Dan Anderson Joins BIG Label Records

Dan Anderson

Veteran sales and marketing executive Dan Anderson has joined BIG Label Records. Anderson, most recently VP of Sales at Black River Entertainment, moves to BIG Label Records in a similar role effective immediately.

Prior to Black River, as an artist manager, Anderson worked at Morress Nanas Entertainment and Red Light Management and was Director of Artist Development and Marketing at Sony Music/BNA Records.

“I’ve known Dan since the late 1990s both professionally and personally. He’s hard working and innovative with a keen eye towards the future and firm knowledge of the past and present. He’s creative and disciplined and he’ll fit right in with what we’re doing with Aaron Watson and the new acts that we’ll be adding to the label,” says BIG Label Records head Tony Morreale.

“Tony and I go back 20 plus years,” adds Anderson. “I have admired him throughout his career as he has always looked at things from a different angle. I look forward to working him and the rest of the team as we continue to build Aaron Watson’s career as well as prospective artists we work with in the future.”

The move to BIG Label Records reunites Anderson and Morreale who worked together for nearly eight years at BNA in artist development and promotion respectively.

Morreale remarks, “We had some great times as part of the team that broke Chesney and Lonestar. There was a lot optimism in the business then and Dan brings that fire to an already dynamic and energetic group at BIG Label Record. We’re glad to have him!”

“In Watson’s organization, we always work off the premise that great people are the foundation for building great businesses,” adds CDA Entertainment’s Gino Genaro, Watson’s longtime manager. “There is no doubt that Dan is a multi-talented star, bringing a multitude of skills to the table. As we continue to build to a full service label, we are thrilled at the opportunity to have him join the team.”

Anderson can be reached at [email protected].

Brothers Osborne, Old Crow Medicine Show, Bobby Bare Join Grand Ole Opry’s Bonnaroo Lineup

Brothers Osborne. Photo: Chris Hollo

The Grand Ole Opry will stage its first-ever show from the famed Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, on Sunday, June 10 featuring Opry members Bobby Bare, Del McCoury Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Riders In The Sky as well as Brothers Osborne, LANCO, Nikki Lane, Lucie Silvas, and more. The Nashville-based Opry has rarely in its 92-year history taken its iconic show outside Music City, on those occasions visiting prestigious venues such as New York City’s Carnegie Hall and Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center.

“We’re really excited about this incredible opportunity to take the Grand Ole Opry to Bonnaroo,” said Sally Williams, Senior Vice President of Programming and Artist Relations for Opry Entertainment Group. “In Nashville we host up to six Opry performances a week. Each one showcases eight to twelve artists ranging from straight ahead country to bluegrass to Americana. I think the diverse, multi-generational shows that we create on a regular basis will really resonate with the Bonnaroo music aficionados.”

“Celebrating the rich cultural legacy of Tennessee and the region has been an important part of the Bonnaroo experience from the beginning,” said Ashley Capps, President, AC Entertainment. “It’s hard to imagine anything more iconic and exciting in that regard than the Grand Ole Opry…it’s like the ultimate…a profoundly historic moment for all of us at Bonnaroo and something we’ll be talking about – and building upon – for years to come.”

Grand Ole Opry at Bonnaroo will be heard at opry.com and wsmonline.com, Opry and WSM mobile apps, and the shows’s flagship home, 650 AM-WSM. Station personality Bill Cody will serve as show announcer.

‘Restoration’ Gets The DISClaimer Treatment

And now for something completely different.

Restoration is billed as Nashville’s re-imagining of the stellar song catalog of living legend Elton John. In most publications it is being reviewed alongside Revamp, which is the pop/rock community’s similar effort. And in every case, the Nashville record comes out on top.

Credit the great Frank Liddell, who executive produced with Paul Kremen and lyricist Bernie Taupin. Also credit a stunning lineup of artists. From Rosanne Cash & Emmylou Harris’ thumping kiss-off “This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore” to Miley Cyrus’ stormy rocker “The Bitch Is Back” to Kacey Musgraves’ twinkling waltz “Roy Rogers,” the set is loaded with jewels.

Since radio airplay is doubtful, this is going to be a press-driven project. Here are 10 reasons why you need to own it.

Writers: Elton John/Bernie Taupin; Producers: Frank Liddell/Mike McCarthy; Publishers: Universal Songs of PolyGram/HST/WAB/Dick James/Rouge Booze/Cow Dog, BMI/PRS/ASCAP; MCA Nashville
-As good as their performance of this was on the ACMs, it pales next to the recorded version. Jimi’s lead vocal gleams. The harmonies here are double and triple tracked to make the foursome sound like a massive heavenly choir. The outer-space production touches are sublime. Essential.


MAREN MORRIS/Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
Writers: Elton John/Bernie Taupin; Producer: busbee; Publishers: Universal Songs of PolyGram/HST/WAB/Dick James/Rouge Booze/Cow Dog, BMI/PRS/ASCAP; MCA Nashville
-This longtime fan favorite from 1972’s Honky Chateau LP gets a yearning, stately reading here. I like the way she alternates whispery passages with soaring blasts. The spare, r&b flavored track leaves her plenty of room to emote.

Writers: Elton John/Bernie Taupin; Producers: Henley/Gill; Publishers: Universal Songs of PolyGram/HST/WAB/Dick James/Rouge Booze/Cow Dog, BMI/PRS/ASCAP; MCA Nashville
– Pretty, but kinda disappointing. Elton’s gorgeous 1990 original had a certain soulful, behind-the-beat tenseness. That’s gone, and the song is transmogrified into a wistful Eagles ballad.


Writers: Elton John/Bernie Taupin; Producer: Jay Joyce; Publishers: Universal Songs of PolyGram/HST/WAB/Dick James/Rouge Booze/Cow Dog, BMI/PRS/ASCAP; MCA Nashville
– When this tune appeared on the flip side of 1970’s hit single “Your Song,” Elton served notice that he was a rocker as well as a troubadour balladeer typical of that era. The Osbornes’ version turns up the song’s temperature by spitting out the lyric and adding blazing guitar solos and a sizzling rhythm track.


Writers: Elton John/Bernie Taupin; Producers: Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf & Eric Masse; Publishers: Universal Songs of PolyGram/HST/WAB/Dick James/Rouge Booze/Cow Dog, BMI/PRS/ASCAP; MCA Nashville
– Miranda mourns masterfully with revenge on her mind in this eulogy to a fallen Confederate soldier. Dripping with Southern nostalgia, it also has the “edge” of grinding guitar work in mid song. The chestnut is from 1970’s Tumbleweed Connection.


Writers: Elton John/Bernie Taupin; Producers: Dave Cobb/Stapleton; Publishers: Universal Songs of PolyGram/HST/WAB/Dick James/Rouge Booze/Cow Dog, BMI/PRS/ASCAP; MCA Nashville
– Stapleton is characteristically searing and soulful on this blue-eyed soul ballad. As such, he is arguably the collection’s closest vocal approximation of Elton John. Dating from 2001, the song is the most recent of Restoration’s revivals.


Writers: Elton John/Bernie Taupin; Producers: Frank Liddell/Mike McCarthy; Publishers: Universal Songs of PolyGram/HST/WAB/Dick James/Rouge Booze/Cow Dog, BMI/PRS/ASCAP; MCA Nashville
– We all thought this 1972 hit was a country song in the first place, right? Now it is.


Writers: Elton John/Bernie Taupin; Producers: Frank Liddell/Mike McCarthy; Publishers: Universal Songs of PolyGram/HST/WAB/Dick James/Rouge Booze/Cow Dog, BMI/PRS/ASCAP; MCA Nashville
– Sublimely pleasurable listening. Even on a collection as loaded with spectacular performances as Restoration is, this track stands out. The lilting bluegrass instrumentation is awesome, and these two singers simply take your breath away. This 1995 Elton outing has one Taupin’s most straightforward lyrics, requesting a love that lasts into old age.


DIERKS BENTLEY/Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Writers: Elton John/Bernie Taupin; Producer: Jon Randall Stewart; Publishers: Universal Songs of PolyGram/HST/WAB/Dick James/Rouge Booze/Cow Dog, BMI/PRS/ASCAP; MCA Nashville
– Of all the revivals here, this one perhaps sticks closest to the arrangement of the original 1984 hit. Enjoyable, if a little pedestrian.


Writers: Elton John/Bernie Taupin; Producers: Frank Liddell/Eric Masse; Publishers: Universal Songs of PolyGram/HST/WAB/Dick James/Rouge Booze/Cow Dog, BMI/PRS/ASCAP; MCA Nashville
– It is nearly forgotten today that this 1970 gem was Elton’s first American charting single. Willie is here to remind us of what a cool, gospel-y song it is.

Collin Raye Celebrates Career Silver Anniversary With New Retrospective

Collin Raye is set to release a career retrospective covering his 25 years as a recording artist, Collin Raye — 25 Years, 25 Hits, on Tuesday, May 15. Raye recut 25 of his hits, including all 16 No. 1s, along with three bonus tracks, to celebrate his silver anniversary — 25 hits for 25 years.

“After working on this album for well over a year, our release date is finally drawing close,” says Raye. “I’m so proud of this record. For years, people have asked me, ‘Why don’t you have a collection of all of your hits on one record, instead of several greatest hits albums each with different songs?’ Well, now I do — all 25 hits on one album. It was a challenge to reproduce and beat what we did years ago, but I’m confident we have. This is the definitive CR collection, and basically, the story of my career in making music.”

The 10-time Male Vocalist of the Year nominee (5 CMA and 5 ACM) recorded the album in Nashville with producer Kelly Schoenfeld. He’ll celebrate the collection’s release at the Grand Ole Opry on May 15, where he’ll perform in the historic circle and sign albums in-store for fans following the show.

Collin Raye — 25 Years, 25 Hits Track Listing:
1. I Can Still Feel You
2. On The Verge
3. Little Rock
4. My Kinda Girl
5. In This Life
6. All I Can Be (Is A Sweet Memory)
7. Every Second
8. Little Red Rodeo
9. Not That Different
10. I Think About You
11. If I Were You
12. That’s My Story
13. I Want You Bad (And That Ain’t Good)
14. Somebody Else’s Moon
15. That Was A River
16. What The Heart Wants
17. One Boy, One Girl
18. Someone You Used To Know
19. Couldn’t Last A Moment
20. A Man Of My Word
21. Anyone Else
22. The Gift
23. What If Jesus Comes Back Like That
24. Love Remains
25. Love, Me
26. Undefeated (Bonus track)
27. She’s With Me (Bonus track)
28. Shall We Gather At The River (Bonus track)

Parker McCollum Inks Publishing Deal With Warner/Chappell Nashville

Parker McCollum has signed with Warner/Chappell Nashville for publishing. The rising Austin-based singer-songwriter has been selling out dates around the country upon the heels of his latest release, Probably Wrong, in November 2017.

“I met Parker a few years back at a show he played with the Randy Rogers Band,” said Randy Rogers, recording artist/songwriter/founder/CEO of Big Blind Management. “I tracked him down after the show and started asking questions. I knew immediately that he would be a great fit at our management company.  His drive alone is what sealed the deal for me. He knows where he wants to go, and that makes all the difference.”

“Parker is the real deal.  Fans are reacting to his authentic lyrics that meet them where they are in their lives. We are proud to welcome him to the Warner/Chappell family and look forward to seeing him continue on his journey,” said Ben Vaughn, President, Warner/Chappell Nashville.

“I have envisioned this moment for years, so it’s literally a dream come true. I’m proud to call Warner/Chappell Nashville my songwriting home,” said McCollum. “My goal has always been to evolve personally, creatively and professionally; to dig deeper and pull the best out of myself. I know that surrounding myself with the best people is part of making that happen, and I’ve found that team here.”

Parker’s team includes Robin Schoepf and Randy Rogers of Big Blind Management, WME’s Henry Glascock, Greenberg Traurig’s Jess Rosen, Ben Vaughn and Alicia Pruitt of Warner/Chappell Nashville, and Jackie Marushka of Marushka Media.

Bobby Karl Works The Room: Celebrating The Works Of Late Photographer Alan Mayor

Alan L. Mayor

This might come as a shock, but Bobby Karl isn’t the champ of “working the room” – that title might rightly belong to the late photographer Alan Mayor.

If you don’t believe me, head to Middle Tennessee State University’s Center for Popular Music in Murfreesboro. That’s where you’ll find the more than 100,000 photos that document Mayor’s four-decade journey through the Nashville music biz.

Friends and admirers gathered to celebrate Mayor’s amazing archive on Wednesday, May 2, at the CMA event space on Music Row.

Mayor Smith Family & Friends

“We’re delighted you are joining us tonight,” said MTSU’s Dean of the College of Media and Entertainment Ken Paulson. “We have two gems [at MTSU] that we’re very proud of. One of them is WMOT. We changed the format to Americana and our ratings shot up. The other is the Center for Popular Music. We have the most amazing collection of artifacts and documents.”

This is where Alan Mayor’s photos have found a final resting place. They have been residing in a storage facility since the longtime MusicRow staff photographer’s passing in 2015.

“We’re glad you’re here to celebrate Alan Mayor’s legacy,” said Greg Reish, the director of the CPM at MTSU. “The collection is astonishingly large and rich, 100,000-plus photos. We want to preserve this material so that it will be available for generations to come.”

CPM Staffers

The event was staged to raise funds to preserve this remarkable photo archive. Framed prints of Mayor’s images of Charlie Daniels, Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, B.B. King, Amy Grant, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and others were displayed on tables at either end of the party room, with bid sheets alongside them.

The last time I checked, a Mayor photograph of Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt on stage was being bid for $650.00. A Willie with Kris Kristofferson shot was another popular bidding item.

Scattered on cocktail tables were cards bearing portraits of Mayor with pledge-gift amounts on the reverse.

MTSU College of Media and Entertainment Dean Ken Paulson

The hors d’oeuvres station held spiced chicken drums, beef barbecue and coleslaw on fried green tomatoes and breaded mushrooms, green beans and okra, plus bite-sized desserts.

Sharing the love were Pam Matthews, Mary Matthews, Renee White, Abby White, Tim McFadden, country artist Tony Jackson, Martin Fisher, Craig Campbell, Judy Harris and Joe Mansfield.

Fabulous country historian Brenda Colladay shared that she has been hired as an archivist by the Country Music Hall of Fame. Woody Bomar, Beth Gwinn, Teresa Simon, Cathy Gurley, Chuck Thompson, Wayne & Pat Halper, Don Cusic and Beverly Keel schmoozed and smiled.

The uppermost of the guests was Alan’s sister Theresa Mayor Smith. “Now I know it’s all going to be in a safe place,” she said of her brother’s treasure trove. “And I really appreciate that.”

Those who are interested in making a tax-deductible gift to the cause can visit mobilecause.com.

Lindsay Ell To Release Her Version Of John Mayer’s ‘Continuum’ May 25

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Lindsay Ell will release her version of John Mayer’s Continuum album on Friday, May 25. Ell’s The Continuum Project, co-produced and co-engineered by Ell, will be available at all digital retailers and streaming services.

The album began as a homework assignment from producer Kristian Bush (Sugarland), to help prepare Ell to record her debut album for BBR Music Group. Ell was allotted two weeks to recreate the album alone, recording every single instrument and singing every part of the album. Ell reported that the experience deepened her creative vision for her own music. The end result was Ell’s No. 1 debut album, The Project.

Ell explains, “Recording Continuum was the thing that started it all. Kristian taught me some of the most valuable lessons as my producer from this ‘homework’ assignment. He gave me three rules: I needed to play all the instruments myself, I needed to record it alone in my studio, and I had two weeks. Through it all, I remembered all the things I first loved about making music. I can’t wait for my fans to hear the music that helped shaped ‘Criminal’ and The Project!”

Ell recently collaborated with Keith Urban on the track “Horses,” part of his newly-released album Graffiti U. Her current single “Criminal” is at country radio, and she will join Sugarland’s Still The Same Tour in July, in addition to select opening dates on Urban’s Graffiti U World Tour.


BMG Earns 20 U.S. No. 1 Singles In A Single Week

BMG has notched 20 No. 1 positions this week on U.S. music charts published by Billboard. The chart-toppers were split nearly 50/50 with nine No. 1s for records released by BMG, and 11 No. 1 No. 1s penned by BMG-published writers.

A Perfect Circle’s album Eat The Elephant (released by BMG) tops the Rock Albums, Alternative Albums, Tastemakers, Independent Albums and Vinyl Albums charts.

“The Middle,” by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey, and co-written by BMG-published The Monsters & Strangerz, leads the Mainstream Top 40, Adult Top 40, Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, Dance/Electronic Streaming Songs and the Dance/Mix Show Airplay charts.

“Meant To Be” earns three No. 1s. The song, co-written by BMG-published Bebe Rexha and recorded by Rexha and Florida Georgia Line, leads Radio Songs, Hot Country Songs and the Country Streaming Songs charts.

Jason Aldean leads Top Country Albums with Rearview Town and Country Airplay with “You Make It Easy,” both of which are released by BMG. Lil Dicky ft. Chris Brown, whose “Freaky Friday” released by BMG is No. 1 on the Hot R&B Songs and R&B Streaming Songs charts, while “Despacito,” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber, co-written by BMG-published Poo Bear, is atop the Latin Digital Songs Sales chart, and the Latin Streaming Songs chart. Finally, “Finesse” by Bruno Mars and Cardi B, co-written by BMG-published Bruno Mars, is No. 1 on the Adult R&B chart.

BMG US President Repertoire & Marketing Zach Katz said, “This is first and foremost the achievement of seven of our clients. We congratulate all of them. But in a week in which we celebrate having two albums in the Top 5 of the Billboard 200 for the first time – from A Perfect Circle and Jason Aldean – it’s an incredible demonstration of BMG’s ability to succeed in a wide range of genres and in both music publishing and recordings. No one else can do that.”

Industry Pics: Morgan Wallen, Absolute Publicity, Writer’s Den, Torque Entertainment

Morgan Wallen Goes Gold

Pictured (L-R): FGL’s Brian Kelley; Wallen; Jimmy Kimmel; FGL’s Tyler Hubbard

Morgan Wallen‘s single “Up Down” has been certified Gold by the RIAA. The track is also No. 1 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart this week.

Wallen was surprised with his first Gold single during his first performance at Stagecoach. Wallen is also a writer behind Jason Aldean’s chart-topper “You Make It Easy.”


Absolute Publicity Inks Deal With Leroy Van Dyke

Country music entertainer Leroy Van Dyke has signed on with Nashville-based Absolute Publicity for exclusive public relations representation.”A professional publicist is important at any stage of an entertainer’s career,” notes Van Dyke. “In my 62nd year as a professional entertainer/recording artist, I am proud to be represented by Don Murry Grubbs and his staff at Absolute Publicity.”


Writer’s Den, Torque Entertainment Host Writers’ Retreat

Pictured (Back row, L-R): Noel McKay, Brennen Leigh, Tammy Rogers King, Maya de Vitry, Mike Wheeler. (Front row, L-R): Rachel Baiman, Kristina Murray, Ellie Buckland, Jenee Fleenor. Not pictured: Lydia Luce

Writer’s Den Music Group and Torque Entertainment recently hosted a writer’s retreat at Bell Bottom Farm in Cedar Hill, Tennessee.

Kaleidoscope Media Adds Allison Skiff

Kaleidoscope Media has added Allison Skiff to the team as Head of Partnerships. At Kaleidoscope, Skiff will be responsible for managing and growing the agency’s brand partnership division and will play a key role on the management and leadership team.

Skiff spent the last nine years working for 4Fini, an event production and brand strategy firm, where she was responsible for generating partnerships, crafting and executing marketing campaigns and overseeing onsite partner activations and staff. It was there that Skiff launched and produced the company’s first-ever music festival cruise, Warped Rewind At Sea. In addition to her brand experience, Skiff brings experience in booking, negotiating and handling studio pre-production for artists including Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Lenny Kravitz, Jason Aldean and more. She also enjoyed successful stints at Clear Channel Online Music & Radio, Sony BMG and Fanscape.

“Allison’s dynamic background in creating meaningful partnerships, managing people and valuing customer experience is a welcome addition to the Kaleidoscope team. I look forward to working with her to propel the company in its next phase of growth,” said agency founder and president Angie Gore.

“I am thrilled to join the amazing team at Kaleidoscope Media and look forward to expanding upon the company’s existing strengths and successes, while bringing innovative partnership strategies to the table,” said Skiff. “Additionally, I’m incredibly excited to hone my leadership skills and contribute to a positive company culture from a managerial standpoint.”

Allison can be reached at [email protected].com.