Nashville Gets 'Midas' Touch

Music biz veterans launch new independent label.

A trio of veteran artist managers, a hit songwriter and a publisher have teamed with other executives to launch a new independent label, Midas Records Nashville, has learned. The label is wholly owned by gaming and construction industry entrepreneur Ron Clapper, who also operates the Los Angeles-based pop label Midas Records.

In addition to Clapper, the team of staffers behind the new Nashville venture includes Mike Martinovich, Stan Moress and Al Schiltz, who are partners in the Nashville management firm the Consortium. They are joined by Bob Morrison and Alan Siegel. Morrison was previously VP of J-Bird Records. Siegel was president of Trans Continental Entertainment and director of marketing for Jive Records. None of the executives will hold titles at the label, but they will handle various marketing, sales, artist development and operational duties.

Heading A&R efforts for the label will be top Nashville songwriter Keith Follese and music publisher Brad Allen. Follese's songs have been hits for Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Lonestar, Randy Travis and Little Texas.

Clapper, Allen and Follese partnered to launch publishing company, Midas Music, in Nashville late last year. Allen says they are now in discussions with both new and established acts about joining the roster of Midas Records, which is distributed through ADA.

The Consortium's management clients include Catherine Britt, Sherrie Austin, Mandy Barnett, and Joe Diffie. The three partners, along with former partner Bernard Porter, formed C4 Records in conjunction with Nashville indie label Broken Bow Records in 2002. That partnership was disbanded 18 months later.