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Just going to start posting a weekly mini blog on LinkedIn: Below is my first sample week.
Song Lyric quote of the week:
From Bob Seger's Against the Wind.
" Wish I didn't know now, what I didn't know then " One of my favorite lines of all time, and I just read where he almost scratched that line from the lyrics. Thanks for leaving it in there Bob, it and many other tunes of yours, as I wore the grooves off of the albums have strongly influenced my writing through the years. Respectfully, Rich Murray mm2cap@iquest.net
Songwriter Rich Murray on soundcloud.com

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Hi Rich:

Welcome to JPF. I've been hearing Seger's song in a commercial on TV recently... and agree, it would have been a shame if he had scratched it from the work. Best of luck with your music and your "mini-blog." As you know, we've been hit hard with a health crisis regarding our Founder and Leader, Brian Austin Whitney. Our "coffers" are low, our site was about to be purged from the hosting company and Brian was still recovering from surgery when the "Pastrami hit the Mixmaster."

Songwriters (about 80% or more lyricists) are having a terrible time finding listeners and co-writers to take their words and put them to music and/or vocalize them. Those who create their own songs and do the rest of the work involved, writing the music, playing, singing and recording... are also in dire straits because the big names and big labels have become the competition. Publishers are disappearing at an alarming rate and traditional music it giving way to beats of a less talented and negative nature. RAP and it's derivatives are now ruling the roost, stealing each other's work (and ours as well) and adding potty mouthed words to make it sell.

I'm guessing that 75% of the JPF crowd is made up of "hobby" writers and artists. The number changes from week to week in small degrees as folks give up the rat race... and are replaced by "newbies." Fewer than 10% know how the music biz works... and all the "laws" governing music, copyrights and PRO Organizations are in a state of flux... world-wide.

Marc Alan Barnette frequents JPF often and shares thoughts, facts and ideas with us from time to time. His message is informative and "tells it like it is"... and most of us forget that he is only "a messenger" and much of his message is bad news. Despite putting up with those who wear blinders and rose colored glasses, he still soldiers on and is a force to recon with when it comes to knowing who is who and what is what in Nashville particularly... and just about anything else connected to making or enjoying music.

I hope I haven't "scared you off" 'cause we need all the members we can attract, need to rebuild our bank account and save our website from the abyss. Sorry for the "rant" but I want you to know the truth from my limited perspective. If you have questions, need assistance in "learning the ropes" here, don't be shy.

All the best to you. I hope you'll find time to participate in all our forums that have interest to you and your career.

----Dave Rice (the old Curmudgeon)

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I have noticed it's a little slow around here compared to back in the mid 2000's I think is when I was active here. I was not aware of all of the above. Hopefully things will pick back up, and keep it all in force. I will be checking in from time to time.
Rich Murray
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Originally Posted by Dave Rice
Hi Rich:

Welcome to JPF. I've been hearing Seger's song in a commercial on TV recently... and agree, it would have been a shame if he had scratched it from the work. Best of luck with your music and your "mini-blog." As you know, we've been hit hard with a health crisis regarding our Founder and Leader, Brian Austin Whitney. Our "coffers" are low, our site was about to be purged from the hosting company and Brian was still recovering from surgery when the "Pastrami hit the Mixmaster."

Songwriters (about 80% or more lyricists) are having a terrible time finding listeners and co-writers to take their words and put them to music and/or vocalize them. Those who create their own songs and do the rest of the work involved, writing the music, playing, singing and recording... are also in dire straits because the big names and big labels have become the competition. Publishers are disappearing at an alarming rate and traditional music it giving way to beats of a less talented and negative nature. RAP and it's derivatives are now ruling the roost, stealing each other's work (and ours as well) and adding potty mouthed words to make it sell.

I'm guessing that 75% of the JPF crowd is made up of "hobby" writers and artists. The number changes from week to week in small degrees as folks give up the rat race... and are replaced by "newbies." Fewer than 10% know how the music biz works... and all the "laws" governing music, copyrights and PRO Organizations are in a state of flux... world-wide.

Marc Alan Barnette frequents JPF often and shares thoughts, facts and ideas with us from time to time. His message is informative and "tells it like it is"... and most of us forget that he is only "a messenger" and much of his message is bad news. Despite putting up with those who wear blinders and rose colored glasses, he still soldiers on and is a force to recon with when it comes to knowing who is who and what is what in Nashville particularly... and just about anything else connected to making or enjoying music.

I hope I haven't "scared you off" 'cause we need all the members we can attract, need to rebuild our bank account and save our website from the abyss. Sorry for the "rant" but I want you to know the truth from my limited perspective. If you have questions, need assistance in "learning the ropes" here, don't be shy.

All the best to you. I hope you'll find time to participate in all our forums that have interest to you and your career.

----Dave Rice (the old Curmudgeon)


Hi Folks,

Thanks to Dave for the info. Just to clarify a bit, JPF has 60K members in 185 countries. But only a small subsection use message boards. His descriptions apply to those folks correctly, but I'd say the numbers are flipped to about 50-50 Pro-Hobby among the rest. When I consider "pro" it is if you make enough money with your music to pay half your rent per year. Almost no one independent is making 6 figures without ties into established music industry, teaching/studio income etc. But quite a few make $5,000-50,000 per year from their music based on the various survey's we've run over the years. The top 10% are label affiliated in some capacity.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@gmail.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

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

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..." -Brian Austin Whitney

"Sometimes all you have to do to inspire humans to greatness is to give them a reason and opportunity to do something great." -Brian Austin Whitney
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Thanks, Brian:

I had no idea. To me, that is encouraging. Not neccessessarily for JPF... but it certainly opens the door of hope to those of us who have struggled so long with so very little encouragement or reward. JPF has been a refuge for me in some pretty dark hours. As you probably know, I am possibly a square peg in a round hole. I write lyrics and melodies and sing/record my own songs... now more than 1000. I have no desire to perform or even attempt to enter that arena. My hope is to make enough money from royalties or from "covers" to be able to leave my widow more comfort when I'm no longer on Earth.

In the past, I've received piddling little checks infrequently from my Pro, ASCAP. Out of the clear blue, I received a rather pleasant surprise from them... and I'm stunned.

Thanks for sharing those statistics, Brian. It helped me a great deal.

----Dave

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Rich,

How is your blog going? Have you gotten some attention from the people here or in other places? I'll have to check out what you have going on.

MAB

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Yeah, folks are commenting however it's the first one I did. I'm only going to do it weekly. I'll do another one soon. I just want to meet folks and share some of my personal favorite lyrics giving credit where credit is due. I started out with Bob Seger who writes and performs, but my goal is to let folks know that there are a lot of writers out there that they've never heard of, some gig, some don't.
Rich Murray
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Always seeking co-write ventures -
Mostly focus on Country / Americana these days.-
More Later

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That's a good thing. Ralph Murphy used to do some great break downs of lyrics and musical motiffs in popular songs. It's a cool thing to do. I wish more people would break down songs and look at them from different perspectives. A lot of people now just throw a ton of words in (rapid fire lyrics) and the more they say, seemingly the less they actually say. But that is the world we live in. Still, it's nice to hear when someone has done some song study and it's a cool idea that you do that.

One of my main songwriting mentors, Jimbeau Hinson, once gave me this interesting pro trick, that I like to use myself. It might be interesting if you were to take it, look at some of the songs you analize and see if it fits.

You can take the first line or first two lines of a verse, tie it in with the main hook line of a song, and the entire song should make sense. It helps with "WRITING TO THE HOOK." You can take pieces of the song throughout and it should make sense. Of course, with "stream of conciousness" songs, sometimes artistic driven stylized songs, it doesn't always work. Star artists can do whatever they want to and get away with it. But if you do a study of a lot of hit songs, it works more times than not.

"TAKE IT EASY."

"Im Running down the road, trying to loosen my load, got seven women on my mind..."
"TAKE IT EASY. TAKE IT EASY...."

YESTERDAY
Yesterday...all my troubles seemed so far away
"I believe, in yesterday."


Those were always kind of cool to me. I had written with him for years until one day I heard him talking to another person and demonstrated that. Then I started going back on my own songs and did it. I mostly did, but at times I didn't, and I saw some weaknesses in my own writing.
Was an interesting excercise.

Good luck with your blog. I look forward to what you are doing.

MAB

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Against the wind

Seems like yesterday, but it was long ago
We were running against the wind


See? It works. LOL!
Funny you mention Bob Seeger. I'm a great fan but got even more so, when I got to know, write with and get a couple of cuts on one of his back up singers for 40 years, Shaun Murphy. They have just done their final shows, mostly because of Bob's ongoing back problems. Sad but inevitable I guess. Glad we've had him over the years.
Nice subject Rich. Good luck.

MAB

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Originally Posted by Rich Murray
Just going to start posting a weekly mini blog on LinkedIn: Below is my first sample week.
Song Lyric quote of the week:
From Bob Seger's Against the Wind.
" Wish I didn't know now, what I didn't know then " One of my favorite lines of all time, and I just read where he almost scratched that line from the lyrics. Thanks for leaving it in there Bob, it and many other tunes of yours, as I wore the grooves off of the albums have strongly influenced my writing through the years. Respectfully, Rich Murray mm2cap@iquest.net
Songwriter Rich Murray on soundcloud.com


I saw an interview with Seeger on Later with Bob Costas, a now defunct show.

He said that line "I wish I didnt know now, what I didnt know then" he was going to axe, but his producer insisted. He said "I thought it was bad grammar" and the producer said "I dont care if its bad grammar, it's a great line" and so it stayed.

I think its a great line that tells exactly what he means.

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That's a funny thing about songs. Sometimes they just break rules, and it doesnt mean anything other than it just works for the writer and singer.

On "Hey Jude" Paul had a line "The movement you need is on your shoulder." which he had as a place holder. He played it for John and said "I'll fix it later, just a placeholder." John said "No, that's the best line in the song." So it stayed.

I have this friend. Jeffery Steele, who is one of Nashville's top songwriters. He was writing a song with another famous writer named Al Anderson, and they got to a place where they couldn't find a rhyme. They went through every rhyming dictionary, every notebook dictionary, etc. and couldn't find anything. All at once, Al came up with a made up word, "GOTTAHAVABLE."
Jeffery asked "Is that a word?"
Al said "It is now."

The song was "UNBELIEVEABLE" and went on to be a number one for a group called Diamond Rio.

It happens. People will make up words or write something that on paper, doesn't seem to make sense or even be a real world. But they get away with it, simply because they can. Doesn't always work, but it is a part of songwriting that is hard to explain.

MAB

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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
That's a funny thing about songs. Sometimes they just break rules, and it doesnt mean anything other than it just works for the writer and singer.

On "Hey Jude" Paul had a line "The movement you need is on your shoulder." which he had as a place holder. He played it for John and said "I'll fix it later, just a placeholder." John said "No, that's the best line in the song." So it stayed.

I have this friend. Jeffery Steele, who is one of Nashville's top songwriters. He was writing a song with another famous writer named Al Anderson, and they got to a place where they couldn't find a rhyme. They went through every rhyming dictionary, every notebook dictionary, etc. and couldn't find anything. All at once, Al came up with a made up word, "GOTTAHAVABLE."
Jeffery asked "Is that a word?"
Al said "It is now."

The song was "UNBELIEVEABLE" and went on to be a number one for a group called Diamond Rio.

It happens. People will make up words or write something that on paper, doesn't seem to make sense or even be a real world. But they get away with it, simply because they can. Doesn't always work, but it is a part of songwriting that is hard to explain.

MAB


Steve Miller's Joker:
"Some people call me Maurice, cause I speak of the pompatus of love"

On Dan Rather he said this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR2mTr_BLYo

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Yeah, I like to explore new "motivational" techniques for writing. Sometimes it will force you to write. I've never been on a clock writing for anyone, but I think I could do it everyday. Actually sounds like a great gig to have. I generally start with the hook. Sometimes when I write with people and say that, they think I mean to lead off with it in the song. I have done that, but what I really mean is get a good hook, and write around it. I checked out the Steve Miller interview. I liked the end where he said abracadabra took 3 years and 45 minutes to write, implying that it simmered for 3 years, and eureka set in one day and completed the tune in 45 minutes. I still do JOKER live. Did a handful of Miller through the years. Beatles too.
Rich Murray
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I was on a webpage a while ago trying to explain the structure of a song to some folks, and they just acted like I was talking Gibberish. I felt the same way about them. All they wanted to talk about was wind speed, tail rudders, and wing span. Turns out I was on a site called JUST PLANE FOLKS !!! ; ) Carry on.................

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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
That's a funny thing about songs. Sometimes they just break rules, and it doesnt mean anything other than it just works for the writer and singer.

On "Hey Jude" Paul had a line "The movement you need is on your shoulder." which he had as a place holder. He played it for John and said "I'll fix it later, just a placeholder." John said "No, that's the best line in the song." So it stayed.

I have this friend. Jeffery Steele, who is one of Nashville's top songwriters. He was writing a song with another famous writer named Al Anderson, and they got to a place where they couldn't find a rhyme. They went through every rhyming dictionary, every notebook dictionary, etc. and couldn't find anything. All at once, Al came up with a made up word, "GOTTAHAVABLE."
Jeffery asked "Is that a word?"
Al said "It is now."

The song was "UNBELIEVEABLE" and went on to be a number one for a group called Diamond Rio.

It happens. People will make up words or write something that on paper, doesn't seem to make sense or even be a real world. But they get away with it, simply because they can. Doesn't always work, but it is a part of songwriting that is hard to explain.

MAB


If they were looking for a rhyme for unbelievable, they could have used undeceivable or unreceivable or unconceivable, depending if the word would fit the song.

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Everett. They had already tried all those and didn't work in the context they were looking for. They ran out of rhymes. That's why they made one up. Between them they have about 50 million records sold, so they know what they are doing. But the example is that sometimes you do things that don't make sense in the usual way. It's called "Thinking outside the box."

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Everette, here is the song so you can hear it in context. It's in the second verse.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OiZioalKrU

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I see what you mean, they used up all the real words and had to invent one. I don't ever recall hearing that song before. Many good song never make it to my neck of the woods.

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Everette,

Yeah, it was a number one back in the 90's. Diamond Rio had quite a run for a few years and this was one of them. Was just always a funny story. Jeffery Steele, my friend, had had a number one song in country called "She'd Do Anything" when he lived in Los Angeles in the early 90's. He moved to Nashville and then when dead cold. Had record deals, got cuts and nothing happened at all. After nearly ten years, he hooked up with the other writer, Al Anderson, who was well known in Nashville, and this song started a long line of hundreds of cuts, top tens, number ones, awards, etc. Impressive career.

The reason I mentioned it here was because the original poster, Rich, is talking about doing a blog on songwriting and lyrics. The point I was trying to make, is that sometimes when you read lyrics, or in our case, songwriters trying to analyze lyrics when it comes to songwriting, so that they may improve their own, some things don't make a lot of sense. They look at something and say "hey, that is what so many people say NOT to do." And in a perfect world it wouldn't work. But sometimes it just does. That is the weird thing about songwriting. You can't always say things follow rules or make sense.

All I was trying to do was to add to his discussion and I found that an interesting example. I hope his blog works well and he gets some responses on it.

MAB

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Rich, I hope I haven't taken your posts too off topic. When people look at you like you are talking gibberish, I know it can be weird. That was the point I was trying to make. Some things just don't seem to make sense. On the paper it might look weird but some times it might go against the rules. That was what my point was about.

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Sometimes what you think they are saying is not what they are saying. I've done it myself, singing along with a song on the radio saying what I thought they were saying only to see the lyrics later and realizing the lyrics were different in some places. The real lyrics made sense but what I was "hearing" didn't make sense, but I didn't care, it sounded OK, so what. A lot of songs I'm hearing, especially in church, does not have any rhyme in them, sometimes little structure, sometimes little to no message. I find many of them hard to sing. But often it is young people leading the song service and this is what they are hearing on gospel CDs they are buying, so that is the standard of songs they know. It irks me to no end. It is almost like the songwriter put little effort into writing it.

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Everett,

I think in much of music now it has gone more into production and celebrity based than really concentrating on songwriting itself. Christian music has it's own superstars and trend setters. I know here, the Gaither's have been on top of the heap for many years and still have an effect on that form of music. But here, things in churches have gone very much to praise and worship songs, (wave your hands in the air and sing in unison) and it seems like what's happenend in all culture, a lot of heart and soul seem missing. Certainly not what I grew up listening to. But since I try not to denigrate things that anyone are interested in and their genres, I'll pretty much leave it there.

On the "Misheard lyrics" there are tons of those. Books have all these lyrics and what we actually thought they were saying:

"Hey there's a bathroom on the right" (Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bad Moon Rising....."There's a bad moon on the rise...")

"Excuse me while I kiss this guy...." (Jimmy Hendrix, "Excuse me, while I kiss the sky..")

"Inna Gadda Davida Baby..." (Iron Butterfly, "In the Garden of Evil....")

We were singing those all the time. LOL!

MAB


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