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#1125579 - 03/20/17 09:59 AM Pitching song with another artist  
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 21
MichelleMarie Offline
Casual Observer
MichelleMarie  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 21
I have a dilemma. I wrote a song- words and lyrics and a male vocalist sang it for me to pitch as a demo for free. No monies were exchanged. A little while later, I hear it and think- that song is amazing with him as the vocalist. Do I have to get his permission to pitch this song with him as the artist? I may be able to put it on local radio stations, etc. I probably can't sell it on CD Baby, either without his permission. And, even if I get his permission, I still can't sell it on CD Baby??? Cause isn't it the artist who can sell songs on CD Baby, NOT the songwriter? Please clarify for me, because I have NO IDEA how all this can be done.

In case any of you know... I am trying to get in touch with Ronnie Lee Hurst. I met him years ago, I believe on JPFolks. Now, years later, I have looked him up on Facebook and even left a message on a phone number I found for him. But, I see he hasn't gone on Facebook for close to a year and I have no idea if I even have the right phone number for him.
Thank you in advance for any information you have to give me.

#1125580 - 03/20/17 10:11 AM Re: Pitching song with another artist [Re: MichelleMarie]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,683
Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,683
Brunswick, Ga. USA
I assume you have registered the Copyright and you own the song. Rarely would you identify the demo singer when you pitch a song. If in case you place the song and it does well you could reward the demo singer if you wish. We all have demos done by amazing artists as that is what some artists do. Good luck.

Ray E. Strode
#1125581 - 03/20/17 11:27 AM Re: Pitching song with another artist [Re: MichelleMarie]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,282
John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
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Is this the singer Michelle? http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=171451 If it is, there's a contact link here. Anything other than demo purposes, you should have his permission.

Best, John smile

#1125583 - 03/20/17 11:41 AM Re: Pitching song with another artist [Re: MichelleMarie]  
Joined: Jan 2009
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,722
Nashville, Tn.

You are in some murky waters. A demo singer has the same function as the musicians on a recording. To DEMONSTRATE what the song is supposed to sound like. Even if they do it for free or a favor. We all do a lot of that. But sometimes you get the perfect pairing of a song and singer and you want them to be involved. First of all, you do have to get their permission on anything representing them as an artist. You could pitch the song TO the singer. I know of many hits that were done by artists when they were the original demo singer. "FRIEND'S IN LOW PLACES" was an enormous hit for Garth Brooks, it was actually cut by singer Mark Chesnut first. But Garth was the original demo singer on the song. He actually was the demo singer on several of the songs that would go on to become hits for him. Also Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, and many others recorded songs they had sung as demo singers, so that is not unheard of. Less so today where everyone are writers but still happens. That is what we would love. Have a demo singer that goes on to be famous and take one of ours with us.

But there are "other sides" as well. I used to sing on a lot of demos, especially in the "Travis Tritt" days where everyone who had a Travis pitch would come to me for the demo because our voices were very similar. And many, I'd say most of the songs, simply were not very good, and I would not want to be associated with the song as artists. Paying the rent and food by doing a demo is one thing. Having it become part of your career, even supplanting one of your own songs is another. In some cases, you might have a very Christian artist being hired to do a demo for a drinking or partying song, or a "message song" that goes against the personal feelings of the singer, happens a good deal also.

I have had people use my voice on their songs and sell them on CD's, which is a very uncomfortable situation One guy had myself and several well known singers on some pretty lame songs. We all asked him to stop which he did. I know he just really liked what we all did, but to be honest the songs were just very sub par.

Much like the model or actress that does some "art pictures" or low budget questionable films early in their career that pop back up to haunt them later. In some cases that can be a mess, like actress, Vanessa Williams found out when pictures surfaced that forced her to give up her Miss America crown. Although it worked out well for her. The publicity actually helped her career. But was a shock at that time.

"DEMO" means DEMONSTRATION. It should be kept at that unless you get permission to do anything else. The first stop would be there.


#1125584 - 03/20/17 11:56 AM Re: Pitching song with another artist [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 21
MichelleMarie Offline
Casual Observer
MichelleMarie  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 21
Thank you, John. Yes, that is me.
I will check it out.

#1125588 - 03/20/17 01:25 PM Re: Pitching song with another artist [Re: MichelleMarie]  
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 74
Toby Barns Offline
Serious Contributor
Toby Barns  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 74
This is a good example of why using a "Work Made For Hire" agreement is useful. A thorough Work For Hire agreement should address the singers and musicians roles (everyone involved). They can basically be compensated, with no claim to ownership, for their role in the creation of the sound recording.

Then the actual ownership of the sound recording, as well as the composition can be established. If you go beyond using it as more than a demo, and you do not have an agreement, then the session players could potentially make an issue of it.

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