Americana Music Association Teams With CDX Nashville For Albums, Singles Charts

The Americana Music Association, in conjunction with CDX Nashville, will launch a monitored Americana Radio Airplay Albums Chart and debut a Singles Chart on Jan. 16. The data for both charts will be based on monitored Americana radio airplay, and will be published on

This new partnership will enable CDX Nashville to implement their monitored airplay system to the Americana format. Utilizing their own patent-pending song recognition technology, the service will monitor terrestrial broadcast station signals that are being streamed over the internet as well as take into account internet-based radio streams. Song detections will be tracked in real-time and then reported to paid subscribers through the CDX TRACtion web-based interface.

The charts will monitor Americana songs and albums that are encoded into the CDX TRACtion database by radio chart editor Michele Rhoades, who also oversees radio development.

“We are thrilled to partner with CDX Nashville and their incredibly supportive team,” said Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association℠. “With their innovative platform and the debut of our new Singles Chart, we hope to bring our Americana radio charts to another level where we can continue to justly serve our artists in the community and their music being played across the country.”

“It is our belief that monitored airplay tracking will allow promoters, labels and artists to more accurately measure success and optimize their marketing and promotion efforts,” said CDX Nashville VP Joe Kelly.

For more information and to inquire about advertising opportunities for the new Americana Radio Airplay Charts, contact Michele Rhoades.

Breaking News: MusicRow Announces Performers For 16th Annual Country Radio Meet & Greet And CountryBreakout Awards

Pictured (L-R): Denny Strickland (Photo: Carson Nicely); Michael Tyler (Photo: Courtesy of Reviver Records)

MusicRow Magazine, Nashville’s leading music industry publication, is proud to reveal rising country newcomers Michael Tyler (Reviver Records) and Denny Strickland (Red Star Label Group) as performers for the 2018 MusicRow Country Radio Meet & Greet and CountryBreakout Awards.

The industry-only event will be held in February for subscribed members of MusicRow, country radio broadcasters, and magazine affiliates ahead of the 2018 Country Radio Seminar (CRS). Invitations will be distributed in the afternoon on January 9.

“We are thrilled to announce two outstanding performers in Michael Tyler and Denny Strickland for our annual CountryBreakout Awards this year,” says MusicRow Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson. “The MusicRow reporting panel represents the best country stations in secondary markets and MusicRow subscribers are invited to have a front row seat to see which artists were most-played on the CountryBreakout Chart for the previous year, in addition to honoring an exemplary MusicRow Chart reporter and giving nods to the songwriter with the most No.1s.”

The gathering will reveal the 2018 CountryBreakout Awards winners, tallied from chart performance on the MusicRow Chart in 2017. Those categories include Male Artist of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, Group/Duo of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Independent Artist of the Year, Label of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and the selected Reporter of the Year.

Additionally, MusicRow will reveal its 2018 Country Radio print issue, which will also highlight the CountryBreakout Awards winners among other exclusive radio-pertinent edit. Complementary copies of MusicRow‘s Country Radio print issue will be available at the Meet & Greet and CountryBreakout Awards and throughout the CRS conference. Subscribers will receive their print copies by mail. Additional issues will be available for purchase at or at the publication’s 17th Avenue headquarters in Nashville.

To receive your invitation to the 2018 MusicRow Country Radio Meet & Greet and CountryBreakout Awards, subscribe at


Denny Strickland (Red Star Label Group): Denny Strickland’s love for West Coast culture uniquely blends with his Arkansas country roots to create music that feels like a throwback and an examination of modern romantic expression. On the road from the age of five years old showing horses, Strickland taught himself to play the guitar and write songs after studying at Arkansas State University. With the same veracity that made him a champion rider, he soon began to play regional gigs and caught the eye of The Statler Brothers’ longtime manager (and Bass player for Johnny Cash), Marshall Grant. Grant’s passing in 2011 set the wheels in motion for Strickland’s move to Nashville, reigniting his music career on the MusicRowCountryBreakout Chart with the debut hits “Swerve On” and most recent hit “We Don’t Sleep,” featuring a video co-produced by Strickland. Strickland has hosted the syndicated television show Country Fix, enjoyed sold-out shows during CMA Music Festival week and featured in multiple online video series that have broken through to over one million views. Strickland co-produced and has writing credits on seven of the 10 tracks on his debut album, California Dreamin, which was released August. 1 with Red Star Label Group. Look for his next single in 2018.

Michael Tyler (Reviver Records): Since the fifth grade Michael “MT” Tyler has been influenced by music. He made his first major industry connection at age 13 with powerhouse producer Michael Knox (Jason Aldean). Just a few years later he would earn several notches on his songwriter belt, including Jason Aldean’s “Laid Back” and Dierks Bentley’s Platinum-selling “Somewhere On A Beach.” Influenced by Johnny Cash, Alabama, Mel McDaniel and similar singers while living at home in Thayer, Missouri, Tyler began learning the guitar and contributing to family jam sessions while memorizing writers credits watching videos on CMT. He wrote his first song at age 12 and relocated to Nashville at age 17 after heeding advice from Knox to write at least one song a month. Tyler earned a nomination for Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year at the 2017 MusicRow Awards and has writing credits on all 11 tracks on his debut album for Reviver Records, 317. With the 2017 project, Tyler stepped forward with variety and depth, offering stirring small-town memories over thundering backbeats. His debut single, “They Can’t See,” opened the door toward romance while his endearing, current single “Hey Mama,” plants the first seeds of lifelong love.

CRS 2018 Adds Dierks Bentley, Cumulus Media’s Mary Berner

Mary Berner, Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley and Cumulus Media President/CEO Mary Berner have been added to this year’s Country Radio Seminar (CRS) speakers lineup.

Berner will be this year’s keynote speaker on Feb. 6 from 3:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m. Emmis Communications’ Charlie Morgan will conduct the interview, titled “Radio Today with Cumulus Media’s CEO Mary Berner.”

Berner has been in the role since 2015.

Bentley has been named CRS 2018’s Artist Humanitarian of the Year and will be the featured speaker on Monday, Feb. 5 from 4-5 p.m.

The conversation, sponsored by DAV and titled “Climbing The Mountain,” will spotlight Bentley’s rise to superstardom built by following his own path and not trends, ultimately celebrating a career built on the combination of commercial success and critical acclaim. The CRS 2018 Artist Humanitarian Award presentation, sponsored by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, will take place during the CRS Opening Ceremonies (sponsored by Sarah Cannon), prior to Bentley’s conversation.

The $699 final registration rate for CRS 2018 is available at Single-day passes are also being made available. Single-day passes (limited to two day passes per person) are $200 per pass. In addition, today (Jan. 8) marks the last day to reserve rooms at Omni Nashville. Single rooms are $259 and double rooms are $269, and only a limited number of rooms are still available. To book a room, please call 1-800-THE-OMNI (1-800-843-6664).

Weekly Chart Report 1/5/18

Click here or above to access MusicRow‘s weekly CountryBreakout Report.

Industry Ink: Milkbone Challenge, 78 RPM Records, ‘Nash Nights Live’

Writers Compete In ‘Milkbone Challenge’

Pictured (L-R) Back row: James McNair, Scott Thomas, Matt Alderman, Seth Ennis, Josh Dunne, Brock Berryhill, Tyler Reeve, Jeremy Bussey, Barry Knox, Jamie Paulin. Second Row (L-R): Jona Sherwood, Jared Mullins, Jay Brunswick, Jody Stevens, Tommy Cecil, Jaida Dreyer, Greylan James, Brad Clawson, Matt Thomas. Front Row (L-R): Mandelyn Monchick, Kasey Tyndall, Lainey Wilson. Photo: Kristin KJ Joyner. [CLICK TO ENLARGE]

On Dec. 28 some of Nashville’s hit songwriters joined forces for the second annual Milkbone Challenge (MBC). Twenty-two writers, artists and composers met at Parmalee’s house west of Nashville to write songs and compete for the MBC awards including Best Song of the Day, Lick O’ The Day and Line Of The Day.

The challenge was divided into two sessions with five writing teams per session where teams had three hours to write and record their song. At the end of the day, those involved gathered to listen to all the songs. Judges Tom Luteran (SonyATV), Dave Rose (Deep South Entertainment {DSE}), Mandelyn Monchick (DSE), Tiffany Bearden (Evolution PR) and Kasey Cleckler (NSAI) deliberated to choose the winners of the three existing categories, as well as establish a new category for Best Radio Song.

Best Song of the Day was awarded to “Back Of A Baptist Church,” penned by Seth Ennis, Jaida Dreyer, Tommy Cecil and Jared Mullins. Line of the Day was awarded to Seth Ennis for “Cause she’s got it all and her only flaw is who’s holding her hand” in the song “She Loves Me,” penned by Ennis, Barry Knox, Matt Alderman and Lainey Wilson. Lick O’ The Day was awarded to James McNair for the song “Home Away from Home,” written by McNair, Jona Sherwood, Parmalee’s Matt Thomas, Kasey Tyndall and Parmalee’s Barry Knox. The brand new Best Radio Song award was presented to “Looking For A Song,” written by Jody Stevens, Jay Brunswick, Greylan James and Brad Clawson.

This year’s participants included: Tommy Cecil, Jared Mullins, Jaida Dreyer, Seth Ennis, Jody Stevens, Jay Brunswick, Greylan James, Brad Clawson, Barry Knox, Jona Sherwood, Matt Thomas, James McNair, Kasey Tyndall, Will Weatherly, Scott Thomas, Jamie Paulin, Matt Alderman, Josh Dunne, Brock Berryhill, Tyler Reeve, Lainey Wilson and Jeremy Bussey.

78 RPM Records Inks Deal With Vince Youngs

Pictured (L-R): Attorney William Whitacre, Vince Youngs and 78 RPM Records’ Bernie Faulkner (standing). Photo: so much MOORE media

President of 78 RPM Records’ Bernie Faulkner has announced the signing of Modesto, California based country newcomer Vince Youngs to the label and On The Wall Music. Expect Youngs’ first radio release later this month.


Nash Nights Live‘s Elaina Smith To Be Featured On Final Season Of Nashville

Elaina Smith with the episode’s director, Tim Busfield (The West Wing, Studio 60).

NASH Nights Live‘s Elaina Smith debuts Thursday night (Jan. 4) on the season premiere of CMT’s Nashville. Smith will play herself, conducting an interview with Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere). The CMT episode, titled “New Strings,” launches the series’ sixth and final season.

CMA Streaming Study Panel Added To CRS 2018 Agenda

Just added to the Country Radio Seminar 2018 agenda is an exclusive release of CMA’s 2017 Country Music Streaming Study: The Way Forward To Drive Consumption. The session will take an in-depth look at the role radio has and will play in this fast-growing platform. Research was conducted to examine how streaming is changing consumers’ relationship with music, including country and other top genres, over a nine-month period.
More than 2,500 country music listeners were part of research that included tracking music streaming behaviors on mobile devices, PCs, and laptops, in addition to quantitative survey research describing their attitudes and perceptions about streaming experiences and providers.
“CMA is excited to present this unique research that captures current streaming behaviors and experiences,” said Karen Stump, CMA Senior Director of Consumer Research. “By leveraging the learnings provided, all segments of the industry can have an expanded understanding of how we all work together to bring country music to our fans every day through streaming.” 
The research will be presented on Wednesday, Feb. 7 between 10-10:50 a.m., by Stump and Andrew Hare, Vice President of Research with Magid and Associates. Country Radio Seminar will be held Feb. 5-7 at the Omni Nashville. Registration is now available at the Final Rate of $699 at or by calling the CRS offices at 615-327-4487.

Rewind: 2017 CountryBreakout Chart No. 1s

Since 2002, The MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart has crowned No. 1 songs in the country radio marketplace. This 2017 marked 49 celebrations of chart-topping songs. MusicRow congratulates each artist, songwriter and label for its accomplishments this year.

Thomas Rhett and Blake Shelton earned the most No. 1 songs on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart in 2017, with each artist earning three songs hitting the pinnacle this year. Thomas Rhett’s chart-toppers include “Star of the Show,” “Craving You,” and the two-week No. 1 “Unforgettable.” Shelton’s chart-topping singles include “A Guy With A Girl,” “Every Time I Hear That Song,” and “I’ll Name The Dogs.”

Thomas Rhett is also a co-writer on another MusicRow chart-topper this year, Michael Ray’s “Think A Little Less.”

The 16th Annual MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart Awards, based on radio airplay reported by stations on MusicRow’s radio panel, will be held on Monday, Feb. 5 with an invitation only ceremony.

2017 MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart No. 1’s

Jan. 5, 2017: “Star of the Show,” Thomas Rhett
Jan. 12, 2017: “A Guy With a Girl,” Blake Shelton
Jan. 19, 2017: “Better Man,” Little Big Town
Jan. 26, 2017: “Today,” Brad Paisley
Feb. 2, 2017: “Dirt On My Boots,” Jon Pardi
Feb. 9, 2017: “Road Less Traveled,” Lauren Alaina
Feb. 16, 2017: “Fast,” Luke Bryan
Feb. 23, 2017: “Think A Little Less,” Michael Ray
March 2, 2017: “Yeah Boy,” Kelsea Ballerini
March 9, 2017: “Any Ol’ Barstool” Jason Aldean
March 16, 2017: “Hometown Girl,” Josh Turner
March 23, 2017: “Bar at the End of the World,” Kenny Chesney
March 30, 2017: “Black,” Dierks Bentley
April 6, 2017: “The Weekend,” Brantley Gilbert
April 13, 2017: “Hurricane,” Luke Combs
April 20, 2017: “Body Like A Back Road,” Sam Hunt
April 27: 2017: “In Case You Didn’t Know,” Brett Young
May 4, 2017: “Yours If You Want It,” Rascal Flatts
May 11, 2017: “You Look Good,” Lady Antbellum
May 18, 2017: “The Fighter,” Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood
May 25, 2017: “God, Your Mama, and Me,” Florida Georgia Line. ft. The Backstreet Boys
June 1, 2017: “Every Time I Hear That Song,” Blake Shelton
June 8, 2017: “Drinkin’ Problem,” Midland
June 15, 2017: “Craving You,” Thomas Rhett and Maren Morris
June 22, 2017: “It Ain’t My Fault,” Brothers Osborne
June 29, 2017: “Somebody Else Will,” Justin Moore
July 6, 2017: “Do I Make You Wanna,” Billy Currington
July 13, 2017: “No Such Thing As A Broken Heart,” Old Dominion
July 20, 2017: “More Girls Like You,” Kip Moore
July 27, 2017: “Heartache On The Dance Floor,” Jon Pardi
Aug. 3, 2017: “Small Town Boy,” Dustin Lynch
Aug. 10, 2017: “They Don’t Know,” Jason Aldean
Aug. 17, 2017: “All The Pretty Girls,” Kenny Chesney
Aug. 24, 2017: “Every Little Thing,” Carly Pearce
Aug. 31, 2017: “Round Here Buzz,” Eric Church
Sept. 7, 2017: “What Ifs,” Kane Brown ft. Lauren Alaina
Sept. 14, 2017: “When It Rains It Pours,” Luke Combs
Sept. 21, 2017: “I Could Use A Love Song,” Maren Morris
Sept. 28-Oct. 5, 2017: “Unforgettable,” Thomas Rhett
Oct. 12, 2017: “Fix A Drink,” Chris Janson
Oct. 19, 2017: “Light It Up,” Luke Bryan
Oct. 26, 2017: “Greatest Love Story,” LANCO
Nov. 2, 2017: “I’ll Name The Dogs,” Blake Shelton
Nov. 9, 2017: “Smooth,” Florida Georgia Line
Nov. 16, 2017: “Like I Loved You,” Brett Young
Nov. 22, 2017: “Legends,” Kelsea Ballerini
Nov. 30, 2017: “Losing Sleep,” Chris Young
Dec. 7, 2017: “Yours,” Russell Dickerson
Dec. 14, 2017: “Make A Little,” Midland

Ashlee McDonald To Oversee CMT Radio, Programming Partnerships

Ashlee McDonald

CMT has tapped Ashlee McDonald to oversee CMT Radio and Programming Partnerships, where she will manage operations and business development for the network’s nationally-syndicated radio business. In her new role as Executive Producer/Content, Programming Partnerships and Operations, McDonald will spearhead the strategic vision of CMT’s broad-reaching radio business, oversee day-to-day operations, and lead the development and implementation of new business opportunities and partnerships across CMT’s radio business.

McDonald will be based in Nashville and reports to Suzanne Norman, SVP of Programming and Business Operations, CMT.

Most recently, McDonald served as Senior Director of Brand Management at Warner Music Nashville. Additionally, she spent nearly six years on the national programming team at iHeartRadio as the lead producer of artist partnership initiatives.

Weekly Chart Report 12/15/17

Click here or above to access MusicRow‘s weekly CountryBreakout Report.

Cumulus Media Launches Amazon Alexa Skills For 300 Local Stations

Cumulus Media has launched Amazon Alexa skills for 300 local radio stations, Westwood One brands, plus the leading dedicated Christmas Radio Skill, Christmas Radio. This is the largest collection of custom skills available with Amazon Alexa in the U.S.

To sample a Cumulus local station skill, users can ask Alexa to enable a specific radio station skill (for example, for rock station KLOS, users can say, “Alexa, enable Ninety-Five Five, KLOS skill”). After the skill is enabled, users can then open the skill in Alexa.

Cumulus has also launched a national consumer marketing campaign designed to educate listeners on how to find and enable skills, fueled by local on-air, video and social promotion. Individual stations will create localized messaging that speaks directly to their unique listenership. The custom skills can be enabled vocally by using unique key phrases for each radio station; top Cumulus markets including New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Dallas stations are now available.

“Voice-interactive technology is bringing radio listening back into the home and office, and will enable interactivity with our stations in the connected car,” said Mike McVay, EVP, Programming and Content, Cumulus Media. “Our strategy to create a custom skill for individual radio stations and programs, while educating consumers, is critical as smart speakers have created an entirely new, and rapidly growing platform to consume audio content.”

“At an aggregated network level we will have access to valuable data and insights on this rapidly-evolving audio ecosystem,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Corporate Marketing, Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “We are dedicated to educating, testing, and learning to evolve the listening experience for our listeners and brand partners.”