If there's a bass tournament and you catch the biggest fish, shouldn't you win the biggest prize?

There's a misconception about what "advantages" a "pro" would have over an "amateur." I know complete amateurs who spend WAY more than even major labels do on their recordings. I know success and well known "professionals" who have had hits who now have no budget and have to do things on the cheap. We've had people who spent next to zero on recordings and who have won. If that can be done, I can't see a possible need for 2 divisions. We work hard to support our motto of "We're All In This Together." To seperate "Pros" and "Amateurs" is to have a class system. That might work for bass fishing, but it really isn't the same thing in music. Recording gear especially has put affordable recording ability into the hands of even the most meager budgets. We have all sorts of songs that win with a single piano and vocal recording. You can do that into a Boom box with a record button. JPF Member Daniel Ho has won 3 straight Grammy's with albums he recorded directly into his ancient and outdated laptop computer. It's not a matter of resources. It's a matter of talent. We had an Opera winner who's show was only performed a single time at a small university. It competed head to head with Operas done by major theater companies and civic groups. It really doesn't matter. The breadth of categories and backgrounds of the nominees over the years cover the entire range imaginable. Right now we have JPF member who just started writing songs on this board in November who made the Top 20 on the American Idol song contest. He's never made any money on his work. Now he has a 1 in 20 shot at having a huge hit song. We want to bring attention to these talented folks who might otherwise not get the attention they deserve. And when someone is talented enough, they should get the top recognition, whether they are amateur or pro or any other description.

Winning an award that limits the talent is like saying "I won the Superbowl" but no players who have played in the Pro's, College or High School can compete. Big deal on the win! Winning against the very best means something. Winning against a limited group has limited meaning or value.

I think the other misconception here is that we don't view our awards as a "contest." We don't give out cash prizes. We don't give out anything but a small trophy and recognition. This year we will be mining over a half million songs from around the world looking for stuff that moves us. We don't care who made it or what their background is. Nothing can be more fair than that. No major label publicity machines can do a thing... no paid off radio stations can screw anyone. No paid off retailers can keep people out of the process. Everyone gets a fair shake. Just like it should be.

At least that's my opinion.. I may be right.


Brian Austin Whitney
Just Plain Folks
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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