January 2021 Installment Of CRS360 Announced

Country Radio Broadcasters will present this year’s first CRS360 on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 1 p.m. CST. January’s installment of CRS360 will offer examples of creative imaging, along with pro tips and best practices for writing, producing, workflow, and more. This Imaging Workshop is a prequel to next month’s CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience, which will present several more focused, hands-on workshop opportunities.

The webinar will feature CRS 2021 Agenda Vice-Chair and KNCI/Sacramento PD, Joey Tack, as moderator, along with panelists Jake Kaplan (97.1 AMP in LA, Channel Q, and FireLane), Chadd Pierce (Pierce Voice), and Matt Warren (Gorilla Sound).

“We’ve assembled some of today’s most innovative and in-demand imaging producers and voiceover talents for a roundtable discussion on their approach to writing, voicing, and producing imaging,” says Tack.

CRS invites radio PDs, Imaging, and Production Directors to submit station promo and imaging examples to be highlighted and discussed among the panel of experts during this session. Submit one piece of audio per station no later than close of business on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

To register for “Imaging Workshop: A CRS Virtual Experience Prequel,” click here. Only a limited number of slots are available and are based on a first-come, first-served basis.

The last installment of CRS360, held in October, revealed “Everything You Need To Know About CRS ’21,” including the focus of this year’s CRS Research project. This year’s much-anticipated, annual CRS Research project will concentrate on how country listening behaviors have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and what the “new normal” for the country music industry means. The episode is now available for playback along with other previous CRS360 webinars here. To register for CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience, please visit CountryRadioSeminar.com.

DISClaimer Single Reviews: Tim McGraw, Tyler Hubbard, Dolly Parton, Barry Gibb, Mitchell Tenpenny, More

As we begin 2021, we look at a landscape of rubble.

Music is a healing force, so let the healing begin. You can’t go wrong with Dolly, especially when she’s singing with Barry Gibb. Hailey Whitters is here with a good-time collaboration with LBT. Both the legendary John Fogerty and newcomer Mitchell Tenpenny are offering especially poignant songs for our troubled time.

But the Disc of the Day, and perhaps one of the most important country-music songs of our era, is “Undivided” by Tim McGraw & Tyler Hubbard. Be ready to blast this to listeners everywhere when it drops next week.

Our DisCovery Award goes to Helene Cronin, yet another example of how women are making some of our best music.

TRUNDLED / “High Water”
Writers: Ellen Braun/Joe Shea; Publishers: Trundled, SOCAN/ASCAP; Producer: D. Ledwell; Label: Indie Pool
– Echoey and dreamy. The gentle, atmospheric ballad wafts and caresses as singer-songwriter Ellen Braun delivers in a soft, comforting soprano. This is the title tune of a set of 10 Canadian gems by an ace band that has all the Americana bases covered.

Writers: Mitchell Tenpenny/Chris DeStefano/Laura Veltz; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Jordan M. Schmidt; Label: Riser House/Columbia
– A lovely sentiment. It’s about living life to the fullest while we’re here, and he sings it with tender sincerity. The production ebbs and swells as he loses himself in the song. Well worth your spins.

JOHN FOGERTY / “Weeping in the Promised Land”
Writers: John Fogerty; Publishers: none listed; Producer: John Fogerty/Julie Fogerty; Label: BMG
– This Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer has touched the pulse of the nation so many times in his career. Now he takes us to church with this stirring anthem that offers a balm for these troubled times of pandemic and social injustice. Say, “Amen.”

JON PARDI / “Tequila Little Time”
Writers: Jon Pardi/Rhett Akins/Luke Laird; Publishers: Sony-ATV Countryside/Cowboy and Gus/Happy Song Factory/Ritten By Rhettro/Warner-Tamerlane/Sony-ATV Story/We Are Creative Nation/Suzanne James, BMI/GMR; Producer: Jon Pardi/Bart Butler/Ryan Gore; Label: Capitol Nashville
– It seems like I reviewed this a couple of years ago, but here it comes again. I still think it’s utterly charming. The Mariachi horns, squeezebox and rhythms create a romantic beach vibe that goes down easy.

Writers: Kelly Carvin Walls, Drew Green, Kyle Coulahan, Quinn Loggins; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Ryan Rossebo; Label: Carvin Walls
– A hillbilly boy falls in love with a hippie in this lively bopper. Troy Walls takes the lead with partner Kelly Carvin ad-libbing, harmonizing and adding sprightly energy. This will take you back to summertime.

Writers: Barry Gibb/Maurice Gibb/Robin Gibb; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Dave Cobb; Label: Capitol
– The legendary Bee Gees genius teams up with Alison Krauss, Little Big Town, Jason Isbell, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Brandi Carlile, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Sheryl Crow, Olivia Newton John and more on his Nashville-recorded Greenfields CD (which drops tomorrow, Jan. 8). This gorgeous, timeless 1968 ballad finds full expression as Dolly trills the lead and Barry offers pinpoint harmony plus a taste of his inimitable, quavering solo voice on a brief lead vocal at the close. Two awesome talents at work.

PAUL BOGART / “I’m Just Sayin’”
Writers: Trent Willmon/Jenee Fleenor/Buddy Owens; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Trent Willmon; Label: 117 Music
– It’s a likeable string of pick-up lines with a jaunty country production. Warm and welcoming. The album is titled Won’t Have Far to Go. In addition to six Bogart originals, it features cool covers of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” This cowboy has the Strait goods.

Writers: Tyler Hubbard/Chris Loocke; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Corey Crowder/Tyler Hubbard/ Tim McGraw/Byron Gallimore; Label: BMLG
– It is wonderfully catchy. More important, it’s a call for unity….and, boy, do we need that now. “We’ve been hateful long enough,” they sing, adding that it’s time for love and brotherhood. Well done, men.

HELENE CRONIN / “Riding the Gray Line”
Writers: Helene Cronin/Davis Corley; Publishers: Smoke and Honeysuckle/Brower Avenue, SESAC/ASCAP; Producer: Matt King; Label: HC (track)
– I was captivated by her resonant alto from the first notes. The vivid word portrait of a long-distance bus ride is underpinned by deep, heartbeat bass and a sighing steel. A supremely lustrous ballad experience, and a new troubadour to keep your ears on.

Writers: Hailey Whitters/Nicolle Galyon/Hillary Lindsey; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Hailey Whitters/Jake Gear; Label: Pigasus/Big Loud/Songs & Daughters
– Are you hip to Hailey Whitters yet? If not, get with the program, because this is a Class A singer-songwriter. On this sprightly outing, she’s going for the gold with LBT harmonizing lustily along for the romping ride. Ridiculously hooky and packed solid with good-time vibes.

Writers: Kent Blazy/Steve Wariner; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Chris Utley; Label: KB (track)
– It’s an Elvis tribute song embellished with Scotty Moore-style guitar licks. Blazy does the singing, but every instrumental sound you hear on the record was recorded by Wariner. A toe tapper, for sure.

Reminder: 56th ACM Awards Submission Period Closes Tomorrow

Submissions for the 56th ACM Awards will close tomorrow (Jan. 8), at 5 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. CT.

This year’s eligibility period is Jan 1, 2020-Dec 31, 2020. Main Awards are voted on by all membership categories, and the Radio Awards are voted on by the membership categorized in the Radio category. There will not be 2021 Industry Award recipients as eligibility requirements were unable to be met due to the live entertainment shutdown caused by the pandemic.

The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards will broadcast live on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. ET/delayed PT on CBS. Click here to submit for select ACM Awards categories.

Submissions are being taken online until the deadline for the following categories:
Main Awards:
New Female Artist of the Year
New Male Artist of the Year
New Duo or Group of the Year
Album of the Year
Single of the Year
Music Event of the Year
Video of the Year

Radio Awards:
On-Air Personality of the Year
National On-Air Personality of the Year
Radio Station of the Year

Primary Wave Music Publishing Acquires Catalog Of Dan Wilson

Dan Wilson

Primary Wave Music Publishing has acquired the catalog of acclaimed songwriter and producer Dan Wilson.

Wilson co-wrote wrote Dierks Bentley’s No. 1, “Home,” as well as six songs on The Chicks multiple-Grammy-winning album Taking the Long Way, including “Not Ready to Make Nice,” which earned him a Grammy for Song of the Year in 2007. Wilson has had songs recorded by Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, P!nk, and more.

The deal with Primary Wave includes some of Wilson’s biggest hits including Adele’s “One and Only,” “Don’t You Remember” and her smash single “Someone Like You,” which was a Top 10 hit around the world, reaching No. 1 in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, and “Not Ready to Make Nice.” Wilson’s producer credit on Adele’s 21 also earned him a Grammy for Album of the Year. The acquisition also encompasses songs by Swift, Bentley, Stapleton, P!nk, John Legend, Josh Groban, Leon Bridges, and many others, as well as his material for his band, Semisonic, most known for their hit “Closing Time,” which spent 13 weeks at No. 1 on the Modern Rock chart in 1998.

A native of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Wilson attended Harvard University studying visual arts and while there began collaborating with his brother in several bands. In 1987, he joined the band Trip Shakespeare and released three albums. After taking a break from the band in 1992, he continued collaborating with his brother and formed Semisonic. The band would go on to release three full-length albums, one EP, and this year returned with the EP You’re Not Alone, their first new music in 20 years. The 1998 release of Feeling Strangely Fine brought international acclaim powered by Wilson’s song, “Closing Time” and the follow up singles, “Singing in My Sleep” and “Secret Smile,” and went Platinum, with “Closing Time” receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Song. Wilson also released three solo albums, Free Life, Love Without Fear, and Re-Covered. In 2018, he began releasing new music.

“The musical art that Dan has created as a songwriter is undeniable,” says Justin Shukat, president of Primary Wave Music Publishing. He goes on, “His work has been enjoyed by fans around the world through both the lens of his own band, Semisonic, as well as through the voices of the countless artists he’s collaborated with and written for. We are honored and thrilled to have him join Primary Wave.”

John Ozier Named AIMP National Chair; Initial 2021 Events Announced

John Ozier

The Executive Committee of the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) has named John Ozier as its new National Chair.

Ozier, EVP Creative at Reservoir Media Management, has been President of the Nashville Chapter since 2015. He succeeds Teri Nelson-Carpenter, who remains the President of the Los Angeles Chapter. AIMP National Chairs are selected from the three chapter presidents by the Executive Committee, and serve one two-year term.

“Teri did a fabulous job especially this past year leading us through some of the biggest changes that our industry—and the world—have seen in a hundred years,” said Ozier. “I am so glad she will continue to serve on our executive Board as the Los Angeles Chapter President, and I look forward to working with her and our New York Chapter President Michael Lau as together we navigate this new terrain.”

The organization will continue to have its events as webinars in the coming months, starting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, “AIMP & IMPF present: The State Of The Music Publishing Industry Post-Covid. How Are We Going To Do In 2021?” Moderated by Emmanuel Legrand, editor of the Creative Industries Newsletter, the discussion will dive into the report that the IMPF (Independent Music Publishers International Forum) released last year, which for the first time detailed the economic importance of indie music publishers on a global scale. The panelists include Ender Atis, COO Budde Music Publishing; Michael Lau, CTO Round Hill Music Publishing & AIMP NY Chapter President; Michelle Lewis, Co-Founder SONA & award-winning songwriter; and Mary Jo Mennella, Founder & CEO Music Asset Management. This special event will be held at 9 a.m. PT/ noon ET / 5 p.m. GMT; full information and registration is here.

The regular Thursday panels at 4:30 p.m. CST / 5:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. PT begin Jan. 14, on “Being Creative In A Pandemic: How It Has Affected Songwriters, Publishers, and Labels.” The speakers will be Bart Butler, songwriter and producer; Chris Van Belkom, VP, Combustion Music; and Laura Veltz, songwriter at Big Machine Music; moderated by AIMP Nashville Board member Shannan Hatch, President of Fourward Music.

In past years, David Israelite, President of the NMPA, has spoken at the Los Angeles Chapter pre-Grammy lunch event, and will stay in the spirit of that tradition in a webinar presentation on Jan. 28.

The AIMP will also host an online version of its Global Music Publishing Summit June 7-9; more details on this and other upcoming events are available at aimp.org/events.

VenuesNow Conference, Pollstar Live! Join Forces June 14-17 During Live Week

The VenuesNow Conference and Pollstar Live!, including Production Live! are set to take place at the Beverly Hilton in L.A. June 14-17, 2021 for Live Week: Reviving Live!, a week of in-person meetings and events marking the return of the global live entertainment industry. Live Week: Reviving Live! will be focused not only on a healthy return for all aspects of the sports and live entertainment industry, but also an honest look at how to help the industry be better from cultural, socially, and environmentally-conscious outlooks.

Influencers from the live entertainment, production, and venue industry already confirmed to participate in Live Week: Reviving Live! are Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke, Red Light Management founder Coran Capshaw, CAA’s Music Division Head Rob Light, NIVA/First Avenue Productions President/CEO Dayna Frank, DayGlo Productions founder Peter Shapiro, Bandit Lites CEO Michael Strickland, Women Nation President Ali Harnell, TD Garden President Amy Latimer, CEO of Cleveland Cavaliers/Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Len Komoroski, entertainment attorney Berkeley Reinhold, and Roadies Of Color United co-founders Bill ReevesKC Jackson and Dave “5-1” Norman. Schedules for all three events, as well as additional speakers, will be announced in the coming weeks.

In addition to VenuesNow Conference, Pollstar Live!, and Production Live!, Live Week: Reviving Live! will include the first ever Live Entertainment Job Fair, and a Celebration of Live Music: The 2021 Pollstar Awards. All conferences will include panels, keynotes, a trade show, and multiple networking opportunities, all laser-focused on helping the industry prepare for the return of sports and live entertainment in what most observers believe will be the busiest time in the history of our industry.

The joining of the VenuesNow Conference, the highly respected symposium for professionals in the sports and live entertainment venue industry, and Pollstar Live!, the world’s largest gathering for the live entertainment industry, will run consecutively, creating a massive epicenter for the business of live events. Bridging these two conferences will be Production Live!, a conference for professionals in producing and transporting live events.

“Our goal once again is to bring together the most powerful thinkers and innovators in sports and live entertainment to collectively take stock of the challenges we face and how we can move the business forward, and this sort of leadership and collaboration has never been more important than in 2021,” said Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke. “We believe it is critical to bring the industry together as we ramp up for the return of the live business, and we look forward to seeing everyone in Los Angeles for Live Week: Reviving Live! in June!”

Event details and registration information can be found at LiveWeek2021.com.

Country Artists React To D.C. Violence

US Capitol, Washington DC

Yesterday (Jan. 6) a mob of Pro-Trump protesters stormed the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., as Congress began counting the Electoral College votes.

Chaos and violence ensued, as demonstrators broke through barricades and entered the Capitol building, putting the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives into lockdown.

Now, several country music artists are speaking out about the violence on social media:

Jimmy Wheeler Joins Story House Collective As General Manager

Pictured (L-R): Story House Collective’s Jacy Gibbs, artist Leanna Crawford, Story House GM Jimmy Wheeler, founder Matthew West, Story House staffer Lyndsay Crawford

Jimmy Wheeler has been named General Manager of Story House Collective.

Before joining Story House Collective, Wheeler worked within the Sony Music system for 30 years, the last 25 with Provident Entertainment/Sony Music. He has years of experience in sales, marketing, radio, and distribution, and has been part of every album released from Casting Crowns and Third Day, along with working projects from Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jars of Clay, Matt Maher, and many more.

“I am thrilled to introduce Jimmy as the newest addition to our Story House Collective team! He comes with years of record industry experience and will serve as GM as our company seeks to grow in some exciting ways in 2021 and beyond,” said Story House Collective Founder Matthew West. “The vision of Story House Collective represents the core of everything I do. I’m passionate about seeing people’s stories impact lives, and I want to utilize the resources and platform I’ve been given to pave the way for even more stories to be told and lives changed for the Kingdom of God for years to come.”

“By joining Story House Collective, I can honestly say I am in my dream job,” Wheeler said. “I’m so excited to partner with Matthew and this amazing team. There are so many things to look forward to in this new year and beyond!”

West formed Story House Collective four years ago, and since its opening, the multifaceted company now houses a variety of entities, including artist management for West and singer/songwriter Leanna Crawford. Story House Collective also manages the nonprofit ministry popwe and the Matthew West Podcast.

Chris Young and Kane Brown’s “Famous Friends” Most-Added At Country Radio

Chris Young and RCA Nashville label-mate Kane Brown are starting off 2021 with the most-added single at country radio, as “Famous Friends” tallies a total 53 combined Billboard and Country Aircheck/Mediabase stations.

“Famous Friends” was also most added on MusicRow‘s most recent CountryBreakout Radio Chart.

Written by Young with Cary Barlowe and Corey Crowder from a tour stop in Tampa in 2018, the autobiographical song mentions Rutherford County, where Young grew up in Tennessee, and Brown’s hometown of Hamilton County, along with Nashville’s Davidson County.


“Famous Friends” is Young and Brown’s first collaboration since working together on Brown’s 2017 song “Setting the Night On Fire.” Additionally, the song reunites the former tour mates from Young’s 2018 Losing Sleep Headlining Tour—which included a sold-out hometown show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena—and is a full-circle moment for Brown, since his first live concert experience as a young country fan was a Brad Paisley and Chris Young tour stop.

Little Big Town, Brandi Carlile, Scotty McCreery, More Join YETI To Raise Money for Road Crews

YETI has partnered with Crew Nation—a charitable organization created to support the touring and venue crews impacted by COVID-19—to fundraise for crews through an auction of YETI coolers, customized by artists.

Over the past few weeks YETI sent out its Roadie 24 Hard Cooler to more than 30 popular bands and musicians and asked them to personalize the cooler in some unique way. Artists participating in the auction include Little Big Town, Brandi Carlile, Scotty McCreery, Cam, Billie Eilish, Tyler Childers, The Head And The Heart, Midland, FINNEASMavis Staples, Wynonna Judd, Tanya Tucker, Shovels & Rope, Beastie Boys, Brittany Howard, Martina McBride, and more.

Pictured (top row, L-R): Cam, Brandi Carlile and family, Brittany Howard, Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet; (bottom row, L-R): Wynonna Judd, Scotty McCreery and wife, Tanya Tucker

Starting yesterday (Jan. 5), and running through Jan. 12, YETI is auctioning off these customized coolers to the public as part of its “One for the Roadies” campaign, with the proceeds going towards Crew Nation’s efforts. YETI also plans to match all funds raised up to $100,000. Customized coolers are available for bidding here.

This is the second edition of YETI’s One for the Roadies initiative, having auctioned off nearly 40 coolers in August customized by a variety of musicians, including Jason Aldean, Green Day, Chris Stapleton, Tommy Lee, Portugal the Man, Eric Church, Leon Bridges and Reba. That first campaign raised $135,000 for these road crews.