Anna Lee Williams Elevated To Director of Marketing At Americana Music Association

Anna Lee (Crenshaw) Williams. Photo: Gina Binkley

Anna Lee (Crenshaw) Williams has been promoted to Director of Marketing at the Americana Music Association. In her new role, she will report to Executive Director Jed Hilly.

Williams marks her sixth year with the Association this month, formerly serving as Manager of Marketing and Member Relations for the nonprofit. After starting her career interning for AmericanaFest in 2013, she subsequently worked at BAM! Social Business as Social Strategist and Product Manager. There she led a team that managed the festival’s social media channels during the event week in 2015 and 2016. She returned to the Americana Music Association full-time in 2017.

During her tenure, Williams has been responsible for managing the Association and festival’s social media presence. She has also created “How To” educational guides containing advice from industry experts, oversees monthly Zoom mixers to keep membership connected throughout the pandemic, and is responsible for registration and ticketing for AmericanaFest and the Americana Honors & Awards.

“Anna Lee is a born leader and her value to the association cannot be understated,” says Hilly.  “She has consistently performed not just as a consummate professional, but also a true team player. She is a huge asset to the community.”

“Over these last five years, I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know our incredible community as I’ve grown within the association,” adds Williams. “It’s always been a privilege to advocate for this music, and I’m looking forward to my new position and continuing to elevate what we can do together.”

Williams can be reached at [email protected].

Dave Pittenger Renews With Big Yellow Dog Music

Dave Pittenger

Big Yellow Dog Music, a Nashville-based label, publishing and artist development company, has renewed its contract with songwriter Dave Pittenger.

Pittenger, a producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, has seen much success, including with recent single “abcdefu” by Gayle (Atlantic Records), which is currently No. 1 on Billboard‘s Global 200 Chart and has reached the top 50 on more than 20 Billboard charts globally. The song first resonated with listeners through TikTok, where it has gone on to be used in over 1.4 million videos.

“2022 has been a blast off year for Dave Pittenger,” says BYD co-owner and CEO Carla Wallace. “He shows up to BYD every day with an infectious smile and attitude that inspires us all. We are so excited for the world to get to hear more from him.”

Pittenger also had a hand in AJ Mitchell‘s “Cheap Red Wine” (Epic Records) and “Dance With Someone Else” by Jessie James Decker (Warner Nashville). Since singing with Big Yellow Dog Music in 2019, singles co-written and/or produced by Pittenger have climbed the Mediabase Country and Billboard Country Airplay charts, and have reached the top 30 of the Mediabase Dance chart.

Tyler Rich Plots ‘Two Thousand (More) Miles Tour’ For Spring

Tyler Rich. Photo: Zack Napier

Tyler Rich is heading back out on the road this spring on his “Two Thousand (More) Miles Tour,” which launches March 10 in Springfield, Missouri. SixForty1 will open the first half of the dates in March, with Robyn Ottolini joining for the April shows.

Tickets for the tour, which runs through April 30 and visits Lexington, Buffalo, Wichita, and more, go on sale this Friday (Jan. 14) at 10 a.m. CT.

“The overwhelming response from so many of you who’ve connected on socials made it a no brainer,” shares Rich. “Thank you for asking for a new run of the ‘Two Thousand Miles Tour!’ We started on the West Coast where I grew up and head towards my new home in Nashville with this run. We’re bringing our friends SixForty1 and Robyn Ottolini, and we’re all so excited to see you this spring.”

Rich has amassed over 339 million total global streams with his debut album, Two Thousand Miles, as well as his Gold-certified hit “The Difference,” and latest releases “Better Than You’re Used To” and  “A Little Bit of You.”

See the full dates below:

Natalie Grant Shines At National Championship With Anthem Performance

Natalie Grant. Photo: Courtesy of Curb | Word Entertainment

Christian artist Natalie Grant performed on a national stage on Monday night (Jan. 10) as she sang the Star Spangled Banner before the College Football Playoff National Championship.

The Curb | Word Entertainment artist kicked off the highly anticipated game in Indianapolis, Indiana, which aired on ESPN. The game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide ended in a win for Georgia, marking the program’s first national championship win since 1980.

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Grant’s performance received a huge reaction on social media with entertainers like Lee Greenwood, Lauren Alaina, Arsenio Hall, Dave Barnes and more celebrating her show-stopping performance.

Grant, a Nashville-based artist, has been one of the top-selling Christian artists since her 2005 breakout, Gold-certified album, Awaken. She is a five-time Gospel Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year and is a 31-time GMA Dove Award nominee.

Her newest Grammy-nominated studio album, No Stranger, is available now.

Katie Jelen Exits Warner Chappell, Launches Honestly Good Music

Katie Jelen

Katie Jelen has exited her role as Creative Sync Executive to launch a new boutique music licensing company, Honestly Good Music. There she will offer a variety of services, including synch representation and consulting around music licensing, creative synch development, and catalog viability in the synch space.

“After nearly five years at Warner Chappell, I’m incredibly excited to return to my indie roots with the launch of Honestly Good Music,” said Jelen. “I’ve learned so much along the way and am so grateful for the projects that I’ve had the privilege of being a part of. I look forward to representing the Nashville community in new ways through film, TV and advertising opportunities while focusing on creating a culture of honesty, integrity and goodness.”

As the first-ever creative sync executive on the ground for Warner Music Group in Nashville, Jelen spent the last five years growing Warner Chappell and Warner Music Nashville’s synch business across film, TV and advertising opportunities.

In 2019, Jelen spearheaded a multi-year partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line for Warner Chappell songwriters to create custom songs for the brand’s online ad campaigns. Most recently, she worked alongside songwriting duo Outskrts on a custom song for the Tennessee Titans, called “Get Loud (Titan Up),” for use both on and off the field. In addition to placing music in campaigns for Target, Peloton, Facebook, Hershey’s, Walmart, Macy’s, and Coca-Cola, she has grown opportunities for country across brands such as Ford and Old Navy, and in TV shows including Yellowstone, The Ranch and 9-1-1 Lonestar.

Prior to her time at Warner Music Group, Jelen got her start at Secret Road Music Services in Los Angeles where she helped to grow the management team, assist in the launch of Secret Road’s publishing division, and launch the Nashville operations for the company. She is an alumni of the Leadership Music program (2020), a member of the Nashville Film Fest music committee, and the Nurturing Outstanding Women (NOW) mentoring program.

River House Artists Adds Three New Staff Members For 2022

Pictured (L-R): Kristin Watson Byrne, Trey Wilson, Taylor Rasnick

Label, management and publishing company, River House Artists, has announced three new hires going into 2022.

Kristin Watson Byrne will assume the role of Director of Digital Strategy, Taylor Rasnick as Manager of Creative Services, and Trey Wilson as Artist Manager.

Watson Byrne joins River House after 10 years at Sony Music Entertainment, with previous stops at Songfluencer, Crowd Surf, Collective Artist Management, and ThinkSwell. The Kansas native will be responsible for building innovative and effective digital plans for the company’s artists and releases.

A Nashville native, Rasnick joins the team from the Pratt’s Institute in Brooklyn, New York. As Manager of Creative Services, she will be responsible for overseeing the creation and execution of all creative elements for artists and in-house creatives.

Originally from Texas and a Belmont University graduate, Wilson will spearhead day-to-day management for up-and-coming artist Jordan Rowe after earning six years of experience as tour manager for Jon Pardi.

“River House is growing tremendously and I couldn’t be more thrilled for the future. Our roster of talent is second to none, so having hard working, creative and innovative employees like these three join our family is only going to help elevate everyone,” shares Zebb Luster, Vice President/General Manager of River House Artists. “We are thankful they are as excited about what River House is doing as we are.”

Watson Byrne, Rasnick, and Wilson can be reached at [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected], respectively.

Founded in 2016 by Lynn Oliver-Cline, River House boasts a roster consisting of Luke Combs, Jameson Rodgers, Billy Strings, Stephen Wilson Jr., Ray Fulcher, Drew Parker, Georgia Webster, Kasey Tyndall, Grant Gilbert, Rowe, and more.

Anthem Entertainment, Chris Janson Sign The Davisson Brothers & Shane Profitt [Exclusive]

Pictured (L-R): Noah Dewey (Sr. Dir. Creative, Anthem Publishing Nashville), Donnie Davisson, Chris Janson, Chris Davisson, Tim Wipperman (Pres, Anthem Publishing, Nashville), Courtney Crist (Sr. Dir. Creative Anthem Publishing, Nashville), Erv Woolsey (Pres, Erv Woolsey Co. Manager), Allen Mitchell (Erv Woolsey Co. Manager)

Anthem Entertainment’s publishing division and Chris Janson‘s Old Tom Music Publishing are partnering together on a new artist development and co-publishing venture. The Davisson Brothers (Chris and Donnie Davisson) are the first official signing under the new venture, along with Shane Profitt, a songwriter discovered by Janson.  

Hailing from Clarksburg, West Virginia, The Davisson Brothers were named one of Rolling Stone‘s Top 10 Country/Americana bands to watch, and debuted on the Grand Old Opry in 2019. They also host their own two-day country festival, Wild and Wonderful Country Fest, that averages over 15,000 daily attendees. Their current album is being produced by Brent Cobb and David “Ferg” Ferguson (Tyler Childers, Sturgill Simpson).

Shane Profitt

Profitt is a budding singer-songwriter who is slated to hit the road with Janson on his upcoming “Halfway to Crazy” Tour.

“I’m so proud to be signing Chris Davisson and Donnie Davisson to a publishing deal with Anthem, and my company, Old Tom Music Publishing,” says Janson. “These guys work harder than anyone I know. I’ve believed in the Brothers for many years, and they believed in me, way back before I ever even had a hit song. I love these guys. I encourage every single one of my songwriter friends, to write with them. They’re hungry to WIN. And win, they will.

“Shane is the real deal, and a fantastic songwriter,” Janson continues. “He has a natural knack for writing hits. He’s a great singer too, and he’s going to be joining me on the road this year on the ‘Halfway to Crazy Tour.’ I’m really proud to be working with him.”

“We are thrilled to be expanding our successful relationship with Chris Janson,” adds Anthem Entertainment CEO, Helen Murphy.  “Chris is a creative genius, and he has a unique ability to write and produce songs that express the raw emotion and vulnerability of life and family. We look forward to supporting Chris and his new talent signings and continuing to create music that resonates with everyone.”

“We are thankful and honored to be working with Chris Janson (Old Tom Music Publishing) and Anthem Entertainment Group,” says Donnie and Chris Davisson. “We stopped to help a stranger on the side of the road many years ago, that stranger ended up being Chris Janson. Since then, we have become brothers on and off stage. We have traveled the country doing countless shows together. Now, along with the amazing team at Anthem Entertainment Group, we are working together to create new music to share with the world.”

Anthem Nashville Publishing President, Tim Wipperman, adds, “When Chris Janson brought us the Davissons, we realized he had found a truly unique, genuine West Virginia rockin’ country duo, and two great songwriters to boot. Shane adds that gritty blue collar country view on life to our mix.”

Borman Entertainment Announces Company-Wide Expansion

Pictured (L-R): Liz Nixon, Elisabeth Ashley, Erik Peterson

Borman Entertainment has announced the promotion of several key staffers as part of a company-wide expansion in preparation for 2022.

The company guides the careers of artists such as Keith Urban, Tyler Hubbard, Dan Smalley, Mickey Guyton (in partnership with Steve Moir), and Abbey Cone and Track45 (in partnership with Missi Gallimore).

Liz Nixon has been elevated to the position of Sr. VP, Marketing. Nixon is a 20-year consumer marketing veteran, overseeing brand partnerships, digital and social media, streaming and direct to consumer marketing for the Borman Entertainment roster.

Elisabeth Ashley, a 14-year veteran who has spent a decade as an Associate Manager for Keith Urban at Borman Entertainment, has been elevated to VP, Management & Artist Development.

Erik Peterson, who has spent the last eight years as an associate manager working with many of the company’s roster, has been elevated to VP, Management & Artist Development.

“Liz, Elisabeth and Erik are three of the industry’s best,” says Gary Borman, the company’s namesake. “They’re consummate professionals whose leadership, passion, inventiveness and commitment contribute immeasurably to the success of our artists and serve as inspiration to the entire team.”

Additionally, Sarah Redo and Kaitlyn Gruber have been elevated to Sr. Manager, Social Media and Marketing.

Donna Jean Kisshauer, who has called Borman Entertainment home for the past 22 years, continues to oversee touring and radio marketing for the company’s roster in her role as Sr. VP, Touring and Radio Marketing.

Maren Morris Breaks Amazon Music Record With Debut Of ‘Circles Around This Town’

Maren Morris. Photo: Claire Schaper

Following its debut at country radio on Friday (Jan. 7), Grammy-winning vocalist Maren Morris’ latest single, “Circles Around This Town,” broke Amazon Music’s record for most streams for a country song debut by a female artist.

Written by Morris, Ryan Hurd, Julia Michaels and Jimmy Robbins, “Circles Around This Town” was the most-added song at country radio last week and marks Morris’ first bit of new music for 2022. The song also debuted as the No. 1 country song and No. 7 all genre song on Pandora’s Top Thumbed Hundred Chart.

The track was released in tandem with its music video, which was directed by Harper Smith.

“I could see the visuals for ‘Circles Around This Town’ the moment I wrote the song,” Morris says of the video. “I’ve always been so inspired by the industrial, blown out colors of music videos from the 90s, so Harper Smith and I wanted the aesthetics of this video to reflect that grainy, devil-may-care attitude of all my females heroes from that era: Sheryl, Fiona, Alanis. Obviously, having a penchant for the nostalgic, we decided to recreate my teenage bedroom and pin old photos of me as a kid on the walls and have me typing on an old PC computer… ‘Circles Around This Town’ is my story, so I felt like I truly got to relive my journey from Texas to Nashville again.”

Morris is nominated for two Grammy awards this year: Best Country Song for “Better Than We Found It” and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Chasing After You,” alongside her husband Ryan Hurd.

Details For CRS 2022 Mentoring Breakfasts Revealed

Country Radio Seminar has released details on four mentoring breakfasts set to take place during CRS 2022, taking place Feb. 23-25.

This year’s breakfasts are Streaming Summit Networking, Programming Mentoring, Women’s Mentoring, and Label Mentoring. There will be two breakfast options available on Friday (Feb. 25)–the Women’s Mentoring Breakfast and the Label Mentoring Breakfast. Availability is limited for all mentoring breakfasts, and attendees are encouraged to arrive early to reserve a spot.

CRS 2022 will feature a jam-packed schedule that includes Country Radio Seminar’s most anticipated events, including educational panels, networking, and workshops. More details surrounding this year’s agenda will be released in the coming weeks. To register and for more information, click here.

Read the details of each breakfast below:
Wednesday, Feb. 23 – Streaming Summit Networking Breakfast – 8:00 a.m.-8:50 a.m. CT
The Streaming Summit Networking Breakfast is a kick-off welcome from the Streaming Agenda Committee, DSPs, and label partners in the streaming, digital retail, and e-commerce world. Confirmed Mentors are Emily Cohen (Amazon Music), Patch Culbertson (Big Loud), Margaret Hart (YouTube), Claire Heinichen (Spotify), Tim Foisset (Warner Music Nashville), Ali Matkosky (Big Loud), Annie Ortmeier (UMG Nashville), Vipin Reddy (UMG Nashville), Alina Thompson (Pandora/Sirius XM), Alison Junker (Spotify), and Taylor Viegut (UMG Nashville).

Thursday, Feb. 24 – Programming Mentoring Breakfast – 8:00 a.m.-8:50 a.m. CT
This one-on-one session provides the opportunity for attendees to sit down with experienced PDs to build their skillset and learn new ideas. Confirmed mentors for the session are Marci Braun (Audacy WUSN/Chicago), Aaronee Cottam (Cherry Creek Media), Pepper Daniels (American General Media), John Foxx (Audacy), Kenny Jay (Albright & O’Malley & Brenner), Kurt Johnson (Townsquare Media), Bruce Logan (Hubbard Radio), Ashley Morrison (K92.3, Cox Media Group), Rod Phillips (iHeartMedia), Tim Roberts (Audacy), Ashley Wilson (iHeartMedia), Clay Walker (WPAW, Audacy), and Ryan Wild.

Friday, Feb. 25 – Women’s Mentoring Breakfast – 7:30 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. CT
Women’s Mentoring Breakfast, sponsored by NuVoodoo Media Services, will offer attendees the opportunity to approach and chat with some of music’s female “power players.” In attendance will be Amber Anderson (Amazon Country Heat Weekly podcast co-host and SmackSongs), Hillary Borden (Premiere Networks and iHeartMedia nationally syndicated show, The Bobby Bones Show), Marci Braun (Audacy WUSN/Chicago), Becky Brenner (Albright & O’Malley & Brenner), Tali Canterbury (50 Egg Music), Mackenzie Cooper (Westwood One), Kelly Ford (Former Audacy WNSH/New York morning personality), Jessica “Carsen” Humphreville (Silverfish Media nationally syndicated Big D & Bubba morning co-host and Country With Carsen midday host), Jenna Johnson (Warner Music Nashville), Kimsey Kerr (Red Light Management), Angela Lange (Q-Prime), Ashley Main (Grants Pass, OR Country KRRM/Medord, OR), Rakiyah Marshall (Back Blocks Music), Mandy McCormack (Pearl Records and #TeamTY), Lynn Oliver-Cline (River House Artists), Dawn Santolucito (Beasley WKLB/Boston), Jensen Sussman (Sweet Talk Publicity), Dana Swearingen (Audacy KSON/San Diego & KFRG/Riverside and The Wakeup Call morning co-host), Monta Vaden (Country Aircheck), and Rachel Whitney (Spotify). Pre-registration for the Women’s Mentoring Breakfast is available here.

Friday, Feb. 25 – Label Mentoring Breakfast – 7:30 a.m.-8:50 a.m. CT
An opportunity to meet, greet and eat with some of the industry’s record label executives to create a network, gain knowledge, and connect. Attendees will then have the chance to move from mentor to mentor throughout the session to ask questions and exchange contact information. No artist/music critiques and/or music will be accepted during this session. In attendance will be Matt Brum-Taylor (Big Machine), Tim Foisset (Warner Music Nashville), Sara Knabe (BBR Music Group), Norbert Nix (Triple Tigers), David Friedman (UMG Nashville), Tanya Schrage (Black River Entertainment), and Nikki Wood (Big Loud).