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The Muse's News

Issue 3.9 - December 2000
ISSN 1480-6975

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This issue sponsored by:
Lyricist - A Songwriter's Best Friend


I n   T h i s   I s s u e :

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Q&A with Nancy A. Reece from Carpe Diem Copyright Management
@-- Music Reviews - by Ben Ohmart
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by Jodi Krangle
    UNTO YOU: Or - Linking as a Networking Strategy by Jodi Krangle
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - by Irene Jackson
@-- Songwriter In Spotlight - Nashville Songwriter's
    Hall of Fame Inductee, Mickey Newbury
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
    viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975.  Copyright 1998 - Jodi Krangle.  For more contact
information, see end of issue.
If you enjoy The Muse's News, why not suggest it to friends? ---------------------------------------------------------------- This ezine featured at - the Ezine Search Engine(tm) - ================================================================= ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MAY THE HOLIDAY MUSE INSPIRE THE MAGIC OF THE SEASON IN US ALL. Virtual Studio Systems and its staff would like to wish The Muse's News and its subscribers a joyous and peaceful holiday season with many thanks to all of those who supported us in our first year. As a special holiday offer, we are making our boxed Lyricist CD package available to Muse's News subscribers for $24.95 USD (includes 2nd Day Priority Shipping - Global Priority outside the U.S.). This is a 50% savings off the regular web-site price and a $15 savings if you were to purchase Lyricist off the shelf. Lyricist makes a great gift item for the songwriters in your life or even for yourself. If you want to purchase our download version of Lyricist, we are offering it to Muse's News members for an unprecedented $14.95 USD. Call us toll-free in the U.S. at 888.732.1176 or outside the U.S. at 603-726-4499 and mention the Muse's News Holiday promotion to receive this exclusive offer. (Offer expires December 20, 2000.) Happy Holidays from VSS!
================================================================= E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Since this will be The Muse's Muse Christmas issue, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best of the holiday season! Looking for a gift for that special music lover in your life? I just picked up Kenny Loggins' "More Songs From Pooh Corner" and it's ... (sigh). It's wonderful. It really is. Yes, I'm a sap. I know it. There are just so many great children's songs on it - beautiful children songs and DONE beautifully (this is more for parents than it is for kids...), that I had to mention it here. "Back to Pooh Corner," Loggins' prelude to this one, is just as wonderful. I highly recommend them. Now that you know what a sentimental silly person your editor is, on to the other announcements. ;-) There are a couple of new songwriter spotlights online now at - Barbara Kessler and Stacey Board. They both impressed me immensely and I think you'll really enjoy listening to their songs. There are also some new articles online from the Muse's Muse columnists (many of them on Holiday themes). Check out for a list of all those new articles and where you can find them, along with a listing of all the other new things that have been added to the site in the last month. This month's winner of Joy Butler's audio instructional publication, THE MUSICIAN'S GUIDE THROUGH THE LEGAL JUNGLE, is Beth Cole from Merna, NE. Congratulations, Beth! A review of the audio book is located below. If you need help with the legalities of just about anything having to do with your musical career, you really should pick up a copy for yourself. In fact, Joy has made that incredibly easy to do! Check out the special offer below the book review this month - only for Muse's News readers! When the new year arrives, I'll be starting up something of a membership drive and if any of you out there would consider donating prizes to the event, please contact me ( and let me know. I'd really appreciate it. And one last thing. I attended a gathering in Toronto last night where John Harris of the Harris Institute and the creator of METRONOME CANADA gave a talk to explain what METRONOME was all about and how we could get involved. As a Canadian involved in the music business, the subject and the DREAM were very near and dear to my heart. It's a fantastic undertaking that has never been done *anywhere* before and has already been 7+ years in the making. It's GOING to happen - but it needs more support from the world - and from Canadians specifically. YOU can make a difference. Drop by and see how. I urge you to get involved today. It's a legacy in the making. If you can help, or know someone who knows someone who can help, PLEASE contact the folks at METRONOME and do everything you can to make this fantastic dream happen. May the creation of music play a large and cherished part in your holiday celebrations. Wishing you all the best, --Jodi Back to Menu ================================================================= C o p y r i g h t & P u b l i s h i n g Q & A : with Nancy A. Reece of Carpe Diem Copyright Management ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: What are the standards and ethics of co-publishing? -- Fred ------------------ A: Co-publishing is something that can happen for a number of reasons. Two of the most popular reasons are: 1. There may be more than one writer on a song, each with different publishers, thus creating a co-publishing situation. 2. The writer may be a self-publisher and has granted to another publisher, a portion of the copyright in exchange for something. Co-publishing deals may be 50/50 or may be 75/25 (or any other agreed on split). One publisher usually retains administration rights. This gives that publisher the authority to make day to day decisions concerning the composition(s). It also gives that publisher the right to negotiate and execute any licensing agreements during the term. For this service, the administrator may secure a 10-15% administration fee. This may be a flat fee, or an escalation fee. Many numbers of scenarios may apply. This fee may come out before the split occurs or the fee may be shared by both. Samples- Even Splits/Even Administration $100 in for composition $50 goes to writer(s) $25 to one publisher and $25 to another publisher Publisher pays back to Administrator 10% each or $2.50 Administration Splits 10% of $50 = 5.00 goes to administration 22.50 to one publisher 22.50 to another publisher As you can see, if one of the co-publishers is itself the administrator, then they will get $27.50 of the $50 If neither publisher is adept at administration, then the fee may go to a third company to handle it for them. Which is, by the way, what we do at Carpe Diem Copyright Management. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I am new at songwriting exposure and currently only write for pleasure and contests. But now I think I'm ready for more. Upon placing a web ad for potential collaboration, I received a reply from a foreign band looking for songs. I'm ready to send a CD and feel that I should be getting some legal backing prior to this collaboration. Can you tell me what the steps are that I should take prior to and during this collaboration? --Roger B. ------------------ A: As long as you have properly registered your compositions with the copyright office you have the means in place to claim protection. However, just like buying a car-alarm does not mean your car won't still be stolen, the registration is there only if you need to sue for infringement. You need to be sure that the person(s) you are pitching your material too are easy to reach and are who they say they are. For example, when you get interest in material, get a complete street address and phone number. Call them up. Do some checking beyond an inbound e-mail request. Always-always ask for references. Remember, you are acting as publisher as well as writer and you need to always behave in a business-like and professional manner as the sole guardian of your intellectual property. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I recently hired a backup singer for 1 song on our new CD release. After she sang the part , I mailed her her pay and a piece of paper to sign stating that she had been paid in full and was due no further payments or future royalties of any kind. She refused to sign it, cashed her check and said she would have to talk to her attorney first. Is she entitled to any proceeds from my CD? Everyone I've talked to so far says she doesn't have any legal grounds to collect any future monies of any kind and it doesn't matter whether she signs anything or not. Do you have a definitive answer for this situation ? -- George S. ------------------ A: Hindsight is 20-20 isn't it? The important thing, once again, is to always get things in writing before proceeding. Of course she is not entitled to anything at all past what you agreed to when you started. If she was hired as a background vocalist and she was paid as such, end of story. There is such a thing as "featured vocalist" and they may be paid more than other background vocalists. This is determined at the time, not after the fact. ----------------------------------------------------------------- TO VIEW OTHER QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES, SEE NANCY'S COPYRIGHT & PUBLISHING Q&A ONLINE AT . Please note: Nancy received a *lot* of e-mail in a month. If you sent in a question but have not heard a reply, it's very likely it already *has* an answer online. It's always a good idea to thoroughly look through the Copyright & Publishing Q&A online to see if your question has already been asked before you send in a request. Thanks! ----------------------------------------------------------------- ***** Carpe Diem's owner and president, Nancy A. Reece has been involved in the music business since 1983. She was the president of an independent advertising agency for eight years as well as a successful personal artist manager for nine years. She represented the careers of several recording artists and songwriters including those with EMI, Zomba and Liberty Records as well as Benson, Starsong, WoodBridge, Temple Hall and N'Soul Records. She also represented, for a number of years, a Grammy and Dove nominated record producer. Reece has won awards of excellence in print magazine advertising and has been named as one of 2,000 Notable American Women (1995) as well as being listed in the International Who's Who of Professional and Business Women (1993). She was also named Cashbox Magazine's Promoter of the Year (1989). **If you would like to ask Nancy a copyright or publishing question for our continuing Q&A section, please send your e-mail to She can't guarantee she'll get to all of the questions, but she'll certainly try.** Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s i c R e v i e w s : by Ben Ohmart ----------------------------------------------------------------- Gene Land Strangers & Angels Country. Country, country, country. Give a listen to songs like 'I Hate It When That Happens' and 'Lost in a Border Town', and you'll suddenly have a secret hankering for a ride on a fake bull, or a 3 gallon downpayment on a 10 gallon hat. But there's also that area of crossover that's close to the theme from Growing Pains, like 'I Know Where You're Coming From' gladly demonstrates. I think the upbeat quality helps, the duet with a female voice, the electric guitar hidden, smiling in the back. Good production, and Gene has a fine sense of self-style. He has a formula that works and he uses it through the 10 songs here. They are written by various songwriters, not all Land (as you might expect for an indie), and that gives the cd a unity of disassociation which is pleasurable. It's not the same song 10 times over. Though he does love his female backups, and so do I. Kevin Jones is apparently doing all the guitars, and a good job of variation he does! ------------------ OTHER NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE: Clowns Of God - Faith - The LA Carpool - Urban Tapestry - Michael Man'gia - Rebecca Lee - Kari Tieger - Christine - Fredro Starr- --------------- ****** Ben Ohmart has had 100s of stories and poems in zines and journals, and had 4 plays produced last year. His lyrics will be on 2 CDs this year, 1 a gothic album, the other a rock album. He's currently writing films, with hopes of having one done in Malaysia soon, and is also trying to break into the prison of television. He's white, 26, single and loves British comedy. He lives in Boalsburg, PA, and enjoys watching rabbits eat his garbage. Contact him at: . **Ben has kindly consented to do music reviews for this publication and also for The Muse's Muse itself. If you have an independently released CD or tape that you'd like to get reviewed, send it off to: Ben Ohmart, P O Box 750, Boalsburg, PA 16827 or drop by his Music Reviews web section at for more details.** Back to Menu ================================================================= SHAMELESS PLUG: Drop by today to pickup your very own Muse's Muse shirt, mug or mousepad! And while you're at it, think about starting your *own* store. Details on how to do that are only a click away... ================================================================= S o n g w r i t i n g B o o k R e v i e w : by Jodi Krangle THE MUSICIAN'S GUIDE THROUGH THE LEGAL JUNGLE: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Music Law Written by Joy R. Butler, Esq. & Produced by Sashay Communications ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Looking for a way to get a good summary of the legal information you need to know in order to make the most of your songwriting career? THE MUSICIAN'S GUIDE THROUGH THE LEGAL JUNGLE is one of the best ways I know of to get that overview. The package consists of two tapes (about 3 hours of information split between the two) and a small booklet that summarizes the information on the tapes. The tapes consist of short opening explanations of what will be discussed, and then a question and answer dialogue going on between the "Artist" (Lynne Reynolds) and the "Expert" (James Chatelain). At the end of each segment (there are five of them), the Expert summarizes the information discussed. This is really the best of both worlds. You get to sit back and simply use your ears rather than your eyes, but you can also refer to the handy booklet that's included. The booklet contains easy reference charts (for instance, which forms to use for copyright registration depending on the nature of the work, or how long a copyright lasts), resources (websites and contact information for frequently used services such as performing rights organizations and the US Copyright Office), information on what should be in certain legal agreements (for Band Partnership Agreements, Talent Agency Agreements, etc.) , a glossary of terms, and more. Joy has really put something special together here. Not only is the information explained in easily understood terms using specific (if manufactured) examples, but the readers on the tapes speak well, slowly enough to be clearly understood, and made me feel comfortable listening to them. (I swear that James' voice reminds me of the narrator from that really popular Civil War documentary...) Confused about Copyrights? Don't understand why a Poor Man's Copyright won't hold up in a court of law? Want to know the difference between a mechanical license and a performing rights license? Interested in the legal differences between major record labels and independent labels? Want to know how best to go about retaining a music lawyer, should you need one? There are a whole host of other answers to frequently asked questions on the subject of music law - each one answered succinctly (and without talking down to the audience that would be listening to it, which I feel is very important), then cross-referenced in the small booklet that's included. It's a portable guide that will give you the basics without requiring you to read a huge tome on the subject. This is one of the best references I've seen on this very confusing topic in YEARS. For $29.95 - less than most printed publications on the subject, I'd say this is a *very* worthy investment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 15% DISCOUNT TO MUSE'S NEWS READERS!: Sashay Communications is offering a 15% discount plus free shipping (to United States addresses) to Muse's News readers. To claim your discount, use the promotional code MUSE when ordering online (type all caps) or through their toll-free order center, 1-877-995-8645. Offer ends December 31, 2000. Back to Menu ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ UNLEASH THE FULL POTENTIAL OF THE INTERNET WITH SONGSCOPE.COM! SongScope is a valuable tool enabling you to build an on-line song catalog, accessible only by proven industry professionals. Receive FREE email informing you every time record producers and industry professionals make requests. Songs listings are only $19.95 per year. An ecommerce enabled marketing/promotion page and tour calendar are also available for performing songwriters to get further artist exposure. See for details or contact: ~ Tel: 770.754.4543 ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : DOING UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU: Or - Linking as a Networking Strategy, by Jodi Krangle 2000, Jodi Krangle. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission ----------------------------------------------------------------- The last time I wrote an article, it was about web directories that you might have overlooked. Keeping to that same theme, here's some information about a commonly overlooked method of getting your site higher up on the search engines and making friends at the same time - linking to other sites. Before you say it, yes, it's true that being presented with a large list of links within a web site, might get your visitor to leave your site before they've really had a chance to look around. However, if visitors are interested in the content of your web site, they'll be happy enough to use their browser's "Back" button. Chances are also pretty good that they'll have a more rewarding experience being able to look around as they please rather than being "herded" in a particular direction. Visitors typically appreciate open navigation concepts so that they can easily jump between subjects and sections of a web site rather than having to click several times to get to a particular area of interest. There's one inescapable fact here: a web site is called a "web" site for a reason. Use that "web" of interconnected information streams to your advantage. To begin with, most web site administrators and/or owners, love to be approached by those who are impressed with their efforts. A web site is a lot of work. (Take it from someone who knows. ;-)) What's the most flattering way to express your appreciation? Easy: Link to that web site from your own. This is a fantastic way to build relationships between yourself and your site, and other web site owners with similar content or concerns. First of all, set aside a page on your site that specifically lists resources visitors to your site might find useful. Approach web sites that offer similar services and/or resources to your own and ask them if they would consider exchanging links. This is important - the word EXCHANGE. It's important because building relationships has to do with offering something in return for a favor granted - and make no mistake - having another web site link to your web site, is a PRIVILEGE - not a right. Remember also, that the other site in question *does* have the right to say no. If this happens, it could be for several reasons. Don't take it personally. Make your own assessment about whether or not that particular web site is worth including in your list (usually, I think you'll find that it is. You approached them initially for a reason, after all) and move on. There are plenty of folks that WILL link back to you. Consider putting together specific graphics for such links (for instance, I've set aside a page of such linking ideas for The Muse's Muse at . Make sure you have both graphical and simple text examples of them as some sites only do text links. If the site only does text links, it's likely due to design considerations more than anything else and has no bearing whatsoever on how much they value your site. Give them the option and they'll be much more likely to reciprocate. These are some ideas on how to go about creating a links page while getting other sites to link back to you in return. But you might ask - WHY is this important? Besides adding value to your web site in terms of what you can offer your visitors, there are two main reasons. The first is the idea of relationships. Relationships are what make the world go round. They are especially important in the business of making music. Many times, it all comes down to *who you know*. That isn't to say that talent isn't important or that it can't open doors for you. That is to say that talent on its own doesn't necessarily open those doors. It's *people* who open those doors. Though the web is a different environment from going out to songwriting organization or association meetings or playing live and meeting folks personally, it is still an environment where relationships can be extremely important. Don't underestimate how many extra people might check out your web site should another site say yours is a good one. Also remember that networking may not help you today, but it will most definitely help you tomorrow - sometimes in the most surprising ways. The second reason is a little more mercenary, and I hope you'll forgive me for "telling it like it is" in this respect. Here it is: The more people linking to your web site, the more popular your web site will be assumed to be by the search engines, and the higher it will rank. (Remember: this is ONLY relevant in the search engines - the ones that use what are termed, "spiders" to crawl through web sites and categorize them. Directories use human editors and therefore won't be affected by this sort of "popularity contest".) This is not to say that a good title, good keywords and good description for your web site won't help you equally as well - but it IS to say that linking is one of the best ways I know of to keep a web site high in the search engine standings on a consistent basis. Titles, keywords and descriptions often change. Have you ever noticed how links tend to linger forever and a day? If you've ever bought a new domain name and have contacted those linking to you in order to have them change their link to reflect the new url, you know what I mean. Ultimately, the relationships you build on the web will benefit you. This is one instance where nice guys actually finish FIRST. Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s i c a l N o t e s : Songwriting Contests & Market Info. In the interest of conserving space, I will only be including changes to this listing in this newsletter. All other contests and market information that have already been listed here, are displayed at & . Please check there regularly for updates! ----------------------------------------------------------------- MERLEFEST ANNOUNCES 2001 CHRIS AUSTIN SONGWRITING CONTEST MerleFest 2001 organizers have announced that RCA recording artist Jim Lauderdale will serve as Honorary Chairperson of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest for 2001. Entries on audiotape for the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest must be received by March 18, 2001. Lauderdale will select a panel of Nashville music industry figures that will evaluate all the taped entries. This panel will choose three finalists in each of four categories: bluegrass, country, gospel, and general. Finals will take place at MerleFest 2001 on April 27 with songwriters performing at the festival judging. At MerleFest finalists receive 4-day tickets and lodging within thirty miles of the event. Finalists will compete for prizes include cash and Epiphone Guitars from Gibson. The first place contestants will perform for the main stage audience. For entry information, please call 800-799-3838 or visit the web site ( All entries must be submitted on tape with entry fee and an official entry form to THE CHRIS AUSTIN SONGWRITING CONTEST; P.O. BOX 121855; NASHVILLE, TN 37212. Entries without entry form and fee will not be judged. ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE MUSICIANS TIP SHEET: A free newsletter for musicians which includes many industry contacts and informative information about the music industry. To subscribe please send an email to: . ----------------------------------------------------------------- NRT PUBLISHING BROADCAST MUSIC INC. IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE a favorable reply from RCA Records for its last client, and your music can be next. NRT Publishing is a submission service for bands/ artists to all the major and independent record labels. All we require is a tape of fifteen minutes of your best music, lyric sheets and a U.S. postal money order of $250.00 to get you submitted. If we do not feel your music will gain the interest of the top music industry professionals, we will gladly send all three items back to you. For more information, contact me directly at: Sincerely, Alan & Michelle Sweet of NRT Publishing Broadcast Music Inc. (775) 885-8173 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Back to Menu ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson 1998-2000 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hands many songwriters want to get heard on the radio?? Hmmmm...a few of you I see :-) When I released my first serious recording in 1997, I decided that it was worth trying to get some radio airplay. I found a usenet list of deejays for college and university stations, decided that was a good start, and subscribed to it. I announced the release of my CD and got a few responses and promptly sent them packages. Some actually played it, while others kind of slipped into the ethers and I never heard from them. Did I do anything wrong? Well no, but I could have used this article in helping me to think a little before I sent out those packages: Micah Engber is a self-described "independent producer, writer, critic, and radio host from Portland, Maine." In his article "Getting Heard On The Radio: How to Send Out Your Creations", he gets into the nitty gritty of what deejays and producers are looking for when it comes to those piles of independent CD's that come in every week for consideration. Although the article focuses more on his personal preferences to "help move recordings to the top" of his ever-growing list, there are many practical things to consider that many other deejays would probably agree with. He discusses format, including cassettes (which are still accepted at some college radio stations), DAT and CD's and even offers up some ideas as to what to think about when choosing the songs and their order when you are at the point of recording them. He also gets into the subject of packaging and what printed material is appropriate to send. Even if you are not a performing songwriter, you might consider some of Micah's tips when sending your material off to publishers. What I have learned over the years is to research, research, research...when you send a radio station or a publisher exactly what they ask for, you have a much better chance at getting their attention! I'm just at the point of releasing a new CD, Catnip, and you can bet I'm going to read this particular article one more time before I mail that next bunch out! ****** Irene Jackson is a performing songwriter from Victoria, BC in Canada. Aside from writing, recording and performing, she also maintains a website for songwriters that includes tips, articles and more links of interest. Her latest CD "Motor Scooter" has had attention everywhere from Japan to South America, and a new release is due out sometime in 2000. Songwriting Tips: Homepage: Songs on MP3: Back to Menu ================================================================= S O N G W R I T E R I N S P O T L I G H T : Mickey Newbury Mickey Newbury was inducted into the The Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame ( in 1980 - and for good reason. From his web site: "Newbury's songs have been recorded by Ray Charles, B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Joan Baez, among others. He once had four songs simultaneously in the R&B, Country, Easy Listening and Pop Charts. He is perhaps best known for his composition "American Trilogy", a pastiche of Civil War-era songs also recorded by Elvis Presley." He gave a wonderful interview. It's quite clear that, thrumming through his words like a heartbeat, is a continuing love for the process of writing songs - no matter where that takes him. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Q: When did you first start writing songs and what prompted you to do so? Do you have a musical background? --------------------------------------------- A: The first song I wrote and had published was titled "Just As Long As That Someone Is You". It was written in 1959, and recorded in 1965 by Jimmy Ellege. I started writing songs because I wanted something of my own to sing. I, at that time, was not aware that the songs I heard on the radio were not written by the folks singing them. I had always loved poetry, and found it easy to integrate a melody with poetry. I have had no formal musical training. I took violin lessons as a child. I played so badly I was asked to sing instead at a Christmas show. That was my first performance. I have not stopped singing, since. In 1954, I started singing with a group named the Embers. We had our first record contract with Mercury Records in 1956. I sang with that group until 1958. I dropped out, and went into the military in 1959. After being discharged in 1963, I started writing again. In 1964, I signed a publishing agreement with Acuff-Rose Publishing, in Nashville, and I have continued to write. I have recorded for several labels, producing 18 albums over the past 35 years. I was not a touring artist, preferring to write and record as much as possible. I have had two releases a month, by other artists, for the last 35 years. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: That's quite a record, Mickey! Can you tell us something about the business behind that? By that, I mean: how do the publishers and/or recording artists go about getting the right to record your work? How did you get your work to them in the first place? Have those methods and those agreements changed over the years? And if so, how have they changed? --------------------------------------------- A: It is a publisher's responsibility to copyright, protect, exploit, and collect: although in many instances they fall soundly short. In my case I was affiliated with the largest publishing company in Nashville, when I, in 1964, arrived. It was a very satisfactory arrangement for the first few years, until the record industry started their own publishing companies. The incestuous nature brought on by that union, made it very difficult, if not impossible to have a song reviewed by a producer. I, personally, had the majority of my "covers" from artists listening to my albums, when I was actively recording. Acuff-Rose had less than 50% to do with getting anything cut for me. A publisher has what is known as the "first right of refusal" which means I can choose the first artist who gets to cut it. After that onetime exclusion, it becomes public domain, and can be cut by anyone, with nothing more than a licensing agreement with the publisher. The rate is a statutory rate, set by the Patent and Copyright Office of the US, which leaves me no control over who cuts the record or the payment for that right. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: What song of yours do you consider to be the most successful and why? (This doesn't have to mean financially... However you've come to judge these things over the years.) --------------------------------------------- A: I consider 'San Francisco Mabel Joy' to be the most successful song I have written, for several reasons. First, it was a five minute song written in a two minute world. I was told it would never be cut by any artist. Second, I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded. It has sold in excess of 55 million records. It broke the rules and it broke the walls down. It became the foundation for a new form of expression in country music. It was chosen in the millennial year as one of the top 100 folk songs of the past century. Personally, I like "Doggone My Soul, How I Love Them Ol' Songs" 'Tis a fine line I walk. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: So what are your thoughts on "going against the grain", so to speak? When do you think it's a good idea to take the chance and when do you think it's better to "fit the mold"? Have there been particular times in your life when you did something to "fit the mold" and then were disappointed that you did? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For the remainder of this interview, see . ----------------------------------------------------------------- Back to Menu ================================================================= " O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E : A Ticket To Write by Danny McBride Danny's at it again. This time, he's writing about writer's block - or rather... writer's trickle. ;-) If you need a few great ideas to get yourself musically creative once again, have a read through this article, part of Danny's regular column entitled, A Muse Myself - . Back to Menu
================================================================= C l a s s i f i e d s & U s e f u l S e r v i c e s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- SONGWRITERS: The "B# Newsletter" provides insight into the professional working mechanics of the commercial music industry through high-powered articles, tips, and advice. Enabling you to make more informed decisions, it is written by some of the most widely recognized names such as; Tim Sweeney, Derek Sivers, and Suzanne Glass. Get your free copy instantly by sending a blank email to ----------------------------------------------------------------- ALONESOUL STUDIO - PROFESSIONAL CD MASTERING For the first twenty artists to contact us, we will transfer your music demo CD for free. See our site for more details. ----------------------------------------------------------------- WRITE HIT SONGS: COMPUTER ANIMATED SONGWRITING TEACHING AID 'Write Hit Songs' is an innovative product that's the first of its kind for teaching songwriters what makes one song stand apart from the rest. Now you can use these techniques to make your songs the best they can be. Click on this link to get $20 OFF this fantastic songwriting product as we introduce it to the world: . ----------------------------------------------------------------- GET YOUR COPY OF THE INDIE CONTACT BIBLE & START MAKING WAVES! This is an absolutely priceless resource for indie musicians. If you want your music reviewed, on the radio, *heard*, THIS is the resource you need to have. It's not going to tell you "how" but it will *certainly* tell you "who". I highly recommend you pick it up in order to compliment your other music marketing techniques. Have a look at this url and read through a few sample pages to see what I mean: (Full review at ----------------------------------------------------------------- GO GLOBAL WITH CDSTREET.COM is your secure source for credit card music ordering in your own website. As a member of the CDstreet network, you will have access to the most cost-effective, secure transaction processing for global music merchandise distribution. Plus, no setup fee and no sales equals no cost! Check it out - ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE SONGWRITING EDUCATION RESOURCE Stop by the educational songwriting website run by professional songwriters Danny Arena & Sara Light. Features include, numerous songwriting articles, songwriting courses, discussion board, free classifieds, email and much more. Coming soon: our web classroom where you'll be able to take our songwriting courses over the Internet! - ----------------------------------------------------------------- DISCOVER SHAREWARE MUSIC MACHINE and explore the world of software which will help make writing and recording your songs a breeze! Featuring over 2100 software titles to freely download as well as more than 2000 discussion forums, Shareware Music Machine has software for musicians of all kinds. For MIDI sequencers to guitar effects to hard disc recording to the latest sound players, head to ================================================================= ADVERTISING RATES: For Classifieds: US$25 Max. 8 lines, where a line = 65 characters including spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities, please see . Back to Menu
================================================================= C o n t a c t I n f o & C r e d i t s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR Kathryn Obenshain ...........................GRACIOUS PROOFREADER ----------------------------------------------------------------- The Muse's News is a free monthly newsletter for and about songwriters. Subscribers are welcome to recirculate or reprint The Muse's News for nonprofit use as long as the appropriate credit is given and the ENTIRE text of the newsletter is included (including credits and information at the end of each issue). Others should contact me at All articles copyrighted by their authors. Back issues and other information will be available at: The Muse's News is part of The Muse's Muse, a web resource for songwriters: For further information, send your e-mail to: ----------------------------------------------------------------- - How to place a classified ad, pass on market information or sponsor The Muse's News. - How to subscribe, unsubscribe, etc. - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc. SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at
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