Here is your weekly roundup of goings on — staffing moves, good news and more — in the wide world of country music.
NEWS & NOTES
Cassadee Pope will perform her new single, “I Am Invincible,” during the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics on July 25 in Los Angeles. Others on the bill include Stevie Wonder, Avril Lavigne, O.A.R., Cody Simpson and Siedah Garrett. The studio version of the song will be released to radio and digital retailers the day before the performance.
A handful of country artists and executives will be delivering acceptance speeches with their 2015 inductions in the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Restless Heart — including Okies Paul Gregg, Dave Innis and Greg Jennings — will join the Oklahoma Hall on Oct. 16, along with singer-songwriter Becky Hobbs, former Arista/Universal South label chief Tim DuBois, producer Scott Hendricks (Blake Shelton, Trace Adkins) and steel guitarist Smiley Weaver. Among the new Georgia Hall members who will be recognized Sept. 25 are Creative Artists Agency agent John Huie, late Capricorn Records founder Phil Walden, late comedian Tim Wilson, Sam Moore and Gregg Allman.
Zane Williams walked off with four trophies during the Texas Regional Radio Music Awards, claiming entertainer of the year, while “Texas Like That” won song and music video, and “Hands of a Working Man” took single of the year. Aaron Watson nabbed two trophies, including male vocalist and album of the year, for The Underdog. Turnpike Troubadours were hailed as duo/group/band of the year. Go here for the complete winners list.
‘ROUND THE ROW
Carole-Ann Mobley has formed CAM Creative Services, an artist-development company for indie and emerging acts. Mobley was previously Warner Music Nashville vp A&R.
Round Hill Music/Nashville made five personnel changes, including three new hires: senior coordinator A&R administration Bob Squance arrives from Big Yellow Dog, where he was catalog manager; manager, licensing Kevin Thompson was formerly Sony/ATV coordinator, synch licensing administration; and manager, royalty services Steven McMillan had been Big Loud Bucks Administration manager of financial operations. Additionally, Round Hill director, creative and licensing Steve Nalbert relocated to Nashville from New York, and Round Hill promoted Kari Smith to senior director, A&R from director.
Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy promoted Laura Beth Hendricks to director of internal compliance from account manager. The business management firm’s clients include Keith Urban, Joe Nichols and Kelly Clarkson.
Average Joes signed Trailer Choir to a recording deal. Big Vinny and Butter are currently working on music, with a new track on deck for the Mud Digger 6 album, due Aug. 28.
New publishing company MV2 Entertainment, owned by Tony Harrell and Clay Myers, signed singer-songwriter Jay Allen to a writing deal.
The Country Music Association returns as title sponsor for the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s second Project Music accelerator program. Applications for the 2016 class open Sept. 1.
The Gibson Brothers will host the 26th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards on Oct. 1 in Raleigh, N.C.
Songwriter-producer Buddy Buie, who was instrumental in the careers of the pop acts The Classics IV and The Atlanta Rhythm Section, died July 18 in Dothan, Ala., the Associated Press reported.
Emmis/Indianapolis senior vp/market manager Charlie Morgan has been re-elected as Country Radio Broadcasters president, with two new members appointed to the board: Townsquare Media senior vp Kurt Johnson and Triple 8 Management founder/partner George Couri.
CBS Radio promoted Scott Herman to COO from executive vp operations. The move comes on the heels of layoffs of a reported 200 employees, including the bulk of the staff at Radio.com. Among the chain’s country outlets are WUSN Chicago, WYCD Detroit and WKIS Miami.
Bonneville is acquiring four Denver stations, including country KYGO, from Entercom in exchange for album rock KSWD Los Angeles and $5 million. Entercom had picked up KYGO in a deal with Lincoln Financial Media that has now been approved by the Department of Justice.
Two Cumulus executives added new brand-partnership roles to their existing duties. Cumulus/New York director of events and marketing Leslie Slender becomes vp brand partnerships and events; senior director of digital monetization Leslie Caraccilo adds vp brand partnerships stripes.
Cox Media Group promoted Bill Hendrich to executive vp radio and CMG Research, from CMG/Jacksonville, Fla., radio vp/GM. Cox also promoted Marian Pittman to executive vp digital strategy from vp news and marketing for television. Both jobs are based in Atlanta.
Delmarva Broadcasting hired Jeff Boden as president/CEO, The Wilmington News Journal reported. Boden was previously 4S Marketing Solutions president/CEO. Delmarva’s country stations include WXCY Havre de Grace, Md.; and WKTT Salisbury, Md.
KNCI Sacramento (Calif.) named Breanna Ruiz music director, according to RadioInfo.com. She was already a midday personality at hip-hop sister KSFM.
Also from RadioInfo.com: WNWN Battle Creek, Mich., hired “Wild Bill” Lewis for afternoons after a run of nearly 20 years at WYTZ St. Joseph, Mich.
Cumulus/Pensacola, Fla., added Davey Wilhoit as vp sales, InsideRadio.com reported. He was the Pensacola News Journal multimedia advertising manager. The five-station cluster includes country- WXBM.
The KXLY Radio Group/Spokane, Wash., promoted Tery Garras to market manager from general sales manager, according to InsideRadio.com. The cluster includes country KXLY.
Country’s connection with NASCAR is well-established, and the two entertainment forms will pair up again this fall when Travis Tritt takes a major role in helping Darrell and Michael Waltrip raise money for several charities.
Tritt is set to headline the Oct. 21 Champion’s Dinner during the sixth annual Waltrip Brothers’ Charity Championship (WBCC) in Franklin, Tenn. The dinner features both a live and silent auction of celebrity-signed memorabilia, part of a two-day event that funnels money to the Byrnes Memorial Fund, Feed the Children and Motor Racing Outreach.
Fox NFL analyst Terry Bradshaw, who peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard country singles chart with a 1976 cover of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” will host the dinner, which seats 500.
The 2014 WBCC benefit raised $450,000.
This article first appeared in Billboard’s Country Update — sign up here.