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April 29, 2013

Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Successful Independent Publishers: Competing With And Outsmarting The Big Boys

Our distinguished panel will discuss their greatest successes and what adjustments are being made artistically, financially, and technologically to successfully compete with major music publishers. 


Ree Guyer Buchanan
Wrensong Publishing Corp., President/Owner

Pat Higdon
Patrick Joseph Music, President/Owner

Dan Hodges
Dan Hodges Music, Owner/GM


Heather Cook
CEO / Creative Director - Cook'n Up Music Publishing

AIMP Panel

Place: View Map
ASCAP 1st Floor Conference Room
2 Music Sq. W.
Nashville, TN 37203

Additional Speaker Information

Ree Guyer Buchanan was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. She graduated in 1981 from St. Mary’s University with a BS in Psychology and Studio Arts. Shortly after graduation, she obtained a sales position for Wrensong Publishing, a newly formed division of her father, Reyn Guyer’s development company Winsor Concepts (this company owns the patent on Nerf and Twister). The initial concept of Wrensong was to help professional jingle writers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area get their commercial songs recorded by major recording artists. The company initially signed single song contracts with these writers and began with twenty songs. In 1985, Ree landed her first cut. “Little Things,” recorded by the Oak Ridge Boys, became a #1 single. Ree moved to Nashville in Novemeber 1985 to open the Music Row office where the company remains today. Wrensong signed their first staff writer in 1986 and within 18 months had two singles and several cuts including the Grammy award-winning song “Where Have You Been,” recorded by Kathy Mattea. Today, Wrensong is one of the top independent publishing companies on Music Row. The catalog contains over 3,000 copyrights with six staff writers and artists. Hits include “Better Dig Two” (The Band Perry), “Drink On It” (Blake Shelton), “Am I The Only One (Dierks Bentley) “Hell On Heels” (Pistol Annies), “Heart Like Mine” (Miranda Lambert), “The Truth” (Jason Aldean), and countless others.

A Nashville native, Pat Higdon broke into the music industry in the early ‘70s as a recording engineer at Nashville's Woodland Sound before moving to Cedarwood Publishing. He then spent seven years with MCA Music, rising to become MCA's Vice President of Nashville operations. In the late ‘80s, he moved to Warner/Chappell Music, where he served as Senior Director of Creative Services. In 1989 Higdon founded Patrick Joseph Music as a joint venture with Warner/Chappell. He established a similar relationship in 1992 with Los Angeles-based Windswept Pacific Entertainment. The success of Patrick Joseph Music's boutique catalog caught the attention of Universal Music Publishing Group, and Higdon was tapped to run the Nashville operation in 1999. In 2012, Higdon teamed up with SONGS Music Publishing to re-launch Patrick Joseph Music.

Born in the Washington, D.C area and raised in Nashville, Dan Hodges has built a creditable reputation as a music industry professional over the past 15 years. After receiving his degree in music business, at Middle Tennessee State University, he immediately began his career as manager of BMG Music Publishing’s catalog and tape room. After showing a diligence to “get the job done” and competence in many areas, including his exceptional ability to cast songs for various artists, Dan was ultimately promoted to Professional Manager. Having flourished in that position, in 1997 Dan completed a successful five-year stint at BMG. Always looking for opportunities that allow him to grow professionally, Dan set out to increase his contacts and experience by accepting a position as Creative Director for legendary R&B producer/publisher Rick Hall’s company, Fame Music Publishing. In 1999, following a 2 year run at Fame, Dan was hired by Hall of Fame Songwriter and veteran publisher Roger Murrah, becoming Creative Director of Murrah Music Corporation. Dan’s tenure with Murrah was briefly interrupted, while he took some time to help form Create Real Music, an independent publishing company which he eventually left. With encouragement from Murrah, Dan returned. As part of his new alliance with Murrah Music, he formed his own publishing company, Large Opportunity Music, along with an independent song plugging service, through which he represented a number of additional clients. In January of 2005, Dan dissolved his independent songplugging service and went to work full-time at Murrah Music Corporation and held the position of Vice President, Creative until April 2008. Dan Hodges Music opened its doors on April 15, 2008. Operating from just off the round-a-bout on world famous Music Row, DHM builds music careers and catalogs in conjunction with its clients through the development of their songs and networking of their writers. In addition to many cuts since opening DHM, Dan had the opportunity as an A&R consultant for Broken Bow Records from 2009 to 2010 working closely with owner Benny Brown searching for songs for the label's artists including Jason Aldean and Ash Bowers. In late 2009 Dan shopped client The Bicycle Music Company's artist/writer Josh Kelley for a country record deal. As a result, Josh was signed by Universal Music Nashville in November 2009. Kelley's first single, "Georgia Clay" was released Fall 2010 and went to #15. Dan also Co-Produced Jason Charles Miller's debut album for Render Records in 2011, which spawned the charting single "Up To Me". Dan has successfully placed songs on albums generating over 10 million units in sales throughout his career. Among those songs are the hits “Where Would You Be” by Martina McBride and “I’m A Survivor” by Reba McEntire, which became the theme song for her hit television show, Reba. In addition to his success at placing songs in his career, Dan has proven that he has an exceptional skill in discovering talented songwriters before they happen. Among those Dan has discovered and signed to their first publishing deals are Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins (cowriters who penned ASCAP 2007 Song of the Year “Before He Cheats” for Carrie Underwood), Victoria Banks (sole writer of the Sara Evans smash “Saints and Angels”) and most recently, Rachel Thibodeau (the writer of the 3 week #1, ASCAP 2008 Song of the Year “Good Directions” for Billy Currington as well as 2 songs for Martina McBride).

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