Mayor Announces Continuation of Music City Music Council
Veteran Music Industry Executive Joe Galante to Serve as Co-Chair in 2016
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Megan Barry announced today that she will continue the Music City Music Council and that veteran music industry executive Joe Galante, who currently serves as mentor-in-residence at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, will co-chair the council. Galante began his career at RCA Records and rose to serve as president of the label and chairman of RCA Label Group/Nashville. He also oversaw the creation of Sony Music Nashville, where he served as chairman until 2010.
Ed Hardy, former president of Great American Country, has served as co-chair of the Music City Music Council since October 2014.
“I am committed to continuing the great work of the Music Council, which has done so much this past year under the leadership of Ed Hardy to promote the Music City brand,” Mayor Barry said. “The Music Council will continue to be a leading advocate for our entertainment industry under the direction of Joe Galante, who understands every aspect of the music business and how the industry has evolved.
“Joe’s background leading two giants in the music industry – RCA and Sony – and his current work mentoring future business leaders at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center makes Joe the kind of visionary we want in our corner as we recruit entertainment companies to move here or expand in our city.”
The Music City Music Council, a partnership between the Mayor’s Office, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, was created in 2009 to capitalize on Nashville’s identity as Music City. During her campaign this year, Mayor Barry strongly supported the Music Council, and she named Hardy to her transition team after her election. She will serve as co-chair of the Music Council, as former Mayor Karl Dean did before her.
The organization will continue to focus on helping music-related businesses expand or relocate to Nashville; bringing televised music shows and music-related award shows across all genres to the city, and recruiting more music-related events and conventions here. Priorities also include supporting and expanding live music in Nashville and music education in public schools.
“I look forward to building on the successes of the previous co-chairs as we work to bring new entertainment jobs, conventions, and televised music and award shows that add to the richness and growth of Nashville,” Galante said. “I am honored and excited to work with Mayor Barry in support of her vision to accelerate the growth of the entertainment industry in Music City.”
One of the first tasks for the Music Council under Galante’s leadership will be hiring a new executive director – the first time the organization will employ someone in the position full-time. Hardy and Galante will lead the search for an executive director, working together during a transition period until Galante officially takes on the co-chair role Jan. 1.
Scott Clayton, a music agent at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and co-head of CAA Music’s Nashville operations, will serve as vice chair of the Music Council beginning Jan. 1. He represents many of the world’s leading musicians, including John Mayer, Train, Dead & Company, Kings of Leon, My Morning Jacket, Guster, Steve Winwood, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Zac Brown Band, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Michael Franti, Natalie Merchant, Mat Kearney, and Iron & Wine, among other artists. In 2004 and 2011, Clayton was named “Third Coast Agent of the Year” by Pollstar magazine.
Previous co-chairs of the Music Council have included Hardy; Randy Goodman, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Nashville; and Mary Ann McCready, co-founder and president at Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy.
The all-volunteer Music Council has played a role in several economic development successes to bring more entertainment-related jobs to the city, including Sony/ATV’s expansion to downtown with 60 new jobs and Eventbrite’s expansion into Nashville.
Other accomplishments include:
- Music Impact Study: This comprehensive study of Nashville’s music and entertainment industry shows it has a $10 billion annual economic impact on the Nashville region. The report also found that the Nashville area has more music industry jobs than any other U.S. city in relation to population and total employment, even more than New York or Los Angeles. The music industry helps create and sustain more than 56,000 jobs in the Nashville area, supporting more than $3.2 billion of labor income annually.
- Music Makes Us: A sweeping initiative to modernize the music education curriculum at Metro Schools by focusing on music literacy and student participation. The contemporary curriculum includes such things as songwriting classes and mariachi and includes new technologies, including recording studios and a student-run record label.
- Ryman Lofts: Nashville’s first affordable housing apartment building designed specifically for artists is located on Rolling Mill Hill.
- GRAMMY Nominations show: In 2012, Bridgestone Arena hosted the GRAMMY Nominations show, the first time it was held outside Los Angeles.
Through Galante’s remarkable 44-year tenure in the music industry, he helped launch the careers of Alabama, Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Dave Matthews, Wu Tang Clan, SWV, The Judds, Lonestar, Martina McBride, K.T. Oslin, Kellie Pickler, Carrie Underwood, Keith Whitley, Chris Young and many more. His leadership also bolstered the careers of such superstars as Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert and Brad Paisley.
He is currently a board member of Avenue Bank, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Artist Growth LLC, Fishbowl Spirits, Abe’s Garden and the Country Music Association. He is an advisor to FLO and Empirical Capital.
Galante began his career in the music business with RCA Records in New York in 1971 as manager of financial analysis. He arrived in Nashville three years later as manager of administration. During the next several years he held jobs as vice president of promotion and vice president of marketing and operations. Galante’s rise saw him become the youngest man to lead a major Nashville label when he took over as head of RCA Nashville in 1981.
He was named president of RCA Records in New York in 1990, returning to Nashville four years later as chairman of RCA Label Group/Nashville, encompassing the RCA and BNA labels and adding the Arista Nashville imprint in 2000. In 2002, he also added Provident label group, the leader in Christian music. Four years later, welcoming Columbia Nashville as its fourth imprint, the label group became Sony BMG Nashville, adopting the Sony Music Nashville name in 2009. In April of 2010, after 40 years within the same label family, Galante announced his decision to step down from his post as chairman of Sony Music Nashville.
Along with Mayor Barry, members of the Music City Music Council include Galante (co-chair); Clayton (vice chair); Hardy (immediate past co-chair); Goodman (past co-chair); McCready (past co-chair); David Bohan, President/CEO, BOHAN; Ken Levitan, Founder and Co-President, Vector Management; Hank Adam Locklin, entertainment attorney; Ken Paulson, Dean, College of Media and Entertainment, Middle Tennessee State University; Colin Reed, Chairman and CEO, Ryman Hospitality Properties; Ralph Schulz, President and CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; Nancy Shapiro, Senior Vice President, The Recording Academy; Clarence Spalding, Partner, Maverick Management; Butch Spyridon, President and CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp; Troy Tomlinson, CEO, SONY/ATV Publishing; Jason Moon Wilkins, Co-Founder, Do615 LLC; and Sally Williams, Vice President of Business and Partnership Development, Opry Entertainment Group, and General Manager, Ryman Auditorium.