Who's Online Now
26 registered members (Deej56, Dave Rice, Gary E. Andrews, couchgrouch, Bob Cushing, Fdemetrio, 9ne, beechnut79, 4 invisible), and 1,183 guests, and
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Shout Box
Member Spotlight
Nelson
Nelson
Baltimore, MD
Posts: 2,581
Joined: June 2010
Show All Member Profiles 
What's Going On
London Calls
by Deej56. 12/10/19 01:58 AM
Your Underrated Songwriters
by Dave Rice. 12/09/19 11:23 PM
The Lost Church, Dec. 8, 2019, 4 PM.
by Gary E. Andrews. 12/09/19 11:16 PM
Season Greetings
by Dave Rice. 12/09/19 11:14 PM
songs for brian.
by Dave Rice. 12/09/19 11:11 PM
Planet of the Angels
by John W Selleck. 12/09/19 10:12 PM
"Morketid-(The Polar Night.")
by MFB III. 12/09/19 09:36 PM
FREE Demo for Christmas - ENDS in 3 DAYS
by glynda. 12/09/19 09:36 PM
Mexico
by niteshift. 12/09/19 09:30 PM
ASCAP ONSTAGE
by markus-ky. 12/09/19 09:10 PM
The Same Sun Shines On Us All
by maccharles. 12/09/19 08:44 PM
Loss
by maccharles. 12/09/19 08:32 PM
Any suggestions
by Martin Lide. 12/09/19 05:54 PM
That Farmer's Son. revised LYRICS 8'15
by John W Selleck. 12/09/19 05:54 PM
The cleverest JPF song (lyric wise)
by Bob Cushing. 12/09/19 05:14 PM
ANYONE CARE FOR A DRINK WITH ME
by Gavin Sinclair. 12/09/19 04:46 PM
Dreams of Sugar Cookies
by beechnut79. 12/09/19 02:44 PM
Baby Can You Hear Me
by beechnut79. 12/09/19 02:38 PM
"Over The River Tonight" Copyright 1979
by beechnut79. 12/09/19 02:36 PM
Brandon Rohr Dec. 13, 2019 Bull's Gap TN
by Gary E. Andrews. 12/09/19 11:13 AM
Brandon Rohr, Dec. 13, 2019 Bull's Gap TN
by Gary E. Andrews. 12/09/19 11:04 AM
Soldiers Field now musicated. Travis and Vic
by Travis david. 12/09/19 08:38 AM
Runaway Train
by Marvin Adcock. 12/09/19 06:12 AM
Adios Amigo
by niteshift. 12/09/19 04:29 AM
Life and Death Out Here In Da Sticks. ..glyn
by glynda. 12/09/19 02:29 AM
Christmas In Our Home Town by Lowell Gaines
by glynda. 12/09/19 02:22 AM
Still getting over you
by glynda. 12/09/19 02:20 AM
Affordable High Quality Music Production
by LarryMagee. 12/08/19 06:37 PM
Has anyone worked with EastCraft Recording?
by Dave Rice. 12/08/19 09:12 AM
The Bunkhouse, Bulls Gap, TN.
by Gary E. Andrews. 12/08/19 12:59 AM
Top Posters(All Time)
Calvin 19,789
Travis david 11,642
Kevin Emmrich 10,568
Jean Bullock 10,330
Kaley Willow 10,240
Two Singers 9,600
Joice Marie 9,186
Mackie H. 8,844
glynda 8,620
Mike Dunbar 8,574
Tricia Baker 8,318
Colin Ward 7,907
couchgrouch 7,622
Dave Rice 7,419
Corey 7,357
Wyman Lloyd 6,578
Mark Kaufman 6,561
Joe Wrabek 6,403
Vicarn 6,185
ben willis 6,106
Lynn Orloff 5,788
Louis 5,725
Linda Sings 5,608
niteshift 5,522
KimberlyinNC 5,210
Neil Cotton 4,909
Derek Hines 4,893
DonnaMarilyn 4,652
Blake Hill 4,528
Bob Cushing 4,364
Bill Osofsky 4,199
Tom Shea 4,179
Cindy Miller 4,178
Roy Cooper 4,166
nightengale 4,092
TamsNumber4 4,075
MFB III 3,866
Caroline 3,865
Kolstad 3,813
Dan Sullivan 3,710
beechnut79 3,527
Dottie 3,427
E Swartz 3,420
joewatt 3,411
Bill Cooper 3,279
John Hoffman 3,199
Skip Johnson 3,027
Pam Hurley 3,007
Terry G 3,005
PopTodd 2,890
Harriet Ames 2,870
Nigel Quin 2,812
MidniteBob 2,707
Nelson 2,581
Tom Tracy 2,558
Polly Hager 2,526
Jerry Jakala 2,524
Al Alvarez 2,499
Eric Thome 2,448
Hummingbird 2,401
Stan Loh 2,263
Sam Wilson 2,242
Judy Hollier 2,232
Wendy D 2,218
Erica Ellis 2,202
TrumanCoyote 2,096
Marty Helly 2,022
DukeWill 1,987
floyd jane 1,982
maccharles 1,966
Clint Anglin 1,904
cindyrella 1,888
David Wright 1,866
Clairejeanne 1,851
Cindy LaRosa 1,824
Ronald Boyt 1,675
Iggy 1,650
Noel Downs 1,620
Martin Lide 1,607
Rick Heenan 1,597
Cal 1,574
Jack Swain 1,554
Fdemetrio 1,538
Pete Larsen 1,537
Ann Tygart 1,529
Tom Breshers 1,487
RogerS 1,462
Tom Franz 1,455
GocartMoz 1,441
Chuck Crowe 1,441
Ralph Blight 1,440
Kenneth Cade 1,429
Rick Norton 1,428
bholt 1,411
Letha Allen 1,408
in2piano 1,404
Stan Simons 1,402
mattbanx 1,384
Jen Shaner 1,373
Charlie Wong 1,347
KevinP 1,324
Vondelle 1,316
Tom W. 1,313
Jan Petter 1,301
scottandrew 1,292
DakLander 1,265
PeteG 1,242
Ian Ferrin 1,230
Glen King 1,214
IdeaGuy 1,209
AaronAuthier 1,177
Diane Ewing 1,158
Gerry 1,144
summeoyo 1,126
lane1777 1,121
Deej56 1,096
joro 1,082
BobbyJoe 1,075
S.DEE 1,040
yann 1,037
Tony A 1,016
argo 986
peaden 984
Wolvman 960
IronKnee 947
Jak Kelly 912
krtinberg 890
9ne 887
Drifter 886
Petra 883
90 dB 870
RJC 845
Brenda152 840
Nadia 829
Juan 797
TKO 784
frahmes 781
teletwang 762
Andy K 744
tbryson 737
Andy Kemp 733
ant 732
Jackie444 731
3daveyO3 704
Dayson 703
Dixie 701
Joy Boy 695
Knute 686
Lee Arten 678
Katziis 652
R.T.MOORE 638
quality 637
Irwin 630
CG King 622
Pat Hardy 621
douglas 621
Mel 614
Moosesong 604
NaomiSue 601
Shandy 589
Ria 587
TAMERA64 583
qbaum 570
nitepiano 566
pRISCILLA 556
Tink2 553
musica 539
deanbell 528
RobertK 527
BonzaiWag 523
Roderic 522
BB Wilbur 511
goodfolks 499
R&M 493
Zeek 487
Stu 486
Steve P. 481
JAPOV 470
KathyW 462
allenb 459
MaxG 458
Philjo 454
fanito 448
trush48 448
dmk 442
arealrush 437
DGR 436
avweek 435
Stephen D 433
Emmy 431
Rob L 426
marquez 422
kit 419
Softkrome 417
kyrksongs 415
RRon 408
Laura G. 407
VNORTH 407
Debra 407
eb 406
cuebald 399
EdPerrone 399
Dannyk1 395
Hobart 395
Davyboy49 393
Smile 389
GJShades 387
Ezt 384
tone 380
Marla 380
Cecilee 379
iggyiggy 378
coalminer 377
java 374
spidey 371
Register Today!
Welcome to the Just Plain Folks forums! You are currently viewing our forums as a Guest which gives you limited access to most of our discussions and to other features.

By joining our free community you will have access to post and respond to topics, communicate privately with our users (PM), respond to polls, upload content, and access many other features. Registration is fast, simple, and absolutely free; so please join our community today!
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
#1158586 - 11/12/19 02:11 PM How are songwriters faring in Nashville?  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,987
DukeWill Offline
Top 200 Poster
DukeWill  Offline
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,987
Louisiana, USA
Greetings! What is the 'state of the nation' of songwriters in Nashville? I continue to see "nobody buys cd's anymore" and if you look at a chart of sales, it's dismal. And aren't streaming royalties a fraction of what one gets from cd sales or even downloads? So, are the big writers still writing or have many of them gone home? Would love to know how songwriters have reacted to the paradigm shift in the music industry.

EDIT: In other words, if song sales are down 90% (pick a number but it's bad!), royalties would be down that much, right? How can writers who are not artists continue?

What's weird about this is for several years now, you read "It's all about touring, that is where artists are making their money now. And I read about a successful artist in the UK and maybe even global (I don't know) and, supposedly, he had a very popular tour, selling out just about every venue, yet, lost money! Now, it could be his venues were clubs and small theatres and not arenas, still, it was surprising. Who knows, he might have had too many handlers.

Last edited by DukeWill; 11/12/19 04:33 PM.
#1158590 - 11/12/19 07:51 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,465
Gary E. Andrews Online content
Top 200 Poster
Gary E. Andrews  Online Content
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,465
Portsmouth, Ohio, USA
Good question(s).
Years ago it was described as a 'collapse' of hard-copy CD sales. I read it was down by half. That was years ago.
In 2019 the 'single' is the 'thing'. Those who invest in music promotion will sign deals for a single Song by an unknown artist if they think it has potential to make money.
Royalties aren't paid on hard-copy sales; they're paid on 'performance', meaning terrestrial radio, television, now streaming, any 'use' where someone else is making money and uses music as part of their operation.
I heard or read somewhere that 'cover' bands, playing other peoples' music, are supposed to supply the venue with a Song list, so they can turn it over to PRO's, (Performance Rights Organizations), BMI, ASCAP, others in the USA, enabling the PRO's to assess the 'share' of entertainment Royalties to be paid to the Songwriters, and Publishers, if any. I never heard of any band or venue actually doing it.
I read somewhere that in the old days record companies took ALL the money from those million seller record sales, telling artists to go tour and make their money on ticket sales, and, if you're smart, merchandising, hats, t-shirts, pictures, whatever the public wants to buy from you.
After the 'collapse' I read that the record labels came to artists saying they wanted a piece of the ticket sales and merchandising.
Tom Petty dropped his record company to do it himself.
Record companies dropped Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, artists I'd have thought still had sales potential.
The paradigm didn't simply shift; it shattered. Most people still haven't figured out what's going on.
I heard a guy on National Public Radio being interviewed, saying he makes a six-figure income by working a 'home' region, from a home base. He's not trying to play Tokyo, L. A. and Moscow; just finding a circuit he can easily work without signing up for representation, distribution, all the stuff labels and artist management used to do for artists.
Finding your 'business model', the strategy for your particular niche may be a more practical way to make a living in music. You can still sell CD's, if that's the medium in which consumers want to buy it. You may want to also offer it as downloads. They sell credit-card download-cards, enabling the buyer to download the product. Single Songs, 'albums', vinyls, USB's, whatever format they want to give you their money for, you might want to figure out how to supply.
Nashville long ago became a town seeking Songs to give to artists who weren't writers. I hear now they're all writers. Even those doing a Song they didn't write may ask to change one word, to qualify as a writer and earn Songwriter Royalties. Publishers want 100% of Publishing Royalties.
There's a vast market in television, with hundreds of channels, all employing music as part of the product they want to sell, and commercial advertising looking for jingles or to use a popular Song. Movie Sound-Tracks, Music Supervisors, are looking for Songs.
It's a new world. You have to study the transition from hobbyist to company marketing music. How can you do it your way?
Word on the street is you can make hundreds of dollars in this business.
They say a musician is someone who puts $5,000 dollars worth of equipment in a $500 dollar car to drive 100 miles to make $50 dollars.


There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#1158596 - 11/13/19 04:56 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,419
Dave Rice Online content
Top 30 Poster
Dave Rice  Online Content
Top 30 Poster

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,419
Texas
Welcome home, "Duke:"

Remember the time we listened to the words of wisdom at that NSAI meeting in Marshall, TX... and from MAB himself? They say that "hindsight is always 20/20" and yet we bought that tale of optimism hook, line and sinker!

Good to see you back. Hope you are keeping Mason in line!

----Dave

#1158613 - 11/14/19 08:38 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,607
Martin Lide Online content
Top 200 Poster
Martin Lide  Online Content
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,607
Houston, Texas
@ Gary Andrews....

I enjoyed reading your post. It did what a good song is supposed to do...flowed nicely, kept moving on to new subject matter, held my attention and passed the "seems like the practical truth" test.

Regards

Martin

#1158615 - 11/14/19 08:53 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,465
Gary E. Andrews Online content
Top 200 Poster
Gary E. Andrews  Online Content
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,465
Portsmouth, Ohio, USA
Well good Martin! Yours is a lesson in itself!
QUOTE:
What a good song is supposed to do...
flow nicely,
keep moving on to new subject matter,
hold listener attention and
pass the "seems like the practical truth" test.
END QUOTE:

Flow is inherent in musical composition, note following note, changing in pitch, duration, similar to a Lyric, word following word, delivering those notes and adding word-meanings along a coherent theme.
Moving on to 'new' subject matter is actually developing a theme, components in a coherently logical storyline.
Holding listener attention is what I call 'Hook Factor' which is present, or not, in everything the listener might hear, starting with the Introductory Movement, getting them to 'notice', paying attention long enough to start the featured Melody, instrumentally and/or Lyrically, and then 'Hooking' them with vocal delivery and story, finally delivering THE Hook, that summary Line that makes sense of the whole thing, delivered with Melody that combines with word meaning to become indelibly embedded in their heads.
The final test, "Seems like the practical truth" is explained in fiction-writing as getting the reader to 'suspend disbelief', to begin to 'believe' the story is not fiction, but real, creating that 'real' world, conceivably true.

Thank you for the lesson. loL


There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#1158662 - 11/18/19 09:26 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Nashville, Tn.
"Remember the time we listened to the words of wisdom at that NSAI meeting in Marshall, TX... and from MAB himself? They say that "hindsight is always 20/20" and yet we bought that tale of optimism hook, line and sinker!"

Dave, which "words of wisdom" of mine are you referring to in Marshall Texas? As I recall, I never sugar coated much, so don't know what I was throwing out to be bought "hook line and sinker."

In the immortal words of DICKENS, :
"IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES, IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES."

Like every business, there are winners and losers. Some are doing amazingly well. Most are just trying to find a toe hold. But there are a few simple things to undestand.

In 1998 I attended a "secret" panel discussion with all the major labels, publishers, hit writers, PRO's and producers in town. Had a bomb hit that particular night, it probably would have wiped out the music industry in Nashville. The subject of the meeting was a new thing coming called "the interweb" that was going to revolutionize our lives.
It told of the coming things, the world wide reach, that artists and writers would have, the overall effect on the business, the ability to digitally produce product and do away with physical product completely.

Close to the end, one of the "Tech guys" representing the coming changes, said "But in the future, writers will have to get used to doing without royalties, because they won't be there. "
One of the most successful writers in Nashville, who was just coming off an enormous Garth Brooks number one, raised his hand and asked "How will a writer make a living?"

The tech guy said very calmly.
"YOU WON'T. "

From that point, the music business shifted. It all went inside. The artist was now the writer, whether he was a writer or not. Artist BRANDING became the norm and every hit and established writer formed their own publishing, record and development companies, developing young artists and building the brand.

With the advent of American Idol, the 360 DEGREE deal" became the norm, where a record company was partners in eveyrthing, merchandising, touring, endosrements, etc that was previously the artist's were now the company. New companies were formed and partnered with the majors. People like Taylor Swift had companies built around them, and employed their own writers, studios, publishers, and did every thing in house.

The "OUTSIDE PITCH" was dead. And the inner circles formed. But they always rose and fell just like all businesses do. What was the "biggest dog on the block" company, writer, artist, etc, one week was gone the next and the answer to a trivia question. Careers shortened, and while in some areas, money was enormous, (Country tours are some of the biggest grossing events out there) others were shut out.
For writers, if you didn't pair up with some artist at the beginning of their career, get in on the ground floor, you were completely dead.

But there were enormous numbers of new artists continually. 30-60 million creators got into the game. 100,000 songs an hour uploaded., A billion songs a month. The odds were enormous, but they kept coming. About 600 a week make trips or move to Nashville, offset by around 1200 a week that move home, lasting 6 months to two years.
The Internet exploded with pod casts, internet radio, and of course, streaming. Spotify and Pandora, use billions in public money, claim they pay out enormous amounts, but no writers recieve that much money.

Like always, VISABILITY is VIABILITY. If you have something is ion all the charts, in commercials, movies, television, the artist is on all the talk shows, the awards shows, is a presence every where, gets endorsements, is a VIABLE BRAND, you make really good money. If they don't. You don't.

There are many other "NICHES" people who are doing things totally themselves. They have their own YOU TUBE channels. They do huge touring business. People like Jason Isbell become huge artists without major record deals. If they are very viable (bring in money for investors) they pair up with record labels, and become even bigger. Hello Ed Sheeran.

But for the "solo writer out there on their own" it's a very dismal time. The artists, who are now the writers, look at outside songs as "someone putting words in their mouth" and songs are very relative. What may be brilliance to one person or group of people is HATED by others.

So what to do?

If you want to survive, you find your own artists and help them launch their career. And you do it a LOT. It is more political than ever with everyone trying to schmooze, rub elbows and create their own kingdoms, hoping that the world will follow.

"Staff deals" are nearly non-existant and usually not even considered until you have a few cuts or hits. In order to have a Kacee Musgraves, you have to write a few songs for Little Big Town, and others before you are considered. Then you might get a deal. Not before. And it very much depends on the circles you run in.Again, this is a relationship business. And with everyone trying to crowd in, it is harder and harder to get in. But businesses don't begin in the middle. The begin at the beginning.

The good news and the bad news are exactly the same.

The good news:
You have the ability to get your music OUT THERE. Everyone has the same opportunities.
The Bad news:
You have the ability to get your music OUT THERE. EVERYONE HAS THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES.

Some win. Some lose. Most of it is DYI. The odds are never good and never have been.

That's how writers in Nashville are fairing.
MAB

#1158664 - 11/18/19 10:33 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,622
couchgrouch Online content
Top 30 Poster
couchgrouch  Online Content
Top 30 Poster

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,622
In order to have a Kasey Musgraves you have to work those legs like a Rockette and hoe corn like Auntie Em. In order to have an Ed Sheeran you have to plagiarize every song you ever heard. (Ed's the guy with more pending copyright infringement cases than a rapper, isn't he?)

The real Hoss Vegas question is, when did Garth Brooks get a head transplant from Ted Kennedy? At the CMA's it looked like Sputnik was on his shoulders with a badly dyed beard.


Nashville demos etc:

https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=431939

other demos:

https://soundcloud.com/wabash-cannibal

Amazon Kindle books by Robert George you may enjoy:

1) Americana

2) Teenage Graceland

3) The Will to Be

4) Fort Mystery

5) Wheel Sea

6) My One True Love
#1158665 - 11/18/19 11:38 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,312
Ray E. Strode Online content
Top 30 Poster
Ray E. Strode  Online Content
Top 30 Poster

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,312
Brunswick, Ga. USA
Um, yes,
Back in 1994 my wife and I came back from a 3 week trip out west to visit a few people and see some things we had only witnessed years before. When we got back I got a call from a guy up the road a ways that they had a NSAI Chapter and since I had joined a bit before they gave him my number. So I went to the meetings for a while. At that time the Internet was growing and he said we were going to be much more successful in our music endeavors by using the Net. It didn't turn out exactly as advertised. It seems you still have to hustle if you want to be successful at anything. Still a lot of action with very little results.


Ray E. Strode
#1158672 - 11/18/19 12:58 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Nashville, Tn.
Ray, the thing I never understand is where did all these people get the idea that YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO HUSTLE? It's ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY!!!

You all really should watch the Ken Burns documentary, and see the exact same things that happened in the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and so on and so forth. Artists were on the road all the time. The songwriters all knew each other and were all involved in tight enclaves and it all took time. Songwriters worked multiple jobs, Kristofferson was a janitor at CBS WHILE having the songs "ME AND BOBBY McGHEE, SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN, HELP ME MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT. Willie couldn't get arrested for a record deal. Inner office politics, one company buying out another company. One generation being replaced by the next generation and "NOT GOING QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT" the fight between what "is and isn't country." Labels coming and going. Stars outliving their successes.

Everybody would help themselves by doing a little historical research and find out some truths instead of invented stories.

As for anybody "using their legs" and such uninformed nonsense, as usual they know very little of what they talk about and don]t go to the trouble to find out about the hundreds, thousands and hundreds of thousands that "had legs, looks, money behind them, political contacts and clout and STILL couldn't do anything. Can't force anyone to BUY anything. And now is the era of FREE MUSIC. People get it easily, endlessly and for free. So you can bet if someone is actually getting money through streaming, they are selling a LOT of problems.

Vinyl is making a comeback and Garth just sold a miliion units of his new album. They are on track to sell more vinyl this year than anything else. But those are misleading, because that is against CD's and legal downloads. They are not really including streaming in the mix, so the numbers are a bit skewed.

At any rate, many artists find their own niche, expand their niches or are on the top of the world. Just like always. There is another interesting parallel.

For many years, actually since the 60's, there were songs that were RADIO HITS, and songs that were PRODUCT HITS.

There were songs that got a ton of radio airplay, but really didn't sell that much physical product.
There were songs and artists that sold a ton of records but never really did that well on radio.

Things like Jimmy Buffet's "MARGARITAVILLE" never got above #10 on the charts, but has resulted in a $2 billion dollar industry. So as always, monetary figures, market share, softness or activity in a market are confusing and not always what they seem. So quoting one statistic or chart or whatever and saying "It's all dead" or :It's all incredible" are wildly off base.
The more things change.......

MAB

#1158674 - 11/18/19 04:49 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,706
John W. Selleck Offline
Top 100 Poster
John W. Selleck  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,706
NJ
The interesting truth in what I read above is that you either have to be an artist/promote your own songs, have an "In" with an artist/new or established, or have the money to back new artists to promote your songs. That leaves many of us out in the cold. I was one of those who moved to Nashville in the early 2000's after winning a songwriting contest and being told that I had the right stuff to be a songwriter. I knocked on lots of doors, met some publishers, got invited to parties, and had two publishers talking about signing at least one song. Then the nursing home my mother was in called from NJ to tell me she wasn't going to last the winter so I went back. Try as I might, I couldn't get an "In" from there, even with a top notch studio musician doing my demos. Eventually I decided that money in the bank from lots of work was better than a dream that left me broke. I kept on writing but mostly for myself. With the music industry the way it is today, I wouldn't have bothered at all.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

http://www.soundclick.com/johnsings
http://www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
http://www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
#1158675 - 11/18/19 04:53 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,312
Ray E. Strode Online content
Top 30 Poster
Ray E. Strode  Online Content
Top 30 Poster

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,312
Brunswick, Ga. USA
Eh, Marc,
I already have THE ROOTS OF COUNTRY MUSIC, put out several years ago by somebody. I taped it, three 2 hour programs as I recall 2 hours each over three weeks. I now have it on a DVD. It is practically the same program. Now everybody thinks he's a songwriter. I listened to Webb Pierce burning up the Charts live when it was happening. Because Webb was getting huge amounts of Airplay a lot of other great Artists were also getting Air Time. I am about though trying to get my songs heard. Much of the stuff being played today, on the Radio shouldn't ever made it into the studio, let alone out to the public.So, what is the last Album you can name that sold a million copies? Once again, A lot of Action, little results Yes, it is amazing that Vinyl is making a comeback. Well I do still have my Acoustic Research Turntable. And I can play 45's and LP's. In fact I have copied a lot of songs from Vinyl to CD. Great music from the past. Geronimo!!


Ray E. Strode
#1158678 - 11/18/19 08:26 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,568
Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,568
Crozet, VA
Originally Posted by Ray
So, what is the last Album you can name that sold a million copies? Once again, A lot of Action, little results


Ray, that would be quite interesting to know. Please google that and report back on that for us.


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#1158683 - 11/19/19 09:38 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Nashville, Tn.
Ray, the "Roots of Country music, while is a good series, is not what I am talking about. The KEN BURNS, HISTORY OF COUNTRY MUSIC, which just came out a few weeks ago, and was produced and designed by the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME" is now considered the "DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF COUNTRY MUSIC." That is what I am talking about. It does show many of the controversies and arguments over the years, which makes it the most accurate.

As far as "million selling albums" you should look that up yourself. If you want to know something, it is a google search away, but I am pretty sure you have no interest in reality and would rather go through the complaining about things, so it really doesn't matter. I don't keep track of such things but will give you the one most known recently is GARTH BROOKS LEGACY ALBUM. Which sold a million vinyl albums IN PRE-SALE.: Not bad for a guy with no record label, and who has been retired for 15 years and made $500 million dollars in the past three years. He sold 420,000 in one day. So there is one. I am sure there are more, but albums (or CD's) don't sell physical product any more in any genre.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danafe...vinyl-records-on-pre-order/#4b28fd2051a5

CD's and albums don't sell physical product anymore because most music is gathered through STREAMING. This can be legal, illegal or involved in streaming services. So the fact that physical product does not sell as much is not an indictment on the industry itself. ASCAP, BMI and SESAC are collecting records amounts of money. But sells of product is only a small part of that.

An example came a couple years ago, when Lady Ga Ga had around 17,000 in physical sales in a few week period. At the same time, she earned around $50 million dollars on tour, endorsements and merchandising.

Again, for some perspective, when you had Elvis and the Beatles starting out, money was earned from their records. But once they started having their pictures on lunch boxes, school books, clothing, teen magazines, and other visuals, their earnings shot through the roof. Music has always been about the ARTISTS, not the songs. The songs are PART of the artist's branding and it takes hits to fuel them in the first place. But it is the BRANDING which keeps them up and really makes them money. Especially now in the celebrity focused culture. I'm not saying it's good or bad. A good deal of both. But it is what it is.



John, your story is very similar to most that move to Nashville. Most quit long before they are able to score real success. Most due to dissalousionment or simply other things call them home or to other things, like family matters. My reality check came about 3 months in by a woman named Amy Kurland who founded the world famous Bluebird cafe. She told me "You 've had a lot of success before you got here right? Awards, notable mentions, press, a lot of success?" I told her I had. My band had won a national talent contest, and were touring fairly successfully throughout the southeast opening for people like Tommy Shaw, Bachman Turner Overdrive, and Cheap Trick.
She said, now take all those notices and awards, set them in a room and BURN them, or put them away, because you start over and it is a ten year town."

At the time I already had a cut on Grammy Winner Shelby Lynne, in a song that ended up in a CBS television movie starring Chris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. So I thought I had a lot going on and yes I was told by everyone "I had all it took to be a major star." (that is kind of standard Nashvillese.) It was ten years before I got the second one. And that was 1988. Now it is closer to a twenty year town, unless you are 23 years old, incredibly good looking, and have a lot of people attached to you, and tons of promotional money behind you. And even that doesn't guarantee anything.

Most of the 600 or so people who move to Nashville a week, are offset by the nearly 1200 a week that move home or have completely quit the business attempts withint 6 months to two years. Had you stuck around?... who knows. I've seen far more GREAT WRITERS, SONGS, ARTISTS, LABELS, PUBLISHERS, PRODUCER, leave and quit than I have seen actually move to town in the first place. It is a huge attrition rate. But the first rule of anything is you can't give up. Just like playing sports, like Golf. Never going to hit the ball if you don't get on the green.
But as far as not staying broke, you probably made the right decision. I just left 185 of Nashville's top writers and many of them that you would think would be set for life, are far from it. Just part of the life. Nobody forces anyone to come here and do this.

Glad that your decision was the right one for you.

MAB

#1158684 - 11/19/19 09:53 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,312
Ray E. Strode Online content
Top 30 Poster
Ray E. Strode  Online Content
Top 30 Poster

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,312
Brunswick, Ga. USA
Humm,
Duke Will asks what is the situation of Songwriters in Nashville today. A couple of decades or so ago there was an a somewhat Major Artist named Joe Diffie. Joe was looking for new songs to record. That was when there were a lot of staff songwriters with the Big Publishers in Nashville. Joe said he went thru every song the publishers had and couldn't find one song worthy of recording! Now you would think, any artist looking for new songs to record could find at least a dozen good songs among the major publishers in Nashville. I would say that is about the situation of songwriters even today in Nashville. There are several Music Groups in and around Nashville with songs to pitch. They have songs they can't place now and do not entertain any outside songs. Eh, well.

P.S Marc.
I lived thru a lot of what Ken Burns produced and have the music in my library to prove it. As well several books on the subject.
Maybe if the Ken Burns production is released on a DVD I may aquire it but already have about 6 hours on DVD of an earlier production. Sure, I also have a slew of Sea Stories I also lived thru I could tell. Lemme see here. I think there was a Movie one time Entitled: SOME CAME RUNNING. Ring a bell of all the people coming to Nashville looking to make a killing??

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 11/19/19 10:04 AM.

Ray E. Strode
#1158689 - 11/19/19 10:32 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 848
Gavin Sinclair Online content
Top 500 Poster
Gavin Sinclair  Online Content
Top 500 Poster

Joined: May 2017
Posts: 848
Conover, North Carolina, USA
My takeaway from Marc's post is to get several thousands of lunchboxes made with my face on them. If I am reading his post right, that should pretty much guarantee success.

My other takeaway is... you opened for Cheap Trick! Those guys gave one of the best concerts I ever went to.

#1158690 - 11/19/19 10:48 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Fdemetrio Online content
Top 200 Poster
Fdemetrio  Online Content
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Cheap Trick, what a band! Once you get past Beatles, Stones, Who, Led Zep and The Kinks, you start looking at Cheap Trick.....

Shes Tight was on the poppier side, but man that song has tremendous energy. True funny story, I was working on a temp assignment in some office complex. I hadn't heard Shes Tight for a LONG time, it came on the radio. I was literally popping up in my seat, and singing with it. I was almost terminated from the assignment. Company called the agency I was working for and told them that I was insubordinate. The woman was laughing when she called me but told me to dial it down. I said Terry "Cheap Trick was on the radio"

Lol i literally forgot where I was. Went home and wrote a song called "The Day Cheap Trick Got me Fired" ...even though i didnt get fired

SHES TIGHT....what a tune

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3J8rg1urHE


Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/19/19 10:49 AM.
#1158691 - 11/19/19 11:07 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 848
Gavin Sinclair Online content
Top 500 Poster
Gavin Sinclair  Online Content
Top 500 Poster

Joined: May 2017
Posts: 848
Conover, North Carolina, USA
That's a great song, but when it comes to live performance, it's hard to beat "Surrender."

What made the concert so memorable for me was that I had never heard of Cheap Trick, so they were a complete surprise. What they were doing playing a small seaside town in Scotland to a hall that could only hold a few hundred people I don't know, but that place was rocking!.

#1158692 - 11/19/19 11:13 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Fdemetrio Online content
Top 200 Poster
Fdemetrio  Online Content
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Originally Posted by Gavin Sinclair
That's a great song, but when it comes to live performance, it's hard to beat "Surrender."

What made the concert so memorable for me was that I had never heard of Cheap Trick, so they were a complete surprise. What they were doing playing a small seaside town in Scotland to a hall that could only hold a few hundred people I don't know, but that place was rocking!.


That key change in surrender for the third verse was one of the few times in a song that a key change really does something. It's like your hearing a new version of the song when the third verse comes in. And the song is STILL relavent, it will always be relavent so long as there are parents and kids.

My all time favorite has to be Dream Police. That Bridge, if the music doesnt say "chaos" to you, you are missing something. Timing, dissonance, but rock n roll at the same time. Amazing interlude in the bridge. Sounds like a police chase. Yep im a fan...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPemyipJzAM



Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/19/19 11:16 AM.
#1158693 - 11/19/19 11:17 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,987
DukeWill Offline
Top 200 Poster
DukeWill  Offline
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,987
Louisiana, USA
Always interesting feedback from you, Marc. What's up with Taxi? What's up with NSAI? Promoting how one can get a song pitched and accepted by an artist. Are they still promoting that or have they changed? Based on this thread (and this thread is what I expected), that's a fool's game.

Folk artists and independent singer-songwriter artist types never did sell much but some scratched out some income. Make a cd, press a bunch, sell them at shows and through any channel they can. Manufacturing how many would be warranted? 1,000? Or forget that, just press 300 and see if you can sell that many, lol! Do shows and house concerts. Does anyone know if it's about the same with that industry, better, worse? Meaning, a 'small-time' artist who primarily writes his/her own songs and hopes to (maybe) pay for the habit and that's about it.

#1158695 - 11/19/19 11:30 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Fdemetrio Online content
Top 200 Poster
Fdemetrio  Online Content
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Originally Posted by DukeWill
Always interesting feedback from you, Marc. What's up with Taxi? What's up with NSAI? Promoting how one can get a song pitched and accepted by an artist. Are they still promoting that or have they changed? Based on this thread (and this thread is what I expected), that's a fool's game.

Folk artists and independent singer-songwriter artist types never did sell much but some scratched out some income. Make a cd, press a bunch, sell them at shows and through any channel they can. Manufacturing how many would be warranted? 1,000? Or forget that, just press 300 and see if you can sell that many, lol! Do shows and house concerts. Does anyone know if it's about the same with that industry, better, worse? Meaning, a 'small-time' artist who primarily writes his/her own songs and hopes to (maybe) pay for the habit and that's about it.


So long as there are dreaming songwriters, there will be services that make money off those dreams. I hear good things about Taxi, but they are in it for the money not to help you get work.
CD Baby, wonderful, if you can sell more than 10 cds. But they still rake in the bucks.
Song Critiquers and Song Pluggers, and Bookwriters.... Home recording gear

The only people NOT making money are the people making the music and dreaming...

Pitching to artists is long gone. Most artists write and record their own stuff or at least take credit for it. Your only shot is to perform yourself and hope somebody sees it...and likes it.

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/19/19 11:38 AM.
#1158697 - 11/19/19 12:01 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Nashville, Tn.
Lots of comments. I'll try to address them as I can.

Kevin, the Cheap Trick thing was in 1985 after our win in the "MILLER HIGH LIFE ROCK TO RICHES NATIONAL TALENT SEARCH". It was the fourth year of a contest that had featured some really great people. But it was the people who came in SECOND that went on to great success. The winners never did anything. But the attention and press from the contest helped launch the careers of other people. The second runner up in 1981, the first year was a band called "TWISTED SISTER." The second year, in 1982, was a guy named Jon Bon Jovi. The fourth year was our band, 24 KARAT. We won. And promptly dissapeared into a record deal with MCA that went no where. But we did tour a lot around the South, doing huge fraternity parties in places like Tuscaloosa Alabama, Auburn Alabama, Atlanta, Ga. Panama City Florida, Hilton Head South Carolina, etc. We did a lot of opening shows like "second tier acts" "Gary US Bonds, Tommy Shaw, (split from Styxx) , weird outside groups like "OTIS DAY AND THE ANIMAL HOUSE BAND" (the worlds biggest toga party to a 20 minute version of "SHOUT.:" "Otis Day was an actor from LA who spent most of the show, drinking beer with me downstairs in the dressing room and talking about John Belushi.
The Cheap Trick show came as one of those. But we rarely interacted with any of the groups. They had their own entrances, limos, hotels, etc. One of the bands we got to know, but not play with was KANSAS. Our leader and guitar player, Jessi Lewis, was good friends with their drummer and lfounder, Phil Earheart.
So we had a lot of fun for a few years playing rock star. Was a cool time, but ultimately got out of the deal, the band split up and I changed directions, got into country, and moved to Nashville.

Duke, Taxi and other services are still out there and more being added all the time. Mostly now, are hit writers who no longer make much money from the business doing "Boot camps" , songwriter fantasy camps", Songwriter retreat weekends, their own courses and DVD's, Skype sessions, etc, mostly private instruction, and basically the same thing I have been doing since 2000. Once the money dries up in one place, it picks up in others.

This is what the 360 Degree deal that American Idol ushered in is about. Once the physical product sells started declining at the end of the 90's, the paradym shifted.
The labels, producers, radio, consultants, etc started seeing this a few years before the general public because they were doing market research. When you have a company like SONY, you have your hands in many pies. Radio, television, music, movies, commercial products, and other businesses outside of music. Product development. So they switched what they were doing, the "A&R" research and turned that over to smaller companies who would develop and build the artists and writers.

The way it would work is that you had a hit writer or producer, who had some hit records and money to invest. He/She would form their own companies and start building their own inner circles based around certain artists. And like all businesses, they would develop multiple artists at one time, and most would fade out and do nothing. But they would take one or two and run them up the flag pole and it would work.

Victoria Shaw, had enormous hits like Garth Brooks, "THE RIVER" and others. She built her own studio in the basement of her offices and would have recording business going on. Then the daughter of one of her best friends, recording artist and country star Linda Davis, Hillary, became very good friends and writers from her school at Belmont. Two guys who sang harmony and played for her. Victoria took and interest and actually took Hillary to two American Idol auditions where she was rejected on both. Victoria wrote songs with the three of them, and got them in the studio. When they were accomplished enough, she took them around to private parties and industry functions and got them opening for some country artists.
That trio became LADY ANTIBELLUM.

Craig Wiseman is one of the top money earning songwriters in Nashville. He formed his own company called BIG LOUD SHIRT and built a fortune around Montgomery Gentry, Trace Atkins, and Blake Shelton. Most of those artists recorded Craig's songs. One duo he started working with, were two guys from Belmont. Now the way a lot of this works is these hitmakers get the inside info on things coiming up long before anyone else knows it. Craig found out that Brooks and Dunn would be retiring and so he put together this duo of two young, hot guys, wrote and recorded songs on them then launched them when B&D were winding down.

That duo was FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE.

So that is how it works and why it is nearly impossible for outside writers or even those pitch services to gain anything at all. Taxi and all those companies do try and do have some limited success but they run into the buzz saw of the "INSIDE CUT" When the guy who signs your paycheck tells you that you are only going to record his songs, that is what you are going to do.

And artists don't always have a lot of say. The guy I helped develop was named FRANKIE BALLARD. I wrote fourteen songs with him and produced his first CD.
He was picked up by Walt Aldrich a hit writer and taken to Sony music, where Sony signed him as a writer and started sending him around to write with all the hit writers. And to have songs pitched to him. Two months of that led to two showcases in the town and Sony passed on him as an artist because they had Keith Urban, another blonde haired, blue eyed guitar playing singer. Frankie went on to be signed by the second record company in line, Warner Brothers and started recording for them. Last year he had the third number one song, SUNSHINE AND WHISKEY.
But he was told by his label that he would have to have FIVE NUMBER ONES before he could record what he wanted, which include four songs that he and I wrote.


So unless you are writing with those artists or producers or in their inner circles the chances of you getting even heard, are not very good. Not impossible, nothing is, but highly improbable.

And since the money in songs have dried up, the labels share in the touring, merchandise, and endorsements.

And that is how the music business works.

Incidentally, today I recieved a pretty decent royality check from ASCAP. Very nice and totally unexpected. So they do still send them out. What I am being paid for, I have no idea, haven't gotten a detailed statement yet, but I'm sure it's the culmination of a lot of different things. That is a career. A whole bunch of little stuff that hopefully adds up to something cool.

MAB

#1158698 - 11/19/19 12:09 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Fdemetrio Online content
Top 200 Poster
Fdemetrio  Online Content
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Lots of comments. I'll try to address them as I can.

Kevin, the Cheap Trick thing was in 1985 after our win in the "MILLER HIGH LIFE ROCK TO RICHES NATIONAL TALENT SEARCH". It was the fourth year of a contest that had featured some really great people. But it was the people who came in SECOND that went on to great success. The winners never did anything. But the attention and press from the contest helped launch the careers of other people. The second runner up in 1981, the first year was a band called "TWISTED SISTER." The second year, in 1982, was a guy named Jon Bon Jovi. The fourth year was our band, 24 KARAT. We won. And promptly dissapeared into a record deal with MCA that went no where. But we did tour a lot around the South, doing huge fraternity parties in places like Tuscaloosa Alabama, Auburn Alabama, Atlanta, Ga. Panama City Florida, Hilton Head South Carolina, etc. We did a lot of opening shows like "second tier acts" "Gary US Bonds, Tommy Shaw, (split from Styxx) , weird outside groups like "OTIS DAY AND THE ANIMAL HOUSE BAND" (the worlds biggest toga party to a 20 minute version of "SHOUT.:" "Otis Day was an actor from LA who spent most of the show, drinking beer with me downstairs in the dressing room and talking about John Belushi.
The Cheap Trick show came as one of those. But we rarely interacted with any of the groups. They had their own entrances, limos, hotels, etc. One of the bands we got to know, but not play with was KANSAS. Our leader and guitar player, Jessi Lewis, was good friends with their drummer and lfounder, Phil Earheart.
So we had a lot of fun for a few years playing rock star. Was a cool time, but ultimately got out of the deal, the band split up and I changed directions, got into country, and moved to Nashville.

Duke, Taxi and other services are still out there and more being added all the time. Mostly now, are hit writers who no longer make much money from the business doing "Boot camps" , songwriter fantasy camps", Songwriter retreat weekends, their own courses and DVD's, Skype sessions, etc, mostly private instruction, and basically the same thing I have been doing since 2000. Once the money dries up in one place, it picks up in others.

This is what the 360 Degree deal that American Idol ushered in is about. Once the physical product sells started declining at the end of the 90's, the paradym shifted.
The labels, producers, radio, consultants, etc started seeing this a few years before the general public because they were doing market research. When you have a company like SONY, you have your hands in many pies. Radio, television, music, movies, commercial products, and other businesses outside of music. Product development. So they switched what they were doing, the "A&R" research and turned that over to smaller companies who would develop and build the artists and writers.

The way it would work is that you had a hit writer or producer, who had some hit records and money to invest. He/She would form their own companies and start building their own inner circles based around certain artists. And like all businesses, they would develop multiple artists at one time, and most would fade out and do nothing. But they would take one or two and run them up the flag pole and it would work.

Victoria Shaw, had enormous hits like Garth Brooks, "THE RIVER" and others. She built her own studio in the basement of her offices and would have recording business going on. Then the daughter of one of her best friends, recording artist and country star Linda Davis, Hillary, became very good friends and writers from her school at Belmont. Two guys who sang harmony and played for her. Victoria took and interest and actually took Hillary to two American Idol auditions where she was rejected on both. Victoria wrote songs with the three of them, and got them in the studio. When they were accomplished enough, she took them around to private parties and industry functions and got them opening for some country artists.
That trio became LADY ANTIBELLUM.

Craig Wiseman is one of the top money earning songwriters in Nashville. He formed his own company called BIG LOUD SHIRT and built a fortune around Montgomery Gentry, Trace Atkins, and Blake Shelton. Most of those artists recorded Craig's songs. One duo he started working with, were two guys from Belmont. Now the way a lot of this works is these hitmakers get the inside info on things coiming up long before anyone else knows it. Craig found out that Brooks and Dunn would be retiring and so he put together this duo of two young, hot guys, wrote and recorded songs on them then launched them when B&D were winding down.

That duo was FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE.

So that is how it works and why it is nearly impossible for outside writers or even those pitch services to gain anything at all. Taxi and all those companies do try and do have some limited success but they run into the buzz saw of the "INSIDE CUT" When the guy who signs your paycheck tells you that you are only going to record his songs, that is what you are going to do.

And artists don't always have a lot of say. The guy I helped develop was named FRANKIE BALLARD. I wrote fourteen songs with him and produced his first CD.
He was picked up by Walt Aldrich a hit writer and taken to Sony music, where Sony signed him as a writer and started sending him around to write with all the hit writers. And to have songs pitched to him. Two months of that led to two showcases in the town and Sony passed on him as an artist because they had Keith Urban, another blonde haired, blue eyed guitar playing singer. Frankie went on to be signed by the second record company in line, Warner Brothers and started recording for them. Last year he had the third number one song, SUNSHINE AND WHISKEY.
But he was told by his label that he would have to have FIVE NUMBER ONES before he could record what he wanted, which include four songs that he and I wrote.


So unless you are writing with those artists or producers or in their inner circles the chances of you getting even heard, are not very good. Not impossible, nothing is, but highly improbable.

And since the money in songs have dried up, the labels share in the touring, merchandise, and endorsements.

And that is how the music business works.

Incidentally, today I recieved a pretty decent royality check from ASCAP. Very nice and totally unexpected. So they do still send them out. What I am being paid for, I have no idea, haven't gotten a detailed statement yet, but I'm sure it's the culmination of a lot of different things. That is a career. A whole bunch of little stuff that hopefully adds up to something cool.

MAB


Gary Us Bonds? The Boss and Little Steven helped Gary Us Bonds get back on his feet. They were staying in a Holiday Inn and saw that Gary US Bonds was singing at the Holiday Inn. Shocked, they decided to write him some songs, and he became relavent again. One big Hit was This Little Girl is Mine. Perfect for him
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTKtcsUjVMc

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/19/19 12:10 PM.
#1158700 - 11/19/19 02:00 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Nashville, Tn.
Yeah it was pretty funny. Our agent called and said "you're opening for Gary US Bonds." We were "GARY US WHO???" Was a fun show and he was good, but the only song that any of us knew was "This Little Girl Is Mine." We did quite a few of those shows and I don't even remember a bunch of them. Opened for a scaled down version of the Allman Brothers, with a four piece, actor Gary Busey, all these shows from artists past their prime, artists who never did much, or successful artists doing something else, like Tommy Shaw, who was doing his own project in between his stints with Styxx. Sometimes it was cool, like the Otis Day thing, where he talked a bit about doing all kinds of stuff with John Belushi, who is a legend all on his own.
Was some fun times. But got me ready for Nashville, seeing elements of the music business that I would deal with later. Sitting down in offices of Publishers and record label people, all trying to get a "piece of you" in case something did happen. We actually had four labels interested the day BEFORE we won that contest. But once we won, we were tied up with MCA, who was the parent record company and sponsor of the contest.

Years later I was playing a show in Nashville and Bon Jovi comes in. I mentioned the contest from the stage and he got this huge grin. He waved me over to his table in the break and had me sit down. "They got you on that contest didn't they?" He said with this big grin. "Yep." was what I said. He had already pretty much inked a deal with Mercury Polygram after he had entered the contest, and found out about the rules of the contest and how he would be trapped into a no where deal. So he arranged with his manager for them to come in second, thereby being able to sign his eventual deal.

Taught me a lot about contests and I see the same thing in THE VOICE, AMERICAN IDOL, AMERICA'S GOT TALENT, ETC. I've worked with contestants in all those. But it's the same deal. Lot of press and attention for a while, but once the contest is over, IT'S OVER.

But a fun moment in the sun though. Got to see all kinds of good things in LA and was treated like a rock star for a while. Ever see the movie "THIS IS SPINAL TAP?" The "big end of tour"party they have is filmed on the roof of the HYATT on SUNSET BLVD. That is where our contest had it's kick off party for the press, complete with the ice sculpture and all that. Since that movie was filmed in 1984, and our experience was 1984, I thought they just filmed part of our party and used it i their movie. LOL! And our run as rockers was just about as funny as that movie. Even got lost trying to find the stage once. LOL!

MAB

#1158701 - 11/19/19 02:45 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Nashville, Tn.
"Always interesting feedback from you, Marc. What's up with Taxi? What's up with NSAI? Promoting how one can get a song pitched and accepted by an artist. Are they still promoting that or have they changed? Based on this thread (and this thread is what I expected), that's a fool's game."


Duke, sorry that I missed part of your question. As I said. Taxi, film and television libraries, many organizations are still doing the same thing. Attempting to get pitches with one level of success of another. The problem that those people have is that they are known for "accepting anything from people that pay them." that often means the quality of the songs and the quality of the recordings are sub standard.c Most writers that go through those companies, find that it teaches them things about the industry, writing for pitch targets, having quality recordings, being aware of competltion, etc. but it is very rare that they actually have much happen from them. Many of those companies boast of having success in pitching and all that, but the truth is that songs that actually prove to be money earners, usually get pitched from a variety of places, and it is rare that one can actually claim credit for their success. I do know they try and all really do, but the nature of the industry itself is what has changed and firewalls are up against anything that doesn't have a personal connection.

NSAI is the same thing, although they don't boast quite as much in "getting cuts." They are really not a pitch service as much as an educational organization. They still have regular meetings, events like Tin Pan South and have many programs that help songwriters. My experience is that NSAI's strong points are their Chapter workshops, which are Nationwide and even into some other countries. Those bring the craft of writing and education on the business to the people in those areas, and the assitance they provide in being a "gathering place" for writers is the primary benefit. I have an entire career due to meeting one person through NSAI, Ron Muir, who was my conduit into Nashville. I would have never done any of this or gotten my first cuts so early without his expertise.

Most of music is on you. YOU are the one that has to convince a young artist that you really jnow what you are doing and can provide something to them taht they ca't do themselves. YOU are the one who has to convince a company or venue that they have to put you in. Other entities can provide a little crack open in the door but you are the one who has to push the door open and not get kicked out.

And that is really the problem everyone has trying to do that. It is not a "MAIL IN" business. I hear people talking about that all the time. Hiring some song plugger or person that represents them and they don't even REALLY know that person to begin with. Just usually an internet relationships, and I think we all know how squirrely they are.

There is nothing that is going to take the place of PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS. There are just no substitutes for getting in there, meeting people and having the face to face time.
The same is said for writing songs for artists and why there are really no outside cuts.

It is one thing to write some song about a break up, or some happy time, falling in love, etc. That is all fine well and good.
It is another thing to sit in a room with the artist and write about THEIR break up, THEIR HAPPY TIME, THEIR FALLING IN LOVE.
That is the difference in all of this and why people get misquided when they just think "well I've got a song here and it has both words AND MUSIC and my friends tel me that it JUST HAS TO GET CUT BY TIM McGRAW because it's better than all his other stuff."

Totally relative and as the story someone was saying about Joe Diffie not finding songs, that is the truth. Songs are quite often NOT AS GOOD AS WE THINK THEY ARE.
I constantly am asked to critique these people's songs, and they brag and brag and brag about them but talk about how "so and so heard them and said they needed to get that song to....."

Then i hear their song and you see why "so and so" had nothing to do with it. THE SONG IS NOT THERE. It is just some average thing that we have all heard a billion and a half times, done the same way, sounding like a very average demo. No there there.

Here's a tip. Even with the inside world of today's music business, if someone heard a song of yours and it was SO UNDENIABLE, SOMEONE WOULD TAKE IT AND FIND A WAY TO PERSONALLY BENEFIT FROM IT. The big problem is to have something SO UNDENIABLE.

I've heard a WHOLE TON of songs I thought were undeniable that never got cut or took forever to get there. I remember hearing this song called "HOUSE THAT BUILT ME" played around town for years by two VERY FAMOUS AND SUCCESSFUL WRITERS and that one nearly NEVER got cut. When it was and became a huge hit, everyone thought MAN THAT IS INCREDIBLE but they don't realize it was turned down dozens of times before being cut.

They look at the astounding success of someone like Garth Brooks, but don't realize that he was turned down by NINTEEN RECORD LABELS and was signed by a guy who HAD TURNED HIM DOWN THAT SAME DAY THAT HE SIGNED HIM. His set at the Bluebird is what sealed the deal. And songs that Garth took to enormous popularity like "FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES" IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES" THE DANCE" were all turned down too.
But that is what it is like in 20/20 hindsight.


And that is the music business. Should be called MUSIC BUSINESS OPINION!

MAB

#1158705 - 11/19/19 04:47 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Fdemetrio Online content
Top 200 Poster
Fdemetrio  Online Content
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
"Always interesting feedback from you, Marc. What's up with Taxi? What's up with NSAI? Promoting how one can get a song pitched and accepted by an artist. Are they still promoting that or have they changed? Based on this thread (and this thread is what I expected), that's a fool's game."


Duke, sorry that I missed part of your question. As I said. Taxi, film and television libraries, many organizations are still doing the same thing. Attempting to get pitches with one level of success of another. The problem that those people have is that they are known for "accepting anything from people that pay them." that often means the quality of the songs and the quality of the recordings are sub standard.c Most writers that go through those companies, find that it teaches them things about the industry, writing for pitch targets, having quality recordings, being aware of competltion, etc. but it is very rare that they actually have much happen from them. Many of those companies boast of having success in pitching and all that, but the truth is that songs that actually prove to be money earners, usually get pitched from a variety of places, and it is rare that one can actually claim credit for their success. I do know they try and all really do, but the nature of the industry itself is what has changed and firewalls are up against anything that doesn't have a personal connection.

NSAI is the same thing, although they don't boast quite as much in "getting cuts." They are really not a pitch service as much as an educational organization. They still have regular meetings, events like Tin Pan South and have many programs that help songwriters. My experience is that NSAI's strong points are their Chapter workshops, which are Nationwide and even into some other countries. Those bring the craft of writing and education on the business to the people in those areas, and the assitance they provide in being a "gathering place" for writers is the primary benefit. I have an entire career due to meeting one person through NSAI, Ron Muir, who was my conduit into Nashville. I would have never done any of this or gotten my first cuts so early without his expertise.

Most of music is on you. YOU are the one that has to convince a young artist that you really jnow what you are doing and can provide something to them taht they ca't do themselves. YOU are the one who has to convince a company or venue that they have to put you in. Other entities can provide a little crack open in the door but you are the one who has to push the door open and not get kicked out.

And that is really the problem everyone has trying to do that. It is not a "MAIL IN" business. I hear people talking about that all the time. Hiring some song plugger or person that represents them and they don't even REALLY know that person to begin with. Just usually an internet relationships, and I think we all know how squirrely they are.

There is nothing that is going to take the place of PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS. There are just no substitutes for getting in there, meeting people and having the face to face time.
The same is said for writing songs for artists and why there are really no outside cuts.

It is one thing to write some song about a break up, or some happy time, falling in love, etc. That is all fine well and good.
It is another thing to sit in a room with the artist and write about THEIR break up, THEIR HAPPY TIME, THEIR FALLING IN LOVE.
That is the difference in all of this and why people get misquided when they just think "well I've got a song here and it has both words AND MUSIC and my friends tel me that it JUST HAS TO GET CUT BY TIM McGRAW because it's better than all his other stuff."

Totally relative and as the story someone was saying about Joe Diffie not finding songs, that is the truth. Songs are quite often NOT AS GOOD AS WE THINK THEY ARE.
I constantly am asked to critique these people's songs, and they brag and brag and brag about them but talk about how "so and so heard them and said they needed to get that song to....."

Then i hear their song and you see why "so and so" had nothing to do with it. THE SONG IS NOT THERE. It is just some average thing that we have all heard a billion and a half times, done the same way, sounding like a very average demo. No there there.

Here's a tip. Even with the inside world of today's music business, if someone heard a song of yours and it was SO UNDENIABLE, SOMEONE WOULD TAKE IT AND FIND A WAY TO PERSONALLY BENEFIT FROM IT. The big problem is to have something SO UNDENIABLE.

I've heard a WHOLE TON of songs I thought were undeniable that never got cut or took forever to get there. I remember hearing this song called "HOUSE THAT BUILT ME" played around town for years by two VERY FAMOUS AND SUCCESSFUL WRITERS and that one nearly NEVER got cut. When it was and became a huge hit, everyone thought MAN THAT IS INCREDIBLE but they don't realize it was turned down dozens of times before being cut.

They look at the astounding success of someone like Garth Brooks, but don't realize that he was turned down by NINTEEN RECORD LABELS and was signed by a guy who HAD TURNED HIM DOWN THAT SAME DAY THAT HE SIGNED HIM. His set at the Bluebird is what sealed the deal. And songs that Garth took to enormous popularity like "FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES" IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES" THE DANCE" were all turned down too.
But that is what it is like in 20/20 hindsight.


And that is the music business. Should be called MUSIC BUSINESS OPINION!

MAB














Us Bonds was pretty big in the 60s hits like Quarter To Three. Marc what you should do is write a book. Use the book to accompany your music. With all those stories people might buy it.

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/19/19 04:57 PM.
#1158715 - 11/19/19 06:37 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 197
JaneK Offline
Serious Contributor
JaneK  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 197
California
This is all very good information you are sharing with us Marc. I believe songwriters have to absolutely love what they do and think of it as a life enriching experience. Any success or money you receive from it is just icing on the cake.

I know I want to stop - I am addicted to it and cannot stop because I love playing music and writing. I guess I could be doing better things with my free time them writing songs but it a great experience for me.

There are probably a few very successful Nashville songwriters that are not enjoying what they are doing at this moment. It is work to them, not relaxing or joyful. So I take what I can get out of this experience - and if only a few people want to listen to my music so be it.

#1158722 - 11/20/19 09:24 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: Fdemetrio]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Nashville, Tn.
[/quote]

"Us Bonds was pretty big in the 60s hits like Quarter To Three. Marc what you should do is write a book. Use the book to accompany your music. With all those stories people might buy it."
[/quote]

Thank you for being entertained by my musings, but I can assure you, the one thing I will NEVER do is write a book. The only thing more prevelant in this town from songwriters more than songs and dreams are people with BOOKS, TV scripts, movie treatments, etc. about their SONGS AND DREAMS. Frankly NOBODY CARES. Nobody reads them and they are honestly a waste of time. People have a 30 second attention span, and getting them to be interested in an obscure (to most people) subject from someone they've never heard of or care anything about is not exactly something I'm interseted in.

I did take a run at a handbook, FRESHMAN YEAR IN NASHVILLE" in 2001, that I toy with the idea of going back and revising, but at that time, I knew a printer, and got pretty much everything done for free. With the amazingly underwhelming interest in that, I decided the future for me would be small articles, my own web site, and posts on sites like this. If I can offer a bit of insight into people who can actually use it and apply it to their lives and careers, "I've done what I am supposed to." Having said that, I've had many people come to do my tours in Nashville or my workshops and come in with large binders containing page after page of my actual writings they printed out. So they have formed their own books.

That's why I try to be so detailed in my comments here. Some may hate it, which is fine, that is why there is a "SCROLL" function. I only talk about things I actually know about, which is why you don;t see me getting involved in technical discussions. Everything I talk about, either about hit songs, songwriters, the ebb and flow of the music business and how it relates to Nashville, are things I have first hand knowledge or am able to talk directly to the people involved. Things like my recent trip to Florida for the FRANK BROWN SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL allows me to get a lot of information directly from the horses mouth. I also sometimes can correct some information that might not be quite correct on Wikipedia.
But as long as people read along at places like this, I'll provide my two cents if I can.

"There are probably a few very successful Nashville songwriters that are not enjoying what they are doing at this moment. It is work to them, not relaxing or joyful. So I take what I can get out of this experience - and if only a few people want to listen to my music so be it."

JaneK, I think there is a common thread among songwriters here, that success can be very fleeting. I always say "You can tell you're in Nashville when your UBER or LYFT driver had "SONG OF THE YEAR" two years ago. So yes, there are very very few "successful" songwriters, but most are extremely happy they made the move here, are happy with the journey, even if the destination is not always what they thought it would be.Those that are not happy, simply leave or do other thngs.
We've lost about 85% of the professional songwriter community over the past 15-20 years. The landscape is very different than it was and vestiges of our world is being torn down all over.

But this is nothing new. When I moved here in 1988, there was a huge hue and cry over buildings, companies, etc, going out of business, being torn down and replacing the vestiges of "old traditions" of earlier decades. Those buildings being put up then, replacing the old houses and buildings, are the ones being torn down now. The only thing constant is change and the complaining about the changes. One generation hates the subsequent generation.

But there's nothing you can do about it. You just try and live through it. No one is forced to come here and no one is stopped from leaving. I stick around because I enjoy the overall life here. And I'll keep relating that to all of you if you want. If not, scroll on by.
Thanks for reading.

MAB

#1158725 - 11/20/19 11:00 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,987
DukeWill Offline
Top 200 Poster
DukeWill  Offline
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,987
Louisiana, USA
It strikes me that the revered "Nashville songwriting community" that, seems to me, kind of made country music... is no more. I've been thinking about this and MAB, just above, guesstimates it to be 85% gone. Which I surmised before I even made the OP. Surely some great writers became extremely comfortable, even wealthy. I am talking about songwriters who were not artists. Whitey Schafer, Dallas Frazier, Harlan Howard, Curly Putman, Bobby Braddock, Bob McDill, Don Schlitz, Gretchen Peterson, Jeffrey Steele, etc. The artists, seems to me, typically, were not writers because they could not write as well as truly gifted writers such as those above. So, nowadays, artists are writers. There are a few good songs (to me) each year but most will not be remembered past a few years. I haven't listened to country radio beyond short stretches for over 20 years. I just wanna gag. Point being, the song took a backseat. If the most skilled writers can't make a living, music suffers. It's really a shame that streaming doesn't take care of writers better.

EDIT: I also think of Diane Warren, the pop songwriter. I recall years ago, might have been 60 Minutes tv show... it was said she might be worth a billion dollars. That is billion, with a b. I do not see a reference on Wikipedia to her having sold her portfolio royalties. If not, I bet she's sad! Others did. David Bowie comes to mind.

Last edited by DukeWill; 11/20/19 11:20 AM.
#1158727 - 11/20/19 11:38 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: Fdemetrio]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Fdemetrio Online content
Top 200 Poster
Fdemetrio  Online Content
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
"Always interesting feedback from you, Marc. What's up with Taxi? What's up with NSAI? Promoting how one can get a song pitched and accepted by an artist. Are they still promoting that or have they changed? Based on this thread (and this thread is what I expected), that's a fool's game."


Duke, sorry that I missed part of your question. As I said. Taxi, film and television libraries, many organizations are still doing the same thing. Attempting to get pitches with one level of success of another. The problem that those people have is that they are known for "accepting anything from people that pay them." that often means the quality of the songs and the quality of the recordings are sub standard.c Most writers that go through those companies, find that it teaches them things about the industry, writing for pitch targets, having quality recordings, being aware of competltion, etc. but it is very rare that they actually have much happen from them. Many of those companies boast of having success in pitching and all that, but the truth is that songs that actually prove to be money earners, usually get pitched from a variety of places, and it is rare that one can actually claim credit for their success. I do know they try and all really do, but the nature of the industry itself is what has changed and firewalls are up against anything that doesn't have a personal connection.

NSAI is the same thing, although they don't boast quite as much in "getting cuts." They are really not a pitch service as much as an educational organization. They still have regular meetings, events like Tin Pan South and have many programs that help songwriters. My experience is that NSAI's strong points are their Chapter workshops, which are Nationwide and even into some other countries. Those bring the craft of writing and education on the business to the people in those areas, and the assitance they provide in being a "gathering place" for writers is the primary benefit. I have an entire career due to meeting one person through NSAI, Ron Muir, who was my conduit into Nashville. I would have never done any of this or gotten my first cuts so early without his expertise.

Most of music is on you. YOU are the one that has to convince a young artist that you really jnow what you are doing and can provide something to them taht they ca't do themselves. YOU are the one who has to convince a company or venue that they have to put you in. Other entities can provide a little crack open in the door but you are the one who has to push the door open and not get kicked out.

And that is really the problem everyone has trying to do that. It is not a "MAIL IN" business. I hear people talking about that all the time. Hiring some song plugger or person that represents them and they don't even REALLY know that person to begin with. Just usually an internet relationships, and I think we all know how squirrely they are.

There is nothing that is going to take the place of PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS. There are just no substitutes for getting in there, meeting people and having the face to face time.
The same is said for writing songs for artists and why there are really no outside cuts.

It is one thing to write some song about a break up, or some happy time, falling in love, etc. That is all fine well and good.
It is another thing to sit in a room with the artist and write about THEIR break up, THEIR HAPPY TIME, THEIR FALLING IN LOVE.
That is the difference in all of this and why people get misquided when they just think "well I've got a song here and it has both words AND MUSIC and my friends tel me that it JUST HAS TO GET CUT BY TIM McGRAW because it's better than all his other stuff."

Totally relative and as the story someone was saying about Joe Diffie not finding songs, that is the truth. Songs are quite often NOT AS GOOD AS WE THINK THEY ARE.
I constantly am asked to critique these people's songs, and they brag and brag and brag about them but talk about how "so and so heard them and said they needed to get that song to....."

Then i hear their song and you see why "so and so" had nothing to do with it. THE SONG IS NOT THERE. It is just some average thing that we have all heard a billion and a half times, done the same way, sounding like a very average demo. No there there.

Here's a tip. Even with the inside world of today's music business, if someone heard a song of yours and it was SO UNDENIABLE, SOMEONE WOULD TAKE IT AND FIND A WAY TO PERSONALLY BENEFIT FROM IT. The big problem is to have something SO UNDENIABLE.

I've heard a WHOLE TON of songs I thought were undeniable that never got cut or took forever to get there. I remember hearing this song called "HOUSE THAT BUILT ME" played around town for years by two VERY FAMOUS AND SUCCESSFUL WRITERS and that one nearly NEVER got cut. When it was and became a huge hit, everyone thought MAN THAT IS INCREDIBLE but they don't realize it was turned down dozens of times before being cut.

They look at the astounding success of someone like Garth Brooks, but don't realize that he was turned down by NINTEEN RECORD LABELS and was signed by a guy who HAD TURNED HIM DOWN THAT SAME DAY THAT HE SIGNED HIM. His set at the Bluebird is what sealed the deal. And songs that Garth took to enormous popularity like "FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES" IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES" THE DANCE" were all turned down too.
But that is what it is like in 20/20 hindsight.


And that is the music business. Should be called MUSIC BUSINESS OPINION!

MAB














Us Bonds was pretty big in the 60s hits like Quarter To Three. Marc what you should do is write a book. Use the book to accompany your music. With all those stories people might buy it.


You might be short changing yourself. Your target audience is people like you have here on the site. Most people here seem to like your stories. And how many struggling dreaming songwriters are there in the world? Frankly, if you wrote the book, gave the cd away for free in an Amazon package, id buy it. I can hear millions of songs for free, but I cant hear or read those stories everywhere. Just a thought.



Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/20/19 11:39 AM.
#1158729 - 11/20/19 03:07 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Nashville, Tn.
Duke,

The "Songwriting community" is still there, but as always, changes the guard. Some of the names you mention, Harland, Whitey, and many others have died, many other retired just because they felt it was time. Others, Gretchen, Braddock, Jefferey Steele, etc. are still there, and are as active as others, and they are the ones doing the development on the artists I speak of. I saw Mac Davis last week and aside from forgetting a lot of his lyrics, are still fairly active. Last year he had part of a Bruno Marrs hit song. Don Schlitz is more interested in his golf game than songwriting, and many just decided to do other things. It is a fairly natural order of things.
The difference now is that the artists are writers on the song, and most artists are signed as writers first, for a couple of years before they are given record deals.
Hyou have people like Kacee Musgraves and Chris Stapleton who "made their bones" with hits for others and are all over the place, several being nominated for Grammy's this week.

So that goes on. But where Country and mostly the rest of the music world is, is where the rock and pop world went in 1964 with the advent of the Beatles. From there on out, Pop songwriters dissapeared as the artists and bands became the writers. Not many outside writers were going to sneak any in on James Taylor, Carol King and Bob Dylan. Although they did do some cover songs, most of those were classic songs they grew up on. Carol King just covered herself from earlier days.

Now, I'm not going to make a defense of the current crop as I don't do that. I'm not an optimist nor a pessimist. I'M A REALIST. And I simply call them as I see them. But I do see a lot of current writers up close and personal as in last week at the FRANK BROWN FESTIVAL and I don't quite think the world is quite as dark as a lot of people do. History will always repeat itself and just when we think everything sucks, someone will come out to put a new veneer on it.

Fdemetrio,

I appreciate your vote of confidence, but I don't really sell myself short as much as I am pretty tuned in to the habits of most people. A lot of my friends all have their books, DVD methods, and all this stuff, and I often think to myself "WHY?" Nobody KNOWS WHO YOU ARE!!!" And I just never wanted to be like that.

I would rather stick to what I do well, and keep my stuff in short, easy to digest things. That's why I do things like that here, on my web site and many things on FACEBOOK. I have a blog series called "MAB'S MUSICAL STUFF" that I tell stories, demonstrate songwriting techniques, performance things, etc. And I tell some stories. As a matter of fact, going to do one today. Recently I was contacted by Brian, from here who asked me to do a song for his facebook page, which I did. So I still do some stuff.

I just don't take myself quite as seriously as all those other people. I'm pretty cool with where I am. I have a good life, I don't really have to work too hard, I get cuts (I can tell you how to get cuts. STOP TRYING TO GET CUTS!!! For me, they seem to just pop up all the time! LOL!

So I appreciate the desire for a book, but I really already have quite a few out there. If youre interested, I'm just a GOOGLE search away.

MAB

#1159067 - 11/30/19 02:31 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Nashville, Tn.
Since Ray, Couch Grouch and a few others only seem to have an interest in if anyone is "making money in music" these days, this popped up on my feed today and I thought I'd post it and give them an idea of who is doing what. Personally, it has never been a deal of "who is making money" that is the bellweather of success. I know too many artists and writers that might not be mega gazillionaires, but make a living, or carve out their own unique niches' and are pretty happy doing it, myself being one of them.
But for those who want some "proof" here are the latest figures.

Music is pretty much like all businesses or endeavors. There are people who succeed remarkably. There some that get seemingly all the money un the world. There are some that just kind of are in the middle and a giant majority that do very little or nothing. That is not always due to them. Every golfer doesn't win the masters, even the top of the top don't win every tournament. All baseball, football, hockey, basketball teams don't win all the time. Some get on rolls and do great then are over.
Most resturants, movies, television shows, fail. It's just part of it. Can be a billion reasons from political, to work ethic, to right or wrong product, right or wrong location. Just part of life.

But in an era of 'free music" some still prosper. Now these are not only songwriters, but you do find that the majority even of songwriters today are also artists. These are the top 25 money makers. So yes Ray, some even have done well besides Faron Young.

https://worthly.com/news/25-richest-country-music-singers/

#1159068 - 11/30/19 03:54 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
Fdemetrio Online content
Top 200 Poster
Fdemetrio  Online Content
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,538
I think over the years here, the vast majority of us aside the few noobs who sign up still with wide eyes, realize there's no chance to make any money at all in songwriting.

My question is, since we all realize this, why do we still talk about it?

Why do we write commercially viable songs with no chance of commerce?

What's more, alot of artists and songwriters work alot harder at it than we do. THEY have the right to complain, most of us write songs, post them on a forum, and then say "ahh theres no money in songwriting.... lol Ask somebody living on the street to realize this dream...and they still fail.

It's kind of like lamenting the days before the internet, there's no point, we're all computer people, and its never going back.

Imagine that? There will never be a time again in human history, where we cant reach people on social media, texting, etc etc etc.

Amazing how cell phones just completely changed what it means to be human. Seems we cant live with it.

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 11/30/19 03:56 PM.
#1159071 - 11/30/19 09:05 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,312
Ray E. Strode Online content
Top 30 Poster
Ray E. Strode  Online Content
Top 30 Poster

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,312
Brunswick, Ga. USA
Eh Well,
Yes some have very successful. Wow. You mentioned Faron Young. Faron was a top flight Artist and had many Hits. One you may have missed is ALL RIGHT, penned by Faron himself. If you don't have it you can Google it and listen to it. In those days a lot of songs were written by different songwriters, not the Artists themselves. I imagine today the Publishers in Nashville are overloaded with songs they can't place.


Ray E. Strode
#1159092 - 12/01/19 08:48 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Nashville, Tn.
Ray, did I ever tell you about my encounter with Faron Young?

It was one of the most bizarre meetings of my entire career here. It was 1989, and I was going to a record company that actually had expressed an interest in me. You see, on my first session, recoded BEFORE I moved to Nashville, the leader of that session, was an executive at a company called "STEP ONE RECORDS." Step one was one of those smaller boutique labels that handeled outside and older artists. A lot of bluegrass, people like Charlie Pride, Clinton Gregory, Cleve Francis, and others that were on the cusp of the business. They still scored some top tens and a couple of number one's here and there. They were affiliated with a major, I believe was CBS.

The guy, I dealt with, used to invite me to come down to the office but there was one catch. They also had this banjo player, named....MARK BARNETT. He had been aroujnd for many years, playing at the theme park, Opryland, and while he was a very good banjo and manolin player, known well in bluegrass circles, was not really appreciated for his voice, and he was also one of the people that would call record labels, publishers, etc, multiple times a day and drive them crazy. "What have you done for me today...huh....huh? What are YOU GUYS DOING?" That kind of thing. It had gotten so bad, the secretaries at Step One would put his calls on hold or always say the person he wanted to talk, to was busy, so that no one had to listen to his insesstant rantings.
So I had to use anothe name "SCOG KNARLEY" to get through security. So that is what I was doing on this one August day.

As I got through the security guard and was waiting on the elevator, I had my face down, just kind of looking out the door, and when it opens, I see this pair of brown sandals, brown socks, brown shorts, a brown shirt (I think he was UPS before UPS got started) and as I looked up, FARON YOUNG! I was pretty startled, but it just popped out of my mouth...."HELLO FARON...." He smiled and said "hello, how you doing?". He was pushing a hand truck with several boxes of his CD's and cassettes on it, and I held the elevator for him as he got off, and then pushed the other door open. He thanked me, then went on his way to his car. I just sort of smiled, and got back on the elevator and went up to see my friend.

A few months later I heard he had killed himself, and that was too bad. We all have our time and I guess he felt his had run out and he didn't have anything left. Although he had still performed, mostly casinos, and did sell cassettes and CD's. But that happens sometimes.

Faron has some really good mentions in the Ken Burns documentary, and it was actually Faron who saved Charlie Pride's career. He had been a virilant racist, but got to know Charlie and put his own reputation on the line for him. He told DJ's if they were not going to play Charlie's records, they could just take his off the charts too.
I'm sure he was a good man and I know he was a bedrock in country music for many days. Too bad I didn't get to talk to him, but I did have an encounter.

Was interesting.
MAB


PS: About ten years later, I get this phone call from my Mother who said "I didn't know you did bluegrass music." I said "I didn't." She said "Well I got your CD at Dollywood with your name on it, and it had all bluegrass songs on it."

She had bought the CD of the OTHER MARK BARNETT. And it had HIS PICTURE ON THE FRONT. How quickly they forget you. LOL!







Last edited by Marc Barnette; 12/01/19 08:54 AM.
#1159096 - 12/01/19 10:40 AM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,312
Ray E. Strode Online content
Top 30 Poster
Ray E. Strode  Online Content
Top 30 Poster

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,312
Brunswick, Ga. USA
Aw yes,
I had a short encounter with Faron too. It was back in the 60's after he recorded HELLO WALLS. He came to a club in Corpus Christi for a gig. A local Band I had become friends with was backing him. I went to see him. I went up and asked him to do a song he probably didn't do anymore. He looked at me like I was crazy. I just went back to where I was probably sitting.

He had a slew of 45's of Hello Walls and a Portrait of himself he was selling. I didn't see that part of the show but learned about it later when I was visiting the band leader that was backing him up. He asked me if I wanted one of the records Faron had brought. Faron told the band members to get themselves a copy. Well they took a lot of copies! So I now have the 45 and portrait Faron brought to the show. Yes I heard about Faron and Charlie Pride. I received the music catalog Music Rewind and it has the Ken Burns release in it. It is about $89.00! Since I already have the earlier version I don't think I will be buying the Ken Burns version. But it will be good for public broadcast from time to time.


Ray E. Strode
#1159145 - 12/02/19 03:09 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,134
Nashville, Tn.
That's cool Ray. Sounds like a good time. You know after you said that I remembered that it WASN'T CD'S that were on the handtruck Faron was pushing. CD's were not out at that time. It was several boxes of cassettes, and 45'S! I remember because it had the sleeves taped to the outside of the boxes. Forgot about that. Never forget the all brown clothes and the sandals and brown socks. LOL!
Quite a bit of memories.

MAB

#1159198 - 12/03/19 07:04 PM Re: How are songwriters faring in Nashville? [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,419
Dave Rice Online content
Top 30 Poster
Dave Rice  Online Content
Top 30 Poster

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,419
Texas
Interesting reading, guys and gals:

The music boat appears to have pulled out to sea without me... but it won't stop my writing and recording habit. Eventually, the Grim Reaper will bring everything I've done to a screeching halt... probably at a most inconvenient time. No matter... it's still been fun.

Turkey Day is "a wrap" for another year and the Christmas Shopathon is about to begin. Here's wishing all of you the very best... a Merry Christmas... and a Happy New Year. Never thought I'd live so long. Great to be "above ground!"

----Dave


Support Just Plain Folks

We would like to keep the membership in Just Plain Folks FREE! Your donation helps support the many programs we offer including Road Trips and the Music Awards.


Membership
Join Just Plain Folks
to receive the free
JPNotes Newsletter!
*this is separate from
message board registration*

Newest Members
ClarkFord, bethanykoubsky, David_Pulizzi, LarryMagee, wpaul2999
21237 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums116
Topics119,584
Posts1,127,091
Members21,237
Average Posts Daily32
Most Online3,244
Nov 8th, 2019
Just Plain Quotes
"It is amazing how much there is to learn when we think we know it all!" -Brian Austin Whitney
Today's Birthdays
Matt Moran (54)
Popular Topics(Views)
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0