Wednesday, August 23, 2006

First Starbucks, Now Cracker Barrel Gets Into The Music Biz

Here's the official press release:

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (“Cracker Barrel”) is taking a significant step in the music business by announcing an exclusive Songs of the Year CD and a special concert with one lucky person winning an all-expense paid trip for two to see the show.

The Songs of the Year CD will be released October 3rd followed by a November 5th concert at the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall in Nashville. Available exclusively at Cracker Barrel locations and online at, this unique collection features today’s country superstars performing songs that earned “Song of the Year” recognition from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music or Grammy awards.

This collection of original recordings includes Trace Adkins performing “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down,” Trisha Yearwood singing “Back Home Again,” and a George Jones-Dierks Bentley recording of “Murder On Music Row.”

“Cracker Barrel is excited to feature such an impressive collection of songs and artists,” said Simon Turner, Cracker Barrel’s chief marketing officer. “This CD continues our tradition of connecting country music’s past and present. The artists are fans of these songs, too. These songs inspired them to become musicians and it’s very special to have all this talent on one CD.”

With a retail price of $11.99, the 12 track CD features original recordings by Lonestar, the Wreckers, Blake Shelton, Randy Travis, Jo Dee Messina and Jypsi plus several duets including Willie Nelson and Jack Ingram, Deana Carter and Heart, and Jamie O’Neal singing with Michael McDonald. Many of the artists will perform at the invitation-only Songs of the Year concert. The concert will be part of the official festivities associated with the annual Country Music Association Awards show in Nashville.

As a company that appreciates the importance of preserving history, Cracker Barrel collaborated with Vector Management on this project to generate support for the Country Music Hall of Fame (R) and Museum. Cracker Barrel and Vector Management will donate $125,000 to the not-for-profit Museum. The donation will represent a portion of proceeds from the sale of each Songs of the Year CD.

“The project honors the songs and artists that defined a generation of country music,” said Ken Levitan, president of Vector Management and a Museum board member. “People have emotional connections to these songs and remember hearing their favorite song on the radio and jukebox. The artists on this CD have those emotional connections as well and it’s why I think this CD is a natural fit for Cracker Barrel and the Museum.”

In conjunction with the CD release, Cracker Barrel is offering a chance for one person to win an all-expense paid trip for two to Nashville for the invitation-only Songs of the Year concert on November 5th. Fans can register to win and access full contest details by visiting In addition to the trip, contest prizes include Songs of the Year CDs and autographed prints from the concert. The Songs of the Year release bolsters Cracker Barrel’s growing collection of exclusive CDs on its music label.

The Cracker Barrel label also features exclusive CDs from Alison Krauss & Union Station, Amy Grant, Sara Evans, the Charlie Daniels Band and the Grand Ole Opry Live Classics series. Since creating its music label in 2003, Cracker Barrel has sold more than 2.5 million CDs.

I love the fact that a local country station is almost always on in the background at Cracker Barrel, though I know that fact drives the RIAA, BMI, ASCAP and SESAC crazy.. For me, live and local radio beats Muzak every time..

The Cracker Barrel Media Contacts are Jim Taylor at (615) 235-4082 and Kirt Webster at Webster & Associates PR, (615) 777-6995 x30

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