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UMPG Signs Lori McKenna

L-R: (Seated): McKenna. (Standing): UMPG Nashville President Pat Higdon, UMPG Creative Director Whitney Williams. Photo: Kay Williams

L-R: (Seated): McKenna. (Standing): UMPG Nashville President Pat Higdon, UMPG Creative Director Whitney Williams. Photo: Kay Williams

UMPG recently welcomed renowned songwriter Lori McKenna to its roster of hit makers.  Well known in the New England club scene, the Stoughton, MA native gained national prominence with her couch jumping appearance on Oprah, where she performed “Fireflies” with Faith Hill. After landing three songs on Hill’s album, the music community clamored to record her songs.

Tim McGraw, Mandy Moore, Sara Evans and Heidi Newfield are just a few pop/country artists to sing McKenna’s heartfelt songs. In addition to critically-acclaimed, self-produced albums such as Kitchen Tapes, she recorded the album Unglamorous for Warner Bros. When not writing in Nashville, McKenna is hard at work behind the doors of her Hoodie Studios, creating her next piece of musical poetry.

Alexander, Mabe Score Big With First No. 1

jessi_alexanderSongwriters Jessi Alexander and Jon Mabe are celebrating their first No. 1, with the smash pop/country hit “The Climb,” performed by Miley Cyrus for her Hannah Montana movie. The track has already sold more than 2 million downloads, and reached the top of both the Billboard and Mediabase AC charts last week. It continues to rise up the Country charts, landing at No. 18 on the latest MusicRow Country Breakout chart with upward momentum. Alexander is signed to Disney Music Publishing, and Mabe calls Stage Three Music home.

Produced by John Shanks, the track appears on the platinum selling Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack (Walt Disney/Hollywood/Lyric Street). “The Climb,” is also in the running for the 2009 Teen Choice Award for Single of the Year, when the awards air live Aug. 10 on Fox.

Photos: Music City Songwriters Make The Rounds

 From Left to Right: Pat Buchanan, Steve King, Bob DiPiero, Shawn Fichter, and Adam Beard  They played at Third and Lindsley on Saturday night to a full crowd.  Bob and his band performed his hits such as Blue Clear Sky, American Made, Wink, Church on Cumberland Road, Gone and many more.  The crowd got to enjoy rocking guitar solos and DiPiero's hits set to his own full band.

Bob DiPiero and The Floating Stones played at 3rd & Lindsley on Saturday night to a full crowd, performing his hits such as "Blue Clear Sky," "American Made," "Wink," "Church on Cumberland Road," and "Gone." (L-R): Pat Buchanan, Steve King, Bob DiPiero, Shawn Fichter, and Adam Beard

Veteran BMI musician and songwriter Pete Sallis recently inked a deal with premier Christian music publisher Brentwood Benson Publishing Group. Pictured at BMI in Nashville are (back row) BMI’s Bradley Collins, Brentwood Benson Publishing Group’s Stacey Wilbur, John Andrade, Brentwood Benson’s Dale Mathews, and Eric Hurt, with Pete Sallis, seated. (Photo: Drew Maynard)  

Veteran BMI musician and songwriter Pete Sallis recently inked a deal with premier Christian music publisher Brentwood Benson Publishing Group. Pictured at BMI in Nashville are (back row) BMI’s Bradley Collins, Brentwood Benson Publishing Group’s Stacey Wilbur, John Andrade, Brentwood Benson’s Dale Mathews, and Eric Hurt, with Pete Sallis, seated. (Photo: Drew Maynard)

Songwriters Lisa McCallum, Steve Diamond, Kelley Lovelace and J. D. Souther traveled to Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Canada to perform in-the-round at an invitation-only event for the Casino’s top customers. Pictured are ASCAP's Herky Williams, writers Lisa McCullum, Steve Diamond, ASCAP’s Pat Rolfe; Kelley Lovelace, J. D. Souther, and Fallsview VP of Marketing and Entertainment, Larry Gregson.
Songwriters Lisa McCallum, Steve Diamond, Kelley Lovelace and J. D. Souther traveled to Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Canada to perform in-the-round at an invitation-only event for the Casino’s top customers. Pictured are ASCAP’s Herky Williams, writers Lisa McCullum, Steve Diamond, ASCAP’s Pat Rolfe; Kelley Lovelace, J. D. Souther, and Fallsview VP of Marketing and Entertainment, Larry Gregson.
Photo Attached: (left to right) Ed Leonard (President of Daywind Records), Marty Funderburk, Dottie Leonard Miller (Daywind Music Group Founder and Owner), and Rick Shelton (Director of Daywind Music Publishing)

Daywind Music Publishing songwriter Marty Funderburk was recently honored for his song, “Life Goes On,” recorded by the Talley Trio, as well as for penning Daywind's first choir songs released with LifeWay Worship. Most significantly, Funderburk was given the Daywind Music Publishing Impact Award, the company’s highest honor. Funderburk, Daywind's first Director of Publishing, has been with the company 12 years and recently completed his 500th song, with more than 50 published in the choral format and distributed to churches nationally. Photo: (L-R): Ed Leonard, Pres. of Daywind Records; Marty Funderburk; Dottie Leonard Miller, Daywind Music Group Founder and Owner; and Rick Shelton, Director of Daywind Music Publishing

MJ Memorial, MCN Fan Club Concerts, Much More

 The recent 2009 MusicCityNetworks (MCN) Fan Club Concert Series had over 2500 attendees and multiple sold-out shows. It was held at Rocketown during CMA Fest with performances by Bucky Covington, Emerson Drive, Montgomery Gentry, Josh Turner, Lady Antebellum, Sara Evans, Tracy Byrd and Tracy Lawrence. Pictured: MCN Fan Club Concert Series sweepstakes winner Kristin Baltadonis and Nicholas Grossman, with Montgomery Gentry

The recent 2009 MusicCityNetworks (MCN) Fan Club Concert Series had over 2500 attendees and multiple sold-out shows. It was held at Rocketown during CMA Fest with performances by Bucky Covington, Emerson Drive, Montgomery Gentry, Josh Turner, Lady Antebellum, Sara Evans, Tracy Byrd and Tracy Lawrence. Pictured: MCN Fan Club Concert Series sweepstakes winner Kristin Baltadonis and Nicholas Grossman, with Montgomery Gentry

Almost 31 Million viewers tuned into Michael Jackson’s memorial service on Tuesday (7/7). It aired on 19 networks from approximately 1-4 p.m. By comparison, the most recent season finale of American Idol drew just under 29 million pairs of eyes.

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Copyright Office fees for various services concerning the registration of claims are increasing starting Aug. 1. The fee for online registration of a basic claim will remain $35. The registration fee for fill-in Form CO will rise from $45 to $50; however, if a faulty version of Form CO is submitted, making it necessary to process the claim as a paper filing, the fee will increase to $65. The fee for paper filings on Forms PA, SR, TX, VA, SE will rise from $45 to $65. Find a full list of adjusted fees here.

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Weird but true: Buy a specially marked bags of Doritos Late Night chips, log on to http://www.doritoslatenight.com, hold the bag up to your webcam, and watch a virtual 3-D concert by rock band blink-182 and rapper Big Boi. The chip maker calls it “augmented reality technology” because the user can move the bag around to personalize each artist’s performance…. It may or may be related that Kenny Chesney recently filmed a concert in 3-D.
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Hear Chris DuBois talk about “Then,” the song he co-wrote with Ashley Gorley and Brad Paisley, who took it to No. 1. 
It’s on AOL’s The Boot.

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Teresa and Scott Siman are holding a garage sale to benefit Rüdrani Devi (aka Andi Varagona) on Sat., July 11 from 8 am to Noon at 1229 Nichol Lane 37205. Donations and volunteers are still needed. Please email [email protected] to get involved. Devi was forced to close her holistic healing clinic after being shot last year during the Mumbai Terrorist attacks.

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Did you know that you can read sheet music on the Amazon Kindle? FreeHand Systems recently released its Novato Music Press catalog in the format, consisting of over 20,000 classical, traditional and American music titles.

Industry Celebrates Vince Melamed Album

Jim Tract, Vince Melamed, and J.D. Souther

Jim Tract, Vince Melamed, and J.D. Souther

On June 25 hit songwriter Vince Melamed celebrated the release of his debut solo album with music industry friends. The party was hosted by Adroit Recrods at the Green Hills home of Vince and his wife, Meredith. Melamed wrote or co-wrote “Walkaway Joe,” “What Mattered Most,” “I’ll Take That As a Yes,” and “She’d Give Anything.” These hits plus six other songs appear on the album What Matters Most, produced by Adroit Records Pres. Jim Tract.

Tim Boylan, Vince Melamed, Victoria Shaw, and John Lomax

Tim Boylan, Vince Melamed, Victoria Shaw, and John Lomax

Tim Boylan, Vince Melamed and Pat Higdon

Tim Boylan, Vince Melamed and Pat Higdon

Songwriters Series Take Nashville Nationwide, Plus GMA and IBMA

DiPiero, who is set for the CMA Songwriters Series, also performed at The Bluebird Cafe’s annual Concert Series at the Sundance Resort in Utah on July 2-3. He was joined by fellow hitmakers Karyn Rochelle and Al Anderson. Performances take place at Zoom restaurant, in downtown Park City, and outdoors at Sundance Resort’s Eccles Stage. (L-R): Al Anderson, Robert Redford, Karyn Rochelle and Bob DiPiero

DiPiero, who is set for the CMA Songwriters Series, also performed at The Bluebird Cafe’s annual Concert Series at the Sundance Resort in Utah on July 2-3. He was joined by fellow hitmakers Karyn Rochelle and Al Anderson. Performances took place at Zoom restaurant, in downtown Park City, and outdoors at Sundance Resort’s Eccles Stage. (L-R): Al Anderson, Robert Redford, Karyn Rochelle and Bob DiPiero

CMA Songwriters Series: Now in its fifth year, the popular CMA Songwriters Series will revisit New York City. Joe’s Pub will host another night spotlighting several of Nashville’s finest songwriters on Thursday, July 30 (6:30 and 9:30 PM/ET). Hosted by Bob DiPiero (“Take Me As I Am” recorded by Faith Hill, “You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl” recorded by Brooks & Dunn, “Blue Clear Sky” recorded by George Strait, and “Gone” recorded by Montgomery Gentry), other participating songwriters include platinum-selling Mercury Nashville recording artist Billy Currington (“I Got a Feeling,” “Why, Why, Why,” and “Walk A Little Straighter,” all recorded by Currington), Keith Follese (“Something Like That” recorded by Tim McGraw, “The Way You Love Me” recorded by Faith Hill, “Before You Kill Us All” recorded by Randy Travis, and “I Love You” recorded by Martina McBride), and Jason Sellers (“Strange” recorded by Reba McEntire, “Some People Change” recorded by Montgomery Gentry, and “I Still Miss You” recorded by Keith Anderson).

New Series Planned For Nashville: A free concert series will take place in downtown Nashville on the Public Square this fall. Mayor Karl Dean and Lester Turner, Owner of Lightning 100, will announce details tomorrow (7/7) afternoon at a press conference, including some of the artists scheduled to perform.

GMA To Host Training Camp: The Gospel Music Association will host Immerse, a training experience and talent competition offering participants access to artists and songwriters who will perform, teach, mentor and create with registrants. It will take place in Nashville July 29- August 2. Registration levels are poised to outpace past GMA music training events, and more than 20 artists are confirmed including Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant, Kirk Franklin and Phil Stacey. The deadline to register for the talent and songwriting competitions is tomorrow (7/7). Details at www.experienceimmerse.com.

World of Bluegrass: Early bird registration rates for the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass end tomorrow (7/7), giving a $100 discount off the gate price. The event, which includes a conference and the IBMA Awards, runs Sept. 28-Oct. 4. www.ibma.org.

Bobby Karl Works The MusicRow Awards

(L-R): Song of the Year co-writers James Otto, Jamey Johnson and Lee Thomas Miller performed "In Color." Photo: Alan Mayor

(L-R): Song of the Year co-writers James Otto, Jamey Johnson and Lee Thomas Miller performed "In Color." Photo: Alan Mayor

The readers have spoken, and they have class.

Both Jamey Johnson and James Otto were double winners at this year’s MusicRow awards ceremony. Jamey won the Breakthrough Artist award as well as the Song of the Year prize for “In Color,” co-written with James and Lee Thomas Miller. Because James also co-wrote his big hit “Just Got Started Loving You” he was named this year’s Breakthrough Songwriter.

“We put pieces of our own lives in it,” said Jamey of “In Color.” “That’s what songwriting is supposed to be about, isn’t it?”

“It’s been 12 years in Nashville, and one great year,” said James. He thanked his mom, his wife and publisher Tracy Gershon.

“I’m going to write an article about perseverance,” said Doak Turner. “As soon as I heard James say that, I was inspired.”

winners“This is the greatest town in the world and the greatest business in the world,” said Lee. He interrupted a Disneyworld vacation with his wife and four kids to be at the ceremony.

“This is one of our favorite events,” said Ralph Murphy welcoming the crowd to the host venue, ASCAP. “Mr. David Ross has built a career on integrity and its spirit of perseverance and dedication.”

“This is our 21st MusicRow Awards,” said Boss Ross. “We are here to celebrate the core of our industry’s creativity and its spirit of perseverance and dedication.”

Representing the AFM, newly elected treasurer Craig Krampf addressed the gathering, saying, “What an incredible, special town we have in Nashville. None of us should ever take it for granted. Congratulations to our winners. We’re very proud of you.”

Prior to the ceremony, Craig said he’d gone over the books and found that the first quarter of this year has been the third most lucrative in this AFM chapter’s history. Considering the economic times, that’s saying quite a lot.

MusicRow’s Jon Freeman and Sarah Skates presented this year’s Musician Awards. These were first presented way back in 1989 and remain the only honors given to Music City’s session musicians.

“I remember when you and I had a future in this town,” quipped bass winner Glenn Worf to me before the ceremony. He has won his honor every year since 1992.

Ilya Tonshinsky (guitar) and Gordon Mote (piano) were first-time winners. “I didn’t expect this at all,” said Ilya. “We actually get to make a living playing!” exclaimed Gordon. Previous 13-time winner Steve Nathan was there to congratulate Gordon, which I thought was incredibly endearing. As well as undeniably classy.

Fiddle winner Jonathan Yudkin gave a shout-out to the mag. “We have to maintain a level of awareness of what’s going on,” he said. “David Ross and MusicRow do an excellent job doing that.” It’s the truth.
“Keep my number handy,” said session vocalist winner Wes Hightower. He has won his category every year since 2001. As is the custom, Christie King handed out the framed awards and Alan Mayor snapped away.
Winners not present were steel guitarist Paul Franklin, engineer Justin Niebank and drummer Shannon Forrest. Chris DuBois accepted for Producer of the Year Frank Rogers, who is on vacation, “on a beach somewhere, hopefully with his shirt ON,” said Chris.

Guests snacked on fried chicken strips, jumbo berries, chips and spinach dip, chicken-salad sandwiches and other tasty ASCAP delights.

Many commented that they love the event because they get to have reunions with folks they don’t see often on the Row.

Pete Fisher, Woody Bomar, Scott Hendricks, Sherrill Blackman, Gary Overton, Martha Moore, Keith Stegall, Alan Kates, Allen Brown, Brian Nelson, Pat Higdon, Steve Fishell, Kyle Lehning, Chuck Thompson, Michelle Ross, Susana Ross and Barry Coburn were there. Eli Ball is back in Tune Town, running a new firm called Lyric Financial, which gives loans to writers and publishers, among other services.

The awards are swell, but the real deal is that this is always a dandy party. Just ask Jeff Walker, Dean Unkefer, Karen Staley, Kay Clary, Bob Paxman, Jody Williams, Dennis Banka, Don Cusic, Dale Bobo, Charles Dorris, Chris Ferrell, Steve O’Brien, Pat Rolfe, Cathy Gurley, Susan Stewart, Terry Elam or Neal Spielberg.

(L-R): MR News Editor Sarah Skates with the Top Ten Album All-Star winners Glen Worf, Ilya Toshinksky, Gordon Mote, Wes Hightower and Jonathan Yudkin. Photo: Alan Mayor

(L-R): MR News Editor Sarah Skates with the Top Ten Album All-Star winners Glen Worf, Ilya Toshinksky, Gordon Mote, Wes Hightower and Jonathan Yudkin. Photo: Alan Mayor

(L-R): MR Publisher David M. Ross with Song of the Year writers and publishers EMI Blackwood's Gary Overton, Jamey Johnson, Warner-Tamerlane's Tracy Gershon, New Songs of Sea Gayle's Chris DuBois and Lee Thomas Miller. Photo: Alan Mayor

(L-R): MR Publisher David M. Ross with Song of the Year writers and publishers EMI Blackwood's Gary Overton, Jamey Johnson, Warner-Tamerlane's Tracy Gershon, New Songs of Sea Gayle's Chris DuBois and Lee Thomas Miller. Photo: Alan Mayor

Whisperin’ Bill Still Making Noise

Bill Anderson is having a good week with the release of two new co-writes.

Bill Anderson is having a good week with the release of two new co-writes.

Whisperin’ Bill Anderson was already having a wonderful vacation when he received a phone call from Terry Wakefield at Sony/ATV that made his trip that much better. Wakefield let him know the status of two of Anderson’s co-writes: Sugarland‘s “Joey” hit the national country charts at No. 50 yesterday (6/29), and today (6/30) Brad Paisley released a new album containing his cut “No.”

Coincidentally, Anderson says, “Some of my biggest hits in the past have been songs with only one-word titles, so if I’m lucky, maybe I can add a couple more to that list in the near future.”

Richard Marx Catalogue Acquired By Chrysalis

richard-marx-photoChrysalis Music Group USA has finalized an agreement to purchase the catalogue of renowned writer/artist Richard Marx. Among his most recent hits was the 2008 song “Everybody,” which was written with and performed by Keith Urban.

Marx has been an internationally known singer/songwriter/producer for over 20 years. In addition to selling over 30 million records as a recording artist, he has written and produced mega-hits for other artists as diverse as Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban, NSYNC, Natalie Cole, Kenny Rogers and Urban.

A pop radio staple from the late ’80s through the ’90s, Marx has written 37 Top 30 chart hits, including an impressive 13 No. 1s. Among those are his own hits as an artist, “Hold On to the Nights,” “Satisfied” and the classic “Right Here Waiting.” As he continues to tour throughout the world, Marx plans to release three new albums this year, including Duo, a collaboration with Vertical Horizon’s Matt Scannell.

Lifenotes: Tim Krekel (updated)

Arrangements: On Sunday, June 28th, at 3:30 PM a public jazz funeral procession will start at James Lee Presbyterian Church, 1741 Frankfort Ave., Louisville, KY and walk to the memorial service at The Vernon Club, 1575 Story Ave., Louisville.

The family wishes that in lieu of flowers a donation be made to The KREK fund, c/o ear X-tacy Records, 1534 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40205. The official press release says, “Don’t forget your colorful umbrella!”

Tim Krekel debuted songs from his Natchez Trace Records release, Soul Season, at the Bluebird Cafe on Feb. 1, 2008 with noted songwriter / artists Bill Lloyd, Marshall Chapman, Peter Holsapple, Darius Rucker, Beth Neilsen Chapman, and Sam Bush. (L-R): Krekel's producer Mike Webb, Bush, Krekel, Chapman, Rucker, Chapman, Holsapple and Lloyd.

Musician and songwriter Tim Krekel died yesterday, June 24, at his home in Louisville after a battle with cancer. The 58-year-old was much loved in Nashville, and became well-known as the pen behind songs such as Crystal Gayle’s No. 1 “Turning Away.” He also wrote two hits with Matraca Berg, “You Can Feel Bad” which was recorded by Patty Loveless, and Martina McBride’s “Come Around.” He toured with Jimmy Buffett for several years as lead guitarist and played on Buffett’s famous songs “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Livingston Saturday Night.” The Louisville native was born October 10, 1950.

According to his Web site, Krekel’s “health took a drastic turn for the worse these last few weeks. At the final stages of what he described…as, ‘A most wonderful life!’ Tim was able to die at home under the loving care of his family and hospice.”

Following time in Buffett’s band in the ‘70s, Krekel signed a solo deal with Capricorn and released Crazy Me in 1979. Then, as part of the Sluggers, he released two albums on Arista in the eighties.

He also performed with Bo Diddley, Delbert McClinton, Pam Tillis, Sam Bush and Billy Swan; and had songs recorded by Rick Nelson, Jerry Reed, Kathy Mattea, Delbert McClinton, B.J. Thomas, Vern Gosdin, Jason and the Scorchers and Aaron Tippin.

In the early 1990s, Krekel returned to Louisville, and performed and recorded with his bands Krekel and the Groovebillies and the Tim Krekel Orchestra.

He is survived by wife Debora Cooper Krekel, his longtime partner that he married earlier this month; as well as his children, Jason, Nathan,  Katy and Anna Krekel. A public memorial service will be held at a later date.

For more, visit The Courier-Journal.

Tim Krekel debuted songs from his Natchez Trace Records release, Soul Season, at the Bluebird Cafe on Feb. 1, 2008 with noted songwriter / artists Bill Lloyd, Marshall Chapman, Peter Holsapple, Darius Rucker, Beth Neilsen Chapman, and Sam Bush. (L-R): Krekel's producer Mike Webb, Bush, Krekel, Chapman, Rucker, Chapman, Holsapple and Lloyd.

Pictured Feb. 1, 2008: Tim Krekel debuted songs from his Natchez Trace Records release, "Soul Season," at the Bluebird Cafe with noted songwriter / artists Bill Lloyd, Marshall Chapman, Peter Holsapple, Darius Rucker, Beth Neilsen Chapman, and Sam Bush. (L-R): Krekel's producer Mike Webb, Bush, Krekel, M. Chapman, Rucker, B. Chapman, Holsapple and Lloyd.