About Nashville Podcast
A former professional boxer and country music singer hosts the About Nashville Podcast where he has casual conversations with the talented people running about Nashville.

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Syndication

CMA AWARDS/MOVIE REMAKES/THE WALKING DEAD

Mike and Holly talk about the CMA awards, current movie remakes, the results of the presidential election, and then Mike makes another bold prediction about what's about to happen in 'The Walking Dead' television series.

Direct download: The_Day_After.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 11:17pm CDT
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Ep 34: Leon Everette

RCA RECORDING ARTIST/ACTOR/ENTREPRENEUR

Leon Everette was a successful RCA country music recording artist when he walked away from the music business while still on the top on the charts. His music career peaked between 1977 and 1985. He recorded eight studio albums, including five for the RCA Nashville label. He charted several singles during this time. He reached the top 10 of the country music charts with the singles "Over", "Giving Up Easy", "Hurricane", "Midnight Rodeo", "Just Give Me What You Think Is Fair", "Soul Searchin'", "My Lady Loves Me (Just as I Am)" and "I Could'a Had You". His story is phenomenal and is very inspirational. He didn’t shy away from any of the painful details. He was very candid and brutally honest. I’m glad he shared his story with us.

Direct download: Leon_Everette.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:44am CDT
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Ep 33: Ray Rodgers

GOLDEN GLOVES/SILVER GLOVES/CUTMAN

Ray Rodgers, who was born in Oklahoma but grew up in Conway, was inducted into the Silver Gloves Hall of Fame in 2001, the Golden Gloves Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

The late Billy Bock, a 1996 Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee who was a well-known amateur boxer and later was among the pioneers of high school baseball in the state, told the Arkansas Democrat in 1990: “If it weren’t for Ray Rodgers, there would not be boxing left in Little Rock.”

Silver Gloves is for amateur fighters ages 10-15.

Golden Gloves is for amateur fighters ages 16 and older.

Based in part on the Golden Gloves’ tie back to the Chicago Tribune, newspapers long have been among the main sponsors of amateur boxing events. The New York City Golden Gloves tournament, which has been around for 85 years, is sponsored by the Daily News.

Rodgers told an interviewer in 2008: “It has a natural attraction to kids who are basically adventuresome and want to do something no one else does. That’s a lot of it. The dynamics of it hooked me in the fifth grade, and I’ve never been out of it one day.

“In boxing, as in life and everything else, desire is half the deal. … I’m a great believer in amateur boxing. I think it’s one of the greatest sports ever devised. It’s a cliche, but it’s true. In boxing, you don’t have anybody to hand off to or to lateral or pass it off to. You’re on your own, brother.

“The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline. You can stand a kid in a corner and whip his butt with a paddle. But once he learns self-discipline and the desire to do better in the ring, that sticks with him all his life.”

Jermain Taylor is the most prominent example of the hundreds of boys (now men) Rodgers has helped through the years. Born in Little Rock in 1978, Taylor and his three younger sisters were abandoned by their father when the future champion was 5. Taylor began boxing at age 13 with Ozell Nelson as his trainer.

Taylor’s Olympic bronze medal came in 2000 and his professional boxing debut was on Jan. 27, 2001, at Madison Square Garden against Chris Walsh.

As noted in yesterday’s post, Rodgers has served as the cut man in Taylor’s corner throughout Taylor’s professional career.

Taylor once said of Rodgers: “He’s the type of guy who comes in the dressing room and makes you feel comfortable. I’ve never seen him mad, not one time, and I’ve known him since I was 12. I’ve never seen him with a mean face. He’s the type of guy who always wants to see you smiling.”

Rodgers’ father, who worked for 49 years for an oil company that eventually became part of Mobil, moved the family from Oklahoma to Conway so he could serve as a pump station engineer in Arkansas. Young Ray was already addicted to boxing at the time of the move.

Ray Rodgers’ office at the Golden Gloves Education Center, which is adjacent to the Junior Deputy baseball fields just off Cantrell Road in Little Rock, now serves as sort of a museum of this state’s boxing history.

There is, for example, a photo of Bock and Rodgers in 1959 at the state AAU boxing tournament with Miss Arkansas in between.

“We were her escorts,” Rodgers says.

Famous names in Arkansas business, sports and politics crop up as you look at the programs and bout sheets Rodgers has collected through the years. For instance, Buddy Coleman of Little Rock was the state AAU boxing chairman one year.

Rodgers delights in talking about his 14-year amateur boxing career, delivering pithy quotes such as this one: “My left jab was so good the judges thought the other guy was sucking my thumb.”

The Arkansas River Valley — from Fort Smith all the way down to Little Rock –was a boxing hotbed in those days. Rodgers tells of going across a low-water bridge to make it to a boxing tournament at Oark (not Ozark!) in the Ozark Mountains north of Clarksville.

Places like Clarksville and Coal Hill produced good amateur boxers. The Subiaco Abbey, built in 1878 and associated with the Benedictine Order, was the home of many talented boxers. Wherever amateur tournaments were held across the state, you knew the boys from Subiaco Academy would be there and compete hard.

Rodgers’ home ring was at the National Guard Armory in Conway, where he boxed for a coach known as “Slow John” Cole. Rodgers went by the nickname “Butterball.” He continued to box competitively through graduation from Conway High School and Arkansas State Teachers College, now the University of Central Arkansas.

“I had deceptive speed in those days,” Rodgers says. “I was slower than I looked.”

At age 16, Rodgers also began coaching younger boxers. In 1958, he sent his first boxer to the national Golden Gloves tournament in Chicago.

Rodgers graduated from college in August 1960, becoming the first member of his family to earn a degree. He got married two weeks after graduation and moved to Little Rock to take a job with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. Rodgers fought his last fight in 1961 at the Mid-Arkansas Golden Gloves Tournament, but a lifetime of being involved in boxing was just starting.

He has worked with young boxers at various locations through the years, even using a gym that Gary Hogan, who loves the sport as much as Rodgers, once operated in downtown Little Rock.

In 1988, Rodgers raised private funds so he could transform a metal building next to the Junior Deputy baseball complex into a gym. It has been the home of the Ray Rodgers Boxing Club ever since.

In 2009, he turned the adjacent building into the Golden Gloves Education Center so his boxers would have a quiet place to study.

Rodgers has brought a number of legendary boxers to Little Rock through the years to promote the sport and help him raise money. Ali visited in 1990. Joe Frazier and Floyd Patterson also have visited the state’s capital city at Rodgers’ invitation.

Rodgers has had his share of tragedies.

In 1987, his wife Sally, a constant presence with him at boxing tournaments, died of breast cancer.

His current wife, Carole, whom he married in December 2005, now helps him run amateur tournaments.

Rodgers’ daughter Dawn battled brain cancer for 11 years before passing away in 2005.

Last year, Rodgers finally shut down his business, Mid-South Drywall.

“I’m not getting any younger,” he says.

On one wall of Rodgers’ office is a tribute to Stan Gallup, the longtime Golden Gloves executive director who died in February 2009 while accompanying the Kentucky Wesleyan basketball team (his son was the school’s athletic director) to an away game

It says “Stan Gallup, 1922-2009, Father of Modern Golden Gloves.”

Rodgers calls Gallup “a mentor.”

I happen to think Arkansas’ own Ray Rodgers has just as much a right as Gallup to that title of “Father of Modern Golden Gloves.”

Direct download: Ray_Rodgers.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:04am CDT
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Ep 32: Jimmy Adams (Part 2)

DON KING BUSINESS PARTNER/FORMER BOXING MANAGER

Episode 32 of About Nashville with Mike Rodgers

Today is part 2 of 2 with our guest, Jimmy Adams who is a business partner of Don King and former boxing manager of Ernie Shavers, Bert Cooper, Oliver McCall, Greg Page, Riddick Bowe, Tony Tucker, and many, many others.

This was a completely exclusive interview for any fans of boxing who may wonder what goes on behind the scenes of big time boxing. He shared details that have never before been disclosed before to the press about the great careers of the boxers I’ve mentioned.

They say you play football, you play baseball, and you can even play hockey, but you can never play boxing or you will get hurt. This interview reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly with the sport of boxing.

 

Question of the Week – What do you love the most about Nashville?

 -About Nashville Feedback Phone Line- (615) 852-5552.

 

  • Follow the show on Twitter & Facebook @AboutNashville
  • Email the show at AboutNashville@gmail.com
  • Call the -About Nashville Feedback Phone Line- (615) 852-5552 to ask questions or provide feedback that will be played and responded to on the show.

 

Nashville News

  • Fall Tennessee Craft Fair @ Centennial Park - September 23-25 - Handmade craft art of so many mediums are offered for sale

Friday and Saturday: 10am-6pm

Sunday: 10am-5pm

Admission is free and open to the public!

 

  • Nashville Chalkfest @ Fannie Mae Dees Park - September 24-25

Nashville Chalk Fest is a free, 2-day street painting festival with entertainment, food, and family fun; featuring sidewalk chalk art by professional artists.

Location: Belcourt Avenue and 24th Avenue next to Fannie Mae Dees Park Times: Saturday, September 24 from 9am-7pm Sunday, September 25 from 11am-6pm

Direct download: Jimmy_Adams_Part_2.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 11:27pm CDT
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Ep 31: Jimmy Adams (Part 1)

BOXING MANAGER/PROMOTER/DON KING BUSINESS PARTNER

Today’s guest is Jimmy Adams who is a Don King business partner and former boxing manager. Jimmy managed the boxing careers of Ernie Shavers, Bert Cooper, Oliver McCall, Greg Page, Riddick Bowe, Tony Tucker, and many, many others. Jimmy actually promoted several of my own pro bouts in the beginning of my boxing career with his “Mix Factory Boxing Series” in Nashville.

The interview with Jimmy Adams was so good that I’m making it a two part series. This was a completely exclusive interview because he rarely speaks to the press, and when he does it’s to promote something and not discuss it. If you’re a fan of boxing and have wondered what happens behind the scenes of the fight game then this episode may very well blow your mind.

 Specific details that have never before been revealed to the press or to the fans of Boxing about the great careers of the many boxers I’ve mentioned and what eventually happened to all of them might leave you speechless or possibly bring you to tears. I was also able to debunk several myths regarding Don King and his operations in our conversation with another side of the story that sets the record straight for the listeners. 

Mike and Holly talk about a couple of special events going on in Nashville this week, the controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s health, and what the Football protests mean to Holly being a woman of color. They also provide the listeners with their new About Nashville Feedback Phone Line to interact with them on the show.  

 

  • Follow the show on Twitter & Facebook @AboutNashville
  • Email the show at AboutNashville@gmail.com
  • Call the About Nashville Feedback Phone Line (615) 852-5552 to ask questions or provide feedback that will be played and responded to on the show.

 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

  • Are Hillary’s health problems worse than reported or politically exaggerated?

Let’s hear what you have to say about it. Call the About Nashville Feedback Phone Line at (615) 852-5522 and leave us a message. State your name, where you’re from, and your answer to this week’s question. 

Direct download: Jimmy_Adams_Part_1.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 1:37am CDT
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Ep 30: Reggie "Sweet" Johnson

MIDDLEWEIGHT & LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION

Today’s guest on About Nashville is former world boxing champion Reggie Sweet Johnson who held both the WBA Middleweight and IBF Light-Heavyweight titles. His tie to Nashville is his boxing manager, Bob Jordan, who also managed me for a short time in my own boxing career.

We talked about how he got into boxing, his winning two world championships, how he dealt with bad politics in the sport, his showdowns with legendary boxers like James Toney and Roy Jones Jr. and he spoke candidly  about his 12 year prison sentence for a crime he says he didn’t commit.

Direct download: Reggie_Johnson_v1.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 9:54pm CDT
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Ep 29: Jesse Case

COMEDIAN & PODCAST HOST

Jesse Case is a popular comedian from the Nashville area who was featured on the television show The last Comic Standing. Jesse is also one of the hosts for the popular podcast Probably Science and hosts his own podcast Jesse vs. Cancer. A show that documented his winning battle with Stage 4 cancer and return to the comedy stage.

Jesse and Mike talk about cancer, comedy and incompetence. They worked through a few technical difficulties, but not before some monkeys were humped.

 

 

 

Direct download: Jesse_Case.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 1:24am CDT
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Ep 28: Bubba Bradley #2

COMEDIAN/ACTOR/PODCAST HOST

Bubba Bradley talks about launching his new podcast next week called 'All Things Country', his new movie 'Shark Exorcist', and his recent comedy tour.

They also discuss 'The Walking Dead', 'The Howling', dating apps, and how little they really know about topics like politics and religion.

Direct download: Bubba_Bradley_2.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 7:11am CDT
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MUSIC MANAGER/FILM PRODUCER/CEO

Phyllis Bennett is the CEO of Take Three Entertainment and has been instrumental in the success of many people in the country music industry.

Mike talks with Phyllis Bennett and her daughter Denise Bennett-Burks about how she managed Doug Stone and led him to several #1 hits on the radio, obstacles they faced along the way, an artist that decided they didn't want it after they got their record deal, another artist that failed to deliver in the studio, and another artist she worked with that got side tracked by a groupie.

Direct download: Phyliss_Bennett__Denise_Bennett_Burks.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 7:07am CDT
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HostSesh

How do you take your podcast to the next level? You get a producer! We've brought on audio engineer WhiteCastle as our producer to improve the sound quality of the show. In the very first HostSesh for About Nashville, Mike & Holly talk about what the show has already accomplished in its first 6 months, where its headed now they have a producer and, oh yeah - big dicks.

Please welcome WhiteCastle to the About Nashville family.

Direct download: WhiteCastle.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 8:45pm CDT
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Ep 25: Steve-O

COMEDIAN/STUNTMAN/JACKASS STAR

Steve-O:(a.k.a. Stephen Glover)is a household name and it all started when he began producing homemade videos of dangerous stunts mixed with comical behavior. Steve-O graduated from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in 1997, and had a career as a circus clown before achieving fame on Jackass and Wildboyz. Since then, he has become a New York Times bestselling author, standup comedian, and actor. His first hour-long comedy special recently premiered on Showtime and performed in the top one percent of all Showtime comedy specials. 

Direct download: Ep_25-_Steve_O_Redux.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 2:30am CDT
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Ep 24: Wix Wichman

COMEDIAN/RECORD PROMOTER/TV HOST

Wix Wichmann is a comedian, former country music record promoter, Nashville Star, He’s now at Average Joe’s, and he’s the host of a videocast on youtube called “Wix in the Mix”.

He actually interviewed me for his show as I was interviewing him so you can hear that process as it happened on their end too. We talked about his years as a touring comedian, his stint as a country music promoter, Colt Ford & Average Joes Entertainment, Larry the Cable Guy, Kid Rock, Pamela Anderson, and I think I geeked all over the walls because the interview was in their Star Wars room with a bunch of cool Star Wars memorabilia. They had comic books made of their artists. I literally stole them all. They even had this old KISS pinball machine that was actually signed by all of the band members. I would have stolen it too if I could have got it in my bag.

Direct download: Wix_Wichman.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:23am CDT
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Ep 23: Tommy Emmanuel

GUITAR VIRTUOSO/CMA WINNER/GRAMMY NOMINEE

Tommy Emmanuel is a guitar virtuoso, recording artist, CMA winner, Grammy nominee, and international star.    

We talked about how he learned to play guitar in Australia, how Chet Akins became his mentor, and how he mentored Keith Urban. We also talked about Johnny Cash’s mystical “IT” factor and Paul McCartney recruiting him to teach at his musical school in Liverpool.

 

Direct download: Tommy_Emmanuel_2.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 10:49am CDT
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Ep 22: David Hudson

AUTHOR/ATTORNEY/BOXING JUDGE

David Hudson talks about how he became a boxing judge, writing 40 published books, being an attorney in Nashville, and how they met almost 20 years ago.

Direct download: David_Hudson.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 10:38pm CDT
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Ep 21: John Stone

SINGER/SONGWRITER/TOOTSIE’S AMBASSADOR

John Stones talks about how he got into country music, being an ambassador for Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, advice he would give singers and songwriters coming to Nashville, how much lower Broadway has changed in the last few years, and tells several stories about celebrities that have come through the doors of Tootsie’s over the years.

 

Direct download: John_Stone.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 11:17pm CDT
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Ep 20: Guy Gilchrist

CARTOONIST/MUSICIAN/TELEVISION HOST

Guy Gilchrist talks about how he started drawing comics, his television show, The Muppets, The Muppet Babies, Nancy & Sluggo, and how he almost missed out creating the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comic books.

Direct download: Guy_Gilchrist.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 8:12pm CDT
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COMEDIAN/ACTOR/PODCAST HOST

Tom Segura talks bout comedy, his podcast Your Mom’s House, Mike Tyson, who wins between Floyd Mayweather Jr.  and Connor McGregor, Professional Boxing, UFC, and who would win a fight between Mike and Joe Rogan.

Direct download: Tom_Segura.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:15am CDT
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Ep 18: Emily Brooke

2X AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST

Emily Brooke is a young up-and-coming country music star that has been a finalist on American Idol twice now. Mike and Emily talk about songwriting, American Idol, CMA Fest, and a mystery boy.

Direct download: Emily_Brooke.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 1:15am CDT
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Ep 17: Ray Scott

COUNTRY MUSIC SINGER/SONGWRITER

Mike talks to Ray Scott about breaking into music business, getting his first publishing deal, having his songs recorded by other artists, signing his first record deal, and his favorite TV shows. Mike makes a bad joke about his wife’s dog dying, and then then the dog really does die.

 

Direct download: Ray_Scott.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 5:00am CDT
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THE MUSIC CAREER OF SCOTT REEVES

This is part two of a two part series. Part one was focused more on Scott’s successful acting career in soap operas like General Hospital, The Young & the Restless, and Days of Our Lives. Part 2 of this interview is focused more on his music career as half of the popular country music duo called Blue County.

Mike talks to Scott in detail about how he broke into the music business, how he got a record deal, life on the road, returning to acting in the TV series Nashville, and how he would survive a zombie apocalypse.

Direct download: Scott_Reeves_Part_2.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 8:33am CDT
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THE ACTING CAREER OF SCOTT REEVES

Mike talks with Scott Reeves in part 1 of a 2 part series. Scott Reeves is a successful Actor, Singer and Songwriter. You may know Scott from the TV series Nashville or one of three soap operas he has been on like General Hospital, The Young & the Restless, and Days of Our Lives’\. He was also in the popular country music duo called Blue County.

Mike talks to Scott about breaking into the acting business, competing for roles against Brad Pitt, Jason Priestly, and Luke Perry, and how he asked his wife of 26 years, Melissa Reeves, to marry him.  

Direct download: Scott_Reeves_Part_1.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 11:16pm CDT
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SINGER/SONGWRITER/ACTOR/PRODUCER/DOG WHISPERER - In this episode Mike talks to Dean Miller about persevering for the love of the art, his High school prom date that went from good to breaking bad, acting with James Gandolfini & Robert Redford, the crimes of Michael Vick, and producing legends like Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard.

Direct download: Dean_Miller.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 5:00am CDT
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CHAD RIDEN INTRODUCED MARC MARON TO PRINCE’S HOT CHICKEN

Have you ever wondered who held the title of ambassador to comedy for the up and coming comedian in Nashville? It would be comedian Chad Riden.

Chad Riden has appeared on “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, the Late Show with David Letterman’s “Tony Mendez Show”, ABC’s “Nashville,” and is featured on an episode of CMT-Canada’s “Mississippi Snake Grabbers.”

Riden’s comedy is about his chaotic reality. Chad has weathered bankruptcy, divorce and foreclosure, launched a poultry farm, co-produced and headlined the Guinness World Records breaking #BrokenRecordShow, and made an unsuccessful run for mayor of Nashville. Riden tells self-incriminating stories that embarrass his daughter and make everybody else think he’s a weirdo. He lives in East Nashville with two flying squirrels and a turtle.

From April 12-20, 2015, Riden co-produced and headlined the world record setting #BrokenRecordShow at The East Room in Nashville, Tennessee – a non-stop 184 hour, 16 minute long standup comedy show that more than doubled the previous GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title of “Longest Stand-Up Comedy Show – Multiple Comedians.” The show featured about 100 comedians, including surprise celebrity guest sets from Hannibal Buress, Eric Andre, Rory Scovel, Nate Bargatze, Keith Alberstadt, Jon Reep, Ahmed Ahmed and Killer Beaz. Chad slept only 20 hours total over the course of 10 days, and only had to yell at two people who absolutely deserved it. He is not sorry at all.

“Chad’s a good guy. He’s been through a rough divorce and his heart is heavy; he’s got a burden. That burden makes him funny.” – Marc Maron, WTF Episode 209 (September, 2011) & in Marc’s book “Attempting Normal,” on page 175.

Mike & Chad Riden talk about David Letterman, Marc Maron, Comedy, & breaking the longest comedy show record again

Direct download: Chad_Riden.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:43am CDT
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ZANIE'S NASHVILLE COMEDY CLUB MANAGEMENT TEAM

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to Manage a Comedy Club?

Casey Ray is the Manager & Grace Trippodo is the Assistant Manager of the legendary Zanie's Nashville Comedy Club. Mike talks with them about what a week might look like running the comedy club as they sit in the famous green room to the stars of funny.

Direct download: Casey_Ray__Grace_Trippodo_-_Zanies_Nashville_Comedy_Club.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 12:01am CDT
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WARNER BROTHERS RECORDS RADIO PROMOTER

Have you ever wondered how to start a career in Nashville on the business side of the music business?

Adrian Michaels is the current Director of National Promotion at Warner Brothers Records and the CEO of the Adrian Michaels Agency in Nashville. He started from the bottom, now he’s here. In the early 90’s he sold off everything he owned to move to Nashville for a position that never really existed. Adrian was lucky enough to have been gifted with a natural born ability to talk the talk which helped him create an opportunity to get his foot in the door where he has since proven over and over again that he can also walk the walk.

Not everyone coming to Nashville wants to be an artist, a songwriter, a producer, or a musician. Those are careers pursued on the music side of the music business. Some people go to Nashville to work in promotions, management, booking, or possibly a position at a label in order to work in the business side of the music business. The careers are quite different, but they are both just as challenging to break into. Starting a career in the music business is a difficult task because so many people who want to work in it, but there are very few who are successful if they get the job.

Adrian went from delivering pizzas to promoting over 100 #1 singles over the last 20 years. Listen to Mike’s conversation with Adrian Michaels where they discuss how he got his music business career started, overcoming the overwhelming odds against him, what drives him to succeed, and several key survival tips you might need to stay alive in the concrete jungle down on Music Row.

Direct download: Adrian_Michaels.mp3
Category:Music -- posted at: 2:09am CDT
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