Weekly Register: Luke Bryan Keeps Playing At No. 1

luke bryan crash my party album cover1111If only the rest of the sales charts were as “Happy” as Pharrell Williams. That song is still dancing at the top of the all-genre tracks chart 23 weeks after release. It sold 208K this week and 4.7 million RTD.
On the Country tracks chart, there are a few bright spots. Hunter Hayes debuted “You Think You Know Somebody” with 24k. Also among the newer songs, Dustin Lynch’s “Where It’s At” sold 23K in its second week. Kristen Merlin cast a spell over viewers of The Voice, resulting in 18K downloads of her cover of Sugarland’s “Stay.” (This was after technical difficulties prevented her from finishing the song live on the show.)
Luke Bryan keeps playing at the top of the Country Tracks and Albums charts. His single “Play It Again” sold 96K TW for a RTD of 821K. Crash My Party sold 19K TW for a RTD total of 1.826 million.
The cast of Nashville debuted a live recording of its television concert special On The Record with sales of 18K of the digital-only BMLG release.
Passing the 1 million mark this week were FGL and Bryan’s “This is How We Roll” and Brantley Gilbert’s “Bottoms Up.”
The Frozen soundtrack stayed at No. 1 on the overall albums chart, selling 115K this week and 2.45 million RTD.
By comparison, the entire Country album Top 75 sold 190K this week.

No. 1: Dierks Bentley, Brett James Celebrate 'I Hold On'

Pictured (l-r): ASCAP's Ryan Beuschel, Warner/Chappell Music's Ben Vaughn, Cornman Music's Nate Lowery, producer Ross Copperman, ASCAP's LeAnn Phelan, Brett James, Dierks Bentley, Combustion Music's Chris Farren, Universal Music Group's Mike Dungan and producer Arturo Buenahora. Photo by Ed Rode.

Pictured (l-r): ASCAP’s Ryan Beuschel, Warner/Chappell Music’s Ben Vaughn, Cornman Music’s Nate Lowery, producer Ross Copperman, ASCAP’s LeAnn Phelan, Brett James, Dierks Bentley, Combustion Music’s Chris Farren, Universal Music Group’s Mike Dungan and producer Arturo Buenahora. Photo by Ed Rode.

Nashville industry well-wishers jammed beer-and-burger joint Pour House Tuesday afternoon (April 29) to cheer Dierks Bentley and his co-writer Brett James for their first No. 1 single together, “I Hold On.” The chart-topper marks James’ 16th No. 1 single, and Bentley’s 11th chart-topper as a songwriter.
“I’d never gotten to write with [Dierks] before,” said James. “I’ve been a fan from afar. He walked into my barn/studio, and he said, ‘I’ve got some verse ideas, and they might suck,’ and he basically read me the first two verses of the song. All I did was ride your train that day. He’s quality through and through.”
ASCAP, performing rights organization home to both James and Bentley, hosted the event, along with sponsor Northwestern Mutual.
ASCAP’s LeAnn Phelan brought forward Warner/Chappell’s Ben Vaughn, Cornman Music’s Nate Lowery, producer Ross Copperman, Combustion Music’s Chris Farren, executive producer Arturo Buenahora and Universal Music Group’s Mike Dungan.
Buenahora praised Bentley’s authenticity as an artist and his talent as a songwriter. “I begged my way onto this project for several years,” he said. “Chris Farren called me with the idea of producing this song. It’s a great song that has touched so many people, and there is more on the way,” he promised.
The celebration was especially sweet for producer Copperman, who celebrated his first Billboard chart-topping song as a producer. Complimenting Copperman, Bentley said, “In hockey, there are ‘grinders,’ those people who are in there every day, with energy. He put in the hours.”
Pictured (L-R): Brett James and Dierks Bentley

Pictured (L-R): Brett James and Dierks Bentley

James also praised the work ethic of Capitol Records Nashville’s radio promotion staff. “I’ve been an artist twice, and I know that you can write the best song and if you don’t have someone to push it up the charts, you won’t have a No. 1 song.”
The crowd gathered around the stage and bar area, socializing and enjoying the signature drinks of Pour House, as the songwriters received honors from the Country Music Association and Country Radio Broadcasters, as well as Dungan’s legendary “Impaler Award.”
“I really love Country music,” said Bentley, who took the time to hand out plaques of his own to Buenahora, Dungan, Copperman, publicist Mary Hilliard Harrington and many others who have supported his career success. He recalled his first paying gig in Nashville. “Every No. 1 party makes me take stock of where I am. I still remember leaving my house and remember how the guitar case felt in my hand. I was walking to my truck, which I still have, to go play a show for money. That guitar was my toolkit, and I used it to make money. It still blows me away.”

Facebook Changes Will Improve Mobile Apps

facebookFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his team revealed several new tools to make mobile app usage processes easier for users during its f8 Developers Conference today (April 30). Among the music-related developers featured during the conference were Spotify, Rdio, Vevo, iHeartRadio, Soundcloud, and Mixcloud. Among the new features are:
– AppLinks, an open-source, open-standards kit that allows apps to link to each other directly via code. This will allow mobile users to avoid hitches when linking from one app to another. Presenter Ilya Sukhar noted Spotify is working with live-music events site Songkick to use AppLinks to sell concert tickets.
– A new mobile ‘Like’ button for third-party applications, which eliminates the barrier between the desktop and the mobile experience.
– Anonymous Login, a feature that will allow consumers to test apps without sharing their own Facebook credentials. Zuckerberg also promised Facebook users more privacy and sharing options to limit the personal data app developers receive.
For a full list of new Facebook features, visit developers.facebook.com.

Carrie Underwood Headlines TIME 100 Gala

TIME 100 Gala, TIME's 100 Most Influential People In The World - Lobby Arrivals

Carrie Underwood on the TIME 100 Gala red carpet

Carrie Underwood was recently honored during the TIME 100 Gala as one of the world’s 100 most influential people for 2014. She attended and headlined during the TIME 100 Gala, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Other celebrities in attendance included Amy Adams, Alfonso Cuaron, Megyn Kelly, Seth Meyers, Rupert Murdoch, Rand Paul, Charlie Rose, Christy Turlington, fellow TIME Gala 100 performer Pharrell Williams, and more.
The full TIME 100 list and related tributes appear in the May 5 issue of TIME, available on newsstands and tablets now and can also be found at time.com/time100.
Longtime friend and fellow Country performer Brad Paisley served as a guest writer for Underwood’s piece in the TIME 100 issue.
“So many young girls want to be just like her. In that sense, I see hope for the world. If I had a daughter, nothing would make me happier than to hear her say she wanted to grow up to be like Carrie Underwood,” wrote Paisley.
Underwood performs during the TIME 100 Gala.

Underwood performs during the TIME 100 Gala.

TIME 100 Gala, TIME's 100 Most Influential People In The World - Dinner

Underwood with Pharrell Williams

The Swon Brothers Make Opry Debut

 Celebrating backstage following the duo’s Opry debut (l-r):  Hill Entertainment Group’s Josh Hunter; Sony Music Nashville’s Paul Barnabee, Allen Brown, Sarah Westbrook, and Nick Barnes; Colton Swon; Arista Nashville’s John Sigler; Zach Swon; Hill Entertainment Group’s Greg Hill; Arista’s Lauren Thomas and Ryan Dokke; Hill Entertainment Group’s Scott Whitley; and Arista’s Andy Elliott.

Celebrating backstage following the duo’s Opry debut (l-r): Hill Entertainment Group’s Josh Hunter; Sony Music Nashville’s Paul Barnabee, Allen Brown, Sarah Westbrook, and Nick Barnes; Colton Swon; Arista Nashville’s John Sigler; Zach Swon; Hill Entertainment Group’s Greg Hill; Arista’s Lauren Thomas and Ryan Dokke; Hill Entertainment Group’s Scott Whitley; and Arista’s Andy Elliott. Photo: Vanessa Davis

Arista Nashville’s The Swon Brothers were thrilled to make their Grand Ole Opry debut on a recent Saturday night. They performed hit debut single, “Later On,” which is already No. 15 and climbing on MusicRow’s CountryBreakout Chart. They also sang the George Jones classic “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” and invited their parents onstage to thank them for their support.
“Playing the Opry for the first time is something one can’t describe. Dreaming all these years of singing on that stage did not even come close to the real life moment,” said Colton Swon.
“So much history and greatness surrounded us. It’s every country singer’s dream to stand on that stage. What a life changing experience that I’ll never forget,” added Zach Swon.
Pictured side stage at the Grand Ole Opry (l-r):  Sony Music Nashville Marketing Sr VP Paul Barnabee; Opry Entertainment Group President Steve Buchanan; Zach and Colton Swon; Grand Ole Opry VP/GM Pete Fisher; and Hill Entertainment Group President Greg Hill. (photo 2 credit:  Chris Hollo)

Pictured side stage at the Grand Ole Opry (l-r): Sony Music Nashville Marketing Sr VP Paul Barnabee; Opry Entertainment Group President Steve Buchanan; Zach and Colton Swon; Grand Ole Opry VP/GM Pete Fisher; and Hill Entertainment Group President Greg Hill. Photo: Chris Hollo


CMA Music Festival's Riverfront Stage Lineup Revealed

Photo: Courtesy Morris Artist Management

Photo: Courtesy Morris Artist Management

The 2014 CMA Music Festival will boast more than 50 artists during a series of free daily concerts at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage. Big & Rich will launch the riverfront concerts on Thursday, June 5 at 10 a.m. CT.
Additional performers scheduled to hit the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage include Frankie Ballard, Danielle Bradbery, Kristian Bush, Craig Campbell, Jason Michael Carroll, Terri Clark, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dan + Shay, Tyler Farr, Colt Ford, Gloriana, LoCash Cowboys, Lonestar, Love and Theft, Dustin Lynch, Craig Morgan, Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis, David Nail, Jon Pardi, Parmalee, Eric Paslay, Kellie Pickler, Cassadee Pope, Collin Raye, Chase Rice, Maggie Rose, Corey Smith, Cole Swindell, The Cadillac Three, The Swon Brothers, Uncle Kracker, Clay Walker, Darryl Worley, Charlie Worsham, and Wynonna.
“Big & Rich will bring a great energy to the official start of the Festival, and I know our fans will not want to miss their performance,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer.

U.S. Copyright Office to Change Registration Fees

Screen shot 2014-04-30 at 9.45.12 AM 11111The U.S. Copyright Office is set to adjust some of their fees, including registration, recordation, and related services. The price hikes are said to help stay “aligned” with the cost of providing services.
Most of the fees will increase. The new rates will go into effect on May 1, 2014.
For a full list of these fees, visit copyright.gov.

DISClaimer: A Legend Leads The Way

Blue_Smoke_CoverNEWA legend leads the way today. Timeless treasure Dolly Parton comes out swinging with the first single from her Blue Smoke CD. She will be blitzing the media during the next couple of weeks, so get ready. And give the lady a Disc of the Day kudo.
It is true that Small Town Pistols aren’t “new” in the strictest sense. But when we last heard from these two, they were kids. Now they sound like fully matured adults, and nothing like they used to. So I’m giving them a DisCovery Award.
Writer: Mark Jones; Producer: Jeffrey Armstreet; Publisher: none listed, BMI
-An atmospheric depiction of small-town romance that’s loaded with vivid lyric images. Very promising. Send more.
Writers: Amanda Wilkinson/Tyler Wilkinson/Joey Moi/Jeff Johnson; Producer: Joey Moi; Chunk It/Plain Hooky/Big Loud Shirt/Bay Way Entertainment, ASCAP; 604 Canada
-You know this Canadian brother-sister act better as two-thirds of The Wilkinsons (1998’s “26 Cents,” 2000’s “Jimmy’s Got a Girlfriend,” etc.). Both Amanda and Tyler have attempted solo careers north of the border. Now they’re back together as the duo Small Town Pistols with a debut CD that leads off with this splendidly upbeat single. They harmonize as only siblings can. Tyler takes the lead on the verses with her harmonizing, and Amanda sings lead on the choruses with him harmonizing. In either mode, they are sensational. Essential listening. Give them a new U.S. deal, pronto.
KACEY JONES/Amen For Old Friends
Writers: Mickey Newbury; Producers: Kacey Jones/Duane Sciacqua; Publisher: JD Sandefer III, BMI; IGO (track)
-In 2006, Jones released an album saluting Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Mickey Newbury. She returns to his catalog for the title tune of her new CD. It’s a tender ballad filled with warm sentiment. Her dulcet, fireside vocal is cushioned by voices, piano and strings. There is also an extraordinary, fluid, beautifully executed guitar solo by Mark Dreyer. The collection includes tunes that remind us of her history as a comic (remember Ethel & The Shameless Hussies?). But this track and several others show that she’s just as good when she’s playing it straight.
Writers: Curt Ryle/Trey Matthews/Kerry Nicole Singletary; Producer: Curt Ryle; Publishers: Big Matador/Music of Cal IV, BMI; Margdon (track)
-Amateur night at the bar and grill.
Writers: McConnell/Rogers; Producer: Jay Joyce; Publisher: none listed; Thirty Tigers
-This popular group’s Homemade Tamales project is a two-CD live album plus a DVD. Two of the tracks on the second audio CD are studio productions by the esteemed Jay Joyce. This one is the driving, impassioned plea of a guy spinning out of control about a gal he yearns for.
CODY RILEY/Something I Wrote
Writers: Cody Riley/Mando Saenz; Producers: Wade Bowen/Ross Smith; Pubishers: Thirty Ought Sound/Scrambler, ASCAP; CR
-He has an ear-catching, wounded-boy vocal delivery. There are moments when he’s a little pitch-y, but the record’s real downfall is its dull-as-mud production and listless instrumental support.

small town pistols11111

Small Town Pistols

Writers: Bob Morrison; Producer: Duane Allen; Publisher: Arcane/Glenwood, ASCAP; Cleopatra (track)
Boys Night Out is the new live CD by the Oaks. Their set kicks off with a thumping version of this 1978 mega-hit, complete with a rousing finale. It’s still a great song. When are they going to induct these guys into the Country Music Hall of Fame?
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Smith
-This fellow is an old favorite of mine. He’s singing his hillbilly heart out here, with ultra-cool steel guitar lines echoing his every phrase. Solidly country. Supremely listenable.
Writers: Dolly Parton/Kent Wells; Producer: Kent Wells; Publisher: none listed; Dolly (track)
-Dolly’s Blue Smoke CD drops on May 13, but she’s already begun her campaign to publicize it. This will be the collection’s first video/single, and it is a chopping, bopping dandy. She is a living legend, but this track sounds as contemporary and “today” as anything by artists half her age. The album contains duets with Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson, but this performance amply demonstrates that she needs no help whatsoever to kick up some dust. For a truly thrilling audio sensation, also check out her mountaineer arrangement of “Banks of the Ohio.”
Writers: Ashley Gorley/Kelley Lovelace/Steve McEwen; Producer: Ilya Toshinsky; Publishers: Music of Windswept/Taperoom/Bug/BMG Chrysalis/EMI April/EMI Blackwood/Birds With Ears, ASCAP/BMI; Rebel Engine
-Sweet sounding. Sunny. Summer-y.

MusicRowLife: David Haley Remains In Critical Condition

david haley

David Haley

Radio promotion veteran David Haley remains unconscious and on life support at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford, Miss., after suffering a stroke earlier this week.
Complications have placed him in critical condition.
Haley retired from the music business last year and relocated to Jackson, Miss. His industry career includes time at MCA, Warner Bros., Tenacity, Equity, edgeHill Music/Media, and Instigator. During his time at MCA, the label’s roster included Reba, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, Gary Allan and others. He has also worked with artists including Little Big Town and Blake Shelton. He has previously served on the board of the Country Radio Broadcasters and has taken part in Leadership Music.
MusicRow‘s staff sends thoughts and prayers to Haley and his family.

WMN Taps Regional Anna Cage

Anna Cage

Anna Cage

Warner Music Nashville has announced the appointment of Anna Cage to Regional Promotion Manager – Midwest/Northeast for Team W.A.R.
She joins the staff from Emblem Music Group where she worked in artist management alongside Dean Serletic and Matt Serletic. Among the artists Cage worked with are Emblem/Warner Bros. vocal group Gloriana and rock act DUGAS. 
“We are thrilled to have Anna join the W.A.R. team. She brings a special brand of passion and enthusiasm to our staff. We know she’ll fit right in,” said Chris Palmer, Vice President, Promotion for the W.A.R. team.
Cage also previously worked in marketing, including a stint at a Nashville-based subsidiary of Smith & Wesson, so Palmer warns that she is armed and dangerous.
Reach her at [email protected] or 615-214-1459.