It’s that time of year when we take our visit to the great city of Nashville for the annual Country Radio Seminar (CRS). This event really sets the pace for Country music and we get the opportunity to meet and interview many artists during this invaluable week of music activity. Many of the artists and record labels use this as a springboard to launch new artists and their releases and you can’t beat having most of the music and program directors on hand all in one place. From the New Faces Show to the fabulous lunch showcases, not to mention the late-night concert events, CRS pretty much has it all and more. We can only hope to have the strength to survive this undertaking.
During this event year’s ago we were one of the first trade publications to interview a long haired Country artist newly signed to Warner Brothers by the name of Blake Shelton. He was a pretty quiet and humble guy back then but these days he’s got quite a bit more well-deserved confidence. We also covered a young rising Country Star in Taylor Swift as she ran around with her then glittered guitar. So many great memories and events have come from our time at the Country Radio Seminar. The CRS also gives us enough material and information to last an entire year which is invaluable to our publication.
Not only is this a great place to launch Country music but many of the programmers in attendance also oversee a good many Top40 and Hot AC outlets. Well informed programmers from multiple formats are represented here at CRS. If you can’t seem to be able to work them on a country single, then you might fare better working them on one of their pop stations. It is also amazing to realize just how many people we work with here at New Music Weekly. For many of us it’s really more like a high school reunion of sorts but in this case most of us here are very eager to learn just a bit more about the ever changing music industry.
This issue is also a celebration of our annual New Music Awards. Many of this year’s nominees can be found on the pages of this issue, Our annual award event not only pays tribute to great artists and bands but we also honor radio stations, music and program directors, record labels and industry professionals. Our system is also unique by the fact that the music fans and the general public have an effect on our winners and nominees by their votes and support on the New Music Weekly website. The fact that we have a fair mix of both major and independent artists also gives our NMA process a much more fair and balanced approach. In our world – all stations and artists are on a level playing field.
The charts on the pages of NMW also reflect an open policy toward the independent artist and band. Many of the stations that report to us are from the small and medium market arena. They are far more open to adding new artists and care more about the music than what type of record label or campaign is attached to the project. A number of our reporting stations actually listen to the music and don’t pay as much attention to monitored national trends and numbers. It’s a bit old-school but serves the purpose of representing a more detailed picture of how the major and indie artists square up back to back.
New Music Weekly continues to offer some of the best tools of the trade. From our weekly tracking services provided via STS, print and on-line advertising services to digital music offerings via Airplay Access, we continue to have an arsenal of solid weapons to assist labels and their artists with the things they need to help break a single at radio. From the outset this has always been about our own “new music revolution” and it continues to grow by leaps and bounds. We look forward to our time meeting with many of the artists here at this year’s CRS and to learn more about the emerging new music for 2017. We also want to congratulate our nominees for this year’s New Music Awards and we wish them the best through-out this amazing new year. All of us have the same goal and that’s to help revitalize our music industry by making it an even better place. We also can never forget that it’s really “all about the music”.