Clear Channel and Big Machine Cut a Deal; New Willie Nelson Video; National Museum of American History Presents Civil War Music

Juli Thanki | June 8th, 2012

  • Clear Channel and Big Machine cut a deal “that represents a major bet that radio’s future is online rather than over the air…Under the new accord, Big Machine and its artists will collect royalties when their songs are played on broadcast radio stations, something that has never been part of the U.S. royalty system but is common elsewhere. In the U.S., only songwriters and the music publishers who represent them collect royalties from airplay on the theory that having their music played on the radio benefits artists by promoting record sales.” This deal “will offer lower rates for playing music online, giving Clear Channel an incentive to build up its Internet music initiatives and offset the decline with the new broadcast royalty.”
  • Chet Flippo on the new Neil Young and Crazy Horse album, Americana: “I was initially skeptical about a Neil Young album full of supposed “campfire songs,” as one critic wrote dismissively. But I’m finding that the reworking and retelling here of some classic folk tales with electric guitar is really becoming infectious. And the occasional use of children’s choruses adds another dimension to these old tales. This is a seriously good listen.” 
  • Bluegrass Today’s John Lawless has some info on Josh Shilling’s new EP, Letting Go, as well as a few clips. Be sure to listen to Shilling’s soulful duet with Cia Cherryholmes.
  • On June 17 at 11 a.m., the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will present a performance, by Bob Schieffer and Honky Tonk Confidential, of ten songs recently acquired from the BMI Archives Confederate Music Collection, as well as two Union-published songs. Twenty pieces of the Confederate sheet music are on view outside of the museum’s Archives Center, located on the first floor, through July 13.
  • In case you’ve ever felt the need to watch Wynonna cradle a bottle of Miracle Whip like it’s a newborn, here’s a video from her new partnership with Kraft in which she defends “the honor of the controversial and often-maligned sandwich spread,” Miracle Whip.
  • On June 26, Tompkins Square Records will release Mark Fosson’s Digging in the Dust, a collection of demos from 1976 that led to him recording an album for John Fahey’s Takoma Records. Stream Digging here.
  • Tomorrow, Tracy Lawrence will start filming for the movie L.A. Dirt. Lawrence will play the uncle of an aspiring dirt track racer.
  • Check out Jewly Hight’s interview with Chelle Rose.
  • On June 11, Craig Morgan will appear on the Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible. (via press release)
  • Here’s the album art for the upcoming Zac Brown Band record, Uncaged.


  1. Andrew
    June 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Ronnie Dunn posted this on Facebook last night: “Deal with Sony is over. Next chapter. Moving on.”

  2. Barry Mazor
    June 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    It’s time that somebody stepped up to save America from its greatest contemporary social ill–sandwich spread discrimination.

    Next: Nutella and Marshmallow Fluff: Can They Just Get Along?

    • Juli Thanki
      June 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      It’s time that somebody stepped up to save America from its greatest contemporary social ill–sandwich spread discrimination.

      That’s actually going to be engraved on Wynonna’s medal.

  3. Leeann Ward
    June 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Ugh. I really can’t stand Miracle Whip. The End.

  4. Timeo
    June 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Yup, the future is getting clearer, as Big Machine’s deal with Clear Channel follows on the heals of it starting its own music publishing arm. Welcome to yet another new era of corporate music, folks

  5. Timeo
    June 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    What is it about Willie & son’s interpretation of “Just Breathe” that never fails to make me misty? (Unrelated question: Why does Lukas Nelson sound more like Jimmie Dale Gilmore than he does Willie?)

  6. Jon
    June 8, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Well…that Big Machine has a publishing company isn’t really relevant to this deal, which is about paying performance royalties to sound recording copyright owners – or, rather, about paying performance royalties to one sound recording copyright owner. But that it heralds an effort to freeze indie artists and labels even further out of terrestrial radio is pretty hard to argue. One of the values of having a service like SoundExchange, which collects and distributes such royalties to SRCOs (and directly to artists, also) in the digital realm, is that it levels the playing field – there’s one agency to deal with, and it’s collecting royalties at exactly the same rate for small artists and labels as for big ones. If the biggest radio owners negotiate similar deals with the biggest labels and leave everyone else to fend for themselves, that’s not going to be a good thing.

  7. luckyoldsun
    June 11, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Sounds like Ronnie Dunn miscalculated about the chances of launching a mainstream country act at 60 or thereabouts. I guess we can look forward to Brooks & Dunn’s Slim & Howdy Cowboy Reunion Album & Tour: “It’s like they never left!”

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