LASS Stories and Kudos

Note: these wonderful messages were gathered for the LASS 20th Anniversary concert and celebration in 1991 and obviously, many of them currently have new positions or have moved on to other companies. If you’re among these good people, please send us links or e-mail addresses so we can let people know what you’re up to now. If you have any memories about the showcase, we invite you to share them here

LASS is a friendly voice in the wilderness and a great place to get started.
TOM SNOW, Hit Songwriter
I always suggest that people attend the L.A. Songwriters Showcase to hone their craft and I have found it very valuable in making associations with hard-to-get-to people myself.
RODNEY GORDY, Avatar Music
It all begins with a song – and the Songwriters Showcase. Since we came to Los Angeles, John and Len have taken a personal interest in our careers and have always been there when we needed them. If the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase didn’t exist, someone would have to invent it.
I have many mentors to whom I attribute my success and LASS is on that list! I have met musicians, writers, producers and publishers through LASS who have become invaluable to my profession. I consider LASS an asset to the music industry. Thanks for being there LASS!
CHERYL DICKERSON, Sony/Epic Records a&r.
Thanks to the Songwriters Showcase, I found a terrific song called “I’m The One Momma Warned You About” which I recorded with Mickey Gilley. It became a top 20 country single. I’ll be back for more hits in the future.
I would like to thank you for the support, encouragement, education and contacts you have provided to so many or our delicate species for all these years.
ALAN O’DAY, Hit Songwriter
Whenever I needed new material for a recording project I turned to John or Len for help. They never let me down. I have recorded tunes that were presented to me at the Showcase.
BOB MONACO, Independent Producer
John Braheny and Len Chandler deserve a special achievement award for the contribution they make and the opportunity they provide for songwriters and publishers everywhere. The Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase is a forward-thinking organization that proves beyond any doubt that integrity will win out over skepticism every time.
J. MICHAEL DOLAN AND E. ERIC BETTELLI, Publishers of Music Connection Magazine
Through the pro pitches, my collaborators and I have attained a Melissa Manchester single, a song in an Alvin & The Chipmunks movie and soundtrack album and an opening song in a Fame episode.
Songwriters Showcase has been a champion for the songwriters and their rights for 20 years!
Beginnings and growth; wonderful support and connection for the solitary writers! Thanks! Keep it coming!
PETER ALSOP, Songwriter
If I were an aspiring songwriter or artist, my first phone call upon arriving in Hollywood would be to Len Chandler and John Braheny at the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase.
SAM BROWN III, Producer/Publisher
In an industry that generally keeps a closed-door policy towards unknown and unsolicited writers, I found that there was one place to go where I could connect with industry professionals.
MICHAEL JAY, Songwriter/Producer
Whenever I got a call from a new songwriter and they ask, “Where is the best place to have my material heard?” I always recommend the L.A Songwriters Showcase. Its programs are perfect for the up-and-comer who needs a realistic overview on the recording/publishing industry in general, and one’s individual songs in particular.
TOM VICKERS, A&R – PolyGram Records
My membership to LASS is proving to be the best, cheapest, investment I’ve made in the music business.
I consider John and Len my musical parents and LASS the house which I grew up in. They protected, nurtured and guided me – and provided me with the tools and contacts necessary to succeed. The love and admiration we all have for them and the organization is just a reflection of their dedication and caring for us.
ALLAN RICH, Hit Songwriter
I am proud to have been associated with the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase through the years. The services LASS provides to the songwriting community are crucial to the creativity of the music industry and I salute John, Len and all the staff. Best Wishes.
DAVID FOSTER, Hit Writer/Producer/Artist
Congratulations concerning your 20 years of success – the industry has been that much richer for your association. Throughout the 17 years that I have visited LASS Showcases, I have always found both the LASS staff and participating members to be friendly, knowledgeable, organized, and a sincere group of people – a working unity that delivers results. I’ve yet to meet the integrity in the industry that is equal to your sincerity, as you continue to make the field of writing and recording a better place to work and play. I’m pleased to call you my friends, and I wish you continued success in the years to come.
JIM O’LOUGHLIN, O’Lyric & O’Lyrical Music
I’ll always remember the time the Phoenix newspaper listed one of the guest speakers for the Arizona Songwriters Seminar as John Braheny! We will forever be grateful for all the warmth, friendship and creative input from Len, John, JoAnn, Joy and the rest of the LASS staff. Keep it up!
JON IGER, President, Arizona Songwriters Association
I remember playing on Braheny and Chandler’s Songwriter’s Showcase a couple of time in the mid-1970’s when it was located at Art Laboe’s. I’d only been in town a couple of months and was scared to death after my first round of publisher rejections when, on a broiling hot day, my partner and I showed up at our audition. Imagine our joy when we weren’t rejected, but told our songs were great and we could perform them the next week on Sunset Blvd.! We went on to play four songs and sold some of those very tunes to Four Star International. Alas, it didn’t turn out to be our “big break,” but I’ll never forget how good it felt to find out that in this faceless and hustling town, somebody in L.A. cared and would give a struggling artist a chance.
JOHN T. LESCROART, Author of Sunburn & Son of Holmes
I recall when the Alternative Chorus Songwriters Showcase met at Lincoln Center West, a dilapidated ex-wash-a-teria, on an Eastern end of Melrose, heretofore known only to the Thomas Bros. Map Co. (actually, it was later the Natural Fudge). In the middle of my performance, Peter Alsop jumped up and yelled, “That’s Gary White! I’ve been looking for him ever since he played the Gaslight in New York City!”
GARY B. WHITE, Hit Songwriter
The magic of John and Len always puts a song in our hearts. They’ve always been there when we need them. LASS keeps songwriters on a common ground with the fellowship they foster. Happy anniversary to you and many more!
DIANE ABOUD, Arizona Songwriters Association
During my first year as an independent publisher, after having left Jobete Music, business was not exactly booming yet. At that point, I was still fairly new to the world of publishing and it was impossible for anyone to predict (including myself) whether or not I would survive as an independent. However, the staff of the L.A. Showcase had always believed in my career, always welcomed me at the Showcase, and frequently recruited me to do Cassette Roulette, giving me the appearance of being a thriving pro. Now that business is thriving, I again say thanks to the Showcase for giving me moral support when I most needed it.”
DALE KAWASHIMA, President – Mercurial Music
I go back a long way with Len and John. I can still remember my first visit to one of their showcases. As a very impressionable starting songwriter, I shyly snuck into the back row of their small Fountain Avenue location in East Hollywood and was thrilled to watch the local hopefuls strum guitars while accompanying their own songwriting. In those days, both the talent and the presentation were much simpler than today.

It seemed as though the showcase got more professional, I did too. Soon, I was trying to mingle with the “industry” types that were scarfing up the free wine and cider at their Capitol recording studio showcases. This step up was my first taste of the “big time.”

Still, it took a little while until I got the nerve to showcase my songs. By this time, they had moved to Art Laboe’s on the Sunset Strip, the first of many night club showcases. This appearance was to play a significant part in establishing my professional career. I presented 6 songs with my group, Cat Cohen and the Canary Sisters. We went over so well that I was awarded a prize of 4 hours of free 24-track time at the Music Machine. Since I was working on a rock/soul musical at the time called “Sell Yourself,” I decided to use the opportunity to record one of the featured tunes. Among the singers I worked with as Cheryl Lynn, who blew everyone away with her solos and high vocal fills. Though the musical never sold, this session helped to establish my relationship with Cheryl, who has since recorded several of my songs.

I owe a lot to the Showcase for giving me support and inspiration throughout the years. I’m glad that Len and John have survived one challenge after another, one location after another, and one showcase after another for 20 years. May they keep up the good work for another 20 years!
DAVID CAT COHEN Songwriter/teacher
Twenty years. Where does the time go? I must say that I am proud to have been your friend and associated in a small way to ACSS along the way. I wish you and Len and your staff 20 more wonderful years of the headaches of dealing with songwriters and publishers, not to mention musicians. (Just kidding!!) I’m not kidding when I say you all have my utmost respect. Thank you for the opportunity to learn and grow in a healthy, loving and positive environment.

Enough of that…I was scared to death. I had been up all night the night before so I was frazzled. My fingers ached from playing four tunes over and over again. I can never remember first lines. I had been in Los Angeles for about four months, so everything was still kind of new to me. I had to park about a block away…and as I walked toward the Ash Grove, I thought about all the tremendous people who had played in that room, on that stage. WOW! As I said, I was nervous…and excited. I remember John and Len running around squaring everything away and then coming on stage to explain the purpose of the Showcase. I think I played to about 25 people that night. They didn’t lynch me or beat me up. A couple of people even liked my songs. All together, it was a great experience. That night I started some relationships that have lasted since that night. Thanks for the memories.
JOHN RHYS Hit writer/producer/publisher
At the risk of sounding cliched, both my personal life and business have been enriched because of the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase. Happy Anniversary and many happy returns!
GLENN FRIEDMAN Music Umbrella/Sweet Carol Music Publisher
Thanks LASS for your continued concern for the songwriters of tomorrow. I was very flattered to be asked to participate in LASS activities. I wish there had been an organization like this around when I was pounding on doors.
BOB DUNCAN producer
It’s so gratifying to be able to say “LASS!!” to all those wonderfully talented newcomers to the L.A. music scene who ask me “What can I do to become established and recognized?” Thank heaven of John and Len, for I believe they are single-handedly making the dream a tangible one for many hundreds of aspiring songwriters who otherwise might lose heart.
LASS has grown by leaps and bounds since I showcased with them in the ’70s. Now they have something to offer every songwriter at every stage of development. John and Len have been the “Catchers in the Rye” for new songwriters as well as constant anchor points for industry professionals-in-progress. We all owe them a big “thanks.”
HARRIET SCHOCK Hit Songwriter/artist
It’s been a pleasure to have been a patron of the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase since 1975. John Braheny and Len Chandler are to be applauded for the creation of this, their brainchild which continues to provide a most needed avenue through which the new songwriter is introduced to industry professionals. Your tireless efforts have helped countless songwriters realize their dreams. Keep up the good work, guys, the music industry needs you as much as the aspiring songwriters do!
TERRI FRICON The Fricon Entertainment Company, Inc.
We arrived in L.A. in a self-built motor home in August of 1973. Our very first contact with the music industry in Los Angeles was a few months later, when someone handed us a newspaper article they had clipped out about what was then known as the Alternative Chorus. That one contract was the seed that eventually brought forth the fruits we currently enjoy – thousands of contacts, a gold record and a Number 2 Black single. We are forever grateful to Len and John for their untiring and generous efforts on behalf of songwriters.
I can still remember how exciting it was to have John and Len present their 2-day workshop in Minnesota, back in 1977. Since I was having a hard time finding specific education in songwriting and the music business, the workshop inspired me to start flying out to Los Angeles for 3 years in a row to the annual Expo, and then to finally move to L.A. and attend the Wednesday night showcases regularly. The majority of my publishing contracts, producer contact and clients for my demo studio have been a direct result of LASS. I salute you, my teachers, my colleagues, my friends.
SUNNY HILDEN Singer/songwriter
The experience and exposure I got at the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase helped me grow toward my goal of being a financially successful songwriter. Thanks John and Len!
DAVID KINNOIN Singer/Songwriter
What I remember most about the Showcase is that it was (and is) such a profoundly creative environment. The door was always open when it came to musical ideas. In fact, my all-time favorite song was actually inspired and written in the Showcase office. It was in 1976, shortly after I came to L.A., I was standing next to Pam Martin’s desk, looking at some of the picture postcards tacked up on the door frame. Pam was telling me about a line that she had heard or read that she liked. I happened to be looking at a postcard with a large sailboat on it, when Pam said, “The wind is like a river in the sky.” I said out loud, “let me be the wind in your sail. What a great idea for a song.” A few days later, I spent the night in the office (I wasn’t kidding about the door always being open), and stayed up all night to write “Let Me Be The Wind In Your Sail.” With a little nurturing of my craftsmanship by John and Len, the song was later picked up by Terri Fricon, who was then head of Filmways Music. She proceeded to get me my first cover on a song that might never have been written had I not been hanging out at the Showcase. Thanks, guys. Keep up the fantastic work!!
ARLO CHAN Warner Chappell Music
Len Chandler and John Braheny give our profession the integrity and commitment that we would be the poorer without. We support what they do because they remind us, as Fred Neil wrote and sang, there’s “Another Side To This Life.”
BILLY JAMES VP, A&R, Encore Entertainment
The first time I ever played the Showcase was when John and Len were at Capitol Records studio. Not only was the Showcase a beginning of something new for me musically, but it was also the beginning of something new for me personally, because that’s where I met my wife and musical partner for 12 years, Ichshe. And what a successful partnership it’s been, as our son, Jesse, can attest to. John and Len have been consistent supporters of not only my music, but also of the LA music scene in general. It seems like they always hear it before it happens. I couldn’t imagine going through the trials and tribulations of the record business without them. Congratulations John and Len. We love you.
RIC AND ICHSHE SANDLER Songwriter/artists
Congratulations on 20 years of service to the songwriting and music business communities. “You’ve come a long way, Baby!” I remember the 1st showcase at the old Ash Grove; Gary White (of “Long, Long Time” fame), Bonnie White (whose musical “Metropolis” was an LA Inner City Cultural Center production with much success), Shelby Flint (among whose later credits included successfully writing children’s songs, I believe), and lastly (I don’t think I’ve left anyone out.), myself with my ex-writing partner Howard Bloch. The audience has certainly grown since then — in numbers and scope, and so have the accomplishments and achievements of LASS alumni, not the least of which were my own Chart songs, International Gold Record and ASCAP award – all of which were ultimately possible because of people I met directly through your showcase. So, Thanks, you guys! I believe the best is even yet to come. Good luck! May you have much continued success.
BETH SAYKO-LUCAS Jersey-Made Music