Skip to main content

Nashville Notes: Old Crow Medicine Show Going ‘Blonde’; New Host for Westwood One’s ‘Country Gold’

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


As one expects at awards shows, the Academy of Country Music’s 51st annual soiree on April 3 will include a number of special performances. Among the latest announcements: Dolly Parton will duet with pop star Katy Perry during the CBS telecast, while Chris Young and Cassadee Pope deliver their first televised rendition of their current top 10 duet, “Think of You” (No. 9, Country Airplay). Tim McGraw will also incorporate fan-submitted visuals in his first TV performance of “Humble and Kind.”

Old Crow Medicine Show will mark the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan‘s Blonde on Blonde by performing the album in its entirety May 12-13 at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater. Recorded at the Columbia Studios in Nashville, the album was released May 16, 1966. The concerts occur as the Hall continues to display the exhibit Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City through Dec. 31. Meanwhile, a new exhibit, Blake Shelton: Based On a True Story, is slated to run at the Hall of Fame May 27-Nov.?6. And Chuck Mead, Naomi Judd, Carl Perkins biographer David McGee, author Peter Guralnick and drummer Stan Perkins will join Tennessee State University professor of music Mark Crawford at the Hall on April 9 in a celebration of the 60th anniversary of “Blue Suede Shoes.”


Steve Moakler performed “Suitcase” during his Grand Ole Opry debut on March 19, while Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots are slated for their first time on the WSM-AM Nashville show on March 25. Meanwhile, the Opry is debuting a spring and summer line of baseball-themed Opry fashion, with Nashville actor Chris Carmack serving as the face of the collection.

When the American Country Countdown Awards air on Fox on May 1 from the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., it will mark the first country awards show broadcast from Los Angeles in more than a decade. The first performers announced are Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line. The awards are produced by dick clark productions, owned by Prometheus Global Media, which also owns Billboard.



Lisa Owen joined Arista Nashville as West Coast manager of regional promotion. She spent the past 11 years in a similar post with Show Dog-Universal.

Kobalt promoted Jesse Willoughby to Nashville GM. He was previously Kobalt Neighbouring Rights director of business development.

Curt Motley took an agent position at United Talent after 20 years at Paradigm/Nashville, where he was co-head of the office. He’s joined in the move by former Paradigm agent Brendan Rich. Motley takes his roster with him to United, including Toby Keith, Jamey Johnson and Mac McAnally.

The Applauze ticketing firm hired Elyse McKenna as Nashville-based vp business development. She previously handled a similar role for Songkick.com.

Michelle Lorge took a publicity job at All Eyes Media after serving as a Sweet Talk publicist. All Eyes clients include Jason Isbell, Lucinda Williams and Darrell Scott.

Singer-songwriter Nora Collins signed a publishing/management deal with MV2 Entertainment.

Kore Public Relations added Cowboy Troy to the roster.

The Nashville chapter of the Association of Independent Music Publishers will host the first AIMP Nashville Awards on April 18 at the Ryman Auditorium.

Music Biz 2016 will include an afternoon devoted to women’s issues on May 16 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. Among the panelists for “Finding Your Voice: Music’s Leading Ladies Speak Out” are “Girl Crush” songwriters Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose; Big Machine Label Group senior vp marketing, sales and interactive Kelly Rich; and The SupremesMary Wilson.

Singer-songwriter Steve Young died March 17 in Nashville, CMT.com reported. He was best known as the author of “Seven Bridges Road.”



Terri Clark takes over as host of Westwood One‘s four-hour weekly classic country show Country Gold beginning the weekend of April 9-10. A former member of the crew on America’s Morning Show, Clark replaces Randy Owen, who has hosted Country Gold for four years.

Adams Radio/Salisbury-Ocean City, Md., hired Cheryl Salomone as vp/market manager for the cluster, including country WKHI. Salomone had been a regional manager for Townsquare in Washington state.

Mike Killabrew was appointed senior vp programming for iHeartMedia/Indianapolis after serving in a similar role at iHeartMedia/Des Moines, RadioInfo.com reported. Among Killabrew’s Indy responsibilities is country WUBG.

KUPL Portland, Ore., hired MoJoe Roberts as PD/afternoon-drive personality, according to RadioInfo.com. He programmed previously for iHeartMedia/Modesto-Stockton, Calif.

Becky Sweeney is the new iHeartMedia/Chattanooga (Tenn.) president, InsideRadio.com reported. She arrives from a similar post at iHeartMedia/Montgomery, Ala.

J.R. Jaus joined KCYY San Antonio as a morning co-host, according to InsideRadio.com. He previously worked on-air at WWKA Orlando.



A friend in need gets Darius Rucker teed. He’ll be driving balls down the fairway at TPC Las Vegas April 2 when he hosts the ACM Lifting Lives Golf Classic for the fifth consecutive year.

Held the day before the 51st annual Academy of Country Music Awards, the one-day competition raises money for the ACM foundation’s Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund, which aids music industry members in troubled circumstances. The fund has provided more than $400,000 of assistance since it was established in 2007.

It’s not Rucker’s only charitable event on the calendar: His seventh Darius Rucker & Friends concert for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is set for June 6 at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville.

This article first appeared in Billboard’s Country Update — sign up here.