|Nashville, Tenn. (May 5, 2020) — Nashville music veteran John Alexander has announced his resignation as CEO of Bandtwango Music, LLC, effective immediately. He’s also announced a new job title: author. Alexander has signed a deal to write a memoir for ECW Press, along with co-writer and renowned sports historian Greg Oliver. The upcoming book, I Shoulda Stayed in Baseball: My Wild Ride in Pro Wrestling, Country Music, and with the Mets, is scheduled for release in April of next year.
Alexander moved to Nashville in 2000 to oversee music marketing and national account development for GAC-TV (Great American Country) and Jones Radio Networks. Later in 2010, he became Vice President of Artist Management and Strategic Marketing for Black River Entertainment. In 2015, Alexander launched the country music crowdfunding and artist development platform Bandtwango, along with co-founder Carl Allocco. Bandtwango will continue to operate under Allocco’s leadership.
“I feel proud of my accomplishments on Music Row since arriving here in 2000,” says Alexander. “I hope that I made a positive impact on those I did business with over the past 20-plus years as a country music executive.”
Alexander’s upcoming memoir details his history in the music industry, dating back to 1981. That year, while working for the New York Mets minor league affiliate in Shelby, North Carolina, he met then rock and roll singer Patty Lovelace. Alexander departed his job with the Mets to manage Lovelace, who later became Patty Loveless of country music fame. In 2012, as Black River’s VP, he discovered a young singer-songwriter, Kelsea Ballerini, in Franklin, Tennessee. Ballerini introduced herself to Alexander at the Mellow Mushroom, having recognized him as Sarah Darling’s manager. After meeting the budding singer, he invited her to perform for him at the Black River offices. Alexander then arranged for her to meet Black River label CEO Gordon Kerr, and head of Black River Publishing, Celia Froehlig. Ballerini was eventually signed to a publishing deal and later offered a label contract.
Perhaps the most fascinating part of Alexander’s story may come as a surprise to many on Music Row. His legal name is John Arezzi: a key figure in the pro wrestling business in the 1970s and again in the 1990s. During his tenure in wrestling, he worked as a promoter, talk show host, and photographer/writer. He even stepped into the ring and wrestled during his youth. Alexander left wrestling after graduating college in 1979, but later returned in 1989, before leaving the business again and entering into the country music scene in the mid-90s. During this time, he worked as a music marketing executive for WMJC-FM (in his hometown on Long Island/New York City with personality Suzanne Alexander, and Billboard country music charts editor Jim Asker) and later with WYNY-FM, before moving to Nashville.
“I decided to leave the music business because so many opportunities from my ‘past life’ began to come my way,” explains Alexander. “I originally left the wrestling business in 1996, changed my name to John Alexander and vanished from that industry until the end of 2018. That’s when I reemerged with some social media accounts under my legal name, and things took off!”
Alexander is now focusing his attention on his upcoming memoir and his return to pro wrestling as a historian and analyst. He currently hosts a weekly podcast and Facebook Live show.
Wrestling fans can catch Alexander (Arezzi) on this week’s edition of “Dark Side of the Ring,” airing nationally tonight, May 5, at 9 PM / CT on VICE-TV.
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