Not too many years ago, Big Machine Label Group and Broken Bow were small independent players on Music Row. They were up against the likes of Sony, Capitol, MCA and Warner - the big boys in the music world.
But in this dog-eat-dog world, the majors aren't as major any more. There were mergers, acquisitions and labels folding. What was once the RCA label is now part of Sony. The Universal Music Group Nashville, which is home to a bunch of labels, gobbled up Capitol Records. Such is the state of the music biz today.
Into the very fluid and flexible space stepped Big Machine and now apparently with great commercial success Broken Bow Music Group.
Big Machine, of course, benefitted greatly from Taylor Swift, whose family apparently has grown mighty wealthy as well since her father invested in the label.
As for Broken Bow, the label, which started in 1999, announced this week that it was opening up yet a fourth division, Wheelhouse Records.
Broken Bow Music Group, the only home Jason Aldean has ever known, is now home to Trace Adkins and Texas artists Granger Smith, who has made a name for himself in his home state. Adkins and Smith are on the new Wheelhouse.
Credit Benny Brown, who made his fortune in the auto dealership business in northern California, with the ability to stay the course with the label, which has been around since 1999. Not every artist can be turned into Gold (Just ask Megan Mullins, Dean Brody among others), but Broken Bow has done pretty darn well with Dustin Lynch. The Stoney Creek subsidiary is home to Randy Houser, Thompson Square and Parmalee, who all have enjoyed hits.
Joe Nichols, Craig Campbell and Chase Bryant are on Red Bow.
There are other artists on the labels, who are under the radar screen (Brooke Eden, for example, on Red Bow and Lindsay Eli and David Fanning on Stoney Creek). Some will have careers, and others may have to figure out a new line of work.
The good news is that Brown apparently believes the well has not run dry when it comes to discovering new artists. Far from it. That's the reason why he started this label. He said that putting all the artists on one label would have resulted in not enough attention paid to them. He said he wants to keep each individual label small and manageable.
Radio stations, while less important to breaking artists, also are unlikely to keep playing singers from the same label. Add labels, and apparently the chances of gaining airplay increase.
The topsy-turvy times continue, and the once upon a time small indie, Broken Bow, is back for more.