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Mentor: John Braheny Location: Los Angeles, California

John Braheny's Bio

JOHN BRAHENY is one of the most recognized and respected names in the music industry, and, more specifically, in the songwriting community. He is referred to as "the songwriter's best friend" for his tireless efforts to create education and discovery opportunities for songwriters, to help bring public attention to songwriting as an art form and to champion songwriters' rights. His activities in these areas include:
Co-founded and directed (with Len Chandler) the legendary
Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase (LASS).
This national non-profit service organization for songwriters, which BMI sponsored for 18 years, was the first on-going, organized weekly showcase exclusively for contemporary songwriter/performers in the Los Angeles area. During the early years of the organization they provided exposure and encouragement to an impressive list of later-to-be-successful new writers and writer/artists in all genres including Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham, Janis Ian, Warren Zevon, Karla Bonoff, Stephen Bishop, Wendy Waldman and the world's most successful contemporary songwriter, Diane Warren, for whom Braheny and Chandler critiqued over 150 songs when she was only 15. The live showcases evolved into an international membership organization whose members could submit songs on tape to industry professionals by mailing them in from anywhere in the world for the weekly Cassette Roulette and Pitch-A-Thon sessions. Braheny and Chandler were responsible for innovating songwriter events and activities that serve as models for organizations all over the world. Among them:

® The Songwriters Expo, which for 20 years, continues to be the largest and most comprehensive annual education and discovery event for songwriters in the world.
® The first weekly series of live interview sessions with more than 600 industry professionals and hit songwriters.
® Cassette Roulette and Pitch-A-Thon, the first weekly, open-to-anyone opportunities to get songs critiqued by publishers and heard by producers and record company reps.
® The first Professional Membership category to provide private, in-house opportunities and personal referrals for exceptional songwriters. Among the successes of this program were hits by Tiffany and The Starship.

Author and Journalist
Braheny wrote the best-selling and highly acclaimed Writer's Digest book, The Craft and Business of Songwriting (Writer's Digest Books 1988, 1995), now in its third printing. (See Amazon.com for online reviews.) The National Academy of Songwriters has called the book "A veritable songwriters bible. This is the definitive work on the subject of songwriting."He wrote the Songwriters Handbook for the American Song Festival, a bi-weekly "Songmine" column for Music Connection Magazine, and has contributed to Songwriters Market, Songwriter Magazine, Keyboard Magazine, Musician Magazine, The Musician's Business and Legal Guide and American Songwriter among others.

Along with more than 600 interviews with music industry professionals and hit songwriters at the weekly Songwriters Showcase sessions and Songwriters Expo panels, Braheny conducted and edited more than 150 interviews for the Songwriters Musepaper, the monthly magazine of the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase. Since 1997 he has co-hosted Samm Brown's For The Record, a music industry interview and call-in show on KPFK (90.7 FM) every Tuesday from 10-ll p.m. John's expertise in interviewing songwriters is so well known and respected that in 1997 he was commissioned by Disc Marketing's In-flight division to conduct a series of interviews with both legendary and contemporary hit songwriters for United Airlines' in-flight audio Songwriter Channel. The series is so popular that it went from being heard on a limited number of flights to all United flights within months.

Braheny continues to be in demand to conduct songwriting/music business seminars for colleges, universities and organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada.He has taught songwriting and music industry classes at UCLA, Grove School of Music and the Trebas Institute. He currently teaches "Anatomy of a Hit" at Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. He developed the class to teach new songwriters the elements of hit songs and records as well as marketing and sociological factors that influence the success or failure of records. He uses today's hits in all styles as well as classic examples through the past 70 years.

Braheny maintains a high profile in music industry. He has served three terms on the board of Governors of the L.A. Chapter of NARAS, the Recording Academy (who present the Grammys) and edited their newsletter, The L.A. Record. He is past- president of California Copyright Conference, an organization of entertainment attorneys, music publishers and record company executives. He is currently on the board of directors of the National Academy of Songwriters (NAS) and serves on the boards of advisors for many songwriters organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
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