Episode 04 – Michael Knox

Michael Knox is someone I refer to as ‘Industry Royalty’, by virtue of birth-right, just like Hank Jr. and Pam Tillis. But when Michael showed me, the rare photograph of his Rockabilly Hall of Famer Father, the legendary Buddy Knox with his buddy Elvis, in his Senior Vice-President, Shalacy Griffin’s office at Music Knox Management, over at peermusic Nashville, I couldn’t help but think about how proud, the ‘first artist’ to ever write his own #1 hit song (Party Doll-1957) would be, of his son’s accomplishments.

The first time I met Michael, he told me that he grew up sitting on the dashboard of his Dad’s Winnebago, ‘on the road’, listening to Roy Orbison, Elvis, The Everly Brothers and his dad on the radio. And don’t think for one minute that, young Michael didn’t have full intensions of following in his Father’s footsteps … if he could only sing.

When Michael arrived in Music City in 1991 and opened Nashville’s first song plugging company HIT PLUGGERS, it wasn’t long before industry giants like Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, George Strait and Reba realized that Knox had great ears and great instincts, as Music Row watched him place an astounding 300 songs in eight years. That quickly propelled him to Warner/Chappell Music, were Knox was VP responsible for Artist/Writer Development and Song Placement, and where he left his stamp on more than 150 million records, proving himself to be, one of Nashville’s most creative business minds and trusted developers of talent. (1992 – 2002)

Now, with 19 number ones, over 30 Million singles and 14 million albums sold, Knox’s stellar production credits include – Jason Aldean, Michael Tyler, Thomas Rhett, Josh Thompson, Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, Kelly Clarkson, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Bush Hawg, Ludacris, Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Chris Carmack, Will Chase, Chip Esten, Hank Williams Jr., Chuck Wicks, Frankie Ballard, Miranda Lambert, Randy Owen, Charlie Daniels, Rachel Farley, Brantley Gilbert, Lost Trailers, Crossin Dixon, Lila McCann, the Road Hammers, Danni Leigh, JD Myers, the hit TV series Nashville and the ‘Late-Great’ Buddy Knox … who was the first artist Michael ever produced.

In Michael’s 25 Years in Country Music (which he just celebrated), he has served on the GRAMMY® Special Committees, ACM and CMA Boards and, his works have been honored with over 50 Grammy, ACM, CMA, ACA, Billboard, Teen Choice, Mediabase, Touchtune, I-Heart Radio and Producer Awards and Nominations, ranging from ‘Albums of the Year’ to ‘Song of the Year’, not to mention the awards that so many others have taken home, as result of Michael’s song savvy and production skills.

Today, under his Vice-Presidency and creative leadership, peermusic Nashville has become one of Nashville’s most prestigious independent publishing companies. In 2013 they received ASCAP’s ‘Song of the Year’ Award for Randy Houser’s “How Country Feels” co-written by Neil Thrasher and Vicky McGehee and they just received SESAC’s ‘Song of The Year’ Award, for Deirks Bentley’s, ‘Somewhere On a Beach’, co-written by Jaron Boyer and singer/songwriter Michael Tyler (REVIVER Records), who is being managed by Knox.

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