Rory Lee Feek

A little time to reflect...





I'd like to take this opportunity to share a little background on my musical journey today.  Yesterday, a very talented, passionate and influential figure passed away after a two year battle with colon/liver cancer.  I would be remiss if I didn't take a little time to tell you how Tim played a significant roll in my life over the past 7 years.

In 2006, I went to an NSAI Song Camp trying to improve my songwriting ability and further my music career inch by inch.  As I sat in a class doing a writing exercise, Tim (the instructor) and James Dean Hicks (co-instructor) threw out the phrase "Give Up The Ghost" and had each person outline their approach as to what would guide their direction in writing that song.

After several replies from others of religion, death, rhymes of coast and most, I raised my hand.  Being the twisted individual I am, I had a completely different take and wanted to see how far off-base I was.  Tim calls on me after a series of eye-rolling suggestions.  I launch in on how "funny" it would be to encourage those on the verge of kickin' the bucket to actually do so!  Give up the ghost... get a move on... get out of the way... I threw out a couple examples of old jv football players still talkin' glory days in bar, old crotchety folks who were bitter and angry, etc.

Most of the class was taken aback, but Tim just kept eggin' me on.  "So you think we should just write a "get it over with" song and send it to radio eh?"  I said "sure, why not?!"  He was just about to answer when James Dean Hicks jumps in and says... "I can write that song."  Tim just smiled and said "so can I."

After class, Tim made his way over and struck up a little conversation.  He found out I was in a group up in Seattle at the time and working with Becky Brenner (at CBS).  He invited me over to his publishing house (Giantslayer) and introduced me to Rory Lee Feek (his partner).  They ended up connecting me with Adam Olsen (Creative Director) who pitched me song after song of amazing work.  That lead to a whole different dimension of my career and a good, solid, 1/2 hour tangent if I let it go further on this topic.  Let's get back to Tim.

The next couple days I'd see him various places on the Row and each time, he'd make a point to come over and say "hi" or try and run me off the road in his big, white truck.  He invited me out to the Bluebird Cafe for his show one of those nights with JDH, Anthony Smith and Frank Myers.  There, he introduced me to 2 more people who would influence my career.  Anthony, and especially Frank, have been great resources and confidants with whom I still stay in contact this day.

Anyway, I just wanted to take a minute to pay respect to a #1 songwriter who had no business in pulling me under his wing, but did.  Tim Johnson may not be a household name, but his songs are and I intend to not forget his part in the line of dominos I call my career.

Please include me as part of your continued "legacy" of music left behind.  I will forever be indebted to you TJ.


Chance McKinney


Songwriter Tim Johnson passed away yesterday, Oct. 21, following a battle with cancer. He was 52 and died at home. The established member of Nashville’s music community had more than 100 major label cuts to his credit, with some of his biggest hits including Diamond Rio’s “God Only Cries” and Jimmy Wayne’s “Do You Believe Me Now.” His talent extended to the studio, where he produced artists including Blaine Larsen. Among Johnson’s more recent cuts is “I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” written with Jon Wolfe and James Dean Hicks, and recorded by Joe Nichols for his 2011 album release.

The respected songwriter was active with NSAI, where he served on its Song Camp faculty and was a longtime board member. He also assisted the organization with its legislative work in Washington, D.C. Friends say he was a champion of songs and songwriters, and always encouraged aspiring writers.

In 2007 Johnson teamed with Rory Feek and Jeff Skillen to establish the Song Trust, which had success with “Bring Him Home Santa,” a song about fathers who serve in the military.

Friends and supporters rallied around Johnson following his diagnosis with colon and liver cancer about two years ago. In February 2011 Phil Vassar, Joey+Rory, Chuck Cannon, Chuck Jones, Joe West, and Wynn Varble performed at a fundraiser for Johnson at the Bluebird Café.

Growing up in Noti, Oregon, one of Johnson’s early songwriting influences was Mickey Newbury.

Johnson is survived by his wife and two children. We here at CHANCE MCKINNEY MUSIC extend sincere condolences to his loved ones.



Pendleton BOUND N DOWN

In preparation for the Summer of 2011, the boys of Chance McKinney n' CrossWire head for Pendleton, OR (home of the Pendleton Roundup) to play the WildHorse.  They'll be there for a two night stint (April 15th and 16th) touchin' base with South Eastern WA and the North Eastern corner of OR.  For more details, check out 

Stay tuned for a wild n' crazy summer...  The boys continue booking shows up and down the west coast.  With names like John Rich, Sebastian Bach, Dwight Yoakam, Dierks Bentley, Sunny Sweeney, Phil Vassar, Steve Azar and Alan Jackson.  Get signed up on the email list at or join us on to keep up on the boys' latest happenings.

ACM Awards - April 4th, 2011

For those of you who are interested, we compiled a list so it was easy to keep of the ACM Winners for this year.  Enjoy! ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR • Jason Aldean • Toby Keith • Miranda Lambert • Brad Paisley • Taylor Swift • Keith Urban

TOP FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR • Miranda Lambert • Reba McEntire • Taylor Swift • Carrie Underwood • Lee Ann Womack

TOP MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR • Jason Aldean • Brad Paisley • Blake Shelton • George Strait • Keith Urban

TOP VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR • the JaneDear girls • Joey + Rory • Montgomery Gentry • Steel Magnolia • Sugarland

TOP VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR • Lady Antebellum • Little Big Town • Randy Rogers Band • The Band Perry • Zac Brown Band

ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company] (TIE) • Hemingway’s Whiskey – Kenny Chesney (BNA) Produced by: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney • Need You Now – Lady Antebellum (Capitol Records Nashville) Produced by:  Lady Antebellum, Paul Worley • The Guitar Song – Jamey Johnson (Mercury) Produced by: Arlis Albritton, Dave Cobb, The Kent Hardly Playboys • Speak Now – Taylor Swift (Big Machine Records) Produced by: Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift • Up On The Ridge – Dierks Bentley (Capitol Records Nashville) Produced by: Jon Randall Stewart • You Get What You Give – Zac Brown Band (Southern Ground / Roar / Bigger Picture / Atlantic) Produced by: Zac Brown, Keith Stegall

SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company] (TIE) • A Little More Country Than That – Easton Corbin (Mercury) Produced by: Carson Chamberlain • As She’s Walking Away – Zac Brown Band Featuring Alan Jackson (Southern Ground / Roar / Bigger Picture / Atlantic) Produced by: Zac Brown, Keith Stegall • If I Die Young – The Band Perry (Republic Nashville) Produced by: Paul Worley • Love Like Crazy – Lee Brice (Curb Records) Produced by: Lee Brice, Doug Johnson • The Boys Of Fall – Kenny Chesney (BNA) Produced by: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney • The House That Built Me – Miranda Lambert (Columbia Nashville) Produced by: Frank Liddell, Mike Wrucke

TOP NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR • Eric Church • The Band Perry

SONG OF THE YEAR [Award to Composer(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)] • A Little More Country Than That – Easton Corbin Composers:  Rory Lee Feek, Don Poythress, Wynn Varble Publishers:   A Sling And A Prayer Music (ASCAP), Chrysalis One Music (ASCAP), Don Poythress Songs (ASCAP), Precious Flour Music (BMI), Universal Music-MGB Songs (ASCAP), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI) • As She’s Walking Away – Zac Brown Band Featuring Alan Jackson Composers: Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette Publishers: Angelika Music (BMI), Weimerhound Publishing (BMI) • If I Die Young – The Band Perry Composer:  Kimberly Perry Publishers:  Pearlfeather Publishing (BMI), Rio Bravo Music, Inc. (BMI) • Love Like Crazy – Lee Brice Composers:  Tim James, Doug Johnson Publishers:  Mike Curb Music (BMI), Sweet Radical Music (BMI), T-Bird’s Music (BMI), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI) • The House That Built Me – Miranda Lambert Composers:  Tom Douglas, Allen Shamblin Publishers:  Built On Rock (ASCAP), Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI), Tomdouglasmusic (BMI)

VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company] *(Off Camera Award) • As She’s Walking Away – Zac Brown Band Featuring Alan Jackson (Southern Ground / Roar / Bigger Picture / Atlantic) Produced by: Zac Brown, Keith Stegall Blue Sky – Emily West Featuring Keith Urban (Capitol Records Nashville) Produced by: Mark Bright • Coal Miner’s Daughter – Loretta Lynn, Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert (Columbia Nashville) Produced by:  John Carter Cash, Patsy Lynn Russell • Cold Beer – Colt Ford Featuring Jamey Johnson (Average Joes) Produced by:  Shannon Houchins, Adrian Young • Good To Be Me – Uncle Kracker Featuring Kid Rock (Top Dog/ Atlantic / Bigger Picture) Produced by: Kid Rock

VIDEO OF THE YEAR [Award to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)] *(Off Camera Award) Hillbilly Bone – Blake Shelton Featuring Trace Adkins Producer:  Randy Brewer Director: Roman White • Only Prettier – Miranda Lambert Producer: Trent Hardville Director: Trey Fanjoy •  Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland Producer: Tony McGarry Director: Declan Whitebloom • The Boys Of Fall – Kenny Chesney Producer:  Don Lepore Director: Shaun Silva • The House That Built Me – Miranda Lambert Producer:  Trent Hardville Director:  Trey Fanjoy

TOP NEW SOLO VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (Previously Announced) • Eric Church • Easton Corbin • Randy Houser

TOP NEW VOCAL DUO or GROUP OF THE YEAR (Previously Announced) • the JaneDear girls • Steel Magnolia • The Band Perry