Inside Track on Music Row: Sept 2021

CMHoF News

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has announced the names of the next inductees into the Hall of Fame. The announcement, presided over by Reba McEntire, took place August 16. The newest inductees will be: mother-and-daughter duo The Judds, singer-pianist Ray Charles, drummer Eddie Bayers and steel guitarist Pete Drake.  The in-person ceremony and medallion presentations will take place on a date to be determined later. More about the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the new inductees at


Condolences to the family of songwriter Jim Femino who passed away August 3, 2021, aged 69.  Jim’s songwriting credits include “Just Got Started Loving You” for James Otto, the 2008 song that was nominated for a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance and was named one of Billboard’s 100 Greatest All-Time Country Songs. Jim also had cuts on Toby Keith, Ronnie Milsap, Craig Morgan, Jamie O’Neal, John Michael Montgomery, Steve Azar and many more. Additionally, Jim was a producer, music publisher, educator, speaker, and author, having begun his music career as a recording artist for twenty-five years. He was a Board member of The Recording Academy and the CMA, and, for more than three decades, the president of Songstarters!, Inc., a music publishing and artist development company. He was a friend and a mentor tome and my music kids for the past 10 years. RIP Sweet friend. More about Jim Femino’s career at


Iconic international duo the Bellamy Brothers invited global superstar Dennis Quaid in the studio to record a rousing rendition of Billy Swan’s smash-hit “I Can Help.” The track is the lead single off the Bellamys’ forthcoming album, Covers From The Brothers, slated for release this fall. Stream or download “I Can Help,” at People exclusively debuted the video for “I Can Help,” described by Quaid as “the kind of moment dreams are made of.” Filmed at a recording studio outside Nashville by Derrek Kupish of dkupish productions, the video showcases the camaraderie shared between the three entertainers. Quaid, who worked on the film “Great Balls of Fire!” with Swan, even received the Rockabilly Hall of Famer’s blessing before the session.  “It couldn’t have been more fun recording ‘I Can Help’ with David and Howard Bellamy. I felt like I was a kid skipping school and jamming with a band,” shared Quaid. The Bellamy Brothers are also back on the road performing to fans across the country and gearing up for their 2022 European tour. See tour and ticket info at


The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) has developed an updated Educator’s Toolkit with resources designed to help music industry, songwriting, and composition instructors at colleges and universities learn more about their work to achieve The MLC’s mission. The toolkit includes: a video recording, a PowerPoint presentation with talking points, in-class activities, test questions and a resource list of videos, websites, documents/articles, and books. Educators or organizations with a group of 30 or more students may request a member of MRC’s team as a speaker. The non-profit MLC administers blanket mechanical licenses to eligible streaming and download services (digital service providers or DSPs) in the USA. The MLC then collects the royalties due under those licenses from the DSPs and pay songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers. The MLC has built a publicly accessible musical works database, as well as a portal that creators and music publishers can use to submit and maintain their musical works data. These tools will help ensure that creators and music publishers are paid properly. More about how the MLC helps songwriters and publishers at


Nationally-acclaimed entertainer, singer/songwriter/TV host and one half of the multi-platinum duo Big & Rich; John Rich, teamed up with All-American Red Gold tomatoes in the heartland to create an award-winning barbeque sauce. This is guaranteed to be a favorite brand for those who want to donate to a great cause. A portion of all sales from 1776 BBQ is donated to the Folds of Honor Foundation which provides educational scholarships to the spouses and children of America’s fallen military heroes. 

“I have always wanted to have my own BBQ sauce that my boys would love, while not sacrificing real ingredients so moms and dads would be happy as well. Red Gold is the perfect partner. They not only support Folds of Honor with their Red Gold ketchup, they source all the ingredients right here in the USA,” says John Rich. The National Restaurant Association 2021 Food and Beverage (FABI) Award recognizes 1776 BBQ sauce for its innovation and great taste. Since launching in March of 2021, 1776 BBQ can already be found in a number of major grocery retailers nationally. Be sure to explore to find a store near you to enjoy this new award-winning BBQ sauce. #rnrnashville |


Michael Ray’s highly anticipated ep is out! My HIGHER EDUCATION EP “There’s nothing better than music to make you feel less alone, to get you hyped up for a good time or as a soundtrack to reminisce on the past. I hope this new music makes y’all feel like you know me better not only as an artist but as a person too. The Higher Education EP is out now, says Michael. #MichaelRay #HigherEducation and Michael Ray’s Higher Education (ft. Kid Rock, Lee Brice, Billy Gibbons & Tim Montana) (Lyric Video) , YOUTUBE CHANNEL: TWITTER: @Michaelraymusic Michael says, “New limited-edition merch in the store y’all. Go get it before it’s gone #highereducation”