SEAN COAKLEY has spent 25 years at the helm of Songlines, a marketing and promotion company specializing in rock and roots music for adults. Previously, he headed MMA Management/rooArt Records (INXS), North America (1991–93) which followed twelve years of radio promotion and artist development at Arista (1983–91) and ATCO/Atlantic (1978–83). In addition to music, he loves his family, Cleveland sports, exercise and reading. He also takes a lot of pictures.
MELANIE SHRAWDER channeled a lifelong love of radio into an air shift at Pittsburgh's illustrious non-commercial Triple A radio station, WYEP, while she was a mere freshman at Pitt.
After having taken their first vacation together to SXSW in 2001, Melanie and her husband moved to Austin later the same year. Melanie was offered a position at KUT (now KUTX) as traffic coordinator, and after quickly mastering the ins and outs of traffic, she couldn’t keep her nose out of the music department. The station’s management encouraged her enthusiasm by creating the new position of assistant music director for her, and she began working under Jeff McCord, evaluating music for airplay, organizing music meetings, educating the air staff about artists, and securing a live band to perform on air 6 days a week. She also prepared the station’s hosts for artist interviews, advanced engineering requirements, and shepherded guests during their visits.
In 2006, Melanie decided to move back to the Northeast in order to be closer to her extended family. Kindly, Sean Coakley--who had been promoting her on records for years--scooped her up and offered to take her under his wing, teaching her the craft of record promotion. She worked in the Songlines office north of New York City for three years, promoting records, building Songlines’ website, and engaging in tour support. Then, in 2009, when she was pregnant with her first child, she moved back to the 'burgh. However, she was lucky enough to be asked to take her job along with her.
LESLIE ROUFFE has more than 25 years of music industry experience, including radio promotion, retail marketing, radio sales, artist consultation and management. Her career has included successful stints at WADN radio, Hear Music (now Starbucks), and Rounder Records, where she oversaw the Americana and Triple A radio departments. She has headed up Songlines’ Nashville-based Americana wing for the past 20 years. She is also a founding Americana Music Association council member.
In addition, Leslie is a strong proponent of animal welfare and a co-founder of Music City Animal Advocates. She is the proud mom to Pogo and Peaches, also known as the Promo Pups. Peaches is especially all “about the twang.”