Nashville Notes: Joey + Rory to Release New Album; SiriusXM Taps YouTube to Find Talent

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Joey Feek and Rory Feek of Joey + Rory perform as part of the Stagecoach Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields on April 24, 2010 in Indio, California. 

Here is your weekly roundup of goings on -- artist signings, staffing moves, good news and more -- in the wide world of country music.

NEWS & NOTES

As Joey Martin Feek continues her much-followed stay in hospice, news arrives that Joey + Rory have one more album on the way. Rory Lee Feek indicated in a blog post that the duo cut tracks in Nashville for a gospel album, apparently titled Hymns That Are Important to Us, this past summer after Joey had surgery for cervical cancer. Rory and daughter Heidi Feek recorded harmony vocals on Nov. 22 in Indiana, where Joey is spending what will likely be her final days. The album is due in February, and the couple has designated the Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Foundation to receive a portion of the proceeds from the project.

Kenny Chesney's Big Revival Tour was the lone country winner during the Billboard Touring Awards on Nov. 19 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. The tour — which featured Eric Church, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Brantley Gilbert, Cole Swindell, Chase Rice, Old Dominion and (for one date) Miranda Lambert — was recognized as the top package of 2015. It's the eighth time Chesney has received that honor since 2005. Appropriately, he also added a pair of stadium dates to his 2016 Spread the Love tour. That package — which includes Lambert, Sam Hunt and Old Dominion — plays Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Aug. 26-27.

SiriusXM is increasing its embrace of nontraditional programming, adding a "YouTube Country Spotlight" to its weekly On the Horizon show, which airs on The Highway. The feature will highlight new music that's gaining traction on YouTube. The first beneficiary was indie artist Kane Brown's "Used to Love You Sober" during the Nov. 21 launch.

The Country Music Association's Songwriters Series closes Dec. 11-12 at Joe's Pub in New York. The appearances will feature four established composers: Chris DeStefano ("Smoke Break," "Just Gettin' Started"), Ashley Gorley ("Nothin' Like You," "Kick the Dust Up"), Matt Jenkins ("Cop Car," "Confession") and Leslie Satcher ("Troubadour," "When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues").

 

'ROUND THE ROW

The BBR Music Group has added three new staff members. Director of digital Addie Saloman arrives from the Academy of Country Music, where she was manager of membership; manager of marketing Chelsea Reynolds recently served as BMG Nashville creative assistant; and Stoney Creek director of Northeast regional promotions Penny Mitchell was a longtime PD for multiple Westwood One formats.  

Rounder hired Brad Chelstrom as project and partnership marketing manager following a 16-year run at Universal Music Group Distribution, where he was director of partnership marketing.  

New publishing company Deluge Music opened in Nashville and Los Angeles, founded by Verse Music Group senior vp/principal Mark Friedman, former Bigger Picture Group CEO David Robkin and artist manager Larry Mazer. Gravity Gone Music owner Stephanie Greene will run the Nashville office. The first country songwriter on the roster is Oran Thornton.

LoCash members Chris Lucas and Preston Brust signed an administration agreement with ole that covers songs written in a joint venture with Reviver Publishing and Tim McGraw. 

Stoney Creek artist David Fanning entered a publishing deal with MV2 Entertainment

Songwriter/producer Tommy Cecil agreed to a co-publishing deal with Sony/ATV and Missi Gallimore. 

Hearts Bluff Music purchased the Muy Bueno Music catalog from George Strait and manager Erv Woolsey. Muy Bueno copyrights include "Baby Blue," "Write This Down" and "I Can Still Make Cheyenne," among others.

"Blue Bandana" songwriter Ben Goldsmith signed a publishing contract with BMG and Big Deal Music

Sarah Beth Terry agreed to a publishing deal with Creek Valley Music.

Ramona Jones Gober was buried Nov. 21 in Goodlettsville, Tenn. She frequently performed alongside husband Grandpa Jones on Hee Haw and the Grand Ole Opry during their 52-year marriage, which ended when he died in 1998. She subsequently remarried, to Rev. W. Eugene Gober

 

RADIO MOVERS & SHAKERS

Nashville Access, a weekly one-hour radio show, is set to debut this week on 25 stations around the globe, including 13 in Mexico. The vehicle is hosted by former WGNE Jacksonville, Fla., personality Dallas Rogers and
Cameron "Camo" Tilbury, host of the Tyler, Texas-based TV show Young Country … 

Westwood One is gearing up for Christmas with a handful of specials targeting country stations. The network has three one-hour holiday titles hosted by Kenny Rogers, LeAnn Rimes and Martina McBride available on specific weekends beginning after Thanksgiving. And Kix Brooks hosts a 24-hour product, An American Country Christmas, available Dec. 21-25. 

Tim McGraw will be a featured speaker during the Country Radio Seminar with a session about evolving during a long-term career. CRS runs Feb. 8-10, 2016 at the Omni Nashville … 

WVFR Wichita, Kan., dropped a new-country format in favor of the Hank-FM brand on Nov. 23, according to the Andover Leader.

Jenn Hobby is no longer doing middays with WKHX Atlanta, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. 

Bonnie Miller was promoted to PD at WFLS Fredericksburg, Va., according to RadioInfo.com. She had been assistant PD/afternoon drive personality for 19 months.

Brewer Media/Chattanooga (Tenn.) added Joe Bell as market manager, RadioInfo.com reported, following a stint in a similar role for Beasley/Miami. Brewer's five-station cluster includes country WPLZ.

Payne Radio Group owner Bill Payne died Nov. 20 in Tulsa, Okla. A 2014 inductee in the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, he oversaw 12 stations in eastern Oklahoma. The bulk of the signals are country outlets, including KTFX Muskogee and KEOK Tahlequah. Services will be held Dec. 1 in Broken Arrow, Okla.

 

GOOD WORKS

Blue collar went black tie when Brad Paisley showed up Nov. 17 at the swanky Plaza Hotel in New York.

Paisley played three songs during the third annual Save the Children Illumination Gala, raising money for an agency dedicated to protecting and educating kids around the globe. Eighty-nine percent of the organization's revenue goes to program services, which include disaster relief, education initiatives and reducing newborn deaths.

Jennifer Garner hosted the event, where Olivia Wilde and Sanjay Gupta M.D. were among the honorees. CMT president Brian Philips served as honorary chair.

This article first appeared in Billboard's Country Update -- sign up here.

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