Congrats To Our September 2017 “Play For A Publisher” Winners!

Congratulations to our newest “Play For Publisher” Top Ten songs and songwriters!

First of all, thank you to each of you who took a chance, took positive action, and submitted one or more songs to the “Play For Publisher” event with Dan Hodges of Dan Hodges Music.  Ya’ll are just plain awesome.

Out of about 200 songs, it took a while to whittle it down to just 10.  We have country songs, pop songs, cowrites, solo writes, male songs and female songs!

There were a lot of worthy songs sent in, and I felt bad about leaving so many out.  If your song wasn’t chosen this time doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good song.

By the way, here’s a little about HOW I pick these songs.  Brave, awesome songwriters like you sent in your song or songs.  I downloaded them and listened in the truck- BEFORE I looked at who the writers are.  I picked the Top 10 and On Hold songs, THEN I looked up who wrote them.

So these were picked based on the song, not on the songwriter.  As a result… some folks got more than one in the Top 10 and On Hold.  Congrats to them for doing good, consistent work.

You know, one time I turned a song in to my publisher, and they didn’t know what to do with it, so they didn’t want to do anything with it.  My cowriters wanted to demo it, and the publisher said they wouldn’t pay for a demo.

The song was called, “Crickets,” and we got it cut by Joe Nichols.  It’s the title track to his last album.


That’s right.  The song my publisher wouldn’t even pay to demo got cut anyway.  (My cowriters did an out-of-pocket guitar/vocal, and we pitched it ourselves.)

Welcome to Nashville.  So while I listened to each and every song and did my best to pick the ones that have the best chance of catching Dan’s ear… I could be wrong.  That’s just the way the music biz works.  So if your song wasn’t selected, it doesn’t mean you should give up on it.

Okay, here are the Top Ten (in no particular order):

“One Man’s White Trash (Is Another Man’s Treasure” by Chloe Dolandis, Zach Ziskin

“Park It On The Water” by Donna King, Lee Black, Gina Boe, Riley Roth

“Hang Ten My Friend” by Pat Aureli, Danny Myrick

“The Boy That Once Was Me” by Sam Speirs

“Call Me Drunk” by Troy Castellano, Doug Folkins

“Kids In Love” by Jay Putty, Brian Donkers

“Fifth Of July” by Sarah Spencer, John Cirillo, Dan Reifsnyder

“I In Love” by Lynn Tessari, Terez Goblet

“Ugly Is The New Beautiful” by Jayne Sachs, Hattie Murdoch

“Takes” by Rob Harris, David Rivers, Todd Taylor

(The Songwriting Pro community would LOVE to hear your songs, so if you have a link you’d like to post to your “Top 10” song, please post it in the comments below!)

Congratulations!  Dan and I look forward to hanging out with you on September 18.  (In the days before the event, I’ll email the winners the instructions about the online meeting.)

Like I said, the 10 songs above aren’t the only good ones I had the pleasure of hearing.  There are several more that were put “on hold” for the top 10 songs.  This list could be quite a bit longer, but I’d like to spotlight a few of them, too.  (Ya’ll feel free to link up your songs in the comments, too!)

“ON HOLD” songs…

“Devil You Know”  by Mikalyn Hay, Bobby John, Murray Daigle

“GPS” by Donna King, Riley Roth, Brandon James

“Friday Groove” by Joe Sly, Emily Kroll, Donna King

“Pulling Strings” by Tom Glynn, Kelly McKay

“Magnetic” by Joe Slyzelia, Loralei Ells, John Stanislawski

“Tequila’d” by James Hoppe, Vanessa Welwyn

“Calling Your Bluff” by Lynn Tessari, Ben Woolley, Ajaye Jardine

“Beyond Repair” by Art Dickerson, Parker

“Scotland Whispering” by Sam Spears

“He Is Greater” by Josh Otten

These songs, along with others, were in there battling it out with the top 10, so be encouraged!

If you want to become a songwriting pro (in how you think, write songs or do business), then a great place to start is RIGHT HERE.  I want to help you on your songwriting journey.  I’ve been in the music business for years, and I’m here to help you get the cuts – and avoid the bruises.  CLICK HERE TO START HERE.

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,


Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.


6 thoughts on “Congrats To Our September 2017 “Play For A Publisher” Winners!”

  1. Hi, Brent —

    Congrats to the winners and the ‘on hold’ spotlight holders!

    I keep missing these events (typically because I rarely hear about them ’til after the fact) . . . perhaps listening to The Climb Show might be wise?

    My latest is ‘All of My Heroes are Sixty Years Old’ ( — about the 1960s — which theoretically falls somewhere in the country / folk category. I slapped a video together for it on Youtube (, should visuals be appealing.

    Thanks for encouraging us ‘brave, awesome songwriters’ 🙂

  2. Hi Brent
    Thank you for taking the time to listen to all of our songs. I appreciate the time and effort it must take to do this for our futures.
    Congratulations to all the songwriters that were picked for this opportunity and the “on hold” folks as well.
    Have plenty of work to do to hopefully be up there one day with y’all.

  3. Thanks, Brent, and Congratulations to the winners of Play for a Publisher! I will definitely listen and learn from all the songs.
    Check out Dearing Town Record Co. website to listen to my work — free listening and downloading.
    Thanks again,
    Songwriter, Larry Elwood Hochhalter
    Coffeyville, Kansas

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