Canadians and Americans Celebrate A Music Icon Returns to Music City U.S.A

Nashville Office Cover

by Sandy Graham

May 2010 will be a month to remember in Nashville,Tennessee. True, it was the month of the great flood, when the Cumberland River crested to a near all time high but even in the face of adversity, it was the rebirth of a great American music tradition, CASHBOX MAGAZINE in Nashville. The return of this institution was to be marked with a Mother’s Day Cashbox Artist Showcase at the legendary Nashville Palace. With the occurrence of the tragic floods, the event was in danger of being postponed due to water damage and inaccessibility, but in true Tennessee fashion of “the show must go on” the show went on.

CASHBOX NASHVILLE is headed up by Nashville mainstay Keith Bradford. Bradford and his brother Mike Bradford also operate NBRN.FM, a great internet country radio station, and KMA Records, an independent label for up and coming country artists.

When I first met face to face with Keith (we had corresponded by phone and email prior to my arrival in Nashville) I knew they couldn’t have picked a better man for the job of re-establishing this prestigious publication in Music City. Keith’s background alone qualified him for the position, having played bass and emceed for the second female to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Kitty Wells. Keith’s pedigree is well earned. Couple that with his years in the recording, radio and publishing end of the music business and you have “the right man for the job”. We met at the offices of NBRN.FM and KMA Records, which are located in a cozy house on E. Old Hickory Blvd. in Madison, Tennessee, and coincidently was previously owned by Kitty Wells and her family. I accompanied Canadian country recording artist Don Graham who was there to perform on the Showcase at the Palace and was stopping in to do a live on air interview with NBRN.FM deejay, Carey Latham. Keith and I got to sit down and go over his vision and plans for CASHBOX NASHVILLE. I was so impressed with his passion for the music industry and the magazine as well as equally impressed by his knowledge of all things musical and CASHBOX related. A combination of passion and knowledge, in any business, is a good blueprint for success.

Saturday afternoon we moved from the office over to the Nashville Palace to go through rehearsals for the acts that would be performing and to set up plans for Sunday’s Showcase. The acts performing were varied and some had traveled great distances to attend. Barry Stagg, a Cashbox Records artist, had traveled from North Carolina with his band, Jason Rogers, an up and coming young singer hails from the east coast of Canada but is now living the dream in Nashville. Josh Logan from Kentucky, Fraser Newcombe, great traditional artist from the Maritimes in Canada, Trish LeCompte a gospel singer from Canada, Dave Caley a KMA recording artist, and veteran country rocker Don Graham from Toronto, Canada, and a young band just getting started called, Branded all performed. The band Appalachian Vibe led by Brandon Bailey from Burnsville, North Carolina did a bang up job backing the various acts. Bruce Elrod, President and CEO of CASHBOX MAGAZINE was on hand to accept his induction into The Big Band Hall of Fame from Cliff Ayers.

The Sunday show was high energy fun attended by several hundred country music fans and some celebs, NBRN.FM deejays Mike Bradford, Bill Rainey and Carey Latham were on hand as was Cashbox Magazine CD reviewer Christopher Adams, who traveled all the way from Maine to attend. Larry Patton also showed up, a honky tonk singer and bass player for Bobby Bare, Delbert McClinton, Ronnie Mislap are a few he’s backed up. Renate Goncalves, manager for Nashville’s newest up and coming stars, Hip Kitty, came by to support the event as well. The evening ended with the entire cast on stage singing an impromptu version of ‘I Saw The Light’.

As CASHBOX NASHVILLE’s Keith Bradford commented on the song choice for the finale, “If it was good enough for the Opry, it’s good enough for us”. The plans to continue this unique blend of Canadian and American artists on stage in Nashville is already in the works for the near future.

Well done, Keith and crew. As the posters said downtown “We’ll Be Right Back”.