Country artist Neal McCoy has launched his long-rumored new record label, 903 Music in Nashville. McCoy, who has recorded for Atlantic Records and Warner Bros., is the label's owner and first artist.

Country artist Neal McCoy has launched his long-rumored new record label, 903 Music in Nashville. McCoy, who has recorded for Atlantic Records and Warner Bros., is the label's owner and first artist.

McCoy's long-time manager Karen Kane will serve as 903's president. Kane worked with McCoy at TBA Entertainment before starting her own Nashville-based firm a few years ago. An industry veteran, she worked in sales and marketing at Warner Bros. and WEA Distribution for 13 years before becoming an artist manager. She also manages country artist Melonie Cannon.

The label's name represents the telephone area code for East Texas, where McCoy resides. The company has not yet secured distribution.

"The goal of this venture is for the recording part of the artist's business to sync up with their touring and other businesses," Kane tells Billboard.biz. Single and album releases will be timed to support the artist's touring, a model contradictory to conventional label thinking.

The vision comes straight from McCoy, who has for years had a successful touring business that was frequently out of step with his recording career. He is booked by Creative Artists Agency. Most recently, McCoy was signed to the short-lived SEA Records in Nashville.

Bill Mayne, another industry veteran, joins the company as VP and will lead the promotion department and the label's artist development efforts. Mayne spent his record industry career with Warner Bros. Nashville, eventually rising to GM. After leaving WB, he ran artist management company Mayne Entertainment, which he shuttered earlier this year.

Mayne is looking to fill out his regional promotion staff in the next few weeks, to augment a team which sees Cliff Blake handling the Northeast and Bill Heltemes overseeing the Midwest.

Blake, most recently at Equity Music Group, worked at Warner Bros. from 1996-2003. Heltemes is also a promotion veteran, having worked for Atlantic Records on both the pop and country sides for 22 years. He most recently worked for Broken Bow Records and has done independent promotion.

Sales veteran Neal Spielberg, who also had a long career at Warner Bros. and WEA, will provide sales support through his consulting firm.

Kane says label executives are looking for artists to expand the roster. She also says that there are other investors besides McCoy, but that they prefer to stay out of the limelight.

McCoy is working with producer Eric Silver on his first project for the label, "That's Life," due this summer. First single "Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On" goes to radio in March.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print