Singer-songwriter signs music publishing contract in Nashville

Pictured directly behind Cora is Rick Barker. Next Century Music principals are Karl Braun, left, David Gamble II, standing right, and Ronnie Brown, seated.
Cora (nee Cory) Keller has signed a music-publishing contract with Next Century Music of Nashville, Tenn.

Cora is a graduate of Batavia elementary and middle schools in the 1990s 2004 graduate of Ripley-Union-Huntington-Lewis High School where as a sophomore she performed the leading female role in the school musical. This cemented her desire to follow a music career.

The agreement was negotiated for Cora by veteran music manager Rick Barker who recently took over the guidance of Cora’s career. He also was the manager who guided singer-songwriter Taylor Swift to international stardom. He presently is a consultant to Big Machine Records, which is Swift’s label as well as other major music stars.

Cora began composing music when a child, worked at it as she grew, and seriously focused on it in recent years.

Eager for experience, she began performing at the Brown County Fair, The Tobacco Festival, Georgetown American Legion, Maysville Community & Technical College, the Rankin House, Sardinia and Winchester festivals, the Cincinnati Travel Sports and Boat Show, the Taste of Cincinnati, Bobby Mackey’s Music World and on weekends singing karaoke at the former Meetin’ Place on Ripley’s Lower Main Street.

Cora moved to Nashville five years ago to follow her career dream. Her first job was as a line-dance instructor at the large downtown Wildhorse Saloon. There, she began being called to the stage to sing. This exposure developed into singing engagements at the downtown music clubs, and extended into contracts for out-of-town gigs.

She became friends with professional song writers, and this led to invitations to song-writing partnerships. At Next Century Music, with its offices in the center of the renown Music Row, she has a song-writing office. She can write her songs at home, on the road, or invite song-writing collaborators to her office to create music. Her performance programs usually include a sampling of her compositions.

In the last several years, Cora has traveled to entertain across the nation, from night clubs in Wisconsin to casinos in the Lower Mississippi. She recently sang in Las Vegas at the National Rifle Association Convention.

When she isn’t contracted for a gig out-of-town, she is performing at Nashville music spots, mostly at Tootsie’s and the Benchmark, but also at The Stage, The Legend, The Bluebird, Douglas Corner and at Third & Lindsley where recently she sang a night of only songs she had written. To supplement her income, she has modeled jackets and swimsuits for, an Internet merchant. She also appears in music videos, most recently one for singer Justin Moore, and another for the song group Gloriana. Song-writing takes a considerable amount of her calender time.

She schedules regular song-writing dates with song-writing friends in Nashville.

Cora was raised by her mother, Debra Pinger, now of Nashville, and her step-father, Dan Pinger, of Brown County.