Songmine: Looking at the 80’s Part One by John Braheny

A John Braheny Songmine column from the archives…

Songmine: Looking at the 80's Part One by John Braheny

Accession Number: C000000137-026-001 Document/Digital File, “Publishing Yourself: Developing a Filing System”, OCR converted text under same Accession Number

(Digitally converted text. Some errors may occur)

DECEMBER 20 — JANUARY 9

Songmine by John Braheny

Looking At The 80’s Part One

The 70’s have shown us glimpses of what we can expect in the 80’s. Some of the most exciting developments include the further miniaturization and mass production of integrated circuits (IC chips) and other electronic components and the advancement of audio-vi-sual technology. Here’s a look at some new developments and how they affect performers and songwriters.

The new video recorder/playback machine is getting more and more sophisticated. We now get more time per tape, easier programming in our absence and therefore more convenience. A more recent product is the videodisc. It takes up less storage space than video tape, is indestructable, has quality which doesn’t suffer with repeated use and is cheap. The major problem with the disc, which I’m sure is an inventor’s priority now, is that you can’t record on it. For a songwriter or recording artist there’s an obvious advantage to not being able to home record on videodisc. It means you’ll get paid for your performance or for the use of the song through the sale of the disc and, assuming people don’t have a video tape recorder, your Rock Concert or Midnight Special performance (assuming they’re still around) won’t be taped at home.

The subject of how performers will be affected by mass video merchandising of their performances is fraught with many legal and career questions. Will an artist get over-exposed? Will people wtill go to concerts if they can be seen at home on a big screen without using the gas or spending the ticket money? If fewer people go to concerts will promoters have to raise prices? Will artists stop touring and spend the time and money cranking out new and exciting audio-visual product? I don’t think a live performance will ever be replaced as a social event. There will be more pressure on performers though to do shows that are not carbon copies of their video performances. The more unpredictable the performers, the more people will look forward to seeing them. On the other hand I suppose it could be argued that people are disappointed if an artist doesn’t sound the same in his/her live performance as on record. Time will tell.

There are some special benefits which certain types of performers will reap in this video evolution. It’s very frustrating to hear record execs say, “He’s too cabaret, a club performer. It’d never work in concert.” Most of the time I think that’s just another excuse but in some cases I’m sure there is some validity in it. Maybe a performer has a subtle kind of intimacy with an audience, an expressive face that communicates strongly up close but is lost past the first 20 rows. Video projections have been used in concerts with great effect but it’s often difficult to get good angles on the artist without interferring with audience sightlines. Video tapes or discs that are studio produced, possibly with live audiences, would be a great avenue of exposure for this type of artist.

There are also many writer/artists who are charismatic, exciting performers but who don’t write songs that are mainstream pop/MOR/disco/Top 40 in style. Their songs may not come across well on record and may not contain the dynamics necessary for AM radio songs to be successful. They may have a limited audience by virtue of an as yet unpopularized point of view. Record companies are rarely inspired to gamble on that type of artist even though they’re great live performers. The hope of videodiscs is that artists who communicate as much with their bodies and personal magnetism as they do with their songs can gain the exposure they need to be able to build profitable careers. Comedians would obviously benefit from audio-visual presentations. Performers who like to mix graphic images and dance with their shows could do mind-blowing effects using new video technology.

Despite all the downers happening in the world as we head into the 80’s it’s still possible to maintain optimism and excitement about the fantastic playground we’re building for artists. More about it next issue.

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 10 Issue 7 – July 1995 – Interview: Eddie Money

Songwriters Musepaper – Volume 10 Issue 7 – July 1995 – Interview: Eddie Money

Songwriters Musepaper - Volume 10 Issue 7 - July 1995 - Interview: Eddie Money

JB#: C000000062-030-001

Songwriters Musepaper - Volume 10 Issue 7 - July 1995 - Interview: Eddie Money

JB #: C000000062-030-002


Table of Contents

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INTERVIEW –
EDDIE MONEY 7
For The Love Of Money: Michael Kisur gets the inside scoop on the checks and balances that have to be made when you’re the one and only Eddie Money.

UPBEAT-
LEGENDS OF SONGWRITING 11
Dan Kimpel reviews two new efforts by two masterful songwriters.

PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE –
WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES: SONGWRITER MYTHS-PART 1 13
K.A. Parker will set you straight on some persistent and dangerous-to-your-career songwriter mythology.

MUSICAL NOTES –
YOU TALKIN’ TO ME? 14
Harriet Schock points to songs by John Prine, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen which illustrate how to enlighten, inform, raise awareness and even change behavior.

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 Roulette TM (publisher song critiques) and Pitch-A-Thon TM (producers and record company reps looking for songs and acts).

JULY 1995 • SONGWRITERS MUSEPAPER 3

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: Publishing Yourself: Developing a Filing System by John Braheny

A John Braheny Songmine column from the archives…

Songmine: Publishing Yourself: Developing a Filing System by John Braheny

Accession Number: C000000137-025-002 Document/Digital File, “Publishing Yourself: Developing a Filing System”, OCR converted text under same Accession Number

(Digitally converted text. Some errors may occur)

Songmine by John Braheny

PUBLISHING YOURSELF: Developing a filing system

If you plan to be actively “plugging” your own songs it’s important to keep track of what’s going on. You’ll need to develop a list of producers and recording artists for whom your songs may be appropriate. Keep a running file on each of them so that every time you make contact you can note who they’re producing (for producers), what type of material they need for the upcoming LP, where they’re recording, what kind of demos they prefer, whether they usually ask for a percentage of publishing, etc.

Info on the artist should include vocal range, what style he/she prefers and information about personal idiosyncracies like “hates sexist songs” or “positive lyrics only.” This information can be obtained from the producer, consumer and trade magazines, radio and TV interviews or, if you’re more fortunate, from the artist.

It’s also wise to keep a record of personal items about the producer, such as “plays golf,” “anti-nuke activist,” “just had a baby,” “going to England in August,” etc. This type of info is useful in all businesses where personal contact is important. It allows you an instant recap and reminder when you call them or set up a meeting, gives you an idea for opening conversation to break the ice, and lets them know that you’re concerned about them as people. It doesn’t take the place of having good songs, though, since many producers have little time for “small talk” and are best served by a brief presentation of your material. It can, however, create a better climate for you to get feedback on your songs and help you develop as both writer and publisher.

After every meeting or phone call notes should be made regarding the outcome, such as “loved ‘Don’t Take It Away,’ doesn’t feel it’s right for (artist) but wants to keep the tape for future reference – remind him,” “didn’t like ‘Do It Again’ but maybe if the hook was stronger – rewrite,” “will be producing (artist) in Sept. -start writing.” Aside from those personal notes, keep another file on the songs. It should tell you who has demos on each of them, when they received the demos, dates of follow-up calls and what was discussed or decided, etc. The value of these records will become apparent after you’ve called about 30 producers and are preparing for another call or visit when you discover you can’t remember whether it was producer X or Y who hates cassettes or whether he’s already “passed” on the song you intend to present.

You should also have a ready file of lead sheets and tape copies on all the songs you’re currently pitching so you don’t need to delay if someone asks you for a copy.

It’s a good idea to have 3X5 cards with you at all times so you can write down any info you pick up on the street. The cards are better than little scraps of paper or matchbook covers because they don’t get lost as easily and are easily filed. The street information you pick up is usually about who’s recording now or a new producer with an unknown act who might give you the opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

For tax purposes make sure you keep track of all expenses incurred in doing business. They include lunches (must be documented as business), demo costs, tape copies, lead sheets, trade magazines, night-clubbing (looking for new talent), auto expenses, telephone calls, all musical instrument purchases and repairs, sound equipment, records and tapes (to keep up with what’s happening).

Remember that all of this takes a lot of discipline but once you get in the habit it becomes easier. If you don’t get in the habit you could seriously jeopardize your chances of success.

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 10 Issue 8 – August 1995 – Interview: Hami

Songwriters Musepaper – Volume 10 Issue 8 – August 1995 – Interview: Hami

Songwriters Musepaper - Volume 10 Issue 8 - August 1995 - Interview: Hami

JB#: C000000062-029-001

Songwriters Musepaper - Volume 10 Issue 8 - August 1995 - Interview: Hami

JB #: C000000062-029-002


Table of Contents

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FEATURES

INTERVIEW –
HAMI 7
LASS’s jaded co-founder, John Braheny, has just seen the future of hip-hop and its name is Hami, and Hami’s record is The Funky Descendant on Underworld/Capitol. John got this interview to find out where this guy has been and what makes him so good.

THEORETICALLY SPEAKING –
THE THEATRICAL DIMENSION OF ROCK 12
Lindsey Eck compares other musical genres with rock in their level of theatrics in performance and writing. If you’re writing rock, you’re writing drama.

PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE –
WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES: SONGWRITER MYTHS-PART 2 13
K.A. Parker continues to set you straight on some persistent and dangerous-to-your-career songwriter mythology.

MUSICAL NOTES –
WRITING IN SPACE
14 Harriet Schock says we need space to write, not time. We get that mental space in a lot of different ways. Fortunately, she has a list.

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 Roulette TM (publisher song critiques) and Pitch-A-Thon TM (producers and record company reps looking for songs and acts).

AUGUST 1995 • SONGWRITERS MUSEPAPER 3

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: Administration Deals & Starting Your Own Company by John Braheny

A John Braheny Songmine column from the archives…

Songmine: Administration Deals & Starting Your Own Company by John Braheny

Accession Number: C000000137-025-002 Document/Digital File, “Songmine: Administration Deals & Starting Your Own Company by John Braheny”, OCR converted text under same Accession Number

(Digitally converted text. Some errors may occur)

Songmine by John Braheny

Administration Deals & Starting Your Own Company

I. PUBLISHING ADMINISTRATION- If you have a catalogue of recorded works or a record deal as a writer/artist or group, and want to set up your own company, you’d do well to shop for an administration situation. You need to already have some recording action happening because an administrator doesn’t own any of your copyrights (one of the advantages), and depends on the 15% of the songs’ income as a fee. If there is nothing to generate income, they receive nothing for their paperwork. Administrators do the following things to varying degrees: (1.( The paperwork and negotiations of granting recording and synchronization licenses (film/T.V.) and registering copyrights. (2.) Digging up royalties that you may never have received from previous recordings of your songs. (3.) Sub-publishing – setting up publishing or administration affiliates in foreign countries who can pitch your songs locally and assist in royalty collections there. (4.) Collecting money in the U.S. and Canada from record companies. Some affiliate with the Harry Fox Collection Agency and some do the collections themselves. Fox gets three and a half percent. (5.) Pitch your songs to producers and artists. Some administrators won’t do this at all and are basically acocunting firms. Others consider that the more action they generate on your catalogue, the bigger their 15% becomes and since they don’t own any of the publishing rights, they can’t look down the road and say, “Someday this tune will get recorded and make me a lot of money.” They’re working for you on maybe a two year contract and need to make these songs pay off now. (6). Follow-up – if you’re being your own publisher and making the contacts with producers or artists but want to preserve the friendships without having to negotiate with or hassle your friends with follow-ups, the administrator should handle it. If an administrator wants more than ‘15% you should be assured that you’ll receive more benefits and they should be able to explain them thoroughly to you. Please shop those deals. BMI or ASCAP can refer you to a list of administration companies.

II. STARTING YOUR OWN PUBLISHING COMPANY- Assuming that you feel your best play of action is to start your own company, here’s how to proceed: (1). You must have a song recorded and a release date of the record in order for BMI or ASCAP to process the paperwork. They adopted that policy because thousands of people wanted their own companies but never had a recording; consequen-tly, no airplay, nothing to collect and a lot of wasted time and effort on their part. (2.) Clear publishing company titles with BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC. Remember that you can’t have a company with the same name affiliated with more than one performance rights organization. Unless you intend to publish the songs of other writers who may belong to other performance rights organizations, you need only set up a company with the one you’re affiliated with as a writer. Give them three alternate titles. Pick something unusual. Remem-ber, they have thousands. (3.) Once the name has been cleared, call the Metropolitan News, 205 South Broadway, L.A., Calif. 90012, 213 628-4384, and ask them to send you the forms for a DBA (Doing Business As.) They will send you the forms and tell you how to pay for it (the total cost is $35.00), then they will print, in a local paper, a notice that you’re doing business under the fictitious name of ‘Crass Commercial Publishing Co.’ or whatever the name is. (4.) Copyright the songs being recorded in the name of your publishing company and get all the forms you need from BMI or ASCAP, whichever you’re affiliated with. They’ll explain their use. (5.) If you know that you will be hiring people to work for you, then you will have to go to the Internal Revenue Service and get a business tax number. Also be sure to contact the State Board of Human Resources and get a State and Federal tax number.

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.


0

Songwriters Musepaper – Volume 11 Issue 9 – September 1996 – Interview: Donnie Fritts

Songwriters Musepaper – Volume 11 Issue 9 – September 1996 – Interview: Donnie Fritts

Songwriters Musepaper - Volume 11 Issue 9 - September 1996 - Interview: Donnie Fritts

JB#: C000000062-028-001

 Songwriters Musepaper - Volume 11 Issue 9 - September 1996 - Interview: Donnie Fritts

JB #: C000000062-028-002


Table of Contents

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SONGWRITERS EXPO 19 PREVIEW 7-9

INTERVIEW-DONNIE FRITTS 12
With his first album in 20 years about to be released, the “elegant leaning man from Alabama” talks to Richard Younger about a lifetime of songwriting.

MUSICAL NOTES-SUBJECT MATTERS 16
Harriet Schock discusses the importance of unique subject matter, as well as uncommon approaches to everyday subjects.

UPBEAT-EXPO PERSPECTIVES: BE THERE’ 18
Expo veteran Dan Kimpel explains it all for you.

ORGANIZATION 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.

LASS WEEKLY SCHEDULE 6
Cassette RouletteTM (publisher song critiques) and Pitch-A-ThonTM (producers and record company reps looking for songs and acts).

NAS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 10-11

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: Tough Enough To Publish Yourself? by John Braheny

A John Braheny Songmine column from the archives…

Songmine: Tough Enough To Publish Yourself? by John Braheny

Accession Number: C000000137-024-002 Document/Digital File, “Songmine: Tough Enough To Publish Yourself? by John Braheny”, OCR converted text under same Accession Number

(Digitally converted text. Some errors may occur)

Songmine by John Braheny

TOUGH ENOUGH TO PUBLISH YOURSELF?

Let’s not debate the fairness of the traditional contract split that gives publishers 50 percent of the copyright on a song. That’s the way it always has been, and that’s the way it is. The fact is that a good publisher can do a lot for you given enough incentive, and that 50 percent is the incentive After all, this is the music business. Let’s look first at what the publisher can and should do for you.

1) Secure recordings of your songs in the United States.

2) Make sub-publishing deals with foreign publishers to get them recorded in other countries.

3)Collect your royalties from record companies and sheet music distributors.

4) Make deals for the sales of sheet music. If your song is a hit, there’s a good market in songbooks, choral and band arrangements.

5) Exploit your songs via airline tapes, commercials, and if the song is successful (don’t cringe) Muzak.

Now, let’s discuss the advantages of having your own publishing company. It’s important because that 50 percent could represent a lot of bread. On the other hand, 50 percent of zero of zero. We at ACSS talk to a lot of songwriters who just “want to own my own company.” Unless you have songs that are about to be recorded, it’s just an ego trip. MBI and ASCAP won’t do the paperwork or clear a name for your company unless you give them a release date on the recording. They found that they were doing tons of needless paperwork to set up companies that never secured a recording. So, you should have a more logical reason than just “wanting your own publishing outfit” if you’re actually going to do it. Here are a few:

1) You’re a good commercial songwriter whose tunes are very coverable and you already have a lot of contacts among producers and artists who’re interested in your songs. In other words, you’re in a position to fulfill a publisher’s major function: getting covers. You should be aware, though, that it takes a lot of time, and follow-up is very important. There are other qualities you should have if you want to do a good job on your own behalf.

You should have the ability to “sell” yourself. Some people sell represent others better than themselves. You should be an aggressive self-starter . You should have the ability to be both creator and businessperson. (Yes, it can be done, and yes, it’s a myth that creative artists always make poor business people.) You should have a great casting sense, that lets you present the right song to the right artist at the right time. Publishers’ reputations are built on their credibility. That’s what gets them back through those producers’ doors’ again.

2) You’re independently wealthy or have financial backing, you write coverable tunes and you can afford to hire someone with with experience and contacts to exploit your songs.

3) You have your own production company or record company and you’re releasing your own product.

4) You’re a recording artist and you’re recording your own songs, and therefore already doing a large share of what a publisher can do for you.

5)You’ve already written commercially successful songs, and it’s easy for you to get in those doors.

6) You’re writing with someone who does well as their own publisher, and you can negotiate a portion of the rights for your own company. If your co-writer is a staff writer with a major company, you’ll find this all but impossible.

7) You’re a writer/artist like Joni Mitchell or a punk band whose songs are unlikely to be recorded by other artists. So you don’t need a publisher.

If you honestly feel you can do a publisher’s job as well as he or she can, go for it. If you’re capable of hustling for yourself, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that someone with your best interests at heart is on the job. You won’t be constantly wondering whether the publisher is ‘sitting on your songs,’ or why he’s avoiding your calls. If someone is not on the case, you have only yourself to blame. Can you handle that?

Another alternative is an administration deal for 15 to 30 percent, depending on how much you want them to do. Next issue, I’ll discuss that species of deal and the mechanics of starting your own company.

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.


0

Songwriters Musepaper – Volume 6 Issue 8 – August 1991 – Interview: Paul Overstreet

Songwriters Musepaper – Voume 6 Issue 8 – August 1991 – Interview: Paul Overstreet

Songwriters Musepaper - Voume 6 Issue 8 - August 1991 - Interview: Paul Overstreet

JB#: C000000062-027-001

Jb C000000062 027 002 

JB #: C000000062-027-002


Table of Contents

(Digitally converted text. Some errors may occur)

FEATURES
PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE –
THORNS IN THE MUSE’S SIDE 6
Doug Thiele definitely has his reasons why sometimes its just easier to relate to a synthesizer in the studio.

INTERVIEW – PAUL OVERSTREET 7
Setting the pace for Nashville’s writers without cheatin’, drinkin’ or raisin’ hell, Paul Overstreet keeps hitting the top of the Nashville charts with a purposefully uplifting family outlook.

THEORETICALLY SPEAKING –
WHY HARMONY? WHY NOT HARMONY? 11
David Cat Cohen discusses how to avoid that one-song stand by writing groove tunes that live on.

MUSICAL NOTES –
WHEN LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT 14
Harriet Schock shares her thoughts on some of the little things that often do make a huge difference.

SPOTLIGHT –
THE ART OF THE SINGER: PREPARING FOR THE STAGE 18
Lis Lewis takes us through the ritual that works for her when its time to get ready to wow ’em.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE –
LOOSE TALK, ETC 20
Hank Linderman reveals his secret way of combating techno-lust when money’s short but the desire to acquire won’t expire.

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 13
Cassette Roulette’m (publisher song critiques) and Pitch-A-ThonTm (producers and record company reps looking for songs and acts).

AUGUST 1991 • SONGWRITERS MUSEPAPER

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: The Nashville/LA Barrier Crumbles by John Braheny

A John Braheny Songmine column from the archives…

The Nashville/LA Barrier Crumbles

Accession Number: C000000137-024-001 Document/Digital File, “Songmine: The Nashville/LA Barrier Crumbles by John Braheny”, OCR converted text under same Accession Number

(Digitally converted text. Some errors may occur)

OCTOBER 25 — NOVEMBER 7

Songmine by John Braheny

The Nashville/LA Barrier Crumbles

I recently returned from a trip to Nashville and Atlanta, and like some kind of musical sponge, I soaked up all the information I could hold about the current music scene in those places. At the invitation of Phil Black of the American Song Festival, I attended the party at which ASF announced the winners of their Country Professional and Country Amateur categories. For the first time, the ASF had done its country screening in Nashville, where they could utilize the best ears among country publishers, producers and artists. By doing so, the ASF hoped to avoid criticism regarding the ability of LA’s industry ears to judge country songs.

So, you can imagine that a few people were stunned when the winners were announced and both were from LA. Flip Black also indicated that the preponderance of semi-finalists were also from the West Coast, or at least, not from Nashville. Lest we become smug, let it be noted that the winner of the pop category was from Nashville.

What’s going on here? Those of us in LA who listen to a lot of new writers aren’t at all surprised to hear that some great country songs are written here. But its tough to be a country writer here, thanks to an antagonistic attitude between LA and Nashville that seems at last to be eroding. Nashville’s attitude was that an LA writer wouldn’t know a good country song if it was planted on his butt with a cowboy boot, and when LA writers try to write country it came out too pop or folky. There was so much of this kind of music a few years ago that it came to be called “California country.” Writers were going crazy because LA publishers were saying, “That’s too country for us, take it to Nashville.” And when they tried Nashville, publishers would say, “That’s too pop. Come back when you learn to write a real country song.”

Then along came crossover artists like Olivia Newton John, John Denver, the Eagles, Ronstadt and Kenny Rodgers. From the Nashville end, Crystal Gayle, Dolly Parton and other artists were attempting to cross over to the pop charts and thus double their sales and airplay dollars. What they needed, at that point, was exactly the kind of songs Nashville had been turning down.

Those ideal crossover tunes are still hard to find, but some doors are swinging open. Nashville producers are more receptive to West Coast writers, and there are now a handful of LA publishers who have established a lot of credibility there. Among them is Al Gallico, who’s always had credibility everywhere, Cliffie Stone at ATV, and Dude McLean at MCA. Major publishers like Chappell, Screen Gems/EMI and Warner Bros. also have offices in Nashville, to which they send country and crossover material.

The reverse is also true. Nashville writers turning out good pop tunes have had problems in the past finding publishers with good pop connections. Most pop producers recording in Nashville have already selected their songs in LA, and wouldn’t think of going to Nashville to find good pop tunes. I hope that in future those Nashville writers will find a good reception in this city, and that what happened at this year’s AFS is an indication that musical prejudices which keep writers from finding an audience are at last breaking down.

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 6 Issue 9 – September 1991 – Interview: Oleta Adams

Songwriters Musepaper – Volume 6 Issue 9 – September 1991 – Interview: Oleta Adams

Songwriters Musepaper - Volume 6 Issue 9 - September 1991 - Interview: Oleta Adams

JB#: C000000062-026-001

Songwriters Musepaper - Volume 6 Issue 9 - September 1991 - Interview: Oleta Adams 

JB #: C000000062-026-002


Table of Contents

(Digitally converted text. Some errors may occur)

FEATURES INTERVIEW – OLETA ADAMS 7

When it came to writing superb songs, performing her own and other writers’ songs in a style all her own, and being a consummate entertainer, Oleta was always a success. In the past year, though, she made a quantum leap with the release of her new Fontana/Mercury album Circle Of One.

MUSICAL NOTES DAT STALEMATE BROKEN: EVERYONE WINS 11

At last, an agreement between manufacturers of digital audio tape and players and the music industry will make up for home taping losses.

PERSONAL PERSPECTIVES WRITER PLATEAUS 14

John Braheny makes some sage observations about various stages in the creative development of songwriters.

UPBEAT UCLA WORLD MUSIC DAY 16

Dan Kimpel, our resident World Music fanatic, takes a musical trip you’ll wish you’d been on. . .or maybe you were there, too.

THEORETICALLY SPEAKING WHY MELODY? 20

David Cat Cohen explains what makes some melodies live on and on.

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 SCHEDULE 13 Cassette RouletteTM (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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