Briefs: Kellie Pickler Sounds Off, Florida Georgia Line Gets Signed
Also, Danny Gokey Prepares For Fatherhood
• After recently parting ways with Sony Music Nashville, Kellie Pickler made sure to give the label a good swift kick on her way out the door. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pickler has no kind words for her longtime label home. She says the process of making her current album, “100 Proof” was “hell. We couldn’t agree on songs. The thing is, my life is a country song. I don’t need to be manufactured, and I don’t need anyone to tell me what to say or what to sing.”
She also claims the album “wasn’t promoted. When my album came out, I didn’t even have a song out on the radio. Nobody does that. [The label was] spread thin. When I was making my record, the CEO left. He retired. They brought in Gary [Overton]. My A&R left. They brought in somebody else. I went through four heads of promotion when my record was coming out. The only consistency was inconsistency.”
Pickler also says that since appearing on “American Idol,” her career has been “like a blur. I’ve been pulled in a hundred different directions by a hundred different people. You know, signing contracts that I couldn’t read, but I was 19 and green and it was, ‘Sign this contract or go back to working in fast food,’ and I didn’t want to do that.”
But she says her early life got her ready to weather the industry. “My life has been so inconsistent,” she says. “I was tossed all over the place growing up, which I guess prepared me for the music business.”
• The country duo Florida Georgia Line inked its first major record deal with Republic Nashville on Monday. Tyler Hubbard of Monroe, Ga., and Brian Kelley of Ormond Beach, Fla., were previously signed to the small independent label Big Loud Mountain.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Kelly in a press release. We are ready to rock, ready to work and ready for the ride of our lives!”
Florida Georgia Line has already built a substantial fan and has opened tours for Jake Owen, Brantley Gilbert and this year’s Country Throwdown Tour. Their debut single, “Cruise,” has sold more than 100,000 copies to date and is in the top 30 nationally on the iTunes Country Singles chart. The Republic Nashville staff will take over promotion efforts for “Cruise,” at country radio.
Republic Nashville’s artist roster also includes Martina McBride, The Band Perry, Eli Young Band, Sunny Sweeney, newcomer Greg Bates and the newly signed RaeLynn.
• Danny Gokey announced via Twitter this week that he and his wife, model Leyicet Peralta, are expecting their first child in January 2013. The couple wed in late January of this year.
I like all these folks who think they know all about it. At one time country was different simply because there didn't appear to be enough money in it to attract the big boys, not so today. Now, Standard Operating Procedure is this: Sign the greenie with (at least some) talent and a couple to a few good songs to a contract that gives you (the company) big cuts for the first two CDs (where the big hits are usually from), and then gives the (no longer) greenie nice money after that. Now the catch is, they try to drain the greenie dry of everything and anything worth hearing in the first one or two... and invest as few resources as they can get away with after that. It's simple, unless it's a Judds, a Garth Brooks or a U2, even though they make plenty after the first couple, they get a bigger return on their investment from the next greenie... then it appears internet know nothings come out to defend them should a little light get shed on the antics.
Sony Records is no brighter than Sony Entertainment, and Sony wasn't interested in the idea that became the IPod... pretty dumb if you ask me.
I make no judgments about Ms. Pickler`s talent or skills, but I will remind all the "experts" out there, an "expert" told Garth Brooks to "go back to the farm." I observe that in the music industry there are many experts who have no credentials other than having convinced someone to put them into the position of being able to make the decisions... and that, brothers and sisters, explains some of the trash that has been called music over the last thirty or so years. Now, make nice and take your troll selves back to the bridge.
about the blogger
Veteran entertainment journalist Phyllis Stark has been reporting extensively on the music industry for two decades. As a freelance writer, her work appears regularly in numerous publications and sites. She previously was Nashville Bureau Chief at Billboard magazine.