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#1127934 - 05/22/17 12:52 PM How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"?  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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I'm going to start this out by saying, I'm not too big a fan of today's modern rock and pop music. I was a rocker in the end of the 70's, through the 80's, then rock and pop turned darker, angrier, more bitter, and that was not where I ever was. I gravitated to country, because it was a more positive format (changing from the old days "crying in your beer" days), and I wanted to move to Nashville because it was closer to my home town of Birmingham, Alabama. If I failed I could probably hitchhike home.

Much is often said of "writing by committee and multiple writers in country music" and my contention is that it has been that way for most of the format's history and is also MUCH MORE PREVALENT in rock and pop of today.

Having said all that, I think that ALL WRITERS need to learn the art and craft of CO-WRITING. This is for two reasons.
#1. TO OPEN UP CREATIVE ABILITIES:
When you are working with others, you have someone to bounce ideas off of (or shoot them down if they are just no good) and you have to adapt to other styles, layers, nuances. It is a challenge to make sure you are on top of your game to convince other writers or artists that YOUR ideas are valid. Makes you be better at what you do.

#2. PURELY POLITICAL.
Other people may be politically connected where you are not. They might chart or publishing success you need and while you never "USE" someone, you are aware of things you can UTILIZE to help you move to higher levels of what you do.

This is an article that has made the BMI newsletter this week, but experienced writer, MARK SUTHERLAND. It includes information on how to contact and follow him, which I suggest you do. But it is a great article about the current state of pop and rock hitmaking that everyone needs to be aware of who are trying to enter these fields. Again, my biggest soap box is GET OUT OF THE LIVING ROOM! MEET OTHER PEOPLE!
This is the main reason.

MAB

#1127946 - 05/22/17 03:17 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [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 I did,
I went to school, started at a very early age..
Left the farm...
Went out in the world, to make my fortune...
Worked hard, studied hard,
Made a fortune...
So I could buy a farm...
And retire...


Ray E. Strode
#1127948 - 05/22/17 03:34 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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It's the circle...the circle of Ray!

#1127976 - 05/23/17 09:55 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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Never seen you write anything that didn't look right. So does this.

There is a subset of us who....

Will never be in the business.
Have ideosyncratic, quirky viewpoints.
Who write for the therapy of it. It puts us in the moment and delivers us to a comfortable place in our imaginations where we control the story line and outcome, contrary to much of life.

I've taken an idea and initiated a few co-writes. In my case, the request to co-write seemed to be taken more as a request to "study at someone's feet." My idea and rough draft were handed back to me as "finished." No fulfilling participation or any of the things that I had read about. If I was in the business, I might see that as a work product that entitled me to some compensation and fine for that reason.

Since I'm not in the business, that viewpoint doesn't have validity and it was a less than fulfilling experience.

Please do not see this as arguing with your statement. It isn't. Your points look correct. I'm speaking to and about those of us who may be too "un-right" to make co-writing fulfilling.


Martin

#1127978 - 05/23/17 11:57 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Martin,

Actually MY PERSONAL INTEREST has nothing to do with the business. This is only one section of an argument I deal with on a daily basis. Most songwriters are solo writers. And that is fine on the outset. Songwriting is theraputic, it is about personal growth and in many ways a very introspective art form. The problem I have is when those same people, want to engage in the industry in one way or another, be it on an open mic or writers night, on You Tube of Facebook when they put their songs "out there" or when they actually are trying to encounter the industry, publishers, artists, producers, labels, etc. At that point, you HAVE to look at things from a different perspective. You are entering THE BIGGEST EXTROVERTED of endeavors. Getting people to GET YOU through your music.

That is where this comes into focus with me. I am ALL ABOUT THE SOCIAL aspect of music.And anything having to do with music is HUGELY SOCIAL affair. You have to be a politician as much as anything. Some people are not willing to do that, and that is fine, but they can't expect to be embraced in a world that IS what it IS.

And it goes deeper to me. Co-writing helps BUILD abilities. People hold up Lennon and McCartney as the gold standard for writing and most of the time seem to miss that it was LENNON AND McCARTNEY. The incredible body of work they did both together and separately was because of the competition and the learning they did TOGETHER. Same with Ringo and George.

In my role as a teacher and mentor, I have to convince people that co-writing can help them. And if they are trying for something in NASHVILLE they have no choice. This is a co-writing town and you are going to do it or get out. Period. In the immortal words of HARLAND HOWARD, "NO ONE SENT FOR YOU!!!" So that is the deal here.

But I speak also to people around the world. Finding people in their neighborhoods, their villages, towns, cities. Finding one, two or a group of people with the same hobby and interests. Sharing music, information and experiences. Writing songs, performing, talking about the challenges we all go through in doing what we do. That is what I am interested in. Even if people were to get together and NEVER write anything, they still are better for GETTING OUT OF THE LIVING ROOM and supporting others. And at the end of the day, that is what I am interested in.

I could care LESS if people get cuts, on the radio, deals, financial or publicity success. Just doesn't matter to me. Going in and seeing an area that at least HAS a writers night that doesn't RUN customers off is a big plus. Keeps music in front of the public. Puts a face to the struggle. Maybe ONE person might think about someone and their music BEFORE they download them out of existence.

This article simply came at a time where I have a lot of the "Why does country have so many writers on each song? Can NO ONE WRITE BY THEMSELVES ANYMORE?" Same complaint through the ages. I maintain that it is all forms of music and has been for a long, long time. That is why I posted this.

Thanks for reading and contributing to the dialogue.

MAB

#1127980 - 05/23/17 01:44 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Well, Humm, So,
I do understand about the Social Aspects of songwriting, and life. One thing I refused to do anytime was what is known as
"Brown Nosing" I have seen it plenty of times. And it works! I just could never do it. However I can see no earthly reason who
everyone has to be a Co-Writer. Agreed a lot of people will benefit from working with someone else. But some of the biggest hits and writer's and Artists didn't do much Co-Writing. Marty Robbins wrote one of the biggest hits of all time EL PASO. I think RELEASE ME recorded by Ray Price without looking it up, had four writer's. And sometimes for a writer to get something cut, has to put people's names on the song that had nothing to do with writing it.

When Marty Robbins was in the process of being signed, he was told he would be supplied with the songs he would record. He refused, saying he had better songs than that, and when that didn't work, he was told that he would have to add other people's names to his songs. When they insisted, he told his band, pack up boys, we're going home. So he got signed, on his terms. Not everybody needs a co-writer or co-writer's.


Ray E. Strode
#1127984 - 05/23/17 02:50 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Ray, and everything USED to be in black and white television shows. That USED to be is of NO USE whatsoever. It has no bearing on reality in today's world. Just none; You can still have 100% of whatever you write. And you can have it on your computer and see it never go anywhere. If you want to exist in today's world (which I doubt if you do) you are going to have to include others. That is simply life.

But this, like everything is NOTHING new. Col.Tom Parker insisted on Publishing shares for Elvis (as well as writers shares on some of them) if you wanted an Elvis cut. Don't want one? Fine. You don't GET one.
Berry Gordy at Motown wrote some of that labels earliest hits. Some he wrote, some he was cut in on to ensure they got priority at the label.

It is called PROPRIETARY OWNERSHIP and today it rules the roost. Times change and as Mike used to say, "ADAPT OR DIE." Period.

In the world I live in, artists now DON'T EVEN CONSIDER listening to outside music. They have their own. So you can hang on to all of yours with no problem at all.

I look at this from a creative point of view. I hear literally THOUSANDS of songs and HUNDREDS OF SONGWRITERS. They are ALL writing the same song over and over again. And you can tell because they HAVE NOT LEARNED ANYTHING ABOUT THE CRAFT, ABOUT THE ART, ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE DOING. NOT ONE, really knows how to write. And that is HOW YOU LEARN. By working with others. That is REALITY.
What you are talking about is THEORY that existed 50 years ago and has LONG LONG BEEN DEAD AND GONE.
Gotta stop beating a dead corpse.

MAB

#1127986 - 05/23/17 04:13 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Well,
For the record. Most Labels want Artists that write their own songs. That way the Label doesn't have to pay the full mechanical rate for outside songs and rarely even pay the Artist the full rate. There was, and maybe still is something called the
Composition Clause that paid the writer 75 percent of the full rate if the artist even got that.

But enough of that. What is the last great song you heard written by the artist that was a super hit. Maybe Michael Jackson's song WHERE WERE YOU? My Publisher and I used to discuss the latest "Hit" We were "Chomping at the Bit to go get it!

I do look at Great American Country on the T.V. once in a while. Having listened to all the greats since about 1952 it takes a lot to impress me with a new artist, new songs. And as Eastwood said, You have to know your limitations, no?


Ray E. Strode
#1127997 - 05/24/17 10:54 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Why is co writing with 3 and 4 people so popular?
I write melodies and use other's words....I guess that is co writing.
We don't do it together though as they send me a lyric and if I really like it I'll try.
I have written many lyrics but always use my own melodies.....I guess because I write good melodies.........lol
IF we aren't OUR BIGGEST FAN we might as well become a Plumber..

#1128000 - 05/24/17 01:07 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Barry,

For about the past 20 years there have been what I call "writer's clumps." These are groups of writers and artists, usually that move to town about the same time, who hang out together, do writers nights, write songs, build relationships. Usually one or more find their way into the back doors of publishers, who sign them to different types of deals, ranging from "open door deals" (where they just bring songs over periodically,) to "representation deals" (where the publisher will mentor and set them up with their established and hit writers) and the "exclusive representation deals" (where they are represented exclusively and often pay draws).

These are primarily artists looking for record deals. And most of the writers ARE artists, that might not work as artists but are very good writers. They are usually developed by more experienced hit and established writers, who "bring them along." The major hit writers are usually the owners of these types of companies. One of the things to remember, is that when all of these outside people are trying to bring songs in to pitch to modern artists, they are competing with hit writers that have had huge hit records, number ones, standard songs, because once someone gets really successful they form their own companies.

The hit writers are developing the artists with their own songs. If you look behind the scenes you see them:

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE- CRAIG WISEMAN (hundreds of hits and top tens)
RASCAL FLATTS- JEFFERY STEELE (HUNDREDS OF HITS)
LADY ANTEBELLUM- VICTORIA SHAW
TAYLOR SWIFT- LIZ ROSE

Most modern artists and bands are brought up in this manner.

So you see these "writer's clumps"come along. They usually take 3-5 years to develop. Once one of the writers gets hot, (or the artist, in one case, Kellsie Ballerini, was in a company that featured one of my clients, Lance Carpenter. They had a number one ,"LOVE ME LIKE YOU MEAN IT" now both are gold in the eyes of the industry)

When someone gets hot, all the labels, producers, etc. go to those writers and artists and companies and you will find them all get on a "run" that lasts about three years. You see them get dozens of cuts and see their names on the charts over and over. The reason you see three or four names is usually the artist, and one or two of the writers from the company.
And it is not just writers and artists. Some of the people who started as writers, will become producers, publishers, executives with labels, managers, etc.

You will also see hit artists writing for other artists. Taylor Swift just had a couple of hits with LITTLE BIG TOWN.

By the time people try to pitch songs to these new artists, they are trying to interrupt relationships that are between 3 and 10 years old. And some of these songs have been around for 3-8 years. Often an artist will record something but doesn't get a deal for a few years. When they get a deal, some of those songs come up into their current deals. THAT IS THE REASON YOU ALWAYS ARE LOOKING TO WRITE WITH YOUNG UP AND COMING ARTISTS!

Those are some of the reasons outsiders don't have a chance in getting songs into the pipelines. And if it was you, you would do the same thing with your friends and personal aquaintances.

#1128001 - 05/24/17 01:41 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Humm,
I seem to remember several years ago the Chinese were going to write great Symphonies by committee. Not sure how it turned out. I think all the great composers did it themselves. They didn't have great communications like we do today so they couldn't hear someone else's work without hearing it live somewhere. "Clumps" or not it is still hard to write a good song.
Someday I would like to have a "Listen" in where a few artists could play a few of their songs and get opinions. While I could pick a few hit songs by major artists I would bring a few of my own songs to compare. Maybe have a small audience to participate!


Ray E. Strode
#1128002 - 05/24/17 03:00 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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OK Great !

#1128007 - 05/25/17 09:33 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Hi Everyone:

My respect for Marc is long-standing... but the two of us have disagreed on "cluster-writing" for years now. It's a personal thing with me because I would rather keep the entire song under my control with my own ideas. Success (or the lack of it, in my case) has nothing to do with it. Logistics means lost time, delays, lost trains-of-thought and direction. Throw in the melody aspect and things get even more complex. I've co-written with at least ten or more people from all around the globe. Most were an absolute pleasure. Some were a drudge and a pain.

I began my less than auspicious "career" as a lyricist. I could imagine the melody but could not express it to my writing partners because I had very little musical training. Because of that, I would quickly be pushed into a corner, feeling ignored... and, like Martin, song-writing has become a form of therapy for me. It lets me get my ideas across... and writing alone allows the process to be light-years faster than a co-write. Each time I write something alone, I understand that I will probably end up falling on my own sword (in this case, my pen) but we make our choices, don't we?

I still co-write mostly with my best friend because we know each other's backgrounds, thought processes (or the lack thereof, LOL!) and have great motivation to get the job done... as long as it creates something worthwhile. Some of my most enjoyable co-writes came from a well known member of JPF who expresses her ideas well and is punctual and engaged in the process 100%. Chemistry between co-writers is a very important factor and includes the ability to share ideas, be willing to change this or that to make the song better, and to be punctual.

In the final analysis my fellow writers, you must select the process which works best for you. If the final product turns out to be great (no matter which method) that is all that counts. In the back of my mind, I always thought making money was the real objective and method of keeping score. In today's market, it is nearly impossible to be a participant in that part of music. But it was not always that way. Now, songwriters of all stripes exist in every nook and cranny all over the world. The market is flooded with "product" (music) and nobody has the patience, time or ears to separate the "wheat from the musical chaff."

Thanks, Barry and Martin for your viewpoints... and thanks, Marc... for being so patient with us.

All the best, ----Dave


Last edited by Dave Rice; 05/25/17 09:40 AM.
#1128008 - 05/25/17 10:16 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Hey Dave....Good Stuff....I can see writing a melody to somebody's words but sometimes that has been awful as they keep rejecting my melody so I just told them to stuff it. It became SO Tedious that I couldn't stand it.
Writing words with somebody else is also not good for ME because it loses focus....I tried that once and my words and style and his words and style didn't sound like they went together. I've tried giving my stand alone melodies to lyricists and nobody seems to be able to do that.

SO....I only write melodies to others lyrics IF they accept what I come up with WHICH is usually pretty good....

I can see somebody coming up with a verse melody and another person with the chorus.....That's seems reasonable. All these conversations about songwriting especially in Nashville are a red herring. The reason that nobody can break through the barrier is because they have all the songwriters they could ever use NOW....Pop Music is just as bad. I watched the Bill Board awards and none of the songs by most had a melodic ring to them and had un hummable choruses....SO It's a Completely Closed Shop for outside people to write songs....ALSO there are millions of us out here writing great songs but only a few Artists singing on the stage.....just the way it is....As I always say DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOBS...which BTW is a Great Title....

#1128011 - 05/25/17 10:41 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Hi Barry:

You got my "drift" 100%... and that does not make us right or wrong on our perspectives. That is why they make Fords and Chevies! We pay our nickel and make our choices. When a writer is as prolific as you... I can certainly understand the patience factor. What works for many folks doesn't work at all for others. You make a really great point about not quitting one's day job! One should do that only if Daddy owns CBS, a major label or a super-studio... LOL!

I think "Don't Quit Your Day Job" is a great title. Go get 'em, Tiger! Can't wait to hear it.

All my best, ----Dave

#1128013 - 05/25/17 10:52 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Maybe I will write that OR Find a Great Lyricist to do if for me...
How are you Doing??????
I'm one foot forward and two steps back....another good title.
I recently wrote a lyric (No Music Yet) Called HE FOUND GOT AT A HOLIDAY INN...Nobody seems to like it to much but I think it's really cool. I always say that IF we aren't OUR OWN biggest Fan do something else....lol

#1128060 - 05/27/17 12:31 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Dave,

I sometimes think that when I present something, an article or blog, some might think I agree with the findings. I'm not attesting in support or disagreement with "cluster" writing at all. I've done all of it. And had some work and some not/ Remember, I am the guy that wrote a song in 45 minutes with 110 people shouting ideas and lines at me, for a group presentation of a major company. That is "CLUSTER" writing.

I simply used this article to explain WHY IT IS. That is mostly my point of any of these threads. I look around and see people asking questions about why this happens or that happens, how some artists and songs get on the radio, how the industry is taking shape, changing, etc. that is what I am attempting to explain. So I don't think we dissagree as much as you might think.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 05/27/17 12:32 PM.
#1128061 - 05/27/17 12:47 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I'm happy for all the writers that are successful !!

#1128067 - 05/27/17 02:39 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc,

What you say is especially true when one is writing with commercial success as one's main goal.

This happens with movie scripts as well. Writers are often called in, in the eleventh hour, to "fix" a script. There is no guarantee the final result will be better, though. Think of Prometheus.

If one's goal is make a "personal artistic statement" I think maybe committee style writing may not be the best choice. Otherwise, wouldn't there be poets who did more collaborating?

Anyway, I've always enjoyed collaborating in various permutations..it can be a learning experience, if nothing else..

Rock on.. smile

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 05/27/17 10:07 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1128070 - 05/27/17 08:15 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Raleigh, ya'll
According to Douglass Adams, the answer is 42:-)

Midnite


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

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#1128119 - 05/31/17 03:22 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Dang Bob, you beat me to it. In fact, has anyone ever noticed the number of posts it takes to become a serious contributor here? You got it, 42. When people ask me why that number, I say "ask Douglas Adams" but now that he's dead I say "read Douglas Adams."


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


#1128120 - 05/31/17 03:35 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Martin,


But I speak also to people around the world. Finding people in their neighborhoods, their villages, towns, cities. Finding one, two or a group of people with the same hobby and interests. Sharing music, information and experiences. Writing songs, performing, talking about the challenges we all go through in doing what we do. That is what I am interested in. Even if people were to get together and NEVER write anything, they still are better for GETTING OUT OF THE LIVING ROOM and supporting others. And at the end of the day, that is what I am interested in.

I could care LESS if people get cuts, on the radio, deals, financial or publicity success. Just doesn't matter to me. Going in and seeing an area that at least HAS a writers night that doesn't RUN customers off is a big plus. Keeps music in front of the public. Puts a face to the struggle. Maybe ONE person might think about someone and their music BEFORE they download them out of existence.

This article simply came at a time where I have a lot of the "Why does country have so many writers on each song? Can NO ONE WRITE BY THEMSELVES ANYMORE?" Same complaint through the ages. I maintain that it is all forms of music and has been for a long, long time. That is why I posted this.

Thanks for reading and contributing to the dialogue.

MAB


Well, this is what I have been doing for 32 years. Except I go to the people in their own towns in their own States or Countries. Bringing people together is the entire point and has long been the disconnect between me and my own message board where so many never participated beyond these pages, but those who have usually "get it" after the fact,


Brian Austin Whitney
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jpfolkspro@aol.com
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


#1128121 - 05/31/17 03:36 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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By the way, where is the article discussed at the top, or is it just the bullet points?


Brian Austin Whitney
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#1128137 - 05/31/17 08:25 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Let's change it to "How many writers does it take to write a good song?"
I watched part of the eurovison song contest a week ago. This was industrial strength collaboration.
As far as I could hear it was all one shot of whiskey and ten shots of water.


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.
http://www.soundclick.com/vicarnold

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#1128145 - 06/01/17 03:33 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Eurovision has had a few high points, but more often misses the mark badly. We have members in all those countries typically with far superior music. Many have entered the contest and some have gotten to the finals I believe, but in general, it's more bad than good. 10 to 1 may be fairly accurate in terms of bad songs to good.


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


#1128155 - 06/01/17 08:58 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Wow, that's strange. I swore I thought I had posted that link before. Sorry about that. This is the article. Came out on an industry blog I get.



http://www.musicweek.com/publishing...e-than-two-to-make-a-hit-nowadays/068478

#1128193 - 06/02/17 05:11 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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So apparently it now takes a village to write a hit song. This may have something to do with the changing landscape of the music industry with everyone riding on each others coattails to get a piece of the shrinking pie.

#1128197 - 06/02/17 10:41 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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How do writers in Nashville make any money when 3 and 4 do one song?

#1128211 - 06/04/17 10:51 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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They DON'T! Barry, THAT is what I have been saying for many, many years now. I've been screaming this and everyone thinks I'm just making it up. The entire "Streaming world" keeps talking about all the money that is being made, and EVERY SINGLE WRITER I KNOW, even people who have HUGE HIT RECORDS ARE NOT MAKING ANYTHING!!!!

The most recent statements have been coming out, and writers are taking to the Internet. to Facebook, Twitter, etc talking about how these HUGE HITS THEY HAVE ON THE RADIO, getting 20-30-200 MILLION PLAYS, STREAMS, PLACEMENT IN MOVIES, TELEVISION and are MAKING QUITE LITERALLY NOTHING!!!

That takes me back to 1998 when I attended a very high level meeting with all people in the industry, record label heads, publisher, hit writers, producers, and two "tech guys." One of the tech guys said "In the future, writers will have to get used to doing without royalties because THEY WON'T BE THERE.

And Pat Alger, who at that time had a huge hit with Garth Brooks, asked "How will a writer make a living?"
The tech guy said "YOU WON'T."

And that is the deal. There is MUCH MORE PRODUCT. People are doing cut rates to get them out there to begin with. Social media is taking over and most of that is free. Subscription services charge under $10 but download MILLIONS of songs. BMI and ASCAP are suing live venues over licencing issues. New laws in Congress, and the Department of Justice make it HARDER to collect any money at all. And yet, all the "tech people" keep talking about how healthy everything is.

I guess. Just no one I know is seeing it.

The only way that people are making money is ARTIST BRANDING. You find an artist (or artists.) You write songs (which is why the writing TEAMS come together. You write ALL THE SONGS. You control the recording. You are involved in the licencing of the artist. You are a partner with the artist and therefore receive shares of merchandising, touring, ring tones, endorsements, whatever the artist does, they receive income on.

Multiple income streams, and multiple teams. That is how writers are making money. And why no one is going to get songs PITCHING to artists unless they are part of the artists inner circles. And THAT is why I try to get people to find their OWN ARTISTS EARLY IN THEIR CAREERS.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 06/04/17 10:53 AM.
#1128214 - 06/04/17 11:12 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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My shameless plug of my song BUT I wrote this out of Passion.
"WHAT IF THE MUSIC DIED"
The Creators of the World are getting slammed and we are taken for granted.
IF We went on Strike for More and Fairer Money THEY WOULD MISS US.
SO I'm called for a Strike of ALL Songwriters on Music Row until they start to get their fair share. There would be NO Country Music without the Songwriters and they and us have been Screwed and we just take it like we are a punching bag...
STRIKE!!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POUTrXI4LD4

#1128216 - 06/04/17 11:14 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Well,
I would say, if you are in the mist of writing songs don't stop. Continue to create, polish and finish your songs. Do it on a shoestring, There may come a time when you have the perfect song someone needs. A lot of things that we thought were gone forever have been coming back so don't throw in the towel just yet!


Ray E. Strode
#1128217 - 06/04/17 12:27 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Barry,

First of all with around 100 BILLION songs out there, you could go on strike forever, even every writer who ever lived could stop doing music and it wouldn't even be a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of songs that are already out there. You wouldn't be MISSED at ALL. None of us would. That comes up all the time and I say "Sure. Why don't you go ahead and go on strike? If you are a hit writer on music Row and you are saying that, they could come back and say "NO, YOU GO ON STRIKE! You tell your families, your creditors, people who depend on you for THEIR livelyhoods that you are not going to make any money until you get things the way YOU want them." Go ahead....make our day.

It's not going to ever happen because for every person who would go on strike, tens of thousands would just take their place. Would they all be GOOD? That really doesn't even matter because music, like art, is subjective and what you think is good, might not be thought is good by other people even the masses.

But YOU

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 06/05/17 09:07 AM. Reason: Duplication
#1128218 - 06/04/17 12:30 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Barry,

First of all with around 100 BILLION songs out there, you could go on strike forever, even every writer who ever lived could stop doing music and it wouldn't even be a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of songs that are already out there. You wouldn't be MISSED at ALL. None of us would. That comes up all the time and I say "Sure. Why don't you go ahead and go on strike? If you are a hit writer on music Row and you are saying that, they could come back and say "NO, YOU GO ON STRIKE! You tell your families, your creditors, people who depend on you for THEIR livelyhoods that you are not going to make any money until you get things the way YOU want them." Go ahead....make our day.

It's not going to ever happen because for every person who would go on strike, tens of thousands would just take their place. Would they all be GOOD? That really doesn't even matter because music, like art, is subjective and what you think is good, might not be thought is good by other people even the masses.

But YOU CAN GO ON STRIKE. You have that power. You can stop writing songs now. Not contribute at all to anything. Not let anyone hear anything you do until they pay you for it. You can do that. Go ahead. I'll wait. I'm pretty patient. And since I've been hearing this for around 40 years now, I'm still waiting for the big major music strike to happen. Just like I keep waiting for all the major labels to fold. Yeah. Go ahead. I'm waiting on that one too.

The truth is that we are each only as good as the people who listen to, become atracted to, and pay us for our creative work.

Before you get a royalty check, you first have to get a REALITY CHECK.

MAB

#1128219 - 06/04/17 12:33 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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YEP....

#1128224 - 06/05/17 09:25 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I guess that doubled and didn't see it till today. Sorry.

Barry, we always hear that sentiment "Everyone go on strike" business every so often. But the entire deal is that the people calling for a "strike" are the ones who NO ONE CARES ABOUT THEIR MUSIC in the first place. They lose nothing by going on some form of a "strike" (which is a totally silly idea in the first place), but anyone who is actually IN THE BUSINESS doing it, TAYLOR SWIFT, KATY PERRY, GARTH BROOKS, LUKE BRYAN, etc. would be the ones who have to actually lead, and that is not going to happen. And the people writing the current hits, would not drop out, as no one is going to give up their own lively hood for some nebulus concept. (Fair pay for fair work.) And boycotts or strikes, don't really work in any thing. Ask the people screaming for a $15 minimum wage.
The states doing that are experiencing higher unemployment because they are replacing those workers who are minimum wage (namely fast food workers) with automation, eliminating the jobs completely.

Music would be the exact same thing. Since it is all VOLUNTEERALY, and people don't HAVE TO HAVE IT TO LIVE, it's not food, water, clothes, housing, medicine, etc. It is a luxury, and since it is SUBJECTIVE, what you consider to be "good" might not be with other people, it could be replaced with whatever comes along. In fact, that is part of the complaints everyone has.
"Everything on the radio SUCKS!!' isn't it? Well, SOMEONE is buying it, or supporting the artists, going to their shows, buying their merchandise, touring, endorsements, etc. How many country stars are doing GMC, Ford, Chrysler truck commercials? Beer commercials? Magazine covers, selling out whatever they do? Quite a few.

So that is why music would NEVER END. There is always going to be someone there to do it. And what has led to the decline in quality to begin with is a glut of product that never slows and will never end. And people will be able to get it for free.

I had a few neighbors over last night. One is a graphic designer who has just been laid off, She was talking about a situation she had with one of her co-workers who was a melinnial. (under 30). And what she said was something I have heard unendingly for nearly 20 years now. She said that this co-worker was CONTINUALLY PROUD THAT SHE HAD NEVER AND WOULD NEVER "PAY" FOR MUSIC. It was a source of pride for her. When challenged that she was "stealing" music, she replied, " I CAN GET IT. IT IS OUT THERE." And that is the attitude of anyone under the age of 30. They don't have to buy PHYSICAL PRODUCT. They don't have to buy Albums, cassettes or CD's. They download it from one medium, the Internet, to another, their Cell phones. Even with streaming services, most people are really going to ignore them because there will always be another web site, another group of people, who will make it available for free.

Which is why I disaggree with the entire "One day streaming will catch up" mentality. It won't. There is always going to be a huge segment, and I would argue the majority, who does not even have it on their radar screen to pay for music. And that is why also the goal posts for what downloads are worth keeps changing. First 20 to make one cent. Then 100 to make one cent. Then 1000 to make one cent. and so forth and so on. It never catches up. These services that claim "if we just get 50 million subscribers...if we just get 100 million subscribers...if we just get 200 million subscribers..." they never catch up. Just move the goal posts. Never will be there.


So the thing to do?
What Ray is suggesting. You WRITE SONGS. You PERFORM SONGS. You RECORD SONGS. You do what you do. You find your audience. You find people that will help you find your audience, be they artists, other writers, or industry people. You never stop creating what you want to create.
But you DO approach it with some common sense. You don't spend a fortune. You keep your goals reasonable. You work on what YOU can do for YOUR own life and goals.

Concentrate on WHAT IS. Not WHAT IF'S.

Do that and it will be a lot more fulfilling.

MAB

#1128233 - 06/05/17 12:11 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Yep.....I mostly use Facebook to send my songs all over the world.
I have Music pages off my Barry Butler Facebook page of my songs in different categories.
I hear from Christian Pastors about my Christian Songs from as far away as Pakistan and Australia and my songs are all over the world.
SO I'm ok.....I enjoy free songs on youtube as I'm really broke living on a Social Security check and really struggling big time...But I'm rich in Talent and Ability and that's better than being rich with money....Take care and as always thanks for posting.....

#1128244 - 06/05/17 04:12 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Barry, just think about that for a second .You have ministers from all over the world sharing in your music. You are writing Christian music, so you are obviously appealing to people and uplifting their spirits enough that they are interested in hearing more from you. That is not too bad. What are we all trying to do?
SHARE OUR MUSIC WITH AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE CAN.

You are GLOBAL!!! That is a pretty good thing. Always take your victories. And those are some pretty good victories.
Congratulations and thank you for your service to humanity. Not a bad thing huh?

MAB

#1128245 - 06/05/17 04:22 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Hey Marc.....I have Facebook Page off of mine called "NAM"......and it's a bunch of Vietnam War Songs that I wrote....I have Pictures up there and pictures of the DC Wall including one song/video with the wall all the way through and I have my song and video MY WALK THROUGH ARLINGTON.....It's amazing at the reaction I've gotten from Nam Vets and they keep coming in. I get incredible comments about my Arlington Song and Video from Family members including wives and kids of Heroes buried there.

SO about five years ago I made a mid course change in my approach away from Country type songs to Meaning Songs and It's been remarkable. Still no money but I hear from people ALL Over the world including Russia and Even China....lol

I Love Facebook and the entrée into the Larger World out there. I'm Nobody sitting in the middle of Nowhere but still out there....

#1128247 - 06/05/17 06:51 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I saw that one. Good job Barry. Nice page. Good luck with it.

MAB

#1128261 - 06/06/17 07:54 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I'm writing almost 100% Christian now, if I don't make any money in this world, I may have a fortune in saved souls in the next world. Store up your treasures where rust can not destroy and thieves can not steal. I know for a fact where one person got saved on his death bed by listening to a recording I wrote and produced years ago. He requested four of the songs off the recording to be played at his funeral. How many more may have been touched by my songs, I may never know in this world, but in the next I will.

#1128263 - 06/06/17 08:02 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Sebring, Florida USA
Hey Everett.....I've been writing a LOT Of Christian Contemporary Songs in the past 5 years also like my Jesus Is Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHIyIQDuLc4

I love your statement on Saving Souls but No Savings ( In the Bank )...lol..

Good Luck and it's always rewarding doing God's Work here on Planet Earth...

#1128279 - 06/06/17 03:09 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Hey, you know, a lot of time I feel like I am the grim reaper in all forms of the music business. When discussions go a certain way, I try to bring information that might give a broader perspective on it all.

I strongly believe that people can be their own motivation, that the most important things they do creatively is for themselves Sometimes, they step past that and into the arena with various levels of success. And there are many ways of defining success, financial is only one of them.
In all the talk of rock, pop, country, downloading, streaming, etc. we get bogged down in various business things and people might be interested in other things. You guys talking about the Christian industry, was interesting as I have had a little experience in that. But I also felt that the CHRISTIAN MUSIC Business would be having it's own problems. And just like usual, someone starts talking about something and BOOM here comes an article on just that.

This is NOT to depress you. You should be writing for YOU. But do know that all the entertainment industry is going through the same things. Nothing is above being touched. Read with that in mind.


http://theweek.com/articles/555603/who-killed-contemporary-christian-music-industry

#1128280 - 06/06/17 03:40 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [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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Sebring, Florida USA
Great Article Marc...and spot on.
It's about Saving Souls one at a time.
Not saving dollars millions at a time.
There are Millions of music loving church goers.
There are 26 Churches in My small town of Sebring and they all have Music Ministries.
SO its Saving Souls not Saving Dollars....
Every Church is a Potential Fan Base and Someplace to play. They give Love Offerings and
can actually sell cds there or push your website to sell there. HOW many Churches are there
in America and Around the world that have Music Ministries and LOVE Original Songs whether they are Praise Sing a Long Songs or songs like my JESUS IS LOVE or A JEWISH CARPENTER CHANGED THE WORLD...Think about the opportunities you have doing country or pop ...Not Many but Man there are a lot of churches to mine and they all have facebook pages and web sites. And they ALL LOVE JESUS...

#1128282 - 06/06/17 05:26 PM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Barry, as usual you are quite correct. Enjoying seeing your face on Facebook, LOL!

I have been involved in one way or another with Christian and Gospel music my entire life. My Dad was a Southern Gospel Quartet leader in Miss. in the 50's and 60's, (My first television appearance was on his Christmas television show when I was three months old. LOL!) I grew up with the sounds of THE STATESMEN Quartet, the Original Oak Ridge Boys, The Rhythm Masters, (My Dad's group) the Dixie Echoes (my cousin's group), growing up on Sunday morning before Church watching those Chuck Wagon Gang shows, going to all night singings with the groups live. Years later, meeting my Dad's friends. (My first cut featured Elvis' bass singer and Stamps quartet singer, JD Sumner), traveling on a couple of quartet buses, going to the Sunday shows and love offerings, having conversations with my publisher's next door neighbors, Bill and Gloria Gaither, . I got a few Christian cuts (that weren't really Christian) and even had a preacher craft a service around one of my songs. Not to mention TONS of shows myself I have done in those Churches.

Always an interesting business. To studios and musicians, it is often known as a "SPEC' business. "SPEC NOT TO GET PAID!" LOL! But I have known some very successful songwriters in that genre. One, Jackson Brumley, whose father wrote "I'LL FLY AWAY" and One friend, Rusty Golden (son of William Lee Golden, the long haired bearded guy in the Oak Ridge Boys) has had 5 number ones and now he is in Dubai, playing CHRISTIAN MUSIC FOR ISLAMIC PEOPLE!!! Try that at home!

Songs of faith, people's passions will guide them. Often from a "higher power." So you keep on writing what you feel driven to do. There is always a place in those hymnals. Halleluia!


MAB

#1128295 - 06/07/17 08:10 AM Re: How many writers does it take to make a "HIT"? [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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Sebring, Florida USA
Great Stuff Marc.......You had an interest upbringing...
Saving Souls is always Good!
Barry


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