The label is home to such acts as Drew Baldridge and Dylan Schneider.
Founder and president Pete O’Heeron announced news the company was shutting down on Tuesday (Sept. 17). He said he has decided to leave music to focus on his other career in medicine and developing cures for degenerative disc disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which has recently been linked to football head injurieis. O’Heeron has a biologics company and says he is “seeing almost daily breakthroughs in cell therapy.”
“We began this journey almost 15 years ago and have enjoyed every moment of music creation by our artists,” O’Heeron said of Cold River Records in a statement. “To the amazing employees who have called our label home, I thank you for being such dedicated champions for our artists and making personal sacrifices to support their careers. As some of my dearest friends, I will miss you the most and cherish all of our memories on the road and the phone calls with your travel stories.
“To the programmers at radio, producers, songwriters and the music industry leaders who became our friends, I thank you for your counsel, guidance and friendship,” he added. “To our artists who have performed on the Grand Ole Opry, opened for some of the biggest names in country music, toured the world and even recorded at famed Abbey Road studios in London, thank you for creating amazing music that I will never forget.”
Cold River Records’ Billboard chart success recently with Baldridge, including his previous three singles — “Dance With Ya,” “Rebound” featuring Emily Weisband and “Guns & Roses” — which peaked at No. 48, 50 and 51 respectively on the Country Airplay chart. Baldridge’s 2016 album Dirt on Us also reached No. 11 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.
The label is also the former home of country singer Katie Armiger, who had a public legal battle with the company following her sexual harassment claims by unidentified radio broadcasters when she was on the roster. Cold River Records saw the most success with Armiger, whose 2013 album Fall Into Me landed at No. 7 on Top Country Albums. The label’s highest charting song was Armiger’s “Best Song Ever,” which peaked at No. 42 in February 2011 on Country Airplay.