Today most well-informed country fans know what a death sentence a Curb Records contract can be for an artist, at least for most of them. But in 1990 when Merle Haggard signed with the label, Curb was seen as one of the most trustworthy labels in town. They didn’t have to answer to higher ups in New York and Los Angeles, and could pass that freedom on to their artists.
When LeAnn Rimes and Hank Williams III fought very public battles with the label, people chalked it up to a couple of artists with declining careers who couldn’t handle being professional. But after high profile and nasty exits by Hank Williams Jr. and then superstar Tim McGraw, the word was out on the streets about Curb Records’ unfair business practices.
50-year-old country stars aren’t supposed to make records like these. They’re supposed to be trying to hold onto their glory days or make good use of the last dying gasps of somehow getting on the radio. Or they’re supposed to just give up the ghost and make sure they’re investing their money smartly. But nobody told Wynonna Judd that, or her husband, producer, drummer and songwriter Cactus Moser.
Are you waiting for your favorite music artists signed to MCA Nashville to release an album after a prolonged hiatus? Perhaps you heard the first single months or sometimes years ago, but still no record? Well you’re not alone. It looks like the unenviable position of being the most notorious label on Music Row is no longer a slam dunk for Curb Records.
There’s a ton of great records from Hank starting the the late 70’s all the way up to the early 90’s that country fans will be pulling off of shelves for years to come when they’re looking for some good country music with a rock and roll kick, and if I had a vote I would induct Hank Williams Jr. into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the Modern Era category yesterday. But It’s About Time adds nothing to Hank Jr.’s legacy.
Though some may consider Tim McGraw soaring in such high thermals that it’s sacrilege for him to be singing about scraping the bottom and setting out to fulfill your dreams in country music, but that’s exactly what McGraw did on May 10th, 1989 when he boarded a Greyhound bus bound for Nashville—the day after his country music hero Keith Whitley died.
Hank Williams Jr.’s politics and boisterous attitude will always make him one of the most polarizing figures in country music history. But those who are quick to overlook his musical contributions both on and off the stage, the amazing body of work he’s amassed over his legendary career, and the mark he’s made on country music are doing Bocephus and themselves a huge disservice.
As first hypothesized by Saving Country Music in December of 2014, Hank Williams Jr. is the newest signee to NASH Icon—the joint venture between Cumulus Media and the Big Machine Label Group meant to give new life to aging artists who’ve been passed over by mainstream country radio. Hank Jr. joins Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, and Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn in NASH Icon’s inaugural class.
Let’s just start this off by drudging the big elephant right out in the middle of the room and shining a big ‘ol spotlight on it. Mike Curb, Herr Führer of Curb Records—the man who has made millions off of the indentured servitude of many of country music’s most famous names, has thrown his money behind the much-ballyhooed preservation of Music Row’s historic Studio ‘A’ in Nashville.
If you’re looking for names to populate your most anticipated projects to be released in 2015, putting Mo Pitney at or near the top would be a savvy choice. With a one in a million country voice conveyed in a smoothness we haven’t heard since Don Williams, Mo Pitney is a chill-inducing traditional country artist with a succulent pentameter and delivery, and a songwriter’s pen engorged with stories.
It looks like Hank Williams Jr. might be the next signee to the Cumulus Media / Big Machine Label Group joint venture known as NASH Icon meant to give new life to aging artists who’ve been passed over by mainstream country radio. In the midst of Hank’s ACCA performance, he switched over from a cowboy hat to a black hat with gold lettering that simply read “ICON” across the front.
That’s right, the Curb Records madness continues, and continues to reach for comical, if not maniacal heights. Apparently Curb Records is readying the release of a new Hank III album called “Take As Needed For Pain.” Meanwhile Curb has prepped the 10th compilation/Greatest Hits album from Tim McGraw, and has more greatest hits albums ahead for LeAnn Rimes and Rodney Atkins.
Big Machine Records, Curb Records, Eyehategod, Greatest Hits, Hank III, Hank Williams, Hank Williams III, Hank Williams Jr., Hank3, LeAnn Rimes, Mike Curb, Mo Pitney, Rodney Atkins, Take As Needed For Pain, Tim McGraw
I write these words knowing that many will roll up to this Tim McGraw dissertation looking for a bowl of blood as recompense for the emotional direst recent Tim McGraw singles such as “Truck Yeah” have waged on the mental state of many innocent country music fans. But the simple truth is Tim McGraw’s new album ‘Sundown Heaven Town’ deserves to be spared the most sinister strokes from the poison pen.
So now the question is, who, if anyone, would be in a position to purchase the property with the intent of preserving the Studio ‘A’ space, and potentially the building it occupies? As Bravo Development has stated, the building is in poor shape. All indications are that financially, the most feasible move for most any developer would be to demolish the building and build on the property footprint.
Belmont University, Ben Folds, Bravo Development, Chet Atkins, Curb Records, Keith Urban, Mike Curb, Music Row, Nashville, Owen Bradley, Scott Borchetta, Studio 'A'. RCA, Studio B, Taylor Swift, The Country Music Hall of Fame, Vanderbilt University
The music spirit in Hal Ketchum has surfaced once again, and working with Austin, TX-based label Music Road Records, the 61-year-old singer is set to release his first album in six years called “I’m The Troubadour” on October 7th. “I came to the realization that I had gotten to this deep level of depression, and I finally said to myself, ‘I can still do this. I can still write.’ “
Brad Paisley has been making quite the spectacle on Twitter over the last two days, claiming to be leaking bits and pieces of his upcoming album Moonshine In The Trunk against the will of his label Sony Music. Or so he says. This Brad Paisley leaking episode is not him acting out against his label, it is pure marketing. Whether Sony was in on the ruse really is inconsequential.
The grandson of Hank Williams and the son of Hank Jr. falls in line with the other country artists covered in Saving Country Music “10 Badass Moments” series by being a rough and tumble character both on and off the stage, but also in showing great character by giving back and using his famous name for good. Here’s 10 Badass Moments from Shelton Hank Williams III, or Hank3.
charity, Curb Records, dogs, Fuck Curb, Hank Jr., Hank Williams, Hank Williams III, Hank3, Homes for Our Troops, Kid Rock, Mike Curb, Pantera, Phil Anselmo, Reinstate Hank, Straight to Hell, Superjoint Ritual, The Grand Ole Opry, The Valarium, Wayne Hancock
Yes, the Curb Records saga for Hank3 continues. The grandson of Hank Williams and the son of Hank Jr. is having to deal with yet another post-contract release from Curb records, this time called Rambin’ Man, slated for release on April 1st. The album will include 8 tracks of outtakes, unreleased material, and cover songs Hank3 contributed to tribute albums and other projects during his Curb years.
Not since Blake Shelton called traditional country fans Old Farts and Jackasses has a sitting country music star painted such a grim and disparaging picture for traditional country music as Clay Walker, The 44-year-old Curb-Asylum artist says that “Traditional country music died,” and that George Strait’s win for Entertainer of the Year was a “closing of the door” for traditional music in the country format.
Curb Records is releasing yet another album from Tim McGraw; an artist that hasn’t called Curb Records home officially for over 2 years. The album will be called Love Story and will feature Tim McGraw’s “12 biggest love songs,” two previously-unreleased recordings, and will be released exclusively through Wal-Mart on February 2nd, 2014.