Two Go Gold
Jamey Johnson and the Zac Brown Band, ACM Award winners for Song of the Year and Top New Group respectively, have both been certified Gold for sales exceeding 500,000 for their debut albums. Johnson’s critically lauded That Lonesome Song has spent 20 weeks inside the top ten on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. That Lonesome Song was initially for sale only on the Internet when Johnson was signed to a major label deal with Universal Music Group. The album eventually made its way to “Best Of” lists in Rolling Stone, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, Billboard and Paste. iTunes named That Lonesome Song the Best Country Album of 2008 and debut single, “In Color,” Best Country Song of 2008.
Also certified Gold is Zac Brown Band’s major label debut, The Foundation. In addition, the band’s video for their #1 Platinum-selling single, “Chicken Fried,” is nominated for two 2008 CMT Music Awards, Group Video of the Year and USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year. The band will celebrate their newfound Gold status with a performance of their latest single “Whatever It Is” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on April 29.
Naming Paisley’s Baby
ACM Entertainer of the Year Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley have named their new son. Paisley posted the name — Jasper Warren Paisley — on his website yesterday (4/19). Warren is the name of Paisley’s grandfather, who gave him his first guitar and got him into music. The singer will be heading to LA for an appearance this Friday (4/23) on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Jensen Sussman Launches Sweet Talk PR
Public relations veteran Jensen Sussman has announced the launch of Sweet Talk Publicity (STP), a Nashville-based PR agency catering to the entertainment industry and offering clients an array of publicity services ranging from comprehensive media campaigns to a la carte items, such as red carpet coverage, tour press for both opening and headlining acts, special events coverage and copywriting. STP is “committed to generating press that creates name recognition, fosters positive attention and strategically tells the story behind the client or brand.” A former Associate Director, Media for Sony Music Nashville/Columbia Records Nashville, Sussman handled publicity for artists including Gretchen Wilson, Jessica Simpson, Montgomery Gentry, Miranda Lambert, Keith Anderson and Caitlin & Will. Prior to that, she was Manager of Publicity at Equity Music Group (EMG), where she worked with artists including Little Big Town, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Mark Wills. STP’s current clients include Allison Kaplan, Rink Entertainment, Susan G.Komen For The Cure Greater Nashville Affiliate and Women Rock For The Cure. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Young’s Hometown Tornado Benefit
Murfreesboro native and RCA Nashville artist Chris Young will host a benefit concert for victims of the recent devastating tornadoes in his hometown of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The concert, being held in association with MTSU and Nashville radio station WSIX, is scheduled for Friday, May 1 at MTSU’s Murphy Center. Chris Young & Friends Tornado Relief Benefit Presented by MTSU and The Big 98 WSIX will be hosted by WSIX on air personality Newman and will feature performances by Young and Richie McDonald with more artists to be announced later this week. Young saw the destruction first hand when his childhood street was directly hit by the April 10 tornado. His family home suffered minor damage, but many of his neighbors’ homes were completely destroyed. Pre-show and silent auction begin at 5 PM with the main show to follow at 7 PM. Proceeds will help tornado victims in Rutherford County through both the Heart of Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross and Tennessee Emergency Response Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Tickets to the event are $15 and can be purchased here.
T.J. Martell Celebrates 10th Best Cellars
Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, Jamey Johnson, Amy Grant, Jay DeMarcus, Chynna Phillips, Billy Baldwin, Kenny Alphin, Kellie Pickler and Tennessee Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher are among the celebrities who will assist the T.J. Martell Foundation in celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Best Cellars Dinner on Monday, April 27 at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. The event, presented by Eco-Energy Inc., is known for pairing Best Sellers (country music’s top selling artists and other celebrities) with Best Cellars (Nashville’s top wine collectors) and an extraordinary gourmet meal prepared by a guest chef. This year’s guest chef is Dean Fearing of Fearing’s at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. Fearing was the first chef to commit to Best Cellars ten years ago and is returning for this special celebration. The evening will also include The Best Cellars auction. Tickets are $1,200 and may be purchased by contacting the T.J. Martell Foundation at (615) 256-2002 or via email at Nashville@tjmartellfoundation.org. More information about the T.J. Martell Foundation can be found here.
Wynonna Goes Gospel
Curb artist Wynonna performed a show-stopping rendition of “How Great Thou Art” on the Sunday, April 19 edition of BET’s gospel singing competition show, Sunday Best. The show features gospel hopefuls competing for the title of Sunday Best every Sunday at 8 PM CT. This season’s show is hosted by Grammy Award winners Kirk Franklin with Erica and Tina Campbell of Mary Mary and BeBe Winans serving as judges. You can check out Wynonna’s performance here.
Bluegrass Goes to the Dogs (and Cats)
The Humane Society of Sumner County is hosting a fundraising evening, featuring bluegrass music at Jesse McReynolds’ Pick Inn in Gallatin. The event will be held on Saturday, April 25 from 4-9 PM. A classic car cruise in is also planned with a people’s choice award being offered for best in show. Performers will include Jett Williams and Jesse McReynolds & the Virginia Boys. The benefit will raise funds for adoptable animals at the Humane Society Adoption Center in Hendersonville. Tickets may be purchased by calling 394-8903 or by stopping by the adoption center located in Hendersonville. You can view a list of the group’s adoptable animals here.
First Amendment /Copyright Forum
The First Amendment Center will present a day-long discussion on copyright issues at their Music Row headquarters at 1207 18th Ave. So. on April 28. Among the speakers will be several members from the U.S. Copyright Office, including Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters, David Carson, General Counsel, U.S. Copyright Office and William Velez, Executive Director, Radio Music License Committee. They will be joined by music industry executives and prominent intellectual property attorneys. More information can be found here.
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