Kellie Pickler Splits with Label; Emmylou Harris to Tour Australia; Stream Jerry Douglas’ Traveler

Juli Thanki | June 28th, 2012

  • Kellie Pickler and her label, Sony Music Nashville, have parted ways. Says her manager, “Kellie’s contract with Sony came to an end and they mutually decided not to renew.”
  • Kelly Dearmore interviewed Merle Haggard. An excerpt: “I don’t ever want to insult anyone. I have six children, and if I brag about one of them, I might accidentally piss the other five off. In that case, I haven’t really done anything wrong, but I’ve still offended them. I try not to do that with my writing, while still being honest and telling the truth that I’m trying to tell. Everything you say in the limelight matters.”
  • Here’s a fine article on Jerry Douglas at Performing Songwriter, where you can also stream his fantastic new album, Traveler.
  • The Ernest Tubb Record Shop was featured in the Nashville Scene: Whether it was replacing broken 78s, tracking down hard-to-find releases or stocking the music of obscure and seemingly forgotten artists, the shop has stayed true to their founding principles of placing country music fans first. Founded by the Grand Ole Opry star Ernest Tubb in partnership with his tax accountant Charles Mosley, the store was primarily envisioned as a service for fans. In his travels around the country, Tubb was constantly approached by fans who had trouble finding their favorite records. Even in Nashville, few retailers carried large stocks of country records, preferring to play it safe with pop and classical selections…Despite the fact that the store specialized in records few retailers carried, the initial reaction from record dealers and even some jukebox operators was anger. Many threatened to never carry Tubb’s records again. Within a few months of the shop opening, however, dealers around the country found their business increasing through customers requesting specific records they heard advertised on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • Here’s another fine Scene feature; this one’s about The Flatlanders.
  • Alan Jackson, Easton Corbin, and Gloriana will perform at Fort Sill this weekend for military personnel and their families.
  • Taylor Swift will join James Taylor at his July 2 show.
  • Sam Bush turned 60 and celebrated by filming a couple of goofy Sam Bush Television episodes at Kroger, where he’s now qualified for the senior discount.
  • Michael Granberry of the Dallas News previews the upcoming Woodyfest, which opens July 11 in Woody Guthrie’s hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma.
  • Here’s a Q&A with Hayes Carll posted at CultureMap.
  • On July 17, Craig Morgan will appear in an episode of Rizzoli & Isles. He’ll be playing medical examiner Dr. Billy Ray Higgins. (via press release)
  • Download a free sampler from Quicksilver Productions. Artists include Caleb Klauder, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, and Foghorn Stringband.
  • Watch the EPK for Kathy Mattea’s Calling Me Home, which now has a release date of September 11.
  1. Blake Boldt
    June 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Hardly a surprise to see Pickler’s run at Sony come to an end. In the interviews about 100 Proof, you just got the sense there was some discord between her and the label, as well as her own frustration that the music she wanted to make wasn’t necessarily music that would sell well. Certainly one of the best mainstream releases of the year so far, and hopefully she can continue in that vein on an indie label.

  2. Ken Morton, Jr.
    June 28, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I second what Blake said. It would be very nice if Kellie could land at a home like Sugar Hill or even Rounder where she can continue the excellence she showed on 100 Proof. She and Joey+Rory would make a terrific one-two classic country punch for Sugar Hill.

  3. Ben Foster
    June 28, 2012 at 11:24 am

    She and Joey+Rory would make a terrific one-two classic country punch for Sugar Hill.

    Ditto to that!

    It’s too bad Pickler hasn’t had much success with Sony, but hopefully their split will open the door for her to find a better outlet in the future. 100 Proof was such an excellent record, and I hope Pickler continues making fine music in such a vein.

  4. Leeann Ward
    June 28, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see her go to Big Machine. I’d be surprised if she signed with Sugar Hill right now, because I’m guessing she’s not ready to give up on mainstream radio success just yet. A place like Big Machine is supporting acts like Edens Edge who isn’t afraid of sounding a little country, not to mention that Taylor Swift might be willing to put in a good word for her.:)

  5. Ken Morton, Jr.
    June 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Leeann, good call on Big Machine. I had forgot all about Kellie’s close relationship with Taylor Swift.

  6. Adam Sheets
    June 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Not to mention that the Mavericks are now signed to Big Machine.

  7. Rick
    June 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I’m not surprised to hear about Kellie’s departure from Sony Nashville after the dismal sales figures for “100 Proof”. AirHead Country Radio doesn’t want traditional sounding country music and neither does Americana radio, so its a radio marketplace orphan these days. As for Leeann’s comment about Eden’s Edge, they haven’t had a single go higher than # 20 on the Top 40 charts thus far, so their future with Big Machine is not guaranteed no matter how much Scott Borchetta believes in them. Ditto for Sunny Sweeney on the sister Republic Nashville imprint. Singing traditional sounding country these days as a female artist at big Nashville labels is a quick way to find the exit door.

    I hope the Ernest Tubb Record Shop can find a way to stay in business for the long run. Becoming the first US dealer to deeply discount ALL of the Bear Family label CD’s they stock would be a great place to start! (lol)

  8. TX Music Jim
    June 28, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Tradtional contry has an audience. If Sunny needs to come home to Texas to make a living after the Nashville machine dumps her for being too country she has got a home with a vibirant live music scene that she can make a good living being a part of. She could bring Ms Pickler with her. On any given weekend night I can drive 50 miles in any direction and see bands like Dale Watson (tradtional Country) Asleep at the Wheel (western Swing) Reckless Kelly (roots rock) that draw big enough crowds to keep the club owners happy and the Texas Red Dirt Music Scene thriving. Major Labels are not necessary anymore. With satelite and internet radio and in Texas several succesful tradtional radio stations all of the above mentioned artists plus many more of many genere’s get played regularly.

  9. badrockandroll
    June 29, 2012 at 12:33 am

    I saw a commercial on canadian tv the other night for a money mart/Western union type place. It sure looked like Dale Watson singing in the background. Bear in mind I grew up with Johnny Cash Machine commercials, with the Man in Black extolling the virtues of early ATM use. Was that really Dale or some Canuck knock-off?

  10. scooter
    June 29, 2012 at 4:51 am

    I am really enjoying the Pickler album- I’m a fan now and really hope she finds a home that lets her do more of what she did on 100 proof. My favorite album so far this year.

  11. Jon
    June 29, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Sugar Hill, Taylor Swift, blah blah blah – bringing a lot of record label experience to bear, are we?

    “On any given weekend night I can drive 50 miles in any direction…”

    Key word there is “weekend.” That’s 2 nights out of 7. And can you drive 50 miles in any direction from anywhere in Texas to see same? I thought not. Texas as a market has some value as a home for out-of-the-mainstream country music, but that’s in significant part because it’s so huge that even a small percentage of the audience adds up to something. Look at the most-listened country stations in the state and their playlists for some useful data on how different it is from the rest of the country.

  12. TX Music Jim
    June 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    All i’m saying here is there are pockets and not just parts of Texas and Oklahoma were Tradtional Country or just music not pushed by the tradtional marketing machine out of Nashville thrive to varying degrees. My Lord this past april 35,000 folks came together in a field in Stephenville Texas for the annual Larry Joe Taylor music festival almost none of those artists have major label or mainstream radio support so yes there are a good number of folks making a living in music without the support of Major labels and the Nashville marketing machine. Pickler may have to be one of those if she chooses a more tradtional country sound.

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