Friends of the Expo—Mark Brown

Mark Brown

DSE Update 08.17.14: Our great friend Mark Brown has a cool new publishing gig with Round Hill Music who has just opened a Nashville office and is reported to be signing new writers. Mark has been named the Vice President and General Manager. Congrats Mark! Mark will be returning to the Expo for the Oct 2-2 2014 event.

After four years in the Nashville local band scene in the early 80’s, Brown accepted a position at Silverline/Goldline Music, a publishing company owned by The Oak Ridge Boys. There he worked with writers such as Steve Earle and Tony Brown. Arriving at the company six months before the recording of Earle’s Guitar Town album, Brown was there to participate in the creative formation of that project as well as the subsequent success generated by this groundbreaking piece of work.

In 1987, Silverline/Goldline merged with Lorimar Telepictures of Los Angeles. Brown remained with the company as the main creative marketing person in the Nashville operation. While there he secured many recordings for the company including “A Little Bit In Love” and “Chains” both of which were #1 hits for Patty Loveless.

In 1989, Lorimar Telepictures merged with Time Warner. Brown remained and went to work for Warner/ Chappell Music Publishing. While at Warner/Chappell, he had the opportunity to work with one of the most distinguished writing staffs in the industry. Writers that included Gretchen Peters, Gail Davies, Steve Bogard, Lionel Cartwright, Jon Vezner, and Steve Earle. He was successful in doing so. He secured many notable cuts for the company including “The Chill Of An Early Fall” #1 for George Strait, title cuts on Randy Travis “High Lonesome,” Highway 101 “Paint The Town,” and other top 10’s with Patty Loveless “Jealous Bone,” and new artist Jann Brown “Tell Me Why.”

In 1993, Brown was asked to join the A&R team at Liberty Records working with A&R V.P. Renee Bell and the legendary Jimmy Bowen. There he served as the primary creative person for song acquisition for the label, and worked closely with many artists on the label including John Berry, Billy Dean, Tanya Tucker, and Suzy Bogguss.

In 1995, when Bowen left the label, he was replaced by Scott Hendricks (Faith Hill, Brooks and Dunn, John Michael Montgomery, Restless Heart) who changed the label's name back to Capitol Records. Brown remained with the label and advanced to the position of V.P. of A&R. In that position he was in charge of the A&R department and was instrumental in the creative development of the debut projects of both Trace Adkins and Deana Carter ("Strawberry Wine,") as well as being part of the team that signed Keith Urban to the label and put together Keith’s first record with The Ranch.

Brown left the label with Scott Hendricks in 1997 and continued to serve as an A&R consultant with Virgin Records Nashville until April 1999.

In July 1999, Brown joined highly-respected music publisher Pat Higdon and the team at the newly formed Universal Music Publishing Group (a combination of the MCA, Polygram, and Patrick-Joseph Music Publishing Companies.) There he served as Creative Director working with such notable songwriters as Kostas, Rivers Rutherford, Monty Powell, Troy Verges, Stephanie Bentley, Mark D. Sanders, and Gordon Kennedy.

In September 2002, he joined the A&R team at Sony Records with Exec.V.P of A&R and Chief Creative Officer Blake Chancey (Dixie Chicks.) There he worked with many of the labels artists helping pick songs for the projects as well as matching artists with producers, picking singles, and signing new artists. Specifically, he worked on projects for Montgomery/ Gentry, Little Big Town, Patty Loveless, Travis Tritt, Buddy Jewell, and Marty Stuart.

After a major restructuring at the label in May of 2003, Brown remained as the Senior Director of A&R working with new Exec. V.P. of A&R and Chief Creative Officer, Mark Wright (Gretchen Wilson, LeAnn Womack, Gary Allen, Brooks and Dunn) and new label President John Grady (Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.)

While at Sony, Brown worked on projects for Gretchen Wilson, Montgomery/ Gentry, Miranda Lambert, Van Zant, and Trent Willmon, as well as many others. Brown was the primary A&R contact for Montgomery/ Gentry’s last three albums and is widely recognized for his decision in picking the single “Hell Yeah” which sold an estimated 700,000 pieces. Recently, Montgomery Gentry scored their latest #1 hit with “Lucky Man,” a song that Brown found and brought to the project. He is also responsible for signing Sony/ BMG’s new artist Cole Degges and The Lonesome.

After Sony, Brown accepted a position with a new label Rust Records as Senior V.P. and Head of A&R. While there he brought former American Idol finalist Carmen Rasmusen to the label, and worked with artists Blackhawk, Aaron Tippon, and The PovertyNeck Hillbillies.

Since then, Brown has started his own company, Molet Music Consulting, a firm specializing in artist development, management, career development and publishing services. His client list includes Stephen Allen Davis, Monument Publishing, the Dennis Linde Estate, producer Blake Chancey, Diamond Eye Music Publishing, recording artist Cole Degges, songwriter/ artist Keith Gattis, Gibson Guitars, former American Idol finalist Carmen Rasmusen, and r3 Media.

Brown also re-entered the music publishing world joining Steve Markland at Crossfire3 - a newly created publishing company formed by Redlight Management’s Coran Capshaw, Vector Management’s Ken Levitan, and Chrysalis Publishing. In addition to helping establish policies and procedures and setting up the new company, Brown also brought in writer/ artist Keith Gattis and a catalog of songs, obtained funding to record a new album, and oversaw the recording of Gattis Bones acting as executive producer.

For more information contact Mark Brown at moletmusic@comcast.net.