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#581726 - 02/02/08 01:58 PM 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Indianapolis, IN USA
Hi Folks,

This is the place to ask any questions and hopefully find the answers you need concerning the 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards. We are officially starting the entry process today, February 2nd, 2008. I will be inserting an extensive FAQ about the awards here in the next few days and we'll be announcing it all in the newsletter this week as well. For the current info available, please check out the home page. Watch this page for updates and more info as it is available.
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2008-2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards Officially Launches!

Music Awards 2008-2009 FAQ and Guidelines:

Here we go again! After a world record setting music awards program in 2005-2006 we are ready to start the process for 2008-2009. The program has grown beyond our wildest dreams and we expect this 6th Awards cycle to rise to the high levels set by previous years and then some. For a great article on a previous Awards process and Awards Show, we've posted a PDF file of a great Singer Magazine article which really summarizes the program very well (with some cool pictures of awards nominees and winners included). Here's the link to view the file: http://jpfolks.com/AwardsArticle.pdf

Because it will be difficult to continue on our growth pattern of the last 10 years, we have some specific guidelines and rules we think will keep the process under control and still make for another great Awards process this time around.

To start off with, any music that has been sent to us since last Awards deadline which wasn't squeezed in last time will be included for 2008-2009. (That includes roughly 1000 Albums already). All the music posted on our site in our database currently was entered for 2006 and is not eligible for 2008-2009. Please do not resubmit any music which has previously been entered. We'll repeat that again later in this FAQ. If you aren't sure if you entered a particular album previously, you can check to see if you've already entered by visiting our Awards section on the website and scroll to the database at the bottom. All the albums from the last 5 awards cycles are listed there. If your album shows up on that list, it's not eligible for re-entry. On the other hand, if it isn't listed and has never been nominated previously, then you can enter it. Here's a direct link to the Awards page: http://www.jpfolks.com/MusicAwards/index.html

We reserve the right to make ANY changes we feel necessary to these guidelines without advanced notice. Remember, we do this work for free, and if we need to make an adjustment, we'll post it on line and in the newsletter, but we aren't responsible for any problems that may cause you. If your music isn't considered this year for some reason, we can always consider it the next time.
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Official Entry Period:

Now through August 31st for music released before August 31st, 2008.

September 1st-December 31st for music released in that time frame only.

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Who is eligible to enter:

You must be a Just Plain Folks Member to enter.

This means the artist on the CD and/or the writers of the song(s) entered or both. We allow managers, producers, publishers etc.. to enter their artists but those artists also need to be signed up as a member and we need their contact info included.

If you are not currently an active member, it's simple to join. Just visit our homepage at www.jpfolks.com/home.html and enter your email address in the appropriate box after clicking the JOIN button on the top left hand side. Once you join, you are eligible to enter the music awards.

As long as you are an active member of Just Plain Folks, you can enter any music which hasn't previously been entered into our awards program. It doesn't matter if you are entry level or you've had major hits. We've had both types of artists/writers win awards. If you are part of our community and membership, we welcome your entry. You CAN be signed to a label and you CAN be signed to a publishing deal. Please just be sure your label or publisher has no problem with you entering.

All genres/types of music are welcome. (more on that below).
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How to submit: Where to send, what to include, what to do, what not to do.

Note: We will be accepting digital entries via CD Baby ONLY in March of 2008. If you miss their offer then you must enter your music following the guidelines below.

Only active members of Just Plain Folks are eligible to enter. If you are a representative for an artist or writer, we also need the contact info for the artist themselves to consider them. We welcome management, publicists, labels, etc., to enter their artists.. but it's still a member awards program. Membership is free. If your artist has a problem with being an official member, don't enter them!

Send your CD only (we can't accept Cassette Tapes or any other format with the exception of Video. (see details on that later)

Your submission MUST include the following info ON your CD and Liner Notes:

Full Name of person submitting.
Your position if not the artist or a member of the band (i.e., publicist, label, producer, etc.).
Phone Number
Email Address
Full Mailing Address: (Street Address, City, State, Country)
Website (if Applicable)

This info MUST be included on the CD itself (preferred) or on the liner notes/case. Feel free to neatly print it on the CD with a sharpie if you'd like. Remember, we want to recognize your music.. but to do that we need to know who it is. Each year we've had to pass on nominating some music because we couldn't determine who the artist was. When we receive CD's,. they are immediately logged and separated from their cases and any documents they come with. If your CD doesn't list the name of your band/artist and the title of the album, please write that information on the CD with a sharpie otherwise you risk us not knowing who you are no matter how much paper info you send. We do make an effort to write this info on the CD's ourselves, but it's better not to take the chance right?
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Optional Info to Include:

You are welcome to send your press kit, but it isn't required. If you want to indicate specific tracks for consideration, you are welcome to, but we often nominate tracks different from those flagged by the artists themselves. Also, you are welcome to suggest what genre you feel your music falls into, but we VERY often place music based on a criteria/definition which may not fit your idea. Suggesting a genre helps more if your music is in an unusual/less common genre, but less if it is mainstream or more common genre. If you include this info, it's best to write it on the CD itself with a sharpie. Again, this info is optional, but welcomed.
Also, if you have "hidden" tracks at the end of your CD (i.e., with lots of blank space before it) we can easily miss those tracks, so please indicate that so we don't miss it. We rarely have the CD track notes available when the music is screened so we just hit play and when the CD appears to be over that's it.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please do NOT send each song on its own CD. Combine all your entries into 1. This means if you are sending 7 song demos, place them all on 1 CD, not 7 CD's with 1 song each. You can send more than 1 album, but please condense all those demos to 1 or 2 CD's. We had someone send us 30 CD's last year with 1 song each. It's a waste of time for both parties to do it that way.
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How to verify we have your music?

In the last awards process, we received over 25,000 finished albums and a lot more single and multi song demos. Because of the volume, we can't respond to each person to confirm we have your entry. However, after we check all the music in, we will post the complete listing of ALL the Albums/Entries we have on hand. If your entry isn't there, we have a friendly built in grace period to rectify problems or missing entries. We're nice that way. So PLEASE be patient and don't pester us to verify your entry. If you simply MUST know.. send us a check for $1000 dollars and we'll talk. (okay.. I'm kidding.. $100 would do...)
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How and Where do you send your entry:

NEVER send your entry to us with a signature required. We will likely refuse it. Since we travel a great deal, we can't always be here to sign for something. Don't waste your money! Also, be sure there is no postage due. We will refuse any entries with postage due. You can send your entry Fed Ex, UPS, or regular mail or other provider, but remember our deadlines are always based on Postmark dates, so there's no need to waste the money on an overnight package or priority type mail unless we request it for some reason. (Sometimes we'll need a replacement CD quickly or if we find something which an industry person wants a copy of, we may need a second copy.) Please be sure that your CD works BEFORE you send it. We got over 200 bad CD's last year. We make a reasonable effort to request another.. but frankly it's a pain in the ass. If you are sending a CDR, that is fine.. just check it start to finish first so we don't waste our time on a bad CD.

Once you have your CD ready to go with all the requested info, mail it to:

Just Plain Folks
5327 Kit Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46237

(Note: This is a NEW ADDRESS. Please do not send your entry anywhere else!)

We do not return CDs. EVER. Do not ask us to return it. Even with enclosed SASE we won't return it. It's just too difficult because we separate the CDs from their cases/mailing materials at the time of check in and it might take several weeks or months before we screen it the first time. We do have all CDs on file here (we have over 50,000 in our archive). REPEAT: We do NOT return CDs or any other material you send us.
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What Genres of Music Do We Award?

That's a great question but one we don't know ourselves until we screen all the entries. We give out awards based on the music received. As a rule of thumb, if we have at least 20 Quality Album entries in a given Genre and/or 100 Quality Song entries, we generally have a category for it in the awards. (Last year in some cases we had over 2000 albums and over 30K songs in a given genre at the top end...). If we don't have enough entries for a specialized genre, we generally include the great music into a genre that most closely approximates it. If you are worried that your unusual genre might not be considered, keep in mind that the opportunities for recognition are actually greater for excellent music in less common genres than great music that is competing with thousands of others in a more common genre.

Here are the 81 genres we recognized in 2006. We may add or subtract based on the music that we give.

A Cappella, African, Alternative, Ambient, Americana, Asian, Bluegrass, Blues, Cabaret, Cajun/Zydeco, Caribbean, Celtic, Celtic Instrumental, Children's, Children's Storytelling, Classical Concerto, Classical Chamber, Classical Orchestral, Classical Voice/Opera Solo, Classical Voice/Opera Choral, Classical Soloist, College Rock, Comedy, Compilation, Contemporary, Contemporary Christian, Country, Cover/Tribute, Dance, Educational, Electronica, European, Experimental, Female Singer-Songwriter, Gospel, Hard Rock, Hawaiian, Holiday, Indiana Classical, Indian Contemporary, Industrial, Instrumental, Instrumental Jazz, Jewish, Klezmer, Latin, Live, Male Singer-Songwriter, Metal, Middle Eastern, Modern Rock, Native American, New Age, World, New Folk, Novelty, Polka, Pop, Punk, R&B, Rap, Reggae, Rock, Rock Instrumental, Rockabilly, Roots, Roots Instrumental, Salsa, Self Help/Meditation, Solo Guitar, Solo Piano, Solo Instrumental (Non Piano/Guitar), Soundtrack, South & Central American, Spoken Word, Storytelling, Surf, Techno, Theater/Stage, Traditional Folk, Vocal Jazz & World.

In addition, we had categories for Best Video and Best Lyric. Note: The Lyric award is a separate entry process which is conducted on the website ONLY. We will announce the guidelines for entry for Best Lyric later in the year and it will be conducted in late 2008 to coincide with the rest of the awards nominations process.

We also give out Founders awards for Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Male and Female Artist of the Year, Group of the Year, Male, Female and Group Vocals of the Year, Producer of the Year, Lyricist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Live Artist of the Year, Horizon Artist and so on. (It changes slightly year to year).

Helpful Suggestion: If you write/perform music that doesn't fit any of the above genres, it would be helpful in your case if you indicate your genre on your CD. We didn't find any music last year that didn't fit into one of the above genres, but we are happy to add new ones (or even create new genres as we have in the past) if we have enough quality entries.
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How does the process work?

We change and adjust the program each year as we find ways to improve it. Here is the general idea/outline we used for last year. Some of these steps are dependent on the amount of music we get which we won't know until after the deadline this year.

Based on last year:

Round 1: The initial round of screening has 2 goals:

1. To weed out the bottom 33% of the music entered.

2. To place the music into genres so that it can be screened by experts in each field.

Music can be moved several times (especially those albums entered that have songs from multiple genres). But to make the process possible, we need a starting point and the first round allows us to group together albums with similarities or clear cut genres so we can do focused screening with people who have experience with that type of music.

Round 2 is comparative listening. Since all the CD's are separated by general genre, we start comparing them to each other. CD's which are clearly outstanding get passed straight on to round 3. Everything else is carefully screened and we generally filter out another 33% in this stage based on how high the bar is for that given genre.

Round 3 is when individual songs are flagged for possible song nomination consideration. Some albums can have nearly every song flagged The criteria is already starting to get high, but by the end of this round, we'll still have an enormous number of songs flagged. When in doubt on a song (or when multiple screeners disagree).. it gets flagged and moved forward.

Round 4 is when we start to narrow the songs down and also when we flag specific albums for album nomination consideration. Obviously albums with a lot of songs being considered are more likely to be nominated for an album award. Because of the notes we take during the process, sometimes by the end an album might have no individual songs nominated, but it might have had 5-6 in the running during the process. Our previous Album of the Year winners had most of their songs flagged for individual consideration.

Round 5 is when we have focused filtering of songs against songs. We will generally bring in a new batch of experts in each given genre as well. We could still have hundreds of albums and hundreds of songs in the running for a nomination at this stage.

Round 6 is when we whittle the songs down to the nominations. This is often the hardest segment of the process. Usually there are 50-80 worthy songs in a large genre that each have gotten a lot of support from judges throughout the process. This is where judgment calls and opinions and tastes of the judges are tested the most. (And the most heated arguments take place.) We will usually try to recognize diversity within the nominations. For example, if there are 10 totally great songs of a very specific style, we might only take the very top 5 of that style within a given genre so that there is room to recognize other approaches and styles within that same genre. (That's just a hypothetical example.) This is also the round where genres are finalized. We don't fit songs into genres. We fit the genres around the collection of songs. That is why it shifts from one year to the next. Once we have a similar collection of great songs, we determine it fits a named genre the best. Genres are NEVER an exact science and at any given time one song might fit into 3-4-5 different genres based on 5 different opinions. If we have a killer song that really deserves recognition in a crowded category, we try hard to find a home for it in the nominations somewhere. After all, our goal is to recognize great music. The more the merrier.

Once round 6 is done (whew!) we announce the nominations and set the final voting into gear. Last year we used roughly 8000 judges in the final round of judging alone. This group is made up of the following:

01. Industry Professionals (Producers, Engineers, Labels, Publishers, Managers, Media, Educators, etc.)
02. General JPF Member/Peer Songwriters/Artists
03. Music Fans with no industry/artist/writer background/experience

Our judges only have 1 criteria to address when voting:

Does the music move you?

Each judge picks their top 5 favorite songs in a given genre from 1st through 5th. The song with the most votes wins. We announce the top 6 places in the song categories.

The albums are more complicated and we use industry/mentor/peer and staff judges only on those because of logistics. We do judge albums on production, songwriting, performance, arrangement as well as how much it moves us overall. We use all the notes taken on the album during the process to assist on the album results.

Once the results are tabulated (usually just a few days before we hand out the awards) we order the trophies and try to stay awake long enough the get through the awards, since we rarely sleep the 3 months before they are announced in Southern California each time.
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How long does the entire process take?

We actually don't know. We will spend exactly the amount of time it takes to do it right. In the first 2 years the process lasted 1 calendar year. in 2002, it took us 15 months. In 2004, we spent about 17 months on the process. In 2006 we spent 18 months. Since we are doing a lot of the awards digitally via CD Baby, we're hoping that we can get the process done a little more quickly this time around, even with a greater number of entries. Our target goal is to have nominations announced in early 2009 and the awards ceremony in the spring of 2009. That's assuming, of course, we don't get 50,000 albums and 700,000 songs. = )
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What do you win?

This thing keeps growing and gaining attention. It is likely a lot of cool things will happen for the nominees and winners which we can't even imagine right now after the success of last year. However, as it stands, here's my spiel on it:

It's a free awards program. It may be the only awards program in the world that exists solely to recognize great music without any commercial influence/goals/payoff to anyone involved and with the least amount of bias (good or bad) humanly possible. We generally have sponsors to help cover some of the enormous costs associated with doing this free, but because we don't charge to enter, we don't give out large cash prizes. Your music is judged blindly and on merit only. We give out an awards trophy to each winner (whether they are present at the awards show or not) and certificates to the finalists who are present at the awards in each genre which we announce at the show. We also post the winners on the website and supply the names and info to the press and any interested industry member. We often have additional promotional prizes from our community partners and new opportunities to promote the winners in very cool ways, but it's not something we publicize to gain entries, because we're not trying to make money on this... just recognize great music that otherwise might not get the recognition it deserves. We think that is what it SHOULD be all about.

We've had #1 artists, #1 writers, hit songs, hit albums and every other extreme win awards in the past. The greatest thing about our awards is that you are competing with people on a totally unbiased basis and that includes some of the very best writers and artists in the world. No one gets an unfair advantage over anyone else. Our judges rarely even know who the nominees actually are until we post the final list and then check out the nominees along with everyone else later.

Here's a list of some prominent previous nominees and award winners (it even includes a prominent current American Idol contestant): Previous winners and nominees have included well known label and talented indie acts like They Might Be Giants, Janis Ian, Tiffany, Dennis DeYoung, Andrew Gold, Johnsmith, Susan Gibson, Jonell Mosser, Steadman, Rachael Sage, Michael Jonathon, The McKrells, Consolidated, The Kurstins, Mary Gauthier, Wishing Chair, Jennifer Marks, Jennie DeVoe, Michelle Malone, David Lamotte, Mindless Faith, SMP, Bob Malone, Erika Luckett, Cindy Alexander, Kerry Getz, Michael Manring, Vicki Genfan, Seth Horan, Noelle Hampton, Collide, Jody Whitesides, Kate McDonnell, Kristy Jackson, Matt Hamovitz, Leslie Ritter and Scott Petito, Cheley Tackett, Don Campbell, Tim Grimm, Soul Seekers, Freebo, Dave Nachmanoff, Peter Mayer, Marc VonEm, Willie Nelson, Lori McKenna, John Beland, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Jim Photoglo, Dave Mackenzie, E.G. Kight, Myshkin, John Margolis, Zoe Lewis, Harold Payne, Adie Grey, Eric Colville, Carbon Leaf, April McClean, Pepper MeShay, Dave Pahanish, Dave Potts, Tammy Edwards, Melody Guy, Steve Fox, Eclipse, Zen for Primates, Faith Rivera, David Z, NASA, L.A. Carpool, Lisa Haley, Kris Delmhorst, Anne McCue, Deb Talen, KJ Denhart, Jenny Bruce, Karen Ires, Ahmad Jamal, Wild Mango, Severin Browne, Steve Tannen, Greg Tannen, Grant Lee Phillips, Stan Ridgway, Holly Figueroa, Steve Seskin, Nancy Moran, Gary jules, Joe Rathburn, Throwing Toasters, Carla Ulbrich, Alan O'Day, Brooke Ramel, Amber Brooke, Sekou (tha Misfit), Ta-Ta, Ordinary Peoples, Spookie Daly Pride, Amelia White, Dave Carter, Tracy Grammer, Mark Erelli, Richard Berman, Craig Carothers, Spook Handy, Shandy Lawson, Ali Handal, Jennifer Tefft, Tomo Iwakura, Tom Kell and the Mission, Rivertribe, Amy Speace, Colleen McFarland, Muriel Anderson, Bayne Gibby, David M. Bailey, Bird York, Cynthia Biggs, Celldweller, SKAMP, Jane Jensen, Rachel Stamp, Liz Larin, Danielle Lo Presti, Martha's Trouble, Keith Sykes, David Olney, Eve Selis, Cary Cooper, Jo-EL Sonnier, Ina May Wool, The Poxy Boggards, Bonnie Rideout, Beethoven's Wig, Zak Morgan, Billy Jonas, The Animators, Bicycle Thieves, Lazlo Bane, Single, Fisher, Vienna Teng, Colin Hay, Jag Star, Jay Graydon, The Dreamsicles, The Kennedys, Kate Taylor, Marina V, Jenny Toomey, Melissa Ferrick, Kristy Kruger, Sara Hickman, Sam Shaber, Jill Sissel, Charlotte Martin, Carole Fredericks, The Soul Stirrers, Buzz Poets, Jimi Hazel, The Tokens, Michael Allen Harrison, Tito Puente Jr., James Lee Stanley, Kenny Edwards, Gabriel Mann, Peter Himmelman, Jack Tempchin, Scottish McMillan, Brother Luke, Two Loons For Tea, Paul Kamm and Eleanor MacDonald, Kevin Meany, Diane Zeigler, Danny Schmidt, Bill Danoff, Greg Tamblyn, Jeddrah, St. Paul, Cary Cooper, Sheila Marshall, Travis Larson Band, Adrienne Young, The Hot Club of Cowtown, John Davis, Preston Reed, Minton Sparks, Brooke Fox, Sony Holland, Eric Schwartz, David Peterson & 1946, Karen Bentley, Gretchen Peters, Russell Smith, Les San Culottes, Brendon Cassidy, Nina Storey, Angela Johnson, Groove Society, Darrell Scott, Mari Iijima, The Merritts, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Robby Benson, The Bicycle Men, The Saw Doctors, Prodigals, Bad Haggis, An Dochas, Vertical Horizon, Art Garfunkle, Steve Dorff, Cris Williamson, Lowen & Navvaro, BoyMeetsGirl, Ali Matthews, The Mamasitas, Mal Rodgers, Templeton Thompson, Jude Johnstone, P. Hux, Jimmy Bowskill, Jeremy Cohen, Mark Wood, The Innocence Mission, Supertweaker/Solamingus, Daniele Groff, Perry Botkin Jr., Jo Davidson, Amy Fairchild, John William Davis, Steve White, The Gypsy Hombres, Die Warzau, Donal Hinely, Nils Jiptner, Craig Taubman, Julie Silver, Cecilia Noël & the Wild Clams, Jim Gaffigan, Matthew Lee, Tom Kimmel, Tom Prasada-Rao, Nils Lofgren, Jim Femino, Grayson Wells, Gor Mkhitarian, The Hoo-Hah Conspiracy, Autumn's Child, Lou & Peter Berryman, Fast & Dirty, Jessy Moss, Danielle McKee, Peeland-Z, Ace, Sir Mix A Lot & DJ Girl 6, Biggie Irie, Jasmine Cain, Danielia Cotton, Samsara, Square, Entrain, The Dempseys, Kate Campbell, Poco, Victor Hugo, Woody Mann, Laurel Zucker, Richard Freitas, Queen Sheba, Tom Neilson, The Atlantics, Zircon, Christine Lavin, Lawrence Smith, Kim McLean, Techung, Kiki & Herb, Jamie Laval, Dr. Floyd's Radio Adventures, Aaron Rosand, Ransom Wilson, Hover Chamber Choir of Armenia, Spin 66, Mike Birbiglia, Solovox, Hungry March Band, Anne Heaton, Gandalph Murphy, Harry Manx, Bryndle, Kacey Jones, 50 Foot Wave, The Dazz Band, Andy Offut Irwin, Autorickshaw, The Sawdoctors, Storm Large and the Balls, Chris Young and Michael John's band Film.

We also feature the winners and nominees and recognize them at events, showcases and gatherings throughout the year and beyond. When possible we give extra performance time to finalists at JPF Roadtrip showcases. We also plan to place some winners and finalists on compilation CD's (only with their permission of course). It's also very common for our industry judges to find artists and writers they want to work with during the screening process. We've had a lot of success stories crop up this way, but we can't promise anyone that will happen and often those industry folks like to remain anonymous, so we don't make a big deal out of it to the group at large.

So if being recognized in what has become the worlds largest music awards program of any kind is something you'd like to shoot for, you've come to the right place. But remember, last year we had 350,000 songs and 25,573 albums entered and only 67 songs and 81 albums won a first place award. The bar is VERY high and I assure you there were far more than 67 amazing, hit quality songs and 81 outstanding albums submitted. So always keep any awards program in perspective.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Best Video Award is renewed for 2008-2009!

Last year we tried a new category, Best Member Music Video. The Video's that made it to nominations were all outstanding (as good as anything we've seen on any video channel) (in fact, several of them WERE on the big video channels) and we're looking forward to doing it again and seeing it grow. We will accept video entries in DVD format ONLY!

We will also consider having these categories in the Video section of the Awards (if there are enough quality entries):

1. Best Promotional Video: This would be for band/artist promo's. We got several outstanding ones last year and if we get enough quality entries this year, we may give them their own category.

2. Best Short Form Video: This would be for single song length videos.

3. Best Live Video: This would be for feature length videos (i.e. for concerts videos)

4. Best Feature Film: This would be for any other feature length movie we receive

You can send as many videos as you like in, but please be sure to include all your contact info on each Disc just as you would for music entries. If you are sending an entry from outside the US, please be sure it is playable on a US machine.

Last year we held special screenings for the nominated videos and also did the final voting at a pre awards event. It was a BLAST! So our plan is to do that again on an even larger scale.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you have any questions about these guidelines, or think of something we missed, please post them here. You can also email us directly at jpnotes@aol.com and place "Awards Question" in the subject field. Thanks and good luck!
---------------------------------------------
Looking forward to hearing all the great music being made by our community once again!

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#581749 - 02/02/08 03:45 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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The Home page listing reads pretty well. After reading it all, I did have one question that probably will be answered in the FAQ.

I see you want folks to send in CD's (or from CD Baby). The question I have is "How do you enter individual songs in the various categories?" Or do you send a CD in and the listeners decide what genre to enter stuff in? If this is answered in the FAQ, there is no reason to take the time to respond here.

Thanks,

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)
#582016 - 02/03/08 05:09 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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We decide genres. It would be impossible for 20-30-40K people to have the same ideas on what genres mean and what songs fit into them. We do it on our end for consistency. Much easier for everyone that way. = )

Brian


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


#582481 - 02/04/08 04:11 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Teddie Cochran Music Offline
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What about help Brian. Where do you stand in this department? I would like to help where I can.

Regards,

Teddie Cochran
www.teddiecochran-music.com


#582483 - 02/04/08 04:16 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Teddie Cochran Music]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Hi Teddie,

We will eventually need a lot of help. But that's still a few months away until we get all the entries from CD Baby and see how deep of a hole we really have. 250K songs, no problem. 500K songs and we'll have a long year ahead of us. 1 million songs and we may have some problems. We'll have to wait and see.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#582913 - 02/05/08 11:29 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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First post here, hope I'm doing this right! A question - my recording is what you might call a theme album with a variety of songs, some of which are public domain, some licensed, some original compositions by composers I know. If you categorize the CD submissions upon listening to them - genres, etc. - do you also consider the songs separately from the project as a whole, or would those have to be submitted by the composers themselves for consideration in song categories? I realize this is a different situation than a lot of people here who are recording their own music. (Is it even possible to submit as a performing artist rather than a songwriter/composer? Like I said, I'm new around here...) Will most likely submit via CD Baby, if that matters. Thanks in advance!

#582915 - 02/05/08 11:41 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: KarenJoli]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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We blind screen stuff so the judges don't really know who they are listening to about 75% of the time and thus wouldn't know if you or your friends wrote the songs. If it's a cover/public domain, we have some categories for that type of music if your performance is really original or amazing vocally it could be considered there. For the originals, if they're first time releases they'd still be eligible as we give the awards out to both the artist and songwriters (the actual trophy goes to whichever person entered it).

Brian


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


#583032 - 02/05/08 04:36 PM video format [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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When submitting a music video, what formats can we send?
Thanks
robertroberg
Gainesville FL

#583118 - 02/05/08 08:37 PM Re: video format [Re: robertroberg]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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We're accepting it on DVD. There's no other format that works for what we're doing. We've learned that when we accept other formats, they often don't work for some judges and become a nightmare. So standard DVD format is the way. We need judges to be able to pop it in any DVD player (not just a computer) to screen it.

Brian


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#585084 - 02/10/08 05:35 PM Re: video format [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Hi! We have one CD which is already on CDBaby, and will definitely enter that one. But we will also be releasing another CD in the spring of 2008. Will we be able to enter that one also, or is there a limit of one CD per entrant?

#585212 - 02/11/08 12:02 AM Re: video format [Re: OllinProductions]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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No limits. Just send it in with you info on it. We're still working out digital details with CD Baby and will post when we know the timing.

Brian


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#590466 - 02/26/08 10:43 PM Re: video format [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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I have updated this FAQ and added text on the process above.

Brian


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


#593026 - 03/05/08 01:17 PM Re: video format [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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mattsurowiec Offline
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Any updates on when the CD Baby info will go out?

#593496 - 03/06/08 04:25 PM Re: video format [Re: mattsurowiec]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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We're basically waiting for them at this point. They first said 2 weeks (mid Feb) then March 5th, now it's day by day waiting. Sorry folks, it's not in my control at this time.

Brian


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#596740 - 03/15/08 04:01 PM Re: Just Plain Folks Music Awards "Lo-Fi" winners/ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Brian: Can you think of any winners that you have had whose recording were strictly lo-fi (medium home recording quality) who were able to "move" the judges so much that they actual won? Or did your past winners have everything going for them: great songwriting, great performance, great recording quality?

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)
#596793 - 03/15/08 07:57 PM Re: Just Plain Folks Music Awards "Lo-Fi" winners/ [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Our 2002/2003 Female Singer-Songwriter won with a song literally recorded in the bathroom at college. But her performance was emotional and moving and the song was great. She was up against some of the top names in the Singer-Songwriter community all with polished pro recordings. Even her song demo collection got nominated even though it wasn't even a full commercial release. So can it happen? Sure. But human nature is that if you have 2 great songs and one is recorded and performed well, that's going to win the tie breaker. You don't need a fancy recording. You need a clean vocal and instrument recording with the levels appropriately mixed and a solid or better vocal performance on a great song. That's within anyone's budget. But it's not within anyone's talent level. So that part is up to you.

I will say that honestly, a bad vocal performance will nearly always eliminate a song from any shot at moving far. The bar is just too high. Could there be an exception? There are ALWAYS exceptions.. but I haven't heard the submission that met that criteria (i.e. horrible vocal, but still good enough to win).

Brian


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#598858 - 03/21/08 01:17 PM Re: Just Plain Folks Music Awards "Lo-Fi" winners/ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Midnight Spaghetti Offline
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You forgot a genre:
FUNK

#598957 - 03/21/08 07:37 PM Re: Just Plain Folks Music Awards "Lo-Fi" winners/ [Re: Midnight Spaghetti]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Midnight,

We haven't forgotten it, we just haven't previously gotten enough Funk material for it's own stand alone category. If we get enough this year, we're happy to add it the same as any other category that may not be included yet.

Brian


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


#599142 - 03/22/08 10:47 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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SJN Offline
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When must the album have been released to qualify for the awards? We released our CD in September 2006.
Thanks.

#599452 - 03/23/08 07:18 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: SJN]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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There's no date requirements. All albums are eligible as long as they haven't previously been entered into our awards. We're looking for great music to recognize and music isn't milk, it doesn't have an expiration date. = )

Brian


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#601088 - 03/27/08 03:35 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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ben willis Offline
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Hey Brian, I lost my CDBaby e-mail announcement. I can't find any instructions on how to submit through CDBaby. Will they do it automatically? Ben

#601307 - 03/28/08 03:51 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: ben willis]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Ben,

Only if you follow the link they provided you and request it. Check your email cache to see if it is there. Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#601767 - 03/29/08 12:29 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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ben willis Offline
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If anyone has the CDbaby link and would like to share it with me I would appreciate it. You can PM me. Ben

#602306 - 03/31/08 09:29 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: ben willis]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Ben,

I would think it's unique for each artist... because when you click it it takes you to a page of YOUR CD(s) with check boxes for you to select which ones you want to enter.

Brian


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


#602447 - 03/31/08 07:30 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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ben willis Offline
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That's OK, I've decided that if I am going to enter something it won't be what I have at Cdbaby. The audio quality of that cd isn't up to par with what I have since learned about mixing and mastering.
If I do enter I will produce something new and mail it in. Thanks Brian. Ben

#604656 - 04/07/08 08:49 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: ben willis]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Reminder to all those entering digitally via CD Baby:

The deadline to confirm your entry with them is April 12th. Make sure you follow their instructions in the email they sent you. I believe they are sending a reminder this week.

Brian


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


#606576 - 04/13/08 07:01 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Arlonsongs Offline
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Hi,

I just submitted for the awards through CD Baby. The website let me submit today, April 13. I just noticed though that the contest would be closed via CD Baby on April 12. So.. I don't really know if I am in or out. Thoughts?

Thanks!

Arlon

#606579 - 04/13/08 07:06 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Arlonsongs Offline
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Hi,

I just used CD Baby today, April 13 to apply for this years JPF awards. It appears to have gone through. I just noticed that April 12 was the cutoff for CD Baby submissions, so.. I cannot tell if I am in or not. Thoughts?

Thanks!

AB

#606614 - 04/13/08 09:06 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Arlonsongs]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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They are accepting entries through the end of the weekend. So you should be fine.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#606806 - 04/14/08 02:32 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Marc Novoselec Offline
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I entered a few weeks ago via cdbaby, is there some sort of confirmation coming?

#606862 - 04/14/08 07:42 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Marc Novoselec]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Marc,

We'll be contacting everyone once we get the database from CD Baby. The deadline was this weekend so I expect that we'll get something this week and probably contact folks next week.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#612722 - 05/05/08 07:41 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Split Level Offline
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Split Level  Offline
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Nashville and U.K.
Hi Brian,

I have been one of the judges on an American Song Contest for several years, and in all honesty I thought nearly everything sent in was generally well recorded Songs that lacked any magic
Just Good songs, and nothing more.

I suggested that there should be a category for a plain work demo One Voice and one instrument either piano
Or guitar, and I’m pleased to see that this year The Wisconsin Song Writers have put in a category for just that . scrapping one or two of the category’s that did not attract many entries.

Is there a similar category in the contest that is run by your good self at Just Plain Folks.?
Some writers seem to think that having a professional recording of an ordinary song can turn it into a hit, I am a firm believer that if your song can be played by a
Solo act without elaborate backing tapes, it’s easier to listen to the quality of the melody and the underlying chord accompaniment ,
A piano is ideal if the writer has written in bass inversions. So there is no problem demonstrating the song in this plain form . This way there is not the necessity for learning writers to spend money they cant afford on songs that are not ready for the Professional Market , despite the fact that most will believe they are.





Have been working at E.M.I. Hayes U.K. in many departments starting as Tea Boy and worked through to A and R, New Artist Management,
Co Writing , with Boy Bands, and some solo acts
I have always played in bands,

SPLIT LEVEL
psuedonymn of course to many thieves and robbers on the web these days
#612754 - 05/05/08 11:02 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Split Level]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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We have over 500,000 songs entered this year. We have a lot of EVERYTHING. It's quite common for songs that feature only a single instrument and a vocal to get nominations and win categories. We don't need a special category since we have so many where that scenario would do fine as long as it's well written and the vocal is well done.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#614936 - 05/12/08 12:00 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Thomas Gahagan Offline
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Hi Brian.....

First of all thanks for all you to at this site. I am learning a lot as I study and read the posts here. I know that it must be a huge job to keep it all going. Thank you!

So then, I’m really new here and not sure if I have a right to ask this question of you. Please don’t take it the wrong way.

As I read the huge list of winners, entrants, and seeing names like Charlotte Martin, Willie Nelson, Art Garfunkle, and many other stellar writers I’m thinking… how in the Sam Fred Hill am I (although not new to music…new to songwriting) with limited resources supposed to compete with this. The ugly truth is… I can not! Not your fault mind you and the blind hearing feature is a great thing but it just seems to be an impossible feat.

I guess I’m saying that to ask… is there any chance for a pro division and a amateur division? I imagine this thing is way too huge and complicated to do anything like that but it sure would level the playing field some.

Please understand what I’m asking is not from criticism. This is a great thing you are doing for free and you deserve nothing but praise. I guess my “newbie” status makes it feel a lot more intimidating than perhaps it is. Anyway… is it at all possible?

#615348 - 05/13/08 01:59 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Thomas Gahagan]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


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Thomas,

A few years ago Melody Guy won for Best Country album. Her entire budget for the entire album, including manufacturing was... $400.00 dollars. She was competing with well known established country acts. The same year Liz Pappademus won for Best Female Singer-Songwriter song against some of the greatest female singer-songwriters in the world with a song she literally recorded with a microphone in the bathroom of her dorm at college with just her singing with a keyboard piano part live to tape. So, can you compete? If you have a lot of talent and can make music that moves people, you sure can. No one said it was going to be easy. But our goal is to recognize fantastic music that moves the most people in our process. To put some sort of limit factor on the quality of work would be insulting to many writers and artists who haven't been paid or sold a CD but who have talent nonetheless. If you're making music in hopes of reaching a wider audience, then these are the folks you are really competing with. By the way, did you notice that none of those people you mentioned won? Indie artists beat them all. We have world famous people not even get nominations. We have complete unknowns winning awards. That's how it should be. It's a fair and wide open process that doesn't exclude anyone. Many people are left out of the major TV awards programs. We don't leave anyone out. If you want to enter, we don't care if you're a brand new songwriter or a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (and we've had some of those folks enter believe it or not and they didn't win either!).

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#615363 - 05/13/08 02:52 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Thomas Gahagan Offline
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Thank you for your response to my post.
Quote

But our goal is to recognize fantastic music that moves the most people in our process.
To put some sort of limit factor on the quality of work would be insulting to many writers and artists who haven't been paid or sold a CD but who have talent nonetheless.


I'm really not sure how my suggestion for a pro and amateur division draws this response. In no way is "talent" or the "quality of work" even brought up. The term amateur is given to somebody that loves something but does not make a living doing it. It in no way denotes anything inferior, or a lack of talent. In years past I had the privilege of conducting both professional and amateur choirs. I would ten to one rather have an amateur group to conduct!

Quote

It's a fair and wide open process that doesn't exclude anyone. Many people are left out of the major TV awards programs. We don't leave anyone out. If you want to enter, we don't care if you're a brand new songwriter or a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (and we've had some of those folks enter believe it or not and they didn't win either!).


Help me out here. Where did I suggest that anyone was left out or that the process was unfair?

I thought I went out of my way to say just the opposite and to compliment you on the way the contest is conducted. I'm really sorry that I did such a horrible job communicating my suggestion.

#615687 - 05/14/08 08:00 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Thomas Gahagan]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


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Indianapolis, IN USA
Thomas,

To suggest that "amateurs" need to be protected (i.e. given an easier chance to win or be nominated) suggests that they can't compete head to head with "professionals." That is exactly the attitude and false belief that we're disproving here.

First, how do you define "amateur?" For me, that is someone who has never made a penny on anything music related. That means never sold a single CD, never gotten paid to perform anywhere, never won a contest or award of standing and who has no interest in pursuing commercial success (i.e. getting paid) in the future. That's a very small percentage of our membership. Even folks who consider themselves hobbyists often will put a CD out and sell a few copies, or will get a paid gig now and then. If you set the bar higher, then it's even more problematic. The only purpose separating artists and songwriters into 2 groups would be to take the "competition" away for one group so that a lower level of talent could get recognized. Why do that? The point is to recognize excellence. Why would someone with a weaker talent and weaker songs deserve recognition over so many others who do it better? And where do you stop the separations?

We've demonstrated that even artists and writers who don't make a living and in some cases have no desire to make a living from music can still compete at the highest levels against the seasoned professionals. Talent has nothing to do with commercial success. We recognize the talent to make music that can move our judging staff. It has zero correlation to "pro" or "amateur." There was a time in the Golfing World where all the best players were Amateurs and the Professionals were the ones that were looked down on by many. In the music world today, the "industry" in power artificially keeps 99% of the music made off the radio, off record store shelves and out of the media competely. They don't want fair competition because they know that the artists/writers on their commercial staffs are no better, in truth, than many others out there under the radar. We're removing those barriers. I think if a well known professional makes the best music, they should be recognized. I applaud those professionals who put their music up into our awards process to be judged against ALL the music being made, not just the music that a few multinational corporations tell us we're allowed to consider. To suggest to someone that their music should be judged against less competition because they are "amateurs" would be an insult to many. And it would be a fairly hollow victory for someone to win an award with such limits. It devalues everyone involved. Commercialism certainly has helped a few artists become financially successful and more widely known. But it hasn't been a good or fair tool to measure great music, or the best music being made. Our awards, though not perfect either, I think get much closer to doing it right than any other music awards of any kind in the world. And since our awards are by a large large marging the largest in the world, we are giving more artists and writers in more diverse genres a chance to be recognized for their excellence than anyone else. And we're not doing it to get rich or as a power play in the industry as so many other contests and awards do. We do it solely to recognize and bring attention to the music that moved us the most. And isn't that a major goal for people who make music and put it out there for the world to hear? We think so.

Don't be defensive about our exchange. Your question has been asked before by others. We just have a very passionate opinion on the matter and so we answered passionately. We want to help you learn to make music that can reach and move a larger audience of people. It's part of what we do here. Hang out and you may find yourself also being recognized against some of the best know and unknown artists and writers in the world.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#615724 - 05/14/08 10:23 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Thomas Gahagan Offline
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Thomas Gahagan  Offline
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Hi Brian.....

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I really do appreciate it.

Quote
First, how do you define "amateur?"


I'm more than sure this is the root of the difference between us. And that is cool!

For me, the term amateur is someone that deeply loves something but does not persue it on a professional level. BUT... it does not have a thing to do with any level of talent. I know many extreamly talented amateur musicians that, if they wanted too, could compete on ANY level but they either choose not too or don't have the resources to do so. Let me illustrate from my own life.

At one time many years ago I was a professionl Bass Fisherman and guide. I made a living doing it. I had at my command all the resources I needed to be successful at what I was doing. I now fish as an amateur. My talent is just as strong as ever but I could in no way compete with those at the top levels of the bass fishing game as THEY have resources at hand that I don't have access too.

One of the greatest choral groups ever assembled (they won grammies for their work) was the chorus that Robert Shaw had with the Atlanta Symphony. Although it was an auditioned group they were amateurs...they did not get paid a cent for their work. Most of these people ( I know first hand as I was a member of this group ) were in no way professional musicians...they were doctors, stay at home moms, etc....that just loved to sing and wanted to be the best choral group they could be and the level of talent was amazing. BUT....this group had at their desposal, because of the association with Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony, resources that most choirs could only dream off. Not to mention the greatest choral conductor that has ever lived!

I in no way think amateurs need to be "protected". I just felt like they need a more level playing field, not based on the isssue of talent or quality but rather on resources. That, in my clumsy way, was the point I was trying to make in my request.

Quote
Don't be defensive about our exchange. Your question has been asked before by others. We just have a very passionate opinion on the matter and so we answered passionately. We want to help you learn to make music that can reach and move a larger audience of people. It's part of what we do here. Hang out and you may find yourself also being recognized against some of the best know and unknown artists and writers in the world.


Sorry if I came across as definsive. I guess MY passion was showing through. smile

I fully intend to hang out here with the goal of learning all that I can. I have a college degree in Music and was for a number of years a "professional" in my field. I even stepped in some pretty high cotton (as we like to say down south) in the circles I lurked in. I left the profession for a number of years and have just in the last year made the decision to come back to my first love. I have a deep committment to learning. You can never learn too much!

As to where it takes me.... we will see and where ever it takes me is fine as I believe THAT issue is in God's hands. I'm just working to be the best that I can be. Where it (He) leads I will follow.

I thank you for your passion and the hard work I know it takes to make all of this happen. I hope in some small way in the future that I can make a contribution here and give back as much as I'm getting.


#615775 - 05/14/08 12:50 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Thomas Gahagan]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


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Indianapolis, IN USA
If there's a bass tournament and you catch the biggest fish, shouldn't you win the biggest prize?

There's a misconception about what "advantages" a "pro" would have over an "amateur." I know complete amateurs who spend WAY more than even major labels do on their recordings. I know success and well known "professionals" who have had hits who now have no budget and have to do things on the cheap. We've had people who spent next to zero on recordings and who have won. If that can be done, I can't see a possible need for 2 divisions. We work hard to support our motto of "We're All In This Together." To seperate "Pros" and "Amateurs" is to have a class system. That might work for bass fishing, but it really isn't the same thing in music. Recording gear especially has put affordable recording ability into the hands of even the most meager budgets. We have all sorts of songs that win with a single piano and vocal recording. You can do that into a Boom box with a record button. JPF Member Daniel Ho has won 3 straight Grammy's with albums he recorded directly into his ancient and outdated laptop computer. It's not a matter of resources. It's a matter of talent. We had an Opera winner who's show was only performed a single time at a small university. It competed head to head with Operas done by major theater companies and civic groups. It really doesn't matter. The breadth of categories and backgrounds of the nominees over the years cover the entire range imaginable. Right now we have JPF member who just started writing songs on this board in November who made the Top 20 on the American Idol song contest. He's never made any money on his work. Now he has a 1 in 20 shot at having a huge hit song. We want to bring attention to these talented folks who might otherwise not get the attention they deserve. And when someone is talented enough, they should get the top recognition, whether they are amateur or pro or any other description.

Winning an award that limits the talent is like saying "I won the Superbowl" but no players who have played in the Pro's, College or High School can compete. Big deal on the win! Winning against the very best means something. Winning against a limited group has limited meaning or value.

I think the other misconception here is that we don't view our awards as a "contest." We don't give out cash prizes. We don't give out anything but a small trophy and recognition. This year we will be mining over a half million songs from around the world looking for stuff that moves us. We don't care who made it or what their background is. Nothing can be more fair than that. No major label publicity machines can do a thing... no paid off radio stations can screw anyone. No paid off retailers can keep people out of the process. Everyone gets a fair shake. Just like it should be.

At least that's my opinion.. I may be right.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#615819 - 05/14/08 02:18 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Thomas Gahagan Offline
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Quote
Winning an award that limits the talent is like saying "I won the Superbowl" but no players who have played in the Pro's, College or High School can compete. Big deal on the win! Winning against the very best means something. Winning against a limited group has limited meaning or value.


Thank you !!!

At the PRO level is the super bowl. So the college champions are not proud of their championship because it was not the super bowl?

At the college level competition is based on the size school and the enrollment.... so Georgia Southern does not have to compete against The University of Georgia as the size schools are totally different and the playing field would not be level.

At the high school level, at least in Ga... you play against schools that are similar in size and enrollment. Here they are called classes. There is A, AA, AAA, AAAA, and AAAAA. Each level has it's own championship and I can tell you that the champions in class A are just as proud to be state champions of that class as the folks that are the champions of AAAAA. Wait... it was not the super bowl so they have no reason to be proud. Darn!

Resources are not just, in my thinking anyway a MONEY issue.

I fully understand everything you have posted and even agree with you more than you think, and I also get it that you are not going to hear anything that I've tried to say to you and that is cool. Who says you have too.. .right!

I've bent over backwards to praise and thank you both for the contest and this site but you are not hearing it and keep coming back to me wanting to limit the talent and cheapen the awards. Not even close to anything I've tried to say to you and has been and will be the furthest thought from my mind.

Blessings on you Brian.

#616158 - 05/15/08 12:28 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Thomas Gahagan]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


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If you have a High School Football state championship, but none of the varsity players are allowed to play against you, it's a hollow state championship. You can use the same logic on any level down to pee wee and beyond.

So it's not a "talent" thing.. it's not a "money" thing... it's not a "resources" thing... so what is the point of having 2 levels?

In all areas of the music industry the "pros" have a distinct advantage due to money and power of their "owners." But not in our awards. When we have a major label artist involved, they get no more consideration than a complete unknown. Every year we have world famous writers and artists get passed up for those who have had little or no commercial success (i.e. by definition, amateurs). Why relegate their talent to the junior varsity level when they are completely competent to compete straight up with anyone?

Brian



Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#617670 - 05/19/08 06:50 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

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Minneapolis
Hello Brian,

Forgive me if I missed this in the instructions. In my case I don't have an album, but I do wish to submit some songs, and none of them are in the same genre. If I submit about five songs on a CD, do they each get considered separately?

Thanks, -Mark

#617721 - 05/19/08 09:00 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


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Mark,

Yeah.. just send them on a CD and include titles, writers and all your contact info. If they make it past the initial screening, they will be ripped to digital and put in the appropriate genre individually. If you can include all the meta data on the song files on the CD, that would also be helpful.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#617833 - 05/20/08 01:54 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Ralph Blight Offline
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I am just wondering why you set no limitations on the number of entries per writer. Seems to me it would make your work a lot easier. I get freaked out when I have 80 papers to grade. I can't imagine having to sift through half a million songs.


Fisherman hook fish; songwriters fish for hooks

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#617953 - 05/20/08 01:16 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Ralph Blight]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


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Because we often find that artists/songwriters have no idea what their best work actually is. It's very common for people to be shocked by which songs get chosen off their albums for nomination over the ones they assumed were the best. So if we let them enter only a small number, we'd miss 50% of the songs that end up getting nominated each year. We're geared up and able to handle the masses.. we want to encourage people to go for it. We had an artist enter 20 CD's last year, but 5 different albums got a nomination as well as several tracks. Had she chosen to send us the 15 that didn't make it, she wouldn't have gotten any nominations at all. (She was a classical artist).

If someone sends us a lot of really bad songs with bad recordings we don't spend a lot of time on those songs. So it's not a big deal. We know where the bar is set to move forward and if you have material good enough to do that, send it. Even if you don't get nominated, I think it's important for our community to demonstrate how active the grassroots community really is in making music. The RIAA who represents only the 4 major labels, claims publicly to represent the interests of over 80% of the songs written. That's a flat out lie. In truth, they represent less than 1%. Our awards are part of the proof of their heinous lie. It's an important ongoing battle we have to give our grassroots community a say in what happens to the future of music. So entering is important. It makes you part of something bigger than yourself and even the worst song entered has a value to the process. And we can say that honestly because we aren't doing it to earn entry fees. So we put our actions (and lots of hard work) where our mouths are.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#645904 - 08/26/08 01:30 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


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Reminder to everyone: Deadline is August 31st, 2008 to enter!

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#645964 - 08/26/08 04:47 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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tonedeaf Offline
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Hi Brian,
I am still volunteering if you need me,
Tony

#645972 - 08/26/08 05:02 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: tonedeaf]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


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Indianapolis, IN USA
Tony,

We're in a holding pattern due in part to the changes at CD Baby. Round 1 has been finished for a month, but we don't have the tracks on hard drives yet to get more people involved in screening. But we'll definitely need your, and about 10K other folks to help at some point. = ) Fortunately, we won't need to look up songwriters this year as CD Baby already has them listed and we can likely handle the CD's we get in the mail without too much trouble.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#646252 - 08/27/08 01:51 PM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Peppy44 Offline
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Peppy44  Offline
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AL
Sounds pretty cool!

#646622 - 08/28/08 10:45 AM Re: 2008/2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards FAQ [Re: Peppy44]  
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Beth G. Williams Offline
Beth G. Williams  Offline

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Massachusetts
Hi Brian,

Quick question...I see that the deadline for entries is August 31st. Since that is a Sunday, are you considering entries "postmarked" by August 31st, or do the entries have to be in your hands by then?

Alas, I'm plagued by a condition called:

"Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off til next week"-itis

Hence, I'm a bit behind the 8-ball on this...and have only very recently rallied the cajones to submit anything at all.

Would appreciate just this last bit of information concerning the deadline.

Thank you very much, and hope you're having a good day so far...

Ciao for now,
Beth


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