Friday, December 28, 2012

Labbler: Does The Music Industry Need A Social Network?

Labbler-logoLabbler is a relatively new music industry social network that is now in public beta. It plans to connects "Artists, Labels, Booking Agencies, Venues, Media and Fans as well as providing tools for all business needs of these groups." But though the sites looks nice and these groups of people all do need to connect in various ways, it's unclear why they would use Labbler to do so.

Labbler's website has a nice design that earned it some positive attention over the summer.

Quick Look at Labbler Interface

Labbler's features are straightforward with profiles, activity feeds and networking tools. Music-specific features include SoundCloud track imports, Beatport data imports and track uploads.

The homepage includes an extensive list of features and also the primary roles and business pages that can be included:

  • Artist
  • Label
  • Club
  • Media
  • Promoter
  • Booking

Though their self-description mentions fans there really isn't a clear role for them to play. In addition, the above categories plus Events are featured as navigation tabs across the social network and this also excludes fans as a category so it's currently not really designed for fans.

That may actually be a good thing since business networking and fan contact seem difficult to mix effectively.

As a music industry network the biggest problem facing Labbler is that artists and business people are already networking through a variety of services including LinkedIn and Twitter. But music industry specific networks have failed to break through and no one has been able to become the LinkedIn or Twitter of the music industry.

That means the challenge of giving people a reason to use Labbler looms much larger than effective design and operation of such a website.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Music biz avoids fiscal clef

2012 was a year of consolidation, digital distribution, litigation

As the embattled music industry continued to morph in 2012, a few trends were clear: Players at the top of heap continued to consolidate, digital distribution and streaming became the rule, not the exception, and the court of last resort for those seeking a bigger slice of the changing pie was, well -- the courts (and Congress). Here are some of the deals, decisions and developments that are likely to have an impact on the biz in the year(s) to come.

New owners for EMI

After an auction process that took up the better part of a year, and over the loud objections from independents overseas, Citigroup sold EMI Music's publishing unit to a consortium headed by Sony/ATV for $2.1 billion in July, and EMI's labels (minus crucial regulator-mandated divestments) to Universal Music Group for $1.9 billion in September. UMG's label acquisition was the first major music business consolidation since the Sony-BMG joint venture of 2004; the pickup created a behemoth that accounts for some 40% of the U.S. market. UMG will now operate EMI as a separate unit, with former Columbia Records co-chairman/chief operating officer Steve Barnett moving to the top in late November. On the publishing side, former EMI Publishing topper Martin Bandier, now at Sony/ATV, will once again oversee the assets he helped turn into the world's most powerful song concern -- the company holds copyrights by writers ranging from the Beatles to Taylor Swift.

Warner Music Group's exec shuffle

Now a distant third behind UMG and Sony Music Entertainment among the big three music firms, WMG is a very different company than it was in January, when ex-CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. -- who engineered the 2004 purchase of the unit from Time Warner -- exited the executive suite. With new CEO Stephen Cooper at the helm, installed by Len Blavatnik after his Access Industries bought WMG in 2011, a round of changes came down in late 2012. In September, recorded music chairman-CEO Lyor Cohen ankled WMG after eight years at the top. In November, WMG was reorganized into three divisions -- with Warner/Chappell Music chairman-CEO Cameron Strang given oversight of both publishing and recorded catalog. Finally, early in December, Strang added responsibility for Warner Bros. Records to his duties, as WBR co-president Todd Moscowitz, a longtime Cohen lieutenant, announced his resignation. Strang's elevation fired speculation that changes could be in store for Atlantic Records Group co-chairmen Julie Greenwald and Craig Kallman, also close Cohen associates.

Anschutz Entertainment Group goes on the block

In September, AEG, privately held by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, announced it was entertaining bids. The diversified sports and entertainment company owns interests in professional teams (including the Los Angeles Lakers, Kings and Galaxy) and dozens of venues (including Staples Center and other L.A. Live properties); its AEG Live division, which encompasses Goldenvoice, promotes the annual Coachella Festival, country fest Stagecoach and other lucrative events. Second only to Live Nation Entertainment in size and scope, AEG is expected to command a monumental price of $8 billion-$12 billion. No matter who bids on the firm, a shakeup in the highly competitive concert market can be expected -- that is, if a sale price and cash-and-debt terms can meet with Anschutz's approval.

Internet radio royalties hit the fan

Streaming radio service Pandora has been at the forefront to get Congress to pass the Internet Radio Fairness Act -- which will reduce licensing royalties Web radio services pay. Alongside terrestrial radio giant Clear Channel (which operates Web platform iHeartRadio), Pandora testified last month at a House hearing for the bill. After having filed suit over the issue against performing rights org ASCAP in November, Pandora is also urging its listeners to write to their congressmen. On the other side of the debate were artists, music publishers and labels, who not only pushed for maintaining current congressionally mandated Web rates, but also for artist royalties for airplay on terrestrial radio -- long resisted by the National Assn. of Broadcasters. As the debate roiled this year, Clear Channel agreed to unprecedented individual revenue-sharing deals with indie labels Big Machine, Glassnote and Naxos for both terrestrial and digital radio, opening another front in a battle sure to heat up further in 2013.

Is a digital song new or 'used?'

Can digital music files be re-sold legally? That is the question at the heart of a lawsuit filed in January by EMI's Capitol Records against ReDigi, a Massachusetts-based company established as a marketplace for so-called "used" digital songs. Capitol maintains that the company is nothing more than a clearinghouse for copyright infringement which relies on unauthorized copying of music. ReDigi claims its operations are secured under the first-sale doctrine protecting the redistribution of albums and other purchased copyrighted material. A federal judge in New York declined to grant an injunction against ReDigi, but a definitive ruling on the merits of Capitol's case was pending as of press time. A finding in ReDigi's favor could have a negative impact on labels, which enjoy no revenue from such "re-sold" product, and whose earnings have already been wracked in the digital era.

Digital royaltiessuit settled

In October, UMG and Aftermath Records settled a long-pending suit filed by Eminem's early production team over royalties for downloads and ringtones. The companies had suffered a setback in September 2010, when an appellate court overturned a verdict in their favor, and ruled that royalties for downloads and ringtones should be computed at a higher rate granted for licenses, and not as "sales." The ruling has been cited as a precedent in more than a dozen class actions and individual suits filed against UMG and the other majors by heritage acts seeking higher digital royalty payments; James Taylor and Kenny Rogers were among the artists who took to the courts this year. It remains to be seen if the "Eminem case" settlement will provide any leverage for those plaintiffs, or if other acts with decades-old contracts will launch new litigation looking for bigger payouts.

Consolidating new distribution models

The RIAA announced that digital shipment of music accounted for more than 50% of the business for the first time ever in 2011, and unexpected alliances began to manifest themselves in 2012. In March, UMG exited the indie distribution game, selling its Fontana Distribution unit to the San Francisco-based digital wholesaler INgrooves, which reestablished itself as a full-service digital and physical distrib. The same week, digital aggregators the Orchard and Ioda announced their own merger. Further realignment of the digital side of the business can be anticipated in 2013.

Spotify rolls on

Now valued at $3 billion, streaming service Spotify continued as the big dog in the online hunt in 2012. In November, it secured $100 million in new funding, including an infusion from Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and Fidelity Investments. Earlier this month, the Sweden-based company announced it had 20 million users, with 5 million paid subscribers (1 million of them U.S.-based). While some question whether a 25% paid subscriber base represents a workable business model for the service, which draws the majority of its users with a free, ad-supported tier, many observers believe that streaming music will ultimately be the most fertile growth sector of the business.

A dance boom -- and two busts

Electronic dance music has been the growth genre on the live front over the past few years, with mega-raves drawing thousands of partiers to large outdoor venues here and (especially) abroad. The business at large has been paying attention: Live Nation bought British EDM promoter Cream Holdings in May and L.A.-based Hard Events in June. However, two of the biggest promoters in the genre took a hit, as Insomniac Events' Pasquale Rotella and Go Ventures' Reza Gerami -- who mounted such massive L.A. dance dates as Electric Daisy Carnival and Together as One -- were indicted in March in a bribery and embezzlement case involving the Los Angeles Coliseum and its officials. Though the men have not yet been brought to trial, their dance music business has effectively exited L.A. for the more fertile, and lucrative, environment of Las Vegas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kacey Musgraves (Nashville Recording Artist) Universal Music Group .... !!!!

Come See, Hear, and Support Her While She's In Texas!!


The hard working, UMG, Mecury Label, recording artist, Kacey Musgraves will be at Billy Bobs on Sunday,  December 9.  Kacey will be in the Headliner Group of: 

Gary Allan
Lee Brice
Joe Nichols
Kacey Musgraves
Roger Creager!!!! 

Headliner show begins at 7 PM.  

This entire event begins at 4 PM with many awesome artist.  Here's the complete schedule:

4-5:15 pm
Zane Williams
Jason Sturgeon
Phil Hamilton
Hudson Moore
5:30-6:45 pm
Rich O’Toole
Deryl Dodd
JT Hodges
Jon Pardi
Headliners 7-8:30 pm
Gary Allan
Lee Brice
Joe Nichols
Kacey Musgraves
Roger Creager

I encourage everyone to come out for a few hours of great entertainment!! Let me tell you Miss Kacey, a wonderful recording artist from East Texas.....ROCKS!!  Plus, she most likely will not be back in the DFW area until she opens for Kenny Chesney at Dallas Cowboy Stadium on May 11, 2013.....!! OH, you can make both concerts, as well ..... :)  

She's a Texas artist that you won't forget.....she rocks!! 

NOTE: Kacey is currently opening for Little Big Town until March 3, 2013....

Then on March 16th, she will be opening for Kenny Chesney, Tampa, FL., Raymond James Stadium.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Political Posts on Facebook


I will be 'gearing down' my political post over the next few months.  My intentions are to only post significant items, not all the 'garble' coming from all the different news media. 

I know many of us have more enjoyable things to work on, or at least I do. Mainly writing better blogs and posting at least weakly on the 10 or so blogs I have neglected during the last 18 months. 

My passion for years is in the country music market, promoting/booking/ helping/supporting all female artists in that genre.  

I will continue to vote for candidates I believe are the right people. But, my advocating a few candidates day in and day out will be reduced by 50-80%. The main reason is doing what's right for American according to our Constitution no longer appears relevant to 50%+ of voters as well as politicians who are more talk than 'do', in DC.  

Bottom line, I have always voted for those candidates who I believe will uphold the principles our Founders laid out so eloquently a long time ago. 

Truth, facts, right versus wrong, God versus Evil, today, appear to NO longer be what a majority of Voters desire or want.

I am and always have been a person motivated by success, by ' positive results', which means seeing progress in what you allocate most of your time to, daily.  

My God save and bless America!!  Dittos to the Great State of Texas!!

NOTE: I am not leaving Facebook, just moving to the political sideline. Oh I may run out in the middle of the road, on occasions, but, for now, I have no desire to continue standing on that political road.  Rest assured when the 2014 and 2016 elections come around, my political activity will increase..... :)

Cheers, my friends.  All of YOU are APPRECIATED!!   

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Folks Raising Big Money, Online, For Many Causes

---by Kim Komando


Nicholas Ivie, a U.S. Border Patrol agent stationed in Arizona, was tragically killed recently while on duty.

Billy Sanders, who worked with Ivie at the Naco station, turned to online fundraising to help Ivie's wife and two daughters. His Web page on GoFundMe raised nearly $30,000 in a few weeks and is well on its way to a $100,000 goal.

Raising money online, or crowdfunding, is the new model for everything from music albums to video game consoles.

Last year, crowdfunding platforms helped artists, entrepreneurs and companies raise about $1.5 billion. Fundraising sites will probably double that number by the end of this year.

Some crowdfunding campaigns make headlines periodically by raising jaw-dropping amounts of money. For example, OUYA, an Android-powered gaming console, recently raised more than $2 million its first day on Kickstarter and $8.6 million overall.

Thanks to crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe, however, it's easy for regular folks to ask for help funding mission trips or covering unexpected medical and funeral expenses.

You can create a free personal donation website at GoFundMe in just a few minutes. You can raise funds for just about anything - a creative project, a small business startup or a honeymoon trip.

It's a great place to bring in money for sports teams, schools, charities and volunteers. The site even raised $46,000 to provide shoes for America's tallest man!

Many people use GoFundMe to help friends and family members cover the cost of medical, veterinary and funeral expenses. One woman, for example, raised more than $134,000 for her brother's cancer treatment. The donation page for a wounded survivor of the Aurora, CO, shooting reached $140,000 in a day and is now approaching $200,000.

So how do you get started? First, you create a free donation page. This is an opportunity to tell your story.

Put some thought into explaining why you need the money and how much it means to you. You can easily share this page through email and social media to quickly spread the word.

GoFundMe has you set a fundraising goal, but unlike other sites you're under no obligation or time limit to meet the goal. Donations are transferred to you as they come in. Fundraisers aren't expected to give away freebies to backers.

GoFundMe does deduct a 5 percent fee from each donation you receive (4.25 percent for certified charities and nonprofits). Additionally, online credit card processor WePay will deduct 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per transaction. Your donors pay no fees and don't need to open any kind of account.

To guard against fraud, GoFundMe won't add a donation page to the search directory until it's reviewed and several conditions are met.

You must connect an authentic Facebook account to the GoFundMe donation page. Facebook accounts that have a low number of friends and no photos will be rejected.

Donation pages are also required to have a photo or video of you or your group - clip art, logos and other graphics aren't allowed.

Finally, your page must raise $100 in online contributions before it can be publicly listed.

If you want to make donations, give money only to individuals you know and trust. Pages from nonprofit groups display a Certified Charity banner.

ChipIn is another site that helps you raise money for personal causes. It requires you to have a PayPal account.

ChipIn creates widgets that you can plug into your social media pages and, if you're a blogger, WordPress and TypePad.

You specify your fundraising purpose, a funding goal and a deadline. Viewers click the widget to donate. ChipIn does not charge fees, but money is collected through PayPal, which may charge processing fees.

Of course, you can create your own PayPal donation link. But a ChipIn widget draws more attention. It also provides details about how you will use donations.

Donors Choose is a specialty crowdfunding site just for teachers and parents who want to help them.

Teachers can request supplies for a specific project or extracurricular activity. Once the goal is met, the site delivers the materials directly to the teacher’s school. Books and tablets are popular requests.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Good Advice from Ronnie Dunn

Some people like trying to play the "rich guy card" on me. I grew up poor. I went to 13 schools in 12 years. My dad couldn't hold down a job. I didn't come from a safe or comfortable place. My poor ninth grade educated father made $350.00 a month as a truck driver for most of his life. There were times when we didn't know where our next meal was coming from. My mother took a job as a bank teller for minimum wage. My sister and I were latchkey kids. From an early age I had a dream. I wanted to stand on stage and make people feel the emotions that I felt when I heard Merle Haggard sing. In so many ways that dream was a fairy tale. I could have just as easily walked to the moon. I was encouraged to give it up, fall in line, get a job with security benefits, insurance and a good solid 401K, like decent red blooded, salt of the Earth American's are supposed to do. I was criticized by friends and family members for dreaming big. We call it "outside o
f the box", these days. I read the expert's probability statistics.... "The odds of making it in the music business were greater than winning a Senate race"...maybe higher ? 

I worked in more than one nightmare bar and beer joint for less than $35.00 a night. I took odd jobs. I slept on a friends floor for over a year, at one point. Many times I worked for free. I didn't take my eye off of the ball. That dream was my only way out.

I taught myself to write songs. I took enormous risks. I pushed myself relentlessly.... far beyond what I thought I was capable of doing.
Then, one day, after years of pursuing that pie in the sky, pipe dream, I woke up and heard myself singing on the radio. 

I went to the mailbox a few months later and there was a check for more money than I had ever seen. It was enough for a down payment on a small house. My wife continued to cut coupons out of the newspaper to help buy food while I travelled for over 200 days a year for many years after that. 

I won't bore you with much more other than to say...... indeed, I've made money. I feel the bone chilling emotion of a good, common man, blue collar anthem from my head to my toes because I am and will always be one. 

.......I didn't sell my soul for the dollar in my bank account. I'm a died in the wool grass roots American Dreamer. The American dream is in peril. America is being sold down the river. We gotta get the rats off the boat and fast !

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Music Blog About Some Southern Female Divas

I am partial to southern and southern-inspired female musicians. My band mates say I talk about them endlessly and their work dominates my playlists on long car rides to our next show. I believe I am a fan of all music, but there is something about a woman that rocks that hits my soul the hardest. In a time when the accessibility of new music is astonishingly abundant, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris are just a few of the greats that remain household names decades later.

I have been a songwriter since I was 12 years old. At first I didn’t understand what I was doing or why I was doing it other than the fact that it felt good. One thing led to another and, in middle school, I started singing in public; in high school, my band was called The Sandbox Lizards; and as a senior in high school and into college, I embarked on a solo career. Now I am 23 and working on my sixth album, living in Nashville, and constantly working on growing into my full potential as an artist.

In other words, music is my life and this article has presented me with the opportunity to list some women that helped make me the artist I am. The songwriters mentioned are all women that have given me inspiration, happiness and comfort through their music. While not all of them are necessarily born in the South, their music is heavily influenced by southern culture, and they represent us well. It was no easy task to narrow these down, but here they are, in no particular order.


1. Brandi Carlile

I first heard Brandi Carlile on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. Her song, “The Story,” was played in the intro and really helped her break into the mainstream. The song showcases an unbelievably large voice that seems to easily float out of her tiny frame. I once saw her play a sold-out show at George’s Majestic in Fayetteville, Arkansas. They unplugged every mic and instrument and, over the bustle of people in the bar, her voice rang loud and clear—it was amazing. All of her lyrics are clever, and her melodies catchy.

Where to Start: “Throw It All Away” from Self-Titled, 2005

2. Shelby Lynne

In 2001, Shelby won Best New Artist at the 43rd Grammy Awards. In her acceptance speech she said, “Thirteen years and six albums to get here.” Shelby comes from a troubled upbringing—when she was 17 years old her father shot and killed her mother and then himself. I gravitate towards the raw, honest personality in her voice and the mixed influence of country and blues in her music.

Where to Start: “You Don’t Have A Heart” from Suit Yourself, 2005

3. Jessica Lea Mayfield

Jessica has a kind of thin, sweet quality to her voice that belies her songs’ dark subject matter. She uses very unique instrumentation behind her acoustic guitar songs; in particular, credit must be given to her long-time guitar player Richie Kirkpatrick. That guy can create effects live that are amazingly entertaining, yet fit the dark mood of Jessica’s songs wonderfully.

Where to Start: “Kiss Me Again” from With Blasphemy So Heartfelt, 2008

4. Heartless Bastards

I have had the pleasure of playing a couple of shows with this female-led, almost “garage rock” influenced band. Erika Wennerstrom has a very unique sound that is perfect for the rock music they create. After a stressful day, their album The Mountain is always a comfort.

Where to Start: “Sway” from The Mountain, 2009

5. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

One of the first things that attracted me to Grace Potter was her unique and soulful voice. Since 2005, this group has gone through several incarnations, but perhaps none as drastic as their move to a more 60s rock-themed style and look with their 2010 album “Grace Potter & the Nocturnals.” In June, Potter released a new album, “The Lion the Beast the Beat.” All are worth listening to, however, my recommendations are from her earlier, more vocally-centered work.

Where to Start: “Falling or Flying” and “Apologies” from This is Somewhere, 2007

6. Priscilla Ahn

Though it’s a generic and overused adjective, ‘beautiful’ is the one that best describes Priscilla Ahn’s music. Her voice is soft and breathy, in the same vein as Norah Jones. The instrumentation, for the most part, is gentle and soothing. This is a singer you can turn on while you nap or take on a long car ride. I first listened to her through a YouTube video where she performs her song “Dream” using a loop pedal to harmonize with herself, creating the most beautiful combination of melodies to pull on the ole’ heart strings. Search for that and listen to this: “Dream” from A Good Day, 2008


7. Wanda Jackson

The now 75-year-old Wanda Jackson has been labeled the “Queen Of Rock.” She first had success in the 50s and 60s as a pioneering female artist, and she’s still on the road touring and rockin’ out today. Her music is a mix of blues and gritty rockabilly at it’s finest, and her voice is a bluesy growl. I guarantee you’ve never heard anything like her during her era or ours.

Where to Start: “Shakin’ All Over” from The Party Ain’t Over, 2011

8. Madi Diaz

I first discovered Madi’s music when I moved to Nashville. She is a local songwriter, and I gravitated toward her work on first listen. A smooth voice complements both her “light rock” songs and her upbeat material, all cleverly paired with catchy choruses.

Where to Start: “Johnny” from Plastic Moon, 2012

9. Neko Case

I first heard Neko through her indie rock band, The New Pornographers; however, she is best known for her solo career, and it’s her solo albums that made me super fan. Heavy reverb, droney guitars and thought-provoking lyrics give her a style that is strong, easily recognizable, and all her own.

Where to Start: “Margaret Vs. Pauline” from Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, 2006

10. Lucinda Williams

This 59 year-old Grammy winning artist has released 11 albums and still spends a good deal of her time on the road. Her intelligent, clever lyrics, and the southern grit in her voice earn her a position as one of my all time favorite artists. She’s timeless, and her live performances always feature top-notch musicians that really bring her work to life.
Where to Start: “Can’t Let Go” from Car Wheels on the Gravel Road, 1998


Elise Davis is a Little Rock, Ark., native now living in Nashville, Tenn., where she plays live shows and works on material for her sixth album. Look for her on tour this fall, and check out to listen to her music. We asked Elise to write this article because we feel that her name should be on this list.

Where to Start: “Make the Kill” and “Doll” from Cheap Date, 2011

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

You're In The Music Business.....Time To Be A Business Person

Like it or not, if you are interested in how to make money with music, you are officially in the music business. Now, the “music” part of the phrase “music business” is not a free pass for showing up late, writing emails with incomplete sentences, smelling grungy for a meeting, and having disorganized finances. The “business” part of that phrase is the part we indie musicians often overlook. You’ve got the music bit covered.

So here’s the cold, hard truth: you are in a business now, so play the part. As a musician, I see more responses (which lead to more results) when my communications are clear and professional. I tend to be [annoyingly] persistent, so I want to make sure my messages are not annoying to read or decode. When I’m on the other end of those messages, I have an easier time reading a longer email that is well-written than reading a short-hand email, trying to figure out if the writer meant “there” or “they’re.”

If I had a penny for every email I get from an indie artist inquiring about career coaching that doesn’t have a greeting, punctuation, or decent grammar, I’d be on a plane to Tahiti right now. I stare at my computer screen, about to book a mentoring session when really, I want to scream, “Have you heard of spell check… or periods?”

But alas, my coaching sessions are not focused on proper grammar. They are, however, focused on getting results in your chosen career. And if that choice has led you to the music business, then there are certain things that will give you a leg up and impress those who are looking to purchase, invest in, or promote your music. How you present yourself sends very specific messages.

Don’t flake out

Read emails in their entirety. I had a coaching client send a payment to a completely wrong address because he didn’t read the whole email with the directions. The message this sends: I’m unfocused and flighty. You can’t count on me for important things. You probably can’t count on me to put the money you may give me in a safe place. Being on top of things sends the opposite message: I am grateful for your time and treat you with the respect you treat me. I am a good investment.

Be on time

People want to count on you. Every minute you are late (and don’t communicate it as soon as you know you will be late) has a negative impact on the person waiting for you, whether they admit it to your face or not. The message you send: My time is more important than yours. I’m difficult, and a diva. Being on time sends this message: I am grateful for your time and this interaction is important to me. You can count on me.

Craft your emails, don’t spit them out

This also goes for phone calls, texts, any type of communication. Show that you care about your interactions by using greetings, signatures, punctuation, generally correct grammar, capitalization at the beginnings of all sentences, and spell check. It can still be informal and have your voice, it just won’t be messy. Anything other than a perfect email says the following: I’m lazy, in a rush, impatient, and you need to work around me. Instead, you could send this message: I am educated, patient, and careful with my interactions. I respect you and what you are doing for my career. You can count on me.

Keep your receipts organized, finances clean

Do yourself and your accountant a favor and keep a folder of your receipts and important papers. I have one from Staples with 10 folders in it- I keep personal and music-biz related receipts separate so I can write off those items come tax time. I have a separate bank account for my music income, and a separate credit card. Many people won’t notice how you pay for your dinner, but the message to yourself is loud and clear: I am a professional. I am organized, business-like, and I have my act together. That’s how I roll.


Cheryl B. Engelhardt is an established pianist/singer/songwriter who has toured the US and Europe, licensed songs to over a dozen TV shows, and who composes music for films, national ads, and Cheryl is the author of “In The Key Of Success: The 5 Week Jump-Start Strategy,” an incredibly effective, result-oriented eCourse for independent musicians who are serious about breaking through plateaus in their careers. Because you are a loyal Echoes reader, you get a ridiculous 70% discount off the regular price by typing in IHEARTDM in the “discount code” field.


Cheryl’s next workshop will be held in NYC in August 2012. For more info, visit her website and follow her on Twitter @CBE.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Few Father's Day Facts


1. Halsey Taylor invented the drinking fountain as a tribute to his father, who succumbed to typhoid fever after drinking from a contaminated public water supply in 1896.

2. George Washington, the celebrated “Father of Our Country,” had no children of his own. Researchers believe that childhood illnesses may have rendered him sterile. He did adopt the two children of his second wife, Martha Custis.

3. In Thailand, the King’s Birthday also serves as National Father’s Day. The celebration includes fireworks and acts of charity and honor – the most distinct being the donation of blood and the liberation of captive animals.

4. A.A. Milne created Winnie the Pooh for his son, Christopher Robin. Pooh was based on Robin’s teddy bear, Edward, a gift Christopher had received for his first birthday, and on their father/son visits to the London Zoo, where the bear named Winnie was Christopher’s favorite. Pooh comes from the name of Christopher’s pet swan (of course).

5. Kurt Vonnegut was (for a short time) Geraldo Rivera’s father-in-law. Rivera’s marriage to Edith Vonnegut ended in 1974 because of his womanizing. Her ever-protective father was quoted as saying, “If I see Gerry again, I’ll spit in his face.” He also included an unflattering character named Jerry Rivers (a chauffeur) in a few of his books.

6. Andre Agassi’s father represented Iran in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics as a boxer.

7. In 1950, after the Washington Post music critic gave Harry Truman’s daughter’s concert a negative review, the president came out swinging: “Some day I hope to meet you,” he wrote. “When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!”

papa-smurf.jpg8. The voice of Papa Smurf, Don Messick, also provided the voice of Scooby-Doo, Ranger Smith on Yogi Bear, and Astro and RUDI on The Jetsons.

9. In 2001, Yuri Usachev, cosmonaut and commander of the International Space Station, received a talking picture frame from his 12-year-old daughter while in orbit. The gift was made possible by RadioShack, which filmed the presentation of the gift for a TV commercial.

10. The only father-daughter collaboration to hit the top spot on the Billboard pop music chart was the 1967 hit single “Something Stupid” by Frank & Nancy Sinatra.

11. In the underwater world of the seahorse, it’s the male that gets to carry the eggs and birth the babies.

12. If show creator/producer Sherwood Schwartz had gotten his way, Gene Hackman would have portrayed the role of father Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch.

13. According to a 2005 survey commissioned by TiVo, here are the top ten TV dads of all time: 1. Cliff Huxtable (The Cosby Show); 2. Sheriff Andy Taylor (The Andy Griffith Show); 3. Pa Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie); 4. Howard Cunningham (Happy Days); 5. Ward Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver); 6. Jim Anderson (Father Knows Best); 7. Mike Brady (The Brady Bunch); 8. Tim Taylor (Home Improvement); 9. Reverend Eric Camden (7th Heaven); 10. Danny Tanner (Full House).

14. The Stevie Wonder song “Isn’t She Lovely” isn’t about a woman he’s lusting for; it’s about his newborn daughter, Aisha. If you listen closely, you can hear Aisha crying during the song.

15. Dick Hoyt has pushed and pulled his son Rick, who has cerebral palsy, through hundreds of marathons and triathlons. Rick cannot speak, but using a custom-designed computer he has been able to communicate. They ran their first five-mile race together when Rick was in high school. When they were done, Rick sent his father this message: “Dad, when we were running, it felt like I wasn’t disabled anymore!” Since then, they have run over 66 marathons and 229 triathlons as a team.

Read the full text here: 
--brought to you by mental_floss! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ideas for Press Releases

 A few press release topics:
 1. New product or service
 2. New website or significant upgrade to existing website
 3. Involvement with charity work
 4. Making a charitable contribution
 5. Free shipping offer or change to shipping rates
 6. Releasing findings of new study or research
 7. Helpful tips related to your business
 8. News of the weird (e.g. Coffee shop offers excusive $200
    gourmet drink)
 9. Commentary on or tie-ins to current events
10.  Interesting trends
11.  Starting a new sister company
12.  Receiving an award
13.  Being singled out for an accomplishment
14.  Offering free information: ebook, newsletter or white
15.  Celebrating an important company anniversary (e.g. 50
     years in business)
16.  Opening a new office or relocating your office
17.  Changing the company name
18.  Changing a product name
19.  Signing a large, well-recognized client (make sure you
     have their permission to publish this)
20.  Announcing a media appearance
21.  Inspirational stories of overcoming major challenges
22.  Hosting a seminar or teleseminar
23.  Sponsoring an event or team
24.  Partnering with another business or organization
25.  Hiring a new executive or changing ownership of the
26.  Announcing personnel change: retirement, resignation or
27.  Changing the way your products are made
28.  Changing the prices of your products or services
     (particularly if you're reducing prices)
29.  Developing a new technology or unique procedure for
     your industry
30.  Rebranding your business
31.  Reorganizing your company
32.  Hosting a major contest, sweepstakes or promotion
33.  Making an outrageous claim (be careful not too sound to
     gimmicky or salesy)
34.  Revealing industry scams
35.  Announcing holiday-related sales and events
36.  Making predictions for your industry
37.  Provide expert opinion on important subject within your
     industry (think sound bites when creating quotes in your
38.  Publishing findings of a recent report, survey or poll
39.  Filing of a lawsuit
40.  Responding to being name in a lawsuit
41.  New uses for your products
42.  Receiving endorsements from a major celebrity or public
     figure (make sure you have their permission to publish this)
43.  Offering internship program with local schools
44.  Establishing a scholarship
45.  Hosting a tour of your facilities
46.  New certifications and credentials achieved by your
47.  Providing pro bono work
48.  Responding to accusations against your company or
49.  Setting a major goal
50.  Launching a referral rewards / affiliate program
51.  Speaking at a conference or event
52.  Providing free consultations or a free sample
53.  Taking major steps to go "green"
54.  Debunking common myths
55.  Taking your company public
56.  Discontinuing a product or service
57.  Filing or Being Awarded a Patent
58.  Merger or acquisition
59.  Celebrating an important milestone (e.g. one millionth
60.  Exhibiting at a trade show
61.  Stock offering
62.  Financial or earnings update
63.  Securing business funding or credit (e.g. VC or angel
64.  Tips sheet or feature story (e.g. Top 10 Valentine
     Gifts, Effective Tips to Land a Job in 30 Days, Turn That
     Brown Lawn into a Suburban Oasis)
Keep It Focused
Once you find the perfect angle for your story, you need to
keep your press release tight and focused. Remember, your
reader has only a limited amount of time to view your story.
This means you need to get your message across as quickly
and clearly as possible. Any details that are unnecessary or
that don't add value to the story  ...  get rid of them.
Focus on answering the who, what, when, where, why and how
questions, use good quotes to enhance your story, and let
the reader know why your story is relevant and why they
should care.
If you have any details that don't seem to fit within your
story, you can always publish a separate release later on.
This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of a steady press
release distribution plan, and it will allow you to target
different audiences more effectively with each specific
As far as the actual press release length goes, it varies
depending on the story you're telling. However, keep it at a
single page or less (about 500 words or less) so you don't
lose your reader's attention.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Social Networks Do Need Artists/Musicians

----from WSJ

The music industry has become increasingly reliant on the social media. Twitter, Facebook and other services such as YouTube with a strong social element have frequently overtaken the press, television and radio as the primary means of promotion

What is perhaps less often reported is how dependent social networks are on music fans for growth. It is not politicians, sports, television or movie stars who dominate the social media leader boards, but representatives of the recording industry. Music and social media just seem to go together.

For instance, 50% of Twitter users follow at least one musician. The top five most followed accounts on Twitter are all musicians. In fact there are only two people in the current top ten most-followed Twitter accounts who are not musicians, one is President Barack Obama, and this is election year, the other is the reality star Kim Kardashian. And the top five trends of last year were all music-related, according to Tatiana Simonian, head of music industry relations for Twitter.

Ms. Simonian was brought from Disney Music Group to the micro-blogging social network last October at about the same time as it launched Twitter music. “It now has more followers than almost any other channel on Twitter,” she said “The media team I’m on is there just to get more dynamic content on Twitter.”

She was talking at the International Music Summit in Ibiza, Spain, last week, an industry event where social media now dominate the business sessions. Their representatives are every bit as keen to address the recording industry as the music business is to listen,

In the fragmented world of music, the summit is the primary industry event for electronic dance music. Recently that has become shortened to “EDM” perhaps, Ms. Simonian suggested, as a result of Twitter users’ need to abbreviate. “The hashtag EDM is now used up to 3,000 times a day,” she said. “It is the fastest growing genre on Twitter.”

It is a segment, however, which has been focused almost entirely on Europe until the last couple of years. Now it is enjoying a surge of popularity in the U.S. The industry’s poster boy for this success is producer and DJ David Guetta.

His main fan page on Facebook is approaching 33m Likes. This puts him just outside the top 10 of this chart, which is almost as dominated by musicians as Twitter’s. But it is not simply the figure for the number of fans who have clicked on a button which impresses his industry, it is what he has done with it. He has developed a series of brand partnerships notably with Coca-Cola’s Burn energy drink and car manufacturer Renault from his native France.

By monetizing his personal brand, quantifiable thanks to social networks, he is showing how a new business model works successfully for the music industry, although there are plenty who dislike his overt commercialism. The point is he is making money after the probably permanent destruction of the industry’s traditional business model.

For decades that model was quite straightforward. Sell records. Everything else was subservient to that goal. Touring, merchandising, radio airplay and everything else could make a loss provided they led to sufficient sales of vinyl and later CDs.

The rise of digital media and file sharing has drastically reduced the importance of recorded music sales to the industry. As a result, what were ancillary activities before are now potentially the most important revenue streams.

Merchandising has moved way beyond the sale of tour t-shirts and now encompasses complete clothing ranges, designer headphones and, in fact, anything that can have a logo put on it. And recorded music frequently exists to promote live performances rather than, as used to be, the other way round.

This explains why another less obvious social network was making an appearance at the International Music Summit. Location-based Foursquare made clear how important music audience was to it about six months ago when it signed a deal with London-based live music listing service Songkick.

Omid Ashtari, Foursquare’s director for business development, explained that, before it got access to Songkick’s database, it was only possible to check into a venue. Given that a different promoter might take over the place each night, that is not an attractive proposition for either artists or fans.

“Now through Foursquare you can not only check into the location, but also into the event,” he said.

“Artists can offer rewards vouchers, perhaps providing discounts on merchandise, ticket upgrades or meet-and-greets. They can also offer ‘swarm specials’ which means you define a threshold and if more than that many people check in, you can do something like a double encore.”

And, of course, these activities provide a foundation for Foursquare’s growth. “I think there’s a an overlap between electronic music and social media savvy people,” he said.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Using Sonicbids to Book Gigs!!!

Here’s some practical advice for those of you who would like to use Sonicbids to get gigs and what my thoughts are on it, as a promoter.....................
  1. Make Your EPK Stand Out: There’s nothing worse than submitting an incomplete EPK. This includes tour dates. Contrary to what you might think, the EPK is the first thing that the promoter sees, not the submission questions that you’re sometimes required to complete. If you plan on using Sonicbids often (let’s face it, it’s one of the few ways to submit to SXSW, CMJ, or some other opportunities), then splurge a little and pay for the premium account, at least for the months that you’re using it often. Get your elevator pitch down. Grab their attention immediately. Listing the band members in your bio (unless you have a celebrity in the lineup) is a waste of time, same with spending an entire paragraph talking about what you sound like. Instead, focus on what sets you apart from every other artist, how you will make them money, and a deep understanding of your target audience.  Use bullet points when possible: if it easier to read and you make every sentence count, promoters are more likely to read it thoroughly. If you are not as active, simply downgrade your account later.
  2. When Submitting to Gigs, Use the Sort Function: If you want more time and attention spent on your EPK, then get in line first. When you log into your profile, click on “Find Gigs” and then sort the listings by “Date Added.” Check this often. Artists that get in the door first show initiative and have a better chance of getting in (as opposed to those who submit last, after most of the decisions have already been made). Make it a weekly habit to check your status/messages from promoters and follow up. If you want to try being the last one in, you can always sort for submissions based on their deadline.
  3. Link Your Account to All Other Social Media Sites: As soon as a promoter opens your EPK in a submission window, your social media stats are featured. In fact, they are shown more prominently than your bio or anything else. Right of the bat, a promoter will see how many fans you have on Myspace, what your Jango score is, and how many fans you have. Leave no stone unturned: even as irreverent  Myspace is, a higher number of fans on your profile still looks more impressive than an empty space. To add sites, click on “Edit My EPK” and enter the field in “Other Sites.” Drag the most prominent and active sites to the top. While you’re there. customized your URL. It looks much better to be than a collection of numbers/letters.
  4. See What Others Are Doing: Check out the EPK’s of artists getting the most gigs each week (Track Buzz) so you can see what they’re doing right. Getting gigs helps you get more gigs (believe it or not, the little icons you get for “Booking your first 25, 50, or 100 gigs does stand out and is highlighted to the promoter).
  5. Keep Up With Your Stats: If you have a premium account, you get access to your profile stats (Manage EPK>My Stats) so you can see how many views/plays you’re receiving, what parts of your profile are being looked at, etc. However, one of the greatest features is the oft-ignored “Plugins” section on the right hand side. The social media stats/buzz that you see here are the ones that are shared with promoters. If the Twitter Buzz results are pulling up results that are not relevant, make adjustments to the search query so that your music is being talked about (and not something else with a similar name).
  6. Keep the Gig Calendar Full: I know, it’s a pain. Shows to enter on your own site, Reverb Nation, Myspace, Facebook Events, etc. It can get overwhelming with the amount of data entry. However, Murphy’s Law suggests that wherever you forget to include your tour dates, that will probably be the area that the promoter looks at. Promoters don’t have the time to following up with each of your sites to see how busy your band is. You might have an extensive tour booked all over the world on your website, but if someone looks at your EPK’s empty gig list, you’re going to look pretty pathetic. If it’s easier, delegate calendar updates in the band to different members – just make sure that the same basic information (show time, entry fee, etc.) is the same across the board.
Whether you like it or not, Sonicbids is a tool that is being used by many, many promoters, especially larger music festivals. If you are going to use the site, then do it properly so that you can maximize the results. If not, then focus on your own sites that you do well (most of the basic principles remain the same).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Emerging New Music Industry Events

3 emerging New Music Industry events you may want to attend:

1. Trigger Creative 2012 - June 28-29 

2. Music 4.5 - June 29 

3. Future Music Forum - September 20-21 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sites to raise money and promote ideas online

by Kim Komando

In the past, inventors, innovators, crafters and entrepreneurs had to work hard for funding or to promote their products and ideas. Now, there's the Internet and crowd sourcing.

Just post an idea or project online and people can contribute small amounts to fund your goals. In cases where you're selling a product, certain sites can give you a like-minded audience to sell to.

If you're looking for a money-raising site with a large user base, Kickstarter is still the go-to option. It's the one that most people know and it supports a wide variety of projects, from movies and art to one-person shows.

IndieGoGo is another good general option to try for crowd funding. It is especially good for charity and non-profit projects.

Software, game developers and app developers are using it more frequently as well. If you're starting a software project, this is the place to try first. Additionally, it's open to international users.

Speaking of international users, if that's your primary audience, or you live outside the U.S., pay a visit to RocketHub.

Those looking to invent physical gadgets will want to try Quirky first. Unlike other sites, you don't just post your idea and solicit funding.

First, the Quirky community has to decide whether your gadget is actually viable. Only after a successful vote do you move to the funding stage, which has its own unique contribution system. There is also an active inventor community that can help you refine your ideas.

There is no shortage of music stores online to buy music. Selling music isn't always so easy, though. Bandcamp is looking to change that.

Joining Bandcamp gives you a free storefront to display your music. It's simple for people to buy and download your songs. Interacting with your fans and favorite artists is easy, and there's a large user base, so your music is seen by plenty of people.

Want to shop around for more selling options? Learn some other ways to sell music online.

Etsy needs very little introduction. It's the go-to site for those looking to sell arts and crafts online.

Joining and creating a store is simple, and it puts your products in front of a like-minded audience. This isn't a place to raise money for a product, but if you have one to sell, definitely give it a look.

Want to examine other sites that help you sell arts and crafts? I detail some more options here.

Finding funding and selling products are both important tasks. However, you need to be able to create your product as well. Here are some tools and tips to help.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Gerd Leonhard: The Best Music and Hi-Tech Futurists In The World!!

The Wall Street Journal calls Gerd Leonhard ‘one of the leading Media Futurists in the World’.

Gerd is one of the best mentor a person can have, especially those of us in the music business.  He has been my mentor going on 5 years.  He's truly one of the most accurate 'Futurist' in tech and music, in the world. His weekly travels take him all over the Globe and giving great advice to many large corporations. 

What does Gerd do best??? He tells us what we must know to survive, especially in the music business.  His views, to some are very controversial, but, this far, just about everything he's predicted has happened albeit not to the liking of many in the music business, especially the major labels.  For example, Gerd was one of the first to advocate the future of free music as well as pointing out why artist and music companies should find other avenues of income.

Some of Mr. Leonhard's Resume:  

He is the co-author of the influential book ‘The Future of Music’ (2005, Berklee Press), author of ‘Music2.0’ (2008), ‘The End of Control’ (2007) and 'The Future of Content' (2011).

Gerd's background is in music; in 1985 he won the Quincy Jones Award and subsequently graduated from Boston's Berklee College of Music (1987).

Since 2002, following a decade as digital media entrepreneur and start-up CEO, Gerd speaks at conferences and seminars around the globe on the Future of Media, Content, Technology, Business, Advertising, Telecom, Communications and Culture.

Since 2011, Gerd's area of expertise also includes important "green" topics.

Gerd's keynotes, presentations and think- tanks are renowned for his hard-hitting and provocative yet inspiring, motivational style. With engagements in 43 countries since 2003, Gerd has addressed over150'000 professionals, and is considered a key influencer.

His diverse client list includes Nokia, Google, Sony-BMG, Telkom Indonesia, Siemens, Kuoni, RTL, ITV, the BBC, France Telecom/Orange, Deutsche Telekom, The Financial Times, DDB, Omnicom, the European Commission, Nokia Siemens Networks and many others.

Gerd is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (London), Visiting Professor at FDC Fundação Dom Cabral (Brasil), and resides in Basel, Switzerland.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

True Blue Fans Are Fans Funnelized!

---by Seth Godin

If you have a list of 1000 subscribers or 5,000 fans or 10,000 supporters, you have a choice to make.

You can create stories and options and benefits that naturally spread from this group to their friends, and your core group can multiply, with 5,000 growing to 10,000 and then 100,000.

Or you can put the group through a sales funnel, weed out the free riders and monetize the rest. A 5% conversion rate means you just turned 5,000 interested people into 250 paying customers.

Multiplying scales. Dividing helps you make this quarter's numbers.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Woman's Heart

Published on Apr 5, 2012 by 

"A Woman's Heart " is from the CD titled LOVED by Trish Foti Genco. Trish is an award winning, classically trained, vocalist; and native of the New Orleans area. LOVED is a collection of contemporary inspirational songs from the Church to Broadway that touch on the theme of God's unfolding grace throughout your journey in life and how to find strength in every aspect of your life. "A Woman's Heart" is available on iTunes, CD Baby and through "A Woman's Heart" is the perfect song for Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Women's Conferences, or any celebration of/for women.

An Open Letter to An Angry Reader .... From Musicans Wages Founders

By Cameron Mizell on Apr 18, 2012 05:46 am

Since it’s launch, MusicianWages has been well received by the musician community. Dave Hahn and I have been very pleased to see our pet project grow into an informative hub for all types of musicians. We believe this growth is due to our commitment to integrity and quality content, and as long as we find the articles on our site useful, you will too.

Sometimes, though, people get upset and send nasty emails. Most of them are ignored, but I felt this recent one deserved a response. The author is upset because we’re selling some contact lists from the Chronicles of a Cruise Ship Musician blog. Since he didn’t include a valid email address, prohibiting us from writing him back, we decided to respond publicly.

These lists are the first products we have ever sold from the site, and perhaps all our readers deserve an explanation of why we’ve opened the MusicianWages Shop after four years of giving away all our information for free.

Here is the email from “Joe” and our response.

You suck. I have been at your site before and you were all cushy cushy with all the agents. I thought your site was a cool idea at first. But you really don’t have a clue as to what real musicians wages in the real world are. I’ve been pro for 25+ years and know a lot of musicians. And now I see you are selling the list of cruise ship agents. Well there goes any respect I have for you. Obviously your not making enough money as a musician. You’re going to end up working for an agent before too long. Sad. Last time I visit the site.

Well Joe, sorry you feel that way. I hope you’ll read this response and have a better understanding of what Dave and I do, what MusicianWages is all about, and why we’re selling these lists.

Dave and I are keep very busy working as full time musicians. Dave plays keyboards and conducts on Broadway, which is one of the best paying steady gigs a musician can get these days. I’m a freelance guitarist playing with different bands, subbing on musicals, and earning income from my own recordings (sales, royalties, licensing, etc.). We’re both members of our local AFM chapter and are well aware of union and non-union wages for a variety of musician jobs.

While continually building our careers, Dave and I have written extensively on everything we know about being musicians. We’ve shared all this information for free, on MusicianWages. We are the only people that run the site, and we do it for the love of sharing practical advice and helping others.

The website does generate some money, but not very much. We are far better professional musicians than we are professional bloggers! For the last several years we’ve basically been breaking even, making enough to cover monthly maintenance costs and hire professionals to help us with things beyond our skill set. However, we aren’t trying to make a living from this website, we’re trying to make a community of musicians.

When the two of us started MusicianWages four years ago, Dave’s articles about working as a cruise ship musician were a central part of the website’s launch. He had written extensively about the gig while playing on ships in 2004 because before he got the gig, there was simply no information online to prepare him for life as a cruise ship musician. His articles filled a void, which has made them very popular, and everybody researching cruise ship gigs finds MusicianWages in the top of their search results.

Dave’s only experiences on ships, though, were contracts in 2004 and 2007. I’ve never played on ships. We really don’t have any new information on the scene, with the exception of some contributions by other cruise ship musicians. Nonetheless, that section of the site has always been popular and we regularly receive emails from people wanting to know how to get a gig on a cruise ship.

In response to the many emails asking us, “How do I get do I get a cruise ship gig?” and all the resumes and links we receive from readers thinking we can place them on a ship, we decided to create these lists.

The Cruise Ship Talent Agency Directory and The Cruise Line Entertainment Department Directory were both created through time intensive research. The How Do I Get A Cruise Ship Musician Job eBook is a collection of articles from our website compiling answers to the 30 most asked questions about the cruise ship gig.

All of the information in these resources is freely available online for those who take the time to do their own research. Because we invested our own time and money compiling the information and presenting it in clean, easy to read eBooks, we decided to make them our first products to sell. We are charging for the convenience, for the time we’re saving you, not for exclusive information.

No agents, agency, or cruise lines were involved in or benefit from the creation and sales of these lists. We receive no commission on any cruise contracts signed by anybody that buys these lists. Most of the money we make from these lists goes back into the site or helps us develop other projects that we hope will help us and our fellow musician.

The musician industry isn’t the only place you’ll find these kinds of resources. After college my wife was applying for a very specific job in an industry where she had little experience. She bought a book that taught her about the industry, the position she wanted, and how to prepare for the interview. She studied the book cover to cover, tidied up her resume, nailed the interview, and got the job.

Similarly, we believe these lists are a very valuable resource for talented musicians that have everything it takes to play the gig, but don’t know much about it.

If you don’t want to work on a cruise ship there are plenty of other ways to make a living as a musician. Dave and I both have steady careers on land, as do many of the site’s contributors. We strive to keep MusicianWages full of pragmatic, useful information culled from the experience of professional musicians. This information will always be available for free.

Play Out At The Open Mic Music Showcase At The Lake Travis Springfest On Saturday, April 28th / 1 - 5 pm (Austin,TX)


SpringFest is the BIGGEST time in the smallest town held at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave, Texas from 11AM-7PM. SpringFest has something for everyone whether it’s live music you’re looking for, browsing for a new boat, unique shopping and a KidZone, we’ve got it all.

The smoke from the Lake Travis Rib King BBQ Cook-Off is the first hint you are in the right place. We have a huge KidZone, arts and crafts vendors lining main street, a boat expo and live music all day featuring some of central Texas’ best musicians.

We're hosting an Open Mic Austin - Artist Showcase during the festival. 

Signup now to get your slot to play in front of a huge crowd at this awesome festival! Bring your friends, family and fans to watch you play at this amazing event!

Joe Gee will be your host for this cool showcase. We love bands, but we don't have the time to switch out backlines. So, if you're in a band, bring your acoustic setup and let's rock!
Click HERE and request a performance slot. Email us your EPK. 

Lake Travis Springfest (Sat - April 28th 2012)
12700 Hill Country Boulevard
Bee Cave, TX 78738 
Open Mic Time:  1 - 5 pm

Dick Clark: The Greatest Friend TO All Artist (November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012)

Dick Clark, the perpetually youthful-looking television host whose long-running daytime song-and-dance fest, “American Bandstand,” did as much as anyone or anything to advance the influence of teenagers and rock ’n’ roll on American culture, died on Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 82.

A spokesman, Paul Shefrin, said Mr. Clark had a heart attack at Saint John’s Health Center on Wednesday morning after entering the hospital the night before for an outpatient procedure.

Mr. Clark had a stroke in December 2004, shortly before he was to appear on the annual televised New Year’s Eve party he had produced and hosted every year since 1972. He returned a year later, and although he spoke haltingly, he continued to make brief appearances on the show, including the one this past New Year’s Eve.

With the boyish good looks of a bound-for-success junior executive and a ubiquitous on-camera presence, Mr. Clark was among the most recognizable faces in the world, even if what he was most famous for — spinning records and jabbering with teenagers — was on the insubstantial side. In addition to “American Bandstand” and “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” he hosted innumerable awards shows, comedy specials, series based on TV outtakes and the game show “$10,000 Pyramid” (which lasted long enough to see the stakes ratcheted up to $100,000). He also made guest appearances on dramatic and comedy series, usually playing himself.

But he was as much a businessman as a television personality. “I get enormous pleasure and excitement sitting in on conferences with accountants, tax experts and lawyers,” he said in an interview with The New York Times in 1961. He was especially deft at packaging entertainment products for television.

Starting in the 1960s, Mr. Clark built an entertainment empire on the shoulders of “Bandstand,” producing other music shows like “Where the Action Is” and “It’s Happening.” He eventually expanded into game shows, awards shows, comedy specials and series, talk shows, children’s programming, reality programming, and movies. His umbrella company, Dick Clark Productions, has produced thousands of hours of television; it also has a licensing arm and has owned or operated restaurants and theaters like the Dick Clark American Bandstand Theater in Branson, Mo.

But none of it would have been possible without “American Bandstand,” a show that earned immediate popularity, had remarkable longevity and became a cultural touchstone for the baby-boomer generation. It helped give rise to the Top 40 radio format and helped make rock ’n’ roll a palatable product for visual media — not just television but also the movies. It was influential enough that ABC broadcast a 40th-anniversary special in 1992, three years after the show went off the air, and a 50th-anniversary special 10 years later. Mr. Clark, who had long since been popularly known as “the world’s oldest teenager,” was the host of both, of course.

Philadelphia Roots

“American Bandstand” was broadcast nationally, originally from Philadelphia, from 1957 to 1989, and the list of well-known performers who were seen on it, many of them lip-syncing their recently recorded hits, spanned generations: from Ritchie Valens to Luther Vandross; from the Monkees to Madonna; from Little Anthony and the Imperials to Los Lobos; from Dusty Springfield to Buffalo Springfield to Rick Springfield. Mr. Clark was around for it all.

“It meant everything to do Dick’s show,” Paul Anka said in telephone interview on Wednesday. “This was a time when there was no youth culture — he created it. And the impact of the show on people was enormous. You knew that once you went down to Philadelphia to see Dick and you went on the show, your song went from nowhere to the Top 10.”

“American Bandstand’s” influence waned somewhat after it changed from a weekday to a weekly format, appearing on Saturday afternoons, in 1963 and moved its base of operations to Los Angeles the next year. And as the psychedelic era took hold in the late 1960s and rock ’n’ roll fragmented into subgenres, the show could no longer command a central role on the pop music scene.

Indeed, the show was criticized for sanitizing rock ’n’ roll, taking the edge off a sexualized and rebellious music. But it was also, in important ways, on the leading edge of the culture. Mr. Clark and his producer, Tony Mammarella, began integrating the dance floor on “American Bandstand” early on; much of the music, after all, was being made by black performers.

“I can remember, a vivid recollection, the first time ever in my life I talked to a black teenager on national television; it was in what we called the rate-a-record portion of ‘Bandstand,’ ” Mr. Clark recalled. “It was the first time in a hundred years I got sweaty palms.”

He was fearful, he said, of a backlash from Southern television affiliates, but that didn’t happen. From that day on, he said, more blacks began appearing on the show. And as time went on, the show’s willingness to bridge a racial divide that went almost entirely unacknowledged by network programming was starkly apparent, “providing American television broadcasting with the most visible ongoing image of ethnic diversity until the 1970s,” according to an essay about the program on the Web site of the Chicago-based Museum of Broadcast Communications.

“We didn’t do it because we were do-gooders, or liberals,” Mr. Clark said. “It was just a thing we thought we ought to do. It was naïve.”

The right man at the right time, Mr. Clark was a radio personality in Philadelphia in 1956 when he stepped into the role of host of what was then a local television show called “Bandstand” after the regular host was fired. By the following October, the show was being broadcast on ABC nationwide with a new name, “American Bandstand,” and for the next several years it was seen every weekday afternoon by as many as 20 million viewers, most of them not yet out of high school, eager to watch a few dozen of their peers dance chastely to the latest recordings of pop hits, showing off new steps like the twist, the pony and the Watusi, and rating the new records in brief interviews.

“It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it” became a national catchphrase.

Handsome and glib, Dick Clark was their music-savvy older brother, and from that position of authority he presided over a grass-roots revolution in American culture in the late 1950s and early ’60s. “American Bandstand” was the first show to make use of the new technology, television, to spread the gospel of rock ’n’ roll. In its early years it introduced a national audience to teen idols like Fabian and Connie Francis, first-generation rockers like Bill Haley and Jerry Lee Lewis, and singing groups like the Everly Brothers. Even more, it helped persuade broadcasters and advertisers of the power of teenagers to steer popular taste.

“At that moment in time, the world realized that kids might rule the world,” Mr. Clark said. “They had their own music, their own fashion, their own money.”

By early 1958, “American Bandstand” was so big a hit that network executives installed a new show in a concert format in its Saturday night lineup, calling it “The Dick Clark Show.” In June, ABC sent it on the road to broadcast from a number of cities. In October, when “The Dick Clark Show” originated from Atlanta, both black and white teenagers were in the audience — amounting to one of the first racially integrated rock concerts — and with National Guard troops present, it weathered threats from the Ku Klux Klan. The nighttime show lasted only until 1960.

Opportunities Abound

In spite of his success, Mr. Clark, who never hid his desire for wealth, had not been getting rich as a network employee. But he had been investing, shrewdly and voluminously, in the businesses that “American Bandstand” supported — talent management, music publishing, record distribution and merchandising, among others — and his bank account ballooned.

His finances were dealt a blow, and his clean-cut image was tarnished, however, when Congress convened hearings into payola, the record company practice of bribing disc jockeys to play their records on the air. In late 1959, with the hearings pending, ABC insisted that Mr. Clark divest himself of all his record-related businesses, which he did. He was called to testify before the House Special Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight in April 1960, and though he denied ever taking money to play records, he acknowledged a number of actions that exposed what many in Congress considered a too-cozy relationship between the music industry and D.J.s, Mr. Clark in particular.

For an investment of $125 in one record company, for example, Mr. Clark received $31,700 in salary and stock profits over two years. He admitted that some songs and records may have been given to his publishing and distribution companies because of his affiliation with “American Bandstand.” He also acknowledged accepting a ring and a fur stole from a record manufacturer.

Mr. Clark, who was never charged with a crime, said that having to comply with the network’s divestiture request cost him millions.

“I never took any money to play records,” Mr. Clark said in his 1999 Archive of American Television interview. “I made money other ways. Horizontally, vertically, every which way you can think of, I made money from that show.”

Over half a century, Mr. Clark made millions as a producer or executive producer, shepherding projects onto the airwaves that even he acknowledged were more diverting than ennobling: awards shows like the Golden Globes, the Academy of Country Music Awards and the American Music Awards; omnibus shows like “TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes,” featuring collections of clips; and television-movie biographies and dramas that targeted devotees of camp, kitsch or B-list celebrities.

He excelled in signing up top acts for his shows, and had to be especially creative on his New Year’s Eve show. Top acts often had lucrative bookings that night, so Mr. Clark worked around that by taping the dance party portion of the show at a Los Angeles studio in August.

“You would go out there and see all these people in their New Year’s Eve outfits getting a smoke outside in 100-degree heat,” said Ted Harbert, then an ABC program executive and now chairman of NBC Broadcasting. “That’s how he got the stars to turn up on a New Year’s Eve show. He taped them in August. It was genius.”

Mr. Clark wasn’t high-minded about his work. “I’ve always dealt with light, frivolous things that didn’t really count; I’m not ashamed of that,” he said during a 1999 interview for the Archive of American Television. “There’s no redeeming cultural value whatsoever to ‘Bloopers,’ but it’s been on for 20 years.” He added: “It’s a piece of fluff. I’ve been a fluffmeister for a long time.”

Richard Wagstaff Clark was born on Nov. 30, 1929, in Bronxville, N.Y., and grew up nearby in Mount Vernon, the second son of Richard A. and Julia Clark. His father was a salesman who commuted to New York City until he was hired to manage a radio station in Utica, N.Y. The older brother, Bradley, was killed in World War II, and young Dick, who had greatly admired “Brad,” a high school athlete, was devastated and depressed afterward, his father once said in an interview.

An Early Love of Radio

As a boy Dick listened often to the radio, and at 13 he went to see a live radio broadcast starring Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore. From then on, he wanted to be in broadcasting. His first job, at 17, was in the mailroom of his father’s station. He often said he learned the most important lesson of his career from listening to Arthur Godfrey.

“I emulated him,” Mr. Clark said. “I loved him, I adored him, because he had the ability to communicate to one person who was listening or watching. Most people would say, in a stentorian voice, ‘Good evening, everyone.’ Everyone? Godfrey knew there was only one person listening at a time.”

Mr. Clark studied business administration at Syracuse University, where he was a disc jockey on the student radio station. After graduating he worked briefly as an announcer for his father’s station before getting a job in television, at WKTV in Utica, as a news announcer.

In 1952 WFIL in Philadelphia gave him his own radio show, “Dick Clark’s Caravan of Music,” an easy-listening afternoon program. A few months later, the station’s television affiliate began an afternoon show called “Bandstand,” with Bob Horn and Lee Stewart. At first it showed films of musical performances for studio audiences, Mr. Clark recalled, but it evolved into a dance show when teenagers, bored with the films, started dancing to the music. As the show grew in popularity, the station changed the name of Mr. Clark’s radio show to “Bandstand” as well, even though his playlist remained uncontroversial fare for a relatively small middle-aged afternoon audience.

It was in the summer of 1956 that Mr. Horn, by then the show’s sole host, was fired and the station turned to young Dick Clark.

“I was 26 years old, looked the part, knew the music, was very comfortable on television,” Mr. Clark recalled. “ ‘They said, ‘Do you want it?’ And I said, ‘Oh, man, do I want it!’ ”

Mr. Clark’s first two marriages ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, Kari Wigton; three children, Richard, Duane and Cindy; and two grandchildren.

He won five Emmy Awards, including a Daytime Emmy lifetime achievement award in 1994, and in 1993 was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He owed his success, he said, to knowing the mind of the broad audience.

“My greatest asset in life,” he said, “was I never lost touch with hot dogs, hamburgers, going to the fair and hanging out at the mall.”

Bill Carter and Ben Sisario contributed reporting.