Multi-award winning songwriter, Jerry Salley, is renowned for his success in multiple genres: Country, Bluegrass and Gospel. The Nashville hitmaker, a 2019 finalist for the Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame, added a new title to his career when he became the head of a brand new record label, Billy Blue Records in 2018. Celebrating a year in business, BBR has signed iconic artists, released top charting albums and multiple #1 radio hits.
The burgeoning Billy Blue Records label wrapped up its first anniversary celebration by garnering a startling 10 nominations in the upcoming International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards. Nominations include Appalachian Road Show for New Artist of the Year; Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers for Entertainer of the Year; and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver for Vocal Group of the Year. Mullins and his formidable group are also nominated for Album of the Year (For The Record) and Collaborative Recording of the Year (“The Guitar Song,” with Del McCoury). BBR artists and projects received multiple nominations in the Gospel Recording of the Year and Song of the Year categories. Winners of the 30th annual IBMA awards will be announced on Thursday, Sept. 26 in Raleigh, NC during the annual World of Bluegrass conference and music festival.
Soon after launching, Billy Blue Records announced the signing of Appalachian Road Show, the new musical venture established by bluegrass stalwarts, Barry Abernathy (a founding member of Mountain Heart) and mandolin master Darrell Webb. Appalachian Road Show includes Todd Phillips on bass and Jim Van Cleve on fiddle. The group’s first single, “Dance, Dance, Dance,” a cover of the Steve Miller Band hit, quickly shot to the top of the charts, and includes a well-received music video. The eponymous debut album hit the #1 spot on the Bluegrass Unlimited monthly album chart in two consecutive months, and made the Billboard Top 20.
Iconic bluegrass band, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, soon signed to BBR and released For The Record. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass Album Chart. The group enjoyed a #1 song on multiple charts with “The Guitar Song,” a special collaboration with Del McCoury. “Acres of Diamonds” gave the group a #1 song on the Singing News Chart.
An album of songs by prolific writer, Rick Lang, includes performances by many top artists on tunes penned by the New England writer. The project, Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout, has been a top-seller since release.
Billy Blue Records has added to its powerhouse roster with the signing of legendary artist, Doyle Lawson and his band, Quicksilver. A recent release from DL&Q is Live In Prague, which was recorded during a sold out performance in the Czech Republic in early 2019.
“Our motto is ‘We’re Here To Play’ and it truly is all about the music,” Salley says. “We take pride in our artists, their unparalleled skill and creativity. BBR is a place for them to play. I look forward to many years of working with great artists and bringing first class music to fans of bluegrass.”
Billy Blue Records is an imprint of the long-established Daywind Records of Nashville. A sister imprint, Billy Jam Records, was established at the same time, focusing on Americana acts like the brilliant songwriting/performing duo, Steel Blossoms. Both imprints are headed by Salley as Creative and A&R Director.