Special Projects


The Second Annual Billboard Country Music Summit, in association with the Country Music Association, will take place Monday – Tuesday, June 6-7 in Nashville. Like last year, the Summit will kick off activities leading up to the annual CMA Music Festival, which will be held June 9-12 in Nashville and celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

The two-day event will feature panel discussions, case studies and keynote interviews, as well as artist showcases and networking opportunities. Programming will focus on the most important issues affecting artists, songwriters, managers, agents, promoters, label executives, music publishers, radio programmers and all those closely associated with the Country Music business. Panels and round tables will include “Content Creation in the New Digital Marketplace,” Why Country Radio Thrives While Other Formats Fight for Their Lives,” “Touring Saturation: Are We There Yet?” and “New Business Models Under a Microscope.” Other sessions will examine digital marketing and sponsorship/branding initiatives. (more…)



It was recently announced that the legendary Ricky Skaggs has been nominated for the 42nd Annual Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. Skaggs will be competing in the Country Album of the Year category for Mosaic. Gordon Kennedy and Skaggs Family Records also received a nomination for their work on the album as producer and record label, respectively. “I’m very excited about the Dove nomination,” says Skaggs, “Mosaic is a project that is near and dear to my heart. It seems to have a life all its own. I believe it will continue touching lives for years to come.”

Mosaic was released in August of 2010 and is Skaggs’ return to a full band sound, a style that made him one of the best-selling artists in country music history. He worked closely with fellow GRAMMY winner Gordon Kennedy to create an album with music and lyrics that speak to Skaggs’ faith, making “music that is in my head and in my heart,” says Skaggs. (more…)

Kenny Rogers Headed to Cracker Barrel with New Musical Offerings

Exclusive CD “The Love of God” a truly inspired blend of memorable classics
and new recordings

Music legend Kenny Rogers will become the first artist to release a second album through the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® exclusive music program when “The Love of God” becomes available on March 7, 2011. The CD is an inspirational collection of classic songs that Rogers remembers from his childhood along with new recordings of contemporary songs. Two of the classics feature other artists: The Whites and Winfield’s Locket. Point of Grace is featured on one of the album’s contemporary recordings. This touching CD, certain to spark old memories and create new ones, will be available exclusively at all Cracker Barrel locations.

Through the course of his career, Rogers has attracted fans with an incredible range of music from country to pop. “‘The Love of God’ is the culmination of an idea I had been thinking about for years but never had the opportunity to bring to life,” said Rogers. “It’s been a musical awakening to me. To all of the wonderful musicians, vocalists, and songwriters who lent their amazing talents to this record, I want to thank you for making it so special. It seems I have a personal (more…)


BANDIT RECORDS is proud to release the first new GEORGE JONES material in over 5 years. “I Ain’t Ever Slowin Down” written by Al Anderson and Stephen Bruton and “ I Should Have Called” , written by Eddie Raven are both featured in a new compilation called GEORGE JONES: HITS. Both new songs were produced by Jones’ long time producer, Keith Stegal, in 2006 and are included on BANDITS newest release. Also featured on the album are some of GEORGE’S biggest and most iconic hits such as , “The Window Up Above”, “Take Me”, “The Grand Tour” , “White Lightin” , his signature song “He Stopped Lovin’ Her Today” as well as gems like “ Hell Stays Open All Night Long” and “If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will)”.

Once again, even in his later years, Jones’ vocals continue to amaze and evoke an emotional response as strong as his classic hits have over the last 6 decades. Retailing for $11.99, sold exclusively at Wal*Mart, the 24 song compilation will be released on Feb. 15th. Jones, a Country Music Hall of Fame member, has had a chart appearance in each of the last seven decades (50’s through ‘10s) and extends his lead for the most chart appearances of all time to 166 titles and his chart span to 55 years, (more…)


GRAMMY nominee and country music icon Marty Stuart will celebrate 10 years of his annual LATE NIGHT JAM on June 8 beginning at 10:00 PM at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. Stuart started the CMA sponsored event as a way to welcome fans to country music’s biggest week, and over the past 10 years it has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for MusiCares and has become the kick off event for CMA Music Fest.

“The Late Night Jam has evolved into the centerpiece concert event for me on my yearly calendar,” said Stuart. “It’s hard to believe that this is the 10th anniversary of the show. Looking back, the guest list has been staggering. Fans come from all over the world to support us and the relationship with NARAS and MusiCares is precious to me. The Late Night Jam has raised a considerable amount of money over the last decade (more…)


NASHVILLE – The spirit of CMA Music Festival – the connection between fans and Country artists – is captured in the latest addition to the Spirit of Nashville poster collection created by Anderson Design Group. The CMA Music Festival poster was unveiled last night at an event honoring the most promising music arts programs in Metro Nashville Public Schools – the Keep the Music Playing All Stars Concert hosted by Luke Bryan.

The new design created by staff illustrator Andy Gregg and Anderson Design Group founder Joel Anderson features a silhouette of a Country star bathed in a bright spotlight, kneeling on the edge of the stage, reaching out to touch a cheering fan’s outstretched hand. A crowd of fans and flash bulbs surrounds the stage, but the focal point is the personal connection being made between the artist and the fan – a hallmark of the event that started as Fan Fair® 40 years ago.

“We have created several print designs that showcase music, but this our first Music City print that focuses on the connection between musicians and fans,” Anderson said. “This design celebrates an important aspect of Nashville’s worldwide fame. It will make a great addition to the Spirit of Nashville Collection, and we can’t wait to start selling the prints on our site (www.SpiritOfNashville.com) and in stores around town.” (more…)


Winner Earns Opportunity to Perform at CMA Music Festival

Ridgefield, CT-The DRIVE4COPD national public health initiative today announced that it is partnering with the Country Music Association (CMA) to launch the Tune Up For COPD Songwriting Competition, featuring Country Music stars Billy Ray Cyrus and Patty Loveless. The competition challenges Americans to create a new DRIVE4COPD song to help raise awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Last year, Loveless wrote the campaign anthem, ‘Drive,’ in honor of her sister Dottie, who died of COPD when she was only 48 years old. In line with the DRIVE4COPD mission, Tune Up for COPD asks amateur songwriters to write a song with a motivational message that encourages people to be proactive in taking control of their lives and be healthy. The winner will have the opportunity to perform his or her song live at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville in June 2011. In addition, fans can log onto DRIVE4COPD.COM to view and vote on entries. A “fan favorite” song, determined by the highest number of online votes, will be showcased online. (more…)