Inside Track on Music Row September 2019

September Music News


U.S.-based songwriters have a new champion in their corner. In July, the U.S. Copyright Office chose the industry-consensus Mechanical Licensing Collective, or MLC, to be the new agency to oversee licensing of digital mechanical royalties for American songwriters. As digital distribution of music grew, songwriters have found it increasingly difficult to track royalties that are rightfully theirs. The Music Modernization Act became law in October 2018 and set in motion the process to appoint an entity to oversee licensing of digital royalties. The selection of MLC to administrate this agency has met with strong approval from the songwriting community. The Collective was spearheaded by the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the Songwriters of North America (SONA). More good news for songwriters: The operational costs of the MLC will be paid for by digital music providers, not by songwriters. The MLC will focus exclusively on licensing digital mechanical royalties. Performing Rights Organizations, such as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, will continue to oversee collection of songwriter and publisher royalties from public performance including radio airplay.


US ARMY Veteran and Country Star Craig Morgan has released his first new music in over three years today, sharing “The Father, My Son, And The Holy Ghost” written in memory of his son, Jerry. Written, produced and released solely by Craig, the intimate and emotional song relates the grief, faith and hope he and his family have shared in the three years since Jerry’s passing. “As difficult as this song was to write and as difficult as it is to sing, it gives me strength in my faith in God,” shared Craig. “My hope is it does the same for others.” A multi-faceted entertainer, Craig Morgan is a country music icon, TV personality, celebrated outdoorsman and patriotic Army veteran. One of country music’s best-loved artists, Morgan has charted 25 songs on Billboard including “Bonfire,” Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “International Harvester,” “This Ole Boy,” “Wake Up Loving You,” and the four week #1, “That’s What I Love About Sunday.” Link to the new song at


“The House That Built Me” is the newest song from Tanya Tucker’s upcoming album While I’m Livin’. Made famous by Miranda Lambert, the song is one of the well-chosen covers on the release. In Tucker’s version, the lyrics have been adapted to reflect the journey of a mother revisiting the home where she raised her family in order to find herself again. While I’m Livin’ is produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings and was released August 23 via Fantasy Records. Tanya has also released a video for “The House That Built Me” that features many photos from throughout the years from her personal collection. In celebration of the album’s release, Tanya will play special, select shows this fall. More details and tour updates at


The Dr. Perry F. Harris Distinguished Fiddler Award was presented to Mark O’Connor on Sunday, September 1st, at the Grand Master Fiddler Championship at the Country Music Hall of Fame. This award is given annually to recognize an individual who exemplifies the highest qualities of enthusiasm and support for the fiddle and fiddle music, and in appreciation of their life-long passion supporting and preserving fiddle music. At age 13, Mark was the youngest person ever to win the Grand Master Fiddler Championship, competing against all ages, amateur and professional. Mark went on to win the award two more times as a teen. Forty-four years later, his record still stands. Mark and his wife Maggie will also be performing at the festival on Sunday at 3:00 pm CST. You can find more information at


Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley have founded Round Here Records. The label’s flagship artist is Canaan Smith. Smith was already signed to Tree Vibez Music, Hubbard and Kelley’s music publishing arm founded in 2015. While previously signed to Mercury Records Nashville, Smith scored a No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart with “Love You Like That.” As artists, FGL are signed to Big Machine but plan to use Round Here Records to release tracks from acts signed to Tree Vibez and elsewhere. Smith’s debut single on Round Here Records is the infectious party tune “Beer Drinkin’ Weather,” co-written by Smith with Hubbard, Kelley and Corey Crowder. Smith will be opening for FGL through the remainder of the 2019 Can’t Say I Ain’t Country Tour. More at

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