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#1117030 - 10/07/16 02:21 PM Writing with Heroes  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Writing with SHAUN MURPHY

Had kind of a cool thing happen to me yesterday, might as well share it here. One of the fortunate thing about myself and my life here is being able to write with some heroes. Over the years one of my favorite bands is LITTLE FEAT. They were formed in the 70's with Lowell George in LA and became a pretty big cult band over the years. They have some medium level hits but have a very loyal following. I was even in a Little Feat tribute band called BIG SHOES for a time. After the leader of Feat, Lowell George died in 1979, the band reformed with existing and new members. One of those members was a blazing R&B and blues singer, Shaun Murphy. She was incredible and had great success with the Feat was on their records and live, as well as her own band and another singer, BOB SEEGER. She is on most of his records, and you have probably heard her vocals.

She lives in Nashville and I met her a few years ago and we have crossed paths from time to time. I had heard her but she just knew OF me. We had some mutual friends, and finally ran into each other at the MUSIC STARTS HERE event Tuesday. She called the next day and we got together yesterday.

The thing about writing with legend artists is that you have to prove yourself even more than usual. When they have been around the biggest writers and artists in the business, that is a pretty big pair of shoes to fill. (pun intended.)
But we were able to do it. I approach everything the same way. Get a conversation going, find a groove to start with, and start writing. I write from the first line down and she threw out a couple things that kicked it into gear. I usually don't say very much and write things down, not touching the guitar until I have a verse/chorus in my mind. I constantly look for subject matter that they have not done. I try to avoid male/female relationships for the most part because everyone has millions of those.

The result, "Get out of my Own Way" is something we both go through and I think is prevalent with a lot of people. Sometimes we create our own roadblocks and need to get out of our own way to make them come together. The song really worked and hopefully Shaun might do it on her upcoming project. At any rate it gives me another side of a subject I deal with constantly. Thought I'd show you the lyrics.

OUT OF MY OWN WAY
MAB/SHAUN MURPHY
10-6-2016


These dreams donít have a face
These plans donít have a time
Long as Iím moving forward
Not looking back behind
Always a good day, rolling down this highway,
Long as I stay, out of my own way

Iíve been known to wallow,
Iíve been known to crawl
Iíve had pride to swallow
But survived it all
Learned the hard way, put it in my resume
And Iíll be okay, long as I stay out of my own way

Chorus/bridge
Iíve been beat up, Iíve been kicked down
But I donít stay there for long
Thereís not a problem, I canít overcome
And come back twice as strong

Have a little faith
Take on the unknown
When it stares you in the face
You know where you belong
At the end of the day, come what may
Know your place and stay out of your own way

So that was it. Was a lot of fun and got something we both can apply to our lives. Was a good experience. Thanks Shaun.

MAB

Last edited by Brian Austin Whitney; 10/12/16 08:29 AM.
#1117039 - 10/07/16 04:53 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Congrats Marc.

Always cool to get a chance to work with a musical hero.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#1117049 - 10/07/16 05:47 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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MidniteBob Online content
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Raleigh, ya'll
Too KEWL, Marc!!!

I had to read your post 3 times to take it all in.

I have my own "Feat" stories, including one time at a brunch gig in a cafe, where me & my guitar partner had a weekly Sunday Brunch thing going on, when a family came in. The mother was going through "chemo"....They asked if we knew any Little Feat songs...We pulled Dixie Chicken & Willin' outta our butts:-)

But enough about me:-)

It seems like you had a very well earned "life" experience.

Congrats!!!

Keep on keepin' on!!!

Midnite

P.S...Bob Seeger????

I was a child in Michigan...Circa early 60's... We had a beach. The beach had a "clubhouse". On Saturdays, the "clubhouse" had concerts...My older brother and sister wanted to go hear the music and maybe kiss a girl or boy or two.

Our parents didn't trust my older siblings, so my siblings presented me as "evidence" that The Clubhouse music was "harmless", because they were taking me along.

At the Clubhouse, on a few Saturday nights, when I was 7 years old, I heard, "Live":

The Bob Seeger System
Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels
MC5

Granted, I don't have any memories of the music. I was too busy wading in the water and trying to catch minnows while my siblings were doing whatever it was that they were doing.

Bottom line, and end of my rambling?

Thanks for posting this!!!!




Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1117051 - 10/07/16 06:21 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: MidniteBob]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Thanks Midnight. Yes, Shawn sings with Seeger in his live shows and has been on recorded songs of his like Katmandu, Still The Same, and others. She is a well known entity and that was part of how she ended up with the Feat.

I was involved with a Little Feat Tribute band, called BIG SHOES (a big pair of shoes to fill) for a while. Part of the difficulty was in recreating certain songs accurately because there are different versions of them out there and in the studio sometimes the drugs took effect over some of the recordings. So it presents a lot of challenges.

But Shaun is very cool and very professional. Was a nice experience. Thanks for reading and commenting.

MAB

#1117052 - 10/07/16 06:29 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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MidniteBob Online content
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Raleigh, ya'll
Marc?

The pleasure is all mine:-)

Thanks!

Midnite


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1117063 - 10/07/16 08:43 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: MidniteBob]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Wow! That's really cool Marc!

Thought I'd add this from a Google:

"Murphy's career in vocals has been both as band lead singer and session singer. She has sung, toured, and recorded with such acts as the Moody Blues, Bob Seger, Herbie Hancock, Phil Collins, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Maria Muldaur, Bruce Hornsby, Michael Bolton, J.J. Cale, Coco Montoya, Alice Cooper, Chuck Brown Little Feat, and rock musicals, Hair and Sgt. Pepper's"

Best, John smile

#1117070 - 10/07/16 10:15 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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MidniteBob Online content
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Raleigh, ya'll
Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
Wow! That's really cool Marc!

Thought I'd add this from a Google:

"Murphy's career in vocals has been both as band lead singer and session singer. She has sung, toured, and recorded with such acts as the Moody Blues, Bob Seger, Herbie Hancock, Phil Collins, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Maria Muldaur, Bruce Hornsby, Michael Bolton, J.J. Cale, Coco Montoya, Alice Cooper, Chuck Brown Little Feat, and rock musicals, Hair and Sgt. Pepper's"

Best, John smile



Dayum, JLS!

Thanks for that!!!

It makes Marc's experience that much more special!...
....And raises my jealousy factor to the umpth degree!:-)

And my apologies for adding an extra "E" into Mr. Bob Seger's last name:-)

Midnite


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1117088 - 10/08/16 02:02 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: MidniteBob]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Bob,

I did it too. I think Seger doesn't have enough "E's" in his name. LOL! She really is like most of the people I've worked with in this business. The more accomplished they are, the nicer they are. She's is about as down to earth as they get.

Thanks for the Google post, John. Very cool stuff. She had started off as an actress, which is how she was in all those musicals. One thing leads to another in this world.

MAB

#1117090 - 10/08/16 02:07 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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On that "celebrity front" I just was watching and episode of "Modern Family" and my friend and co-writer Jim Peterk, has "Eye of the Tiger" in it, (on a beach in Hawaii and done by a guy and a ukulele.)

That would be a song to have!

#1117225 - 10/10/16 04:23 AM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Dave Whitehead Offline
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I don't know much. Is it common to write lyrics and then write it's music?

That said, I like the lyrics: smart and tight. Does writing get easier?

#1117234 - 10/10/16 12:54 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Dave Whitehead]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Dave,

I don't know if you are asking me the question but I will answer them as best I can. Second one first.

"Does writing get easier?"
Yes and no. It gets easier to formulate ideas, to find frameworks for songs, to get ideas on the paper and pointed in a direction.
No, because you expect more from yourself and others. When you deal in a professional sense, you are dealing with a lot of opinions that have input on something. Producers, managers, labels, publishers, etc. That go from "Writing for friends or yourself", but in a more business sense, to sell product.
Now, I tend to be faster and more efficient, writing everything in about an hour and a half. And often, there is less re-writing.
I feel like I "hit the target I am going for" a higher percentage of the time.

First question:
"Is it common to write lyrics then write it's music?"

There is not one way, different people have different methods. Some people like to come in, throw ideas around and decide on one and map it out. Some bring existing lyrics and music. Some will go a couple of lines at a time. All across the spectrum.

My writing style developed through writing with a lot of hit writers. Since in Nashville and in most publishers offices, you have a number of things going on at any one time. Everyone has multiple appointments at a time, other responsibilities, working with artists, they are in and out of town and on the road. So time is essential.

I tend to write both at the same time. It usually starts by just talking. What is going on in our respective lives. In this case, Shaun and I are pretty typical of artists, in "getting in our own way." We are both challenged by technology and changes made in the music industry. This is pretty typical. Anyone over about 35, usually has a learning curve when it comes to technology.

Many of the lines used are things Shaun said in general conversation, more than something that was "written down." Most every line in the song are shared experiences we have gone through in our lives. So translating that to lyrics was pretty easy. I tend to write that way, listening to what people say in their natural voice, rather than try to manufacture lines.

The melody and groove, came after both of us playing some current and past songs we enjoy. I played her a couple of current country artists, namely a girl named Maren Morris, and a song called "Church." Her's were a couple of older blues artists. We were trying to find a tempo and feel that was a combination of two or three of those, and trying to find something she did not have in her catalog.

When I have a verse and chorus (or in this case REFRAIN), or a general shape of the song, I play that and see if we are in the ballpark. If it works, we continue. If it was off track, we switch directions, or tweak accordingly.

The idea is to get as much on the paper as you can, so that both of you can go your separate ways and work on it individually. Many songs in Nashville are written in "TWO's", with one to get the general direction and then another appointment to firm it up, after working individually.

We are getting back together in a couple of weeks and will see where we are from there. I tend to like to perform songs out to test them and try them out, which I did the night after we wrote it. But Shaun doesn't want me to do that as she wants to work on it in her own way for a while. So I won't be playing it again for a while.

I guess this might be too much information for your question, but that is how we did this. Hope it answers.

MAB







#1117238 - 10/10/16 01:53 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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John Voorpostel Offline
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Well I took some time to dig into Shaun Murphy before responding Marc, so I found JLS's Wikipedia references and man, this lady is a powerhouse.

BTW, to John's list I will add Eric Clapton and Meatloaf and from her site, here she is singing on Jay Leno with Little Feat http://www.shaunmurphyband.com/videos/


I have to think that even for someone like you, who has been around the music business block a few times that this was a great experience Marc.


Thanks for sharing it...and your collab with her. Hope she sings the He!! out of it.


If writing ever becomes work I think I'm going to have to stop

iAccountant --- Info L inc --- Taxboard
#1117342 - 10/11/16 12:42 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: John Voorpostel]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Well I don't know. Is Bill Anderson still around?


Ray E. Strode
#1117397 - 10/11/16 07:09 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Wow, that one can end up anywhere! Congrats, Marc.

I hear you on Little Feat. Them, Allman Brs, Trucks ect are fantastic musicians. I personally loved what Little Feat did with Ry Cooder in the 80'ies, but I can't help myself being passionate about gtrs.

Got a Finnish friend who's a Little Feat fan too, we talk a lot of music history and songs when we meet.

Lifetime achievement for you Marc, hope you'll end up with a nice prize too cool


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#1117440 - 10/12/16 08:29 AM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Kolstad]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Hey Marc,

Just a fun FYI, we came across another song which had been flagged for possible nomination in our awards which was co-written by you and turned out to be a cover. Sorry, I don't have the song title handy, but that's 3 awards in a row a song written by you for someone else has randomly popped up in awards screening.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#1117559 - 10/13/16 01:23 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Thanks for the interest guys. yes John and Kolstead, it is an honor to be able to hang out and write with some of these people, I'm very flattered that they include me. Have had a lot of career highs in this life. Could drop off tomorrow and I've had a pretty good run. Thank you.

Brian, that is interesting. What does that mean, "Co-written by me but turned out to be covers?" At 3000 plus songs since 2013, there is a lot of "Me" out there, but the majority of the people I write with are firmly involved in the co-writing process. So they are not just "me" writing them. Almost always are ideas they come in with and actually parts of their lives they are physically going through. The lines and most of the songs are things they actually say, I just write them down and show them the process of putting reality into their songs.

I honestly don't know what happens with a lot of these songs, since many of the people are not regular visitors or live in Nashville. But rarely a few weeks go by without me getting or someone posting a song I have written with them in their videos on Facebook, You tube, or send me a CD. Once we write them, they go record them in their own sources, or do a lot of whatever they feel the need or ability to do.

A few have shown up in contests, and gotten publishing interest or helped them further their careers on down the road, which is the purpose.

Now if it is a "cover" of one of my songs, that happens too and I myself have done versions of cover songs, although not as many recorded.

At any rate, they are co-equal writers on anything that is sent in. IF that disqualifies them, I do understand but they are involved in the co-writing process.

Thanks for the posts.

MAB

#1118020 - 10/20/16 12:12 AM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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I will try to find the song, though I think I may have lost track of it. I mean cover in that the person who "covered" it is not you or your co-writer, nor affiliated with you in any way I could find. Obviously you didn't enter it. Remember, we screen ALL songs on a CD, and good ones get flagged by judges. So multiple rounds of judge (who blind screen for the most part) liked your song but for the submitter to get nominated it must be written by them or at least must be a first ever release of the song. If I can find it, I will let you know. It's at least the third time this has happened with someone covering a song you wrote or co-wrote.


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#1118042 - 10/20/16 01:32 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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A small note,
The word "Cover" seems to be mis understood. When an Artist puts out a song for public sale, in other words, Published, anyone can record and release the song by paying the licensing fee. The next person that records and releases the song is called a Cover. Many songs have been covered by many artists. Some too many times to count.


Ray E. Strode
#1118055 - 10/20/16 03:52 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Hey guys. Thanks for the heads up Brian. As I said, I have had many songs recorded, many I don't even know about. Liscencing fees would always be nice but with most people selling in the literal tens of copies, they don't make a lot of sense.

Would always be nice to know what songs of mine are floating around on contests. Kind of surprised to know people submit songs they didn't write to contests which are designed for writers. Are they under the impression you are doing a TALENT contest or a writers contest?

Thanks for the heads up Brian.

MAB

#1118090 - 10/21/16 12:50 AM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Hey guys. Thanks for the heads up Brian. As I said, I have had many songs recorded, many I don't even know about. Liscencing fees would always be nice but with most people selling in the literal tens of copies, they don't make a lot of sense.

Would always be nice to know what songs of mine are floating around on contests. Kind of surprised to know people submit songs they didn't write to contests which are designed for writers. Are they under the impression you are doing a TALENT contest or a writers contest?

Thanks for the heads up Brian.

MAB


You misunderstand a bit Marc. We're not a "contest" where people submit a song to try and win a prize. We're an awards, and we have both songs categories, and even more album categories, similar in some ways to the Grammys in that entire albums are submitted and judges sift through them, mark songs and albums that "move" them, and as the collective results come in, they may pick out any number or songs not written by the artist. The judges has no idea who wrote what, and because we do have a "cover" category, all songs are eligible for something regardless. But, once we get down to the final round before nominations, we verify writers and if a song wasn't written by someone connected to the artist, (or the songwriter who entered it obviously) then it is only eligible if it is a first release for a song award which goes to both the writer(s) and artist. If it is a cover (i.e. it was previously released by someone else) then the award is solely for the performance of the song, not the composition.

I looked last night and couldn't find the song. It was in a category other than Country or similar, but if I find it I will let you know.

Brian


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#1118093 - 10/21/16 02:52 AM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Brian,

I guess I am misunderstanding. I do understand you have awards and although I have not paid that close attention to them, I really am in the dark what some of my songs would be doing in them, without knowing who the artist is, I couldn't say. Are you sure they are my songs? Might be a similar title or something.

Sorry if they created some confusion. Hope you are doing well and thanks for the mention and reading this post.

MAB

#1118098 - 10/21/16 10:06 AM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc,

If someone sends us an album and one of the songs happens to have been written (in this case it was co-written) by you, and our judges who do not have access to who the writers are, they simply listen to the music and note whether it moves them or not, happen to love it, they flag it and over many rounds of screening, the songs and albums with the most flags that they moved the judges keep moving forward until it get back to us. We verify who the writers are, and in one case, a song co-written by you but recorded by a member not otherwise connected to you (that we know of) made it to my desk. Since they did not write it, and obviously you did not enter it, it gets excluded as ineligible for a song nomination because it is a cover, but as a cover, it did not make the cut against other cover songs (which is hard unless it is a better known song usually).

I hope that makes sense to you. People who record an album and use one of your songs are welcome to enter our awards. Their own songs are eligible for consideration, but not those written by others and/or previously released by someone else. But their own songs on that album, or the entire album itself, including your song, can be judged collectively as one of the best in it's genre. I am unaware if that happened here, but I will know once the final nominations are done.


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#1118111 - 10/21/16 01:30 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Thank you Brian. I appreciate your letting me know what it is. As I said, there is a lot of me popping around. So it is appreciated that you found one around. I often get versions of songs of mine, done by other artists, some on labels, some not. Most are artists shopping for deals, or different projects. I guess they don't hate me. LOL!

I supposed it is not as bad as a friend and co-writer of mine, Chas Sandford. He wrote a song with two guys in LA, one who was an artist without a record deal. They wrote the song and sort of forgot about it. Chas went to England for a couple of years as a studio engineer. One day, he was coming out of a grocery store in London and heard an odd sort of "disco" version of the song he wrote and forgot about. He called his lawyer in the states to ask if something had happened to that song.
His lawyer said not only was it cut, but it had been number one for six weeks!

The song was "I Ain't Missin' You At All" and the unemployed artist was John Waite, whose band, the BABY's had broken up when they wrote the song. Needless to say, it changed Chas's life.

He moved to Nashville years later after the song was an enormous worldwide hit and did well here. One day, he is at an industry event ,and a guy came up to him with an English accent. That guy was a producer and told Chas he had just cut it on TINA TURNER, and the song was at number three on the Billboard charts. Again, he did not know but the song went to Number one in the Adult contemporary charts. He did not know about it, but food was involved.

About five years later he is at the same industry functions, the EMI Hot dog Party, and another producer came up and congratulated him on his Brooks and Dunn cut. Again, that one went to number one on the country charts. But food was involved.

About five years later John Waite did it as a duet with country artist Allison Krause, hitting the top ten.

The final one (to date) was about 6 years ago when Rod Stewart cut it and took it top 20 on the Adult contemporary charts. On every single one, he didn't know until AFTER it was cut.

Whenever I see him out if he say's, "There was food involved" I know it has been cut again.

"I Ain't Missing you at All" the gift that keeps on giving.

So having them float around is not always that bad a thing.

Thanks Brian and good luck with your Awards. You do good work for so many people.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 10/21/16 01:35 PM.
#1118161 - 10/22/16 10:25 AM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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There was food involved, what does that mean?

#1118166 - 10/22/16 01:12 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Everette,

Because every time he heard about his song being cut, he was around getting food. The first time in a grocery store in England. The second, third and fourth times were all at Nashville "industry events" where there are food, drinks, and networking with other industry people. Every time he has heard of his song getting recorded, he has been around settings with food.

So whenever I see him out, he will have this big grin on his face and say "There was food involved..." it means he has found out that his song got cut again and is going to be used in something.

It is sort of the theme of this thread and the business. Once you write a song, get it "out there" you don't always know about what is happening with it until it actually gets out in the market place. And even then it often doesn't mean much, particularly financially.

That used to be called "Ain't final till it's on the vinyl" That was a phrase industry people, writers, producers, labels, publishers, etc. would use when something was being considered to be recorded, or even after it was recorded. You can't be assured of anything until it actually happens.

People have the mistaken impression that you get attention on a song, a publisher publishes it, it gets recorded, it is put on a single, shipped to radio, and then the checks start rolling in.

Nothing could be further from the truth. There are hundreds and thousands of steps it all has to go through. There are political considerations, it takes a lot of money to launch artists or songs, and even if it is recorded, it doesn't nessasarily mean all is clear sailing.

Music is done by political committees. There are back room deals, favors, a myriad of things that can get a song dropped. I had one cut on a Patty Loveless album, that didn't make the final cut, because artists will over cut, recording more songs than they have room for, and something will get dropped. Record companies and publishers close all the time. Companies go out of business or get taken over by other companies. Not too many years ago, the DISNEY company decided that their country music division was not profitable enough to the company So they folded, even while they had one of the top selling groups, Rascal Flatts, on their label.

So the point is that Chas had a song that he had written, that has become one of the most performed songs in rock history and never even would know about it until it was out on the charts. Every time he found out about it, someone told him at a party with food.

How it relates to this thread is that Brian has come across some people doing versions of songs I have written being submitted for his awards, and I guess it disqualified them. I didn't know about it because many times I don't hear about a lot of these songs until someone sends me a copy or it pops up somewhere, like here. Most songs are good ideas at the time, get out there and then dissapear.

I was curious to Brian wondering who the artist was because I might have written that with them, and it might be "their song" as well as mine. He says it has happened more than once so I was trying to find out what the rules were. I made the point about Chas Sandford and the song "Ain't Missin' You At All" to demonstrate that not knowing what happens to your song is a pretty common experience most writers go through.

MAB

#1118212 - 10/23/16 09:51 AM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Now I get it, I thought now that his song was selling he could afford food. LOL

I know what you mean, a song of mine made it to the TODAY SHOW, I don't know how they got hold of it, but I'm glad they did, nice royalties.

#1118220 - 10/23/16 12:32 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Everett,

The success of Chas' song has been over about 35 years. He has eaten well due to that one.

Cool to hear about your TODAY show episode. Most often it is the other way around. Songs being used and nothing being paid for them. Good to hear it going your way for a change.

#1118226 - 10/23/16 01:56 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Well,
I am a starving artist (songwriter) so does that count, well not really, I have never starved! I assume the music industry is slow at present. Read an Article in the Paper, maybe the Brunswick News about Sturgell Simpson, (Think that's his name) and how he was keeping Traditional Country music alive and a few comments of how a lot of releases today are basically junk. It's amazing of how good the old songs are. I made another Comp CD from records I bought back in the 60's. Some great cuts. Anybody remember HEARTS OF STONE, by Red Foley and others? Write a Hit!


Ray E. Strode
#1119078 - 11/08/16 12:36 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Sturgell Simpson is in a good place and the model for what artists can be in this day and age. Sells product ON HIS OWN, has very healthy fan base, social media and does very well. AS I have always said there are HUNDREDS of people who do the "older style" of country, and "keep it alive." Always have been many, many of those. But now, they have to be more proactive to get to people for anyone to find THEM.

Which again, is the conundrum we all deal with. With millions upon millions of songs, videos, artists, writers, poets, authors, going on the Internet DAILY, or sometimes BY THE HOUR, and a public attention span of 8 seconds, how do you get anyone to notice anything in the first place?

ONE PERSON AT A TIME.

And yes, I am the first to admit that many things on the radio or "out there" are not very good, no matter what level they are at. You should hear the NEW people coming into the business. If you did what I do, spending years and decades listening to new songs, artists, writers that are coming up, you would be FAR MORE DEPRESSED than you ever realized.

The main thing for people like you that long for the "old days" and "old styles" is that the PURCHASING AUDIENCE no longer exists for that type of music. While there may be pockets of "retro" or "Throwback" artists, and many of them come along from time to time, be it DWIGHT YOKUM, with his throwback to an earlier Buck Owens, or k.d. lang, and her throwback to an earlier Patsy Cline, they often come around for a while, but rarely have much of an effect on the overall music scene.

But if you like that sort of stuff, as always, there are people LIKE STURGELL SIMPSON who is there JUST FOR YOU! A mouse click away gets you to his music, web site, information. And if you go on something like PANDORA, you will get thousands of similar types of artists. So it is there, and YOU have the power to keep it going.

If you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter!
MAB

#1119081 - 11/08/16 01:51 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Well, Depending who wins this election will decide if things get better in the music industry or stay the same.

Putting out music that is not completely ready seems to be a common thing these days. You have to put in the time if you are going to be successful. Some will call music from 50 years ago dated. If it was a big hit it may sound as fresh today as it was when it was released. Not trying to return to yesterday but if stuff put out today falls short of much of the quality of yesterday why put it out?


Ray E. Strode
#1119121 - 11/08/16 08:55 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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"Not trying to return to yesterday but if stuff put out today falls short of much of the quality of yesterday why put it out?"

Ray, I know we've had this discussion before but it does bear repeating. The reason is that music is SUBJECTIVE and what you might feel falls short of the quality of yesterday is your opinion. The poeple of today have no connection with what you find quality so they are of a different opinion, and unfortunately, they are now in the driver seat. You, or I and our opinions simply don't matter. WE are not the target audience.

And if you thought back to when you were in your teens and tweens you might not have had the same opinion of the music of your parents or grandparents. One of the constants in music is that the music of any era is ABHORRED by the generations before it. Some of the people you really like, Red Foley, some of the older people that you hold so dear, were HATED by the generations of singers that came from 20 and 30 years before. No one likes to be replaced. But we all are.

Now everyone just puts it on social media so if someone doesn't like something, you know their opinion's immediately. But you can pretty much take it to the bank that for anyone, any song, any artist, who was successful, there were plenty of people who were anything BUT happy at their success.

Some things never change.
MAB

#1119208 - 11/10/16 01:09 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc,
It was mentioned in the Article about the sloppiness of a lot of today's releases dubbed country. It wasn't me. It is still hard to write a good song, no?


Ray E. Strode
#1119227 - 11/10/16 03:31 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Ray, again subjective, even in the people writing those articles. And while I would agree with much of it, such as the tendency to write the same songs over and over again, same words, verbs, rhymes, melodies, etc. I would also say that is true with ALL music, not just country. Several country songs were placed over each other a while back and they were exactly the same. But I would suggest people critical of country apply those same standards to pop ,rock or rap and hip hop. They would find the exact same results.

The reality is that there are only so many notes, so many emotions, and so many things to say. With twelve billion songs a year being placed on the Internet, the chances of anyone having anything close to an original thought is pretty impossible.

But you can also go back through history and hear the same things. I am a HUGE fan of Motown, and you could take a lot of songs of the Supremes, Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Four Tops, and they are precisely the same songs. The reason? THEY WERE THE SAME WRITERS AND THE SAME MUSICIANS.

It's the nature of the beast of a business that requires sales and market share and is for the most part very follow the leader.

I always like to draw comparrisons to some of your favorites by adding information I got from people who were there. One is when Faron Young came out with the Willie Nelson classic "HELLO WALLS." One of my friends who was a hit writer at that time, told me that the day after that song came out, EVERY WRITER IN TOWN and EVERY ARTIST had their own version. There were tons of "Hello Ceiling, Hello Chair, Hello Couch...." all over the place.

If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, I'd say that oounts for a lot. Nobody copies the really bad stuff that doesn't earn any money.

Hope you are well.

MAB

#1119236 - 11/10/16 04:58 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Aw, Well,
After hearing all of Faron's good stuff before Hello Walls I hated Hello Walls. Jim Reeves put out a song in the 50's called Four Walls. Much better.

But with this election over things may get a lot better in the music business. Geronimo!


Ray E. Strode
#1119254 - 11/10/16 09:44 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Ray,

Don't look for it. The music business for all intents and purposes is gone forever. Whenever something is made accessable to all for free and anyone can do it, it doeesn't suddenly start paying off. With all the comments on "streaming services", they don't take into account that we are in the third generation of people who have never and will never pay for music. "Freemium" services (streaming services given for "free" will always dwarf the paid subscriptions, because people will always be searching for a way to get something for nothing.

Just like Hackers. thieves and any way that people feel entitled to. And there will be more and more people involved in doing this. When that happens quality will always diminish and relative income will always go away.

In some ways we are back to the Medival times. There was no copyrights, no ASCAP, BMI, etc. just folk songs passed down from generation to generation, no money to be paid unless you had a patron or king, or the church to pay you for your music. In many ways that is where we are. "Go fund Me" or "Kickstarter campaigns for everyone are the rule, no longer the exception. Artists are expected to come to the table of record labels already having fan base, social networking, it is a DO IT YOURSELF world.

That is not going to change and people should stop looking for it to. They need to concentrate on finding ways to build their own world, create their own niche, find their own pathway, without waiting on publishers, producers, record labels, or anyone else, (PARTICULARLY politicians)to come in and save them.

That part of the industry is gone. We should all be looking to ourselves for the next part.

MAB

#1119265 - 11/11/16 01:34 AM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
But with this election over things may get a lot better in the music business. Geronimo!

With lobbyists already chomping at the bit to get richly paid by the big companies - I'm not holding my breath for all my ASCAP & BMI friends. My guess is, those companies will now run amok all over copyright and those Consent Decrees that are strangling ASCAP & BMI.

Already reading articles with high powered lobbyists who expect that the new president elect will allow them to lobby harder than ever before to the highest priced bidder. Without limits.

Add that to the fact that the one person, Maria Pallante, that was truly championing copyright for the songwriters has also been ousted from her position at the Register of Copyrights by the Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and its looking pretty grim as Marc states.


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#1119292 - 11/11/16 12:39 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Um, Sorry,
I am talking about the buying public that may get a job or better job and have a bit more money to spend. It will take some time for that to happen tho.
If you remember Trump paid for his own election so he wouldn't owe anyone. However I will remind you of Ronald Reagan's words, TRUST BUT VERIFY! And make good music!


Ray E. Strode
#1119361 - 11/12/16 03:00 AM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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The ten most frightening words in the English language are "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you."

Rule number one: Don't depend on any politician to ever be your salvation.

Rule number two: Never forget rule number one.

MAB

#1119367 - 11/12/16 01:10 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I think one of the biggest problems with all creative arts, particularly songwriting, is we give ourselves WAY too much credit in the overall scheme of things. While I agree music and arts are important, when you look at problems around the world, riots, unrest, wars, terrorism and other "real problems" we are pretty insignificant.

Yes, culture is important. Songs are important, but people have limitless supplies of all of that. They can get what they want. People will create. Audiences will be found. If people find them worth it, they will pay for it. I hope. Unless it all goes FREE, which is mostly what happens with music now.

I have always distanced myself from the "Money side" of music because it has never been my primary focus. I have made a living by music, and other things, for nearly 40 years, but it was never about one thing, like getting songs cut. It was always through multiple things like being a performer, a teacher, networker, or whatever, and it has always been about making someone ELSE money instead of just myself.

So many of these conversations on money in music are totally irrelevant to me. Many songwriters focus about nothing but and I think that is a HUGE mistake. And in my opinion, the writers and artists that are like that, are never that good to begin with. Most people are not making money at music, at downloads, at live performance because THEY ARE NO WORTH ANYTHING.

They are doing things only to hear themselves talk or sing and are frankly pretty boring.

So my suggestion to all writers or anyone doing this to do it because you love it and not the moneytary aspect.

I DO WHAT I DO FOR THE LOVE OF IT
SURE AIN'T FOR THE BUCKS
MAYBE SOME MAGIC WILL COME ALONG
IF I LOOK DEEP ENOUGH
CAUSE WHAT THEY SEE THREE HOURS A NIGHT
IS A TORTURED SOUL LAID BARE
SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE
I'M PLAYING FOR TABLES AND CHAIRS

YOU DON'T CHOOSE MUSIC, MUSIC CHOOSES YOU

Make sure it made a wise choice.

MAB

#1119398 - 11/13/16 03:39 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Hi Marc:

This has been an interesting thread to read. I'm pleased to know you had the opportunity to write with Shaun. We never know when lady luck will open a door for us and being able to enter and participate is a great thing.

Keep us posted about "the rest of the story" when you have time.

Best, ----Dave

#1119442 - 11/14/16 04:40 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Ray, again subjective, even in the people writing those articles. And while I would agree with much of it, such as the tendency to write the same songs over and over again, same words, verbs, rhymes, melodies, etc. I would also say that is true with ALL music, not just country. Several country songs were placed over each other a while back and they were exactly the same. But I would suggest people critical of country apply those same standards to pop ,rock or rap and hip hop. They would find the exact same results.


I don't really agree with this. Perhaps if you were talking 50's rockabilly or any year in Blues or something, but I haven't seen any examples of major hit pop or rock songs that could be placed on top of each other. Can you offer an example?


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#1119457 - 11/14/16 10:09 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Pretty much any rap or hip hop song.

#1119467 - 11/15/16 12:20 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Or these:

http://search.aol.com/aol/video?q=you+tube%2C+songs+that+sound+amazingly+similar&v_t=wscreen50-bb

#1119468 - 11/15/16 12:25 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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#1119469 - 11/15/16 12:27 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Only so many notes, so many words, so many moods. All music borrows from other music. Most is subconcious but it is all there. Silly to suggest otherwise.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 11/15/16 12:27 PM.
#1119470 - 11/15/16 12:39 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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You can split hairs over what is or isn't plagiarism in the music business but there is no denying that music coming from the commercial music centers are written, produced and marketed like soap or any other commercial product without any consideration to artistic merit. Even here, it seems to me that the highest aspiration is commercial, not artistic success.

Last edited by Dan Sullivan; 11/15/16 12:40 PM.

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#1119473 - 11/15/16 01:18 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Dan Sullivan]  
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It would appear that while artistic success may feed the soul, commercial success puts actual food on the table. If only it was the other way around...

#1119478 - 11/15/16 02:50 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Ricki E. Bellos]  
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Rikki, you are correct but I think it speaks to more than that. To me, it is the bottom line in the endless "copyright discussions" anything musical always tend to gravitate to, EVERYTHING sounds like something else. And whenever people start picking on country exclusively, I have to chime in and remind people it is in EVERY FORM OF MUSIC. It is unavoidable.

I have to remind everyone that John Lennon had to work out a deal with Chuck Berry on the song "Come Together" because of his lyrics "Here Come Old Flat Top." For years, Paul McCartney held off on writing "Yesterday" because he thought he was "lifting it from someone else."

it is inevitable and mostly innocent, But it happens in every form of music and people need to come to grips with the fact that they might not be as creative as they think they are. It's all been done.

All it means is that you work hard to create things that are interesting and try to make them as different as you can. But also nod to people that came before you. We're all out there trying to do the same thing. They are all going to sound like something else. Can't be helped.
MAB

#1119482 - 11/15/16 03:24 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc, I love Little Feat and will tell anyone that Sgt. Pepper doesn't have the greatest album cover, Sailing Shoes does.

Lowell George was a great lyricist, composer and slide guitarist. Maybe your song with Shaun is based on a funky groove (nothing wrong with that), but the lyric is kinda weak. At least on paper. It needs a good line or two
In place of the cliches. But again, Feat songs are often based on groove and the lyric just needs prosody. Good luck with it.

#1119486 - 11/15/16 03:59 PM Re: Writing with Heroes [Re: couchgrouch]  
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Thanks Couch. The deal with writing with the artist, is they are pretty much going to say what they want to and how they want to. All up to them. The Groove in this song is pretty good and the lyrics will still probably be tightened over time but that all comes down to what Shaun wants.

In writing, there are times when you take the lead and times when you step back and let others do the driving. That's where this one is.

MAB

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