Backbeat: Band Perry, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts Play Big Machine & CMT’s Country Radio Seminar Kick-Off Party

Photo above: Front Row, L-R: Leslie Fram (SVP CMT Music Strategy), Chris Thompson (Eli Young Band), RaeLynn, Cassadee Pope, Jimmy Harnen (EVP BMLG), Scott Borchetta (President/CEO BMLG), Tim McGraw, Justin Moore, Kimberly Perry (The Band Perry). Back Row, L-R: Jon Jones (Eli Young Band), James Young (Eli Young Band), Mike Eli (Eli Young Band), Kelby Ray (The Cadillac Three), Jaren Johnston (The Cadillac Three), Neil Mason (The Cadillac Three), Greg Bates, Thomas Rhett, Neil Perry, Reid Perry, Cody Alan (Host of CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan).

Big Machine Label Group and CMT Radio hosted their annual joint party Tuesday night at Nashville’s Third and Lindsley Avenue. The event, which featured performances by The Band Perry, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Thomas Rhett, Justin Moore, Tim McGraw and a surprise set by Rascal Flatts and kicked off the Country Radio Seminar which runs from today (Feb. 27) through March 1.   

Tim McGraw, performing at last night's Big Machine/CMT party kicking off Nashville's Country Radio Seminar. His new album Two Lanes of Freedom topped the Billboard Country Albums chart.

Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta welcomed guests to the party and then turned the reigns over to CMT Radio’s Cody Alan who hosted the event. Some 500 VIPs attended the private soiree where a slew of music execs were seen bobbing their heads and tapping their cowboy boots, including: Republic Nashville label president and Big Machine EVP Jimmy Harnen; BMLG COO Andrew Kautz; Jack Purcell, SVP Big Machine Records; MTV Networks COO music group Alex Ferrari; CMT's SVP of music strategy Leslie Fram and CMT's SVP of music events and talent John Hamlin.

Republic Nashville President/BMLG EVP Jimmy Harnen with Kurt Johnson, Townsquare Media VP of Programming


Here too were a gaggle of managers representing some of the biggest names in country music, including: Frank Bell, 13 Management (Taylor Swift);  Jake LaGrone, Spalding Entertainment (Rascal Flatts); Susan Banks, Redlight Management (Tim McGraw); Tina Kennedy, Azoff Music (Cassadee Pope); and Seth England, Big Loud Shirt (Florida Georgia Line).

Also in the house were a number of celebrities who perhaps against their better instincts did not take the stage, including: Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelly from Florida Georgia Line (whose song "Cruise" is constantly in our head);  Charles Esten and Robert Wisdom (a.k.a. Deacon and Coleman from ABC’s "Nashville” -- our favorite show ever); Republic Nashville artist Greg Bates; and Ashley Eicher, AXS TV reporter.

Jack Purcell, SVP Big Machine Records; Lindsay Mayer, ABC; Chip Esten (“Deacon” on ABC’s “Nashville”) Tim McGraw, Robert Wisdom (Coleman on ABC’s “Nashville”) and BMLG's Scott Borchetta.


Justin Moore performing.

Considering its Country Radio Seminar time, it should surprise no one that on this night you couldn't throw a smartphone without hitting a country radio exec; but the geographical diversity represented was certainly impressive. Representing country radio from most ever corner of the U.S.A , were: KAJA-FM/San Antonio's Travis Moon, KNCI/Sacramento's Byron Kennedy, WXTU/Philadelphia's Shelly Easton, WSSL & WESC/Greenville, SC and WTQR/Greensboro, NC's Bruce Logan, KMLE/Phoenix's Jeff Garrison, WYCD & WOMC/Detroit's Tim Roberts, WKLB/Boston's Mike Brophey, KWJJ-FM/Portland, OR's Mike Moore and KKBQ/Houston's Johnny Chiang among many others.

Other notable VIPs included, Katie Buchanan, SVP Programming Strategy (CMT); Lisa Silfen, SVP Program Enterprise (MTV Networks); Cheryl Welch, Brand Manager at General Mills/Outnumber Hunger;  Lou Raiolo,President of WarpSpeed Inc.;
and Kurt Johnson, Townsquare Media VP of programming.

 The Band Perry with John Paul (third from left), Senior Director of Country Programming Dial Global Denver.

Pointing Can Be Polite: Singer Thomas Rhett Performing at the Big Machine Label Group/CMT Party.