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Exploring Life & Business with Chuck Thompson of Thompson Entertainment Group

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chuck Thompson. 

Chuck, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I am a rare Nashville native. In the late 1970s, after spending almost three years at APSU as a Pre-Med student, I realized that medicine was not for me and returned to Nashville, where I enrolled at Belmont University to complete a BBA. Although I am not a singer, a musician, or a songwriter, music has profoundly affected my life. During my first semester, I accepted an internship with a small public relations firm that worked with an exclusive list of music clients through the School Of Business office. Working with George Strait, Ricky Skaggs, David Allan Coe, and others, I quickly realized that using my business talents, I could help writers and artists and play a part in helping them to create music that impacted other people as it had impacted me throughout my life.

The firm where I interned hired me as the Director Of Public Relations while finishing my degree at Belmont. A short time later, producer Brent Maher and guitar virtuoso Don Potter introduced us to a mother/daughter recording act that they were developing. As we pitched them to labels, the team grew to include manager Ken Stilts, and The Judds found a home at RCA/Curb.

I worked with many of the best music industry professionals publicizing and marketing each of the Ken Stilts Company roster acts through the next dozen years. I rose to Vice President and Vice President/Director Of Public Relations to the company’s corporate sponsorship/booking arm, Pro Tours, booking concert tours across North America and throughout Europe and developing corporate sponsorships for many of the tours

In the fall of 1995, I joined the RCA Label Group as the Director, Media Relations & Artist Development. I helped launch the recording careers of Kenny Chesney, Lonestar, and Mindy McCready. But my love for working on the artist’s whole career was intense, and one year later, I left RCA to open the Thompson Entertainment Group, specializing in artist development and artist management.

We have steered the careers of Eric Durrance, Pear, Ricochet, Michelle Wright, Thom Shepherd, Brownsville Station, Wings Of Apollo, Maiden Dixie, Mutual Groove, and mixer/producer Jay Tooke. In 2016, the Navigator Records imprint was added to the TEG umbrella. The label released new studio recordings from Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame artist Michelle Wright, her first new music since the 2013 release of Strong. Other Navigator releases have included Wrecked by the Americana band Maiden Dixie and Wright’s recording of the Christmas classic “Silver Bells,” released to coincide with A Wright Christmas: 2019 tour across the Alberta and Ontario provinces of Canada.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Navigating the ever-changing landscape in the music business has always been a challenge. My journey started in a world of cassette tapes, national radio exposure, and media appearances. A world that is now dominated by streaming services and social media exposure.

Along that road, the greatest challenge is adapting new ways to meet those changes while never losing sight of the fact, that in this world of broadening entertainment options, music is the thread that runs through it all, impacting every part of our lives.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
“Where music still has A Heart and A Soul” defines our brand. We take pride in helping our artists understand their brand so that we can expose their music and their heart to the right audience.

When new outlets to reach broader audiences for our brands are needed, we create them. We have built entertainment events for Thunder Productions, Harley Davidson, Coca-Cola, Gibson USA, Panoptix, Conagra Foods, and mi Records, each designed to expose an artists’ music to a targeted audience. The Navigator Records imprint utilizes the many modern technologies and creative outlets now available to raise the profile for the Thompson Entertainment Group family of artists.

Our recent strategic alliance with Fusion Touring is just another step, allowing us to assist established and developing artists who are eager to build and sustain meaningful careers.

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