Songwriter Musepaper – Volume 5 Issue 10 – October 1990 – Songwriters Expo 14 – Interview: Glen Ballard

Songwriter Musepaper – Volume 5 Issue 10 – October 1990 – Songwriters Expo 14 – Interview: Glen Ballard

Songwriter Musepaper - Volume 5 Issue 10 - October 1990 - Songwriters Expo 14 - Interview: Glen Ballard 

JB#: C000000062-008-001

 Songwriter Musepaper - Volume 5 Issue 10 - October 1990 - Songwriters Expo 14 - Interview: Glen Ballard

JB #: C000000062-008-002


Table of Contents

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FEATURES

INTERVIEW – GLEN BALLARD 7

With the phenomenal success of his co-writing/production with Wilson Phillips and his and Siedah Garrett’s song for Michael Jackson, “Man In The Mirror,” Glen Ballard’s already good career just got a whole lot better. Angelo Roman, Jr. steps into his world for some valuable information and philosophy.

REPETITION IN SONGWRITING THEORETICALLY SPEAKING 22
David Cat Cohen repeats the virtues and vices of repetition.

LASS PRO MEMBERS HIT TOP TEN
Allan Rich, Jud Friedman, Joe Mele and Dick Winzeler all have hits in the Top 10. Congratulations are in order!

LASS PRO MEMBERS SCORE IN MUSIC CITY SONG FESTIVAIL
Five Pro-Members take home Grand Prizes in the 10th annual MCSF.

SONGWRITERS EXPO 14 8-14
This is it…the rundown on the whole fantastic weekend. The schedule and cast of characters in the grandaddy songwriters event of the known universe!

LASS NEWS

MEMBER NEWS – NOTEWORTHY – MUSICAL CHAIRS
News about classes, biz events, where your favorite publishers and A&R reps are this month and good stuff about our members.

WEEKLY SHOWCASE SCHEDULE 25
Cassette RouletteTM (publisher song critiques), Pitch-A-ThonTM (producers and record company reps looking for songs and acts), Pick-ups (the names of writers) whose songs got picked up at those sessions in the past month).


From the Acting Archivist…

Much like the Songmine columns posted earlier, the archives contain a large collection of Songwriter Musepaper publications. With this posting, I am beginning a project to scan the cover and table of contents of each issue and then OCR (convert the scanned picture to text) the table of contents in order to make it searchable. I don’t yet have the staff necessary to create complete scanned issues of the Museupaper, but if there is interest in a particular article or interview, I can scan that and make it available here.

Douglas E. Welch, douglas@welchwrite.com

Previously in Songwriters Musepaper:

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Songmine: What A Record Company Needs to Know: Part 1 by John Braheny

A John Braheny Songmine column from the archives…

Songmine: What A Record Company Needs to Know by John Braheny 

Accession Number: C000000137-009 Document/Digital File, “Songmine: What A Record Company Needs to Know: Part 1 by John Braheny, OCR converted text under same Accession Number

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Songmine: What A Record Company Needs to Know: Part 1 by John Braheny

This past October, Len Chandler and I presented a two-day seminar at UCLA Extension about “Song and Talent Evaluation”. As a part of that seminar, we discussed the special problems and considerations of writer/artists relative to their making record and publishing deals. Since many of you are writer/artists, both as individuals and in groups, I’m sorting a series on the subject.

VALUE OF THE ARTIST/WRITER PACKAGE

There have always been exceptional writer/artists. Until the 40s and 50s, however, with the increasing exposure of country and western, black music and the birth of rock and roll, most of the popular songs heard on the radio were not performed by the writers. More recently, record companies began to. discover that they could get publishing rights to the songs the artists were writing and thus be able to keep all the publishing income for themselves, as well as the record royalties. It was a lucrative package, because they didn’t have to pay outside writers and publishers that 2 cents per side per unit sold. They could also participate in the airplay royalties collected from BMI and ASCAP. Today, virtually every record company has a publishing affiliate, and though they’ll sign a writer/artist without participating in the publishing rights, it is definitely something they want. Not only is it financially advantageous to a record company to sign a writer/artist, but it is convenient. Record company A&R staff, non-writing artists and their producers go berserk trying to find the right songs for that artist for that particular album. Record buyers, paying more and more for albums, are also becoming more knowledgeable and sophisticated in their tastes and will no longer go for an album with one or two great tunes on it, and the rest schlock filler that the producer’s niece wrote and he just happens to own the publishing on.

The writer/artist, on the other hand, has always had more latitude on that score, since is is often a combination of style, sound and point of view that makes the music of the writer/artist commercial. Joni Mitchell’s music, aside from some of her early work, is not the kind of music you’d ask Helen Reddy or Linda Ronstadt to record. The blend of her writing, performing and personal point of view is so unique that you can’t say “that’s a bad song”. You either like her or you don’t. Non-writing artists would never choose to record a song they didn’t understand or identify with in some way. But a writer/artist group with a strong sound identity can get away with songs that have a little more obtuse or abstract lyric content because people are buying a sound. How about America’s Horse With No Name, or Tin Man. Didn’t they defy interpretation? But didn’t you dig that Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sound that you’d gotten used to? Those aren’t so much songs as they are records, since they’re not the kind of songs an artist 20 years from now will want to record, and as records, they will possibly get played as oldies only as long as they remain a trigger for the nostalgic feelings of those old enough to have been into something worth remembering at the time of their peak popularity.Songs with strong, accessible lyrics and melodies, like Lennon and McCartney’s Yesterday are adaptable to many styles, and say things in such a simple and poetically beautiful way they’ll probably touch people no matter what style they’re sung in 20 or 100 years from now.

To sum it up, writer/artists, including groups, are valuable to record companies in several ways. If the record company has a piece of the publishing, the value is in 1) the writer/artists’ ability to create a self-contained identifiable sound that allows them to make successful records using their own material (including some that may not be mainstream commercial), 2) the writer/artists’ ability to write great songs that the record company/publisher can collect on for the next 100 years, and more from cover versions, 3) and so the artist, record company and producer, ideally, won’t have to look for outside tunes. One of the basic benefits of he writer/artists’ regardless of publishing participation, is the potential to create a fusion of style and material that is quite unique, and that offers fans the opportunity to get to know the writer/artist in a personal way, i.e. Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel, Dan Hill, etc. Next time, I’ll talk about some of the things in particular that a record company considers in signing an artist.

DEC 14 – JAN 3

Previously in the Songmine Collection:

About Songmine and Music Connection Magazine:

John Braheny met Eric Bettelli and Michael Dolan right before they were going to publish Music Connection magazine. Eric and Michael wanted to get their publication out to as many songwriters as they could. They had already heard of the LA Songwriters Showcase, and of John and his partner, Len Chandler. John’s goal was to advertise the schedule of guest speakers and performers at the weekly Showcase… so they made a deal. 

They published John’s Songmine column (he had never before written a magazine article!) in their very first edition, in November 1977. Trading out the column for advertising, this arrangement continued for many years. Plus, Eric and Michael came to the Showcase each week and distributed free copies to the songwriters!

Those articles became so popular that (book agent and editor) Ronny Schiff offered John’s articles to F&W Media, where they became the backbone of John’s textbook, The Craft and Business of Songwriting. As a follow-up, Dan Kimpel (author, songwriter, teacher), who had also worked at LASS, took on the Songwriting column at Music Connection magazine which continues to this day! You can subscribe to get either hard copies or online.


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Archive Highlight: Songwriters Workshop Poster/Flyer, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1984 (2 sides)

Another interesting piece of John Braheny history from the John Braheny Archives on the Craft and Business of Songwriting.


Songwriters Workshop Poster/Flyer, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1984 (2 sides)

Songwriters Workshop Poster/Flyer, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1984 (2 sides) 

Full Size Image

Songwriters Workshop Poster/Flyer, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1984 (2 sides)

Full Size Image 

Accession Number D000000143-001/D000000143-002 (Note: These numbers are the unique Accession number for each piece in the archives and allows us to quickly locate any item by searching the archive index) 

Previously on Archive Highlights:

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Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades Part 4 by John Braheny

A John Braheny Songmine column from the archives…

 Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades Part 4 by John Braheny

Accession Number: C000000137-008 Document/Digital File, “Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades Part 4 by John Braheny, OCR converted text under same Accession Number

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Songmine: Learning From The Trades Part 4 by John Braheny

Songmine: Learning From The Trades Part 4

Here’s a good game to play with the trades. Listen to a station like KNX-FM (93.1) who’s not afraid to take a chance and add a new song by a new artist now and then. When you hear one you think is a hit, look at the Billboard Hot 100 chart or other trade charts and see if it’s there. Analyze the song stylisticly and predict what charts it’ll show up on. Is it a crossover that will show up on both pop and R&B or Country charts? Pretend it’s your song and get into following it up (or down) the charts. Check out the Single and Album Radio action charts and see who’s adding it to their playlists. What kind of stations are playing it? What other songs are those stations playing? What good is this exercise? It’s a game that record companies and publishers play for real and it gets you into the excitement of 2nd guessing. You’ll compare these songs to your own and it’ll help you 2nd guess your songs before even taking them to a publisher. It gives you the opportunity to critique your own song in the context of the real music world. I’m frankly amazed at the number of songwriters who are totally out of touch with what is going on. I’ll ask them if they like “Gerry Rafferty” or “Boston” or “Foreigner” and they’ll have no idea what I’m talking about. Or they’ll say proudly, “I never listen to top 40 stuff.” Now, people, to be ignorant is one thing, but to be deliberately ignorant is inexcusable when you claim to be trying to write commercial songs. That’s probably one of the reasons why publishers and producers say that over 95 % of what they hear when they have an “open door” policy is not even in the ballpark. That’s why, from their point of view, the Songwriters Showcase is valuable. We showcase less than 10% of what we hear. Songwriting is one of the few professions (alongside parenthood) which people seem to feel they don’t have to learn anything about to do successfully. 

So, back to learning. It’s important to develop your critical abilities and there are good opportunities to develop in that respect by reading record and live performance reviews, not only in the standard trades but in Stereo Review, High Fidelity, Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy and other consumer music periodicals. Listen to the same records they do, go to the same concerts and do your own reviews. There are obviously differences of opinion between reviewers depending on their own personal taste and critical abilities. As to your own learning process, tho, it’s as positive an experience to disagree as it is to have your viewpoint supported as long as you’ve paid careful attention to their critique and given some thought to your own. 

The trades contain some great interviews with music industry people that can be helpful on several levels. First of all, if you see an interview with, say, Linda Ronstadt and you want to write a song for her, you may gain some insight into likes, dislikes, experiences, fears, etc., that will help you write a song that she’ll identify with. It’ll ‘speak’ for her. You may also be a performer or group looking for a manager and you can get an idea, thru the interview, what that manager is like personally and professionally. What does he or she think is important? What kind of acts do they like? Why? What’s the nature of their relationship with record companies? Co-operative or adversary? Are they feared, respected, loved or all of the above? There are interviews with A&R (Artist & Reportoire) execs at record companies. You’ll find out what they look for, their company policies, their personal ex-periences and philosophies. You’ll discover that, although there are basic considerations that all managers, A&R people or others share within their particular field of expertise, everyone has a little different approach or “tricks of the trade” learned from their own experience and from their personal creativity and imagination. There are several “right” ways to do almost anything in this business and it helps to know a bunch of them. While we’re on the subject of learning from the pros, I want to tell you to never be afraid to ask. We’ve found in our showcase interviews, that with few exceptions, music industry people have spoken freely about how they do things, and how they feel about what they do. Even as a struggling writer/artist, whenever I expressed a desire to learn about something, there was always someone who would take the time to clue me in. More on this next week. 

OCT 19 – NOV 1

Previously in the Songmine Collection:

About Songmine and Music Connection Magazine:

John Braheny met Eric Bettelli and Michael Dolan right before they were going to publish Music Connection magazine. Eric and Michael wanted to get their publication out to as many songwriters as they could. They had already heard of the LA Songwriters Showcase, and of John and his partner, Len Chandler. John’s goal was to advertise the schedule of guest speakers and performers at the weekly Showcase… so they made a deal. 

They published John’s Songmine column (he had never before written a magazine article!) in their very first edition, in November 1977. Trading out the column for advertising, this arrangement continued for many years. Plus, Eric and Michael came to the Showcase each week and distributed free copies to the songwriters!

Those articles became so popular that (book agent and editor) Ronny Schiff offered John’s articles to F&W Media, where they became the backbone of John’s textbook, The Craft and Business of Songwriting. As a follow-up, Dan Kimpel (author, songwriter, teacher), who had also worked at LASS, took on the Songwriting column at Music Connection magazine which continues to this day! You can subscribe to get either hard copies or online.

Songmine: Learning From The Trades Part 4
Here’s a good game to play with the trades. Listen to a station like KNX-FM (93.1) who’s not afraid to take a chance and add a new song by a new artist now and then. When you hear one you think is a hit, look at the Billboard Hot 100 chart or other trade charts and see if it’s there. Analyze the song stylisticly and predict what charts it’ll show up on. Is it a crossover that will show up on both pop and R&B or Country charts? Pretend it’s your song and get into following it up (or down) the charts. Check out the Single and Album Radio action charts and see who’s adding it to their playlists. What kind of stations are playing it? What other songs are those stations playing? What good is this exercise? It’s a game that record companies and publishers play for real and it gets you into the excitement of 2nd guessing. You’ll compare these songs to your own and it’ll help you 2nd guess your songs before even taking them to a publisher. It gives you the opportunity to critique your own song in the context of the real music world. I’m frankly amazed at the number of songwriters who are totally out of touch with what is going on. I’ll ask them if they like “Gerry Rafferty” or “Boston” or “Foreigner” and they’ll have no idea what I’m talking about. Or they’ll say proudly, “I never listen to top 40 stuff.” Now, people, to be ignorant is one thing, but to be deliberately ignorant is inexcusable when you claim to be trying to write commercial songs. That’s probably one of the reasons why publishers and producers say that over 95 % of what they hear when they have an “open door” policy is not even in the ballpark. That’s why, from their point of view, the Songwriters Showcase is valuable. We showcase less than 10% of what we hear. Songwriting is one of the few professions (alongside parenthood) which people seem to feel they don’t have to learn anything about to do successfully. 
So, back to learning. It’s important to develop your critical abilities and there are good opportunities to develop in that respect by reading record and live performance reviews, not only in the standard trades but in Stereo Review, High Fidelity, Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy and other consumer music periodicals. Listen to the same records they do, go to the same concerts and do your own reviews. There are obviously differences of opinion between reviewers depending on their own personal taste and critical abilities. As to your own learning process, tho, it’s as positive an experience to disagree as it is to have your viewpoint supported as long as you’ve paid careful attention to their critique and given some thought to your own. 
The trades contain some great interviews with music industry people that can be helpful on several levels. First of all, if you see an interview with, say, Linda Ronstadt and you want to write a song for her, you may gain some insight into likes, dislikes, experiences, fears, etc., that will help you write a song that she’ll identify with. It’ll ‘speak’ for her. You may also be a performer or group looking for a manager and you can get an idea, thru the interview, what that manager is like personally and professionally. What does he or she think is important? What kind of acts do they like? Why? What’s the nature of their relationship with record companies? Co-operative or adversary? Are they feared, respected, loved or all of the above? There are interviews with A&R (Artist & Reportoire) execs at record companies. You’ll find out what they look for, their company policies, their personal ex-periences and philosophies. You’ll discover that, although there are basic considerations that all managers, A&R people or others share within their particular field of expertise, everyone has a little different approach or “tricks of the trade” learned from their own experience and from their personal creativity and imagination. There are several “right” ways to do almost anything in this business and it helps to know a bunch of them. While we’re on the subject of learning from the pros, I want to tell you to never be afraid to ask. We’ve found in our showcase interviews, that with few exceptions, music industry people have spoken freely about how they do things, and how they feel about what they do. Even as a struggling writer/artist, whenever I expressed a desire to learn about something, there was always someone who would take the time to clue me in. More on this next week. 
OCT 19 – NOV 1

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Songwriters Musepaper – Volume 6 Issue 10 – October 1991 – Interview: Dewayne Blackwell

Songwriters Musepaper – Volume 6 Issue 10 – October 1991 – Interview: Dewayne Blackwell

Jb C000000062 007 001

JB#: C000000062-007-001

Jb C000000062 007 002

JB #: C000000062-007-002


Table of Contents

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SPOTLIGHT – BMI WINS LANDMARK CABLE SUIT 6
The BMI victory marks the beginning of a new negotiating climate for BMI writers and publishers and cable television.

INTERVIEW – DEWAYNE BLACKWELL 7
He’s been writing hits for over 30 years and his most recent, “Friends In Low Places” with over four million in album sales , not counting sales of the single, is the biggest yet. John Braheny gets into his life and craft.

MUSICAL NOTES – HOW TO WRITE STRONGER MELODIES 10
Molly-Ann Leikin is back with some good advice on melody writing from her book, How To Make A Good Song A Hit Song.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE – THE EQUIPMENT SHUFFLE 11
Writer/demo producer Mike Booth, through trial, error and economic necessity, has figured out how to update his equipment at a minimum cost. Check it out!

UPBEAT – LAYING DOWN THE LAW 15
Dan Kimpel reviews a new book, All You Need To Know AboutThe Music Business, by entertainment attorney Don Passman.

THEORETICALLY SPEAKING – WHY RHYTHM? 22
David Cat Cohen explores the obvious and not-so-obvious reasonsfor the importance of grooves in contemporary music. LASS NEWS

MEMBER NEWS – NOTEWORTHY – MUSICAL CHAIRS 4
News about classes, biz events, where your favorite publishers and a&r reps are this month, good stuff about our members and Pickups.

WEEKLY SHOWCASE SCHEDULE
Cassette RouletteTM (publisher song critiques), Pitch-A-ThonTM (producers and record company reps looking for songs and acts).


From the Acting Archivist…

Much like the Songmine columns posted earlier, the archives contain a large collection of Songwriter Musepaper publications. With this posting, I am beginning a project to scan the cover and table of contents of each issue and then OCR (convert the scanned picture to text) the table of contents in order to make it searchable. I don’t yet have the staff necessary to create complete scanned issues of the Museupaper, but if there is interest in a particular article or interview, I can scan that and make it available here.

Douglas E. Welch, douglas@welchwrite.com

Previously in Songwriters Musepaper:

0

Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades Part 3 by John Braheny

A John Braheny Songmine column from the archives…

 Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades Part 3 by John Braheny

Accession Number: C000000137-007 Document/Digital File, “Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades Part 3 by John Braheny, OCR converted text under same Accession Number

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Songmine: Getting The Most From The Trades. Part 3 by John Braheny

by John Braheny

Let’s continue the rap about checking out Billboard’s “Executive Turntable”, Cashbox’s “Executives On The Move” and Record World’s “Copy Writes” to find out where your contacts have moved since you last saw them.

In the case of publishers, a good thing to keep in mind is that if you’ve already signed a publishing contract on a song and you see that the person responsible for signing your song to that company has made an exit, you should call the company and make an appointment with their replacement. If you-don’t bring your song to their attention, it may get lost in the shuffle of thousands of others the new person has to represent. It also gives you a chance to make a new contact and expose some of your newer songs. Call your old contact at the new job, congratulate them and go to see them at their new company.

Occasionally, a whole company will be restructured due to possibly a new president who wants to put together his or her own “team”. This is also valuable info for anyone looking for a job in the business. That kind of news will be carried in the columns and is also likely to be found in a more detailed featured article elsewhere in that issue. In the case of new companies forming or branch offices being set up locally, you’ll have a situation where people are eager to prove themselves by finding some great new local artists or songs. Take advantage of that info by calling right away to make an appointment.

Billboard’s “Studio Track” is another valuable column for writers. If youre the aggressive, creative type, you can find out, like publishers do, who’s recording, what studio, who’s the producer and engineer. If you’re very sure that your songs are appropriate for the artist, you’ll know how to get to them. It’s not a bad idea to meet recording engineers at some of the hottest studios in town. They’re in a position to work with many producers and artists. You might, as an incentive, offer them a percentage of the “mechanicals”. That refers to income generated from the sale of recors and tapes as opposed to income from performances (radio, TV & clubs) which comes from BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC. The percentage can be anything aggreeable to both parties. There is no “standard” for that type of deal. I’d suggest that you just deal with the ‘publishing’ (the 50% of the total pie that a publisher ordinarily takes for getting artists to record your song) as opposed to the ‘writers’ half. We’re assuming now that you’re acting as your own publisher. It’s better to reward them with a percentage of ‘mechanical’ for the particular record where they place your song rather than give them a percentage of the ongoing publishing rights because you may want to reward someone else for placing the song with another artist on another record and it becomes very difficult to do the paperwork when pieces of publishing are goig to several different people who all co-own your copyright. Of course you can also give them some “performance income” (from airplay) but the major problem is that when you get your royalty statements from BMI or ASCAP, they don’t tell you what record it’s from and if you have a song that gets recorded by more than one artist, there’s no way to tell what you owe on each one of them. One way you can do it is to deal with time periods. Say, “I’ll give you 50% (or whatever) of `performances’ for the first three quarters (payment peri-ods).” I believe that it’s a good idea to reward people who help you get a song to an artist, and to set up ‘a financial arrangement in front with people who have those contacts but are not necessarily in the business of publishing. I’ve even heard of groupies placing songs. Roadies and road managers, bartenders, andyone who comes in contact with the artists or
producers. Artists are often intrigued enough by gettin a song from an unexpected source that they pay special attention to it. One of the things this business thrives on is the thrill of discovery. “Would you believe the waitress at Duke’s laid this killer tune on me?”

It’s a very creative business and the trades can give you lots of fuel for your own ideas. We’ll explore more of them next time.

If you’ve discovered any novel ways to pitch your songs, let’s hear from you.

Previously in the Songmine Collection:

About Songmine and Music Connection Magazine:

John Braheny met Eric Bettelli and Michael Dolan right before they were going to publish Music Connection magazine. Eric and Michael wanted to get their publication out to as many songwriters as they could. They had already heard of the LA Songwriters Showcase, and of John and his partner, Len Chandler. John’s goal was to advertise the schedule of guest speakers and performers at the weekly Showcase… so they made a deal. 

They published John’s Songmine column (he had never before written a magazine article!) in their very first edition, in November 1977. Trading out the column for advertising, this arrangement continued for many years. Plus, Eric and Michael came to the Showcase each week and distributed free copies to the songwriters!

Those articles became so popular that (book agent and editor) Ronny Schiff offered John’s articles to F&W Media, where they became the backbone of John’s textbook, The Craft and Business of Songwriting. As a follow-up, Dan Kimpel (author, songwriter, teacher), who had also worked at LASS, took on the Songwriting column at Music Connection magazine which continues to this day! You can subscribe to get either hard copies or online.

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Songwriters Musepaper – Volume 7 Issue 9 – September 1992 – Songwriters Expo 16 – Interview: Jennifer Warnes

Songwriters Musepaper – Volume 7 Issue 9 –  September 1992 – Songwriters Expo 16 – Interview: Jennifer Warnes

Songwriters Musepaper - Volume 7 Issue 9 -  September 1992 - Songwriters Expo 16 - Interview: Jennifer Warnes

JB#: C000000062-006-001

Songwriters Musepaper - Volume 7 Issue 9 -  September 1992 - Songwriters Expo 16 - Interview: Jennifer Warnes

JB #: C000000062-006-002


Table of Contents

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INTERVIEW —JENNIFER WARNES 7 The music-scene mainstay talks to John Braheny about why—at a point in her career when other performers have fallen comfortably into a niche—she is still looking for new challenges and the chance to make history. 

SONGWRITERS EXPO 16 9-15 LASS presents its 16th annual Songwriters Expo at the Sheraton Los Angeles Airport. Keynote speaker Wendy Waldman headlines a non-stop weekend of education, information and pitching opportunities. 

UPBEAT —NETWORKING FOR SUCCESS AT THE SONGWRITERS EXPO 20 Publicist and personal manager Dan Kimpel offers some pointers for making the most of networking opportunities at the Songwriters Expo. 

TOOLS OF THE TRADE — MULTIPLE MIXES, MIXES, MIXES 23 Hank Linderman discusses the wisdom of producing a variety of mixes to meet a variety of needs. 

THEORETICALLY SPEAKING —BALANCING THE FRESH AND THE FAMILIAR 24 David Cat Cohen discusses theories for successfully integrating new ideas with tried and true methods. 

SPOTLIGHT — HAVE A DISPUTE? TRY MEDIATION 28 California Lawyers for the Arts offers a service which may keep you out of court. 

LASS NEWS MEMBER NEWS — NOTEWORTHY — MUSICAL CHAIRS 4 News about classes, biz events, where your favorite publishers and a&r reps are this month and good stuff about our members and Pickups. 

WEEKLY SHOWCASE SCHEDULECassette RouletteTM (publisher song critiques), Pitch-A-Thon’m (producers and record company reps looking for songs and acts). 21 


From the Acting Archivist…

Much like the Songmine columns posted earlier, the archives contain a large collection of Songwriter Musepaper publications. With this posting, I am beginning a project to scan the cover and table of contents of each issue and then OCR (convert the scanned picture to text) the table of contents in order to make it searchable. I don’t yet have the staff necessary to create complete scanned issues of the Museupaper, but if there is interest in a particular article or interview, I can scan that and make it available here.

Douglas E. Welch, douglas@welchwrite.com

Previously in Songwriters Musepaper:

0

Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades by John Braheny

A John Braheny Songmine column from the archives…

 Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades by John Braheny

Accession Number: C000000137-006 Document/Digital File, “Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades by John Braheny, OCR converted text under same Accession Number

(Digitally converted text. Some errors may occur)

Songmine: Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades

by John Braheny

If you’re actively trying to get something going, either as a writer or a recording artist, one of the most important things you need to do is to know the names and meet the people in the business. If you’re on the outside looking in and you’re not hanging out at Martoni’s or other music biz watering holes, it gets very difficult to keep track of who’s who, who’s what and where these people are. It’s complicated by a musical chairs game unequaled in any other business, except maybe advertising. There have been some cases where people didn’t know they’d been fired till they read it in the trades. Cold shot! So Billboard calls their column “Executive Turntable”, where you can see where your favorite A&R person,publisher, etc. is working this month. Cashbox’s column is called “Executives On The Move” and in Record World a good column for writers is “Copy Writes”, which gives you news about writers and publishers. A&R (Artist & Repertoire) people are important to you. They work at record companies and are usually the people who listen to new acts and to material for artists already on the label. Unfortunately ly, it’s a very insecure job because, if they make too many wrong decisions, they’re on the street again. I say “unfortunately” because it has the result of making them afraid to make decisions. They keep their jobs longer if they make fewer decisions, consequently fewer mistakes. Signing an act that stiffs can cost a company over $100,000 easily. What this means to you is that, if there’s any doubt whatsoever about the commercial potential of your material or act, you’ll get a “NO” or a “PASS”, as it’s usually called. You might ask, “If these people are so terrible at their jobs, why do they keep showing up in Executive Turntable, etc. with new ones?” There are several answers. One is that losing their job doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have good “ears” or judgement. They may not fare well in the political gamesmanship that happens at that particular company. They may quit in frustration, because acts they really believe in don’t get signed or don’t get any attention once they are signed. A&R people usually are responsible for following through on a project, and may run into a situation in the company, where their jobs are jeopardized by pushing too hard for the act in the face of new and ever shifting priorities in the company….”Stop with this act.. .We’ve got 3 major artists to release and promote in the next couple of months and that’s where our biggest money is….So don’t hassle me about your new act….We’ll get to them later.” Thin Ice Time! Lots of pressure in that position. Try to explain those things to an act who’s living on peanut butter sandwiches and waiting to be famous, and YOU know they CAN be. A reason why A&R people, who DON’T have good ears or judgement, continue to get jobs, is that some executives who hire them don’t look past the resume to say, “I want to hear what acts you liked at those other companies and what happened to them.” They just say, “Hey, that’s great, you’ve worked for all those great companies and ‘worked with’ (a nebulous phrase used to avoid pinpointing actual credits) all those great artists. You’re hired!” The person may have been fired for bad judgement in all those other jobs, but it’s well known that there CAN be other reasons, and people at the previous companies may not want to give him/her a bad recommenda-tion. After all.. .she/he might be THEIR boss next month! I should also mention that another reason for job changes is that one company finds out that an A&R person or publisher is doing a GREAT job at another company, and simply offers them a lot more money, fringe benefits and decision making power. So…anyway…you may have run into an A&R person who liked your act or your songs but couldn’t get anything going for you at her/his previous label. You see in the “Executive Turntable” that they’re at a new company now so it’s worth another shot. In a new company they may have more respect, more power and a renewed motivation to prove themselves. Yours might be the act she’ll sign or your songs might be better suited to the acts on his new label. I’ve been talking about A&R but most of the same considerations also apply to publishers. It’s turning out that “using the trades” is a good springboard for ther topics so I’ll continue it next time.

Sep 21 – Oct 4

Previously in the Songmine Collection:

About Songmine and Music Connection Magazine:

John Braheny met Eric Bettelli and Michael Dolan right before they were going to publish Music Connection magazine. Eric and Michael wanted to get their publication out to as many songwriters as they could. They had already heard of the LA Songwriters Showcase, and of John and his partner, Len Chandler. John’s goal was to advertise the schedule of guest speakers and performers at the weekly Showcase… so they made a deal. 

They published John’s Songmine column (he had never before written a magazine article!) in their very first edition, in November 1977. Trading out the column for advertising, this arrangement continued for many years. Plus, Eric and Michael came to the Showcase each week and distributed free copies to the songwriters!

Those articles became so popular that (book agent and editor) Ronny Schiff offered John’s articles to F&W Media, where they became the backbone of John’s textbook, The Craft and Business of Songwriting. As a follow-up, Dan Kimpel (author, songwriter, teacher), who had also worked at LASS, took on the Songwriting column at Music Connection magazine which continues to this day! You can subscribe to get either hard copies or online.

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Songwriters Musepaper – Volume 8 Issue 10 – October 1993 – Cover: Charles John Quarto and Pete Wasner

Songwriters Musepaper – Volume 8 Issue 10 – October 1993 – Cover: Charles John Quarto and Pete Wasner

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Table of Contents

(Digitally converted text. Some errors may occur)

INTERVIEW-CHARLES JOHN QUARTO AND PETE WASNER 7
They started writing in L.A. 15 years ago and they’ve both had successful collaborations with other writers, but their own well-honed magic and a supportive Nashville creative environment are beginning to find an enthusiastic audience with Hal Ketchum’s “Mama Knows The Highway” and there’s much more to come.

MUSICAL NOTES-YOU OUGHTA BE (WRITE) IN PICTURES
Harriet Schock knows you get more communication mileage out of visual imagery than anything else and gives you some advice on how to start thinking that way. 11

SONGWRITERS EXPO 17- PREVIEW OF THINGS TO COME 12-15
All the latest information on panelists, speakers, and industry pros looking for songs and acts at Songwriters Expo 17, the largest and most extensive songwriters’ two-day event on the planet. (The complete schedule update—with times, days and rooms—will be in the November issue of Songwriters Musepaper.) If you are serious about songwriting, you can’t afford to miss this event! Read about the best way to take advantage of all that this extraordinary week-end has to offer. To register see ad on page 19.

LASS NEWS MEMBER NEWS – NOTEWORTHY – MUSICAL CHAIRS 4
News about classes, biz events, where your favorite publishers and A&R reps are this month, good stuff about our Members and Pickups.

WEEKLY SHOWCASE SCHEDULE 6
Cassette Roulette1M (publisher song critiques) and Pitch-A-ThonTm (producers and record company reps looking for songs and acts).


From the Acting Archivist…

Much like the Songmine columns posted earlier, the archives contain a large collection of Songwriter Musepaper publications. With this posting, I am beginning a project to scan the cover and table of contents of each issue and then OCR (convert the scanned picture to text) the table of contents in order to make it searchable. I don’t yet have the staff necessary to create complete scanned issues of the Museupaper, but if there is interest in a particular article or interview, I can scan that and make it available here.

Douglas E. Welch, douglas@welchwrite.com

Previously in Songwriters Musepaper:

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Newly Indexed Items in the John Braheny Archive – January 7, 2016

These items were indexed and scanned into the John Braheny rchives today. They will appear in this blog over the next several weeks. — Douglas

C000000137-005 Songmine: Publishing III
C000000137-006 Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades
C000000137-007 Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades Part 3
C000000137-008 Songmine: Getting the Most from the Trades Part 4
C000000137-009 Songmine: What A Record Company Needs to Know – Part 1
C000000137-010 Songmine: What A Record Company Needs to Know – Part 2
C000000137-011 Songmine: What A Record Company Needs to Know – Part 3
C000000137-012 Songmine: What A Record Company Needs to Know – Part 4
C000000137-013 Songmine: What A Record Company Needs to Know – Part 5 / Part 6
C000000137-014 Songmine: Attornies: Free or Low Cost Legal Services
C000000137-015 Songmine: What A Record Company Needs to Know – Summary of a 6 Part Series
C000000137-016 Songmine: The Chances for Advances
C000000137-017 Songmine: Scoring Films on a Low Budget Part 1 and Part 2: Research and Spotting
C000000137-018 Songmine: Scoring Films on a Low Budget Part 3 and Part 4
C000000137-019 Songmine: Scoring Films on a Low Budget Part 5
C000000137-020 Songmine: Scoring Films on a Low Budget Part 6 and Part 7
C000000137-021 Songmine: For the non-writing artist. Why you need original material – Where do you find it?
C000000137-022 Songmine: “The Knack” A 3rd Point of View and Rhyme
C000000137-023 Songmine: Message Songs Part 1 and Part 2
C000000137-024 Songmine: The Nashville / LA Barrier Crumbles and Tough Enough to Publish Yourself
C000000137-025 Songmine: Administration Deals & Starting Your Own Company / Publishing Yourseld: Developing a Filing System
C000000137-026 Songmine: Looking at the 80’s Part One – Part Two
C000000137-027 Songmine: Tips for the Hard Cor Showcaser / Collabortation: Why two heads are better than one
C000000137-028 Songmine: Collaboration Part II: Meeting Your Match and Collaboration Part 3: Getting Down to Business
C000000137-029 Songmine: Collaboration Part IV: Can This Marriage Work? and When in Doubt…”negotiate”
C000000137-030 Songmine: When in Doubt…”negotiate” Part II and Are you a ‘craft’ or ‘inspiration’ writer?

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