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Surviving the Music Industry

Nov 6, 2018

Big props to Belmonts, Curb College of Music for hosting the honest conversation on where women are at in having a chance for equality in music. Recorded live at Columbia Studio A, Cassadee Pope (The Voice and recording artist), Tracy Gershon (artist manager and c0-founder of Change the Conversation), and Leslie Fram (Senior Vice President of Music Strategy for CMT and co-founder of Change the Conversation) all share their feelings on where we are as a community in accepting women as equals in business and in creativity. All three women brought their unique experiences and vocations into the conversation. We start with the purpose of Change the Conversation and the numbers behind the topic at hand. The double standards against women and has it always been like this? Then looking ahead is there a chance for women to not just survive but to truly thrive within music. 

Change the Conversation is dedicated to improving the environment for women in music. Their goal is to become obsolete and “to never have this conversation again." In an attempt to turn their frustration into action and help level the playing field, Leslie Fram, Tracy Gershon, and Beverly Keel formed Change the Conversation in late 2014.

Cassadee Pope; singer, song-writer, and musician was the lead vocalist of the rock band Hey Monday then embarked on a season of The Voice and became the first female winner. Her debut solo country album, Frame by Frame, was a top 10 Billboard 200 record and it debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums, with 43,000 copies sold in its first week. Today she is releasing new music and working on new material. Recently, she's released "One More Red Light" and "Take You Home" that you can download on Spotify or Apple Music. Be sure to go to for tour dates, merch, and music and follow here @cassadeepope.

Leslie Fram serves as Senior Vice President of Music Strategy and Talent for CMT, overseeing all music integration within the CMT brand, including original programs, CMT and music video airplay across all screens. Respected for both her hit intuition and hard-driving passion for music, Fram was the first woman to receive the TJ Martell Award in recognition of outstanding performance in the music industry in 2000 and was presented with the NARAS-Atlanta Chapter Heroes Award for her outstanding contributions to music and the music community.  In 2009, she was honored as a Lifetime Achievement Inductee in the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. She will also be one of the recipients of the very first ‘Innovation In Music’ Awards held June 6th in Nashville.  Leslie currently serves on the Board of the Academy of Country Music, the Recording Academy/ Nashville Chapter, Board of Directors for The Sports Authority, the Nashville Film Festival Music Committee,  and an alum of Leadership Music Class of 2014.  Fram is an avid philanthropist and spokesperson, using her voice to support numerous non-profits and causes.

Tracy Gershon is a noted music business professional with a wide-ranging career discovering, nurturing and developing influential talent as an A&R and music publishing executive as well as an artist manager. During her A&R career at Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, Gershon signed award-winning platinum-seller Miranda Lambert and help guide the careers of Blake Shelton, Randy Travis, Gretchen Wilson, The Wreckers, Faith Hill , Big & Rich and Lori McKenna. As a creative executive at both Sony Music Publishing and EMI Music, she helped to secure hundreds of cuts while working with writers like Harlan Howard, Gretchen Peters, Tom Douglas, Carlene Carter, and The Mavericks. As head of the Nashville office of Warner Music Publishing, she inked award-winning artist Kacey Musgraves. While at Sony Music she served for two years as an on-air judge and associate producer on the USA Network's "Nashville Star." Gershon recently helmed the A&R department at indie label Rounder Records, where she signed or worked with artists as diverse as Blackberry Smoke, Sean McConnell,  and Jerry Douglas. Tracy, in association with Redlight Management, oversees the career of Country artist, Natalie Stovall. Gershon is also consulting the country division for Atlas Music publishing, as well as running One Riot Music. Gershon has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Nashville Business Journal's "Woman in Music City" in 2015, 2016 ,2017, and 2018 as well as Nashville Lifestyles Magazine's top ten "Women In Business" award in 2016.