Sign up for newsletter
 

"Friends in Low Places" plan hit snafu

Friday, September 4, 2015 – Only a day after word leaked that a 25th anniversary of Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" was in process with superstars like George Strait aboard, the plan ran into a legal roadblock.

Billboard reported that problems with royalty payments squashed the idea.

Brooks was re-recording the song as part of a remixed, remastered 25th anniversary edition of "No Fences." The new version was also going to included Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban.

The problem was the royalty rate due songwriters by their publishing companies.

Billboard said a deal had been hatched with an unidentified non-traditional retailer to purchase a minimum of 1 million units.

For the deal to happen, publishers had to agree to a discounted royalty rate in return for the guaranteed 1 million purchase.

Billboard said most did agree, but a few, including Sony/ATV Music and Universal Music Publishing Group, would only agree to a lesser discount.

But the rate would have to remain the same for all publishers, and as a result, Brooks said that was more than the retailer could afford.

Brooks told Billboard that the publishers told him they would not agree to a discounted deal to protect the songwriters.

The 1 million guarantee was far more than albums currently sell. In this day and age of declining record sales, only Drake's "If You're Reading This It's Too Late" has hit the million mark.

"No Fences" has sold 4,000 copies in 2015, according to SoundScan. Thus far, each of the 10 tracks has earned the songwriters and publishers $364 to split year to date, according to Billboard.

CD reviews for Front Range

Ramblin' On My Mind
The third album for Sugar Hill from this bluegrass band that established itself as a national-level act with their previous, all-gospel "One Beautiful Day" is dominated by a smooth, laid-back, yet confident approach that should be appreciated by those leaning toward the folk side of country and bluegrass. Bob Amos, guitarist and lead singer, is a strong writer who contributes 6 out of the 12 cuts, including the instrumental "Willoughby Gap." There are three other new songs, including one by »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Henry comes out the other end a better man – Joe Henry mentioned at the outset that this show was not only the record release celebration, but also the anniversary - to the day - of when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although the songs from this fine new album do not address his illness directly, they many times touch upon the big issues of human existence (life, death and the meaning of it all).... »»»
Concert Review: What's in a name? Strings lives up to it – Billy Strings may not be his real name, but the bluegrass performer more than lives up to his adopted moniker. Bluegrass may not be the first style of music when one thinks of William Apostol's (yup, that's Billy's real name) home state of Michigan, but with more miles on the bus and shows like this outstanding, lengthy, lyrical night... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Willis, Robison spin "Beautiful Lie" Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
Chip Kinman celebrates brother, career on "Sounds Like Music" For a brief moment last summer, the news of Tony Kinman's death was, if not greatly exaggerated, then at least fortuitously premature. The roots rock icon, known for his work in The Dils, Rank and File, Blackbird and Cowboy Nation with his younger brother Chip, had been diagnosed with cancer in March 2018,... »»»
Shiflett learns "Hard Lessons" Until recently, Chris Shiflett took a somewhat obsessive/compulsive approach to his music career. For the past two decades, Shiflett has been the primary guitar foil for Dave Grohl in Foo Fighters; early in his tenure, Shiflett was so self-deprecatingly... »»»
Thinkin' Problem CD review - Thinkin' Problem
Most hard core country fans certainly have heard David Ball's 1994 "Thinkin' Problem," a true honky tonk classic. Ominvore is releasing the album in remastered expanded format with eight bonus tracks, marking its 25th anniversary. »»»
Onward CD review - Onward
Veteran Texas artist Stoney Larue has been through a lot in 20 years of touring and recording and puts that experience to good use on his first release since 2015's "Just Us." "Onward" enlists veteran Nashville producer and songwriter Gary Nicholson  »»»