country music booking

TSE Entertainment: It’s Roots as a Country Music Booking Agency

  • Kassie Rae Phillips
  • July 17, 2020
Back to News & Events

From its roots as a Texas country music booking agency, TSE Entertainment is now an entertainment booking and production agency that provides services all over North America. TSE’s Featured Artist Rosters include multiple music genres and even non-musical acts. Its Featured Tribute Band Roster is one of the largest in the U.S. with other rosters featuring Latin/Tejano artists, Party Cover Bands, Country Music Singer/Songwriters, and Non-Musical Specialty Acts.

This music booking agency started back in 1975 as primarily a country music booking agency serving clubs, fairs and festivals in Texas. Over the years, TSE has stayed close to those roots by booking a large variety of country musicians from world renowned  artists to local country bands.

Country Music Booking Was the Nucleus of a Great New Booking Agency in 1975

Let’s look back at how TSE came to be. It all started back in 1975. Mike Sandberg who would go on to start what is now TSE Entertainment was an avid fan or live music and would often frequent Texas night clubs and dance halls.

One could say that Mike fell into the country music booking business. During that time he enjoyed and got to know one particular country band, Sweet Texas, really well. Evidently, they liked him as well. One night the members of the band approached him about helping them get more bookings. His first instinct was to turn them down because he had no experience in country music booking and essentially no knowledge about the music business. He did have a love of live music though.

Despite Mike’s reluctance, the band persisted, and he finally agreed to try his hand at booking them.  The band members must have seen something in Mike or maybe they just got lucky. Within a few months Mike Sandberg had Sweet Texas booked for the remainder of the year. It was then that Mr. Sandburg realized he had a knack for booking entertainment. He liked the prospect of earning a living from something that he already had a passion for, live music.

He named his new country music booking agency, Texas Sounds Entertainment. It later rebranded itself as TSE Entertainment as it expanded across the U.S. and its range of services as well.

Once other country music bands in Central Texas got wind of Mike’s success with Sweet Texas, his phone started to ring from other local country bands seeking his help.  It didn’t take long for his new county booking agency to have its own roster of country musicians.

Mike Sandberg started to realize he was on to something. His wife Sharron invested all her free time when not working at the local post office, into helping him with this new venture.  Their combined efforts made Texas Sounds Entertainment a reality.

Mike and his wife spent the next thirty-two years dedicating their lives to booking live entertainment. Along the way, Mike watched the rise of many of the modern country music legends we know today.  His agency booked a lot of them.

He recalls visiting a small music club in San Marcos, Texas where he saw George Strait playing to a small room of people.  George lived in a trailer behind the venue.  George’s story is similar to many stars before they got their big break and the world learned of their talent. There are many years of hard work before becoming an “overnight sensation.”

Mike was also in the room the night that Randy Rodgers decided to transition from a rhythm guitar player and back up vocalist to the front man in his own band. The rest, they say, is history.

Over the years Mike even found himself doing artist management. He managed country idle Johnny Lee during his Billboard hit from the movie Urban Cowboy; “Lookin’ For Love” in the 1980s.  Johnny Lee and Mike were together for fourteen years.

Mike and Texas Sounds Entertainment became known names in the country music busines, particularly in Texas. He became personal friends with big industry professionals and stars such as Willie Nelson, Hank Thompson, Gene Watson, Gary P. Nunn, Pat Green, and many others. Through the years, he worked with and booked all the large country stars we know today. To see a full list of artists booked through TSE Entertainment visit the Acts We’ve Booked.

For years Mike and his wife Sharron ran and continued to grow Texas Sounds Entertainment. Mr. Sandberg knew, and still knows, the importance of using the phone and in-person meetings to book artists as well as growing his personal relationships with talent buyers. In a time when cell phones and the Internet were not a common commodities, Texas Sounds Entertainment used grit, grind, and persistence to build the company.

Mike and Sharron grew from booking primarily club performances to booking live entertainment for up to forty large fairs and festivals each year. Many of which still use TSE Entertainment to this day for their fair or festival.

The Next Phase: From Country Musician to Booking Agent

Current TSE Entertainment’s majority owner, Mike Black, started his career as a Texas country music singer/songwriter with his own band. He became one of the country music band booking early country music artists on the Texas Sounds roster. Mike’s band, Rollin’ Cross Texas, worked with Mike Sandberg for most of its musical career. The Mikes met in 1986 while Mike Black was working with Freddy Fletcher, Willie Nelson’s nephew, on a new recording. Tony Perez, who was working with Freddy, told Mike Black about Mike Sandburg and Texas Sounds Entertainment. That started a long business and personal relationship between them.

Mike Black went on the play an average of over 250 shows a year. To this day if you ask him about it, he’ll tell you all about his days “living on two-for-a-dollar hot dogs” and playing a show almost every other night. With the help of Mr. Sandburg and Texas Sounds Entertainment, Mike and his band went on to play larger and larger shows.  Rollin Cross Texas even played at the Houston Astrodome during the Houston Rodeo with Willie Nelson and Clay Walker. In 1989 Mike Black won the Texas Rising Star Award as his fame grew across Texas. You would find his music on most juke boxes in Texas.

When Mike Sandberg retired, Mike Black purchased Texas Sounds Entertainment from him in 2007. It was at this time that Mike Black went from country music singer/songwriter to country music booking agent. Mike brought his love of the industry and live music to Texas Sounds Entertainment to continue what Mr. Sandberg started with passion in 1975.

In 2017 MIke brought on business partner Bob Brecht who had worked with both Mike Sandberg and Mike Black on a country music television show. Together they decided to re-brand the company from Texas Sounds Entertainment to TSE Entertainment and expand its footprint all over the U.S. and Canada.

Mike, Bob, and the TSE Entertainment team still stay close to the man who started it all. Mike Sandberg remains a consultant for TSE and continues to offer advice to our team.

TSE Entertainment now books an array of different artists and genres.  While it continues to grow and diversify its artist rosters, we all know our roots will always be in country music booking!

Related Posts:

Booking Country Music: Start Here

Texas Sounds Entertainment is now TSE Entertainment

 

 

 

[fblikebox id=6503]
<h2></h2> <div id="fb-root"></div> <script> window.fbAsyncInit = function() { FB.init({ appId : '1680215835354712', xfbml : true, version : 'v2.4' }); }; (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.4&appId=1680215835354712"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); </script> <div class="fb-page" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/TSEEntertainment" data-width="350" data-height="535" data-small-header="false" data-adapt-container-width="false" data-hide-cover="false" data-show-facepile="true" data-show-posts="false"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><blockquote cite="https://www.facebook.com/facebook"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/facebook">Facebook</a></blockquote></div></div>