Kenny Chesney Celebrates Latest Chart Topper

Kenny Chesney celebrates his 27th #1 for “Wild Child” with radio programmers in  Atlanta during “The Big Revival” tour date at the Georgia Dome. (L-R): Back Row: Sony Nashville Director/Promotion R.G. Jones, guest Jennifer Willis, iHeart Media Atlanta Senior VP/Programming Brian Michel, WKCN Columbus, GA PD Dave Arwood, Cumulus Media Corporate Program Director Greg Frey, and Point-To-Point Marketing VP/Digital Tim Satterfield. Front Row: Morris-Higham Management VP/Radio & Marketing Buffy Cooper, Columbia Nashville Manager/Radio Promotion Samantha Borenstein, spouse Tanya Arwood, WDEN Macon Program Director Laura Starling, Chesney, spouse Caryn Frey, guest Amanda Ward, WUBL Atlanta MD/Midday host Angie Ward, Columbia Nashville Event and Promotions Specialist Mary Allison, and Columbia Nashville National Director/Field Promotion David Friedman.

Kenny Chesney celebrates his 27th #1 for “Wild Child” with radio programmers in Atlanta during “The Big Revival” tour date at the Georgia Dome. (L-R): Back Row: Sony Nashville Director/Promotion R.G. Jones, guest Jennifer Willis, iHeart Media Atlanta Senior VP/Programming Brian Michel, WKCN Columbus, GA PD Dave Arwood, Cumulus Media Corporate Program Director Greg Frey, and Point-To-Point Marketing VP/Digital Tim Satterfield. Front Row: Morris-Higham Management VP/Radio & Marketing Buffy Cooper, Columbia Nashville Manager/Radio Promotion Samantha Borenstein, spouse Tanya Arwood, WDEN Macon Program Director Laura Starling, Chesney, spouse Caryn Frey, guest Amanda Ward, WUBL Atlanta MD/Midday host Angie Ward, Columbia Nashville Event and Promotions Specialist Mary Allison, and Columbia Nashville National Director/Field Promotion David Friedman.

Kenny Chesney’s love song to free-spirited females everywhere, “Wild Child,” has become his latest chart-topper, and is also a milestone for collaborator Grace Potter, who joins him on the song. The ethereal-sounding tune is Potter’s very first No. 1, making it doubly special for both she and Chesney, who says he realized the moment he penned it that the song was definitely a standout.

“I knew this was a very special song when I finished writing it with Shane [McAnally] and Josh [Osborne],” Chesney says. “It was everything I wanted to say about what makes a woman alluring… about those things that capture your imagination and make you want to be closer. It certainly wasn’t the norm of what was happening with country radio, but it felt like something I wanted people to remember, to think about. We didn’t know how it was going to do, especially right now when ballads are everything people aren’t listening to, but we believed in the song. I wanna say ‘thank you’ to country radio for thinking outside the box. Your support made this possible.”

WildChildHaving Potter add vocals to the song was especially apropos considering she was basically the embodiment of the song itself, according to Chesney.

“When we wrote this, I knew we needed Grace Potter’s voice on there, because she is everything the song is about. That it gets to be her first No. 1 record somehow seems so right, because the song is her, as well as so many other women and young girls that I know. To me, a girl who is so alive, so in the moment, so curious and hungry for life…There’s nothing like her. You can’t tie ’em down. So free…and so intense because of it. Nothing is more attractive. To me, that makes women really special. Whether they want to live in the mountains, become a doctor, play music in Hawaii, surf around the world, whatever their passion is, that is what drives them – and man, it’s an amazing thing.”

The tune that name-checks Bonnaroo and Burning Man ironically hit the charts just as Bonnaroo 2015 breaks camp for another year, and is Chesney’s third straight Number One from his CD The Big Revival and his 27th career chart-topper.

Little Big Town, Brett Eldredge Join Darius Rucker’s St. Jude Benefit

unnamed-1Darius Rucker will be joined by a host of hitmakers this year for his sixth annual “Darius And Friends” benefit June 8 at the Wildhorse Saloon. Little Big Town, Brett Eldredge, A Thousand Horses, Brothers Osborne, and Steve Wariner will perform at the concert event which sells out year after year and raises funds for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

GAC’s Nan Kelly will host this year’s benefit, and a special surprise guest is in the works for the show and will be announced soon. In the concert’s six-year history it has raised over $400,000 for cancer research and treatment.

The day after the show, Rucker will host his annual Darius And Friends Celebrity Tee-Off golf tournament which also benefits St. Jude.

Last year Rucker raised $120,000 for the hospital between the concert, golf tourney, and auction.

Brett Eldredge Announces Sophomore Album

 TV Host Seth Meyers and country artist Brett Eldredge.


TV Host Seth Meyers and country artist Brett Eldredge.

After performing his new single, “Lose My Mind,” last night (June 1) on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Atlantic Records artist Brett Eldredge announced that his forthcoming sophomore album, titled Illinois, will be released Friday, September 11.

Illinois will feature new songs including the lead single, the title track, and more.

“Lose My Mind,” written by Eldredge, Ross Copperman and Heather Morgan, is top 30 on radio and climbing.

The Illinois-native is enjoying three consecutive No. 1 singles with “Mean To Me,” “Beat Of The Music,” and “Don’t Ya,” from his debut album Bring You Back.

ASCAP President Paul Williams Receives International Recognition

IVORSASCAP President Paul Williams received an international award yesterday (5/21) at the 60th Annual Ivor Novello Awards presented by BASCA (the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) in London. The award, PRS for Music Special International Award, is named after sponsor PRS for Music, the UK’s licensing and royalty company. 

Paul Williams, ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board

Paul Williams, ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board

Inaugurated in 1956, they celebrate, honor and reward excellence in British and Irish songwriting and composing. BASCA is a not-for-profit membership organization that represents British songwriters and composers.

Williams–an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe-winning Hall of Fame songwriter–was recognized for his songwriting career achievements, which include songs like “The Rainbow Connection” (from 1979’s The Muppet Movie), “Evergreen” (from the 1976 film A Star is Born), “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays.” He recently earned a 2014 Album of the Year Grammy for co-writing two songs which he also performs, “Touch” and “Beyond,” with Daft Punk on their critically-acclaimed album Random Access Memories.

“I’m incredibly honored to receive this award,” said Williams. “Over the course of my career I’ve been fortunate to build relationships and work with so many gifted songwriters and artists in the UK. I’m especially gratified to be recognized by my peers in this country.”

Williams recently co-authored a book titled Gratitude and Trust.

NMPA Honors Include Senator Corker, Billy Joel, Among Others

NMPAThe National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) will honor Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, Legendary singer-songwriter Billy Joel, Former ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento, and publisher Ralph Peer II during their annual meeting in New York City on June 17.

The event will feature performances by Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter LeAnn Rimes and singer-songwriters Westrin & Mowry. The keynote address will be given by National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu.

Senator Corker will receive the NMPA President’s Award that night from his efforts aimed at resolving the issues the digital age is causing music publishers and songwriters.

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker

Billy Joel will be honored for his contributions to songwriting and advocacy for his profession.

The first-ever NMPA Industry Legacy Award will be presented to LoFrumento and the Lifetime Service Awards will go to Ralph Peer II for his career in music publishing.

“This year is incredibly significant for music publishers and songwriters, so it is only fitting that we have such important honorees at our Annual Meeting,” said NMPA President and CEO David Israelite. “Additionally, we’re excited to recognize Senator Corker’s steadfast commitment to helping songwriters succeed. Without his leadership helping creators achieve a fair wage in a free market, we would not be making the progress I believe we are making today.”

Brantley Gilbert Comes Full Circle With New Release

Brantley Gilbert

Brantley Gilbert

One year after the top selling debut of his album Just As I Am, Valory Music’s Brantley Gilbert continues the momentum with this week’s release of Just As I Am Platinum Edition. The latest version of his Gold-certified third studio album was released Monday, May 18, and features five new tracks, in addition to a remix of the chart-topping “Bottoms Up” featuring rapper T.I., for a total of 19 songs. Last year, the Georgia native notched the third-highest debut and landed in the Top 5 best selling country albums of the year. Now, with his newest release, Brantley continues to share his life experiences and lessons through his music.

All of my songs tell a story.

His vision for the album is one of authenticity, bringing everything back full circle. Brantley tells MusicRow, “All of my songs are chapters of my life. They tell a story. The five new songs tie up loose ends on the record.” Brantley who writes all of his songs on the album, admits, “We wait longer than a lot of folks between records to make sure I tell the story right. Since I write everything I cut, we want to make sure it’s perfect. There was a lot of the good, the bad, and the ugly to talk about on this record. The way it has worked out is amazing and I’m excited it’s finally here.”

I sat in front of the cross and talked to God.

The album ends with the deeply personal and powerful ballad, “Just As I Am.” He shares the story that inspired this solo-written tune: “This song is about a huge battle in my life,” confesses Brantley. “It’s a true story. There’s a little chapel in my hometown that sits off the road with a large concrete cross. There had been a lot of things going on; so one night when I was riding by the chapel on my motorcycle, I pulled over. I sat there in front of the cross and talked to God. That’s when I started to try to get my stuff together, by getting some things that needed to go, out of my life. It’s one of those songs that tells my exact story. It’s as real as it gets for me.” This is the same cross that is featured on the cover of his second album, Halfway to Heaven. He adds, “It’s a bit of foreshadowing because that situation is exactly what this song is about.”

 

Military has always been a passion for me.

In celebration of his new release, Brantley is joining forces with Harley-Davidson and Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) for a two-day motorcycle ride to introduce WWP’s “Rolling Odyssey” program, a therapeutic ride for combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and readjustment challenges. Brantley will make four stops in 48 hours as they trek from Houston to Baton Rouge with an acoustic performance and autograph signing at each stop. He will end the ride with a performance at the Bayou Country Superfest as part of Kenny Chesney’s The Big Revival Tour.

When asked about his connection to the men and women who serve our country, Brantley shares, “My support for the military has always been a passionate part of me. My mom’s side of the family is a military family and I had heard my whole life that freedom ain’t free.” But when Brantley once made a trip to Arlington National Cemetery, it left an unshakable impression on the country artist. “I went to Arlington and saw the ocean of gravestones of people who laid down their lives for our freedom. I love my God. I love my country. I love my guns. I love my family. I love my job. Those ladies and gentlemen protect that and give me the freedom to do these things.” And Brantley’s not one to forget what they have done, adding, “I’m going to show them every bit of love and support I can in return.”

brantley

Music Exec. Turned Author: Ron Fierstein Captures Portrait of The “Original” Steve Jobs

ATriumphOfGeniusEntertainment executive Ron Fierstein is venturing down a different path with the release of his new book about Edwin Land, the inventor of the Polaroid camera. Fierstein, also known as the protective older brother of Broadway superstar Harvey Fierstein, shines a deserving spotlight on Land, whose innovation as the father of instant photography ultimately paved the way for another revered visionary: the late Steve Jobs.

Fierstein’s successful career in artist management included work with notables Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Terri Clark. Prior to that, he had a successful career in law which led him to Land’s story. With the recent release of his book, A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War, Fierstein tells MusicRow he is checking off an item on his “bucket list”—which was to research and write about Land’s incredible story of technological innovations.

MusicRow sat down with Fierstein to discuss the book, his famous brother and why everyone should know Edwin Land’s name.

Before transitioning into the music business, how did your career in law begin?

I always wanted to be in entertainment but decided law school would be more practical. I went to law school to get a background to take into the music business. I went to the best New York firm in intellectual property, Fish & Neave, expecting to work on copyright and trademarks which would be relevant to the entertainment business. When I got there, I found out they mostly did patents because that was the lucrative part of intellectual property law. I ended up working on the famous Polaroid Kodak lawsuit and it was a fantastic experience. Law was a bit of a diversion, but I use my legal background everyday in my entertainment career.

During your entertainment career, you went through Nashville’s Leadership Music program. How was that experience?

Leadership Music was fantastic! I was so impressed with that organization and still am to this day. What I love about Nashville is the sense of community and the people. The Leadership Music component really created that sense of community for me. I love its dedication to learning and sharing experiences in the different areas of the music business. I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else.

The original cast of "Kinky Boots." Photo: Facebook.com/KinkyBootsBway

The original cast of “Kinky Boots.” Photo: Facebook.com/KinkyBootsBway

And speaking of community, describe your strong bond with your brother, Broadway’s Tony Award winner, Harvey Fierstein.

I’m very close to my brother. He’s my little brother and I’ve been looking after him since we were teenagers in the sense of “him against the world.” When we were teenagers, he came down to dinner one night and announced to my parents that he was gay, although in those days, the term was “homosexual.” I’ve been out front, looking after him ever since, and now in a more professional way since I handle of all of his business and legal affairs. Harvey’s been proclaiming the message, “I am who I am,” since the ‘80s. I’m also co-producer of the musical, Kinky Boots and its message is really important. It started with Torch Song Trilogy and Kinky Boots is the latest embodiment of that message.

After all of your experience in the entertainment industry and working with your brother, you set out to write a book about inventor and scientist Edwin Land. What is the theme of A Triumph of Genius?

Ron Fierstein

Ron Fierstein

Actually, there are two themes of the book. One is Land and his story because he is a tremendously interesting guy. The second is the relationship between Polaroid and Kodak which is almost like an opera in the sense that the companies started out as mentor and protege and ended up arch enemies over 60 years.

In the beginning Polaroid was just selling plastic polarizers which were used to make camera filters. This was Land’s first invention at only 19 years old! When Polaroid got into photography, Kodak manufactured the negative for every Polaroid film used. By the mid ‘60s, Polaroid was Kodak’s second largest customer, second only to the cigarette manufacturers as Kodak made little plastic tubes that were made into cigarette filters. The companies had a very successful and beneficial relationship until 1968, when Land showed his friends at Kodak the prototype of what was to become the SX-70, the Polaroid camera and film that most people are familiar with. The picture comes out of the camera and it develops in your hand. All the previous generations involved a peel-apart technology which required coating the print with a chemical to stabilize it. When Land showed his invention to Kodak, Kodak knew they might lose around $6 billion in film sales over the next 10 years and ultimately, the companies went their separate ways.

How did that result in you establishing a relationship with Land?

SX-70 Model 2 with film cartridge protruding from the front. Photo: Wikipedia

SX-70 Model 2 with film cartridge protruding from the front. Photo: Wikipedia

In 1972, Polaroid put out their SX-70 camera and film. In 1976, Kodak came up with their own camera. It used a lot of Polaroid technology and Polaroid owned the patents. Polaroid was forced to sue Kodak for patent infringement and Kodak was found guilty and liable for infringing on seven Polaroid patents, three of which Land was the inventor.

The firm I worked at had around fourteen lawyers on the case and at some point, Land sort of picked me out of the group of young lawyers buzzing around Polaroid. I was selected to be the guy who dealt with him directly, spending a lot of time with him and helping him prepare for the trial. Kodak ultimately had to pay Polaroid almost a billion dollars in damages and they had to take their cameras and film out of the stores. Even though there were 13 million Americans who had Kodak instant cameras in their homes, the court still ordered Kodak to get out of the business and those customers were left high and dry with cameras without any film.

Why was it so important for you to tell Edwin Land’s story?

Land was the most impressive, amazing inventor and technology entrepreneur, but no one has ever heard of him. From WWII until President Gerald Ford, he worked for seven American Presidents doing top secret intelligence work. He was responsible for so many things: the U-2 spy plane, the camera that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon with, the CORONA, the nation’s first photo reconnaissance satellite, and the Polaris missile launching site. All of these, he did in total secret, taking advantage of America’s technology, marshalling the resources and bringing these things to reality. His life story is incredible. He was a little bit of a recluse and had all of his personal papers destroyed when he died.

Can you tell me about the relationship between Steve Jobs and Land?

Steve Jobs admitted he idolized Land. During the beginning of his career, Jobs did an interview and went on and on about Land and how he modeled his career after him. It’s well known that Steve Jobs would introduce his new products to his shareholders from a stage. Land was doing that 30 years before him. Land introduced the SX-70 in 1972 to the Polaroid shareholders sitting on a desk chair with a Saarinen Tulip table to his right. If you Google Steve Jobs and look for images, you’ll find a picture of Steve Jobs sitting on the chair in front of the Apple shareholders with that same exact table to the right of him when he was introducing the iPad. Tim Cook has said that Apple’s role in life is to give you something that you didn’t know you wanted. Cook obviously continued that from Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs got that from Edwin Land. That was Edwin Land’s credo. He would say, “My job is not to ask the public what they want. My job is to give them what they can’t even imagine.” Edwin Land was the original Steve Jobs. There’s no doubt about it.

To purchase A Triumph of Genius, click here.

SOLID To Hit The Bowling Lanes To Help Kids

Bowl For Kids SakeSOLID (Society of Leaders in Development) will host their 5th Annual Music Row Madness Bowling Tournament to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee Bowl for Kids’ Sake on Thursday, April 9 at AMF Pla-Mor Lanes in Nashville, TN from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. CT. All proceeds will directly benefit BBBS of Middle TN.

Music industry professionals are encouraged to register on the website with a team of five to six individuals, raising a minimum of $750. Those participating have the chance to win a large variety of prizes including gift cards for Flip Burger, Uber, Hattie B’s, prize packs from Paddleboard Nashville, Loveless Café, Arrington Vineyards, and even a free session from a recording studio in Nashville.

Last year SOLID contributed over $30,000 in proceeds for Big Brothers Big Sisters and this year’s goal is to raise that to $35,000. In 2014, Berkley Myers of Starstruck Entertainment and Jason Hauser of McGhee Entertainment headed up the team that organized the event. “Last year we were able to raise the most money in SOLID’s 17-year history by bringing members of the music community together to champion an incredible cause,” according to Myers, SOLID Treasurer. “We as an organization pride ourselves on being able to create unity among colleagues to better our industry, each other, and the city of Nashville.”

“SOLID is honored to make a difference in Nashville with some of the most elite young professionals in the music industry,” says Brian O’Neil, SOLID President. “In turning our professional competitive drive into collaborative efforts to help our community, we can further emphasize the significance of the entertainment community within Nashville as a whole. We can’t wait to see how our relationship with BBBS expands as we approach SOLID’s 20th year!”

Corporate sponsors for the event are still being accepted for a minimum donation of $500.00. General inquiries and requests can be directed to Emma Tur at [email protected] or Basak Kizilisik at [email protected].

PLA-More Lanes is located at 2906 Foster Creighton Drive in Nashville.

Visit tnbowling.com to participate or to donate.

Carly Pearce To Make Grand Ole Opry Debut

Carly Pearce

The Sirius XM “On The Horizon” artist, Carly Pearce, whose hit “Blame The Whiskey” is garnering national attention, announced today (March 18) that she will mark her first Grand Ole Opry performance on Saturday, May 30.

“Some kids dream of being a doctor and some kids dream of being an actor; I always dreamt of singing on the Grand Ole Opry,” confided Pearce. “Anyone who knows me would tell you that. To realize that in two short months I will be singing on the same stage, in the famous circle where my musical heroes have stood makes me feel overwhelmingly blessed.”

 

Rhonda Vincent Is Big Winner At SPBGMA Bluegrass Awards

rhonda vincent spbgma

Rhonda Vincent and The Rage at the SPBGMA Awards.

Rhonda Vincent was named Entertainer of the Year by The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) on Sunday, Feb. 8. The organization held its annual awards and convention at the Sheraton Music City in Nashville.

Vincent, the night’s big winner, also took home Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year, and Rhonda Vincent & The Rage won Bluegrass Band of the Year. The Rage member Josh Williams was honored with the Master’s Gold Award, which commemorates winning Guitar Performer of the Year a total of ten times. Band member Hunter Berry took home Fiddle Performer of the Year.

Tim Graves was inducted into the SPBGMA Preservation Hall of Greats.

41st annual award winners

Bluegrass Promoter of the Year: Bertie Sullivan
Bluegrass Radio Station of the Year: Sirius XM 061, Nashville, TN
Bluegrass DJ of the Year: Kyle Cantrell – Sirius XM 061, Nashville, TN
Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year: Tom T. Hall & Dixie Hall
Bluegrass Album of the Year: Pull Your Savior In by Larry Stephenson Band on Whysper Dream Music
Bassfiddle Performer of the Year: Butch Cooksey
Dobro Performer of the Year: Tim Graves
Guitar Performer of the Year: Tim Stafford
Mandolin Performer of the Year: Danny Roberts
Banjo Performer of the Year: Ben Greene
Fiddle Performer of the Year: Hunter Berry
Female Vocalist of the Year (Contemporary): Rhonda Vincent
Female Vocalist of the Year (Traditional): Lorraine Jordan
Male Vocalist of the Year (Contemporary): Russell Moore
Male Vocalist of the Year (Traditional): Marty Raybon
Gospel Group of the Year (Contemporary): The Gibson Brothers
Gospel Group of the Year (Traditional): The Farm Hands
Bluegrass Band of the Year (Overall): Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
Vocal Group of the Year: The Gibson Brothers
Instrumental Group of the Year: The Grascals
Entertaining Group of the Year: The Farm Hands
Entertainer of the Year: Rhonda Vincent
Song of the Year: “That’s Kentucky” by Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road for Pinecastle Records