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2015 Country Radio Hall of Fame Honorees Announced

(Nashville, Tenn. – Feb. 25, 2015) –  The 2015 Country Radio Hall of Fame inductees in both the Radio and On-Air categories were announced today, Feb. 25, during the CRS 2015 Opening Ceremonies.The Radio inductees are Joel Raab, Sammy George and Mike Kennedy. The inductees in the On-Air category are Randy Carroll (KAJA/San Antonio, TX) and Karen Dalessandro (WMIL/Milwaukee, Wis.).

Country music superstars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood made a surprise appearance and announced this year’s recipients.The class of 2015 will be officially inducted at the Country Radio Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Awards ceremony on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. The event, which is typically scheduled in conjunction with Country Radio Seminar, will now coincide with the Country Radio Broadcasters annual summer Board and Agenda committee meetings. Information regarding ticket prices and the event location will be available in the coming months.

The Country Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to the recognition of those individuals who have made significant contributions to the radio industry over a 20-year period, 15 of which must be in the Country format.

“The Hall of Fame Selection Committee clearly did its homework here, evaluating a large and impressive slate of candidates before selecting these five deserving honorees for 2015,” said CRS Hall of Fame Chairman, RJ Curtis. “The inductees for the Radio and On-Air categories represent many years of service and countless contributions to the Country radio/music industry, per the criteria for this distinction. I thank the committee and congratulate the Country Radio Hall of Fame, Class of 2015. We look forward to a wonderful night on June 24 in Nashville when we formally induct these groundbreaking Country broadcasters.”

About Joel Raab: Joel Raab began his radio career as a 15-year-old air personality at WTHE/Long Island, N.Y. After serving as Air Talent/Student GM for Northwestern University’s WNUR, Raab went on to programming and on-air positions in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and New York. For the past 30 years, he has successfully consulted more than 200 Country stations spanning all market sizes while working for broadcast companies such as CBS Radio, Entercom, Greater Media, Journal, Digity, Saga, and many others.

About Sammy George: During his 38-year career in radio, Sammy George handled virtually every position inside a radio station, including on-air-personality, Program Director, News Reporter, sports play-by-play announcer, Sales Executive and Director of Sales. His final 22 years in the radio business saw George serve as GM/Market Manager for WUSY/Chattanooga where he led the station to 73 consecutive No. 1 rating books, nine CMA Station of the Year awards, two ACM Station of the Year trophies, NAB Crystal and Marconi Awards, plus an eight-year run as the “Chattanooga Times Free Press” Readers’ Choice Award for Best Local Radio Station.

About Mike Kennedy:
Mike Kennedy’s radio bug started in 1976 while attending high school in Emporia, Kansas, landing a job at KVOE. He continued pursuing the business while attending college, earning degrees in Broadcasting and Business. In 1984, he became the youngest station owner in the United States with his purchase of WFXI/Haines City, Fla. He rejoined KVOE in 1985 for mornings, sales, and play-by-play duties, and then moved to KEGS/Emporia where he assumed GM duties. A three-year stint at Top 40 KXXR followed, prior to his joining KBEQ in 1991. In 1993, Kennedy oversaw the station’s move from Top 40 to Country as PD/Morning personality, positions he continues to hold today.

About Randy Carroll: During his 32 years with KAJA/San Antonio, which nearly equals the station’s tenure as a Country outlet, Randy Carroll has been a mainstay in mornings for San Antonio Country radio listeners. Carroll also doubled at KAJA PD for many years and is already a member of the San Antonio Radio Hall of Fame. During his time at KAJA, Carroll has received multiple nominations for personality of the year honors from the ACM and CMA, winning the ACM trophy in 2012 with his on-air partner, Jamie Martin.

About Karen Dalessandro: At 19 years of age, Karen Dalessandro’s radio career began as the midday host at WSDS-AM/Ypsilanti, Mich. She eventually landed mornings at WYCD/Detroit, then afternoons at crosstown WWWW. In 1998, Dalessandro shifted to WMIL/Milwaukee for mornings, where she has since remained, co-hosting the “Karen, Scott, & Radar” morning show. In 2001, the show was honored with a CMA Broadcast Personality of the Year award. She has contributed to her community, forming her “Karen’s Check Up For Chicks” campaign, which has provided mammogram screenings for hundreds of woman in Southeast Wisconsin. Dalessandro has also introduced numerous Country artists to her audience via her morning show, providing first-time exposure to artists such as Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland and countless others.

About Country Radio Seminar: Country Radio Seminar is an annual convention designed to educate and promote the exchange of ideas and business practices in the Country music industry with specific emphasis on issues relevant to Country radio. CRS 2015 is being held Feb. 2527, 2015, in downtown Nashville, Tenn., at the Nashville Convention Center.

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Joel Raab
Joel RaabSammy George
Sammy George

Mike Kennedy
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Karen Dalesandro
  Staff   Feb 25, 2015   Blog, News   0 Comment   Read More

Country Radio Seminar Moves To Omni Hotel In 2016

(Nashville, Tenn. – Feb. 25, 2015) –  Today it was announced, during the Country Radio Seminar (CRS) 2015 Opening Ceremonies, that CRS 2016 will relocate to the Omni Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.  Next year’s CRS will be held Feb. 710, 2016. Registration for the event will begin in mid-July of 2015.

Regarding next year’s move, Country Radio Broadcasters’ President Charlie Morgan says, “CRS and downtown Nashville have both enjoyed enormous growth and energy over the past decade. Now, as the landscape of downtown Nashville continues to evolve, CRS is moving to a space that is arguably the epicenter for Nashville, the new Omni Hotel.”

“This move to the Omni culminates years of planning and work to set the future for a completely new CRS Experience,” says Bill Mayne, Executive Director of the Country Radio Broadcasters and Country Radio Seminar. He adds, “We are very excited about what’s to come!”

Country Radio Seminar is the premiere educational and networking event for Country radio and music industry professionals, offering attendees access to informative panels, countless valuable networking opportunities, prominent speakers, research presentations and intimate performances from some of today’s biggest stars and emerging artists. Panels at CRS cover a broad range of topics relevant to today’s Country radio industry, including: social media and digital innovations, PPM, brand strategies, leadership skills, consumer research studies, the relationships and economics of the radio and record industries and much more.

Visit for more information. Like CRS on Facebook and follow CRS on Twitter. (Hashtag #CRS2016).

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  Staff   Feb 25, 2015   Blog, News   0 Comment   Read More


Dexter Roberts
“Dream About Me” Single Artwork

(Nashville, Tenn. – Feb. 23, 2015) – American Idol: Season 13 Top Ten finalist and First Launch Records artist, Dexter Roberts, will release his debut single, “Dream About Me,” to Country radio on March 12, 2015. The single will also be available for download on iTunes, Amazon and other major digital retailers that same day.

“Dream About Me,” co-written by Roberts, Don Goodman, Brad Wolf and David Jones and produced by Grammy-nominated writer/producer Erik Nelson, was recorded at Eclipse Studio in Normal, Ill. The release marks Roberts’ radio debut and first release since finishing in seventh place overall on American Idol: Season 13.

Roberts commented on his radio debut, saying, “I like to write about life and its experiences. Everyone has fallen in love and has that special person that they always remember, and ‘Dream About Me’ is a song about those ‘one that got away’ relationships. Writing this song was an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to write with songwriting legend Don Goodman, and the production process was mind-blowing! Getting to watch this song come to fruition was a dream come true, and my producer, Erik Nelson, is a genius.”

As a self-taught musician who plays guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin and keys, music has been a part of Roberts’ life since he was a toddler. At age 5, his grandparents bought Roberts his first instrument – a red plastic guitar. He instantly fell in love with the guitar and became determined to learn the craft. Roberts grew up working the family farm in Fayette, Ala. where he would spend his days and nights perfecting his craft and playing sold-out shows for the cattle he tended to while working the land. When Roberts learned that the American Idol bus was making a stop in nearby Tuscaloosa, Ala., he stood in line with thousands of hopefuls to try his luck on the famed show.

After starting audition day off with two flat tires and borrowing the Roberts’ family’s “little blue car” (a worn-out Nissan) to get to the audition, he was determined to give the best performance of his life. Thousands of hopefuls showed up that day and ultimately only five would be asked to continue on in American Idol: Season 13. That day, not one, but two, fellow competitors had instrument issues and Dexter gladly let both of them use his guitar to audition – ironically, all three of them would continue to the next round.

Roberts, who quickly became a fan favorite after grabbing the attention of Country heavyweight and American Idol judge, Keith Urban who called Roberts “the real deal,” has recently signed a recording contract with First Launch Records. He is currently working on his debut EP, Dream About Me, which is being produced by Grammy-nominated writer/producer Erik Nelson and will be released on March 24, 2015.

For more information on Dexter Roberts, visit his official website at, and follow him on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Dexter Roberts
Photo Credit: Chuck Arlund

Dexter Roberts
Photo Credit: Chuck Arlund

Dexter Roberts
Photo Credit: Chuck Arlund

  Staff   Feb 23, 2015   Blog, News   0 Comment   Read More


Nashville Gears Up For CRS 2015 

(Nashville, Tenn. – Feb. 23, 2015– Country radio’s biggest event of the year, Country Radio Seminar (CRS), kicks off this week at the Nashville Convention Center in downtown Nashville, Tenn.

The annual, three-day conference, scheduled for Feb. 25-27, provides numerous networking opportunities for attendees and an agenda filled with educational seminars, intriguing panels and exciting performances from some of country music’s biggest stars. Events that will make their return, include the Grand Ole Opry show on Wednesday night, “Team UMG At The Ryman” and the Black River performance luncheons, and Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley.

With a combined number of 26 panels, sessions and educational presentations, the agenda is packed full of items that focus on many different areas of the Country radio industry. Notable panels include, “The Power of the Connected Car,” “Direct From The Consumer Electronics Show: Coolest Gadgets & Gizmos for 2015,” “Social Media Bootcamp, Track 1: How To Speak In Your Brand’s Voice and Get Content Shared” and “Social Media Bootcamp, Track 2: Finding & Engaging Your Consumers In Real-Time.”  This year’s CRS will also include an appearance from featured speaker Keith Urban at his event, “Being Present,” and Lady Antebellum will be featured panelists on “How 3 Become 1: Lady Antebellum.”

A summary of agenda highlights for CRS 2015 follows below.

Wednesday, Feb. 25th
CRS 2015 kicks off with the Opening Ceremonies at 3 p.m.  Capitol recording artist Micky Guyton will perform the national anthem and the U.S. Marine Color Guard will make an appearance.  A host of announcements are scheduled, making this year’s opening ceremony a must-attend event.  Some of the highlights include the reveal of the Country Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2015, a presentation recognizing Lady Antebellum as the recipient of the CRS 2015 Artist Humanitarian Award, an appearance by Mayor Karl Dean, presentation of the 2015 Tom Rivers Award to Jeff Smulyan and awarding the Rusty Walker scholarship winners and the endowment presentation to the University of North Texas. Opening Ceremonies are sponsored by

The Keynote speech sponsored by the Fisher House Foundation will follow after the opening ceremonies. This year’s keynote speaker is Todd Wagner, founder and co-chairman of Content Partners, LLC. Attendees will then have a chance to network with old friends and industry colleagues and artists at the Opening Night Welcome Reception, sponsored by CMA and Live Nation.

Immediately following the welcome reception is the “Grand Ole Opry at CRS” show, sponsored by My Well Being Powered by Humana. For the fourth consecutive year at CRS , The Grand Ole Opry will make a special appearance at the Nashville Convention Center during CRS. This year’s performers are: Chase Bryant, Eli Young Band, Lady Antebellum, Lee Brice, Mickey Guyton, Mo Pitney, Oak Ridge Boys and RaeLynn.

Thursday, Feb. 26th.
Thursday morning will start off with the Programming Mentoring Breakfast, a one-on-one session with experienced PD’s and radio consultants. Following breakfast, featured speaker Lori Addicks will discuss how to increase personal and professional resilience and performance with Emotional Intelligence (EQ.)

Panels will follow immediately and run throughout the day. Thursday’s panel highlights include: “How 3 Became 1: Lady Antebellum” “CRS Research Presentation: Do Mornings Still Drive Country Radio? sponsored by Fisher House Foundation” “Direct from the Consumer Electronics Show: Coolest Gadgets and Gizmos” featuring Ted Cohen, “From Zero to Hero: Successful Promotions with No Budget,” and “Gensetters: 18-34 Listening Trends and How They Will Shape Our Future.”

For its sixth consecutive year the UMG Artist Performance and Luncheonwill take place at the historic Ryman Auditorium. This year’s performers include Billy Currington, Brothers Osborne, Canaan Smith, Chris Stapleton, Darius Rucker, David Nail, Dierks Bentley, Easton Corbin, Eric Church, Josh Turner, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kip Moore, Little Big Town, Mickey Guyton and Vince Gill.

Following the afternoon panels, Thursday’s events will conclude with “Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley,” sponsored by Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 and Suntrust Bank. Bob Kingsley will host what has become a CRS tradition that will feature performances by Bob DiPiero, Casey Bethard, Rhett Akins, JT Harding, Ross Copperman, Jon Nite, Chris DeStefano, Jimmy Robbins, Liz Rose, Caitlyn Smith, Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey. Attendees will also be offered a complimentary first drink courtesy of ASCAP Nashville.

Friday, Feb. 27th.
Friday morning will begin with the option of either the Managers’ Breakfast or the CRS Futuri Tech Breakfast. They will then be followed by Friday’sfeatured speaker, Rich Riley, Shazam CEO, who will discuss “How to Use Shazam to Enhance Your Programming and Promotions.”

Friday’s panels will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will run throughout the day. Highlights include: “Social Media Bootcamp Track 1 and Track 2,” “Behind the Numbers: The Insider’s Guide to Nielsen Data,” ” The Stars Come Out in the Morning featuring Bobby Bones, Scott Shannon and the Dave and Jimmy Show,” and “C’mon, Get Appy! The Latest in App Technology for Radio, sponsored by Glow Motion Technologies.”

Attendees will also be treated to a performance luncheon sponsored by Black River Entertainment. This year’s performers include: Kelsea Ballerini, John King and Craig Morgan.

Closing out the seminar’s educational sessions is a discussion with Keith Urban.  Urban will give his views and experiences of “tearing down the walls” between himself and audiences and offer insight into managing the several different facets of his life in a segment titled “Being Present.” (Sponsored by BMI).

CRS will conclude with the annual New Faces of Country Music Show and Awards. This year’s class of New Faces is Frankie Ballard, Sam Hunt, Eric Paslay, Maddie & Tae and Cole Swindell.

As in previous years, the CRS 2015 app provides attendees with an expanded CRS agenda, panel descriptions, speaker bios, live performances, CRS after-hour activities and Country Aircheck news. Users can create their own customized CRS schedule, rate the panels and post updates and reviews directly to their social media profiles.  The CRS 2015 smartphone app, powered by Country Aircheck, is now available on Android here and iPhone here.

On-site registration is available for $599.  Daily tickets will also be available for $200 and provide access into panels and luncheons and panel passes are $40 for each session.  Registrations will be available for purchase on-site at the Nashville Convention Center.

About Country Radio Seminar: 
Country Radio Seminar is an annual convention designed to educate and promote the exchange of ideas and business practices in the Country music industry, with specific emphasis on issues relevant to Country radio. CRS 2015 will be held Feb. 25-27, 2015. Visit for more information. Like CRS on Facebook and follow CRS on Twitter (Hashtag #CRS2015).

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  Staff   Feb 23, 2015   Blog, News   0 Comment   Read More


(Nashville, Tenn. – Feb. 12, 2015) – A-OK Entertainment/GMV Nashville recording artist Amber Hayes has released her feel-good track, “Running Out Of Memories” to Country radio. The single, which is set to impact on Feb. 19, is the follow-up release to “Any Day Is A Good Day,” which scored Hayes her debut Top 30 record on the Music Row Country Breakout chart.

“Running Out Of Memories” tells a reflective story of adventure and memories-in-the-making for the song’s leading lady and her beau.

To view the lyric video for “Running Out Of Memories,” click here.

Hayes noted of the track, “I had the hook ‘running out of memories’ in my head for awhile, and on the way to a recent songwriters’ retreat I told the guys I’d like to write it while we were on the trip. We had a melody for it before we even got to the cabin, and it all came together pretty quickly. Memories – good and bad – we all have them; but hopefully this song will help the listener reflect on those great ones!”

The song is the title track from Hayes’ new 5-track EP, Running Out Of Memories, which is currently available via iTunes and other digital retailers. Released in Nov. 2014, Running Out Of Memories features three songs produced by Bobby Terry, as well as a remix of her previously released tune, “Me & Loretta,” and a new rendition of the classic “Cotton Eyed Joe,” which was featured in the family-film, Cowgirls ‘N Angels 2: Dakota’s Summer.

Over the past few years, the Oklahoma native has been touring and performing at fairs, festivals and performance venues across the country. She has performed as the opening act for one of her biggest musical influences, Reba McEntire, and she has entertained fans overseas at military bases and International festivals, including the Country Gold Festival in Japan and the Scandinavian Country Music Festival in Sweden. She has also made multiple appearances performing the national anthem at NFL and NBA games.

Amber Hayes made her first break at Country radio with her debut EP C’monin 2010, which landed her two Top 40 singles (“C’mon,” “Wait”) on the national MusicRow Country Breakout chart.  In 2012, she released her sophomore album, titled Any Day Is A Good Day.

The multi-talented performer appeared in the major motion picture, Cowgirls N’ Angels. Three of her songs made it into the film, including her duet with Lonestar’s Richie McDonald, “Always There For Me.”  That same year, her music was also featured in four episodes of the hit CW television series, Hart of Dixie.

No stranger to film, Hayes was also featured in the 2013 documentary Music City U.S.A., which took home the Golden Drover for Best Feature Documentary at the 2014 Trail Dance Film Festival. Most recently, Hayes and her music are featured in the Cowgirls ‘N Angels sequel, Cowgirls ‘N Angels 2: Dakota’s Summer, which is available digitally, as well as, on Blu-Ray and DVD through Walmart.

Hayes’ first foray into acting was a starring role as Kathy Twitty in the 2008 Conway Twitty musical, It’s Only Make Believe.

In addition to the release of her new music, Hayes has re-launched her website,  The site features new images, digital spotlights and more.

For more information about Amber, visit and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

  Staff   Feb 12, 2015   Blog, News   0 Comment   Read More


(Nashville, Tenn. – Feb. 11, 2015) – Country Radio Seminar (CRS) and the Country Music Association (CMA) have partnered to provide the ultimate networking event for artists and registered attendees of CRS 2015.  The CMA Artist Welcome Reception, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 25 at the Nashville Convention Center in downtown Nashville, will kick-off at 5:30 p.m. CT.

This is the fifth consecutive year the Artist Welcome Reception is on the CRS agenda, but this is the first year that the CMA has partnered with CRS for the opening event. The reception is always one of the many highlights of the three-day seminar.  Throughout the 2-hour event, artists and attendees can enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres while mingling in a relaxed, informal environment. A complimentary drink ticket will also be provided to each attendee in their registration packet.

“CMA is proud of our longstanding partnership with CRB. Country radio is a key driver for discovery and exposure of great Country Music and this is always a productive week,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited to help CRS kickoff an exciting 2015 and welcome our many radio members back to Nashville.”

Charlie Morgan, Country Radio Seminar Board President, adds “From the beginning, artist interaction and access has been the cornerstone of why radio comes to Country Radio Seminar.  The opening Artist Welcome Reception literally sets the tone that radio and the music industry have come together.  There is no better partner for such an event than the CMA, whose own membership reflects all aspects of the music industry.”

CMA has been a long-time supporter of Country Radio Seminar.  Prior to this year’s partnership, CMA has sponsored some of the events most popular agenda items, including the New Faces Show, key research panels and more.

In order to participate in the CMA Artist Welcome Reception, artists must satisfy certain guidelines, including a CRS registrant requirement and a chart requirement.  For more information about the Artist/Attendee Welcome reception, please contact Christy Watkins at

To register for CRS 2015, please visit or contact the CRS offices today. The current registration rate for the three-day event is $599.

About Country Radio Seminar: Country Radio Seminar is an annual convention designed to educate and promote the exchange of ideas and business practices in the Country music industry, with specific emphasis on issues relevant to Country radio. CRS 2015 will be held Feb. 2527, 2015. Visit for more information. Like CRS on Facebook and follow CRS on Twitter (Hashtag #CRS2015).

About CMA
: Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association was the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. In 1961, CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame to recognize artists and industry professionals with Country Music’s highest honor. More than 7,450 music industry professionals and companies from around the globe are members of CMA. The organization’s objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advance the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA’s core initiatives: the CMA Awards, which annually recognize outstanding achievement in the industry; the CMA Music Festival, which benefits music education and is taped for a three-hour TV special; and “CMA Country Christmas,” featuring Country artists performing original music and Christmas classics. All of CMA’s television properties will air on the ABC Television network through 2021.

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  Staff   Feb 12, 2015   Blog, News   0 Comment   Read More


Research Suggests Country Fans Are “Morning People,” So What Do They Want In Mornings?

(Nashville, Tenn. – Feb. 9, 2015) – Edison Research will once again present findings of an extensive research study at Country Radio Seminar 2015, scheduled for Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. at the Nashville Convention Center in downtown Nashville, Tenn. Edison’s Larry Rosin and Megan Lazovick will present the study.

Country music listeners are describing themselves as “morning people” in greater numbers than the overall population, according to a new study from Edison Research. Country fans also say they are in a consistently better-than-average mood throughout the morning.  How to appeal to those happy, active Country fans will be the focus of the dynamic presentation on the 26th.

The new study is the latest in a series of acclaimed Edison/CRS research presentations. Edison surveyed more than 1,500 listeners about their morning habits and media usage, as well as conducting dozens of one-on-one interviews in three different markets. The result is a groundbreaking look at listeners’ needs, habits, and media usage, broken out in half-hour increments.

The 2015 CRS research presentation delves into major issues, such as in-car usage, radio ownership, the need for service elements, and favorite morning show topics and features, but also into the small details of listeners’ morning routines. Broadcasters have always asked their morning talent to focus on the “typical” listener’s lifestyle; this study will give them more information than ever with which to do that.

Edison is a leader in research to the radio and audio business, both at the station and group owner level and with its industry-wide studies. “In the past, we’ve delved into in-car and at-work listening,” says Edison president Larry Rosin. “We’re very excited that CRS has made it possible to offer the same level of insight about mornings.”

“Country fans are excited to take on the day,” added Rosin. “And we are excited to give programmers the information they need to take on radio’s challenges in the morning, especially when there is so much competition for radio’s time.”

To register for CRS 2015, please visit or contact the CRS offices today. The current registration rate for the three-day event is $599.

About Edison Research: Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby, Google, MTV, Samsung, Siemens, Time Warner, Yahoo!, The Voice of America and Zenithmedia. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Entercom, Emmis, CBS Radio and Radio One. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Edison Research is the sole provider of election exit poll data for the six major news organizations: ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue.

About Country Radio Seminar:  Country Radio Seminar is an annual convention designed to educate and promote the exchange of ideas and business practices in the Country music industry, with specific emphasis on issues relevant to Country radio. CRS 2015 will be held Feb. 25-27, 2015. Visit for more information. Like CRS on Facebook and follow CRS on Twitter (Hashtag #CRS2015).

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  Staff   Feb 09, 2015   Blog, News   0 Comment   Read More


Project Collaborations Span Americana, Country and Jazz Formats

(Nashville, Tenn. – Feb. 9, 2015) –  Since the beginning of his career, three-time Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Keb’ Mo’, has been recognized as a blues artist.  But the multi-talented singer-songwriter is now earning national success and making a name for himself within multiple musical formats, including Americana, Jazz, Country and more.

During last night’s 57th Annual Grammy Awards, Keb’ Mo’ was nominated in the categories of Best Americana Album(BLUESAmericana), Best American Roots Performance (“The Old Me Better,” Keb’ Mo’ featuring the California Feetwarmers), and Best Engineered Album Non-Classical (BLUESAmericana); categories unlike his previous nominations.  Keb’ Mo’ won Grammy Awards in the Contemporary Blues Album category for his albums Just Like You in 1996, Slow Down in 1999, and Keep It Simple in 2005.  Prior to this year’s nominations, he has had 4 additional Grammy nominations.

This past year, Keb’ Mo’s music resume was diversified through multiple guest appearances and collaborations, including with Kenny Wayne SheppardMindy Abair, and Greg Allman.  He was also featured on the Jackson Browne tribute album, Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne, appeared on the release of Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited, which features Country music all-stars Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart and Emmylou Harris, and he collaborated with Melissa Manchester for her song “Feelin’ For You,” which is now playing on jazz stations across the country.

Throughout the span of his career, he’s collaborated with a host of artists including Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Cassandra Wilson, Buddy Guy, Amy Grant, Solomon Burke, Little Milton and many others.

Over the past two decades, Keb’ has cultivated a reputation as a modern master of American roots music through the understated excellence of his live and studio performances. B.B. King, Buddy Guy, the Dixie Chicks, Joe Cocker, Robert Palmer and Tom Jones have all recorded his songs.

Keb’ also wrote and performs the theme song for the smash sit-com, Mike & Molly and was music composer for TV’s Memphis Beat.

His guitar playing has inspired leading instrument makers Gibson Brands to issue the Keb’ Mo’ Signature Bluesmaster acoustic guitar and Martin Guitars to issue the HD-28KM Keb’ Mo’ Limited Edition Signature model.

His current album, BLUESAmericana, is his first true independent record release. Following it’s initial release through Kind of Blue Music  on April 22BLUESAmericana remained in the Top 5 on the Soundscan Blues Album chart for 5 months, with multiple weeks in the #1 position, making it one of the top-selling blues albums of 2014; a major feat for an independent project.  The album was also named one of the Top 100 Americana albums of 2014.

BLUESAmericana was recorded in Nashville at Keb’ Mo’s home studio.  The album is co-produced by Keb’ Mo’ and Casey Wasner. Ross Hogarth was the album’s mix-engineer and Richard Dodd was the mastering engineer. The album features ten tracks, nine of which were co-written by Keb’.

Since it’s release, Keb’ Mo’ has donated 5% of BLUESAmericana sales proceeds to Playing For Change, an organization that was created to inspire, connect and bring peace to the world through music. He has been involved with Playing With Change since it’s inception and has been featured in many related videos and events.  Keb’ is featured on the Playing For Change album: Playing for Change 3: Songs Around the Worldwhich was released June 17, and features over 180 musicians from 31 countries, including Keith Richards, Sara Bareilles, David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, Taj Mahal and many others.

This year, Keb’ Mo’ is hitting the road to perform for fans across the country. For a full list of tour dates and more information, please visit and follow him on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Keb MoKeb’ Mo’
Photo credit: Andrea Lucero

KebKeb’ Mo’ 
Photo credit: Andrea Lucero

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Photo credit: Andrea Lucero


  Staff   Feb 09, 2015   Blog, News   0 Comment   Read More

Kelsea Ballerini, John King and Craig Morgan Announced As CRS 2015 Luncheon Performers

Black River Entertainment Luncheon Set For Friday, Feb. 27

(Nashville, Tenn. – Feb. 6, 2015) – Kelsea Ballerini, John King and Craig Morgan are confirmed performers for the Black River Entertainmentluncheon at CRS 2015. The luncheon performance, set for Friday, Feb. 27 at noon, will be held inside the Performance Hall at the Nashville Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.

Regarding the luncheon, Black River Entertainment’s Vice President of Promotion Mike Wilson said, “We are very excited about Black River’s CRS luncheon this year. Last year’s show was so fantastic, it’s tough to beat, but I think we will. There are a lot of exciting things happening with our artists and their music— maybe even a surprise or two. You won’t want to miss it!”

Black River Entertainment’s Chief Executive Officer Gordon Kerr will once again host the label’s luncheon.

CRS 2015 is Feb. 25-27, 2015. To register for CRS 2015, please visit or contact the CRS offices today. The current registration rate for the three-day event is $599.

About Country Radio Seminar: Country Radio Seminar is an annual convention designed to educate and promote the exchange of ideas and business practices in the Country music industry with specific emphasis on issues relevant to Country radio. For more information, visit, like CRS on Facebook and follow CRS on Twitter (hashtag #CRS2015).

About Kelsea Ballerini: Newly named one of CMT’s Next Women of Country, singer/songwriter Kelsea Ballerini’s self-titled EP is available digitally now. Ballerini’s debut single, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” has entered the Top 30 and is included in the EP, Kelsea Ballerini. Billboard magazine featured the single co-written by Ballerini in the “Future Hits” section of their Oct. 11 issue, promoting “Love Me Like You Mean It” as an “…uptempo, take-charge anthem.” Hailing from Knoxville, Tenn., Ballerini moved to Nashville, Tenn. at age 15 to chase the dream of becoming a songwriter. At age 19, Ballerini signed a publishing deal with Black River Publishing in 2013 and signed a record deal with Black River Entertainment later that year. For more information on Kelsea Ballerini, please visit, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

About John King: Having already shared the stage as an opener for acts including Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and Parmalee, the Georgia native made his debut on the world-famous Grand Ole Opry stage on Sept. 27, 2014. King will premiere the follow-up single to his Top 40 hit, “Tonight Tonight,” at CRS 2015 during the Black River Entertainment luncheon. His debut single was heard by millions of NFL fans, as it has soundtracked highlights from the CBS network’s live broadcast coverage. King signed a co-publishing deal with Black River Publishing and Razor & Tie in 2012, as well as a record deal with Black River Entertainment in 2013. For more information on John King, please visit, like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

About Craig Morgan: One of Country music’s best-loved artists, Craig Morgan has made a name for himself with massive radio airplay of his signature hits, including “Bonfire,” “Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” “International Harvester” and “This Ole Boy.” His most recently released album, The Journey (Livin’ Hits), on Black River Entertainment features the singles “Wake Up Lovin’ You” and “We’ll Come Back Around.” Morgan received one of Country music’s highest honors when he was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. Prior to becoming a Country music and TV sensation, Morgan spent 17 years serving the U.S. in the Army and Army reserves. He is an avid supporter of America’s military personnel and is a recipient of the 2006 USO Merit Award. In addition to a prolific Country music career, he hosts the award-winning show “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors” airing on the Outdoor Channel. For more information on Craig Morgan, visit and engage with him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Kelsea Ballerini

John King

Craig Morgan
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Country Radio Seminar 2015
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  Staff   Feb 06, 2015   Blog, News   0 Comment   Read More



Really Bad Songs by Really Good Writers
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Event scheduled for April 1, 2015 at 3rd & Lindsley

(NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Feb. 5, 2015) – On April 1, 2015, some of Nashville’s most recognized songwriters will come together for the inaugural First And The Worst charity event, benefitting the Music Health Alliance.  The First and The Worst, which will take place at 3rd and Lindsley, will showcase hit songwriters performing the first and the worst songs they ever wrote, as well as their songs that have become top-selling records recorded by superstar artists, all for a worthy cause.

Hosted by Grammy-nominated songwriter, producer, and music critic Peter Cooper, the evening will feature Richard Leigh (“Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” and “I’ll Get Over You”/Crystal Gayle, “The Greatest Man I Never Knew”/Reba McEntire), Liz Rose (“Tim McGraw,” “Teardrops On My Guitar,”and “You Belong To Me”/Taylor Swift), Phil Barton (“A Woman Like You”/Lee Brice, “She Rides Away”/David Nail, “Yeah Yeah Yeah”/Dustin Lynch), Roxie Dean (“When I Think About Angels”/Jamie O’Neal, “Why They Call It Falling”/Lee Ann Womack), Wynn Varble (“Waitin’ On A Woman”/Brad Paisley, “Have You Forgotten”/Darryl Worley, and “I’m A Little More Country Than That”/Easton Corbin) and others to be announced.

All event proceeds from sponsorship tables, ticket sales and the silent auction will benefit Music Health Alliance. The non-profit’s work assists songwriters, artists and music industry professionals in finding affordable health solutions and financial resources at every stage of their career. The mission of Music Health Alliance is to Heal the Music by providing access to healthcare through services that PROTECT, DIRECT & CONNECT music professionals with medical and financial solutions. In two short years, they have saved over $5.5 million dollars in insurance premiums, reduction of medical bills, and prescription savings.

Tatum Hauck Allsep, MHA’s Founder/Executive Director said, “The First and The Worst will enable Music Health Alliance to provide life saving healthcare access to the music industry in it most vulnerable time of need.  MHA is thrilled to be the beneficiary of such an incredibly clever and entertaining evening of music.”

First and The Worst is the brainchild of Grammy-nominated songwriter, Sandy Knox (“Does He Love You,” “She Thinks His Name Was John,” and “Why Haven’t I Heard From You”/Reba McEntire and her own early gems “Upchuck” and “Mr. Phone”). “The First and The Worst is an event I have dreamed about for close to 20 years…a night in which the audience is allowed to peek inside the brilliant minds of hit songwriters long before they had ever written a hit,” explains Knox about the idea becoming a reality.“And, having it benefit the Music Health Alliance makes it all about giving back to our community.”

Doors to the event will open at 5:00 p.m. and the show will start at 6:30 p.m.Tickets are now available for purchase through the 3rd and Lindsley website. Tickets are $20 for balcony and $75 for reserved seating. Table sponsorships are available for $1,500, $2,000 and $2,500, and $10,000 for the title sponsorship.  There are a limited number of tables available for sponsorship.  Please contact Shelia Shipley Biddy at for more information.

For more information on Music Health Alliance, visit their website,, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Follow The First and The Worst’s official Facebook and Twitter for more updates on the upcoming charity event.

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  Staff   Feb 05, 2015   Blog, News   0 Comment   Read More