Music News 2.15.17

Don Pitts Resigns as Music and Entertainment Division Manager

Don Pitts has resigned from his post as manager of Austin’s Music and Entertainment Division, effective immediately. The resignation follows about a month after Pitts was put on administrative leave pending an undisclosed internal investigation that the Chronicle has reported is focused on whether Pitts violated city policy when disciplining an employee. The Music and Entertainment Department is in charge of managing policies affecting the city’s music industry, and as Pitts pens it in his resignation letter, “the original vision of the Division was to focus on the economic development of the music industry and community. However, Austin’s growth produced an ever expanding focus around sound complaints, permitting, and various ordinances, which were quickly prioritized to be the Division’s focus.” The resignation comes amidst the host of issues being tackled surrounding Austin’s music industry, and as the Division continues the good fight, they do so while seeking a new leader.

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Jerry Lee Lewis and Junior Brown to Be Honored at 4th Annual Ameripolitan Music Awards

Tonight is the 4th Annual Ameripolitan Music Awards down at Austin’s historic Paramount Theatre. Tonight’s special recipients include Jerry Lee Lewis winning the Master Award and Junior Brown being bestowed the Keeper of the Key Award. Hosting tonight’s affair are Dale Watson and Ray Benson. Watson says Lewis’s founding of the Rockabilly piano, Honky Tonk singing and “Outlaw attitude” while always drawing back to Western swing in his shows as the major reasons the Ameripolitan Music Awards have chosen to honor him tonight, and of Junior Brown, Watson says he is the perfect example of the natural progression of a modern artist influenced by major roots artists. Bringing new music with prominent roots influence to new generations is what makes Junior Brown an important and very influential artist worthy of the Ameripolitan award for Keeper of the Key.” Heavily focused on performances, tonight’s show will include a performance by Junior Brown as well as Bonnie Montgomery, Wayne Hancock, Johnny Bush, and the night’s co-hosts, Dale Watson and Ray Benson.


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