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

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

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

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

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, it 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 – 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 one of his recent albums.


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 John’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):

“Dirty Oar” by Jen Stricker, Mark Maxwell

“Beautiful Ever After” by Joe Slyzelia, Donna King, Emily Kroll

“The Wrong Spirit” by David Micheal, McLamb

“Mom Life” by Heather Evans

“Vintage” by Dave Quirk, Troy Castellano, Victoria Banks

“Nice Tall Glass” by Marla Rubenstein, Tucker Bouler, Betsy Walter, John Cirillo, Dan Reifsnyder

“Indiana” by Daniel Leathersich, David Micheal

“Be Beautiful” by Donna King

“Your Key Still Works” by Jayne Sachs, Joey Ebach

“In The Sand” by Jonathan Helfand, Todd Dickinson


(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 or in the Songwriting Pro Facebook Group!)

Congratulations!  John and I look forward to hanging out with you on December 14.  (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 or in the Facebook group, too!)

“ON HOLD” songs…

“The Highway” by Mckenna Hydrick

“Quitter” by Troy Castellano, Brett Mandel

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

“Where Will I Be” by Marla Rubenstein, C. Ising, Susan Giacona

“My Brother’s Black Chevelle” by Buck Wild & Penelope Lane

“Summer’s Gone” by Frank Renfordt

“Forget You” by Pat Aureli

“What Could Go Right” by Jayne Sachs, Les Bowe

“Better Believe My Eyes” by Peter Lewis, Tony Hume

“I Wish That I Was Him” by Anthony Quails

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


To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro, and this FREE ebook will help transform your thinking, your songwriting, and your success.  Get it today!

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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.


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