HITS Daily Double
Pub Crawling

Old Crow Medicine Show frontman Ketch Secor has teamed with Sony Music Publishing Nashville for a new global administration deal, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the group's song "Wagon Wheel." That Secor co-write later became a smash hit in the hands of Darius Rucker and has been certified for 16m U.S. sales by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Secor has also written songs from Molly Tuttle's last two albums as well as co-writing the musical Hooten Holler, which premiered in 2022.

Meanwhile, Old Crow Medicine Show is celebrating its own 25th anniversary this year and is touring heavily in support of their latest LP, Jubilee, which won the GRAMMY for Best Folk Album. The group will also continue its annual New Year's Eve run at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

"Ketch Secor is more than a ‘fiddler in an old-time string band'—he’s a brilliant storyteller," said SMP Nashville CEO Rusty Gaston. "He writes songs that tell the tales of the rural American spirit."

Added Secor, "I’m mighty proud to be joining Rusty Gaston and the hardworking, fun-loving Sony Music Publishing family. Since its earliest days on Music Row as historic Acuff-Rose, Sony Music Publishing has become the steward of Country’s most iconic catalog. What an honor to bring my collection of songs past, present and future to these esteemed ranks."


Universal Music China has signed an exclusive worldwide publishing deal with Cheerful Music, a leading creator of hit songs in China.

The Cheerful catalog includes “YI XIAO JIANG HU (KE MU SAN),” which has tallied more than 50b views on Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok), "XIAO CHENG XIA TIAN," “TA SHAN HE” and “BAN SHENG XUE,” each of which has claimed the top spots on China's leading streaming services.

Cheerful Music was founded in 2019 and boasts a roster of Chinese writers and artists including Snow J, Silk Ye, Cindy Dong, KeyKey and Reddi. The company's London office has fostered collaborations with Erik Frank, Grand Nights, Shell Tenedero and Milan D’Agostini, among others.

Snow J, the founder and CEO of Cheerful Music, said, “From the outset, our vision has been to create music that resonates worldwide. I am profoundly confident that our partnership with UMP China—with their expansive network and proven success—will propel our journey of internationalization even further.”

“Cheerful Music has an adept ability to produce music that resonates with the current trends, crafting hits that enjoy widespread popularity around the globe," said UMP China VP of Finance and Operations Grace Gao, seen above with Snow J.

To paraphrase Ian Dury, Universal now has even more reasons to be Cheerful.


Andrew Howell has a new title as VP of Sync at Warner Chappell Music U.K. starting 6/1. He joined the company in 2016.

In this role, Howell will continue to report to Rich Robinson, EVP and Global Head of Sync at WCM, and Shani Gonzales, MD of WCM U.K. and Head of International A&R at WCM.

Gonzales praised Howell’s “collaborative spirit” as well as his “encyclopedic knowledge of our songbook and an unrivalled instinct as to what placements will work.”

Robinson added, “Andrew embodies Warner Chappell’s proactive approach to sync, with a forward thinking mindset that sees his ideas prevail in an often saturated space.”

Howell joined WCM U.K. after a career at Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV. Since then, he and his team have delivered multiple placements with gaming companies, including EA and Space Ape, as well as successful campaigns with Lexus, Persil, Cruzacampo and other brands. They’ve also contributed works to key film and TV projects, such as One Day, The Crown, Saltburn and Back to Black.

Recent standout wins include working with WCM France to create a Dua Lipa cover of George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90" for Yves Saint Laurent; securing a cover of “It’s a Hard Knock Life” from the musical Annie in Dove’s 2024 Super Bowl spot; and working with David Bowie’s estate to place multiple songs in global Paco Rabanne campaigns.