Five MTSU Recording Industry Major Trailblazers Part 1


Continuing the recognition from Four Artists You Didn’t Know Attended MTSU, here are five Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Recording Industry major (RIM) degree holding, movers and shakers, trailblazers, and downright way makers:

brett eldredgeFellow Illinoisan and transfer student, Brett Eldredge, made the switch to MTSU after singing before a Nashville crowd during his sophomore year at an Illinois college. Many writer’s nights, public performances as learning experiences, daily trips between Murfreesboro and Nashville, and a degree later, he is signed to Atlantic Records Nashville. In addition, his 2013 single “Don’t Ya” hit Number One on the Country Airplay chart.

You can find Brett Eldredge here:

dj williamsGuitarist, singer-songwriter, and producer Donald Jeffrey Ilory Williams, Jr, better known as D.J. Williams, walked through MTSU’s doors an experienced musician and performer. He honed these skills, as well as his music production skills until his graduation in 2003. An excellent example for current students, D.J. Williams began his music career two years before graduation. Since then he has he has toured in the US, Canada, and Europe, founded  the funky Richmond based band, DJ Williams Projekt, the hip-hop/R&B group, The Breaks, an acoustic duo, Williams & Jones, and performed as the guitarist for San Diego’s critically acclaimed group, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. He has even shared the stage with the likes of John Legend, Dave Matthews Band, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Soulive, Levon Helm, Citizen Cope, Robert Randolph, Slick Rick, and more.

You can find  D.J. Williams here:

erin enderlinCountry Music artist and songwriter Erin Enderlin was born and raised on Country music in Conway, Arkansas. She has literally loved it since she was a small child. She even started her own music collection with singers such as Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, and Trisha Yearwood. She began to write and perform her own songs around Central Arkansas at an early age, and followed her passion to MTSU to pursue a career as an artist and songwriter immediately after high school. Her music has been recorded by Luke Bryan, Alan Jackson, Lee Ann Womack, Randy Travis, and Terri Clark. She has also appeared twice on the Country Throwdown Tour as a member of their Bluebird Cafe songwriter stage. Specifically, Enderlin wrote Alan Jackson’s “Monday Morning Church” which went to number 5 on the Billboard Country Chart in 2004, “Last Call” which was recorded by Lee Ann Womack and went to number 14 on the same chart in 2008, and “You Don’t Know Jack” which was recorded by Luke Bryan for his Tailgates & Tanlines album in 2011, but was never chosen as a single. As an artist, Erin Enderlin has had two albums released, one recorded and produced by Jamey Johnson and Jim “Moose” Brown.

You can find Erin Enderlin at:

Fisher_PeteFourteen year Vice President and General Manager of the Grand Ole Opry, Pete Fisher earned a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Recording Industry Management, and was recognized as a distinguished alumnus in 2004. In addition, he recently chaired a search committee identifying their newly-appointed Dean of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, Ken Paulson. His industry service includes: National Trustee, 25-year voting member, and national membership committee Co-Chair, of The Recording Academy, best known for the Grammy Awards, Board member for The Recording Academy’s charitable arm, MusiCares, Governor for the Nashville Chapter of The Recording Academy, Board Member for the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund, Board member for the Academy of Country Music and its charitable arm, Lifting Lives, Board Member for the Professional Advisors for the Middle Tennessee State University College of Mass Communication, and Board Member for the Board of Advisors for the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont University.

Fisher’s entertainment industry experience ranges from artist management to music publishing, with a special emphasis placed on service to a variety of music industry and charitable organizations.Prior to joining the Opry, he was a partner in Fisher Raines Entertainment where he managed the careers of Warner/Reprise Records artist Paul Brandt and Sony’s Marcus Hummon among others. In addition, Fisher spent seven years at WarnerSongs, Inc. as Director of Creative Services where he managed the joint-venture publishing operation between Warner/Reprise Records and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. -

You can find Pete Fisher at:
The Grand Ole Opry
The MTSU Mass Communications Board of Professional Advisors

dave barnesMusician/singer and Grammy nominated songwriter David Mckee Barnes, better known as Dave Barnes, began attending MTSU to further his studies playing the drums, but as time progressed, began playing guitar and writing songs for fun. He was initially only interested in writing material for other performers, but was later encouraged by his peers to perform his works himself. Barnes took their advice and began performing on campus at Middle Tennessee State University, and then began performing at various nearby universities. After graduating from MTSU, Barnes began touring, and in 2002 released his five-song EP Three, Then Four, as a purely guitar-and-vocals release. With this release, the touring performed around it, and the assistance of internet promotion, Barnes’ fan following expanded. Barnes toured heavily for over a year after that. Since then he has released eight albums including two Christmas albums. His most recent album, Golden Days, was released January 28, 2014.

You can find Dave Barnes at:!/davebarnesmusic?ref=ts

I hope you were educated, and that you enjoyed. Tune in next Thursday for part two of “Five MTSU Recording Industry Major Trailblazers”!


Follow Ellee? Who is Ellee?



Displaced Chicagoan, Ellee Oulsay, is a student of life, and currently a senior at Middle Tennessee State University. After graduating with her B.S. in Music Business, she plans on single-handedly executing a hostile takeover of the Gospel recording industry, one reworked business practice at a time!! In reality she’s a collector of strange and eclectic Gospel songs on Spotify, but she also loves worship music in any form. She enjoys cooking, specifically the eating part. Most of all she loves learning, sharing knowledge, and helping people reach their goals, hence the blog. Here you will find a varied array of information that comes as God sends it. It may seem a tad disorderly at first, but let us not forget “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven“. Ecclesiastes 3:1

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