Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

DittyTV Celebrates 6 Million Monthly Viewers, Bringing Music to Memphis and Beyond

When an artist walks into the funky little studio on South Main, they leave as a part of a family, a collective of musicians and creatives that will forever be supported, promoted and always welcome back.

DittyTV began as a part of The Ditty Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes and supports its artists. From their primary specialty, Americana and roots, all the way to indie bands and hard rock, Ditty founders, Ronnie and Amy Wright, have committed to serving and providing content for artists (at no charge) and a music TV network for viewers to enjoy around the world, recorded and broadcasted from the heart of Downtown Memphis.

“DittyTV was launched in the fall of 2014 as a 24/7 Music Television Network, similar to vintage MTV with hosts/VJs, music news, videos, concerts, interviews, record reviews, venue, and studio spotlights,” said (Amy) Wright. “The focus is on both emerging and established artists in the Americana and roots genres from all over the world.”

DittyTV on location. Photo courtesy of DittyTV.

I made my way to the studio on South Main and instantly stepped into a new world. I was welcomed by the team and consumed by the atmosphere. Surrounded by local businesses, history, and art, the location of DittyTV could not be more fitting.

“We looked at locating the network studios in most of the obvious cities that had both a music history and a current music scene in the U.S. But as soon as we visited Memphis, and the burgeoning arts district on South Main specifically, we immediately knew we wanted to locate it here – and we are so glad we did,” said Wright. “We not only located the studios, and now retail store on South Main, we also live on South Main and love being a part of this community.”

As Amy told me more about the organization, the network, and the relationships she and the team have built with the musicians that have passed through, I felt a familiar passion and camaraderie that occurs within certain music communities (those that are not exactly Top 40 genres). Every part of the DittyTV process springs from one of three goals: serving artists with hospitality, providing tools and resources that will further their career, and delivering exceptional programming to music lovers of all kinds.

Concert series interview. Photo courtesy of DittyTV.

“For the community at large, we’ve created a 24/7 ‘postcard’ that promotes Memphis and the region to our 5M+ monthly viewers, that Memphis is a place steeped in music, technology, and innovation that continues to disrupt and be a leader today,” said Wright. “We’ve recorded and promoted many, many Memphis artists, and put Memphis back on the map for artists around the country, and the world, encouraging them to come to Memphis to perform and record.”

Each band that comes to record at DittyTV is mixed and produced by Memphis legend, Doug Easley. They leave with 6-8 songs (mixed and raw audio), as well as the video from their performance. Some bands even release these tracks as a separate album, “recorded live at DittyTV.” 

Courtesy of DittyTV.

“We’ve had artists in the studio from every state in the U.S. and countries in every continent but one (watch out Antarctica!). We often feature and highlight local businesses in our News and Host segments, bringing attention to our viewers that Memphis not only has incredible music but great art, fashion, cuisine, nightlife, hotels, museums and much more,” said Wright.

When it comes to curating music, DittyTV casts a wide net. In addition to the Americana and roots music genres, the station encompasses numerous subgenres, providing a great deal of variety on the network. DittyTV can be accessed on AppleTV, Roku, FireTV, Tivo, Mobiles, and any connected device.

The network’s sister store, The Vibe and Dime, also opened earlier this year, right next to the studio on South Main. Proceeds from the merchandise, instruments and vinyl records sold at the store go to The Ditty Foundation.

As Amy took me from the studio to the green room, to the store, I couldn’t help but notice that everything in the room had significance. The record boxes in the shop showcased each of the segments’ logos and contained vinyl records from artists who appeared on them. There was a street sign displayed in honor of Louis Jay Meyers, co-founder of SXSW, key player in the Folk Alliance, and a big role in Ditty’s mission. There was a record player that played 80 rpm records (so that no record is unplayable) and vintage collector’s instruments that are one-of-a-kind and still affordable. It was clear to me that everything about DittyTV is designed to be accessible, a quality that boasts a tremendous vision and admirable execution.

“It’s our whole team that works so hard to produce quality, timely content that supports emerging, often lesser-known artists to our audience. Almost everyone that is part of DittyTV is a musician, and really loves and cares about music and the artists – it’s a rare thing these days,” said Wright. “The curating, scriptwriting, filming, editing, and programming takes a ton of effort and I’m so proud of our team and what we’ve built. The most common feedback we get from our viewers is how much they enjoy discovering new music, artists they don’t know, venues and festivals they didn’t know about. There is an amazing amount of great music being written, recorded, and performed today, a true renaissance in our opinion, and we plan to be the voice and champion for these artists.”

This year, DittyTV is celebrating 6 million monthly viewers with a weeklong marathon of the network’s Concert Series, starting Monday, November 25.

“We wanted to do something over the holidays that would be a little different, and we all remember the TV marathons you usually see over the holidays like the James Bond or Clint Eastwood, or Christmas Story or It’s A Wonderful Life, that kind of thing,” said Wright. “We’ve produced nearly 400+ concerts to date, and it’s one of the most requested and watched segments on the network, so why not do a marathon? All the artists and their labels are excited about the re-broadcast and are getting behind promoting the marathon, planning on watching with friends and family, should be tons of fun.”

Memphis and regional musicians to keep an eye out for include Chris Milam, Dead Soldiers, Jason Lee McKinney Band, Garrison Starr & The Wealthy West, Faith Evans Ruch, John Nemeth and the Blue Dreamers, Cory Branan, Nick Black, Dale Watson, Victor Wainwright & The Train, and Bobby Rush. 

The future looks bright for DittyTV, and Memphis couldn’t be more proud to play host to an organization so committed to bringing our city to life with vibrant music. For those who live in or are traveling to Memphis in 2020, DittyTV is also planning on launching its new Concert Series that will be a special event in front of a live audience, so follow @DittyTV and stay in-the-know!

Tune in, starting Monday, November 25, to hear more from DittyTV and its artists:

Monday, November 25th:

12 PM: Jim Lauderdale

1 PM: Blackberry Smoke

2 PM: Chris Robinson Brotherhood

3 PM: The Steel Wheels

4 PM: St. Paul de Vence

5 PM: Chris Milam

6 PM: Dead Soldiers

7 PM: Penny & Sparrow

8 PM: Greensky Bluegrass

9 PM: Lowland Hum & Lydia Ramsey

10 PM: Jason Lee McKinney

11 PM: Robert Randolph & The Family Band

 

Tuesday, November 26th:

12 AM: Carson McHone

1 AM: Travis Linville

2 AM: Fantastic Negrito

3 AM: John Oates

4 AM: Banditos

5 AM: Elephant Revival

6 AM: The Stray Birds

7 AM: Drivin’ N’ Cryin’

8 AM: Tulsa Family Jam 1

9 AM: Tulsa Family Jam 2

10 AM: Little Feather

11 AM: Dylan Earl & The Reasons Why

12 PM: American Aquarium

1 PM: Darling West

2 PM: Lauren Barth

3 PM: Noah Guthrie

4 PM: Gill Landry

5 PM: Levi Parham

6 PM: Emily Barker 

7 PM: Paul Kelly

8 PM: Jimmy Lumpkin & The Revival

9 PM: Will Hoge

10 PM: Best of 2017 Part One

11 PM: Best of 2017 Part Two

Wednesday, November 27th:

12 AM: Garrison Starr & The Wealthy West

1 AM: Max Gomez

2 AM: John Oates & The Good Road Band

3 AM: Faith Evans Ruch

4 AM: Jesse Aycock

5 AM: Christian Lopez

6 AM: John Nemeth & The Blue Dreamers

7 AM: Kate Grom

8 AM: Cory Branan

9 AM: Dustin Pittsley and Paul Benjaman

10 AM: Nick Black

11 AM: Brian Dunne

Thursday, November 28th:

12 PM: Dale Watson

1 PM: Underhill Family Orchestra

2 PM: J.D. Wilkes

3 PM: CALICO The Band

4 PM: Samantha Fish

5 PM: Zach Pietrini Band

6 PM: Cowboys In The Campfire

7 PM: Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

8 PM: Paul Thorn

9 PM: Canyon City

10 PM: Lee Roy Parnell

11 PM: Front Country

 

Friday, November 29th:

12 AM: India Ramey

1 AM: Dom Flemons

2 AM: The War and Treaty

3 AM: Larkin Poe

4 AM: Victor Wainwright & The Train

5 AM: Atlantis Aquarius

6 AM: Dustbowl Revival

7 AM: Nora Jane Struthers

8 AM: Jeff Plankenhorn

9 AM: The Bacon Brothers

10 AM: Ray Wylie Hubbard

11 AM: Kittel & Co.

12 PM: Sam Morrow

1 PM: Jason Eady

2 PM: Jeremy Pinnell

3 PM: Cordovas

4 PM: Ross Cooper

5 PM: Jamie Kent

6 PM: Jaime Wyatt

7 PM: Grayson Capps

8 PM: Marcus King Band

9 PM: Tenth Mountain Division

10 PM: Michigan Rattlers

11 PM: Juanita Stein

 

Saturday, November 30th:

12 AM: Chelsea Williams

1 AM: The Black Lillies

2 AM: Best of 2018 Part 1

3 AM: Best of 2018 Part 2

4 AM: James House and the Blues Cowboys

5 AM: Ruthie Foster

6 AM: Granville Automatic

7 AM: Cover Songs Special

8 AM: Short & Company

9 AM: Adam Wakefield

10 AM: Mike Farris

11 AM: Nick Dittmeier & The Sawdusters

12 PM: Boo Ray

1 PM: Catherine Britt

2 PM: Erin Rae

3 PM: Jon Spencer and the HITmakers

4 PM: Fate McAfee

5 PM: Lizzie No

6 PM: Pony Bradshaw

7 PM: Leftover Salmon

8 PM: Garrett T. Capps

9 PM: Amy Speace

10 PM: Charley Crockett

11 PM: Bobby Rush

 

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