Niko Moon’s ‘Good Time’ Gets Better With Platinum Status

(L-R) Liz Cost, Sony Music Nashville VP, Marketing; Dennis Reese, RCA Nashville SVP, Promotion; Steve Hodges, Sony Music Nashville EVP, Promotion and Artist Development; Alaina Vehec, Sony Music Nashville Sr. Dir., Digital Sales and Streaming; Randy Goodman, Sony Music Nashville Chairman & CEO; Jennifer Way, Sony Music Nashville SVP, Marketing; Niko Moon; Lauren Zimmerman, Sony Music Nashville Manager, Digital Strategy; Anna Moon; Lauren Thomas, Sony Music Nashville VP, National Promotion; Eric Berger, Make Wake Artists; Chris Kappy, Make Wake Artists President; Walker Newberry, Make Wake Artists; Randi McFadden, Make Wake Artists. Photo Credit: Alan Poizner

Niko Moon‘s debut single “Good Time” has gone Platinum. His label Sony Music Nashville and the Make Wake Artists’ staff recently surprised Moon with the news of his first Platinum certification as an artist.

“Good Time” has earned more than 177 million on-demand streams and is currently No. 6 on the Billboard Country Airplay and Mediabase/Country Aircheck charts. Moon co-wrote the tune with wife Anna Moon, frequent collaborator Joshua Murty, Jordan Minton, and Mark Trussell.

“I can’t believe ‘Good Time’ is Platinum, y’all! I feel such an overwhelming sense of gratitude right now, to everyone from the country music fans who have embraced me, to country radio and streaming platforms who have given me the opportunity to connect with listeners all across the country,” said Moon. “I’m so grateful for my teams at RCA, Make Wake and CAA. It truly does take a village and I’m so inspired that so many people believe in the music that I am making. It’s my calling in life to make people happy through country music, so thank you everyone for letting this Georgia boy live out his dream. Let’s keep the GOOD TIMES rolling!”

Moon recently released a remix version of “Good Time” featuring reggae star Shaggy.

Russell Dickerson Ties Record With 21 Weeks In The Top 10

Russell Dickerson, Photo: Spencer Combs

Russell Dickerson has achieved another milestone with his smash single “Love You Like I Used To” as the hit ties the record for the longest run of a country single inside the Top 10. As the song moves into its 21st consecutive week inside the top 10 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, it ties the record set by Lonestar’s “Amazed” back in 1999.

Released in 2020 as the debut single off his sophomore album, Southern Symphony, ”Love You Like I Used To” claimed the No. 1 spot for two consecutive weeks on the Mediabase and Billboard Country Airplay charts. Now, with over 194.3 million global streams, the Platinum single continues to hold in the Top 10.

“Love You Like I Used To” made Dickerson the first artist to release four consecutive career-starting singles (“Yours,” “Blue Tacoma,” and “Every Little Thing,”) to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart since Luke Combs.

“I don’t think there is a better possible way to kick off a sophomore album than with a song that makes history! All the love to radio and my incredible team!” said Dickerson.

Sara Watkins’ Upcoming Album Welcomes Friends From Nickel Creek and I’m With Her

Sara Watkins, Photo: Jacob Boll

Sara Watkins of the Grammy-winning groups Nickel Creek and I’m With Her will release Under the Pepper Tree on March 26 via New West Records.

The 15-song set was produced by Tyler Chester (Sara Bareilles, Margaret Glaspy) and is the follow up to her critically acclaimed 2016 solo album Young In All The Wrong Ways.

Created with families in mind, Watkins recorded two new songs and also reimagined songs she loved as a child, such as “Pure Imagination” (Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory), The Beatles’ “Good Night,” and “Moon River.”

The project welcomes numerous guests, including her Nickel Creek bandmates Chris Thile and her brother Sean Watkins on “Blue Shadows on the Trail” (The Three Amigos), I’m With Her bandmates Sarah Jarosz & Aoife O’Donovan on “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” (Roy Rogers & Sons of the Pioneers), Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes on “Blanket for a Sail” (Harry Nilsson), David Garza on “Beautiful Dreamer” (Roy Orbison), and Watkins now three-year old daughter on The Sound of Music’s “Edelweiss.”

Watkins hopes this album will impact young listeners in the same way the music from her childhood affected her. “I want this album to be a place of calm, imagination, and relief,” she says. “Some days are perfect and things are a dream and make you feel like a superhero. And some days are just… such a challenge. I feel like this record has a place in both of those days, and I really hope that these recordings find a place in kids’ hearts, and become as special as they are to me.”

Under the Pepper Tree Track Listing:

1. Pure Imagination
2. The Second Star to the Right
3. Blue Shadows on the Trail (featuring Nickel Creek)
4. Edelweiss
5. Moon River
6. Under the Pepper Tree
7. When You Wish Upon A Star
8. Night Singing
9. La La Lu
10. Tumbling Tumbleweeds (featuring I’m With Her)
11. Blanket for a Sail
12. Beautiful Dreamer
13. Stay Awake
14. You’ll Never Walk Alone
15. Good Night


Weekly Register: Morgan Wallen’s ‘Dangerous’ Notches 5 Weeks At No. 1

Morgan Wallen‘s Dangerous: The Double Album remains at No. 1 on the country and all-genre albums chart this week, for the fifth week, with 150K in total consumption (37K album only/135 million song streams).

Luke Combs follows with What You See Is What You Get earning 30K in total consumption, then Wallen reappears with If I Know Me. Combs takes No. 4 with This One’s For You, and Chris Stapleton rounds out the top five with Starting Over.

Wallen also continues to dominate the country songs top five, with “Sand In My Boots” earning 11 million streams this week and 54 million RTD.

Top 5 Country Songs This Week:
Morgan Wallen “Sand In My Boots” – 11M/54M
Morgan Wallen “Wasted On You” – 10M/62M
Morgan Wallen “Somebody’s Problem” – 8.5M/104M
Luke Combs “Better Together” – 7.6M/248M
Morgan Wallen “7 Summers” – 6.9M/204M

Industry Ink: Lindsay Czarniak, Leadership Bluegrass, Jesse Slack

Lindsay Czarniak Pairs Music and Sports in New Podcast

Sportscaster and NFL sideline reporter Lindsay Czarniak and Sony Music Entertainment have launched a new podcast, The Artist and The Athlete with Lindsay Czarniak, featuring intimate conversations with some of the biggest names in sports and music. Each episode pairs an iconic sports figure alongside a renowned musician for an intimate, wide-ranging conversation that explores their path to success, their process, and their passions away from the big stage.

The Artist and The Athlete with Lindsay Czarniak kicks off with a conversation between country star Brad Paisley and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and World Series Champion Clayton Kershaw. This season will feature conversations between Alanis Morrisette and Danica Patrick, Eddie Vedder and Anthony Rizzo, The Avett Brothers and Jimmie Johnson, Luke Combs and Luke Kuechly, Kirk Franklin and Ray Lewis, with more to be announced.


Leadership Bluegrass Online Navigates The Digital Jungle

The general public can now experience the IBMA’s highly revered Leadership Bluegrass program for the first time ever, via a four-part professional development series: Leadership Bluegrass Online: Navigating the Digital Jungle. The series will stream live on the IBMA Facebook page Thursdays at 12 p.m. CT and feature discussions with industry leaders and performances by international bluegrass bands.

The topics will include: March 4 – The Show Must Go On: Producing Events in Uncertain Times – Performance by Country Gongbang (South Korea); March 11 – The Music Modernization Act: Where Are We Today? – Performance by The Often Herd (UK); March 18 – The Business of Education: 4 Tips to Becoming More Effective & Profitable – Performance by Johnny & The Yooahoos (Germany); and March 25 – The Artist’s Perspective: Sarah Jarosz – Performance by You, Me, Everybody (New Zealand).


Jesse Slack Inks With VibeCity Music

Jesse Slack

Canadian singer-songwriter Jesse Slack has signed with Nashville-based boutique publishing company VibeCity Music. Slack joins Josh Byrd and Kelly McKay on the VibeCity roster.

“We are thrilled to have Jesse join our roster,” said VibeCity co-founders Clay Mills and Marty Dodson. “He has a fresh approach to writing a hook that really stands out and we can’t wait to see where his songwriting and artist career takes him.”

Tim McGraw and More Shine at Amazon Music’s CRS 2021 Country Heat Showcase

Tim McGraw. Photo: Courtesy De Lux Productions – Scott & Julie De Vos

Amazon Music helped kick off CRS 2021 yesterday (Feb. 16) with its annual Country Heat showcase, which for the first time ever went virtual this year. The fourth annual event included a set of performances by headliner Tim McGraw, as well as Kameron Marlowe, Priscilla Block, Shy Carter, and Track45.

Sibling trio Track45 kicked off the afternoon show with “Met Me Now,” followed by artist-writer-producer Shy Carter, who performed “Good Love.” Emerging star Priscilla Block shared her song, “Just About Over You,” and singer-songwriter Kameron Marlowe wowed with “Sober As A Drunk.” Superstar McGraw closed out the Country Heat showcase with “7500 OBO,” “Shotgun Rider,” “Good Taste In Women,” and a special acoustic rendition of “Gravy.”

Kameron Marlowe. Photo: Courtesy De Lux Productions – Scott & Julie De Vos

Carman, CCM Trailblazer and GMA Hall of Fame Member, Dies

GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame member Carman passed away Feb. 16, 2021 in Las Vegas following complications from surgery on a hiatal hernia. He was 65.

Born Carman Dominic Licciardello in Trenton, New Jersey, Carman began his career playing drums in his mother’s band at 15. He holds the world record for having the largest audience at a solo Christian artist concert, set the record for the largest concert at Texas Stadium with more than 71,000 fans, and led more than 80,000 fans in worship in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In 1985, he released his first No. 1 song, “The Champion,” and began solidifying his place in music history and defining his career as one of endurance, grit, dedication, and pure talent. Among his many awards, Carman received the House of Hope of Humanitarian Award for his positive influence in the lives of American youth in 2006. Other noted recipients of the award include Ronald & Nancy Reagan and Billy Graham. He was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2018.

Billboard named Carman Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year in 1992 and 1995, and in 1993, his album, Addicted to Jesus, earned the distinction of Contemporary Christian Album of the Year. Carman was nominated for Grammys multiple times as the Best Pop Contemporary Gospel Artist, and his album, A Long Time Ago in a Land Called Bethlehem, was nominated for Album of the Year by the Recording Academy in 1986.

Those close to Carman know that he counted only this as his greatest lifetime achievement—winning millions of souls to Christ.

“When Carman resumed touring again a few years ago, he was concerned that no one would care that he was back,” said Matt Felts, Carman’s manager. “He was wrong. Every night fans packed out venues and his ministry was as powerful as it ever was. This world has lost a light in the darkness but today Carman saw firsthand the fruit of his labors.”

At the time of his death, Carman was planning to embark on a 60-city tour later this month.

Memorial service details have not yet been announced.

Hit Songwriter Shy Carter Makes Artist Debut [Interview]

Shy Carter. Photo: Jess Williams

Singer-songwriter Shy Carter is making his Warner Music Nashville debut with “Good Love,” a soulful song about a relationship being his saving grace on dark days.

The Platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated songwriter has written many hits for others, including Kane Brown’s “Heaven” and “Good As You,” Billy Currington’s “It Don’t Hurt Like it Used To,” Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue” and Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away.” Now Carter is ready to step into the spotlight as an artist.

Carter wrote “Good Love” with James Slater, Micah Carter and Carlo Colasacco. Named as a Highway Find on SiriusXM’s The Highway and climbing at country radio, Carter delivers the message: ‘When I feel like I’m dying, you come around with that good love / Good love, good love / Make me feel like it’s alright, make me believe in this good life’

Directed by Erika Rock, the music video for “Good Love” features footage of family, friends and the two who bring the most love to Carter: his children.

The single is the first taste of a soon-to-come collection of work. “We wrote for two years for this project, and we’re still writing. We have a lot of songs that we really love,” Carter tells MusicRow. “We wrote [‘Good Love’] before the pandemic, but then it hit. We thought we still need to put some music out. With ‘Good Love,’ people need it right now. We just wanted to supply the world with what we felt like it needed at the time.”

Carter is a co-writer on another song about positivity in dark days, with Kane Brown’s “Worldwide Beautiful.” Carter says he’s inspired to bring listeners healing and joy. “I’m just trying to bring healing to people. When people say that they’re having a hard day and they put on the song and it makes them feel happy, that’s the best feeling.”

To promote “Good Love” in the midst of a pandemic, Carter has been traveling on radio tour on a quarantine friendly bus.

Picture (L-R): Tom Martens (VP Radio & Streaming, Warner Music Nashville), Shy Carter, Charlie Cook (VP, Country/Cumulus). Photo: Warner Music Nashville

“It was so much fun,” Carter says. “The idea came from the fact that we actually did it for a few awesome people around Nashville in the back of a truck. We pulled up and just sang in the back of a truck, and they just loved it so much because they weren’t getting to see anybody. So we put it on a bigger scale and we took it out there on [radio tour]. We had so much fun on the bus, just being able to be around people.

“We all made sure to socially distance and wear the masks, but it was still a great time to see the joy that it was bringing to people because we were the only ones out there singing some music. We were coming out there and bringing that ‘good love’ straight to them.”


Belmont’s Curb College Invests $2 Million-Plus In Technology Upgrades for Virtual Access

Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business recently invested more than $2 million in technology upgrades. The university’s strategy to augment its facilities for media, motion pictures and entertainment studies will help students stay on track whether attending on campus, remotely or in a hybrid model.

The college also signed a five-year software subscription agreement for Avid’s editing and creation tools (Media Composer and Pro Tools), and the open MediaCentral platform, so that students can access them from any location.

Curb College Dean Doug Howard said, “In the same way that we were the first university to have a full Dolby Atmos mixing stage, we are again leading the field in building a virtual copy of our Johnson Center technology, allowing students and faculty virtual access to our most sophisticated systems from anywhere in the world. I am incredibly grateful to Belmont’s leadership for their commitment to invest in systems that keep our students at the forefront of the industry.”

Among the significant upgrades:

New S6 Mixing Console: A new Avid S6™ control surface, one of the most sought after consoles in sound for film and television, was installed in the Johnson Center Theater. (See time lapse video of the install below.)

Remote Access: Belmont installed 87 computers that are purposely built to be high-end video and audio editing remote workstations. Students can access these systems on their own personal computers from anywhere with an internet connection, providing them access to industry standard editing software Avid Media Composer®, Pro Tools® and Belmont’s Avid NEXIS Server (all connected via LeoStream).

Server Upgrade: The central media server was upgraded to an Avid NEXIS system with 1.6 petabytes of storage space, increasing storage by more than six times. Students in production-oriented classes use the server to store their projects.

The upgrades will continue throughout the spring and summer with the addition of Avid MediaCentral, which allows even more seamless integration with servers from anywhere, and JetStream, which provides a fast and secure way for students to transfer large files to and from the server from any location.

The MLC Receives $424 Million In Historical Unmatched Royalties From DSPs

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) announced today (Feb. 16) that it has received a total of $424,384,787 in accrued historical unmatched royalties from digital service providers (DSPs). The data is presented with corresponding reports that identify the usage related to these royalties.

A total of 20 DSPs separately transferred accrued historical unmatched royalties to The MLC as required in order for them to seek the MMA’s limitation on liability for past infringement. In addition to the accrued unmatched royalties transferred to The MLC, the DSPs concerned also delivered more than 1,800 data files, which contain in excess of 1.3 terabytes and nine billion lines of data.

The transfer of these monies represents the culmination of a months-long effort on the part of The MLC and these DSPs to develop and implement the specifications for these usage reports. With these historical unmatched royalties and usage reports now in hand, The MLC can begin the process of reviewing and analyzing the data in order to find and pay the proper copyright owners.

Going forward, The MLC will provide additional information about historical unmatched royalties on a newly-created page on its website entitled Historical Unmatched Royalties. Below is an initial summary of the historical unmatched royalties separately transferred to The MLC by each DSP:

Read more about the data above here.

NMPA President & CEO David Israelite offered the following about the news:

“Songwriters and music publishers have for years fought to ensure they were paid accurately and fully by digital streaming services. ‘Unmatched money’ has plagued the industry and today, thanks to the Music Modernization Act (MMA), we know that it amounts to just under $425 million—not including money previously paid out in multiple million dollar settlements. This significant amount proves just how broken the system was, how much the MMA was needed, and how much songwriters have to benefit from the protections it has put in place. At long last, that money can make its way to its rightful owners. This is a massive win for music creators and the streaming services themselves. The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) obtaining this historically unmatched money, doing the research to find its owners, and giving copyright owners a transparent process to claim what is theirs is exciting progress that paves the way for the future growth of streaming that will benefit the entire industry.”

Digital Licensee Coordinator (DLC) representative Garrett Levin, offered the following statement:

“Today marks a critical milestone in the new mechanical licensing regime established by the Music Modernization Act (MMA) two years ago. As announced by The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC), 20 digital music providers (DMPs) transferred a combined $424.4 million in historical unmatched royalties and accompanying historical usage information, representing the remaining royalties that have been unpaid to copyright owners after years of concerted effort by the streaming services and their partners. These royalties are a small fraction of the overall mechanical royalties that have been paid out during that time period.

The MLC now has in one centralized operation the usage data and corresponding royalties that are critical components for delivering on the promise of the MMA and allowing The MLC to meet its commitment to efficiently and effectively distribute royalties to those who have earned them.”

The Artist Rights Alliance gave the following statement:

“Today’s historic transfer of almost half a billion dollars in unmatched royalties to The MLC is a great start – but there’s a lot of work still to be done to get that money to the songwriters that earned it. We are grateful to the Copyright Office team that skillfully and doggedly worked through a number of complex issues in the months leading up this transfer, including major disagreements about the proper treatment of past industry settlements.

In the months ahead we look forward to engaging further with the Office about efforts by publishers who have already been paid for historical usages via settlement agreements to seek double payment out of these new funds. As we have told the Office in our prior filings, the major publishers that already settled with digital services and received payment from them should not be allowed to claim a further share of the monies transferred to The MLC today.

Today’s news is a huge step forward for songwriters – one made possible by so many stakeholders all across the music community who came together to work for passage of the Music Modernization Act and continue to work in good faith as it is implemented.”