Lightning 100's Live On The Green Lineup Announced

LOTG 2014 LINEUP1The lineup for the 2014 Lightning 100 Live On The Green Music Festival, Nashville’s free summer music festival, includes headlining artists Cage The Elephant, The Head and the Heart, City and Colour, Jake Bugg, Ingrid Michaelson, G Love & Special Sauce, and The Wild Feathers. Live On The Green Music Festival will be held on three consecutive Thursdays, Aug. 14, 21 and 28, and will wrap with a finale the weekend of Sept. 4-6.
Additional artists joining the lineup include Augustana, Delta Spirit, The Lone Bellow, Wild Cub, The Features, The Weeks, Spanish Gold, Johnnyswim, All Them Witches, Goodbye June, Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes, Sugar & The Hi-Los, and the winners of Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhem contest, Phin.
Additional artists will be announced in the coming weeks including one headlining act, which will be announced on July 3, 2014 at Lightning 100’s Independence Rocks Concert.
Special VIP packages are available, which offer a VIP area with exclusive stage access, private restrooms, shaded areas with open seating, complimentary catering, as well as complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Series and single week VIP tickets are on sale. For more information, visit

'Somewhere With You' Takes On The Big Apple

somewhere_with_youBy: Laura Hostelley
For the first time, modern-day Nashville will be represented in Manhattan’s theater circuit when the New York Musical Theater Festival presents Somewhere With You July 8-13.
Written by Peter Zinn, the work features music from Country songwriter JT Harding. Harding’s chart-topping “Somewhere With You” (Kenny Chesney), “Alone With You” (Jake Owen) and “Smile” (Uncle Kracker) help tell the coming-of-age love story, which centers around a young Country singer (played by Graham Scott Fleming) growing up in the South confronted by drugs, the War in Iraq, and other post 9/11 challenges.
The 1 hour and 40 minute production runs for five shows at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre in New York City. Tickets are available from $25.

Ryman Auditorium To Undergo $14 Million Expansion and Renovations

Renderings of proposed expansion

Rendering of proposed expansion

The Ryman Auditorium is set to undergo a $14 million expansion that will add a cafe, multi-media tour, new event facility, as well as renovations for the box office, restrooms, concessions, lobby and merchandising areas, it was revealed during a press conference this morning. The actual music venue will not be affected.
The expansion, which will happen on the 4th Ave. N. side of the building, will add a brick and glass structure that extends from the building to 4th Ave. The company hopes to launch renovations later this summer, with a July 2015 completion date.
“We are making this investment now so that the Ryman Auditorium is better equipped to accommodate the current and future demand we are seeing from both a tourism and concert attendance perspective,” Ryman Hospitality CEO and President Colin Reed said.
Ryman General Manager Sally Williams said, “Just as Steve Buchanan and the company’s management team did in 1994 with the original Ryman Auditorium expansion and reopening, we are thoughtfully planning for the future of one of the most historic and revered places to hear and perform live music. The enhancements will dramatically improve the pre-and post-show experience and allow visitors to share in our 122-year history in ways that are not possible within our current space. With no renovations taking place in the historic auditorium, we expect little to no disruption in our operations throughout the construction phase, which we anticipate will be complete in time to welcome our guests during next year’s CMA Music Festival.”
Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and Marty Stuart were in attendance. “The Ryman has always been in the best hands since this company has taken over its operation,” said Gill. “This is an important renovation, but the heart this company has shown for the Ryman’s preservation is even more special.”
The multi-media tour aligns with the company’s plan to capitalize on the more than 2,500 hours of footage from Grand Ole Opry performances and episodes of the television show Hee Haw that Ryman Hospitality owns.
The Ryman Auditorium was built in 1892, and was originally a Union Gospel Tabernacle church. The building was used for Grand Ole Opry broadcasts from 1943 until 1974, when the Opry moved to its current home at the Grand Ole Opry House.
After the Opry moved to its new home, the Ryman was nearly torn down, and remained vacant and in disrepair for 20 years. In 1994, the Ryman was restored to a national showplace for various styles of music. It is regarded as the “Mother Church of Country Music.”

Industry Members Seek Copyright Law Reform In Washington

paul williams1

ASCAP’s Paul Williams speaks at the subcommittee hearing

After two hearings with a House Judiciary subcommittee, various music industry and digital industry leaders are still at an impasse on how to solve a complex and mangled licensing system, according to a recap from the New York Times.
In a second hearing on Wednesday (June 25), nine witnesses, including singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, ASCAP’s Paul Williams, RIAA’s Cary Sherman, independent label Secretly Group’s Darius Van Arman and other record label executives discussed the various shortcomings and benefits of the current complicated set of rules governing publishers, radio and royalties. This follows an initial hearing held on June 10.
The most heatedly debated topic was AM/FM radio stations’ exemption under United States law from paying performers and record companies royalties. Radio stations pay songwriters, but do not pay for the recordings they play. The law has been increasingly challenged since the introduction of internet and satellite radio, which pay royalties to both songwriters and to performers and record companies. Cash, Sherman, Van Arman and others insisted that radio stations be required to pay this performance royalty.

Meanwhile, National Association of Broadcasters joint board chairman Charles M. Warfield, Jr., defended the current practice, stating, “Our unique system of free airplay for free promotion has served both the broadcasting and recording industry well for decades.”

Another issue that arose during the hearing is the lack of copyright protection for recordings made before Feb. 15, 1972. Under this law, older performers do not get royalties from digital services including Pandora and Sirius XM. Cash, daughter of late Country icon Johnny Cash, called the system unfair to older performers.

“If my father were alive today, he would receive no payment for digital performances of his song ‘I Walk the Line,’ written and recorded in 1956,” Rosanne Cash said. “But anyone who rerecorded that song today would receive a royalty. The injustice defies description.”
Cash also revealed how low streaming income has affected her own career. “For example, for an 18-month period, there were nearly 600,000 streams of my songs on a popular subscription site. I was paid $114.00 for those streams. I am not a lawyer or a politician or a policy wonk, and I couldn’t begin to parse the incredibly complex, outdated, pre-­Internet laws regarding licensing and copyrights but I can tell you that I see young musicians give up their dreams every single day because they cannot make a living, they cannot survive doing the thing they most love, the thing they just might be on the planet to do.” Cash’s full testimony can be read here.
ASCAP’s Williams spoke in favor of changing the 73-year-old consent decrees that govern ASCAP and its performing rights organization rival BMI, stating the decrees hinder negotiations with digital services, and result in low rates for songwriters.
“I find it beyond perplexing,” Williams said, “that American songwriters like Rosanne and myself are the ones subject to the heaviest government regulation.”
This month, the Justice Department said it would review ASCAP’s and BMI’s consent decrees for possible changes. Williams outlined three specific updates for the DOJ to consider, including replacing the rate court with a faster, less expensive dispute resolution process. Another update involved allowing PROs to accept a partial grant of rights from its members, which means the organizations could license certain uses while the rights holders handle others directly. A final suggestion would permit PROs to offer all the rights in a music composition a licensee needs to operate their business, which ASCAP says competitors are free to do.
Williams added, “We need a music licensing system that works the way we will be, not— to paraphrase a great songwriter and friend—the way we were.”
Some battle lines were not clearly drawn. Though satellite radio company Sirius XM opposes music industry groups that seek royalties for songs recorded before 1972, they offered no solution. When asked how to resolve the disparity in performance rights for recordings (broadcast radio does not pay them, while satellite radio does), the company’s Sirius XM’s CFO David J. Frear stated, “Everyone should get paid.”
When asked by legislators how they would fix the system, the assembled execs did not offer a solution that would satisfy all parties.
“Getting you all together, and getting on one page,” Wisconsin Republican representative Jim Sensenbrenner said, “will probably happen two days after the sun rises in the west.”

Darryl Worley Plans Annual Tennessee River Run

Daryl Worley

Darryl Worley has announced plans for his annual Tennessee River Run. It will take place Sat., August 9 in downtown Savannah, Tenn. In its 13th year, the event has raised over $1.4 million to help organizations including schools, libraries, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Boys & Girls clubs.
The event will start at 12:00 p.m. with children’s games and activities. Live music begins at 12:30 including The Ben Parker Project, Crossroads, Cruzer, Parker Forbes/Everson, Surviving Allison, Bryan Moffitt Band and Dead Horse. Worley’s performance will close out the evening.
“Even though schedules are demanding, hosting the Tennessee River Run is a priority,” said Worley. “This year we’ve moved the event to August and lowered ticket prices. Of course, we have a great time but the bottom line is raising money to help our neighbors. Each year volunteers give their time and money to make someone else’s life better, and that’s what matters most.”
More information on the event and the Darryl Worley Foundation can be found here.

Craig Campbell, NEEDTOBREATHE Make Charity Donations

The 2nd annual Craig Campbell Cornhole Challenge, held June 3 at Public Square Park in Nashville, raised over $17,000 to benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation and colon cancer research at the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center. At the event, Campbell was joined by artists including Lee Brice, Jerrod Niemann, Chase Rice and The Cadillac Three. Singer/songwriter Campbell hosts the fundraiser in memory of his father who died from colon cancer.

Pictured (L-R): Tinti Moffat, Southern Region, T.J. Martell Foundation; Craig Campbell; Liz Cost; and Melissa Goodwin, Director of Administration, T.J. Martell Foundation.

Pictured (L-R): Tinti Moffat, Southern Region, T.J. Martell Foundation; Craig Campbell; Liz Cost; and Melissa Goodwin, Director of Administration, T.J. Martell Foundation.

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The 2014 NEEDTOBREATHE Classic golf tournament raised $140,000 last month in Daniel Island, SC to benefit the Palmetto Medical Initiative (PMI), which works to provide quality health care in underserved countries including Uganda and Nicaragua.
Joining NEEDTOBREATHE on the golf course were musicians Drew & Ellie Holcomb, Steven Curtis ChapmanEd Roland of Collective Soul, Ben Rector, Mark Bryan and John Mark McMillan.

NEEDTOBREATHE is joined by Drew & Ellie Holcomb and Ben Rector at the 2014 tournament. Photo: Paul Kim.

NEEDTOBREATHE is joined by Drew & Ellie Holcomb and Ben Rector at the 2014 tournament. Photo: Paul Kim. 

John Peets and Paul Roper Discuss Vinyl Revival


Pictured (L-R): Dualtone’s Paul Roper and Q Prime’s John Peets

By: Laura Hostelley
In the digital age where streaming music services put entire musical libraries at your fingertips, it comes as a surprise that vinyl sales are on the rise across all genres. According to Nielsen Soundscan, vinyl sales jumped from 4.5 million in 2012 to 6 million in 2013, an increase of 32 percent.
“We’re in this wild, wild west period right now where digital and vinyl sales will change over the next few years,” said Paul Roper, Pres. of Dualtone Music Group, which is home to The Lumineers and Shovels and Rope. “It is still a small percentage of the population that even knows what Spotify is. Physical sales account for 30-35 percent of our business and vinyl is 10 percent of that, which is turning way up. Five years ago it was under three percent.”
Other Nashville artists such as The Black Keys and Jack White have supported this trend by releasing vinyl editions of their recent albums. In the debut week of White’s album Lazaretto, released June 10, nearly 30 percent of the 138,000 physical copies sold were vinyl. The Black Keys pressed 100,000 vinyl copies of their latest Turn Blue because about 10 percent of their past album sales have been vinyl.

“There’s a lot more subtexts to it than just the numbers,” said their manager John Peets at Q Prime South. “Even though the world doesn’t mainly consume music on vinyl records anymore, it’s still important in the creation process. These bodies of work are more than a set of singles, it’s a marker of where recording artists are in their career. They want their audience to not invest in only one album, but a series of albums.” He believes vinyl gives the artist the ability to distribute music as a whole project, whereas listening to only singles has the potential to diminish the impact of the body of work.
Untitled-2Though rock artists traditionally have higher vinyl sales than any other genre, Country artists are starting to embrace the trend as well. Kellie Pickler released The Woman I Am as a limited-edition vinyl and Kacey Musgraves has copies of her 2013 album Same Trailer Different Park available on vinyl. Dolly Parton released a blue, limited-edition of two tracks from her album Blue Smoke to celebrate Record Store Day (RSD) in April. Eric Church, also managed by Peets, put out a special edition of The Outsiders including two bonus tracks on vinyl in honor of RSD this year.
Peets reported that Church’s RSD release accounted for around one percent of sales of the project, which exceed 600,000 to date. Even though the vinyl sales are minuscule, Church and his team wanted to celebrate mom-and-pop record stores and offer the exclusive edition to their audiophile fans.
“[This release] is a statement to say independent record stores are important,” said Peets. “Not only valuing the culture of music but being engulfed in a store that does nothing but music is important. The people who work in these local economies are educated and can teach you what you didn’t know about music. That’s what it’s all about.”
RSD has traditionally appealed to millennials. The artists releasing their records on vinyl have strong fan bases from this demographic, perhaps because these modern-day vinyl connoisseurs weren’t even born in time for the first vinyl trend.
“With paid streaming growing, if fans want something tangible that’s already on your phone, there’s no reason to buy a compact disc,” said Roper. “So if you’re going to buy something physical you might as well buy the vinyl, that’s a bigger piece of art.”
Peets added: “By buying the physical album and displaying it, fans are making a higher investment in the artist, like a badge of honor. I think vinyl makes a real obvious outgoing statement about who you are and what you think is important.”
With the demand for vinyl increasing, record pressing plants are working to keep up. The volume is starting to overwhelm these plants, noted Peets. If artists want to release a vinyl, they have to plan well in advance. The demand is so high that Nashville’s own United Record Pressing, the largest pressing plant in the country, is planning to expand with a second location near Nolensville Pike in Nashville.
“Vinyls are being bought heavily on the road and on preorder,” said Roper. “Backup at record plants is about 12 weeks because of how in-demand they are.” Peets added that artwork for the album poses a time-crunch more than the actual pressing of the record.
So, even in a time where there is almost unlimited access to music, fans have shown they will still financially support their favorite artists.
“There is appeal to the physical piece and the artwork,” said Peets. “By owning vinyl, fans have something that very forwardly says music, and that artist in particular, is important to me.”

CRB Announces Board and Officer Members for 2014-2015

Charlie Morgan

Charlie Morgan

Charlie Morgan, Sr. VP and Market Manager for Emmis Communications/Indianapolis, has been re-elected as President of the Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. for the 2014-2015 term. Additionally returning as officers are R.J. Curtis (All Access Music Group) as Vice President, Carole Bowen (WKIS-FM) as Secretary and Jeff Walker (The AristoMedia Group) as Treasurer.
“After one year as President of this organization, I am even more amazed than ever at the dedication and effort from the staff, board and agenda committee to insure that CRS is always innovating and improving,” Charlie Morgan said regarding his term extension. “We have many of Country music’s most engaged leaders on our board and the amount of time, talent and resources they so generously commit is remarkable. It is a privilege to serve again this year as President alongside such a talented and passionate group.”
Andy Denemark (United Stations) and Scott Huskey (Rusty Walker Programming) have been added to the board.
Chuck Aly (Country Aircheck), Carole Bowen (WKIS-FM), Beverlee Brannigan (Journal Broadcast Group), Johnny Chiang (KKBQ-FM), R.J. Curtis (All Access), Clay Hunnicutt (Clear Channel), Nick Martin (Big River Broadcasting), Gary Overton (Sony Music Nashville), Royce Risser (UMG Nashville), Tim Roberts (WYCD-FM) and Jeff Walker (The AristoMedia Group) have all been re-appointed to the board.
Board members with continued terms include: Tom Baldrica (Show Dog – Universal), Becky Brenner (Albright, O’Malley & Brenner), John Crenshaw (Cumulus), Mike Culotta, Mike Dungan (UMG Nashville), John Esposito (Warner Music Nashville), Dan Halyburton (Falls Media Group), Jeff Kapugi (WUSN-FM), Keith Kaufman (Center Stage Tour Promotions), Jon Loba (Broken Bow Records), Mike McVay (Cumulus Media), Charlie Morgan (Emmis Communications/Indianapolis), Joel Raab (Country Radio Consultants), Denise Roberts (Streamsound Records), Annie Sandor (Curb), John Shomby (Max Media of Hampton Roads) and John Zarling (Big Machine Label Group).
Charlie Monk continues as a Lifelong Director.

Lytle Management Taps Larry Hughes

lytle managementLarry Hughes has joined Lytle Management Group to handle radio and tour promotion campaigns for the company’s clients including Gary Allan, Scotty McCreery and others.

Hughes has an extensive background in promotion with past stints as VP of Promotion for Sidewalk Records, Mercury Nashville and Virgin Records as well as being a regional promotion director for MCA Nashville, Big Machine Records and CO5 Records.
“In our continued commitment to super serve radio, assist in the marketing efforts of our concert promotion partners, and support the efforts of the label promotion departments on behalf of our artists, I know that Larry Hughes will be an excellent addition to the LMG team,” said John Lytle, President of Lytle Management Group. “His vast experience within the radio and record field will be a great asset to the company.”
Hughes commented, “Working within a management company is something I had considered for several years so when John presented the opportunity, it didn’t take long to make a decision. John and I have known each other since our MCA days together and John’s character, his artist roster and his staff, all make this a great fit for me. I look forward to helping continue and strengthen the relationships our artists have with radio programmers, syndicators and consultants.”
Hughes can be reached at [email protected] or in the office at 615-770-2688.

Sound Healthcare Partners with New York Life

RJ Stillwell

RJ Stillwell

Nashville-based Sound Healthcare, which aids in providing affordable healthcare to the creative community, has partnered with New York Life to offer financial and insurance services under the name Sound Healthcare & Financial. This marks the first time that New York Life has partnered with a Nashville firm.
Sound Healthcare’s range of services have included individual and true group health insurance, life insurance (term and permanent), Medicare supplement policies and more. Over the years, programs have been added for dental insurance, vision plans, critical illness/cancer plans, prescription help programs, and holistic consultation. The partnership will allow participants access to nearly every insurance and investment product offered by New York Life, including life insurance, long-term care insurance, and investment products for retirement income, investment annuities, mutual funds, tax savings and retirement plan services.
“We established Sound Healthcare with the aim of helping songwriters, musicians, artists and other creative types navigate the healthcare system to obtain affordable coverage,” said CEO and Sound Healthcare founder RJ Stillwell, who spent 15 years as a touring and studio musician, producer, artist manager and music publisher. “As we gained the trust of the music industry, clients started approaching us about long-term care, disability insurance and financial planning. We found that so many people in this community had very little knowledge about investing and were not at all prepared for retirement.
“Using the model of Sound Healthcare, we now have access to the greatest financial services and the most talented minds from the top-rated company in the world to create customized programs for the people we serve,” he continued. “We are using the same council, education and advocacy to motivate and inspire the creative community to start planning now for the future.”
Sound Healthcare and Financial has counseled many entertainment-related organizations and associations, including Americana Music Association, International Bluegrass Music Association, Leadership Music, Nashville Musicians AFM Local 257, Blues Foundation, Folk Alliance, The Songwriters Guild of America, Artist Growth and more. Clients also include Grammy, CMA, ACM and Americana Award winners.
For more information, visit