ole/RGK Commit To Nashville

Reprinted with permission of Music Row - by David M. Ross

Canadian publisher ole and RGK Entertainment Group have partnered to form ole/Roots Three Music and opened a Nashville office located at 1227 16th Ave. S.

ole opened its first Nashville outpost about one year ago, shortly after the company was formed by Robert Ott (former VP/GM BMGMP Canada) and Tim Laing. Armed with initial financing of $100 million, ole has already completed about $19 million in purchases and acquisitions during its short history and currently operates offices in Toronto, Nashville, Los Angeles and the UK. Catalogs acquired include Balmur, Encore, Keith Follese and Dream Warriors. Additionally the company has administration agreements with film and TV producers such as Nelvana, Arcadia Entertainment and Devine Entertainment as well as with the Arc Music Group which includes songs from Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Otis Rush.

RGK Entertainment was established by Toronto-based Ron Kitchener in 1994. The management group represents Canadian artists such as Jason McCoy, Doc Walker, The Road Hammers, Corb Lund and Johnny Reid. Kitchener, awarded Canadian Country Music Manager of the Year in 1998, plus 2002-05, also founded and operates Open Road Records a co-venture with Universal Canada and Maple Music. Open Road earned Label of the Year Honors from the CCMA in 2004 and 2005.

According to ole Managing Partner Robert Ott, the Nashville office will serve multiple functions. "We are combining our operations for the sake of ease and efficiency," says Ott. Ole and Roots Three will each continue to work independently and support the co-venture. First and foremost this is a publishing co-venture but Ron has so many additional capabilities in terms of his management and label operations, it gives us the ability to see projects from early inception through the release of a record."

"The plan is to develop artists in Nashville--the world's greatest songwriting community," says Kitchener. "Roots Three will utilize a strong network of established writers and these associations will hopefully allow our young writers to blossom into recording artists." Shane Barrett, songplugger Tammy Brown and Norbert Nix (acquisitions) are currently working in the ole Nashville office. Roots Three has hired Denny Carr as Creative Director and expects to hire one additional Nashville staffer.

"Despite the doom and gloom evident in some sectors of the business," says Ott, "this is the most promising time our industry has ever seen. Anyone dedicated to music who is keeping an eye open to follow how things are actually developing as opposed to trying to keep the horse in the barn is going to have a great future. This industry has as many or more great songwriters, artists and outlets than ever before. It's up to the people on the business side to make their operations congruent with what is being offered on the technological side of the fence."

"At RGK we have always been globally driven so this partnership continues that trend of seeking ways to open new markets and revenue streams for country music.," says Kitchener. "This arrangement gives our writers and artists the opportunity to have their recordings and copyrights represented worldwide."

"Ole is committed to country music and the great songwriters writing the songs we all make part of our lives," says Ott. "We are excited to play a part in developing that legacy."