afternoon, April 6 at age 68. A veteran of the Nashville airwaves for more than 30 years, McCloud’s slogan when he broadcast pop oldies was, “He played them when they were new.”

CMA Awards Afterparty Pics
Nov. 11 — Jon Freeman
—Label afterparty pictures from Big Machine, Capitol, UMG, Warner, Sony.

Breaking News: Sony Exits Hit Nashville
Aug. 26 — Sarah Skates
—Sony Music Nashville laid off 12 staffers this week as part of a restructuring, MusicRow has confirmed. Among those exiting are Jimmy Rector, Mike Wilson, Stephanie Cox and Debbie Linn. Columbia’s radio promotion team was hardest hit.


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine,, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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