Mickey Jack Cones: Biography

Record Producer. Engineer. Musician. Singer. Songwriter.

With 36 #1’s over two decades, 250+ billion streams and 75 million multi-platinum units sold worldwide, Mickey Jack Cones is one of Nashville’s most in-demand producers and engineers. And in the last several years, he’s gained award winning recognition in the publishing community as well, first as founder of COR Entertainment and more recently as co-founder, President and chief operating officer of Verge Records, an imprint of global distribution giant ONErpm.

Cones founded COR Entertainment (COR stands for Creating and Operating Real Entertainment) in 2015 because he wanted to share the knowledge he’s acquired through his experience on the stage, in the studio and beyond to help up-and-coming musicians via management, publishing and production services. He signed on as President and COO of Verge in June 2019 to further pursue his passion for developing emerging talent and extending the careers of established acts. As the record label arm of the digital music distributor, Verge is uniquely positioned to take advantage of ONErpm’s technology and marketing prowess on multiple streaming platforms.

At Verge, Cones is responsible for signing veteran country singer Trace Adkins as well as new country artists Jay Allen, Scott Stevens, Chuck Wicks, and pop duo Kid Politics. At COR, his artists include Allen, Johnny McGuire, and Jordan Walker (until 2019) who had his first #1 as a writer and Cones’ first #1 as a publisher with Luke Combs’ “When It Rains It Pours”.

MJC with Julie Roberts and Band
MJC and Rascal Flatts
MJC with Julie Roberts and Jay Leno

Previous successes include his 9th No. 1 single as a producer with country artist Jameson Rodgers’ “Some Girls” in 2020, and Dustin Lynch’s “Seein’ Red” in 2017, the fourth consecutive No. 1 single for Cones and Lynch; a 2016 Producer of the Year trophy from the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) for Brett Kissel’s album, Pick Me Up; and back-to-back No. 1 hits with Joe Nichols with 2013’s “Sunny and 75” and 2014’s “Yeah.”

As a recording engineer, Cones has worked on the last seven Jason Aldean albums. This led to Grammy nominations as an engineer on 2010’s My Kinda Party and 2012’s Night Train. In addition, Cones has produced and/or engineered music by Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Pitbull, Alabama, Motley Crue, George Strait, Kellie Pickler, Ludacris, Thomas Rhett, 3 Doors Down, Kelly Clarkson, Snoop Dogg, Lionel Richie, Blake Shelton, Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Carrie Underwood, Buck Cherry and many others. His soundtrack work includes Nashville, Country Strong and Act of Valor. A versatile multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Cones often plays, sings and mixes on these sessions.

Mickey Jack Cones in the studio
Mickey Jack Cones, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean
MJC and Eric Church
MJC and Nashville Cast
MJC and Aldean and Ludacris
MJC and Jason Aldean
MJC with Trace Adkins
MJC and Keith Urban
MJC and Joe Nichols

Cones grew up in San Antonio in a musical family. His grandmother sang in the Glenn Gray Orchestra; his mother performed as part of The Cones Sisters. When he was 8, Cones started taking guitar lessons and manipulating the family dual-tape deck to make multi-level tracks at home. As he started writing songs and singing in bands, he’d go into a local studio to record his music. Though he was making a good living as a the front man and bandleader in Texas dance halls in his 20s, Cones opted to move to Nashville in December 1996 to pursue music production.

“I decided if I wanted any longevity in this business, being on the other side of the (studio) glass is probably the best place to be,” he says. “I love making music and I’m a hands-on creator. So, being apart of multiple artists’ careers, having that creative outlet and still being able to sleep in my own bed at night (not on the road) was the dream situation for me.”

Cones earned a degree at Belmont University and signed on as a staff engineer at Malloy Boys in 1998. As his career progressed, Cones also became adept at the role of a “Nashville” producer, from working with the label to finding the songs to booking the studios and musicians.

After producing pop duo Nemesis Rising and country star David Kersh for Curb Records in the late ’90s, Cones landed a road gig as tour manager and bandleader for country newcomer Julie Roberts. In the meantime, he  continued to attract work as an in demand producer and engineer and ultimately decided to focus on studio work, but with an expanded vision.

MJC band
MJC and Joe Nichols
MJC and Miranda Lambert
MJC and Steven Tyler
MJC and Luke Bryan
MJC and Billy Ray Cyrus
When it Pours
MJC and Garth Brooks

Cones says, “Producing records is probably my favorite part of the music process. But because of the vast knowledge and experience I have in the industry from performing on stage at such an early age (opening for the Platters when I was 10 years old) to the 25 years of producing, managing and publishing artists, I had more to offer than solely production. Launching a record label was the next evolutionary goal for me.”

Mickey Jack Cones
Mickey Jack Cones
Mickey Jack Cones
Mickey Jack Cones
Mickey Jack Cones
Mickey Jack Cones and team with Craig Campbell