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#756858 - 10/03/09 12:00 PM I pity today's DJs  
Joined: Aug 2002
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Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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,NL Canada
I was thinking about the DJs of today as compared to DJs of yesteryears. Years ago each DJ could pick out the music that they liked for their own show, music that showed their personality, taste, etc. Now, some program director, living hundreds of miles away, tells him/her what to play, like it or lump it, that is what they must do if they want to keep working. It must grate on their nerves to be a zombie and do what they are told, having no imput into their show.

So I wrote this song for them. I doubt any radio station would ever permit it to be played though.



I PITY TODAY’S D J’s

Gone are the days--- when radio DJs---can plan their own show

Must play what they’re told---be it garbage or gold---or else they must go

Some P D somewhere---1000 miles from here---tells them what to play

And if they refuse---put on walkin’ shoes---and be on their way
CHORUS

I pity today’s –radio DJs---I really do

‘cause they can not spin---what appeals to them—and that’s true

They’re told what to play---same time every day---though they may not agree

But some label some where---tells us what we’ll hear—the dollar speaks you see


Men with much dough—comes to ole radio---and lays that dough down

Says if you will play—the songs that we say---we’ll bring more around

We’ll make it worth while—and your boss will smile—raking in the dough

Your listeners won’t care—they’ll buy what they hear—‘cause that’s all they’ll know



REPEAT CHORUS

(c)2009 Everett Adams

Last edited by Everett Adams; 10/03/09 12:03 PM.

The more you taste the bitterness of defeat, the sweeter final victory will be

May the flowers of love forever bloom in your garden of life

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashsounds

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashgospel

www.cdbaby.com/all/eca333

www.showcaseyourmusic.com/newsflashsounds
#756872 - 10/03/09 01:12 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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Saint Petersburg. FL
Yes, Everett I agree with you. Cool song.

You may enjoy Tom Petty's song The Last DJ.

Last DJ


Colin

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

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#756874 - 10/03/09 01:29 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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The most interesting thing is that since programming has been going on for about 25 years, there are very few DJ's who even remember the days when they could program their own shows. No one who went through radio and broadcasting classes like I did in the 80's, have even been taught how to program their own shows. It was never an option.

MAB

#756879 - 10/03/09 01:51 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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PA
Yeah, but there has always been the DJ payola influence. Slippin' the old DJ a couple greenies would get you on the program. I know; human nature. The means to the same end has only been altered. Saved a lot of foot work. grin

Cool lyrics Everett!

John smile

#756889 - 10/03/09 02:49 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Everett Adams]  
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D)  Offline
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AMEN, Bro Everett!

From what I hear, the Payola these days goes right to the Station Manager, bypassing the PD. (Remember that the next time ya see a Nicely-Painted/Bannered-Up Station Van zoomin'-off to some Remote Broadcast. A fair share came from Labels..I been told.)

AND..the DJ's do as they're told..to keep their jobs. Got one here in Tampa I've known for years...FM Jock..who underwent Plastic Surgery so he'd continue to look Under-35...then STILL lost his job when ClearChannel cleaned-house at Q105 & laid off nearly ALL their DJs...just keeping the PD..who's as old as The Hills...but keeps some kinda Continuity going.

I think for most DJs, it ends up a Thankless Job...BUT...the thrills of bein' a Local Celebrity keep the Job Applications way Up..& with any luck/good mug..they can move into Television...where it's even Tougher to hold-&-keep a job.

Cue In: "Clap for The Wolfman" by the Guess Who..& Harry Chapin's "W-O-L-D"...

Sigh...

Gone is The Daze!

Best Wishes/Big Guy-Hug,
Stan

#756895 - 10/03/09 03:11 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: ]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Actually, there has been less direct payola. It is done now in the form of advertising revenues which are the legitimate resources for radio. They have actually cut a lot of the live DJ's in local markets, so there is nobody to pay anymore like that. And since they are programmed from about five central locations around the country, the Station manager actually has no say on what is played.

It is beginning this month that more classic music will be played and less new music in many formats. The reason is due to the cutbacks in advertising revenue due to the car companies cutting back. That is half the advertising revenue in radio. Stations will be switching formats to correspond with the declining economic fortunes.

XM and Sirrius have had to merge to try to be solvent (neither are) and there will be more stations actually closing up or merging with other stations, which is why you are finding more and more stations housed in central locations. It is also rumored that Clear Channel will declare bankruptcy soon and that will change all the dynamics.

Look for less stations overall and for less opportunties for music. Much of new programming will be through the Internet.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 10/03/09 03:14 PM.
#756916 - 10/03/09 04:59 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Bob Cushing Offline
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You're making me nostalgic for my radio show I recently gave up.
I was a volunteer, and it got in the way of my REAL job {working musician}so I reluctantly gave it up. But I played all local music, and had complete control over my playlist {as long as there was no profanity} Damn, I miss it! The station I volunteerd for is still going strong and they still give the DJ's {and listeners} lots of leeway with the playlist. www.classxradio.com


bc
#756922 - 10/03/09 05:10 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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Pam Bowen Offline
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Pam Bowen  Offline
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Inland Empire, California
Very clever song. Interesting thread about radio. Marc, if things are in such bad shape, what are all these songwriters hoping for? Is it just for the joy of creating?
Losing Hope by the Minute,
Pam


a portfolio of my other writing is at: pambowen.wordpress.com
#756923 - 10/03/09 05:18 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
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Nice topic Everett... and I like the lyrics of your song. Well done.

Back in the 50's I used to visit a local DJ at a Texarkana radio station... and he was free to play whatever he darn well pleased. Pop music back then was a far cry from what is has evolved into today and country music was evolving from Country and Western into just plain country. (We now call it "traditional.")

My point is that I could walk into the station unannounced, he would wave me into the "live booth" and I could sit quietly listening to his banter between songs. I could even fetch LP's and 45's for him to que up... or re-file them. Try to do that today... ain't happening.

Payola was beginning to enter the picture but was not a dominant factor like today. Almost every station was "non-aligned" and relatively indepenent. At that time, the mix was about 75% Pop, 20% Country and everything else fought for the remaining 5%.

Television had barely entered the picture and was pretty awful for the most part... so, Radio was "where it was" during my teenage years. We listened as often as we could... mostly in some rich kid's parent's car... LOL!

Today, with the advent of crap mongers like "Clear Channel" and the Payola influence, Radio pretty well sucks with a few exceptions. It's wonderful to be able to hear a Traditional Country Station. They still play just about anything they want to spin and have a nice balance of spins to commercials.

Regardless, I don't have much time to listen anymore... and I have begun to seriously limit watching TV (badly in need of censorship) except for the tabloid news (FOX and CNN) and one needs to watch both to attempt to filter out the malarky from the truth. We don't get much truth in this country anymore.

Oh for the good old days. Marc, I hope you are correct about Clear Channel. Their demise has been predicted for quite some time but they keep hangin' on. I have my shovel ready just in case. Believe me, it will be a quick and irreverant funeral... LOL!

#757060 - 10/04/09 03:28 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Pam,

It is always about the joy of creation. If you are in it for anything else, you are probably wasting your time. There are no guarantees. I have a theme, "the more you know about the music business, the less you WANT TO know about the music business." But I will tell you this, that everyone you hear on the radio, every song, every artist, at one time or another was ready to give up, had been shot down so many times, they thought it was all a waste too.

As creative entities we all go through an interesting metamorphisis. We start out for the love of creation. We get a little better, start learning then it gets infectious. We spend most of the rest of our time trying to figure out how to get to more people, from live gigs, the Internet, radio, whatever. Many find our ways to sites like these and see how enormous it is. We all waste time and money. At some point, either when you achieve some success, go through ups and downs (mostly downs) or reach a level of knowledge, then we go BACK to the love of creation. Funny world.

The point of all these subjects, PRO's, radio, publishers, etc. are things we can do nothing about. We never should get too caught up in the minutia of those things. But we should have some understanding of how they work if for nothing else, to limit our dissapointments.

Radio reshuffles constantly. The Internet changed how everything in all aspects of life relates to everything else. Radio among them.

I suggest writers NEVER write for the radio. I suggest to write where it COULD be on the radio. That is when it resonates with the general public. And that is everything. Build fan base, and you will always have a career. Depend on radio, publishers, producers, the record industry, etc. you will always be dissapointed.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 10/04/09 03:30 PM.
#757077 - 10/04/09 04:55 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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,NL Canada
Thanks all for your input. A DJ use to be a bit of a celb one time, a real cool job to have, but now that they have no control, it's just a boring job which pays low wages. I believe radio stations and maybe record labels will cause their own demise, through greed mainly. We just lost one radio station in our small town. Most of the radio stations in our whole province are owned by a large holding company. If they start losing money, they will be sold off, their only interest is making money for their share holders.


The more you taste the bitterness of defeat, the sweeter final victory will be

May the flowers of love forever bloom in your garden of life

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashsounds

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashgospel

www.cdbaby.com/all/eca333

www.showcaseyourmusic.com/newsflashsounds
#757148 - 10/04/09 11:47 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Andy K Offline
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Andy K  Offline
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Clearwater, FL, USA
Good lyrics, Everett. I've also been rather disgruntled with radio programming this decade. I wrote and recorded the following last year expressing my feelings about it. It may be heard at my website below.

Trapped In Y2K

Chorus:
We need to free the DJ trapped in Y2k
We need to free the DJ trapped in Y2k

Verse 1:
Twenty-oh-two, I am sick
Same old lyric, same old lick
So I learn to drive and jog
With my tuner turned to off
Five years later, turn it on
Still I hear the same old song
Rip Van Winkle apropos
With regards to radio

(Repeat chorus)

Verse 2:
I don't know what is new
Radio gives no clue
Has my rock up and died
Or is this corporate suicide?
When I search for fresh tunes
All I hear is talk and news
Is this just my home town
Or is this how the nation sounds?

(Repeat chorus)

Bridge:
Golden moldies don't sell CDs (four times)

(Repeat chorus)

Verse 3:
Hey Clearchannel, can you hear
Silence under my rear view mirror?
Advertising dollars lost
Like the smoke in my exhaust
As I'm forced to hunt and sweat
All across the Internet
For the choice and nouveau
Since it's not on radio!

(Repeat chorus)

Copyright 2008 A. Karpinski, BMI, all rights reserved.


Stone Marmot
nouveau retro pop-rock music
http://www.stonemarmot.com
Check out our latest song, "Miss Chameleon"
#757223 - 10/05/09 10:48 AM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Andy K]  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 6,249
Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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,NL Canada
Good lyrics Andy. If radio and record labels want to survive, they are going to have to give people music they want, not what they want to give them.


The more you taste the bitterness of defeat, the sweeter final victory will be

May the flowers of love forever bloom in your garden of life

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashsounds

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashgospel

www.cdbaby.com/all/eca333

www.showcaseyourmusic.com/newsflashsounds
#757232 - 10/05/09 11:33 AM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Everett Adams]  
Joined: Feb 2007
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
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Crozet, VA
Originally Posted by MAB
It is beginning this month that more classic music will be played and less new music in many formats. The reason is due to the cutbacks in advertising revenue due to the car companies cutting back.


Marc: Why does playing older music rather than new music cost the radio stations less money? Isn't the same PRO formula used no matter what song is played?

Kevin


"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 @ FAWM 2017)
#757244 - 10/05/09 12:44 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Kevin,

I can't tell you. I imagine it has to do with the promotion budgets of newer artists. Radio is only one part of strategy's to launch new artists. There are hundreds of things going on that cost a lot of money. There are full page trade magazines ads, promotional tours, billboards, television and radio commerical time. On a modern mainstream release, it is about 60-70% of the budget it tied up in promotion.

So this might be an overall way to spend less money on new artists. If you just play oldies, you don't have to deal with some of the modern problems. The same as putting money into the development of Rock Band and Guitar Idol, takes money away from the new development budgets of artists.

Everything about the music business is about issues other than the music. For every step you think of about writing, recording, performances, etc. there are fifty that have to do with orginization, promotion, money, etc. And as hard as people will find this to believe, it has been that way since the Big Band Era in the 30's-40's. It just gets bigger business.

I can't tell you what is going to turn out. But I was with a producer friend of mine last night. He works for Disney, and has done some VERY big projects. He is out of projects in a couple of months and doesn't know what is going to happen. Everybody in the music industry is really worried. In their eyes, labels are going to shut down, radio is going to end. Of course it won't, but the way it has done business sure will. But mechanicals are going to end. That means songwriters are about to lose all sources of income.

We saw this coming a long time ago with downloading but thought we could fight it. I don't know that we can now. My friend thinks that music is going to be made free. Artists will derive their source of revenue totally from touring, and merchandising which of course ends money to writers completely. Which is why you see more artists writing all their own stuff and allowing no outside cuts. I heard this same thing about 12 years ago with some tech guys represented in the industry, I have heard it in the halls of Congress, I have heard it echoed throughout the world through the Internet.

You have to look at all of this in a broader perspective. The Ellen show. Refusal of governments everywhere simply refusing to comply with any laws whatsoever. A generation of people who have expected and gotten music for free. The Internet which has increased the amount of people trying to get into the game who are giving everything away for free. Radio that completely gives up on formats due to loss of advertising revenue. All of this pile on and pile on where there simply isn't much of a record business anymore.

What to do? Get used to less or no money, do it for the love of it. Find and build fan base on a more local and regional levels. I think sooner or later pretty much every one is going to come to that conclusion. Many of us here have just come to it sooner.

MAB

#757245 - 10/05/09 12:45 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Kevin,

Actually the pro rates on older music is less. It costs less to play them. There is a declining rate formula but like all things monetarily in the music industry, I'll be dammed if I can figure it out. It might be that the older songs won't be played in mass like modern songs are.Less overall plays, less money paid out.

MAB

#757257 - 10/05/09 01:12 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Humm,
If I remember correctly the last time I looked in my BMI Handbook the Pro Rate was 12 cents payout per play in a Major Market and 6 cents in a minor market. Since (As I understand it) Radio Stations pay a blanket fee to the Pro's it would seem it has not changed. Of course a Radio Station(s) could play less music and pay a smaller fee to the Pro's. I imagine the Pro Fees are set by the Congress.

It has been noted before, written about in the yearly SONGWRITER'S MARKET that the Major Labels only allow so much for Mechanical Royalities to be paid so it severely limits an Artist recording outside songs because of something called the Composition Clause in the Artists Contract. If an Artist uses up more mechanical royalities than allowed by the Label it comes out of his share.

Now to be sure if an Artist records all outside songs, all under 5 minutes the Statutory rate is 9.1 cents or 91 cents per CD. That seems more than reasonable but as noted in Donald Passman's book the Record Labels find a way to charge for everything so an Artist usually makes nothing from record sales.

It is a Hell of a way to Run a Railroad in my opinion. So if an Artist signs a contract with a Major Label he had better have a terriffic track record before he signs.

I wonder if there are any Disc Jokeys left who pick their own songs?

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 10/05/09 01:15 PM.

Ray E. Strode
#757260 - 10/05/09 01:30 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Tom Shea Offline
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Tom Shea  Offline
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Nebraska
Very interesting points. It does seem that today most are quite marginalized and don't have much freedom to pick the songs they want to play.

Tom


Thomas Shea

Thomas Shea - Songwriting
http://www.soundclick.com/thomasshea

Justice - Songs
http://www.soundclick.com/justice-nebraska

#757261 - 10/05/09 01:32 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Not to my knowledge. There are exceptions. Gerry House, one of the top DJ's in the country, who is syndicated but based out of WSIX in Nashville, actually is the one who got "I'm Moving On" by Rascal Flatts played Nationwide. He is one of the few that have the power to do that.

Ray, a thing to remember, is that most of the handbooks the industry have gone by are no longer relevant. There are side deals going on all the time. Taking a three quarter of statuatory rate instead of the full rate just to get something out there is pretty standard. Once again, a LOT of supply and finite demand. And of course a lot of people are still trying out how to collect money from "FREE." i don't know of too many people who are able to do that.

As far as track record before you get signed, why do you think these artists are being signed as writers for three years before their deals get out into the public? They are writing with the hit writers and learning with the masters. And people can complain about the results but they are either going to have to accept it for what it is or form their own labels or publishing companies, which again, is EXACTLY what is happening.

If you want to see the future, it is Taylor Swift. build on your own fan base and distribution, partner with a major label and THEN you put everything together. That is the future. That is where the bar is set. For anyone that doesn't like it, they are always welcome to do it themselves.

MAB

#757268 - 10/05/09 02:04 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Humm,
I would advise the songwriter to not give away everything just to get a cut. While everything can be negotiated know that your product is worth something. If a "Deal" sounds too good to be true it probably is. If you are giving something up be sure to get something in return. If someone wants a reduced rate rather than the full mechanical rate require payment up front, at least 50 percent. If a large release at least 10 percent up front. Don't be afrid to ask for something if they are asking for something.

I hope those Artists that are signing writing deals 3 years before they become Artists have been writing for more than 3 years. Otherwise they would be wise to look for outside songs. It takes time to write good songs.


Ray E. Strode
#757274 - 10/05/09 02:39 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D)  Offline
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Hey Andy, FUN/Great Lyrics, Amigo!

Marc..OH what a Statement...about "the More you know about the Industry..the Less you wanna.."..and "ClearChannel's in Borderline-Bankruptcy!" Geeze..it sure sounds like a Gloomy-Enough Picture for the Pros out there..to make any kind of a living from this!

I wasn't aware that the Auto Industry kept so many Stations alive..either.

Waal..I sure enjoyed visitin' BMI's Mausoleum every trip to The Ville...(& somehow..I still doubt they're fire-saling-off all the Office Furniture there...tho I imagine there ARE a few more Parkin' Spots available out back these days?)

Glad I still write for the sheer Joy & Sanity of it all...havin' Long-Ago given up on the Overnight Wealth Aspect of The Craft.

Think I'll pen a few lines to Our Nat'l Anthem, just fer fun:

My Country 'Tis of Thee
Most Music Sells-for-Free
& So We're Poor...
Gone are The Promo Tours
Free Brews from Bud..and Coors
Careers for FreeChannel..to Nurse
When Only FREE SONGS Sing...

Drum Roll...Symbols Crash.

Sigh..
Stan

#757549 - 10/06/09 01:05 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: ]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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If stations are switching to the old classics, it's not because of the economy and lack of advertising revenue, it's because they want to hold on to listeners. The old classics are tried and true songs and of much better quality than much of what is coming out today. I don't mean production quality, I mean content quality. I can't remember the last time that a song playing on the radio caught my attention to make me listen to every word. One time the quality (content quality) of one song was enough to send people looking to buy the CD that it was on, now, of course, they might head to the internet to find that song, the honest people will buy it while the less than honest will look for a free download.

My understanding of airplay royalties is that it comes from the ad revenue that radio stations earn. A percentage of their ad money is paid to the PROs, whom in turn, pays it out to the owners of said songs. If ad revenue is down, then the money paid to PROs will be less,and therefore less will be paid to song owners.

If record labels don't change their approach on what they record, and start looking far and wide for the best content that they can find, then the writing is on the wall. The best singers in the world need great songs to sing, and being great singers don't necessarily make them great songwriters. Great writer often can't sing, rarely do you find people having all the talents necessary to produce all that is needed to produce great records. You need great writing, great singing, great music, great engineering, great producing, great advertising, great distribution, great money, etc. and a whole lot of luck. One man can't do it all. We depend on each other, no one is an island unto him/her self.

Record labels now look for two or three great songs per CD and fill the rest of the CD with run of the mill songs, hoping those few songs will sell the CD. But that doesn't work anymore, people can get those songs on the net cheaply or free. Either they stop the cheap, and especially free downloading, which seem impossible, or they are going to have to come up with other ways to deliver music to people so that they will be happy to buy. I can't say I have the answers of how to do this but I do have a few ideas.


The more you taste the bitterness of defeat, the sweeter final victory will be

May the flowers of love forever bloom in your garden of life

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashsounds

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashgospel

www.cdbaby.com/all/eca333

www.showcaseyourmusic.com/newsflashsounds
#757587 - 10/06/09 03:15 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Everette,

All you have to do is start your own record label. Seems like you have it all under control. Didn't know it was that easy. I'll be sure to pass that along to the big cabal that controls everything.

MAB

#757683 - 10/06/09 09:07 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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In reply to Marc's post, the DJ's at the public funded radio stations still program their own shows. A terrific example is a lady by the name of Lilli Kuzma, who has the Folk Festival program on WDCB, a college radio station out of Glen Ellyn, IL. I listen to her show as much as I can and email her fairly often. It seems that on major radio stations the break came during the late 60's to early 70's, first with the rock stations. By the late 70's country radio fell under the same entrapment. It's a shame that the commercial gluttony has dictated some of these things, even down to the length of baseball games, which has increased dramatically with the increased power of television.

Does anyone feel that we are now in the waning days of commercial gluttony? In many ways I hope so.

Peace,
Brian

#757684 - 10/06/09 09:11 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: beechnut79]  
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Quote
Does anyone feel that we are now in the waning days of commercial gluttony?


I think we are just resting between meals.

Kevin


"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 @ FAWM 2017)
#757685 - 10/06/09 09:15 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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You just can't make money with free format radio. Everyone seems to like the idea of it, but those stations never make it.

#757736 - 10/07/09 12:55 AM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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MediaGuy1974 Offline
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I joined late in this thread, and have read part of it but not all. I would like to comment on a few things that I read.
Someone asked if any DJs still program their own stuff. You bet they do. Small town America is full of dinky, low wattage stations that just cover the city limits. I've had great luck getting them to play my stuff when I was on the road. Did it feed the bulldog, no. But as an 80's Country dance band, it did fuel the fan base in each town. And in terms of marketing, it may have taken 150 years to amount to anything, but the theory worked, on the surface. Remember Chris LeDoux, while it wasn't intentional that's exactly what he did. And it would still work today, but work is the key word there. Lots of hard, grinding, work. Gone are the days when any old gig would do. There has to be a method to the madness. The problem with that theory, aside from the obvious hard work; everybody wants to be a star. Whether as a writer or performer, too many egos. Yea, the biz is absolutely brutal, one just has to be creative. Remember The Tractors? Marketing brilliance. If you don't know the story, ask me about it. My whole point is there isn't a machine made that can't be rebuilt. Maybe I'm just delusional, but I've been close enough to the business to know that it's all about marketing anymore. If yer a 5 foot 8 inch cowboy with original teeth, half-shaven, and can make a song yer own, yer marketable. If you can write songs for that guy, like no one else can, yer marketable. You just can't use a marketing chain to get there.
I read a lot of stuff here, and most of it is dead on. But as Kevin said, we're just resting between meals. Someone, somewhere, is gonna get creative and change the way these money-grubbers do business. I just hope I'm alive to see it.


Peace,
Steve

What's another word for Thesaurus?
--- Steven Wright ---
#757738 - 10/07/09 01:08 AM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Terry Moore Offline
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The "Genie" is out of the bottle as far as the music industry is concerned,and it will never go back in,radio shows are only the tip of the ever declining iceberg.iam not converse with the country scene or the radio scene in the u.s.a.but, iam with music in general.As i see it ,Karaoke,file-sharing,free downloading,the internet,singers using backing tracks,reality tv shows,stick all that, plus more, in the musical melting pot..music is just becoming another de-based commodity...people are being spoon fed mediocrity,and the pity is ,most folk don't know that is the case....or don't care..the main "honing" ground
on this side of the pond for new bands ,groups, artistes etc,are the pubs and clubs...but they are dying a slow lingering death..live music is dying with it....everybody wants the instant "fix" nowadays,nobody wants to go on the learning curve,reality tv makes it look so easy,which in turn has spawned what i call the "i'pod mob"....stick in your jack"Adaptor" and away you go...look out Frank or Whitney..i dare say and hope,that music goes around full cycle,and "live" music will come back to the mainstream,but as technology makes for everything musical being available at the click of a mouse,the industry has a real battle on it's hands..As for the Songwriting side of things,well Marc says it on the money,your creative juices must overide everything else,songwriting must be in the blood,if it aint...forget it!....i have had a fair bit of success with my writing(not that i can retire)but i keep writing because i want to write,knowing full well,iam swimming against the tide,but salmon swim against the tide...perhaps a songwriter is born with a built in optimisom,who knows?....but i aint under any illusions,this business was always hard....but in today's market,it is akin to climbing Mount Everest with a toothpick.
All The Best .....Terry....

#757743 - 10/07/09 01:23 AM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Terry Moore]  
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MediaGuy1974 Offline
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Well put Terry,
As a performer/writer I do long for the days when live music was THE thing. Yer right on every other account. I, like you, keep writing cuz I love to write. If nobody else likes my stuff, that's fine, I'll be a Salmon.


Peace,
Steve

What's another word for Thesaurus?
--- Steven Wright ---
#757757 - 10/07/09 01:49 AM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Originally Posted by Everett Adams
I was thinking about the DJs of today as compared to DJs of yesteryears. Years ago each DJ could pick out the music that they liked for their own show, music that showed their personality, taste, etc. Now, some program director, living hundreds of miles away, tells him/her what to play, like it or lump it, that is what they must do if they want to keep working. It must grate on their nerves to be a zombie and do what they are told, having no imput into their show.

So I wrote this song for them. I doubt any radio station would ever permit it to be played though.


You make it sound so negative. DJ's play songs in their format. If they didn't like the format then they shouldn't be a DJ in that style of music. Radio is competitive...they play hits. There's no money to be made from people changing the station because the DJ wants to play a crappy song that they like. They can play songs for their shows...they just have a list of songs they can play. Most program directors work for the stations...and they have consultants that may live farther away. I promise you, other than the economic cutbacks in radio...those people love their jobs. And times change. Random DJ's don't program for a reason.

#757758 - 10/07/09 01:50 AM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: MediaGuy1974]  
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I'm feeling more and more like a like a dying breed every day in my town. There used to be dozens of solo acoustic acts like myself playing aound town even a couple of years ago. Now there are maybe ten, and I know of only a couple besides myself that refuse to use backing tracks or loop pedals. Luckily I can still go to Nashville when I see fit and get my "honest" music fix.

When I played Put-In-Bay last summer EVERYONE used them.
I even had an established solo guy tell me I needed to "up my game" by adding all these bells and whistles. His act consisted of playing 100 percent cover tunes with the actual backing tracks to the original recordings. He kinda joined in on guitar whenever he saw fit, and was basically Karaoke with a guitar.
He was nice guy, so I didn't have the heart to tell him I thought his act was the cheeziest damn thing I've ever seen, and if thats what I need to do to "up my game" I'd rather be digging ditches!


bc
#757765 - 10/07/09 02:15 AM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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I'm with you Bob,
Karaoke and Band in a Box make me want to puke. As I've read through this thread, I happened to have an intriguing thought.
In terms of the dying-off of good live performers and venues, do ya think it can be traced back to the time, when across the country the drinking and driving laws did an about face? I was working the road then, and I saw first hand the effect it had. And before anyone accuses me of supporting drinking and driving, that's not the case. Just making an observation. What do ya think Bob?


Peace,
Steve

What's another word for Thesaurus?
--- Steven Wright ---
#757781 - 10/07/09 05:45 AM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: MediaGuy1974]  
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I think it's the PRIMARY cause! I'm not advocating driving while smashed either {I've had two friends killed by drunk drivers} but somewhere along the way MADD took a noble cause and turned it into it into a holy crusade. Now people are afraid to go out and have a few and a good time.


bc
#757864 - 10/07/09 02:16 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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It amazes me sometimes, how the social fabric of this world can spin on a dime. And for the record, IMHO it's not just MADD, the government had a large hand in it as well. When I first moved to Wyoming in 1986, the minimum drinking age was 18 or 19 (can't remember) and when the big push began, the Feds threatened to cut off our highway funds if we didn't change it to 21. I'm not saying it was a bad thing, just that this whole evolution had a lot of players, and the whacky thing about it is, the effects trickled down and had a devastating impact on performers, musicians, and songwriters. That's the sad thing to me, and I don't have a clue how it could have gone down any differently.


Peace,
Steve

What's another word for Thesaurus?
--- Steven Wright ---
#757871 - 10/07/09 02:33 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: MediaGuy1974]  
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Changes affect businesses. I miss those days when nothing changed. Way back in...hey wait...there has NEVER been a time when nothing changed! As a matter of fact, the only two things I can recall that have never changed are: change and whining about it.

Change means opportunity. The old, entrenched ways don't work any more so there is an opportunity for people who invent new ways. And the competition gets reduced because so many people keep trying to do it the old way, even when they obviously know the old way is over (it's obvious because they complain about it).

I miss the old deejays, but I don't pity today's...when they get older they'll get to pity tomorrow's.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#757872 - 10/07/09 02:33 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: MediaGuy1974]  
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I love my Band-in-a-box! However, if I went somewhere and one guy had the full band thing going and he was sitting there singing with a guitar in his hand, then I would think it was really cheesy (unless he was a really, really good performer and could somehow pull it off).

I put loopers in another category. If you build the loops live and then go from instrument to instrument, I would see that as very entertaining -- for a song or two per set.

As for the crackdown on DUI, the statistics tell me that the % of deaths where alcohol is involved is going down, but it doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot of good.

http://www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-driving-statistics.html

and

http://www.edgarsnyder.com/auto-accident/drunk-driving/statistics.html

Kevin


"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 @ FAWM 2017)
#757881 - 10/07/09 02:57 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Quite a lively discussion here. I'd like to RESPECTFULLY clarify a few things. First for Mr. Dunbar. I can only speak for myself, but I feel you've missed the point of those last few posts. I wasn't whining or complaining about change. You are dead on when you say (paraphrasing here) that change is constant. I spent some time in the auto industry back when they made the big paradigm shift from being product oriented to service oriented. I was sent to several cool seminars on how to deal with change. So I'm not resisting it, just looking for my place within it. My philosophy has always been, "If you don't like the changes, change them". But as a casual observer of this world for over 50 years I've seen the good and the bad. And you will never convince me that (as a single example) the changes we, as songwriters, have to work with, are for the good.
And for Mr. Emmerich, I respect to my toes, your right to take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. I've seen some very good band in a box guys, my only problem is that listening is one thing, while watching is another. You tear it up dude, I'll be the first one to clap, because I do respect what you do. And as far as the alcohol stuff goes, you are exactly right that the numbers do reflect that less people are dying, and praise God for that. But the damage has already been done to the creative community, and that has nothing to do with morality or legalities. I guess I'm just old, and think we ought to be able to reach as many people as possible, without having to do "the chicken dance". Thanks for the respectful conversation.


Peace,
Steve

What's another word for Thesaurus?
--- Steven Wright ---
#757887 - 10/07/09 03:22 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: MediaGuy1974]  
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Steve, I never said you were whining smile But a lot of people do. Much of the point of the original post, I'm sure, was nostalgia.

The changes for songwriters, as we know them, are not for the good. Just as the changes for buggy whip makers weren't for the good when the autos began catching on. But that doesn't mean leatherworkers disappeared. As long as there are songs, there will be songwriters. And, I actually doubt if any less songwriters end up making a living from songwriting, even with the changes. They'll just find different ways of being compensated.

I, like a lot of people, miss the old days, but folks can focus so much on missing the old days that they miss the present days.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#757899 - 10/07/09 03:54 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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MediaGuy1974 Offline
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Point Taken, and Thanks
I have a slightly different take on things simply because of my age. I see things changing around me and don't like what I see. The dribble that is coming out of Nashville, LA, and NY simply doesn't appeal to me. And I'm not alone. I think we are in the middle of a period where people like the ones on this site, are gonna collectively affect major change. We won't see it tomorrow, but I see it coming. People like us embrace technology and will find a way to use it for the positive. I recently did a research paper on technology and it's effect on the creative process. When you step back and see it for what it is, historically, technology tends to spin things 180 degrees every 25 years or so. With today's file sharing and the like, how long before the collaborators take charge of the environment? I think it's coming. Just as labor unions changed the work environment, creative people are going to unite to take back what always belonged to them in the first place. My insane vision of it is 1,000's of us united to the core as a group, from every angle. We're entirely too fragmented today, but I see things spinning, as little groups like we have here continue to grow. All creative people have a particular expertise if you will, that when combined, can take control. Sorry, I'm just an old hippy having a flashback. lol


Peace,
Steve

What's another word for Thesaurus?
--- Steven Wright ---
#757900 - 10/07/09 03:57 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Well,
I remember Jimmy Driftwood on WCKY in Cincinnatti and Randy Blake on WJJD Chicago and Grant Turner on WSM Nashville. Those were the days. Gone now but not forgotten.


Ray E. Strode
#758067 - 10/07/09 11:21 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: MediaGuy1974]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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Minneapolis
Originally Posted by MediaGuy1974
...technology tends to spin things 180 degrees every 25 years or so. With today's file sharing and the like, how long before the collaborators take charge of the environment? I think it's coming...


Hi Steve! I think about this point a lot...and it occurs to me that this is already happening. But the thing is, we geezers have an ingrained sense of the larger community having access to relatively few resources...as in TV being ABC, CBS and NBC...and the whole idea of Top 40 radio. But that whole structure has been expanding for decades now, and may even be on the verge of toppling. Truth is, right now, if you dig around a little, you can find anything you're looking for somewhere on a streaming internet source...but the idea of Most Of Us listening to any particular source just gets more and more elusive.

Music has always come easy to poor folks. Then rich folks commission it, and a few poor folks get richer. Pretty soon we all think of music as a way to get rich.

But when the whole house of cards comes tumbling down, like it always does, again and again, we find ourselves back at home again pinching pennies...and happy to have the richness of music to comfort us.


#758079 - 10/07/09 11:37 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Hi Gang:

Steve has an interesting theory. IMHO, the only thing that is going to save Radio will be when somebody figures out a way to play music without all the commercials. As it tries to compete with the humble iPod (no commercials... just all the songs you want to hear anytime you want to hear them) there must be someone out there who can come to Radio's rescue. It's primary attraction (other than the music being played) was the fact that it was free... if you could abide the plugs every two or three songs... or worse. I liked the fact that you did not have to watch it... you could continue to work, relax, play or whatever and hear your favorite artist whenever it came up in the que.

Truth is, we probably have not seen the technology waiting out there in the wings to replace radio and even your favorite MP3 player. Time will tell.

#758098 - 10/08/09 12:24 AM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Dave Rice]  
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beechnut79 Online content
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Radio's demise was predicted with the advent of television. Didn't happen. And television was also supposed to doom movie theaters. Bets on this one were so strong that the msjor movie studio cancelled the contracts of many of their top actors and actresses. That was premature judgment to say the least. After being the lastet thing back in the "I Love Lucy" days, television took its rightful place in the mainstream. Sooner the later the Internet and its "children"(IPods, MP3's, etc) will do. Sooner or later many of the computer hobbiests of today will get burned out and cut the usage time considerably. And when Internet burnout sets in it's very likely that folks will once again want more face-to-face contact, just like when television reached maturity.

And I'm sure that live music venues will survive as well. There are a couple of venues that aren't full time, but do have concerts a few times a year. They are located in churches, providing a haven from the drinking. I'm not actually that sure folks are drinking so much less today. The number of neighborhood taverns has declined over the past couple of decades, yet the number of liquor stores has remained steady or even garnered a slight increase.

Last edited by beechnut79; 10/08/09 12:25 AM.
#758128 - 10/08/09 03:03 AM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: beechnut79]  
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Wow,
You folks make some great points. Like I said earlier, I don't have the answer, but I can see some stuff coming down. I can't help thing about the history of it all. If go back far enough you realize that creativity fueled the technology. When you think of it as a better way to communicate, it's mankinds vision to do something bigger, better. Thus, the telegraph, the telephone, the cylinder recorders, acetate, vinyl, tape, CD's/DVD's, and finally a totally digital realm. Our creativity drove all that. But guess what's changed. The technology is now in the drivers seat, with us in the back. The tech world has made it so easy to act like a star, sound like a star, and so on. Without the technology there would be no karaoke, band in a box, backing tracks, all of it. I'm not slighting anyone that takes advantage of that stuff,that's why it's here. But those of us that are old school, have to preserve our places while the download generation figures out, they need us. I'll tell ya who I think is in real trouble, the recording studios. If I take the time, I can produce recordings from start to finish, with my little puter. In 1994, I purchased a small recording studio, complete with ADAT 8-tracks and all the gear. $50,000 worth of equipment. I can now do anything I did there, from the comfort of my little chair with the help of this puter. I realize this is slightly off topic, but it does come full circle, to what's gonna happen with radio! I can't help thinking that radio will survive in spite of itself. The advertisers need the medium. If not, they'll find a way to get their words into what is now free stuff. Either way, nothing that is free can last for long, without someone figuring out a way to cash in on it.
There, I've said my piece.


Peace,
Steve

What's another word for Thesaurus?
--- Steven Wright ---
#758149 - 10/08/09 08:34 AM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: MediaGuy1974]  
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Raleigh, ya'll
Technology advances mean that I can do things with recording that would've been impossible twenty years ago. The disadvantage is that so can a million other wanna-bes. And the problem that arises is one of focus.

Mark K pointed out the limited outlets back in the pre-cable days, when everyone you knew had only three or four choices of what to watch.

And as far as live music goes...I know only a handful of 20 somethings who bother to go out to the clubs...Most of them are more comfortable sitting home with their various games, DVDs and six packs...Which bodes well for slowing down the population growth, but not well for the clubs.

But I agree with Everett. It would suck to be a DJ these days.

Bottom line though, if you love something, then you can find a way to pursue it...It might mean needing a day job to support yourself, or else a lot of ass-busting hard work like my hero BC.

But even in "the good old days", there were more whiners on the outside looking in than there were people giving their heart & souls and lives to survive on the inside...What do you want?, and what are you willing to sacrifice to get it?

Midnite


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#758188 - 10/08/09 01:11 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: MidniteBob]  
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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Well-put, Midnight!

I, too, admire what BC's done to further his dream. & you, as-well. It's also fascinating to see what Marc & Mike D's "Insider's" takes on Today's Realities are..for the ever-evolving Music Biz.

You ask "What do you want?" and "What are you willing to sacrifice to get it?" Waal..back when I was younger, more naive, and had far-more loot to sacrifice, I (perhaps..typically) wanted to be the Next Jimmy Buffett...

Now that I'm older, wiser, & somewhat broker, I've "settled" for getting a Song in a Movie (Thanks to You & Doug Murphy for the "Assist!") and getting a Cut on a well-financed/serious promo budgeted Emerging Artist (Thanks Jami Asselin & her manager-dad, Branson's Jim Rader..& co-writer Andy Karpinski!)

I realize the Chances of ever making "Serious Money" have prettymuch evaporated in da Music Biz. I realize that my re-couping the over $100K I've thus-far expended over 25 years are near-nil..and that the many trips to L.A. and NashCity and Branson, MO were probably near-total wastes, from a Serious Business Standpoint.

And, that my Day Job certainly IS "Better-Paying" and my wife'll ALWAYS be here to remind me what a waste it WAS, tryin' to conquer "Music, Inc."

Yet, I think all of us who Keep-At-It are like the guy who built the Watts Towers in L.A...Simon "Sam" Rodia..who I'll quote here: "I had it in my mind I wanted to do something big & I did it." In Sam's case, he did it all in his Spare Time..with His Money..with mostly his own simple Hand Tools..with NO seriously thought-out Architectural PLANS...& then..Completed..deeded it to his neighbor & went to move nearer to his kids, leaving The City and Humanity to decide whether he was crazy or not. "Nuevo Pueblo" was Sam's name for his Opus.."Our Town". It's NOW in the Nat'l Register of Historic Places..&..after L.A.'s debating on tearing it all down..the Locals saved it..& it's living happily-ever-after as "Historical Monument #15" via the L.A. Historical Commission.

I doubt that Sam ever made much loot offa all-7 of those Really Interesting Towers...but..well, the Guy DID live his dream, in spite of what it Cost Him & What The Neighbors Thought.

Waal...back to buildin' the Next "Lyrical Tower"...& Hey, ya never know...

Best Wishes,
Stan

#1127548 - 05/09/17 02:20 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Everett Adams]  
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What your saying here is just like what has happened with damn near every industry. You describe this "Creed of Greed" very well indeed. With the ever increasing power of the Internet, not only is change on the horizon, it's here. Whether it will be positive or negative will no doubt be just like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder.

#1127549 - 05/09/17 02:25 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Well, through the years, Marc, recording artists have had other sources of income while trying to make it in music. Examples: Tammy Wynette, hairdresser; John Prine, mailman; Naomi Judd, nurse.

#1127550 - 05/09/17 02:28 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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So this is why we can still hear acts such as Elvis and the Beatles over half a century after they struck gold? Looking back at the eight-year time frame since your original posts were made, how much of what you predicted at the time has come true, and what hasn't? Seems there is still plenty of new music and new acts, yet the heavy restrictive formatting remains.

Last edited by beechnut79; 05/09/17 02:29 PM.
#1127556 - 05/09/17 09:22 PM Re: I pity today's DJs [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Hello folks, I guess this thread got reinvigerated.

I'd like to ask all of you a question and direct it mostly back to Everette who started this post.

Have ANY OF YOU ever gone to a job intereview and the first thing out of your mouth was talking about how crappy the job you are interviewing for is, how stupid they are for doing what they do, and how things would all be better if YOU RAN THE COMPANY?

How's that approach work out for you?

Yet, there is NO SHORTAGE of writers who write these "The music industry SUCKS!" songs, no shortage of the opinions of "what the business ought to be doing, and how it is "not like in your day!"
And songs ,songwriting, entertaining, etc. is a NEW INTEREVIEW with everyone you come in contact with. If it is co-writers, artists, pubilshers, the general public, you are INTERVIEWING with people for the opportuity to entertain them, educate them, take a little bit of their time. You are ASKING FOR A JOB FROM THEM. Would YOU HIRE YOU?

I can't answer your questions. If I knew the answers of how to do this and be successful and find the "magic formula" I assure you I wouldn't be over here telling anyone how to do it.

The fact is that you have the MOST FICKLE PUBLIC there has ever been in history. This is the AGE OF DISTRACTION, and just look around you when you are in a resturant, a bar, a club, anywhere music is played. There are dozens of televisions with dozens of sporting events. people are on their cell phones every minute of every day, talking and absorbed in their own lives, 24/7, Hundreds of radio stations, television stations, movies, 24 hour cable channels, video and computer games, multiple things going on ALL at the same time.

Could Elvis or the Beatles even exist in this time frame? I'm willing to bet not. They might have their own pod casts, still be playing their own shows, they might even rise above everyone else, but it is doubtful there would be an ED SULLIVAN show that would capture 50-60% of the veiwing audience at any one time. Even the biggest shows now do well to capture under 10% of the viewing time now. American Idol and The Voice, have had hundreds of millions of viewers but how many huge stars have they even really launched? American Idol about a dozen or so, and the Voice, none. You can complain that maybe the "stars" weren't up to the stars of yesterday and I might agree with you, but I think the "Stars of yesterday" would have a difficult time in todays' market.

So, my suggestion to any of you is to concentrate on the things you CAN do instead of what you WISH things could be.
Write the best songs you can.
Get them out there in any method you can as much as you can.
Find your allies in artists, in co-writers, in fans that like and support your music.
Grow expotentially and always give your public your all.
QUIT COMPLAINING. It really doesn't do any good.

Concentrate on WHAT IS.
Don't concentrate on WHAT ISN'T.

Start there. Might be surprised at the results.

MAB

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