“Uncle Bud” Passes Away

Nashville drummer Buddy Rogers has died at age 73.

He performed and/or recorded with Danny Davis & The Nashville Brass, Jerry Reed, Marty Robbins, Charlie Rich, The Wilburn Brothers, The Music City Jazz Band, The Tommy Dorsey Band, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others.

He was also in the Grand Ole Opry house band for four years.

Born in Arkansas in 1939, he joined the Air Force Band in the 1960s. Moving to Memphis, he enrolled in Memphis State University and performed in local nightclubs.

Rogers moved to Nashville and had a 25-year career playing on recording sessions and at shows in Music City.

Leaving music behind, he gained further fame as the founder/owner of Uncle Bud’s Catfish in Franklin, as well as its branches (1980-1989). During this time, he was named Restaurateur of the Year and president of the Tennessee Restaurant Association. Later, he helped establish the organic enterprise Buffalo Valley Farm.

He sold his restaurants’ name in 1989, but the family has continued in the catfish business, cooking at The Catfish Express and The Best Little Catfish Place in Pegram.

Buddy Rogers died at home on May 30. He is survived by his wife Sydney and six children, 14 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, a brother and two sisters.

Visitation will be at the West Harpeth Funeral Home today (5/31) at 3-8 p.m. and tomorrow from noon until the funeral service at 2 p.m. The private burial will be at Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery.

Honors Presented at International Country Music Conference

A special panel at Historic RCA Studio B discussed Chet Atkins and his contributions to the industry. Pictured (L-R): John Rumble, Les Ladd, Charlie McCoy, Don Cusic, Harold Bradley and Paul Craft.

The International Country Music Conference was held May 24- 26 at Belmont University. Co-chairs Don Cusic and James Akenson hosted academic sessions covering the Carter Family, Homer and Jethro, Johnny Cash, Charlie Pool and a special panel about Chet Atkins at RCA Studio B.

Nathan Gibson received the Belmont Book Award for the Best Book on Country Music in 2011. He authored The Starday Story: The House That Country Music Built.

The Charlie Lamb Journalism Awards were also presented at the conference, sponsored by Gary and Peggy Walker. Ronnie Stoneman presented the Contemporary Award for country music journalism to Alanna Nash.

Nathan Gibson was honored with the Belmont Book Award. Pictured (L-R): James Akenson, Gibson and Don Cusic


Alanna Nash received the country music journalism award. Pictured (L-R): Gary Walker, Peggy Walker, Ronnie Stoneman, Nash and Don Cusic


Performers Revealed For “Darius and Friends” Benefit

The Third Annual “Darius and Friends” concert and golf tournament hosted by Darius Rucker will be held Monday, June 4 with proceeds benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The concert portion of the benefit takes place at 7:30 pm at the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville. Joining Rucker for performances will be Rodney Atkins, Clint Black, Sunny Sweeney, Chuck Wicks, and some special surprise guests.

“We’ve had so much fun the last two years with friends jamming on stage for a great cause,” says Rucker. “I’m excited to continue that tradition with this year’s event.”

A limited number of tickets are still available here or by calling the Wildhorse at 615-902-8200.

Rucker is also currently in the studio with his producer Frank Rogers working on the follow-up to 2010’s Charleston, SC 1966.

Gaylord Selling Hotel Rights To Marriott

Gaylord Entertainment Co. today (5/31) announced that it has agreed to sell the Gaylord Hotels brand and the rights to manage its four hotels to Marriott International for $210 million in cash.

Gaylord will continue to own and operate the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium and other attractions. According to a press release, no changes are anticipated at these iconic assets and Gaylord is committed to maintaining the legacy of these historic attractions.

Following consummation of the sale, Gaylord will continue to own its hotel properties and other businesses and will reorganize and elect to be treated as a real estate investment trust (REIT) effective January 1, 2013.

Gaylord Hotels will join the Marriott portfolio of brands. Terms of the management agreement call for Marriott to manage the resort and convention centers in the Nashville, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Orlando and Washington, D.C. areas under the Gaylord Hotels flag. Marriott will receive a management contract with an initial 35 year term, 2% base management fee, and an incentive fee linked to improvement in hotel profitability.

Colin V. Reed, Gaylord Chairman and Chief Executive Officer stated, “The REIT structure allows us to benefit from a more efficient tax structure, and establish a platform to grow our distinct asset base through organic growth of our existing portfolio and, in time, through strategic acquisitions. Moreover, we believe that by working with Marriott International, our shareholders will benefit from significant property efficiencies and corporate overhead reductions, as well as revenue synergies which include Marriott’s ability to attract and market to large group customers.”

Katie Armiger Adds Dates to “Get Smart” Tour

Katie Armiger has added over 25 dates to her Get Smart Tour, sponsored by Great American Country (GAC).

Armiger has been winning over fans across the country since the tour kicked off in late March and will make a special stop at the 2012 CMA Music Festival June 8 to perform at the Bud Light Stage at Bridgestone Arena Plaza. She recently took some time out to begin writing for her much anticipated forthcoming fourth studio album.

“This tour has been incredible so far getting to meet and make new fans – and it only keeps getting better,” said Armiger. “No artist can ask for a better outcome from a tour than for it to be a success that dates are continually being added. Thank you to everyone for all of your support, it’s because of all of you that this tour is what it is!”

For full list of tour dates, click here.


Photo Roundup (5/30/12)


Victoria Knisley (L), 6, with Toby Keith (R). Victoria has Wilm's Tumors and lives with her grandparents in the panhandle of Oklahoma. It is about a five-hour drive one way to the hospital for each of her treatments. Soon families like hers will be able to stay at the OK Kids Korral.

Toby Keith’s 9th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic raised $664,000 last weekend, outperforming the 2011 total ($650,000) and bringing the OK Kids Korral one step closer to reality.

The event kicked off in Oklahoma City with a groundbreaking for the facility, which will offer a place of respite to those seeking treatment at OU Medical Center Children’s Hospital and other nearby facilities.

“In my job, you get to go to a lot of places and see a lot of things, but there’s not much in my world that’s more gratifying or important than helping these families,” Keith says. “Turning dirt on this project is a big moment for me and a lot of other people who’ve been a part of making it happen.”

• • •

Tim McGraw spent Memorial Day performing for a packed house of service members at New York City’s Beacon Theatre. In partnership with Chase and the United Service Organizations (USO), the show was streamed live via YouTube and to military bases around the world on The Pentagon Channel.

“These men and women go out and put their lives on the line to protect the simple freedoms we enjoy every day,” said McGraw. “Playing for them last night was a thrill for me, and it was just small gesture of appreciation. I hope there will be a lot more of these types of shows as we get deeper into our HomeFront program. The energy in The Beacon was electric last night…it was the perfect way to spend Memorial Day.”

McGraw recently launched a nationwide program called HomeFront in partnership with Chase and Operation Homefront to award mortgage-free homes to wounded warriors and service members in need at each summer concert date.

Tim McGraw


Artist Updates (5/30/12)

Brad Paisley’s first book Diary of a Player was originally released in November 2011 and saluted the great guitarists who have shaped his life and career. The book, written with David Wild, will be available in paperback form starting June 5. MusicRow is currently holding a drawing to present five readers with a copy of the book. Email your name to [email protected] to be entered in the drawing.

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Dollar General and Josh Turner have partnered for the “Sing Your Heart Out For a Soldier” contest. Fans who make a video of themselves singing “Lucky Me” and enter the contest have the opportunity to win a recording session and more in Nashville. Details here. Turner will also be featured in the GAC Special Josh Turner: Packing a Punch, which will air Thursday, June 7 at 8 pm. Turner’s new album Punching Bag hits stores June 12.

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Mary Chapin Carpenter will release her 12th studio album Ashes and Roses on June 12 on Zoe/Rounder Records, and already has a two-song sampler available at iTunes. Featured on the sampler are “Soul Companion” (a duet with James Taylor), and “Chasing What’s Already Gone,” which you can stream here. Carpenter will also hit the road in July to support the release. See dates here.

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Joey+Rory will release their new album His and Hers on July 31 via Sugar Hill Records. Produced by Gary Paczosa, the duo members each take turns singing lead on half of the album’s songs. Joey+Rory also have plans to launch the weekly variety program, The Joey+Rory Show, on RFD-TV in July.

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The Roys will be featured on RFD-TV’s Reno’s Old Time Music Festival and the PBS Special Pa’s Fiddle: America’s Music, both of which will air Saturday, June 2. Reno’s airs at 6 pm/CT, and the Pa’s Fiddle is scheduled to air in Nashville at 7 pm/CT (repeats 6/3 at 7 pm and 6/4 at 10 pm/CT).

• • • • •

Fred Gill, also known as Two Foot Fred, is releasing his self-titled biography on June 5 via Howard Books. The Nashville celebrity shares his journey into entertainment and business, and how his approach to life has helped him overcome his physical differences.

Vassar To Headline Event During CMA Fest

Phil Vassar will headline an event sponsored by Dreamwest Magazine to celebrate the Paris, France based consumer publication’s online expansion into the United States. The Experience Music & Fashion event will be at the Hard Rock Café on June 6 from 2:45 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Clothing by famed designer Manuel will be on display. Other artists on the lineup include The McClymonts, The Roys, Flynnville Train, Richie Owens, Pete Kennedy, Travelin’ Rose, Iodine, Stetson & Cia, Monroeville, Steve & Heather, Terri Lisa Church, Karla Perretta, Jason Ashley, Taylor Heard, Lizzy Long, Craig Morrison, Georgette Jones, Steven Salyers and David Church.

Donations and a silent auction will benefit the I’ll Fly Away Foundation which supports music education.

Dreamwest will also host smaller events at Pucketts Restaurant on June 4 and June 11, from 6 – 10 p.m.

Music Row Ladies Golf Tourney; TJ Martell’s Tennessee Meets Tuscany

The 26th annual Music Row Ladies Golf Tournament is scheduled for Mon., Aug. 27 at Old Natchez Country Club in Nashville. The long running charitable event supported by the music industry industry is a day of fun on the links for a good cause—often with celebs, zany costumes and libations.

The tournament had its biggest fundraising year in 2011, and has earned over $1.6 million for United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee since the event launched.

Reservations at the invitation only tournament are $125 per golfer and $100 per caddy.

Returning sponsors include ASCAP, Kenny Chesney, City National Bank, McGhee Entertainment, Moes, Tim McGraw, Richards and Southern, and UMG Nashville. Those interested in sponsorship opportunities can email Herky Williams.

Find the MRLGT on Facebook at facebook.com/MusicRowLGT.

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The T.J. Martell Foundation and Green Door Gourmet will present the fundraiser Tennessee Meets Tuscany on Sat., June 16 at Hidden Valley Farm in Nashville. The exclusive Italian-inspired dinner event will feature Tennessee regional artisan foods, and fine Italian wines served in a picturesque country setting. Cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. All proceeds from the event will benefit cancer research, including funding at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Tennessee Meets Tuscany is a farm-to-fork event created by Chef Richard Jones of Green Door Gourmet and Chef David Maxwell of Miel. Beppe Gambetta, an acoustic guitarist from Genova, Italy will provide entertainment.

Green Door Gourmet/Hidden Valley Farm is located off Charlotte Pike on River Road in west Nashville. Tickets to the event are available at $125 per guest and can be purchased at www.tjmartellfoundation.org, or by calling the T.J. Martell Foundation office at 615-256-2002.

Weekly Register: Sales Departments Are A Worrisome Lot

This week’s chart data sums the first five months of 2012, a significant time span. And, as our grid chart shows, country album sales (+6.5%) are outperforming the overall industry (-2.6%). That’s welcome news, but sales departments are a worrisome lot, always measuring what lies around the corner and how it might compare with the previous year’s offerings.

Last year during June and July 2011 we had a busy release schedule. June featured releases from Randy Travis (19k), Ronnie Dunn (45k) and Justin Moore (65k). In July 2011 we saw offerings from Lauren Alaina (20k), Scotty McCreery (40k), Chris Young (73k), Blake Shelton (116k) and Eric Church (145k). All added together that accounts for about 525,000 debut week units. Add in a few of the unmentioned lower scoring debuts and we can round up safely to 550k. Will we find half a million plus debut week units on deck for 2012 during the same time period?

Our 2012 calendar shows June/July headliner releases scheduled from Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band. Considering that only a few weeks ago Carrie Underwood blew onto the charts with a 267k debut week, it appears that the three upcoming projects could average about 166k each and contribute enough to keep debut sales mostly constant with last year. Still, when you look at this week’s Country Current Top 75 chart (down 2% compared with last week), and see positions 28-75 are all under 2,000 units, for the second consecutive week, it is worrisome.

Another factor is that we had eight major June/July debuts last year vs. the three now on our radar for 2012. Debut week totals are a nice SoundScan shorthand for estimating, but don’t forget week two sales also swell totals and cash coffers. So this writer would opine that unless we see a few more last minute offerings appear on the 2012 schedule, we should expect country’s 6.5% sales lead to shrink and move closer to the overall industry number by around the end of July.

But take heart, January through August sales are really only like foreplay. The real sales lovemaking begins during the last four months of the year when labels line up to take advantage of holiday fever.

Debuts this week from Ronnie Dunn (No. 14; 6k) and the venerable Oak Ridge Boys (No. 29; 1.9k) couldn’t keep the Top 75 total from slipping under 300k. (Actually, Mr. Dunn’s debut was more of a re-release through Cracker Barrel with two new tracks.) Study the two grids and you will note a gradual erosion of gains mostly across the board for Country and All-Genre, but no strong swings. As we often repeat in this column, release schedules are the single largest factor in the sales game but seldom match up exactly from year to year.

Glancing at the Top 200 Albums chart, John Mayer caps the list with a debut of almost 220k units, 67% of which was in digital format.

Yes, albums bring in the biggest revenues, but tracks are often the first place to study consumer trends with respect to new songs. Did you notice that country consumers have boosted track sales up 18% this year? (Can we all raise our hands and say Apple, Android, Smartphone…)

For example, platinum and almost platinum songs from Luke Bryan and Eric Church have been landing near the top of the list for weeks. So should we be surprised to see their albums also Top 5? (Of course not.) But you can also get out ahead of the album sales curve by studying the tracks chart. Gloriana has a new song, “Good Night,” that jumped from No. 14 to No. 3 climbing 162% in unit sales in one week. (They performed it on the Bachelorette.) Something happening there for sure. And Little Big Town’s latest “Pontoon” debuts at No. 11 with 32k units. Let’s see how that does next week.

As usual, post your Weekly Register comments below, tweet ’em out or send me a note, and thanks for reading…