Michael August Elevated To GM At Demolition Music

Michael August, Jamie Dryburgh

Michael August has been promoted to General Manager at Demolition Music and Jamie Dryburgh has been promoted from Creative Manager to Creative Director at the company.

As GM, August will oversee the company’s day-to-day operations including creative and strategic partnerships, synch licensing, and artist development. August joined Demolition in 2014 as a staff songwriter, and moved into the position of Creative Manager in June of 2017. Along with this promotion, August also has a worldwide exclusive publishing agreement with Demolition as a staff songwriter.

In conjunction with August’s promotion, Demolition Music has promoted Jamie Dryburgh from Creative Manager to Creative Director. As Creative Director, Dryburgh will oversee the calendars of Demolition’s writers, assist with song plugging, act as a songwriter liaison, and continue to seek out creative opportunities for the company. Dryburgh is also the co-owner of two Nashville-based lifestyle brands, Young Music City and RNBW. She joined the Demolition team in August of 2018 and prior to that spent two years at Wrensong Entertainment in songwriter relations.

“Michael and Jamie have given Demolition that powerful one-two punch that has built our brand, added depth and diversity to our team and catalogue, and put us in position for some big things to happen in the very near future,” said Demolition President Jon D’Agostino.

JUST IN: ACM To Hold Two-Hour "At Home" Concert Special April 5

The Academy of Country Music will hold an “At Home” two-hour concert special on Sunday, April 5, starting at 8 p.m. ET on CBS Television Network, the time slot originally planned for the Academy of Country Music Awards.

ACM Presents: Our Country will feature conversations and at-home acoustic performances with top country artists, along with clips from their favorite moments from the Academy of Country Music’s 55-year history. Participating artists will be announced in coming weeks.

Artists will appear from their homes via video chat to share some heartfelt thoughts and perform acoustic versions of country hits. Additionally, video clips from previous ACM Award® broadcasts will allow viewers to reminisce with them about their favorite ACM moments. It will be a night filled with entertainment, hope and reflection, bringing the healing power of music to Americans at a time when they need it most.

“Although the highly anticipated 55th ACM Awards show is unable to take place on April 5 due to the health crisis, we still wanted to deliver fans an entertaining ACM Country Music special as planned,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “We are thrilled to announce ACM Presents: Our Country, an all-new special that allows fans to connect with their favorite country artists and to relive some of the greatest moments of the ACM Awards, all from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”

“Music has always served as a powerful form of hope and solidarity during challenging times,” said Amy Thurlow, President, dick clark productions. “It’s our privilege to offer audiences an uplifting message through music as well as a look back at some of the best moments in ACM Awards history.”

“Broadcast television and music have always been mediums that bring people together,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music and Live Events, CBS Entertainment. “From their living rooms to yours, CBS is pleased to partner with the ACM and dick clark productions to have some of today’s biggest country artists connect with and entertain fans in an intimate way while allowing everyone to stay safe.”

The Academy of Country Music Awards have been rescheduled for September, with a specific date, time and venue yet to be announced.

Zac Brown Band Lets Go Of 90% Of Touring Crew, Calls For Change As Coronavirus Spreads

Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown revealed last night (March 18) that he has had to let go of 90% of his longtime band and crew members, after the band’s The Owl Tour was halted as the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread. The Owl Tour is one of numerous tours, festivals, and other large-scale music events that had to be put on pause in recent weeks.

Brown shared the news on Instagram last night:

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“It was a hard day today for the last 15 years, my crew and who I carried with me out on the road to play my shows and do what we do, I’ve had to let go of about 90% of my family, the people that I traveled with and grew my business with, the people I high five on the way out to the stage the people that have done their jobs and done them well. I hate having to make this call but I can’t generate out there and I can’t tour because of the coronavirus. And everyone’s safety,” Brown said in the video.

He urged Americans to take the virus more seriously.

“I got this message that I want to say to the people that aren’t taking this seriously and who are out partying and the people that are out sitting on beaches and the people that don’t care if they get this virus and bring it home to their grandparents and maybe kill their grandparents or complicate their lives. The longer that America doesn’t take this seriously and doesn’t stay in and try to contain this, the longer everyone’s  going to be out of jobs, the longer that we will be pushed into this recession that we’re all about to enter into. The sickness has just begun here, it’s just started to rear its head, so you need to wake up. You need to stay indoors and try to socially distance yourself and stay inside. America can heal from this, America can come together, we can celebrate with music, we can celebrate with song, we can celebrate on video chat, but the sooner that we take action on this and we don’t wait on our government to tell us that this was a serious issue and that should be, you know, we are late to the game.”

He also shared his extreme disappointment in America’s leadership in dealing with the virus.

“I’m pretty ashamed of the way that our leadership handled all of this, I’m pretty ashamed of a lot of things. We can’t rely on our government to tell our people what they need to do. You can read between the lines, you can read all of the articles that are happening everywhere around the world and we are less protected than a lot of those countries, because no one can tell us what to do. We have to decide for ourselves as Americans and we have to look out for the future of all of our jobs and for the economy and for each other, so I love to spread music and spread love in song and share music with the world. I’m going to do my best to do that from closed doors but if we’re going to heal from this and we we’re going to get back to doing what were doing before this hit, then everyone’s got to take this seriously.”

Singer-Songwriter Ramsey Kearney Passes

Longtime independent country recording artist and veteran Nashville songwriter Ramsey Kearney died on Saturday (March 14) at age 86.

He is best known for collaborating with Mel Tillis in co-writing Brenda Lee’s 1961 international pop smash “Emotions.” The song has also been recorded by Juice Newton (1994), Pam Tillis (2002) and Little Rachel (2009), among others.

Kearney’s other notable copyrights include “Nine Little Teardrops” for Sue Thompson (1961), “Lonely People” for Eddy Arnold (1964) and “Big Flicking Baby” for Moe Bandy (1978).

William Ramsey Kearney was born Oct. 30, 1933 in Bolivar, Tennessee. He began his career with his own radio show on WDXI in Jackson, 1948-52. He served in the Army in 1953-55.

After stints in Memphis and Knoxville, he headed to Nashville. He first gained notoriety in Music City as a staff writer for Cedarwood Publishing.

He next signed with Acuff-Rose, which employed him as a songplugger as well as a writer. As a vocalist, Kearney recorded for the publisher’s affiliated Hickory label in the 1960s, He reportedly staged his Opry debut singing Fred Rose’s “I Never Let You Cross My Mind.”

When he signed with Tree International, Ramsey Kearney became one of the few songwriters to have been affiliated with all three of Music Row’s founding song publishers. While at Tree, he began recording for NRS Records. The label released his self-penned “Love Me Strong,” “Bud’s Wiser Now” and “Driving Me to Drinking” during the 1970s.

This marked the start of his long career as an independent country recording artist. He issued more than 20 singles on Safari Records and made the charts with “King of Oak Street” (1985) and “One Time Thing” (1988). He also recorded for Silver Dollar, Nashco, SunJay, Stomper Time and other indie labels.

His 25+ albums included I Write the Words (1981), I Dream a Rainbow (1982), My Happy Day (1983), Behind a Song (1985, marketed on TNN), Montego Bay (1987) Country Fever (1988) and Golden Dreams of Hawaii (1990), plus an Eddy Arnold tribute LP, a Christmas album, a rockabilly collection and a blues album.
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, services for Ramsey Kearney will not be public. To ensure the safety and health of the community, a private visitation and service will be held on Thursday, March 19 at Hendersonville Funeral Home. Burial will take place at Hendersonville Memorial Gardens.

Eric Paslay, Abby Anderson, Tenille Townes To Live Stream C2C Set

Eric Paslay, Abby Anderson, and Tenille Townes are offering up a live stream Wednesday (March 18) on Facebook of their Introducing Nashville set that was supposed to happen during the C2C Festival. The festival was postponed on March 12, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting international travel policies, and other restrictions as reasons to delay the festival.

The three songwriters wanted to give back to fans in London, Dublin and Glasgow, so beginning at 8 p.m. GMT, they will do a virtual writers round from their respective living rooms in Nashville. Each of the artist’s Facebook pages will crosspost the event, as will CMT and CMA.

Florida Georgia Line Takes Dierks Bentley’s Lead In Giving Restaurant Employees $1,000

Florida Georgia Line. Photo: John Shearer

Florida Georgia Line is taking Dierks Bentley’s lead. The duo, who also run the Nashville restaurant and bar FGL House in addition to being music superstars, announced on Wednesday (March 18) that they are also helping all 117 of their FGL House employees by giving them $1,000 each while the restaurant is closed in accordance with Nashville mayor John Cooper’s recommendation that Nashville restaurants close to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

FGL’s Tyler Hubbard thanked Dierks Bentley for being generous to his staff at Nashville’s Whiskey Row. “You inspired us, man. We are going to follow suit, we are going to take your lead and we are going to do the same thing. We are going to give $1,000 to all the FGL House employees. We hope this helps out in a time of need.

“We very, very vividly remember what it’s like to be in the service industry, to be a server, to be a bartender and to rely on tips to pay the bills,” Hubbard added. “We know everybody is a probably a little stressed out during this time so we hope this can help you guys out.”

FGL’s Brian Kelley added, “We are so grateful for everybody that helps make our restaurant run, every single person, barbacks, waiters, waitresses, bartenders.”

Bentley posted on social media on March 16 that he planned to give $1,000 to each of his employees at Whiskey Row Nashville as the restaurant closes temporarily, to comply with the recommendation from Nashville’s mayor John Cooper.

Bonnaroo Rescheduled For September

The annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, held in Manchester, Tennessee, has been rescheduled for Sept. 24-27.

All current tickets and onsite accommodations (camping, tent rentals, RV, etc.) will be honored for the new weekend. Fans with off-site accommodations and shuttles purchased through the festival will be contacted directly with updates.

“Please continue to radiate positivity through this uncharted time in our world. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you on The Farm this fall,” the festival’s organizers said in a statement.

The festival was originally slated to be held June 11-14, with a lineup including Tool, Miley Cyrus, Lizzo, Lana Del Ray, Tame Impala, and more.

Luck Reunion Goes Forward As Livestream Event

Willie Nelson

Luck Reunion, one of many concert festivals to be canceled in recent weeks, will live on as a livestreamed event titled “‘Til Further Notice,” set for Thursday, March 19. The annual event, usually held on Willie Nelson‘s ranch in Luck, Texas, will be staged as a free broadcast, featuring call-in sets filmed at the participating artists’ homes.

Confirmed acts include Nelson, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson, Jewel, Nathaniel Rateliff, Paul Cauthen, Margo Price & Jeremy Ivey, Randy Houser, David Ramirez, Tre Burt, Ian Ferguson, Devon Gilfillian, Early James, Sunny War, and this years Southwest Artist on the Rise to Luck winners Ida Mae, with more to be announced.

Fans can contribute to a digital tip jar that will be available throughout the broadcast. Tip donations will be divided equally among all performers.

“Everyone in our community is gutted. We are gutted. We couldn’t just sit around on Thursday when our event was supposed to take place, knowing that other producers and artists in our industry are also isolated and out of work. This is our effort to bring back a bit of the Luck spirit, and to try to raise money for the people and charities we care about so deeply,” said Matt Bizer, co-founder of Luck Productions.

The event begins at 6 p.m. CT; fans can tune in at luckreunion.com/tilfurthernotice, or at twitch.tv/luckreunion.

Contemporary Christian Artist Sandi Patty Tests Positive for COVID-19

CCM artist Sandi Patty has revealed she has tested positive for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus and is self quarantining for the next two weeks.

The gospel star apparently hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of weeks and received the positive test confirming the diagnosis yesterday (March 17). She and her husband are quarantining at their home in Oklahoma City and in a message on her Facebook page she urged everyone to take coronavirus prevention safety measures seriously to help prevent further spread of the virus. She also gave thanks that her home church was providing services online to help continue community worship during this challenging time.

The gospel star communicated on Facebook with an update: “Today I received confirmation that I tested positive for COVID19. I am at home and Don and I are under quarantine for the next 14 days. I’m so impressed with how our Health Department handled my case and grateful for their attentiveness. They are working so hard right now to keep us all safe. WE MUST DO OUR PART. This is not fake news. If you are not already practicing social distancing and STAYING HOME, DO SO NOW! This is what we can all do. This is how we stop the spread. God has given us faith, but he’s also given us wisdom. He has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and of a sound mind. I will keep you posted as I can. (Oh! And cough in your elbow, not your hand.)”

Patty has earned five Grammy awards and numerous GMA Dove Awards since she released her first albums in the late 1970s. She is best known for the CCM hits including “Majesty,” “How Majestic Is Your Name,” and “We Shall Behold Him.”

Nashville's Midtown Cafe Closes Indefinitely (For Now)


Midtown Cafe, a Nashville hotspot for music industry executives for more than 30 years, has announced it has closed indefinitely, according to a social media post from Midtown Cafe owner/manager Randy Rayburn.

We shall return to serve you again on the other side of these challenging times. Thanks for your patronage, support and friendship all these years… We all look forward to the days and nights when we may serve you again. On behalf of my original Midtown managing partner, Jerry Baxter, and my Cabana managing partner-Craig Clifft, I thank you for letting us host and serve you well. Excelsior!

The announcement comes in the wake of the spreading COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Last week, Nashville mayor John Cooper advised local bars to shut down temporarily, and for restaurants to scale back the number of patrons allowed to 50% of capacity.