Top Music Row songwriters Tim Nichols and Connie Harrington are launching a publishing company, to be called This Music. The new firm is a joint venture with publishing giant Warner/Chappell Music.

Top Music Row songwriters Tim Nichols and Connie Harrington are launching a publishing company, to be called This Music. The new firm is a joint venture with publishing giant Warner/Chappell Music.

As part of the deal, Warner/Chappell has re-signed Grammy-winner Nichols to a worldwide publishing agreement and purchased one of his back catalogs from EMI, one of his former publishers. Nichols has been affiliated with Warner-Chappell since 2002.

Harrington previously wrote for Song Garden Publishing, an independent company owned by country producer Byron Gallimore. Rusty Gaston, the former GM of Song Garden, joins This Music in the same capacity.

The agreement calls for Warner/Chappell to co-publish and administer This Music's output. Both Nichols and Harrington will write for This Music. They plan to sign other writers in the future, although no signings are immediately on the horizon.

Harrington and Nichols are longtime collaborators. Hits they have written together include Terri Clark's "Girls Lie Too" and Joe Nichols' "She Only Smokes When She Drinks."

Besides Gaston, no other staffers have been hired, and Nichols says "We'll start out pretty lean and mean." The company will be housed in Warner/Chappell's Music Row offices.

Nichols' biggest hit is "Live Like Your Were Dying," a song he co-wrote with Craig Wiseman. Recorded by Tim McGraw, it spent seven weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart last year and earned Nichols and Wiseman a Grammy Award for best country song, as well as numerous other major industry songwriting awards.

Nichols says he's been working with Warner/Chappell on putting the deal together for a year. The runaway success of "Live Like You Were Dying" gave him both the confidence and the finances to secure the agreement, which was inspired, in part, by the success of pal Wiseman's own Big Loud Shirt publishing company.

Other top 5 hits authored by Nichols include Alan Jackson's "That'd Be Alright," JoDee Messina's "Head's Carolina, Tails California," Trace Adkins' "(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing," Lee Ann Womack's "I'll Think of a Reason Later," Reba McEntire's "I'd Rather Ride Around With You," Keith Whitley's "I'm Over You" and "Brotherly Love" and Clark's "I Wanna Do It All."

Harrington is a Gospel Music Assn. Dove Award-winning writer who has penned numerous Christian music hits. On the country side, her biggest hits include Brooks & Dunn's "My Heart Is Lost To You," Chad Brock's "Ordinary Life" and SheDaisy's "This Woman Needs."