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Ed Leonard and Jerry Salley Announce the Formation of Billy Blue Publishing

Nashville TENN — Ed Leonard, president of Daywind Records, and Jerry Salley, Creative and A&R Director for Billy Blue and Billy Jam Records, (imprints of Daywind), have announced the formation of a new publishing entity.

Billy Blue Publishing (BBP) will focus on all types of Bluegrass and Americana music; seeking to sign and represent the finest writers in the genres.

Nashville native, Joe Dan Cornett, will step into a new role leading Billy Blue Publishing.

Cornett currently works as Creative Director at Daywind Publishing, one of the most successful Gospel music publishing companies in existence, where his duties include song pitching and songwriter development. He is also experienced in the mainstream Country market. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Joe Dan has also worked in large market tour management and in film and television for Broadcast Music, Inc., (BMI).

The young executive has a passion for serving songwriters and creatives.

“I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to expand into the Bluegrass market with Billy Blue Publishing,” Cornett says. “My family is from the hills of Kentucky and I grew up listening to Bluegrass. I look forward to working with Jerry Salley and Billy Blue Records to help provide artists with spectacular songs. Acoustic music is full of amazingly talented people and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to work with them.”

Billy Blue Publishing joins the recently formed Billy Blue Records (Bluegrass) and Billy Jam Records(Americana) among the newest players in the growing world of acoustic music. Billy Blue Records previously announced a forthcoming album featuring the songs of Rick Lang; the signing of the Band of Kelleys; and the signing of Appalachian Road Show, the new musical endeavor launched by Barry Abernathy and Darrell Webb.

“There are so many great things on the horizon. The formation of Billy Blue Publishing with Joe Dan at the helm is another step toward the kind of creative excellence we’re striving for with Billy Blue and Billy Jam Records,” Jerry Salley says. “His fresh, forward thinking combined with his infectious enthusiasm and experience make him a natural leader for our latest endeavor. I am very excited about the future.”

Cornett has already begun considering writers for Billy Blue Publishing. He will attend World of Bluegrass in Raleigh with the Billy Blue Records team this week.

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Formed over 19 years ago by Deon & Susan Unthank originally as SoGospelNews.com, the site was birthed from an email discussion group by the same name. The SoGospelNews email discussion list was created by the Unthanks after the Singing News shut down its extremely popular discussion list. SoGospelNews started as a simple webpage listing artists, fans, individuals, etc. that were avid supporters of the newly formed SoGospelNews talk list. The site eventually took on printing news for Southern Gospel artists, and eventually took on reviewing the latest recordings from both signed and independent artists within the small genre. SoGospelNews became the most viewed Southern Gospel website on the Internet with over 4,000,000 hits per month.

The Unthank family are now involved in the site, as well as the addition of over two dozen staff writers. The website is based out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In April 2010, SoGospelNews changed its name to AbsolutelyGospel.com. The name change allows them to cover news items of not only Southern Gospel, but also Country Gospel, Inspirational, and Black Gospel.

On January 5, 2011, Susan Unthank passed away, leaving the website in control of Deon, their son, Chris, and their daughter Amy.

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