Vince Gill has left MCA Records. Appearing Wednesday (Feb. 22) as an unscheduled guest on Universal Music Group’s Country Radio Seminar show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Gill sang his unrecorded song “Red Words” after announcing his 23-year relationship with MCA was over. A spokesman for Gill confirmed the departure from MCA, a division of UMG. Prior to signing with MCA in 1989, he had spent five years recording for RCA Records. Gill released Guitar Slinger, his final album for MCA, last October. His first — and possibly final — single from that album, “Threaten Me With Heaven,” received only moderate airplay. However, Gill, wife Amy Grant, Dillon O’Brian and the late Will Owsley received a Grammy nomination in the best country song category for co-writing it. The trade publication Country Aircheck reported that Gill told the audience of radio programmers, “I’m just grateful for where I’ve been, and you’ve been a big part of where I’ve been and where I’m going. To my MCA family, it was really a sweet ride the last 23 years, and I appreciate everything you do.”
Special comment by Marty Martel for Wildhorse Entertainment and WHISNews21: This treasured artist is still filled with hits and music, and whoever signs Vince will be the winner of the lottery of music, because radio has not been kind to Vince in the last few years, I guess because he has stuck to his guns on what he wrote and recorded, and I would say that the record label and radio are to blame for what happens to all artists who are in the middle of their career. This is my opinion, not Vince’s, and I take full responsibility for what I write. Vince Gill has been true to country music for his entire career and no doubt will be for the rest of his career. But radio is to blame for not playing Vince Gill music and other artists who record country music, and record labels share the blame by not making radio play what great artists like Vince Gill record.