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#1112595 - 08/08/16 02:48 PM ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS?  
Joined: Jan 2009
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS?
by MARC-ALAN BARNETTE
8-8-16

In my capacity as teacher and mentor to people seeking to expand their musical journey to Nashville, I am asked a lot of questions. They include inquires on the craft and process of writing, the do’s and don’ts of recordings, videos, the web, live shows, the finer points of networking and most importantly, “WHAT IS THE MUSIC INDUSTRY NOW?”

All are very good questions and often have very complicated answers. But it also creates it’s OWN set of questions. These are some that anyone thinking about trying to do this, anyone sitting behind a computer keyboard, picking up a guitar, taking those non-ending piano and voice lessons, going for those auditions for the reality shows, or just playing on an open mic in their local hometown, or the significant others or relatives of those who do, these are a few things that you need to think about along the way.

WHAT IS IT THAT HAS ATTRACTED YOU TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?

WHAT IS YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT MUSIC INDUSTRY?

YOU, WANT TO 'FIND OUT ABOUT THE COMMERCIAL ELEMENTS OF THE MODERN SONGWRITER" WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?

WHAT DO YOU DO CURRENTLY, DAILY, WEEKLY, MONTHLY, TO INCREASE VIABILITY (fan base and REAL SUPPORTERS, not Internet only) IN YOUR HOME AREA?

WHAT DO YOU DO TO EXPAND WHAT YOU DO INTO A LARGER REGION IN YOUR OWN AREA?

WHAT IS YOUR VIRAL PRESENCE?

WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET “OUTSIDE” YOURSELF. WHAT SONGWRITERS OR PEER GROUPS DO YOU BELONG TO? DO YOU ATTEND WRITERS NIGHTS OR OPEN MICS OR SONGWRITER LECTURES OR WORKSHOPS IN YOUR AREA?

WHAT KIND OF ‘TEAM’ DO YOU HAVE AROUND YOU?

WHAT IS THE FORMAT FOR YOUR MUSIC. DON’T SAY “I WRITE EVERYTHING?” BE SPECIFIC.

WHAT IS YOUR PASSION FOR YOUR MUSIC AND THE FORMAT YOU CHOOSE? DO YOU KNOW THE HISTORY OF THAT FORMAT?

NASHVILLE IS A 100% CO-WRITING TOWN. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BRING TO THE TABLE FOR CO-WRITES, WRITER’S ROUNDS, PUBLISHING CONCERNS. OTHER PEOPLE’S BOTTOM LINES?

WHAT IS YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF “PITCHING OR PLUGGING” SONGS?

WHAT WOULD MAKE MODERN DAY ARTISTS, CHOOSE YOUR SONGS OVER THEIR OWN?

WHAT WOULD MAKE A VENUE WANT TO HIRE YOU OVER OTHERS DOING THE SAME THING?

IN THE AREA YOU ARE IN, WHAT DO YOU DO TO SHOWCASE YOUR ORIGINAL SONGS OVER THE COVER SONGS?

IF YOU PERFORM LIVE, WHAT PERCENTAGE OF ORIGINAL OVER COVERS DO YOU DO?

DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF PRIMARILY AN ARTIST OR PRIMARILY A WRITER?

ARE YOU AWARE OF THE EFFECT OF MUSIC STREAMING AND THE INTERNET ON THE INDUSTRY?

HOW DO YOU THINK PUBLISHING. RECORD LABELS, ETC. WORK TODAY?

ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS?

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 08/08/16 02:51 PM.
#1112664 - 08/09/16 12:04 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Hi Marc:

Short answer: NO! Wisdom arrives late in life and I wish I had taken up something else. Sure, it has been fun... but there is no money in making music... unless you already have the pathway paved with gold from some big outfit controlling a big share of a shrinking market.

I could have taken a job at McDonalds after retirement and saved the money after paying taxes... and had more to show for it than all my earnings after considering expenses. Heck, I could have invested a small percentage and possibly grown the proceeds into something I could donate to charity.

I consider myself a writer. I wish I had stuck with the novel... or written short stories for publication.

My perspective has evolved and now, I do what I do musically for fun and consider it an expensive hobby.

There are those among us here at JPF who possess the talent to succeed in music but it is a real gamble. You must be willing to forego all other meaningful pursuits and dedicate 100% of your time to songwriting or performing. That does not leave much for living a normal life and the pursuit of happiness.

Thanks for the reality check.

----Dave

#1112669 - 08/09/16 12:42 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Dave,

Good to hear from you. I did this mostly in response to some clients I have been working with recently. And it is now something I do routinely when new people come to this town. We are besieged but thousands and thousands of people, mostly A LOT of under 25 year olds making their pilgrimages, with "Momangers and Dadingers" in tow, all coming to the "land of milk and honey" where they are "JUST DRIVEN TO BE.."

I also get a LOT of older people (over 30) who are also seeking their placement in all of this. They are often business owners, people with careers, Doctors, Lawyers, scientists, builders, construction people, pharmecuetical representatives, insurance people, etc. you name it, trying to find a second career, or replace their current one.
You KNOW the economy is bad, when Insurance people and DOCTORS, are looking to music as something to FALL BACK ON!

I understand it from pretty much all points of view, having started at 14 years old, been an artist, writer, performer, producer, chief cook and bottle washer and see it from both sides of the desk.

So I consistently try to develop approaches for people to maximize their efforts, yet minimize the time and money they spend on those efforts.

That is what this is. It won't fit most people, particularly over here, but it is good for all to see some of the requirements of the modern music era.

MAB

#1112679 - 08/09/16 01:54 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Well, yes, humm, and so forth,
The trick is to keep your wits about you when everyone else is losing theirs.

Yes, I know the economy is bad, but you can't tell that to John V. who thinks the water is just fine! Jump on in!


Ray E. Strode
#1112685 - 08/09/16 02:29 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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I doubt if most of them would admit it, but I would bet that a lot of your clients are trying to make in music because they don't want to study the things that would provide them with a lucrative job and income. Stuff like math and science and geography and languages. Music is easy and fun, so they think. And you can drink booze and smoke pot while you are working - try that in any other line of work.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#1112699 - 08/09/16 04:14 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Colin,

There are a lot of reasons. We have all sat in a bathroom with a hairbrush, thinking we were onstage in front of thousands of people. I used to completely get dressed up, grab a baseball bat or tennis racket, put on GEORGE HARRISON'S CONCERT FOR BANGLEDESH, and pretend I was right there with him, Ringo and Eric Clapton. Knew the lyrics of every song to that, Rare Earth and Three Dog Night, hear the crowd scream and THAT WAS ME.

Later one, when I learned to play guitar, I would spend Fridays and Saturday's playing with my amp turned up to those same songs.Every live album, BLOOD ON THE TRACKS, KISS, BOB SEEGER, you name it, THAT WAS MY DOMINION.

Over the years, I've actually gotten to PLAY with some of those people, piano Nicky Hopkins and several hit musicians and artists. Just this past Sunday I was jamming in a living room with people who play with Phil Collins, Cheap Trick, and others.

But it took years of work, learning a craft, networking and being on top of my game to do that.

Now, people sing friday night Karaoke tracks, get a video done and are told by all their friends and family how great they are. They post all this on FACEBOOK, YOU TUBE and TWITTER. They write and play their own songs and record them on camera phone videos, post them on Social Networks and THEY ARE STARS.

They come to Nashville because EVERYONE is coming to Nashville. It's in a boom market and people come here every day. Having an ABC television show for five years and now being picked up on TNN, pours gasoline on a Forrest fire. And of course, they can't walk the aisles of a supermarket, or in a shopping mall without seeing front page magazines like Cosmo, Entertainment Weekly, US, Playboy, and every other magazine without having Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, or Keith Urban on the cover. Most television sit comes now have a country music component in their story lines. Most lately, the Tim Allen vehicle THE LAST MAN STANDING, had one of his daughters forming her own band, and Reba McEntire being on the show as a reocurring character. And then, of course there is DOLLY.

Younger kids LOVE to wear their JOHNNY CASH and MERLE HAGGARD t-shirts, and claim them as their own heroes. Downtown and Lower Broadway are now so busy they are going to have to SHUT down all traffic and just use buses or other methods because it can't acommodate all the cars. It is a parking lot. Or should be, because you can't FIND parking.
It is Bourbon Steet, Beale street and mardis gras all night every night.

So yes, they come here in batches. About 600 a week. That is offset by around 1200 a week that move home lasting 6 months to two years. Most of them realize the odds, run out of money, patience and time. Biological clocks start ticking. Girls want to raise families or get into real jobs. Guys have to have three jobs and finally realize that living in the parents basements will give them some breathing room.

The attrition rate is around 95-98%. Anyone that I see or work with, basically in the back of my mind, I am saying "Check back with me in three years." Most of the people I see, I see one time and they either speed up the process, or get better prepared for it. But they all learn reality.

I term it "FRESHMAN, SOPHOMORE, JUNIOR, AND SENIOR YEAR. Just like High school and college. And they all last THREE years. Which is why Nashville is called a "TEN YEAR TOWN." Actually a little more like TWELVE OR FIFTEEN, but who is counting?

Most are weeded out. They become hometown heroes and there is nothing wrong with that.

Just another day in TWANG TOWN.

MAB

#1112776 - 08/10/16 06:27 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Kolstad Offline
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Denmark
Good batch of questions, I'd bet most youngsters wouldn't think of it 360 like that.

I wonder how many of those blank sheets you have, though? Over here, nobody for the life of it would ever consider being a songwriter. Very few (mostly guys) would consider being a musician or sing, but songwriting as a particular focus is something you do or consider if you fail as an artist. You almost always have to have artist credibility in order for others to consider your songs, over here. There are exceptions, but they are few.

Over here, the arts, of any kind, are dismantled, demeaned and dismissed as something that cannot contribute to the world, or be of any relevance. When they are probed with that throughout their teens and twenties, they go out and support piracy parties, who believes intellectual rights belong to everyone by default.

But either way, the ones who are up to it, and the ones who are not, can benefit from trying to answer these questions. Makes the deal, real :-)


Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buzztracks
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/buzztracks
#1112817 - 08/10/16 04:52 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Kolstad]  
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Aaron Authier Offline
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Aaron Authier  Offline
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Or be related to a writer in Nashville that's had exposure. I used to look up the names of all these writers I'd see in the credits and often times it would be someones relative.

#1112818 - 08/10/16 05:17 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Aaron Authier]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Aaron,

That is actually VERY untrue. Quite the opposite. Being "related to someone with a successful career as a writer, artist, or whatever, is more often a detriment than a plus. Always more of a legend to live up to, and the chances that a past sibling, Father, Mother, husband, wife, etc. has done something to tick off someone in the industry is higher.

If you mean by "being related" as a working relationship with someone who has success, that is actually the ONLY way it works. Everyone has to "write up", partner up" with people that have had previous success. That is the nature of this business and always has been so.

MAB

#1112819 - 08/10/16 05:24 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Kolstead,

I don't know what you mean by "BLANK SHEETS", I don't have many of those. These are generally questions based upon questions I am asked when people come to town. I sit with them and see what they know about the music industry and what they are trying to do.

I listen to the questions THEY ask and then try to help them through it. I was just encapsulating what they need to be thinking of when they are trying to come to this town. I meet with a lot of parents, a lot of significant others, and people who also are interested in how all this works. These are the kinds of subjects I cover.

It is more geared toward ARTISTS, but WRITERS have to understand what artists go through in order to gear what they write, who they write with, and how to cater their pitches to the real industry. If you are "just trying to be" a writer, with the desire to get songs "out there", you need to know what the people who are "out there" are going through.

That's why I posted it.

MAB

#1112820 - 08/10/16 06:13 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Aaron Authier Offline
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Aaron Authier  Offline
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Well the most important thing for a writer to possess is a likeable personality. In my opinion. Is that close Marc?

But the thing that will hold you back the most is your songs sucking.
I don't think most amateur writers are halfway to being considered a good writer.
Some write too many words, some write too many cliches. It's not often you hear a song with a fresh take on something. A thread about current songs and why we like or dislike them would be interesting. Maybe I'll make that.

Last edited by Aaron Authier; 08/10/16 06:13 PM.
#1112886 - 08/11/16 02:29 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Aaron Authier]  
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niteshift Offline
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Hey Marc,

Yep, all well said. At one time you actually had to PLAY first. Know all your theory and go through a process.

Now ? There is no process, as most wish to skip now for later.

That doesn't work, as you'll always be caught out at a level you're not redy for, hence the huge attrition rate.

Slow and steady wins every time. Little steps..... little steps.....

cheers, niteshift

PS - Nashville has always been a players town, but I hear it has having a resurgence of the player mentality, in all genres from classical to whatever. Comments ?

#1112887 - 08/11/16 03:15 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: niteshift]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Aaron, now THAT is where you are exactly right. The people who show up, have a great attitude, are willing to work, are flexible and bring a lot PERSONALITY wise are the ones who succeed.

What we have is an amazing amount of MEDIOCRITY. If you guys remember the cassette tape era, you will understand this. You would get an album or a cassette and make a copy of that. Then you or someone else would make a copy from THAT, and so forth and so on. Wioth each generation the quality gets more diluted.

That is where we are. EVERYONE out there are just bad generational copies of other people. If you go to a YOU TUBE site on the latest Taylor Swift, Adele, Keith Urban, or whatever video, and look to the right of it and you will see hundreds of younger people doing the EXACT SAME SONGS THE EXACT SAME WAY.

Now, in an era that the hardest thing to do in music is to MONETIZE what we do, the LAST THING YOU WANT TO DO IS BRING IN ENDLESS COPIES OF THE SAME THING.

But no one seems to get that. They spend all their time copying someone else. And you can often tell before they open their mouths by how they dress, act and approach everything who they are going to be. The hot model looking girls are going to be just like Miranda, Carrie and Taylor. The backward cap wearing guys with the "Cash" t-shirts and holey jeans are going to be Bro country. The "Berklee music school" graduates that think they are John Mayer by using every guitar chord and inversion, and a syllable on every beat, so much that it is just a giant migmosh of sound instead of a cogent song.

yes, they are the SAME RHYMES, SAME TITLES, SAME STUFF. It sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher. "Wah wah wah wa wah wah..." There are so many "GLOW SONGS" that NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION.

I had a girl and her mother here two weeks ago from Canada. Totally BEAUTIFUL, 19 years old, and very sweet. But EVERY SONG had the SAME CHORD STRUCTURE, had the same lyric patterns and was about the same subject. Breaking up with guys and how terrible guys were. She had no dynamics and I could not understand ONE WORD she said, even while sitting there READING THE LYRICS.
Every time I would make a critique, no matter how in detail it was she ARGUED WITH ME. She would say "Well that is just POP" music. She would tell me why I was totally wrong. Well even Pop has to have something INTERESTING. She didn't.
And she did the SAME SONG NINETEEN TIMES. And never once saw what she was doing. And her entire attitude was "I KNOW what I'm doing! Wait'll they get a load of me." This was AFTER SHE WAS REFERRED TO ME FROM THREE DIFFERENT PEOPLE WHO HAD THE SAME IMPRESSION OF HER AND HOPED I COULD HELP HER BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE COULD.

After she finished and left I had three workmen working on the house. They all were in the music business in one form or another, one was the son of one of the biggest record executives in Nashville history (remember that thing I was saying about relatives not getting breaks Aaron? That's what I mean)
but he spoke up and said "Man she was about to wear me OUT! When she did that one time we've heard it! But she just KEPT DOING IT OVER AND OVER!" This is from a guy who grew up around some of the biggest legends in country music. Knows what he is talking about.

And that is what we get.

Niteshift, I have a bit of a different opinion of Nashville because I have been here for nearly 30 years, had a good understanding of the history before and have known a LOT of people over the years. I see a pretty wide spectrum. When it comes to players, the head of the Musician Union is a good friend of mine and I am always around them. have probably had 200 of them in my bands alone, not to mention other people I have just randomly come into contact with.

There are many elements of Nashville that have NEVER CHANGED. The different styles of music, the different pockets of interest, "players mentality" has always been there. Most of you only see things from a very outside perspective. Through media, the Internet, other people's perceptions, which are not always good because they are mostly made up by people who have tried to come to town, come up short and blame the town, companies, the "powers that be" (that really don't even exist)or other circumstances for their own shortcomings. The biggest downfall are over-expectations and just plain quitting. And 90% of musicians, writers and artists wounds are SELF INFLICTED.

I have seen all this from a variety of perspectives, from one of the "old dogs" who have been around for a long time, to continually looking at it through fresh eyes and ears through people I work with. I have tried to describe that over the years, and people like Mike Dunbar, myself and other pros try to point out things many of you don't get a chance to see first hand.

Things like Ray Strode" wanting to hear music that he thinks is country. It is still out there. It is still going on. It might not be on the mainstages of country, but it is still there. Not just from many of his heroes, but from NEW people who market their own brand of country. You people that might be a throwback, like Kurt Fortmeyer, who is a great writer and creates his own way, albeit probably not with as wide spread success as he would like.

We see thousands upon thousands of people coming in and out of town and a really booming industry and town. And yes, it creates a lot of things that are not great. A business that follows the leader even when the leader might not be someone to follow. But these things tend to work themselves out, changes come and we try to deal with them as we can.

But all in all, I wish everyone could come here, see some of these things, the good and the bad. Would really affect how some of you view what is going on and my guess would be that you would each find your own pocket, your own niche, your own group of people and friends that would help you to see it as I do.

So the more things change, the more they stay the same. you have to find the bright spots and not worry so much about what you can't do anything about.
Never let your highs be too high or your lows too low.

Remember, you don't choose music. Music Chooses you.

MAB

#1112890 - 08/11/16 03:35 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Golly, Well,
I was traveling thru Nashville the day after HawkShaw Hawkins,Etc. were killed in that plane crash. It was in the morning papers. I had written a song in the Motel where I was staying. Somehow I found a Hole-in-The-Wall Recording Studio, basically a tape recorder and a microphone. I went in and was going to record the song, of which needed some fine tuning. Don't remember what the guy charged but before I could do anything, he matter-of-Fact told me if I didn't belong to the Musician's Union I couldn't play that guitar! Well so he lost out on a few bucks and I packed up and left! Do I really want to do this! Well I ain't give up yet!

Today I have a good system of pitching material even there are not many opportunities to submit.

Some of my songs are posted on a Web Site listed under New Web Site on the Industry Board.

For those trying it in Nashville you need a good Track Record already before you try it.


Ray E. Strode
#1112995 - 08/12/16 07:30 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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HAWKSHAW HAWKINS???? Good Lord Ray, were you traveling by Conestoga Wagon train on your way to California for the gold rush? LOL! I didn't even realize they HAD motel studios at that time.
JUST KIDDING RAY! You know I share your love of history.

That used to be a big thing, that if you weren't in the Union you couldn't play. It also caused sessions to be very expensive. You;d have to hire five players, have to have an arranger, have to pay the session leader double. MAN, I'm glad I never had to pay those fees, I would have NEVER recorded anything.

But interestingly enough, musicians make about the same now as they did in those days, so the more things change....
MAB

#1113005 - 08/12/16 08:15 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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You should have told her to come to JPF, we could have torn her songs apart (nicely of course). For once I'd like to hear a song sang by a woman about guys not being so bad. I don't think one exists.

#1113016 - 08/13/16 12:42 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Aaron Authier]  
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Heck No Marc,
I was traveling by Pack Mule. I don't think they had invented the Contestoga Wagon yet. Those folks traveled in style!

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 08/13/16 12:44 AM.

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#1133984 - 12/24/17 07:25 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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NASHVILLE IS A 100% CO-WRITING TOWN.

I would like to know why. I can only imagine that the need for speed and quality that drives this fact is borne out of the lucrative end game, except in today's landscape, significant financial gain doesn't seem as possible as perhaps it once was. Or does bragging rights alone drive this?

:Ron

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#1133985 - 12/24/17 07:59 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: RonnieDean]  
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The writers can't make a living when all these people are on the credits.
I hate Nashville and everything it stands for.

#1134010 - 12/26/17 02:52 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Sounds a lot like it is living here in Summit County Colorado where each year kids and some adults like we were come here in droves to live and play in a place that if you have never been here is absolutely breathtaking and even has a Lowes, Target and Walmart. So it's livable. My wife and I came here a computer professionals in 93. Started our own Network and PC fixy shop. Were still here doing this and managed to buy a house here. But oh what a rough place this can be. The housing costs are through the roof and three remedial jobs are what it takes to make it even if renting. We also call them freshmen, sophomores etc.

#1134019 - 12/26/17 10:33 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Originally Posted by RonnieDean
NASHVILLE IS A 100% CO-WRITING TOWN.

I would like to know why. I can only imagine that the need for speed and quality that drives this fact is borne out of the lucrative end game, except in today's landscape, significant financial gain doesn't seem as possible as perhaps it once was. Or does bragging rights alone drive this?

:Ron



HI Ronnie, Happy Holidays.

The answer to your question is one word. COMMUNITY.
Nashville has always been a very tight musical community and it was designed that way from the very beginning.
It started in the 1930's as home to the GRAND OLD OPRY, and L&C insurance put up a large radio tower (that still broadcasts today) that went on WSM radio to 28 states at night. That is what started the community. From there, five railroads intersected and in 1955, Roy Acuff moved here to set up his headquarters, which started the onset of country stars. A Chicago record producer, Named Owen Bradley, bought up a bunch of old houses in a West Nashville street and that became what would be known as "MUSIC ROW."

It was designed to locate all the writers, publishing companies, record labels, managers, musicians, etc. all in a central location. While it is spread out in more areas now, the same community exists, and you find the exact same set ups of people building and developing relationships for years and decades that all grow up together.

You also have to understand that the advent of the "solo written" song, is actually not that common in songwriting. Through most of the history, THE BRILL BUILDING IN THE 20'S AND 30'S New York, Motown, There were usually at least two people involved in writing songs. A composer, which did music and a lyricist, which wrote lyrics. It was very rare that one person did both. That changed somewhat in the 60's with Dylan, but still with the bands of the 60's, 70's and beyond, you usually had multiple writers, Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Lennon AND McCartney, Jagger and Richards, etc. carried on the traditions of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Lowe.

For Nashville writers, even people like Hank Williams Sr. would get advice and help from his publisher, Wesley Rose, who had been a hit songwriter in the big band era of the 30's and 40's. So co-writing was something that came naturally. When you moved to town, the first thing you would (and still do, is develop co-writing relationships which are the way you get to know things and learn the rules of the road. It is actually more important the RELATIONSHIPS that you build than any song or songs.

And those relationships continue throughout your career. Some people you might meet and work with in the beginning, might go on to be the artists, producers, label heads of the future. With the advent of the Internet, and money decreasing in many ways, writers morphed into artist development, artist branding, and found and develop their own artists, ran their marketing, and built the foundations from the ground up.

The same thing has happened throughout music history. With producers like Phil Spector, building artists around him from the ground up. Today in Rap and hip hop, pop, R&B and now even country and pretty much any form of commercial music you can name, there are multiple writers on everything. There are no solo careers and never have been.

And while it is a common misconception that people who co-write, can't write alone, nothing could be farther from the truth. The really good co-writers can write just fine on their own, just choose not to. It is far more fun to write with other people, and more of a challenge. Sitting in a room by yourself can be the most boring activity on earth. Easy to get bored, easy to get distracted. Having writing appointments, give a time line and discipline. And having multiple songs going at any one time, allow your output to rise. More activity, more opportunities. You find many of the greats having multiple hits with multiple co-writers. And in this day and age, if you want a cut, you better be writing with DOZENS of artists, their producers, etc. Because nothing is going to even be considered outside their tight circles. Don't have to consider anything.

If you think about it like this. Think about your own songs. Your emotions and experiences that lead to those songs. The time you take to develop them. The fine tuning that can take weeks, months or years. Developing like your own children. Now think about tons of outside people trying to come to you to get you to take THEIR CHILDREN OVER YOUR OWN. How many of your own songs would you put out of the way to push their's instead? If you are a songwriter, I'm willing to bet none.
And everyone who does this have their OWN DOGS IN THE HUNT. Self preservation.
And of course a lot of people like to say that whole "I hate everything about Nashville." Pretty normal.So much that we are doubling our population continually. I guess so many people hate us they can't wait to move in and join us. Sometimes it would be nice if they didn't hate us so much.

The actual humoring things for a lot of us that have been around the industry for a long time (this is my 40th year involved with it, in multiple facets) is that anyone thinks they could just "write songs" "get them to someone" and suddenly have a career without doing anything in building intense realtionships. There is not a business on earth that works that way, but a lot of people on the Internet seem to think it works that way. Same people, I guess getting all this money from Nigerian Generals who are giving fortunes away. Can't figure out why identity theft is the biggest crime on earth.

Reality is that it is a business of PEOPLE. And that is why it is what it is. In a world full of increasingly superficial people on something like cyberspace, having people and REAL relationships are really more important now than ever.

But it has opened up opportunities for people in their own areas. There are ways to get and build those relationships,but it takes intensive effort. It is why people who actually want to learn the craft and business of writing, need to spend as much time searching out ARTISTS as they do on their writing skills.

That is a long explanation, but it is COMMUNITY. That is this town and this business. That's your answer WHY.
Have a good holiday season.

MAB

#1134023 - 12/27/17 10:09 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Wow, thanks Marc. :-)

While yes, my tunes do take the days, weeks and months to feel they are "ready" to be out on their own, like children, I'd sell em one or all in a hot minute because I look at them like product. You have to. Can't get all wrapped up in yourself now. It's just not productive. And like children, we can always make more. ;-)

:Ron

#1134024 - 12/27/17 10:10 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Aw, Humm, Well,
I guess I will have to go back and read Ralph Emory's book, 50 YEARS DOWN A COUNTRY ROAD and see what he wrote about it. I have it in my Bookcase but it has been some time since I read it. I don't believe there is any Rime or Reason to say Nashville is a Co-Writing Town except to say a lot of writers need some help in writing songs. Well good songs, that is.


Ray E. Strode
#1134038 - 12/27/17 10:03 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ronnie,

That is not exactly what I am talking about. I am talking about you promoting OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILDREN (Songs) over your own. Other songs that you might not even feel are as strong as yours. That is what is being asked of anyone who has built their own reputation and connections. Songs are very subjective and for someone to take one of yours over their own, particularly when you haven't done the same things they have done sacrifice wise, is simply going against human emotion and self preservation.

Ray, reading Ralph's book I'm sure would be a good read, but he was not really involved with writers. He was involved with artists and they are quite different things and communities. But if you do read it you will find elements of the same things over and over. People meet at the beginnings of their career, build teams, build businesses, and grow together. That is the business.

If you want to read a more complete history of Nashville, you might want to read "How Nashville became Music City" by Micheal Kosser, who builds a pretty difinitive version .But if you are not here, have never been around the community and know very little of the eticates, rules, and how an entire business came together, you would not be able to understand much past the silly "A lot of writers need some help writing songs" which is about as ridiculous on it's face as any statement made. Seeing no "Rhyme or reason" is a pretty simplistic way to look at it and and is more or less, just plain ignorance.

I guess that is why everyone from most every other form of music want to come here as well. But you can believe what ever you want to. Most people are pretty misquided in the same way.

MAB

#1134039 - 12/27/17 10:49 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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How Nashville became Music City.

I'll do it. sounds like fun reading.

#1134049 - 12/28/17 10:30 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I liked Irving Berlin....SOLO...lol.....But there have been a lot of Great Broadway writers where there was and is a lyricist and a melody writer....I don't care how a song gets done as long as it is one that makes me feel something....A little tried of Bar and Drunk and Truck songs....lol

#1134050 - 12/28/17 10:33 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Well,
I took the book off the shelf and looked at some of the contents. It appears he did cover how Nashville became Music City, etc.
Of course it is common practice for "Birds of a Feather" to flock together. No doubt songwriters get together and write songs. unless they can't find someone to write with. Someone once said before you can write a song about a part of life you need to live some of it and writing songs that sound real takes experience. So you need to live to 40 before you are equipped to write anything real. That's why a lot of younger writers don't write anything that will stand the test of time.

I was listening to Ralph Emory interview George Jones one time, back in the Stone age. It appears George Billed himself as Thumper Jones because of Elvis and everybody was trying to do Rock Music. It was the first and only time I heard the Title mentioned. Many years later I remembered the Interview and in inspired my song THUMPER JONES that is now up on the Web Site listed on the Industry Board, New Web Site.

Yesterday I got a call from my old Publisher. I thought he had quit but he told me he was now also a ASCAP Publisher! He already had a BMI Affiliation. He moved back to New York a couple of years ago. Write a Hit!


Ray E. Strode
#1134051 - 12/28/17 10:39 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Yes, Irving Berlin did write alone. In 1905. Things have changed a good deal since then.

The point is answering Ronnie's question. Which I did. Historical perspective and background, and reality of today. That is what I do.

The thing is that EVERYBODY has their CHOICE to do what works for them. If writing by yourself, works for you, gets you where you want to go, then by all means you embrace that.

If you were to go to ANY BUSINESS, LAW, CONSTRUCTION, FINANCE, SERVICE INDUSTRIES, MANUFACTURING, you name it, you have to LEARN the RULES of the business you are going into. You don't go do things your own way. You don't dictate anything to others how YOU think things should be run. You do whatever it takes to get you where you need to go.

When it comes to Nashville it was DESIGNED a certain way for a REASON. And that reason is COMMUNITY. If you don't like community, then this is not the place for you. Now to be honest, I HAVE NO IDEA where the place is for you, because EVERYBODY has their own opinions of what makes for good or great songs. Very subjective.
In the real world, you write with others because that is the way you achieve what you are going to achieve.

Or you don't achieve. Every thing is a choice.

MAB

#1134052 - 12/28/17 10:48 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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What good is community when there is a job to do?
Is it because community efforts have historically bore out the best product?

It cant be just because it feels good. What "industry" can survive that?

#1134058 - 12/28/17 11:33 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Hey Ronnie,

What good is community ? It's everything. Without it, no-one succeeds.

To co-write and to be a part of the whole, is better than being the left over slice which no-one wants to take a bite of.

And besides, it's more fun. smile

cheers, niteshift

#1134106 - 12/29/17 04:10 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ronnie,

What exactly is the "job" you think is NOT being done? Nashville product is very healthy. Country concerts sell out continually, country stars are on nearly every magazine, television, involved with awards shows, are integrated in almost every type of music there is. Taylor Swift Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesny, Faith and Tim, are among the highest paid entertainers in the world. Nashville studios, record labels, musicians crank out endless product. Nashville writer, producers, are still very well involved in the overall music industry, and we continue to grow in leaps and bounds, so exactly what is NOT getting done?

Community is essential in every business. How much do you understand about how business works? In music, it involves writers, but then you have to have artists (which now are more and more the same), musicians, producers labels, publishers, producers, advertising, agencies banking, merchandising, and thousands and thousands of other essential and non-essential people. No one does EVERYTHING It is all segmented. That is community. And it is involved in every form of endeavor. Has nothing to do with "feeling good." It is called BUSINESS SURVIVAL.
In companies like GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, AMAZON, and every other business out there, there is community. That is the nature of business. It is also a COMPETITIVE COMMUNITY. So alliances between other members of that community is how it operates and survives. Or doesn't. And those who usually don't play well with others, are the one's that "used to be in the business."

So if you can do everything yourself, by all means do it. I believe if you came here and saw what it is we actually do, you would understand it pretty quickly. If you want to participate in this, you probably should learn about what you want to participate in.

MAB

#1134114 - 12/29/17 06:40 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Oh I know it takes a village to crank out a product. We were taking, if you recall, about Nashville being a 100% Co-write town. Maybe the truth gets filtered a bit by the time it gets out west but wasn't Taylor a sole writer? And if so, how'd that go over?

#1134115 - 12/29/17 07:17 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: RonnieDean]  
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I'm done with Nashville as it is just a money making scene and ART be damned and by the way Pop and Rap/Hip hop is even worse. I don't remember Taylor or Simon & Garfunkel having 20 dancing grinding girls behind them. What's that all about. It would be a riot if somebody got James playing and singing on a bar stool and put 20 grinding girls and guys behind him....It's a freaking joke. It's plastic music and plastic performers...I'm not talking about the obscure singer songwriters now...

#1134117 - 12/29/17 08:04 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I mean Swift sorry for taking that liberty. :-)

How much time did you spend there btw.

That Garfunkel image That's pretty funny. I'll try to un-see it now. :-)

#1134118 - 12/29/17 08:21 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ronnie,

When Taylor Swift moved to town she wrote with nearly everybody. She had a publishing deal at 14, as one of the youngest people Sony ever signed. Her main mentor was Liz Rose, who co-wrote almost every thing on her first two albums. But Liz told me that she did more "editing" than anything else. Nothing succeeds like success and they built an entire company based around her. But I've seen hundreds of the exact same things put together around artist, writers, Hollywood actors and actresses, (every actor wants to be a singer and every singer wants to be an actor) people with extroidinary amounts of money, fame, publicity, etc. Just doesn't always work out.

They hired a very successful producer label head, Scott Borchetta, and the rest is history. Again, community.

Ray, actually Paul Simon has used choreography and dancing girls several times in his shows. And breaking out of a mold is something that happens throughout pop, rock music. Go back and find out what happened to Dylan at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival, when he "went electric." He was hated, and booed off the stage many times. Same with The Beatles when they went into "Rubber Soul" and Revolver" and alientated their former fans. The Stones when they went "Disco" with "Shattered" and "Miss You." Elvis, when he went from his rock and roll phase to his Movie phase and then his LAS VEGAS phase.

Towns, Cities, artists, writers, have a long history of losing fans and picking up new ones. If you don't like Nashville, that is fine. Pretty sure it doesn't care that much about what you think.

MAB

#1134119 - 12/29/17 08:29 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Stones sure did go disco. Thank goodness Boston and Van Halen came along. Those were some dismal times.

#1134120 - 12/29/17 08:34 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Why was a 14 year old taken seriously by a mean ole machine like the Nashville music scene? She must a been sump'n on a stick.

Last edited by RonnieDean; 12/29/17 09:30 PM.
#1134121 - 12/29/17 09:27 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Well Barry,
It appears I have turned into you. Now on with a bit of info I have learned from 50 YEARS DOWN A COUNTRY ROAD. It appears Nashville becoming Music City was just a lark. The Aristocrats at the time wanted Nashville to be the Athens of the South. I assume that was Athens, Greece a very advanced City 2000 or so years ago. But even tho most hated the music on the Opry and bigger Artists had yet to arrive. But as all good things Nashville grew into Music City as time went by. Now most songs have at least 2 writers on them and some more.
In the early days Electric instruments and drums weren't allowed on the Opry.

I have More Memories also by Ralph Emery and Three Chords and the Truth by Laurence Leamer plus Rough Mix by Jimmy Bowen I may re-read. A lot of songs were recorded by lessor Artists before they were covered by Major Artists and became huge Hits


Ray E. Strode
#1134122 - 12/29/17 09:39 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I never saw popular music as art. More like chips. The same but different. Accessible by all hopefully without them even trying. Seems more practical, and you won't get as upset if someone doesn't like your chips. The lions share of popular music is cheap. Always has been ever since the 50s at least. Works for me.

I dislike Sugarland though. That's just a bit too much for my nervous system

#1134125 - 12/30/17 05:07 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Hey Ronnie, would you be willing to answer a computer related question? (I know you do it for a living so if you don't want to offer it up for free, I understand). I have a laptop that is ancient and it was the first to come with an SSD drive as well as a second regular hard drive. Problem is they put the operating system on the SSD drive and due to windows updates (and other system programs) it has filled up the drive completely, blocking updates, but also crashing and not allowing me to do anything beyond use this single browser (and even this gets constant warnings about too little drive space). I tried to delete any and all programs which are forced installed into that drive and due to the complete lack of space, it won't even let me do that. (Apparently it needs some amount of space to delete stuff). I tried going in manually to delete files and did as many as I can access, and I briefly had about 200 meg of space but that immediately filled up with some attempted backed up update that was waiting to pounce. I do have a new cpu, but this one actually works better for browsing plus it knows all my passwords and the new one knows none of them and it is a nightmare to try and recall log ins that used defunct email addresses etc. Any suggestion? Thanks in advance.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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#1134135 - 12/30/17 11:37 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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RonnieDean  Offline
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I would absolutely love to help and would gladly do it as a favor to you and surely can. The thing is, unless you are a fighter pilot tech it can be a challenge from here. I assume this is windows 8, 8.1 or 10?

If you walked in my door with this problem we would get you a greater capacity SSD, take the SSD out of your PC, and clone it using Acronis True Image to the bigger one proportionally resizing your "fortress" to contain the new size of the new SSD and all it free space.

Any tech shop where you live should be able to do that. And Acronis isn't the only cloner, just the one we like.

I have the ability to connect in to customer's around the world over the internet using screen connect so if you would like I could do that and maybe free up some space. The big thing is c:\windows\software distribution where all microsoft automatic corrupdates go. This can get filled up and can be deleted without detriment but not if the Windows Update Service is running.

This is my own personal opinion: You don't need Automatic Updates and all it's pain. We disable the Windows Update Service and then delete that c:\windows\software distribution folder as a matter of course on our personal machines. This way they work more like toasters. Up when I want em up, and down when I don't, without the "getting ready to run windows" - really?

To do this yourself do this.

Run control panel.
If you have a few icons in there and not administrative tools, select large icons to see it.
Then select Administrative tools, then in there Services.
Go to the bottom of the services list and find the Windows Update Service.
Right click on that service and select Startup Options. Set it to Disabled.
Click apply and [X] your way out of control panel.

Now restart Windows.

Windows may apply a stored updates in there still so don't be too alarmed if you still get a please wait from windows here. Once Windows is up you can select the c:\windows\software distribution folder and hold down the SHIFT then tap the delete key. Respond "Yes, yes yes... Ron said it was ok to do this" to every prompt. Then it, and all it cronies will be gone freeing up that space and because Automatic Updates are now disabled, won't come back.

BTW:Shift-delete is "don't send to recycle bin, just totally delete this"

Another thing is to clear out your temp folder too which is ok to do and really can accumulate stuff. This is not the temporary internet files but all the stuff left over from installers.

Close all programs.
Type %temp% in the windows search. This will open up your temp folder. My, look at all the stuff!
Shift select them all and again and while holding down the SHIFT key , tap delete to bannish them all.

That may help you, again I can connect up with your permission and just do all this too.

:Ron

#1134137 - 12/30/17 12:23 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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This gives me a headache and don't understand any of it.....LOL

#1134140 - 12/30/17 02:22 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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RonnieDean  Offline
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That's alright Barry.

#1134141 - 12/30/17 03:44 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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LOLOL...

#1134296 - 01/02/18 12:58 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Hello Ronnie, Sorry for the delay have been sick with this insane cold over the holidays and dealing with music was pretty much the last thing on my mind.

Taylor was one of the thousands upon thousands of young male and female artists that come to town monthly trying to do this. But there was something different about her and I can only give you my perceptions. They come from meeting her and knowing people who worked with her from the beginning.

She had an instinctive way of writing that was amazingly developed for a person of her age. She didn't talk in sophomoric terms, had very engaging melodies and even when she did songs from a somber perspective (break up songs which are endemic in 13-22 year old girls) she did it with a positive "I'm moving on" spin that was quite different from the way most others would approach it.

She was a very polite, very attentive girl that listened when most others her age would talk about themselves. She was humble and very well mannered. And she worked ALL THE TIME at her craft. She was signed to Sony because of enormous work she was doing in other parts of the countries, performing at Shopping Malls, and doing the early days of MYSPACE, and FACEBOOK. She built an enormous following BEFORE she was signed to any record deal.

She was taken around to all the publishers, and turned down. But she continued to write with people and build relationships all the time doing things OUTSIDE of Nashville that increased her fan base. Her songs, brought more and more people to her "BRAND" and she expanded the demographic of the fan base.

Where country music was usually an "older format", age 25-42, 70% female, she expanded her audience demographic to 13-55, 70% female. She did the same thing with "younger people" that Garth Brooks did to "rock energy in shows" 20 years before.

Her Father and several other investors put a company around her and her music. They hired one of the top record people in the town, Scott Borchetta, and gave him a raise to leave the company he worked with, Universal.

In every stage of her career, she allowed her audience to grow with her. And while you can "fool some of the people, some of the time" she didn't. She was the "real deal." She was a very instinctive writer, well beyond her years. She also was (and is) a consumate business person, designing her videos, her tours, her employees. Her label became the biggest label in Nashville and she became a cash cow. And international celebrity.

Basically she connected with her audience and has never stopped. Her songs have always made them feel "she is writing about them." The downfall of almost all writers and artists are not understanding their audiences and only writing about themselves. She didn't do that.

She is an industry in music the same way Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas are in the movie industry. She has gotten plenty of detractors over the years and of course, older guy writers always complain, because it is NOT THEIR TYPE OF MUSIC,but who cares because THEY DON'T PAY FOR MUSIC. And those same people hated Elvis and the Beatles when they came out too.

All of this is really pretty simple.
You develop a product that resonates with the public.
You always stay interactive with that public. It is about THEM, NOT YOU.
You increase that audience to a point where they actually PAY FOR WHAT YOU DO.
You incestantly market your product and expand your audience.
You build alliances with the centers for that product.
You deal with WHAT IS, not WHAT IF'S.
You keep your dreams injected with REALITY. Don't be who you are not.
You keep your costs managable, and understand the industry you are involved in.
You repeat.

If you break it down to that, it is not quite as overwhelming.
MAB

#1134298 - 01/02/18 01:52 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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Hey Marc, hope you feel 100% real soon. It's terrible to be an organism when there is so much to do!

Thanks for the insightful response.

I always try to write from an imaginary "what others must feel like in their situation" as the trick is to dial numbers that have the most people pick it up and say Hello, you're speaking to me!

#1134302 - 01/02/18 02:35 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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Hey Marc what do you think of Taylor's Songs today in Pop? Do you thing she thinks she made a mistake. She seems to be trying to be like everybody else when in reality she WAS a one of a kind. I loved her but I listen and watch her now on some of the shows and it seemed like somebody else took over here body and soul. Just wondering what you think about this. I am not saying I'm right but as you know songs and art are so subjective.....HAPPY NEW YEAR my friend and thanks for all you contribute to this wonderful site....Barry

#1134336 - 01/03/18 10:25 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Hello Barry, Happy New Year,

Understand that when I talk about Taylor, I am speaking much more as an observer of sociatal and culture changes, as well as from personal observations as to how careers develop. I'm sort of clinical, not emotional, in these things, sort of like a scientist viewing things and trying to figure out how they happen and what information I can pass on to people I work with to emulate much of the same.

An artist I worked with, Frankie Ballard, has gone on to decent success by doing some of this, namely staying located in his home town of Kalamazoo Michigan, instead of packing off to Nashville. It stayed focused on his home fan base which made the industry more interested in him when he was signed. He has gone on to become a number one artist and I do believe it was because he focused on his fan base and built that before he made the move to Nashville. Today there is NOTHING more important to artists, (and by extension, writers) to their FAN and AUDIENCE BASE. Everything else is simply missing the point.

Taylor's music has grown and changed. But ALL PEOPLE GROW AND CHANGE. If you look at her AUDIENCE, the type of music she has developed into is what THEY developed into. If you track her albums over the years, her fan base has not only grown, but she has ALSO kept her original base, while expanding it. She has become a MOGUL, and is the driving force behind many changes, looks, etc. that shape public opinions. And it's been interesting to watch.

I feel she has morphed HOLLYWOOD into her music, videos that look like movies, approaches and concepts that have more in common with Steven Spielberg or Ridley Scott, than anything in country music. She is very high tech, and if you think about her image, who is she mentioned with? She is on magazines with Charleze Theron, and hot babe Hollywood movie stars. She runs in and out of the fashion world of Paris, New York, LA. She is as likely to be seen at the Caan Film festival as the CMA awards. Yet she still MAKES the CMA and Grammy Awards. And while she is still considered a "NASHVILLE' business (her record label, publishing and most of her business is located here) she is truly a "WORLD artist."

When I think of Taylor, I draw paralells with some earlier Icons. ELVIS, and THE BEATLES, (and to a degree, earlier, Sinatra) These are the Gold standard for CULTURAL ICONS. And while we still revere their music, most of us were not here in the beginning of those reins. I, of course am a "cultural historian" so I do a lot of research, reading, talking to people who were there, so I see it from larger perspectives. In order to know where you are going, you have to know where you've been.

ELVIS AND THE BEATLES rose above their contemporaries at the time, by MARKETING. They were on lunch boxes, in every magazine of the day, controlled their environment. People can complain all day about COL. TOM PARKER, But My GOD, Elvis was EVERYWHERE in the 1950's. He wasn't Tab Hunter or Frankie Avalon, who only could emulate him. He impacted fashion, people wore those pink shirts, had ducktails.
The Beatles did the same. The entire culture revolved around what they did.
And when their music changed in 1965-66, and they went from being "THE FAB FOUR" they did what their audience was doing. Changing. Yet they kept their base.
And even their controversy's drove interest in them. Elvis going to the Army, John saying They were more popular than Jesus. They dominated the culture as well as music.

I've seen it twice here up close and personal. I was right in the thick of things when this guy from Oklahoma came to town in 1987, right before I got here. I met him and saw him from the first night of his launch to fame. As a matter of fact, Garth Brooks sort of derailed my own career.

In 1988 when I moved to Nashville, I was considered "THE NEW GREAT HOPE." I was courted by record labels and publishers. I did something I called "In Your Face Country Soul", which was a combination of country and Motown R&B and Southern Rock. Hard edge, with a ragged voice, there were actually five of us at the time. Delbert McClinton, T. Graham Brown, Lee Roy Parnell, and Travis Tritt. All of us had the same attitudes, same type of approach to music, same "Southern Rock meets Nashville" sound. I was actually the fifth guy in line for a record deal and had developed to a point where we thought it was all going to happen.
Then Garth hit like a nuclear explosion.

And suddenly it was all pressed jeans and shirts, cowboy hats, a hard traditional swing, but the live stage shows were all lights, lasers, excitements. He did a television show called "THIS IS GARTH BROOKS" which was basically a live concert of his, broke nine guitars, and went into history. "FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES" became THE PARTY SONG, and in two years, the gross products of country music went from $236 million to $2.5 BILLION dollars. That was the "GARTH EFFECT."
Last year he made around $500 million dollars. He impacts the culture, and still does it.

I was there in the middle of all of that, and part of my philosophy that there are things you can do and things you have no control over come from that experience.

Taylor has done the same thing. So what we all have to remember is that while we might not be thrilled about music or other decisions these people make, we are NOT the ones that matter. Their audiences are.

And if you want to see the power of Taylor, do you know who else records for her label, and in effect work for her?
Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts. And God Knows who else by now.

So you see, music is just a part of all of this equation. It is about THE CULTURE. And for good or bad, they make their decisions. I look at Taylor and then look at Miley Cyrus or Lindsey Lohan. Taylor recently has gone through flack in the press because she DIDN'T jump on the "COMPLAIN ABOUT TRUMP" bandwagon. She keeps her politics to herself.

For that alone, she always has my enduring respect.

MAB

#1134345 - 01/03/18 11:35 AM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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OK......I was a huge Fan and she lost me to pop crap. I'm just disappointed. You talk about changing the culture and she's more Hollywood and I get it But I thought she was a wonderful thoughtful songwriter and told amazing stories and all I see now is her jumping around the stage trying to dance and strut with 10 of HER girls bumping and grinding to her catchy melodies (Words stink now) and and I think it's a shame. But thanks for your take on it.....Shame....

#1134351 - 01/03/18 01:18 PM Re: ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Barry,

Think about who HER influences were. Janet Jackson. Shania Twain. Madonna. CHER. TINA TURNER. All of THOSE WOMEN WERE THE BAR. They all danced around and strutted with their dancers. It is what THAT TYPE OF MUSIC IS. That is what turns people from being big in one form of music to DOMINATE THEIR GENRE.

Do you remember what a "triple threat" is in acting? Acting, Dancing, Singing. Gene Kelly. Fred Astaire. James Cagney.
Now who does it?
HUGH JACKMAN.

It is the way you cut through in your idiom and dominate your genre.

She's just doing the next logical progression. She started out as a young female artist.
Dominated that.

She became one of the most accomplished and respected songwriters.
Dominated that.

Remained fresh and continued her realm in the creative side as well as the business and all aspects of the industry.
DOMINATED THAT.

She has now expanded into culture, clothes, endorsements, motion pictures (she's producing those too)
DOMINATED THAT.

What do you expect her to do?

You always have her older stuff, or have other artists you can gravitate to. But she is going to continue to dominate.

MAB

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