Bill Anderson Renews Publishing Deal With Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Pictured (L-R): Terry Wakefield, Sr. VP Creative, Sony/ATV; Bill Anderson; Troy Tomlinson, President/CEO, Sony/ATV

Pictured (L-R): Terry Wakefield, Sr. VP Creative, Sony/ATV; Bill Anderson; Troy Tomlinson, President/CEO, Sony/ATV

Songwriter and country music icon “Whisperin’” Bill Anderson has been churning out hit songs for seven consecutive decades, and this month, Anderson re-signs once again with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The six-time Songwriter of the Year award-winner first signed with Tree International, now owned by Sony, in 1958.

Troy Tomlinson, president/CEO of Sony/ATV said, “Few music publishers have the honor of ever getting to work with a writer of the stature of Bill Anderson. Even fewer, are able to maintain a relationship that spans decades. We consider it a privilege to represent a legendary songwriter like Bill Anderson and the body of work that he has created over the years.”

Anderson has penned hits for artists including “Whiskey Lullaby,” (Brad Paisley/Alison Krauss), “A Lot Of Things Different,” (Kenny Chesney), “Give It Away,” (George Strait), and “Country,” (Mo Pitney). Other well-known songs include “Still,” “City Lights,” “The Tips Of My Fingers,” “Po’ Folks,” “Mama Sang A Song,” “8X10,” and many more.

“I’m honored that they still want me and my songs at Sony/ATV,” said Anderson. “Those guys are the best music publishers and song guardians in the world.”

With 40 studio albums and seven No. 1 singles to his credit, the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame member is set to release an autobiography Whisperin’ Bill Anderson: An Unprecedented Life In Country Music on Sept. 1.

2016 Road Closures, Bus And Parking Changes For CMA Fest

2016-CMAMusicFestival-Logo-Badge-4CDowntown Nashville will experience changes in traffic flow and parking to accommodate the events and activities of the 2016 CMA Music Festival. The annual event will take place Thursday through Sunday (June 9-12) but several changes will take effect as early as today (Thursday, June 2).

Thursday, June 2
MTA begins running detour routes.

Friday, June 3:
7:00 a.m. – The northbound lane cutout of First Avenue will be closed from Demonbreun to Church Streets (reopens Monday, June 13 at 3:00 a.m.).

Saturday, June 4:
6:00 a.m. – Broadway will be closed from First to Second Avenues (reopens Monday, June 13 at 3:00 a.m.).

Sunday, June 5:
7:00 a.m. – Fifth Avenue will be closed from Demonbreun Street to Broadway (reopens Monday, June 13 by 7:00 PM).

Monday, June 6:
6:00 a.m. – Meters bagged from Second Avenue from Korean Veterans Boulevard to Union Street (available Monday, June 13 by 1:00 a.m.).
7:00 a.m. – First Avenue will be closed from Demonbreun to Church Streets (reopens Monday, June 13 by 3:00 p.m.).
8:00 a.m. – Titans Way will be closed (reopens Monday, June 13 by 8:00 p.m.).
8:00 p.m. – Meters bagged from Fourth Avenue from Korean Veterans Boulevard to Commerce Street (available Monday, June 13 by 1:00 a.m.).

Tuesday, June 7:
6:00 a.m. – First Avenue will be closed from Korean Veterans Boulevard to Church Street (reopens Monday, June 13 by 3:00 a.m.).
6:00 a.m. – Molloy Street will be closed from First to Second Avenues (reopens Monday, June 13 by 3:00 a.m.).
6:00 a.m. – Meters bagged from Broadway from First to Sixth Avenues (reopens Monday, June 13 by 1:00 a.m.).
6:00 a.m. – Demonbreun Street will be closed from First to Second Avenues (reopens Monday, June 13 by 3:00 a.m.).

Wednesday, June 8:
6:00 a.m. – Broadway will be closed from Second to Fourth Avenues (reopens Monday, June 13 by 2:00 a.m.).
6:00 a.m. – Demonbreun will be closed from Fourth to Fifth Avenues (reopens Monday, June 13 by 2:00 a.m.).

Thursday, June 9 — Sunday, June 12:
7:00 AM–7:00 p.m. Fifth Avenue will be closed from Korean Veterans Boulevard to Demonbreun Street each day
7:00 AM–7:00 p.m. Demonbreun Street will be closed from Fifth to Sixth Avenues each day

Artist Updates: Eric Church, Joe Nichols, Colt Ford, Spencer’s Own

Eric Church Pop-Up Store Returning To Nashville During CMA Music Festival

Eric Church Pop Up store

Eric Church will bring music product and more to his fans at CMA Music Fest week for a second year in a row with his Eric Church Pop Up Store in East Nashville (address: 218 South 11th Street) beginning Thursday, June 9 and running through Sunday, June 12 with operating hours from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The concession, which will mark Church’s fourth pop up store in Nashville over the last year, will offer rare items for purchase, including his custom These Boots by Lucchese boot line and signature Gibson guitar, the Hummingbird Dark. Also available are select pieces from The Highway to Home furniture collection, an original furniture line created by Church.


Joe Nichols Joins Clay Walker’s 7th Annual Chords of Hope Benefit

Joe Nichols

Joe Nichols

Clay Walker will be bringing along four-time Grammy nominee Joe Nichols for the seventh annual Chords of Hope benefit concert. ACM Lifting Lives will be joining Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., and Pinnacle Financial Partners as a presenting sponsor. Hosting the event will be The Big 98 WSIX on-air duo, Tige and Daniel for the second consecutive year.

Taking place at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley on Wednesday, June 8 during CMA Fest, the concert will help raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis (MS) research with proceeds going to the MS Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Clay’s charity, Band Against MS (BAMS). Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and tickets are still available here.


Colt Ford To Tour With Brantley Gilbert, Announces Clothing Collaboration

Colt Ford

Colt Ford joins Brantley Gilbert’s 33-date “Take It Outside” summer amphitheater tour along with country’s Justin Moore. The tour runs through October 15. Ford will be a celebrity brand ambassador for Affliction Clothing which has designed custom stage branding for Ford’s live show, signature apparel and artwork for his upcoming album.

“We are very pleased Colt Ford has embraced our brand and joined us as an ambassador,” said Affliction Clothing owner, Eric Foss. “We like his unique style which makes a great addition to our roster of celebrity ambassadors who embrace the brand’s Live Fast lifestyle.”


Vocal Group Spencer’s Own Teams With Rooms To Go

Spencer's Own

Spencer’s Own

ElectricHouse sibling quintet, Spencer’s Own, will be showing up in over one hundred Rooms To Go furniture stores this summer. The third largest furniture retailer in the country will feature the band’s “Livin’ in the Moment” music video as part of its seasonal promotion starting in June.

“Livin’ in the Moment” recently reached No. 29 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart. Additionally, Spencer’s Own will make appearances during CMA Music Festival week and join the lineup at the Boise Music Festival, which will be featuring Daughty, Nelly, Andy Grammer, and Coolio on June 25 in Boise, Idaho.

MusicRowLife: Rachele Lynae, Dylan Scott

Rachele Lynae Weds

Country singer Rachele Lynae married producer/lighting director Tim Creedon on Sunday, May 22, in a private ceremony outside of Nashville. The two exchanged vows at the Cactus Creek Barn in Dickson, Tennessee, surrounded by friends and family.


Rachele Lynae and Tim Creedon. Photo: Nashville Wedding Collection


Dylan Scott Weds

Curb Records artist Dylan Scott wed Blair Anderson on Saturday, May 28 in Bastrop, Louisiana.

Dylan Scott

Photo: Courtesy Curb Records

DISClaimer: Dierks Bentley, Sammy Arriaga Bring Rhythm, Energy On New Singles

dierks-elle-sammy_570“T for Texas, T for Tennessee.”

That’s what the great Jimmie Rodgers wrote and sang. And it’s as true today as it was back in 1928. Just look at the match-ups in today’s column.

Representing the Lone Star State, we have Brad Cunningham, Mark McKinney and Sarabeth. On the other hand, we have Volunteer State recording artists Dierks Bentley, Old Dominion and Josh Goodlett.

Toss in California’s Corinne Cook and Lasers Lasers Birmingham, Georgia boy Tyler Hammond and South Florida’s Sammy Arriaga and you’ve got quite a geographic mix.

Dierks Bentley earns Disc of the Day. Sammy Arriaga is our DisCovery Award winner.


SAMMY ARRIAGA/Banjos N’ Bongos
Writers: Sammy Arriaga/James Slater/Bobby Hamrick; Producer: Lalo Guzman; Publishers: Sony/ATV, Disney, BMG; Latium (track)
– Very summer-y. The percolating bongo beats and light banjo plucks give it loads of burbling, bopping energy. His rapid-fire vocal delivery has lots of heart as he describes romance between a Kentucky girl and a Cuban-American boy. Endearing.


Writers: Brad Cunningham; Producer: Wes Sharon; Publishers: none listed; Brad/Sony RED (track)
– It’s a cool little “road” song, with a jaunty beat, sawing fiddle, twangin’ guitar and a countryboy vocal that’s winning. Makes you want to go for a ride.


OLD DOMINION/Song For Another Time
Writers: Matthew Ramsey/Trevor Rosen/Brad Tursi/Matt Jenkins; Producer: Shane McAnally; Publishers: Smack/Big Deal Music/Combustion Music, ASCAP; RCA (track)
– As before, enormously tuneful. The lyric paints a picture of optimism in the face of uncertainty. The spare, percussive arrangement underscores how well written this is.


Writer: Alex Owen; Producer: Jake Gideon; Publishers: Lasers Lasers Birmingham, BMI; LLB (track)
– Airy, California country with a way, way mellow vibe. Fluid organ and steel notes drift through the arrangement while a piano plinky-plunks in between the sleepy baritone’s vocal phrases. This is the title tune of the unusually named act’s second EP.


Writers: Shane McAnally/J.T. Harding; Producer: Ross Copperman; Publishers: Smack Hits/Smack Songs/Kobalt/Songs Music/Mighty Seven/Heavy Metal Disco/Songs of SMP, GMR/ASCAP; Capitol Nashville
– Very atmospheric. An echoey track backs Dierks and pop chirper Elle as they duet on a lyric that explains how heartbreak affects different sexes. He can have meaningless sex, drown his blues in booze and switch his emotions off. She can’t. Love that thumping rhythm undertow.


Writers: none listed; Producer: Ira Dean; Publishers: none listed; TH
– Dean shows real ability as a producer. The crunchy beats and perfectly placed electric guitar phrases both work extremely well here. Hammond has a forceful country delivery with plenty of personality. Play this.


JOSH GOODLETT/I Don’t Usually Do This
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Good Entertainment (track)
– His tenor could use a little echo assistance to sound fuller. But everything else works perfectly. The song is extremely well written and the instrumental arrangement supports his expressive delivery at every turn. Very promising. Credits, please.


MARK McKINNEY & BRI BAGWELL/Why Haven’t You Left Yet?
Writers: Mark McKinney/Cassie Turano; Producers: Eric McKinney/Mark McKinney; Publisher: none listed; MMBB
-Very hillbilly cute. They’re thoroughly sick of each other. He offers her the used car that isn’t paid for, if she’ll just split. She says he can have all their unpaid debts. He says she always has her face planted in Facebook. She says he always has a belly full of beer and is planted in front of the TV or down at the bar. She’s taken over their bed; he’s sleeping in the LazyBoy.


CORINNE COOK/Little Miss Understanding
Writers: Lee Young/Julie Burton/Denny Martin; Producer: Denny Martin; Publishers: Boots in Nashville/Pileadough/Purple Daisy, SESAC/BMI; CCM (CDX)
– It’s a kiss-off song. A little more vocal firepower would make it more effective. As it is, she delivers it with a whine instead of a snarl.


SARABETH/You Rock My Rodeo
Writers: Sarabeth Swagertky/Glen Mitchell/Sandy Ramos; Producer: Glen Mitchell; Publishers: AmeriBrit/Delta Pearl/Lawyer’s Wife, ASCAP/BMI; Circle S (CDX)
– A feisty cowgirl ditty that, despite its title, never really rocks.

Alan Jackson Preps Two Special Nashville Appearances Next Week

Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson

Country music superstar Alan Jackson is preparing a number of special performances surrounding CMA Music Festival next week (June 9-12).

On Tuesday, June 7, he’ll treat fans to rare performance as he’s featured in the Acme Unplugged series at Acme Seed and Feed on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. The appearance will find the music icon playing a Music Festival installment of the venue’s acclaimed songwriter series. Tickets are $50.00 per person, with a very limited number of VIP ticket packages available this Friday, June 3 at 10:00 a.m. The performance will stream live on, as well as on Acme Radio via and the TuneIn app.

On Friday, June 10, the Grand Ole Opry member will step onto the renowned Opry stage, as he celebrates his 25th year as a member of the institution. This comes on the heels of the recent 25th anniversary celebration of the release of his debut album Don’t Rock the Jukebox.

Since its release in early May, Jackson has topped Billboard’s all-genre Music DVD chart with Keepin’ It Country: Live at Red Rocks, a concert DVD captured on tour at the revered Colorado concert venue in 2015. Jackson’s Keepin’ It Country Tour–extended from 2015 into this year–continues this summer. More shows follow in August and through the fall.

Dierks Bentley, Elle King Set For CMT Music Awards

Dierks Elle

Dierks Bentley and Elle King are two of the latest performers to be added to the 2016 CMT Music Awards. Together they will collaborate on Bentley’s new single, “Different For Girls,” from his recently released album Black.

Additionally, Cheap Trick will team with Billy Ray Cyrus for a mash-up performance. Cyrus’ CMT show Still The King premieres June 12. Cheap Trick signed to Big Machine Label Group at the end of 2015.

Other previously announced 2016 CMT Music Awards collaborations include Fifth Harmony and Cam, Blake Shelton and The Oak Ridge Boys, and Keith Urban with special guests Brett Eldredge and Maren Morris.

Hosted by Erin Andrews and J.J. Watt, the 2016 CMT Music Awards, will air live from Nashville on Wednesday, June 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Exclusive: Kenny Rogers Knows When To Fold ‘Em

Nearly 40 years after landing his first No. 1 country hit, Kenny Rogers may have retirement on his mind, but he’s not hanging it up just yet. The Country Music Hall of Fame member has confirmed dates stretching through November, including a few in Europe and Asia. More dates of The Gambler’s Last Deal Tour are expected to follow in 2017.

During a brief break from the road, Rogers invited MusicRow publisher/owner Sherod Robertson to sit down for a casual visit about a magnificent career.

MusicRow: Last September, you announced your retirement. How did you come to that decision and then break the news to your team members?

Kenny Rogers: The band was a little shocked. They knew it was coming they just didn’t know when and I didn’t really know when. I just woke up one morning and I said, “I think it’s time to announce because I know it takes about a year to put one of these tours together.”

That’s the one thing I’m going to miss the most is my band. They are my friends. They’ve been with me for over 40 years. They are good guys. I’ve seen them have children and raise their children, get the kids off to college. That’ll be something that will really be missed, is my relationship with them.

You know, I realized that I’m 77 years old. I don’t know how many more years I have. I mean, if you take my blood work, I’m 20 years old, but my body’s falling apart. So, it’s just one of those things that I wanted to make sure I did before I died. And then if I make it through, I want to spend time with my boys. I have 11-year-old identical twins. I may regret that. [laughs] I may go home and say, “Never mind, put me back on the road.”

Let’s fast forward to when the tour is over. What are you going to do the first day of true retirement?

Sleep all day long. [laughs] But seriously, I think it’s really tough to say because I had the first three months off this year because I had pneumonia. And I was a basket case. I was looking for something to do around the house and [my wife] Wanda said, “Why don’t you go somewhere? You’ll feel better if you just go somewhere.” But [retirement] is two years from now because it’s a two-year tour, 55 days this year, and 55 next year. And I think I’ll be physically ready to stop at that point. I always said I would do this until I either embarrassed myself, or couldn’t do it, and I think I’m getting close to both of them.

Is the tour a career retrospective?

It’s a totally different show than they’ve ever seen me do. And it’s really fun for me. It’s kind of a linear look at my career, starting with the 1950s when I was with a group in high school called The Scholars. We sang doo-wop and we were not scholars by any stretch of the imagination. It was a great time though. It was so pure and so innocent. We did it because we heard all the guys that sang with groups got the girls. Wasn’t true, but we heard that.

And from there I got into a jazz group. I’d always played guitar and the guy, Bobby Doyle, was blind. He played piano and did the vocal charts. He said, “I want you to come play upright bass in my band.” I said, “Bobby, I don’t even play bass, I play guitar.” And he said, “There’s one thing I can assure you. There’s more demand for bad bass players than bad guitar players.”

So he said, “I’ll teach you to play bass.” And he literally taught me to play bass and he was blind. And you know, the older I get, the better I used to be, but I think that I became an exceptional bass player and we had an exceptional group. I mean, so many people used to come in and sing with us. We did an after-hours show in Houston, and they used to come in and sing with us. It was such a thrill and I felt like if I never went anywhere else I was happy with that.

You mentioned that you’ve been performing since high school. Was there a point when you realized that you weren’t playing and singing just for fun—that this could become a successful career? What was that moment like?

I think it was all opportunistic. When I joined Bobby Doyle and the jazz group, Bobby had very strict work ethics. We rehearsed three, four hours every day. We played six or seven hours every night, and we got better quickly, and I think that was exciting. And it’s like everything I’ve done throughout my career. I was accused of trying to change country music into something else and I said, “Guys, I was just trying to be successful.” I was trying to find my niche in this business. And I think that’s always been my thing. It’s never been about the money. It’s been about the satisfaction I get from doing something.

I am an impulsive obsessive. I impulsively get involved with something and then I obsess with it to see how good I can get at it. You know, I played tennis for eight years, and eight hours a day, and I got a national ranking in doubles. Then I realized I couldn’t do that anymore, so I started taking up photography lessons, and I was given a certificate of degree of professional photographer by the Professional Photographers Association, a master’s degree.

What do you think motivated you to pursue such heights?

I was raised in the projects in Houston and my dad was an alcoholic. He was a funny alcoholic. He wasn’t bad, he didn’t do anything. He stayed with my mom till they both died, so it wasn’t bad. It was just that I wanted to do something more with my life.

I’m always amazed by what people will do for someone they like, and what they won’t do for someone they don’t like. So, I chose to be that person that hopefully everybody liked, and everybody would help me and it’s been that way. I mean, people have helped me through moments, and I don’t forget it. I appreciate it. And I’ve tried to help other people through those moments.

kennyrogers2Speaking of help, who inspired you along the way and helped you reach this level of success?

I went with my sister and her boyfriend, who my mom didn’t like, when I was 12 years old to hear Ray Charles. He’s the one that made me say, “That’s what I want to do.” Didn’t even know I could sing, and it inspired me. People laughed at everything he said, clapped for everything he sang.

And then there was a group called The Kirby Stone Four. Kirby Stone came down to Texas and he heard our jazz group. He hired us to play for him as his band, and then he let us do 15 minutes of his show. And he really saw something in me that even I didn’t see.

I’m telling you, I wrote my book and I wanted to name it after what he told me. He said, “Kenny, this business is not all wet towels and naked women.” Boy, was I disappointed. [laughs] He said, “No, it’s a business and you have to treat it like a business. If you don’t, it’ll eat you up.” So, I never drank, never smoked, never did drugs, and I’ve always been conscious of surviving. That’s what I think motivated me…. I believe that people are successful because someone they trust believes in them, and they don’t want to disappoint them. I didn’t want to disappoint Kirby.

That makes sense. Have you always been hands-on with your business decisions?

No, I try to hire good people and let them do their job. [On the other hand,] Dolly is a part of everything she does.

Yes, every artist approaches it differently.

I kind of wish I were more like that. My wife gets so mad at me, because she’ll say, “Well, what about this?” I say, “I don’t know.” And I don’t know, and I don’t care. Money doesn’t drive me. That’s never been the driving force with me. And I can’t even say success is what drives me. It’s just enjoying life drives me.

You just mentioned Dolly, so I’d love to ask what she has meant to you in the big scope of your career.

Well, she’s one of the first people that I got involved with in doing duets, and she’s an incredible person to start with, an incredible singer. She came out on the road, and we worked together about 15 years, and we flirted with each other for 30 years, and we never broke that boundary.

That’s where the tension comes. The minute you do something, you break that boundary, so we just intentionally didn’t do that. And she is one of the sweetest people and smartest people. She said, “You know, I have the body of a woman and the mind of a man.” And she does, she thinks like men should think. I just don’t think that way, you know.

Your career has spanned over five decades and with each decade a new crop of fans discover your music. So, is there a song that best represents your career or that you would want them to listen to first?

It’s interesting. I had so many, I don’t know where to start. Maybe “Islands in the Stream” because it’s so happy and it’s so up. It’s really two people who care about each other, and they’re singing about being happy. And that’s kind of where I am mentally. I’d like for people to remember the songs that reflect me and my attitudes more than anything else, more than the success of the song.

If you could do it all over again, is there anything you would change?

Probably not. I have a theory that the longer it takes you to reach your pinnacle, the longer your glide going down. If you go straight up, you’ve got to come straight down. And so with me, I’ve been fortunate enough to build a slow ascent and I reached the top, and now I’m starting down, and I’m okay with that.

I’ve had everything music can offer and there’s a point where you get selfish. I don’t need any more than that. My sons, they’re funny. My older boy said, “Dad, you’ve got to keep going, you can do this, you can do it.” I said, “I don’t need to do this, I don’t need to do that, I’ve done it.”

But it’s been a great life, and I think it’s because money never drove me. That’s where it gets dangerous. And I just love what I’m doing, and I think that’s what keeps you going.


For information on tour dates and tickets, visit

ASCAP Slates Christian Music Awards For September

ASCAP logoASCAP will hold its 38th annual Christian Music Awards on Monday, Sept. 26 at Nashville’s Rocketown. The new date marks a move to the fall this year, from the event’s usual spring celebration.

Led by Michael Martin (VP, Nashville Membership) as well as ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board Paul Williams, the invitation-only event will honor ASCAP’s most-performed songs of the year, as well as the PRO’s top songwriters and publishers in Christian music.

Garth Brooks Signs With WME

Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks has signed with agency WME for representation in all areas, including music, television, film, endorsements and more, MusicRow has confirmed. Rob Beckham, the WME Nashville office’s co-head, will lead WME’s bookings for Brooks. Brooks continues to be managed by Bob Doyle and Associates.

Brooks recently embarked on his first world tour in 13 years, following a four-year residency at Wynn Las Vegas. He recently sold out two shows at Yankee Stadium in under an hour. In 2014, Brooks released Man Against Machine, his first studio album in 13 years. He has sold more than 136 million albums.

He became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011.