The allure of ABC’s hour-long drama Nashville lost its luster for yours truly many seasons ago after the drama got so ridiculous you could see the plot twists coming from a mile away. And the music—though still a decent component—got somewhat sidelined in recent seasons in lieu of keeping the sappy and seductive scenes coming to keep eyes glued on the TV screen.
Cumulus Media’s NASH concept wants to become the one stop shop for corporate country consumers, and the country industry is more than willing to play ball as long as the company spreads its capital around to launch grandiose ventures and continues to play its artists on the radio. But there’s a problem. A big one.
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.
Where is talk of the format split on the agenda at CRS? You would think it would be dominating the proceedings. I mean, we’re talking about what would be the largest overhaul of country radio in its existence. But is it even being discussed, or are people more focused on the big Garth Brooks party as he tries to retool after his retirement and make up for now two failed radio singles.
It’s about that time of year again to start considering who the Country Music Hall of Fame will include in their list of 2015 inductees. That said, this announcement seems to inch later, and later (and later) each year. Nonetheless, if you want your opinion to amount to anything, you better get it out there early in the year as the people who make the picks for the final ballots and eventually inductees are doing their homework.
Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Country Music Hall of Fame, David Allan Coe, Don Kelley, Dwight Yoakam, Grady Martin, Gram Parsons, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Reed, Jesse McReynolds, John Hartford, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Kenney Vaughan, Kenny Chesney, Mac McAnally, Mac Wiseman, Pete Drake, Ralph Mooney, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Redd Volkaert, Ricky Skaggs, Ronnie Milsap, Sam Bush, The Maddox Brothers & Rose, The Oak Ridge Boys
NASH Icon is ramping up for a big 2015, making some significant moves on Monday (1-12) to start the year where 2014 ended: stirring conversation about where country music is headed and potentially stimulating a format split that would see more older country music return to the airwaves en masse. The long rumored signing of Ronnie Dunn to the label has been officially announced.
“Going Out Like That” is not just another single. It symbolizes the very first song from the NASH Icon enterprise pairing Big Machine Records with Cumulus Media in an effort to revitalize overlooked legacy artists, and the first single from Reba McEntire in nearly four years. As the precursor to a planned 2015 album release, the single also may give us a glimpse into what we can expect from a revamped Reba.
It’s not every day you get trolled by a CMA Entertainer of the Year winner, but that’s what Saving Country Music found itself experiencing Sunday night (12-28) when Ronnie Dunn took to his always colorful Facebook page to post links and commentary to recent stories on SCM about his involvement (or non involvement) with the new Cumulus Media/Big Machine Records’ joint venture called NASH Icon.
NASH Icon, the partnership between Cumulus Media and Big Machine Label Group meant to give new life to older country stars, has its second signee. Martina McBride, rumored since the beginning of the new imprint to be a possible artist for the label, made it official on Tuesday (12-23). But there is a curious situation brewing between the label and another older star—Ronnie Dunn.
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.
Astounding and acclaimed country music vocalist Dawn Sears, known for being one of the members of the Western Swing outfit The Time Jumpers, a frequent collaborator and backup singer for fellow Time Jumper Vince Gill, and a noted solo artist releasing multiple albums on her own, died of lung Cancer on Thursday, December 11th. She was 53-years-old.
That’s right, the The Country Music Antichrist, aka President and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group Scott Borchetta is in talks to become the newest mentor on the singing reality show competition American Idol. He would be replacing Randy “Dog” Jackson—the only member of the show’s original cast aside from host Ryan Seacrest.
American Idol, American Idol mentor, Brantley Gilbert, Florida Georgia Line, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Iovine, Keith Urban, NASH Icon, Randy Jackson, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Scott Borchetta, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Tim McGraw
Nashville’s and country music’s most influential record label is reportedly getting ready to be put up for sale according to a new report, and Taylor Swift’s 1989 album release and pending contract situation could have a big impact on it. Despite being a big label with many famous artist and significant subsidiaries, the Big Machine Label Group remains independently owned, operating through distribution deals.
1989, Big Machine Label Group, Big Machine Records, Florida Georgia Line, Justin Moore, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Red, Scott Borchetta, Sony, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Universal Music Group
The signs continue to point towards the country music radio format officially splitting in two, with Top 40 country, and “Icon” country covering music from as far back as the 80’s vying for equal share of the country music listenership. Now another local radio station has switched to the new country format, and the verbiage accompanying the format change shows just how much sway NASH Icon is having.
Tuesday morning, Reba McEntire appeared on Cumulus Media’s NASH-branded country music flagship broadcast America’s Morning Show to make a big announcement, and as speculated upon in the days before, Reba told the world she was the inaugural signee with Scott Borchetta’s and Cumulus Media’s joint record label NASH Icon.
Tonight (10-3) on the Friday night presentation of the Grand Ole Opry, Capitol Records recording group Little Big Town was surprised by Reba McEntire on stage and invited to become the newest members of country music’s most storied institution. Now Little Big Town, like so many of the Opry’s newest members, can take the accolades and attention the distinction bestows, but not fulfill their performance obligations.
As one of the primary members of country music’s “Class of ’89” that’s regularly given credit for veering country music into a too commercial direction, Alan Jackson seems to never be given enough credit for being one of the genre’s staunch traditionalists that has stood up for the roots and the legends of country music arguably more than any other mainstream star.
3 Minute Positive Not Too Country Up Tempo Love Song, ACM Awards, Alan Jackson, Bruce Rutherford, Choices, CMA Awards, Drive, George Gones, George Strait, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Johnny Paycheck, Keith Stegall, Kris Kristofferson, Larry Cordle, Merle Haggard, Murder on Music Row, Pop A Top, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Under The Influences, Waylon Jennings, Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning), Willie Nelson
The country music radio format that has resisted splintering for years could finally be cleaving into two distinct entities of “classic” and “Top 40” country, initiated at least in part over the Memorial Day weekend when a radio station based out of Louisville, KY became the first to adopt a new “classic” country format centered around a 25-year measuring stick.
Announced late Tuesday, NASH Icons, a takeoff on Cumulus’ already-established nationally-syndicated NASH brand, is a partnership with the Big Machine Label Group for the purpose of taking old and new music from artists “of the past 25 years” and giving its own place to live. Though no specific artists to be featured have been detailed yet, the idea seems to encompass music….
With Martina McBride at the crossroads that every big country music superstar knows they must ultimately face at some point in their career, where their radio relevancy is slipping through their fingers and the industry is slowly relegating them to the ranks of legacy acts, Martina does something very curious: she releases an album solely consisting of soul and R&B standards.