MUSICROW MAGAZINE: Trisha Yearwood Reveals New Music On The Way

By Sherod Robertson • August 19, 2014 •
Gary Overton, Chairman & CEO, Sony Music Nashville and RCA Nashville’s Trisha Yearwood
Gary Overton, Chairman & CEO, Sony Music Nashville and RCA Nashville’s Trisha Yearwood

Grammy Award-winning vocalist Trisha Yearwood has signed with Sony Music Nashville’s RCA Nashville and announced that her twelfth studio album will be titled PrizeFighter. The news was shared August 19 at The Cordelle during an evening of food and music with friends and industry colleagues.

After Sony Music Nashville’s Gary Overton announced Yearwood’s roster appointment (and the launch of her own Gwendolyn Records imprint), Yearwood offered an acoustic performance of four songs with Johnny Garcia (guitar) and Steve Cox (keys), including two new tracks (the bluesy “Your Husband’s Cheating On Us” and the poignant “I Remember You”) along with the Karyn Rochelle-penned “Cowboys Are My Weakness” from Yearwood’s Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love album, and her 1992 hit “Wrong Side of Memphis.” Yearwood will join her husband not only as a labelmate but for the Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood which kicks off in Chicago on Sept. 4.

Several songwriters were in the audience, including Matraca Berg, Sarah Buxton, Sara Haze, Brad Rempel, Jessi Alexander, and duo Joey+Rory’s Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek.
The event also celebrated the start of the fifth season of her Emmy Award-winning Food Network series, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, which debuts on Saturday, 8/23; plans for a third cookbook; her own line of cutlery, Precious Metals cookware; and a partnership with Hellmann’s. With Yearwood’s ever-growing cooking career, it was no surprise that the catering was delicious. Most of the scrumptious hors d’oeuvres were from Yearwood’s own recipes.

“Trisha Yearwood is a tremendous recording artist who has enjoyed much success in everything she has done,” commented Doug Morris, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment. “She is a talent like no other, and I am pleased to welcome her to the Sony Music family for the next chapter of her exciting music career.”

RCA Nashville’s Trisha Yearwood performing new music and hits at tonight’s (Aug. 19) event in Nashville. Photo: Bev Moser
RCA Nashville’s Trisha Yearwood performing new music and hits at tonight’s (Aug. 19) event in Nashville. Photo: Bev Moser

Sony Music Nashville chairman & CEO, Gary Overton shared, “Trisha Yearwood is one of Country music’s brightest stars. Her versatility and passion have put her at the forefront of countless industries—but first and foremost, Trisha is an unparalleled recording artist who has sold millions of albums and is respected as one of the greatest female vocalists in Country music. We’re honored to welcome her to the RCA Nashville family, and look forward to her fans hearing her highly-anticipated new music.”
“I can’t even find the right words to express how excited I am to be releasing new music! I chose the title PrizeFighter because it feels like an anthem for all of us,” said Yearwood. “It’s about fighting for what you believe in, and never giving up, even when it’s hard. It’s a message we all need to hear. I’m so looking forward to working with the amazing staff at Sony. Music is what feeds my soul, and I’m grateful to them for giving me the chance to share what I love.”
Throughout five seasons on Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, Yearwood has uniquely folded musical elements and performances into her Food Network show. “Of Trisha’s many talents, there can be no doubt,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior VP, Food Network. “In Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, it is Trisha’s devotion to friends and family, her Southern hospitality and her passion for cooking that resonate so strongly with our audience. Viewers love spending time ‘in the kitchen’ with her as she cooks and entertains with her signature down-to-earth charm, playful humor and deliciously appealing warmth.”

RCA Nashville’s Trisha Yearwood performing new music and hits at tonight’s (Aug. 19) event in Nashville. Photo: Bev Moser
RCA Nashville’s Trisha Yearwood performing new music and hits at tonight’s (Aug. 19) event in Nashville. Photo: Bev Moser

Bob Tuschman, General Manager/Senior VP for Food Network, shares his first meeting with Yearwood at RCA Nashville’s Trisha Yearwood Announcement event at The Cordelle (Aug. 19) in Nashville. Photo: Bev Moser
Bob Tuschman, General Manager/Senior VP for Food Network, recalls his first meeting with Yearwood during the event at The Cordelle (Aug. 19) in Nashville. Photo: Bev Moser

Media and members of the music industy join RCA Nashville’s Trisha Yearwood at The Cordelle (Aug. 19) in Nashville. Photo: Bev Moser
Media and members of the music industy join RCA Nashville’s Trisha Yearwood at The Cordelle (Aug. 19) in Nashville. Photo: Bev Moser

MUSICROW MAGAZINE: As Nashville Grows, Station Inn Remains a Musical Treasure

While developers and investors continue to roll out plans for more upscale, stylish condominiums, trendy eateries, and sleek office buildings in and around Nashville’s Gulch area, music venue Station Inn— a one-story stone building with boarded up windows—provides a no-frills musical harbor amid a glossy sea of modern structures.
Inside, wooden walls along with a bare-bones assortment of tables and chairs, greet visitors, and lights are focused on a modestly sized stage. A wooden bar offers an array of snacks and drinks. “I’ve always said it’s more of a listening room than a nightclub,” says Station Inn owner and operator J.T. Gray. “It’s the hardwood floors and the wooden walls. It’s not a flashy place. People come in here and try to start getting rowdy, they find out fast it’s not that kind of place.” Instead, it’s one of Nashville’s premier venues where music aficionados flock to revere and to become immersed in the music and history within its walls.
The Station Inn. Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser
The Station Inn. Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser
The Station Inn has called Nashville home since 1974, when it was opened by a group of six bluegrass performers and located near Vanderbilt. The venue has resided at its current location at 402 12th Ave. S. since 1978. Ownership of the Station Inn changed hands several times before Gray took over in 1981. “The previous owners didn’t really know a lot about bluegrass, so I said I’d be interested in taking over. I had been touring with musicians and it was a good way for me to get off the road.” At the time, the Station Inn’s popularity had declined. Gray spent the next few years reaching out to the bluegrass community in Nashville to bring back local and national performers to the venue. Grand Ole Opry performers including Jimmy Martin and Bobby Osborne would drop in after an Opry performance on Friday and Saturday nights.
Bill Monroe, known as the “Father of Bluegrass,” played to a packed house at the Station Inn in 1985, and was often seen dropping in to watch bands play, and sometimes, to sit in for a song or two. “Bill Monroe would come and stand back by the side of the stage with his mandolin, and he would walk up onstage with whomever was picking onstage and just play with them. He loved us and we loved him. He would always say ‘Hi’ to the bartender and servers and the doorkeeper. You never know who will come up and start performing.”
The venue became a favorite performing spot for some of the most illustrious names in bluegrass and Country, including Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, Dierks Bentley, Ricky Skaggs, and more. Before she became a household name in bluegrass and Country music, Alison Krauss held court before an audience at Station Inn. Vince Gill, as part of the Time Jumpers, took up a regular residence at Station Inn on Monday nights a few years ago. The Time Jumpers had been regular performers at the venue for several years, and occasionally brought along friends such as Bonnie Raitt, Reba McEntire, Norah Jones, and Robert Plant. In 2013, Alan Jackson held an album release concert there for his aptly titled project The Bluegrass Album. “He wanted to take it to where the bluegrass people are,” says Gray. “It was completely his idea to do the party here, so we really appreciated that. It was one of the biggest surprises I’ve ever had being here.”
Dierks Bentley performs at The Station Inn in 2014. Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser
Dierks Bentley performs at The Station Inn in 2014. Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser
Given the stark contrast between the earthy music venue and the growing number of polished structures accumulating in the Gulch and Nashville overall, community members have pondered if Nashville’s ambitious expansions will overtake the beloved Station Inn.
According to both Gray and Gulch area development company MarketStreet, Station Inn’s future is secure. “MarketStreet has always envisioned the Gulch neighborhood to be a mix of new and old. This unique combination is what gives the neighborhood added character. The Station Inn is, and will continue to be a landmark destination to be enjoyed by all,” states Dirk Melton, Development Director of MarketStreet.
Gray says the property’s owner, Charlie Wehby, assures him there are no plans to sell the property. “I’m told the Station Inn will stay here as long as I want it to,” says Gray. “They’ve definitely had numerous offers to purchase the property, but they’ve assured me they won’t sell.”
Though Gray plans to keep carry on with Station Inn in the Gulch area, that doesn’t mean he isn’t supportive of the overall growth Nashville has seen in recent years. “I’ve watched the development over the years and I think it is good for the area. We have more people that walk through the Gulch area. Of course some of the businesses that have grown up in the area don’t cater to the kind of people that like to come to a place like this, but it used to be a real industrial place and this was the only kind of music venue in this area.”
Given the perennial popularity of Station Inn, Gray says he has toyed with the idea of expanding or opening a second location. “I’ve definitely thought about expanding, but there’s not much space to expand on this lot. Besides, it’s a small place and has so much history here. I’ve also definitely thought about opening up a second location over the years, but it would be difficult to replicate the feel of this place elsewhere—it’s the wooden walls, the wood floors. There’s a homey feel to it. “
Though Gray has expanded the diversity of music styles that flow through the walls of the Station Inn in recent years to include blues and western swing, its bedrock is still bluegrass and classic Country. “We’ve tweaked the programming a little bit over the years, so it gives us something different to offer,” says Gray.
The Station Inn will celebrate its 40th anniversary with an event in late 2014, which Gray says will feature many of the biggest names to walk through the doors of the Station Inn. “We are working on it right now and have several artists pending.”

PLA Media Press Release: The Johnny Cash Museum Unveils The Legends of Sun Records Exhibit



To a standing room only crowd yesterday evening, Johnny Cash Museum Founder Bill Miller revealed The Legends of Sun Records exhibit. The new exhibit, which will run for 18 months, features artifacts that spotlight Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and drummer W.S. Holland. You can view snapshots of the exhibit and VIP preview below.  The Legends of Sun Records exhibit opens to the public on Friday, August 15th. 



Founder Bill Miller (c) Moments By Moser
Joanne Cash Yates & Tommy Cash (c) Moments By Moser
Sun Records' Jerry Phillips, AmeriMonte Records' Steve Popovich Jr, Jason D Williams and JCM Founder Bill Miller (c) Moments By Moser


(C) Moments by Moser
(C) Moments by Moser
(c) Moments by Moser


“Johnny Cash began his musical career at Sun Records," says Founder Bill Miller. "Sun was the launch pad for several young men whose music would forever impact the world. Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Johnny came from similar backgrounds and humble beginnings. Once they walked through the door at the Memphis Recording Service, their lives would never be the same. We are proud to showcase Johnny's labelmates from this historic period in rock and roll history.”   
 
The founders of the museum aren’t the only ones both excited and honored to be a part of the exhibit.  See additional comments below.


“Elvis had great respect for Johnny Cash, and a wonderful friendship. He was very proud to share the same Sun Studio roots in Memphis with Johnny, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis. I’m pleased that the Johnny Cash Museum is celebrating the achievements of these five legendary performers, and I know that Elvis would have been tremendously honored to be included in this exhibit."
--Priscilla Presley


"We are thrilled these cherished belongings of our father Roy Orbison can be part of Johnny Cash's wonderful museum here in Nashville. The Cash's are 'family.' Johnny and June Carter were godfather and godmother to each of us three Orbison boys and literally our next door neighbors in Hendersonville. What a beautiful and fitting home for these special pieces of Dad's past!"
--Roy Jr, Wesley and Alex Orbison


"Johnny and I started at Sun Records over 50 years ago and worked together for decades. We were good friends and I'm proud to be involved in The Legends of Sun Records exhibit at the Johnny Cash Museum."
--Jerry Lee Lewis


"Johnny Cash and Dad were like brothers. They had a mutual respect and love for each other that went beyond friendship. They will always be bonded together, not only for their great musical legacy at Sun Records, but for their kindred spirit for one another. Our family is proud to have them reunited at the Johnny Cash Museum."
--Stan Perkins


“The drums that are currently on display in the Johnny Cash Museum are the same set that recorded ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ and the Million Dollar Quartet.  They were also the first ever full drum set to play the Grand Ole Opry.  At Sun Records, it wasn’t something that we thought would make history.  It just happened. We never thought anyone would even know about it after a couple years.  Those days seem like a dream, but they also seemed like they just happened a few weeks ago.  Nothing was ever planned for me.  I think that’s why they call me ‘Fluke.’
--W.S. Holland
 
About Sun Records
Sun Records was an independent label founded in 1952 by Sam Phillips.  Based in Memphis, Phillips set out to develop the rhythm and blues sound and deliver it to general public. What he would ultimately create would be the foundations for rock-n-roll.  Throughout the years, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins,  Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich and even Conway Twitty (under his real name Harold Jenkins) would record and be released on the label. The famous “Million Dollar Quartet” also occurred at Sun records on December 4, 1956 when an impromptu session with Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins was captured in an iconic photograph.


About The Johnny Cash Museum
 
Earning the AAA Gem rating, The Johnny Cash Museum experience has quickly spread around the globe with outlets like CNN, USA Today, Parade, The NY Times, The NY Post, Billboard, Vogue, Southern Living, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Yahoo, Huffington Post, London’s NME, etc. all buzzing about the attraction. Forbes ranked the Top 5 “Must-See” Nashville destinations and put The Johnny Cash Museum in the number one slot. That acknowledgement was followed by an unbelievable honor from National Geographic. National Geographic published a list of the worldwide top four “Pitch Perfect Museums,” museums dedicated to a single musician. The Johnny Cash Museum earned the top honor beating out the ABBA museum in Stockholm and the Kalakuta museum in Nigeria. Located at 119 Third Avenue South between Demonbreun and Broadway, the museum is en route between the tourists circulated Broadway strip and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
 
The Johnny Cash Museum is open every day from 10 AM to 7 PM. General admission is $15 with discounts for AAA, military, senior citizen and youth (6-15).To stay updated on the museum and Johnny Cash, visit www.johnnycash.com or www.johnnycashmuseum.com.
 

MusicRow Magazine: Garth Brooks Is Back! World Tour, New Music In The Works

• July 10, 2014 •
Garth Brooks addresses the press. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments by Moser
Garth Brooks addresses the press. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments by Moser
Garth Brooks announced his long awaited return to the road today (July 10), as well as a new studio album to be promoted and marketed via a partnership between his own Pearl Records and Sony Music Nashville’s RCA Records Nashville. Brooks and his team gathered at Marathon Music Works in Nashville to share the news at a media event and luncheon. The entertainer called this the “second half” of his career.
With 134 million albums sold, Brooks is the best selling solo artist of all time. He has long held out from making his music available to digital outlets, and today revealed plans to release his music digitally within the next two or three weeks. “When it is used right, [digital] can do wonders for the artists and the songwriters,” said Brooks, adding, “we play our own way.” Therefore, the music will be exclusively at GarthBrooks.com. Currently the site features a four-day countdown until his music is available. For a limited window it will be available at what he said is a “stupid” low price. He also alluded to a possible digital music deal with Ticketmaster.
Brooks hasn’t mounted a full-scale tour since 2001, though he has performed various one-off concerts and a long-term gig in Las Vegas. He didn’t reveal the location of the opening concert of the upcoming tour today. Instead, he will fulfill a promise to a fan named Andy, who he met at one of his concerts in Las Vegas, and call Andy on July 14 to reveal the opening city. Brooks said he is proud of the low ticket price for the upcoming run, but didn’t give details, which will be made public in the next ten days. Ben Farrell of Lon Varnell Enterprises is promoting the outing. “I hope we give you a show that makes you forget the ones in the ’90′s,” Brooks said. The entertainer also said that wife and singer Trisha Yearwood will be joining him on the tour.
Garth Brooks. Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser
Garth Brooks. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser
The new album is being produced by Mark Miller, who engineered under Brooks’ longtime producer Allen Reynolds, who is now retired. Matt Allen is engineering the new project which features Brooks’ longtime studio musicians. “My job at this point is to create,” said Brooks, adding that he is writing and searching for songs, though much of his own material is being overshadowed by the quality of outside songs. No release date has been set, but he expects the first track to be available within the next two months. The singer also discussed how he feels a responsibility to spread the message about his music after he creates it.
His music won’t sound like what is currently spinning on Country radio. “My music is not bro-country, or hick-hop, it’s Garth Brooks,” he said. “I was the guy who ‘wasn’t the Country guy’ in the ’90′s, so it feels a bit weird to be the guy who is now the older Country guy. Garth music is ever evolving and stands the test of time.”
Whereas his recent albums via Pearl Records—mostly repacked versions of older hits—were sold exclusively at Walmart, the new music will be available at all retailers.
Brooks released the box set Blame It All On My Roots in 2013, but has not put out an album of original material since 2001′s Scarecrow. However, he continued releasing singles to radio, including the hits “Good Ride Cowboy” and “More Than A Memory.”
Sony Music president and CEO Doug Morris.
Sony Music Entertainment chairman and CEO Doug Morris. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments by Moser
Doug Morris, CEO Sony Music Entertainment, sought out Brooks to make the deal. “When you have the opportunity to sign one of the best selling artists of all time to your roster, you jump at it,” he said today.
News of the upcoming tour follows this week’s cancellation of the superstar’s five-night comeback run in Dublin, Ireland due to city permit issues. Brooks addressed the situation saying, “[Today is] a day of joy, but it is also under a cloud.” Earlier this week he stated in a letter that his crew and equipment are still en route to Dublin in hopes of a last minute revival of the shows. However, Ticketmaster has already outlined the ticket refund process. Two of the first three questions asked by media at today’s event were from members of the Irish press, but there was no news of an agreement.
News personality Harry Chapman hosted the press conference and Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Gary Overton also appeared.

MusicRow Magazine: 2014 Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductees Announced


• July 8, 2014 • 
Pictured, (back row, L-R): Nashville Songwriiters Hall of Fame Board Chair and Hall of Fame member Pat Alger; inductees John Anderson and Gretchen Peters and Hall of Fame executive director Mark Ford. Front row, (L-R): Inductees Paul Craft and Tom Douglas.
Pictured, (back row, L-R): Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Board Chair and Hall of Fame member Pat Alger; inductees John Anderson and Gretchen Peters and Hall of Fame executive director Mark Ford. Front row, (L-R): Inductees Paul Craft and Tom Douglas. (photo credit: Bev Moser / Moments By Moser)


John Anderson, Tom Douglas, Gretchen Peters and Paul Craft are the 2014 inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The inductees were announced Tuesday morning (July 8) by Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame board president Pat Alger at Nashville’s Music City Center.
“This is our first anniversary of the Songwriters Hall of Fame gallery and square at the Music City Center,” said Alger. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to introduce our 2014 inductees. There are few songwriters who write songs that linger long after they are on the chart, and these writers fit that description.”
“I am going to cry in October,” said Peters, who is known for songs including “Independence Day” (Martina McBride), “Secret of Life” (Faith Hill), and “Chill of an Early Fall” (George Strait). “I couldn’t be happier to be in this company,” she added.
Douglas, known for the hits “The House That Built Me” (Miranda Lambert), “I Run To You” (Lady Antebellum) “Little Rock” (Collin Raye) and “Love’s The Only House” (Martina McBride), among others, said, “It is a joy to be with you in this amazing space. We are standing on the shoulders of all those giants who have come before us.”
Anderson penned many of his own signature hits, including “Wish I Could’ve Been There,” “Seminole Wind,” and “Swingin.’” “How flattered and humbled I am to be here,” said Anderson.
“This is very exciting to me,” said fellow inductee Craft. “I look forward to our induction.” Craft’s songs include “Keep Me From Blowing Away” (The Seldom Scene/Linda Ronstadt), “Brother Jukebox” (Mark Chesnutt), “It’s Me Again, Margaret” (Ray Stevens), “Dropkick Me, Jesus” (Bobby Bare), and many others.
The inductions will be made during a banquet at the Music City Center on Oct. 5.

MUSICROW Magazine: Bobby Karl Works The 26th Annual MusicRow Awards

• June 19, 2014 •

BMI's Clay Bradley highlights MusicRow's Artist Roster issue, featuring BMI writers Rhett Akins and Thomas Rhett.
BMI’s Clay Bradley highlights MusicRow‘s MusicRow Awards issue, featuring BMI writers Rhett Akins and Thomas Rhett on the cover. Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser.

It is high time for a big-time MusicRow shout-out to BMI.
The performance rights organization hosted the 26th annual MusicRow awards ceremony on Wednesday evening (June 18) with so much style that I must comment. You know where that big reception desk is at the far end of the lobby? Well, that zone now converts into a large staging area with a video-wall backdrop. That wall had a huge, glowing blow-up of the awards logo. “Look at this set-up,” exclaimed the mag’s Sherod Robertson. “I feel like a star up here.”
Sony/ATV's Terry Wakefield accepts for Cole Swindell for Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year.
Sony/ATV’s Terry Wakefield accepts for Cole Swindell for Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year. Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser

That’s not all. The sound in the echo-y lobby has been famously bad, which BMI overcame with a much-improved audio system. BMI put on the dog in the food department, too. Meat balls. Chunky guacamole with tortilla chips. Stuffed peppers. Chicken tenders. And BMI writers are featured on the cover of the current print, awards-edition of the publication. The father-son BMI songwriter duo of Rhett Akins and Thomas Rhett are smiling there. “We’re proud to have this event here,” said BMI’s Clay Bradley to the throng of attendees. “To me, this is always the kick-off to summer.”
“These awards started in 1989,” said Robertson. “Some of my staff members weren’t born in 1989. I guess I’m okay with that.” The magazine’s Eric Parker and Sarah Skates presented the Top-10 All-Star Musician awards. These are the only honors by any organization that salute the session musicians who make Nashville’s hits. This year, the group included Russ Pahl (steel), Aubrey Haynie (fiddle), Ilya Toshinsky (guitar), Greg Morrow (drums), Charles Judge (keyboards), Jimmie Lee Sloas (bass), Wes Hightower (background vocalist) and Justin Niebank (engineer). Pahl is a first-time winner in his category. Producer of the Year winner Frank Liddell is on vacation, but sent in this statement: “I’m in the Virgin Islands, celebrating the hell out of this.”
MusicRow celebrates Song of the Year "All Kinds of Kinds."
MusicRow celebrates Song of the Year “All Kinds of Kinds.” Pictured (L-R): MusicRow‘s Sarah Skates, Warner/Chappell’s Ben Vaughn, songwriters Don Henry and Phillip Coleman, Carnival Music’s Courtney Gregg, and MusicRow Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson. Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser

“All Kinds of Kinds” was written way back in 1998, but Miranda Lambert finally made it a hit and the MusicRow Song of the Year. “I told my mom I had a Miranda Lambert cut,” said co-writer Phillip Coleman. “She said, ‘Which song is it?’ I told her it was ‘All Kinds of Kinds,’ and she said, ‘That’s my least favorite song you’ve ever written.’” “Any time you can get a song on the country charts with a cross dresser in it, I’m all for it!” quipped co-writer Don Henry. Coleman and Henry performed the song splendidly at the event.
Pictured (L-R): MusicRow's Sarah Skates, MusicRow Breakthrough Artist of the Year Brandy Clark and MusicRow Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser
Pictured (L-R): MusicRow‘s Sarah Skates, MusicRow Breakthrough Artist of the Year Brandy Clark and MusicRow Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

The Breakthrough Artist award went to Brandy Clark over four other nominees, all but her on major labels. “I was a little shocked when I heard that I had been nominated,” she confessed. “The critics, who most people hate, I love. This project has been driven by the press,” she explained offstage, “and by other artists.” Eric Church has chosen her as his current opening act. “Everybody loves you,” I told her. “At least, everybody with taste.” Her album is 12 Stories. “Since it came out, it’s been the most talked-about thing in the music business,” said Robertson. “It’s the best album EVER,” said Woody Bomar. There was a tie for Breakthrough Songwriter. Sony/ATV’s Terry Wakefield accepted for Cole Swindell. The co-winner was Nicolle Galyon.
Nicolle Galyon is honored as one of MusicRow's Breakthrough Songwriters of the Year, and is honored with a MusicRow Challenge Coin for her MusicRow CountryBreakout chart-topping hit "Automatic."
Nicolle Galyon is honored as one of MusicRow‘s Breakthrough Songwriters of the Year, and is honored with a MusicRow Challenge Coin for her MusicRow CountryBreakout chart-topping hit “Automatic.” Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser.

“I write for the best publishing company in town,” said Galyon. “It took a lot of people believing in me and fighting for me. B.J. Hill signed me [to Warner-Chappell] when I was 23 years old. I’m almost 30 now.” She also thanked Rodney Clawson for his support. “Everybody here knows he’s a great songwriter,” she said. “I can attest to what a great husband and father he is.” Finally, she thanked her father. The day was his birthday, which he spent pouring contract in 100-degree weather back home in Kansas. “If that doesn’t make us all want to work harder, I don’t know what does,” Galyon concluded. The classically trained pianist sang her co-written Lambert hit “Automatic” in a strong, emotive voice.
Nicolle Galyon performs her MusicRow CountryBreakout chart-topping hit "Automatic." Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser
Nicolle Galyon performs her MusicRow CountryBreakout chart-topping hit “Automatic.” Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser

The denizens of Music Row turned out in full force for the ceremony. David Ross, David Preston, David Wykoff, Dave Pomeroy and Dale Bobo were there. Plus John Ozier, John Briggs, John Beiter and John Mullins (“I can’t believe a wholly SESAC song won Song of the Year”). Not to mention Joe Moscheo, Josh Osborne, James Elliott, Janie West, Jim Femino, Jody Williams and Jessie Jo Dillon.
Pictured (L-R): Don Henry and Phillip Coleman perform "All Kinds of Kinds."
Pictured (L-R): Phillip Coleman and Don Henry perform “All Kinds of Kinds.” Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser

Mike Vaden, Mike Martinovich, Martha Moore, Scott Stem and Luke Laird mingled with Ben Vaughn, Barry Dean, Beth Gwinn and Bill Wence, who has just returned from performing with Wanda Jackson on the Queen Mary in L.A. at an “Iron & Ink” tattoo convention. I don’t make this stuff up. Wence says that Junior Brown and Merle Haggard were there singing, too. Back at the party: Susan Collier, Shannan Hatch, Steve Nathan, Sherrill Blackman and new artist Sydney Lett worked the room with Allen Brown, Al Schiltz, Lance Miller and Leslie Mitchell. Other fabulons attending included Trent Summar, Pat Higdon, Ree Guyer Buchanan, Rich Fagan, Earle Simmons, Holly Bell and Phil Graham. Speaking of Graham, thank-you, again, BMI.