Industry Profile: Bruce Burch

— By Larry LeBlanc

This week in the hot seat with Larry LeBlanc: Bruce Burch

A decade ago, Bruce Burch, administrative director of the University of Georgia Music Business Program, was a Music City player.

He was the creative director at EMI Music Publishing Nashville, and was running two publishing companies of his own.

However, when his two kids enrolled at the University of Georgia, Burch would often return to Athens, Georgia to see them. Burch, who had taught at the entertainment and music program at Belmont University in Nashville, discovered that UGA didn't have a music business program.

So he decided to change that.

UGA's Music Business Program, created by Burch and Steve Dancz, launched in Jan. 2006, as a privately funded certificate program in partnership between UGA's Terry College of Business and the Hodgson School.

Housed within the Terry College of Business, the program has been developed to prepare students for careers in the music industry.

For Burch, the program, which features an impressive list of weekly guest lecturers, provides him with an opportunity to teach students lessons he learned during his days working in Nashville.

Students can earn an interdisciplinary certificate studying music and business fundamentals including copyright issues, creative content, artist management, production and technology.

The program offers three tracks. One for business majors; one for music majors; and one for all other majors combining business and music courses as well as electives including new media studies.

For the program's first lecture of Fall, 2009, Widespread Panic’s lead singer John Bell recounted his experiences entering the music business from the perspective of a performer, songwriter, and member of a six-piece band. Bell and the band’s guitarist Michael Houser met while they were both students at the University of Georgia.

Bell told the students that a contract begin as an empty page and they can negotiate anything they want into it. "There will be people who come up with a cheque in one hand and a contract in the other, saying it's ironclad," he said. "You don't have to trust them or be bullied. It's your dream, and don't let someone else push you around."

After he graduated from UGA in 1975, Burch became a songwriter but, moving to Nashville, it took him over 5 years to get his first song recorded. Even after several top 10 records, he was still waiting tables.

Burch came up with the idea of a music business program at UGA in 2000. He met with George Benson, then dean of UGA's Terry College School of Business who encouraged him to try to set up the program but emphasized that funding was an issue.

Then, Texas-based George Fontaine, an UGA alumnus who had made a fortune distributing Red Bull in parts of the United States, donated $1 million to get the program off the ground. Fontaine also owns New West Records.

The result was a joint venture between the business and music schools that launched with 27 students.

Interestingly, several noted music figures have ties to UGA. In 1956, it was here (in the former television studio that’s now home to WUGA) that country music legend Bill Anderson recorded “City Lights” (a #1 hit as recorded by Ray Price in 1958) while attending UGA. It is also where a young Otis Redding recorded “Shout Bamalama” with members of Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers in 1960.

The studio used to be the home of WGTV public television Channel 8 when it was operated by the university for about 22 years or so.

Burch grew up in Gainesville, Georgia with a considerable passion for football. He played a year at East Tennessee State on a partial scholarship. The team, however, finished 0-9-1 in his freshman year. After the year, he moved to Athens to go to UGA.

Hearing the Kris Kristofferson song “For The Good Times” in 1972 led to Burch learning to play guitar and deciding to be a songwriter. "That song hit me like a ton of bricks," he recalls. "It was like this guy was living my life. Three months later, I wrote my first song, about my grandmother. It just spilled out."

Burch moved to Nashville in 1977 but spent five years knocking around Nashville’s Music Row trying to get a break.

His first break came in 1988 when he co-wrote a pair of Top 10 hits: "Out of Sight and On My Mind" recorded by Billy Joe Royal, and "The Last Resort" by T. Graham Brown. Then Reba McEntire recorded "Rumor Has It" which reached #3 on the Billboard’ country chart in 1990. Three years later, McEntire recorded another song he’d co-written titled “It’s Your Call” that reached #5 on Billboard.

Burch has since had songs covered by Barbara Mandrell, John Anderson, George Jones, the Oak Ridge Boys, Collin Raye & Dan Seals, Aaron Tippin, Faith Hill, and Wayne Newton.

He also briefly co-managed, Cledus T. Judd and authored the 1996 trade paperback “Songs That Changed Our Lives.”

It is a challenging time for anyone entering the music business.

It is and it isn’t. I think it’s a great time for young people to get into (the music business) because there is such a level playing field. It doesn’t matter if you have been doing this for 30 years or 30 minutes, everybody is sort of the same. Nobody knows where (the industry is) going to go. It doesn’t matter if you have a resume a mile long; if you have new ideas, that’s almost more valuable than having old ideas.

Do your students identify what part of the music industry they want to go into?

Some of them have a definite idea. Some have no idea. That is what they learn in the course. We bring in different people from all facets of the industry. We’ve had Bertis Downs, REM’s (attorney) manager to PR people to marketing people to business managers. We even have people on the technical side that are either studio producers or work on lights or whatever. We brought in one of the top video game composer Chris Rickwood -- he did (25 minutes of highly interactive) music for the new “Ghostbusters” videogame.

It must hit home when you have local musicians like John Bell of Widespread Panic as a guest lecturer.

What was cool about that was (John) liked coming back. He went to school here and enjoyed being back on campus.

For your students to meet such a legendary country icon as singer/songwriter Bill Anderson must be incredible.

Well, it is. They get a taste of the real world with people who have (been successful) like Whispering Bill Anderson. Good gracious, he’s done everything. He’s been an artist, a writer, a publisher, and a TV host. It helps them to see that these artists are people. People look at show business and it’s a far off thing and they think, “Well, I could never do that because it’s Nashville or Hollywood.” So when they get to meet people like this, at least in my mind, they become less intimidated. They think, “Well, I can do this.” This is what we try to do when we bring people in.

How did you come to teach at UGA?

I got a call one day from (Professor) Pam Brown, who was then the associate dean at Belmont University. She needed a last minute substitution teacher to teach a publishing class. So I said sure, I’d try to fit it in. I taught a semester, and I enjoyed it. I ended up doing some other things at Belmont and at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee) which has a music business program. I also started doing (industry) panels and stuff. I got into the educational side of the music business.

[Nashville-based Belmont University and its highly regarded Mike Curb School of Music Business have garnered an international reputation for turning out noted music industry grads including such artists as Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, and Brad Paisley.]

What are your qualifications for teaching music courses?

I had learned the music business by doing a lot of different things in Nashville. I had written songs for a lot of years. I had moved over to the publishing side with EMI Music Publishing. I had even managed an artist or two over the years. Sort of poorly but I did it anyway.

You started thinking about a music program at the University of Georgia Music Business Program as far back as early 2000?

My kids had both come to UGA for school. So I kind of re-connected with down here. This is where I graduated from in 1975. I started coming down here and I saw what was going on. I saw that there was a cool music scene going on down here now. Atlanta had also started blowing up with urban music and with the rock business. It made sense to come down here.

You had the idea for a music business program but it took several years to inaugurate.

My brother David was on the board of Terry College School of Business at UGA. In 2001, he told me he’d set up a meeting with George Benson (then dean of UGA's Terry College School of Business). Right off the bat, he was really excited about the program. But, he said that the bad news was that the school didn’t have the funding for it. That we’d have to raise the money for it. I was still at EMI. I was there until 2003 or so. Then I went independent (as a music publisher) for a few years because I was really trying to make this happen.

So I started talking to a few people about the program. And then I met George Fontaine. He was the key. George was a UGA grad and he has done really well in the Red Bull business. He has always loved music. (In 1977) he converted the Georgia Theatre, an old movie theatre, into a concert hall. It burned out in June (2009). Luckily, the facade is salvageable. So they are going to rebuild within the historic facade.

[The historic Georgia Theatre has hosted concerts by the Police, the B-52s, R.E.M., Widespread Panic, Sugarland, Jupiter Coyote, the Zac Brown Band, and the Derek Trucks Band.]

I met George and he committed some seed money to get (the course) started. He has since committed more money. We are still to this day totally donor funded. We have had some other donors join in but, by far, George is our biggest donor. We hope to get some more funding but we picked a bad time to be (launching a program) with the economy the way it is.

What does the course consist of?

It is a certificate program, which is the equivalent of having a minor. It is 21 hours. Out of those 21 hours, six hours are what we call the capstone courses. Those are the main "music business" related courses. They are the heart of the program, the ones that we teach and we bring in a lot of (guest) speakers.

We also have the students go out into the field and work. Athens has enough of an (entertainment) infrastructure that we can place our students. This semester we have 100 students in the program and we can place all of them with various companies-- with record companies, PR companies, live music venues, studios and so on with what we call externships. In the summer, we try to help them get internships.

It’s helpful that UGA is close to several music centers.

Yep. There’s Atlanta nearby; Athens is a pretty good music centre; and Nashville is right up the road. But we have had a number of (students) go to work in New York and LA.

The students are active in Athens’ club scene?

Oh yeah. With the clubs here, most of the time, the cover charge is inexpensive, $5 or $10, at the most. They support (live) music pretty well. There’s a real creative and supportive vibe here. A lot of (students) are in several bands and some of the students get involved with a band on the ground floor.

There used to be rock coming out of (Athens) but now there’s a lot country artists coming out. Zac Brown kind of got his start here. The Whigs are from here as well as the Drive By Truckers, (the indie pop band) of Montreal and of course, Widespread Panic is from here. Some of the R.E.M. guys still live here. Athens has 113,000 people and 35,000 of them are students.

Atlanta has been hailed as the new Motown. The city’s urban music history includes L.A. Reid and Babyface, P. Diddy, Jermaine Dupri, Outkast and, more recently, T.I., Ludacris, and Lil Jon.

It is bigger than Motown, really. The thing about the urban artists is that those guys are so entrepreneurial. When they have their first hit they are already thinking of a clothing line and other businesses. They are sort of how the hillbillies used to be in country music where most people came from a poor rural background.

In the urban industry, many of those guys come from the inner city. There aren’t that many ways out for a lot them. It’s music, drugs or sports. That’s one reason why I think a scene formed in Atlanta. Those guys really hustle. They are so diligent. Of all the genres out there, hip hop is probably the closest to country because it is such a lyrical music now. I’m not talking about all of the lyrics, or that I like them. But their songs are based around words (as country music is).

A music industry course only 21 hours must be intense.

I call it boot camp. About 25% of what we do is in the classrooms; 75% is outside of the classroom. I tell (students) to treat (the course) like a job because when they walk in the door they are in the music business. I tell them that this isn’t a class; this is a career. I give them all of the reasons not to go into the music business. I tell them if they want a 40 hour week job, this ain’t it. This is a 9 to 5 job -- 9 in the morning to 5 AM the next morning. I try to give them the real world view of the music business. I tell them all of these things to try and run them off. And we run a lot of them off, to be honest.

How do students fit the course into their studies?

It is the juniors and seniors that are in the certificate program. Most of them try to fit (the course) in over two semesters. Most of them get into it as a junior and spread it out over two years or they get into it in their senior year in a kind of a crash course. We have just started an (introductory) Music Business 101 course for freshmen and sophomores.

Students take the certificate course while majoring in other non-music programs?

Most of them major in something else. They can be (in) any major in the school. (The program) started out with business and music majors. But now we draw a lot from the journalism school because we’re talking (about) communications. We’re morphing into an entertainment business program to be honest.

You teach copyright?

Yes, and we also deal with film and TV as well as video game development. Georgia has become a huge film TV, and video game development centre because the state government passed tax incentive programs. We have one of the best tax incentives for these fields in the country. They are likely going to (include the music industry), I think, in the next (state) administration. (Politicians) are really going to work hard to get music (industry) incentives for companies to move here and for the companies here to stay here. We’ve lost a lot of people to New York, L.A. and Nashville.

You think of all of the musicians that have come from Georgia over the years from Johnny Mercer to Ray Charles to James Brown to (country acts like) Alan Jackson, and Trisha Yearwood and, more recently, Sugarland and Jason Aldean. R.E.M. stayed in Athens but the B-52s moved away. Pylon has stayed here.

Bill Anderson started his career while at the University of Georgia.

Last year, we brought him down here and honored him (for 50 years in the recording industry). He recorded his first #1 song “City Lights” on the UGA campus (along with the rockabilly song “I’ve Got No Song To Sing”). He’s hotter today than he’s ever been. He got back into the songwriting game. He’s had Song of the Year a couple years in a row at the CMAs.

[Anderson wrote and recorded “City Lights” when he was just 19 while at UGA. While his version failed to click, the song was recorded by Ray Price. Released in June 1958, Price's version of "City Lights" stalled at #2 on Billboard’s Most Played C&W by Disc Jockeys chart. When Billboard introduced its Hot C&W Sides chart on Oct. 20, 1958, "City Lights" was the new chart's first #1 song. It topped the chart for 13 weeks.

As an artist, Anderson has had 6 #1 hits on Billboard’s country charts, including his signature song, "Still” In 1963. In 2004, he received Song of the Year honors from the Country Music Association for co-writing “Whiskey Lullaby” recorded by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss; and in Sept. (2009) for co-writing "Give It Away” recorded by George Strait.]

Otis Redding also recorded “Shout Bamalama” at UGA.

He recorded it right here on the UGA campus. At the time, WGTV (now WUGA) was one of the only studios in the area.

How did UGA come to honor Bill Anderson and Otis Redding?

When I got down here, I heard about Whispering Bill and Otis Redding recording here. So I talked to the guys over at WUGA and I said we should honor these guys that had recorded here. We started out with Whispering Bill (in 2008). This year we did the Otis Redding tribute. We had John Berry, Randall Bramblett, T. Graham Brown, and Jimmy Hall for a show that night (before an audience of 300). It was a great way to pay tribute to Otis Redding. They were commemorating the 40th anniversary of his death down at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. They had a great exhibit down there. So it all tied in.

I’m not sure what we’re going to do (next) year. I’ve talked recently to Wayne Cochrane. He recorded “Last Kiss” here. We’re trying to get him back up here. He’s a preacher in Miami now.

[Wayne Cochrane recorded "Last Kiss” for King Records at UGA. Later recorded by J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers, the song reached #2 on Billboard’s singles chart in 1964. The song was covered by Pearl Jam in 1999 and reached #2 on Billboard. It is the band’s biggest hit to date.]

Where are you originally from?

Gainesville, Georgia, the poultry capital of the world. My daddy was in the poultry industry for awhile. When I graduated from college (the University of Georgia), I thought I would teach school and coach football. I was coaching football for a year or so and I probably would have been a teacher if I had not been a songwriter. So (teaching is) kind of is in my blood. My mama was a teacher, and my daddy taught at various times in his life.

You were in high school during the rise of Southern Rock.

To be in Georgia then was unbelievable. I saw the Allman Brothers in 1969 or 1970 before they hit. I was a junior or sophomore in high school. I sat on the floor of the basement of the Georgian Terrace Hotel (in Atlanta) and watched the Allman Brothers. They had a concert down there and everybody was sitting down on the floor. I’ll never forget it. That was the first time I had ever heard of them or seen them. Someone said, “There’s this new band. We should go and see them.”

(Allman Brothers’ manager) Phil Walden’s son Philip Jr. is on your Music Business Advisory Council.

He donated Phil Walden’s CD and vinyl collection. We have about 20,000 CDs. It’s an amazing collection. We have an Otis Redding (whom Phil Walden also managed) test pressing. We have a Jimmy Carter commemorative album. Phil (who died in 2006) was heavily involved in his (presidential) campaign.

How did you come to get into music?

I played football (defensive back) as a freshman at East Tennessee State University. I quit. We went 0-9-1. We couldn’t win a game. I came from a winning high school (Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Georgia). It was a high school that had a great tradition of winning. Then I went to a college where we lost every game except for one we tied.

So I came back to Georgia for the summer of my freshman year. I was pretty depressed. My girlfriend had broken up with me and I had quit playing football, the only thing I had ever loved other than music.

I walked into a friend sister’s apartment and I heard Kris Kristofferson’s first album (“Kristofferson) playing. It was his first album that had “Me & Bobby McGee.” I walked in and heard “For the Good Times.” I said, “Damn, this guy is singing my life. So I bought that album and wore the needle out on it. The next thing I knew I was playing (music). My brother had an old guitar that he never played and had stuck in a closet. I pulled it out and got the Kris Kristofferson songbook, and learned every song in it. That sort of turned me onto Hank Williams. Within three chords, you can almost play every Hank Williams song, and almost every Kris Kristofferson song.

I wasn’t a singer but Kris wasn’t a singer either. That made me realize that (songwriting) might be something that I could do. I ended up working with Kristofferson when I was at EMI because they owned his catalog plus, I had also worked with his (earlier) publisher Combine Music.

When did you move to Nashville?

I moved there in 1977. I just had to go and try it. I knew that if I didn’t do it I would never know if I could. I didn’t have a lot to lose because I was teaching school in Gainesville and making about $11,000 a year. I was also coaching football. I was the assistant coach. I told the coach, who had coached me in high school that I wanted to quit because I wanted to go to Nashville and be a songwriter. He said, “What are you going to do? Sleep in your car?” I said, “If I have to.”

So did you have to sleep in your car?

I got lucky. I found a $125 a month apartment and got a job at the Hall of Fame Motor Inn. I would eat one meal a day there that was free. That’s where I met a lot of people I ended up working with. It was such a great place because people were in and out of there all of the time. I got to meet a lot of people the first year I was in town.

I remember Harold Shedd, who produced (and discovered) Alabama. His studio was right across the street (from the Hall of Fame Motor Inn). He would come into the lounge which was the hot place back then. A lot of people would gather there. I got to know many of them. I got over the intimidation factor of being around artists and stars because they were always in there. That probably was as good a learning experience as anything. I realized that artists were people like me. That’s such a hard thing to realize. Nashville felt like home. It just wasn’t that intimidating, you know. I met Waylon Jennings down in Printer’s Alley and he actually talked to me.

[In the ‘70s, the Hall of Fame Motor Inn was an infamous hangout for Nashville’s country music stars, including George Jones and Mickey Gilley who would give impromptu shows in the lounge. Vern Gosdin, and Kenny Rogers often stayed there and Loretta Lynn used to book an entire floor during Fan Fair.]

Your buddy John Jarrard followed you to Nashville.

Oh man, he was amazing. You know about the health issues he had. For him to have 11 #1 hits was miraculous for what he had to go through. He is one of the first people I met in Gainesville. We went from second grade on together. I moved to Nashville in ’77 and he moved there nine months later. He told me, “You are the reason I moved to Nashville.” I replied, “Well, you are the reason I stayed.” We supported each other, and fed each others’ fire.

[John Jarrard, who died in 2001 battling diabetes, penned a string of hits for Alabama as well as hits for Don Williams, George Strait, Diamond Rio and Tracy Lawrence. To carry on Jarrard’s memory, Burch and friends organized an annual benefit concert. This year’s 8th annual Bruce Burch and Friends Concert at Brenau University in Gainesville included Burch, John Berry, Steve Cropper, Jimmy Hall, Roger Cook, Buddy Cannon, Gary Nicholson, and Allen Nivens.}

The ‘70s were a great time to be in Nashville. Kris Kristofferson once said, "It was like Paris in the ‘20s.”

The cool thing about Nashville then was that there such a camaraderie. It was so easy to meet people because--within three blocks--you had 75% of the music business. At one point, I moved out to LA for three months. I soon knew I couldn’t stay there because it just felt totally foreign to me. I was from a small town. I went out there on a lark with a friend. He stayed there for several years. I went to Nashville again.

Who signed you as a writer?

The first place I got to hang out was at Combine Music. They didn’t sign me but Johnny MacRae, who worked under (Combine owner) Bob Beckham, let me hang out. I hung out and I wrote with some of the writers there. That was the first place that I really felt that I might be able to do something in Nashville.

[The running gag in Nashville was Bob Beckham had started Combine Music because he had free beer every day at 5 PM. Between 5 PM and 6 PM, songwriters could run over to Combine and there would be a party going on. There’d be 18 people in there, and half of them worked for other publishers.]

Combine didn’t sign you so you didn’t get a weekly draw.

Exactly. They would let me come down and write with the writers there and hang out and meet people. I would come down there at six o’clock after I came off work and just hang out. You never knew who you’d see there. Donnie Fritts might walk in. Mickey Newbury used to hang out there some. Larry Jon Wilson. You just never knew who would roll in. I ran slap into Kristofferson one time coming out of the tape room. There was a really creative vibe there.

Well, Nashville is the rough business town too. Artists aren’t quick to record your songs and publishers won’t give up their good songs easily.

That’s truth. It is tough. It took me five years to get my first song recorded. I did that desk clerk job for a year and then I got married. I ran a hot dog shop for the next 7 years and I waited tables. I had two top 10 records and I was still waiting tables three nights a week because of the lag time in getting your (royalty) money. I had Top 10 hits (in 1988) with Billy Joe Royal (Out Of Sight and On My Mind”) and T. Graham Brown (“The Last Resort”).

By that time, I had two kids and I needed a certain amount of money to survive. We had bought a house and I had a lot of responsibilities that I didn’t have when I first moved there.

What was your first cover?

My first song recorded was “Christmas Carol” by the Oak Ridge Boys (in 1982) published by Combine Music.

Your first cover, however, never got released.

It was a song called “It’s all These Onions (That Are Making Me Cry)” recorded by Slim Pickens, the actor (best remembered for his comic roles, notably in “Dr. Strangelove” and “Blazing Saddles”). I was running the hot dog shop at the time. I got the idea for this comedy song because I had to chop onions every day. So the song got recorded by Slim. One of the other songs he recorded from Combine Music was a Kristofferson song. So I took that as a sign that I was supposed to stay in the business. But my song never got released.

When Johnny MacRae went to the studio, he said “This is this boy’s first song he’s ever had recorded.” Slim said "Well he's dang shore starting at the bottom."

You did get signed eventually by a music publisher?

Paul Craft (who wrote “Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through the Goal Posts of Life” and “Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life”) signed me (to his company). I wrote for him for about a year. Then I ended up at Famous Music which was owned by Paramount. It was being run in Nashville by Nelson Larkin. Famous is where I got my first real publishing deal. That’s where I was writing when the Reba McEntire cuts (“Rumor Has It” and “It’s Your Call”) happened. Then, I started my own publishing company.

Why did you decide to open your own company?

By this time, I was networking so much and I was writing with a lot of artists like T. Graham, Aaron Tippin and Faith Hill. A lot of songs that were recorded were because I networked so well. I never could find anyone who believed in my songs as much as I did. My brother had done well in the insurance and financial planning business. So he had a bit of extra money so he said, “Let’s start our own company.” So we did. It did well. I had it from about 1991 to 1996.

You became known almost as much for being a song plugger than being a songwriter.

In fact, I think I was a better song plugger than I was a songwriter. Rejection didn’t bother me at all. I would write 10-2 and I would pitch songs from 2 to 6. I had this system that seemed to work.

How did you pitch songs?

Once I had a couple of songs recorded, I got to know more people. We sort of moved up the ranks together. Maybe they were a receptionist one day, and the next day they might be working as an A&R person. Renee Bell, who is the head of A&R at Sony Music, is one of the most powerful women in Nashville. Hell, she was from my hometown, and then she was a receptionist for Tony Brown at MCA. When I wrote my first song with Faith Hill, she was a receptionist for (singer/songwriter) Gary Morris. Trisha Yearwood was a receptionist at MTM Records.

I tell my students, “I guarantee you that there is someone in this class room that you will be doing business with 40 years from now.”

Then you worked at EMI.

Gary Overton took over (as head of EMI Publishing in Nashville) in 1996 and I was one of the first staff that he hired. He called me, and I thought he was calling about a writing deal. I was trying to sell my publishing company at the time. When we met, he said he that it wasn’t about a writing deal. He wanted me to pitch (EMI’s) old catalogs. He knew I knew about (the catalogs of) Combine, CBS Songs and Screen Gems that EMI had bought. I knew the catalogs and, of course, I knew lot of the writers. Basically, that’s what I did at EMI, pitch songs in the catalog.

Phil Vassar was at EMI Publishing around that time. He moved to Nashville in 1987 and, after bartending, bought a restaurant and a club.

Phil was on a $15,000 draw (at EMI Music Publishing) and he still ran his club on (Interstate) Highway 24 going to Chattanooga. I used to go and see him play out there. He (broke) that first year (in Nashville).

Brad Paisley had just hit Nashville as well

Brad was just starting out. He didn’t even have a record deal. He had a song called “Treading Whiskey” that I loved. I told him he should cut it. He said, “Well, I don’t drink and I don’t want to sing about drinking.” It was a first person song. He has recorded some drinking songs (like [“Whiskey Lullaby,” and “Alcohol”) but, if you notice, his drinking songs are all in third person. He will never do a drinking song if it’s about him drinking.

What do you think of country music today?

I don’t even call it country anymore. I call it suburban music. It’s more ‘80s rock than it is country. I like it but I still wish there was still room for a new Merle Haggard, George Jones or even a new Hank Williams. If Hank Williams came along, I don’t think he could get arrested (in Nashville). There are still some great artists. Keith Urban is one of the most amazing artists to ever come through Nashville but that’s not my cup of tea. I’m into Willie, Waylon, Kristofferson, Cash and Merle Haggard. It is just a different audience that they are aiming at now. It’s a younger audience. It was moving in that direction in the ‘70s.

And Nashville?

It is the new Tin Pan Alley. It is still the last place that a true songwriter can survive.

Larry LeBlanc was the Canadian bureau chief of Billboard from 1991-2007 and Canadian editor of Record World from 1970-89. He was also a co-founder of the late Canadian music trade, The Record. He has been quoted on music industry issues in hundreds of publications including Time, Forbes, the London Times and the New York Times.


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Billy Atwell, AMP Studios 12/13/07
Bob Babisch, Milwaukee World Festivals Inc. 04/02/15
Tom Baggot, 05/02/03
Stephen Bailey, EPACC & Deleware Center For The Arts 02/06/04
Cary Baker, Conqueroo 05/11/11
Vince Bannon, Getty Images 07/05/11
Phil Barber, Barber & Associates 02/04/01
Camille Barbone, WineDark Records 12/09/05
Erin Barra, Musician/Producer/Educator 07/10/14
Ben Baruch, The Fox Theatre 09/27/08
Ben Baruch, By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess) 04/05/17
Paul Bassman, Ascend Insurance Brokerage 08/03/16
Adam Bauer, Fleming, Tamulevich & Associates 02/15/02
Ed Bazel, That's Entertainment International 10/05/01
Joachim Becker, ZOHO Music L.L.C. 01/12/07
Howard Becker, Comet Technologies 05/02/11
Mark Bego, Author 06/15/07
Jim Beloff, Flea Market Music 09/20/10
Richard Bengloff, The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) 09/12/13
Seth Berg, South Bay Music 01/30/09
Aimee Berger, 2 Generations SPA Music Management 09/24/04
David Berger, Future Beat 10/29/14
Barry Bergman, Music Managers Forum 03/14/03
Steve Bernstein, Relix LLC 09/30/05
Mark Berry, Attack Media Group 04/07/07
Scott Billington, Rounder Records 01/17/12
Jeffrey Bischoff, Cinder Block 03/24/06
Sat Bisla, A&R Worldwide/ Musexpo 03/29/10
Nina Blackwood, Sirius Satellite Radio 07/14/06
Adam Block, Legacy Recordings 11/07/13
P.J. Bloom, Neophonic, Inc. 01/24/11
Rishon Blumberg, Brick Wall Management 06/27/03
Justin Bolognino, Learned Evolution, and The Meta Agency 04/25/13
Steve "Chopper" Borges, Total Pro and Borse Techos 03/03/06
Les Borsai, Mediocre Management 01/30/04
Shane Bourbonnais, Live Nation Canada 03/21/08
Jeff Bowen, Sears Centre Arena 03/13/08
Rick Bowen, Mystic Music Experience 07/11/08
John Boyle, Sanctuary Music Group 03/19/04
Jeff & Todd Brabec, Writers/Attorneys 01/03/12
Bill Bragin, Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 08/08/03
Joel Brandes, Avenue Management Group 11/02/08
Joe Brandmeier, Moving Pictures 03/15/02
Scooter Braun, SB Projects 12/13/10
Ron Brice, 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill 06/08/16
Billy Brill, Billy Alan Productions 11/11/05
Doug Brown, Talent Buyers Network 09/21/01
James Browne, Sweet Rhythm 11/01/02
Bob Brumley, Brumley Music Company 02/17/16
Tony Brummel, Victory Records 05/17/09
Charlie Brusco, TBA Entertainment Corporation 10/13/01
Del Bryant, BMI 05/18/07
Cortez Bryant, Bryant Management 12/06/10
Stephen Budd, Stephen Budd Management 07/13/17
Bruce Burch, University of Georgia Music Business Program 10/09/09
Deborah Burda, Kentucky Exposition Center 08/03/07
Patti Burgart, IEBA 06/07/02
Jordan Burger, The New Musiquarium 01/22/01
Ron Burman, Roadrunner Records 08/25/06
Suzanne Cadgene, Elmore 05/19/06
Karen Cadle, KGC Productions 03/12/04
Gary Calamar, KCRW 07/10/09
Charles Caldas, Merlin 07/05/10
Brian Camelio, ArtistShare 02/29/08
David Campbell, AEG Europe 08/02/10
Tom Cantone, Foxwoods Entertainment Group 10/20/00
Tom Cantone, Foxwoods Resort Casino 07/03/03
Tom Cantone, Mohegan Sun 08/30/09
Ashley Capps, A. C. Entertainment 05/21/04
Rio Caraeff, Vevo 07/12/11
Mike Carden, Eagle Rock Entertainment 08/16/11
Charles Carlini, Carlini Group 05/16/08
Mark Carpentieri, M.C. Records 05/27/05
Mark Carpentieri, M.C. Records 01/10/11
Troy Carter, Coalition Media Group 06/07/10
Daniel Catullo, Coming Home Studios 06/22/08
Raffi Cavoukian, Folk Singer/Children's Entertainer 05/11/16
Jeffrey Chabon, Chabon Entertainment Group 08/22/02
Mike Chadwick, Essential Music & Marketing 08/01/12
Rob Challice, Coda Music Agency 03/27/13
Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts 01/11/02
Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts 10/04/11
Lisa Cherniak, Artists Against Racism (AAR) 07/20/01
Bob Chiappardi, Concrete Marketing 06/13/03
Joel Chriss, Chriss & Co. 10/04/02
Michael Chugg, Michael Chugg Entertainment 09/14/01
Michael Chugg, Chugg Enterprises 10/02/09
Gary Churgin, Harry Fox Agency 09/13/10
Vinny Cinquemani, S.L. Feldman & Associates 12/13/12
Barry Coburn, Ten Ten Music Group 03/28/11
Matthew Cohen, Green Room Productions 10/19/01
Ted Cohen, TAG Strategic 01/10/13
Lisa Cohen, Associated Booking Corporation 02/10/06
Steve Cohen, Music + Art Management, Inc. 03/09/07
Dan Cohen, Music & Memory 01/12/17
Michael Cohl - Part 1, S2BN Entertainment 03/06/13
Michael Cohl - Part 2, S2BN Entertainment 03/13/13
Bryan Coleman, Union Entertainment Group 02/14/12
Mamie Coleman, Fox Broadcasting 07/05/12
Dennis Condon, Disneyland Resorts 07/13/01
Peter Conlon, Peter Conlon Presents 05/20/05
Tony Conway, Buddy Lee Attractions 10/06/00
Allen Cook, TOURtech 04/16/15
Tomas Cookman, Cookman International 09/05/03
Alex Cooley, Alex Cooley Presents 07/12/10
David Cooper, 10/31/03
Jay Cooper, Greenberg Traurig, LLP 05/23/11
Julie Coulter, Near North Insurance Groups 06/07/01
Amy Cox, Deep South Entertainment 02/09/07
Michael O. Crain, Crain Law Group, LLC 10/09/13
Charlie Cran, The Strawberry Music Festival 04/05/10
Jim Cressman, Invictus Entertainment Group 06/06/12
Russ Crupnick, MusicWatch, Inc. 07/23/15
Todd Culberhouse, Vision Management /Vision Records and Entertainment 09/05/08
Tony D'Amelio, Washington Speakers Bureau 04/21/06
Ruth Daniel, In Place of War 08/09/17
Ray Danniels, Standing Room Only Management, and the Anthem Entertainment Group 03/05/15
Ken Dashow, WAXQ-FM (l04.3 FM) - New York 09/08/06
Hal David, Lyricist 07/26/11
David Davidian, Independant Lighting Designer/Director 06/18/04
Anthony Davis, D&L Entertainment Services, Inc. 03/02/01
Chip Davis, American Gramaphone/Mannheim Steamroller 05/31/02
Mitch Davis, Tempest Entertainment 07/16/04
Jeff Dawson, Canadian Recording Services 06/08/08
Desiree Day, USO Celebrity Entertainment 08/10/01
Shauna de Cartier, Six Shooter Records/Six Shooter Management 10/23/13
Gene DeAnna, The Library of Congress 02/21/12
Vincent Degiorgio, Chapter 2 Productions 08/01/13
Tony DeLauro, DeLauro Management 12/23/04
Valerie Denn, Val Denn Agency 04/30/01
Val Denn, Val Denn Agency 03/06/14
Robert DePugh, Alligator Records 07/29/05
Tom Derr, Rock Ridge Music 10/29/04
Paul Dexter, Masterworks Lighting Design and Road Cases 12/10/04
Marty Diamond, Paradigm 01/22/10
Glenn Dicker, Redeye Distribution/Yep Roc Records 07/07/06
Barry Dickins, International Talent Booking Agency 06/06/13
Jim Digby, Event Safety Alliance 09/01/16
Mark Dinerstein, The Knitting Factory 11/17/06
Neill Dixon, Canadian Music Week 03/03/16
Thomas Dolby, Musician, academic, technologist, and author 11/09/16
Jasper Donat, Music Matters 2009/Branded 04/24/09
Jim Donio, National Association of Recording Merchandisers 04/22/11
Marc Dottore, M. Dottore Management 04/11/03
Tim Drake, The Roots Agency 12/12/08
Mike Dreese, Newbury Comics 11/23/11
Charles Driebe, Blind Ambition Management Ltd. 09/22/06
Jeremy Driesen, Ray Bloch Productions 09/07/01
Michael Drumm, Music Link Productions 07/18/08
Angie Dunn, Lucky Artist Booking 10/13/06
Jay Durgan, MEDIAmobz 11/09/11
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver's Division of Theatres & Arenas 08/02/02
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver’s Division of Theatres and Arenas 08/23/10
Paolo d’Alessandro, International Solutions 06/25/14
Ros Earls, 140dB Management 02/19/14
Art Edelstein, Festival Productions 12/01/02
Bruce Eisenberg, Audio Analysts 08/31/01
Martin Elbourne, The Glastonbury Festival 12/18/09
Michael Elder, Red Entertainment 03/17/06
Tod Elmore, Sixthman 11/24/06
Paul Emery, Clear Channel Entertainment 11/19/04
Arty Erk, Citrin Cooperman 04/27/16
Joe Escalante, Kung Fu Records 07/08/05
Colin Escott, Music Historian/Journalist 07/18/11
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 09/27/02
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 04/24/12
Mike Esterman, Esterman Entertainment 09/01/06
Jeff Eyrich, BePop Records 11/25/05
Bob Ezrin, Bigger Picture Group 05/24/09
Lisa Fancher, Frontier Records 08/09/10
Rick Farman, Superfly Productions 10/15/04
Ray Farrell, eMusic 06/09/06
Sam Feldman, S.L. Feldman & Associates 10/25/02
Bob Feldman, Red House Records 11/24/02
Charlie Feldman, BMI 08/26/05
Paul Fenn, Asgard Promotions 11/22/09
Debra "Fergy" Ferguson, TourDesign 08/01/03
Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry 09/11/09
David Fishof, David Fishof Presents 01/08/01
David Fishof, Rock 'N Roll Fantasy 10/05/08
David Fishof, Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp 02/28/12
Mike Flanagin, New England Country Music Festival 09/12/08
Joel Flatow, RIAA 12/13/11
Jim Fleming, Fleming Artists 03/20/10
Joe Fletcher, Joe Fletcher Presents 01/12/06
Jeff Fluhr, StubHub 10/06/06
Nancy Fly, The Nancy Fly Agency 04/02/04
Arthur Fogel, Live Nation 08/09/09
Martin Folkman, Independent Music Awards & Music Resource Group 08/11/06
Belle Forino, Fantasma Tours 03/18/05
Fletcher Foster, Universal Records South 07/31/09
Sam Foxman, Contemporary Productions 01/06/06
Todd Frank, 4Star Entertainment, LLC 01/24/03
Bob Frank, Koch Entertainment 01/09/09
Larry Frank, Frank Productions 01/17/11
Mike Fraser, Record Producer/Engineer 10/11/08
Carl Freed, Metropolitan Entertainment 06/22/01
Elizabeth Freund, Beautiful Day Media & Management 01/26/07
Harlan Frey, Roadrunner Records 07/11/03
Adam Friedman, Nederlander Concerts 06/22/07
Ted Gardner, Larrikin Management 04/25/03
Daniel Gélinas, Festival d’été de Québec 05/23/13
Marci Geller, Sonic Underground 08/15/08
Chris Gero, Yamaha Entertainment Group 10/26/16
Steve Gerstman, SGS 07/19/02
Sandra Gibson, The Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/09/04
Sandra L. Gibson, Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/16/09
Steve Gietka, Trump Properties 07/30/01
Steve Gietka, SMG Entertainment 03/19/14
Darren Gilmore, Watchdog Management 03/17/16
Daniel Glass, Glassnote Entertainment Group 10/16/14
Jake Gold, The Management Trust 04/13/01
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 09/07/07
Harris Goldberg, Concert Ideas 06/27/11
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 04/16/14
Martin Goldschmidt, Cooking Vinyl Group 09/29/16
Harvey Goldsmith, Harvey Goldsmith Productions 06/28/10
Michael Goldstein, RockPoP Gallery 11/09/07
Seth Goldstein, 09/20/11
Anna Paula Goncalves, CEO Global Brand Appeal 08/20/14
Arnie Goodman, Blue Storm Music 11/15/02
Wesley Goodman, Red Entertainment 09/16/05
Richard Goodstone, Superfly Productions 01/27/06
Christie Goodwin, Photographer 03/18/15
Rob Gordon, What Are Records? LTD 02/01/02
Steve Gordon, Entertainment Attorney 08/06/04
Yoav Goren, Immediate Music & Imperativa Records 06/10/14
Mike Gormley, L.A. Personal Development 11/10/06
Jonathan Gosselin, Gosselin Marketing & Promotions 07/02/04
Richard Gottehrer, The Orchard 04/10/09
Sean Goulding, The Agency Group London 09/12/12
Jerimaya Grabher, RPM Direct 09/26/03
Mary Granata, The Granata Agency 09/06/10
Kelly Graves, Providence Performing Arts Center/Professional Facilities Management 01/20/02
Stan Green, Stanley A. Green Lighting and Productions 12/12/03
Mark Green, Celebrity Talent Agency Inc. / Bergen Performing Arts Center 08/12/05
Jeffrey Green, Americana Music Association 03/10/06
Paul Green, The School of Rock 07/06/08
Benjy Grinberg, Rostrum Records 12/06/11
Brent Grulke, SXSW 03/06/09
Michael Gudinski, The Mushroom Group 10/29/15
Phil Guiliano, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. & OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/25/05
Steve Gumble, SBG Productions 06/16/06
Greg Hagglund, Vivelo! 05/07/04
Rodney Hall, FAME Music Group 11/06/09
Rob Hallett, Robomagic 02/05/15
Craig Hankenson, Producers, Inc 02/23/06
Kerry Hansen, Wynonna Incorporated 10/03/03
Eric Hanson, Ted Kurland Associates 12/20/02
Eric Hanson, Tree Lawn Artists 03/23/07
Rusty Harmon, MTM Music Management 12/06/07
Ali Harnell, Clear Channel Entertainment Nashville 08/15/03
Bob Harris, 02/06/09
Evan Harrison, Huka Entertainment 12/08/16
David Hart, The Agency Group 02/20/04
Laura Hassler, Musicians without Borders 12/02/15
Abe Hathot, Musician, composer, and music producer. 12/21/16
Steve Hecht, Piedmont Talent 08/29/12
Travis Hellyer, Mezzanine 09/02/05
Janie Hendrix, Experience Hendrix 02/01/10
Nona Hendryx, Rhythmbank Entertainment 06/02/06
Dan Herrington, Dualtone Records 07/25/03
Sara Hickman, Sleeveless/Stingray 06/30/06
Dan Hirsch, On Board Entertainment 04/04/03
Nick Hobbs, Charmenko 12/14/01
Carel Hoffman, Hilltop Live/Oppikoppi Productions 11/07/12
Ian Hogarth, Songkick 08/09/11
Gene Hollister, Rose Presents 04/08/01
Rusty Hooker, Rock Steady Management Agency 02/16/01
Jake Hooker, Hook Entertainment 05/10/02
Martin Hopewell, Primary Talent International 04/19/02
Tom Hoppa, TKO Booking Agency 09/29/06
Bobbie Horowitz, Times Square Group 01/04/02
Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages 11/01/11
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 10/27/00
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 01/22/14
Andi Howard, Peak Records and Andi Howard Entertainment 09/02/03
Barbara Hubbard, ACTS 09/12/03
Laurent Hubert, BMG US 11/12/15
Seth Hurwitz, I.M.P. 04/20/09
Ariel Hyatt, Author, and founder of Cyber PR 11/23/16
Mark Hyman, Ashley Talent International 11/09/01
Brett Hyman, Category 5 Entertainment 07/23/04
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 08/17/01
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 05/28/14
Doug Isaac, Super Bowl Concert Series Producer (EXI) 08/24/01
David Israelite, National Music Publishers' Association 11/29/08
Tom Jackson, Tom Jackson Productions 02/06/13
Jay Jacobs, Parc Landon 09/21/07
Larry Jacobson, World Audience 09/17/04
Audra Jaeger, The Management Trust 05/09/03
Ralph James, The Agency Group 01/31/11
Jeffrey Jampol, Jampol Artist Management 07/18/12
Jean Michel Jarre, International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) 06/19/13
Michael Jaworek, The Birchmere 05/08/09
Peter Jesperson, New West Records 11/03/06
John Jeter, The Handlebar 08/15/12
Mike Johnson, Groundrush Media 02/17/06
Andrea Johnson, ICM Partners 11/02/17
Mike Gormley & Jolene Pellant, Yes, Dear Entertainment 04/23/10
Susan Joseph, Justice Entertainment Group 02/21/11
Darren Julien, Julien's Auctions 10/25/10
Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson Guitars 09/28/10
Justin Kalifowitz, Downtown Publishing 04/20/17
Leonard Kalikow, Music Business Reference, Inc. 06/26/08
Craig Kallman, Atlantic Records 03/20/09
Steve Kane, Warner Music Canada 02/09/17
Danny Kapilian, Independent Producer 07/12/02
Mike Kappus, The Rosebud Agency 10/26/09
Andy Kaufman, Birdland 05/17/02
Wendy Kay, Mars Talent Agency 03/09/01
Lucas Keller, The Collective 03/22/11
Marty Kern, Clemson University 07/07/01
Carlos Keyes, Red Entertainment 10/08/04
Golnar Khosrowshahi, Reservoir Media Management 10/24/12
Martin Kierszenbaum, Interscope/Cherrytree Records 09/06/09
Barney Kilpatrick, Rattlesby Records 10/28/05
John Kinsner, The Walnut Room 03/28/08
Doug Kirby, LiveTourArtists 10/24/03
Steve Kirsner, Compaq Center 06/29/01
JoAnne Klabin, Sweet Relief 03/21/03
Andrew Klein, Revolution Marketing 11/05/04
Larry Klein, Producer, bassist, songwriter 03/13/12
Jack Kleinsinger, Highlights in Jazz 04/25/08
Ann Kline, Casa Kline 09/04/14
Brian Knaff, Talent Buyers Network 09/29/01
Kymberlee Knight, IEBA 11/16/00
Mike Kociela, 360 Productions 05/30/08
Stefan Kohlmeyer, Bach Technology 02/08/10
Lily Kohn, Microsoft Corporation 02/14/11
Tim Kolleth, Alligator Records 01/25/08
Al Kooper, Musician/songwriter/producer/author 02/06/14
Mitchell Koulouris, Digital Musicworks International, Inc. 02/11/05
Mark Krantz, John Schreiber Group 06/15/01
Jeff Krasno, Velour Music Group 11/19/07
Jeffrey Kruger, The Kruger Organisation 01/25/02
Harvey Kubernik, Author/historian/music journalist 08/20/15
Ted Kurland, Ted Kurland Associates 01/15/01
Jordan Kurland, Zeitgeist Artist Management 08/23/11
Carianne Laguna, Blackheart Records 03/07/08
Brady Lahr, Kufala Recordings 04/30/04
Ernie Lake, EL Records 01/19/07
Roks Lam, Wolfman Jack Entertainment 12/17/04
Anni Lam, Parc Landon 06/29/07
Gary Lane, CenterLane Attractions 10/14/05
Tom LaPenna, Lucky Man Productions 09/10/04
Camilo Lara, EMI Music Mexico/MIS 08/10/07
Gary Lashinsky, Lipizzaner Tours 05/13/05
Gregg Latterman, Aware Records 12/13/02
Tony Laurenson, Eat to the Beat 02/27/04
Emily Lazar, The Lodge 10/15/15
Bill Leabody, Leabody Systems 06/10/05
Peter Leak, 24-7 Worldwide Management 03/28/12
Steve Leeds, SR. VP/Promotion/Rock Formats at Virgin Records 07/26/02
Elliot Lefko, Goldenvoice 09/21/17
Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter 11/14/08
Carl Leighton-Pope, Leighton-Pope Organisation 07/05/09
Steve Lemon, Live 4 Live, Inc. 12/06/02
Randy Lennox, Universal Music Canada 06/24/15
Simma Levine, Disson Furst and Partners 11/10/00
Andy Levine, Sixthman 06/08/07
Rich Levy, Clear Channel Entertainment Properties 06/25/04
Eddie Levy, Chelsea Music Publishing 07/24/14
Myles Lewis, Denise Rich Songs 12/20/10
Adam Lewis, Planetary Group 01/20/16
Terry Lickona, Austin City Limits 03/14/11
Justine Liddelow, Stage and Screen Travel Services 08/31/11
Jim Lidestri, Border City Media 09/03/15
Larry Lieberman, 4EverWild 03/28/03
Eric Lilavois, Crown City Studios, and London Bridge Studio 12/10/14
Miriam Linna, Norton Records 05/18/17
Marc Lipkin, Alligator Records 03/05/05
Tommy LiPuma (Part 1), Verve Records 11/08/10
Tommy LiPuma (Part 2), Verve Records 11/15/10
Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud 10/04/10
Andy Lo Russo, The Singing Chef 12/16/05
Phil Lobel, Lobeline Communications 08/13/04
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 01/21/05
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 05/17/10
Julie Lokin, New Audiences 03/23/01
Dave Lory, Artemis Records 03/30/02
Max Loubiere, Tour Director 04/11/12
Mark Lourie, Skyline Music 03/08/02
Dave Lucas, Live-360 04/28/06
Joe Lucchese, EventJoe 02/23/07
Kevin Lyman, 4 fini 03/30/01
Kevin Lyman, Vans Warped Tour 05/23/12
Jennifer Lyon, MeanRed Productions 01/18/18
Bubba Mac, 09/14/07
David Macias, Emergent Music Marketing 06/17/05
Kristen Madsen, Grammy Foundation and MusiCares 11/22/10
Larry Magid, Larry Magid Entertainment 05/04/10
Peter Malkin, PM Management 02/07/03
Toby Mamis, Alive Enterprises 02/12/01
Billy Mann, Green & Bloom | Topl1ne, Manncom 09/18/14
Tasea Margeolas, Multi Entertainment 06/23/06
Tony Margherita, dBpm Records 09/06/11
Bob Roux & Mark Campana, Live Nation 12/20/11
Lee Marshall, Magic Arts & Entertainment 09/13/02
Zach Martin, Radio Producer at New York's WAXQ-FM 08/30/02
Mario Martin, Gorgeous PR 04/27/07
Molly Martinez, Ticket Summit 2008 05/23/08
Paul Mascioli, Mascioli Entertainment 01/14/05
Michael Maska, Big Hassle 01/28/05
Ted Mason, Mi-5 Recordings 11/16/01
Steve Masur, Masur & Associates, LLC 11/21/03
Pam Matthews, The Ryman Auditorium 04/08/05
Terry McBride, Nettwerk Music Group 03/01/10
Michael McCarty, ole 06/20/11
Jim McDonald, McDonald Group 12/19/03
Virginia McEnerney, HeadCount 11/26/07
Doc McGhee, McGhee Entertainment 06/14/10
Camilla McGuinn, Tour Manager 08/24/07
Andy McLean, North By Northeast (NXNE) 04/01/05
Dennis McNally, Grateful Dead historian/publicist 09/06/02
Garry McQuinn, Back Row Productions 06/14/11
Ruthann McTyre, The Rita Benton Music Library; and president of the Music Library Association 08/31/10
Dick McVey, Musician's Referral Service 10/27/07
Katherine McVicker, Music Works International 01/08/15
John Meglen, Concerts West/AEG Live 02/21/13
Mark Meharry, Music Glue 05/28/15
Jorge Mejia, Sony/ATV Music Publishing 09/17/15
Dan Melnick, Festival Productions, Inc. 02/22/02
André Ménard, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 06/12/09
Bob Merlis, Merlis For Hire/Memphis International Records 01/16/04
Doug Merrick, Cumberland Talent Agency and Merrick Music Group 07/21/06
Louis Messina, The Messina Group 10/22/04
Louis Messina, The Messina Group/AEG Live 07/17/09
Louis Jay Meyers, North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance 03/30/07
Louis Jay Meyers, Folk Alliance International 01/23/09
Todd Miller, House Of Blues - New Orleans 11/14/03
Jeff Miller, Fantasma Productions 03/16/07
Ben Miller, Rock Ridge Music 11/02/07
J. B. Miller, Empire Entertainment 08/22/08
Richard Mills, S.L. Feldman 11/02/09
Marty Monson, Barbershop Harmony Society 07/07/16
Linda Moran, Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) 04/05/09
Jesse Morreale, Nobody In Particular Presents (NIPP) 09/20/02
Chuck Morris, Live Rocky Mountains 09/28/09
Mo Morrison, Independent production 05/24/02
Kevin Morrow, Steel Wool Entertainment 01/25/17
Nick Moss, Blue Bella Records 11/30/07
Jim Musselman, Appleseed Recordings 04/14/06
Natalia Nastaskin, United Talent Agency 04/13/16
Marc Nathan, Flagship Records 07/01/05
David Neilon, Rising Star Promotions 11/30/01
Don Neuen, Star Coaches Inc. 10/10/12
Dennis Newhall, DIG Music 10/07/05
John Nittolo, John Nittolo Productions 04/13/07
Ian Noble, Metropolitan Talent 05/23/03
Fabricio Nobre, A Construtora Música e Cultura 05/04/17
Josh Norek, JN Media, LLC 07/05/02
David Norman, Tour Manager 04/20/07
Mimi Northcott, Canadian Recording Services (CRS) 04/11/08
Bill Nowlin, Rounder Records 01/05/07
John Nugent, NY JAM Inc. 11/08/02
Andy Nulman, Just For Laughs 11/20/13
Sal Nunziato, NYCD 06/01/01
Bob O'Neal, Ryman Auditorium 06/28/02
Andrea Orbeck, Prehab Health and Fitness 03/15/10
Heather Orser, Toad's Place 01/29/01
Janet Oseroff, MultiMediaProperties 11/18/05
Marc Ostrow, Boosey & Hawkes 12/05/08
Riley O’Connor, Live Nation Canada 07/24/09
Jeremy Palmer, Buddy Lee Attractions 11/02/01
John Palmer, Megawave Records 08/31/07
Panos Panay, Sonicbids 12/23/05
Julien Paquin, Paquin Artists Agency 04/30/14
Graham Parker, WQXR-FM 11/26/14
Crispin Parry, British Underground 02/24/08
Donald Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 04/09/10
Donald S. Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 01/06/16
Bruce Patron, Overland Entertainment 07/28/06
Alexandra Patsavas, Chop Shop Music 09/27/11
Cheryl Pawelski, Omnivore Entertainment Group 09/26/13
Kerry Peace, Alligator Records 08/18/06
Eric Peltoniemi, Red House Records 12/14/09
Scott Perry, Sperry Media 03/11/05
Lawrence Peryer, Jr., 23 Omnimedia 11/07/08
John Peters, MassConcerts 06/07/11
Holger Petersen, Stony Plain Records 04/15/05
Jon Phillips, Silverback Professional Artist Mgmt/Controlled Substance Sound 08/29/08
Dave Pichilingi, Sound City 03/30/16
Vince Pileggi, Music Inc./Music Inc. Sounds 12/01/06
Eric Pirritt, Endit! Presents / The Fox Theatre 10/17/03
Neil Portnow, The Recording Academy 02/08/11
Louis Posen, Hopeless Records 04/04/11
Stephen Posen, Estate of Glenn Gould 01/23/13
Nadia Prescher, Madison House 06/20/03
Jeff Price, TuneCore 02/28/11
Tom Principato, Powerhouse Records 02/01/08
Roger Probert, Core Records 12/08/06
John "Grinder" Procaccini, JP Squared (JP2) 01/17/03
Mark Pucci, Independent Music Publicist 09/09/05
David Pullman, The Pullman Group 11/03/00
Rod Quinton, Saigon Sound System 04/18/11
Dolphus Ramseur, Ramseur Records 10/19/07
Jack Randall, Ted Kurland Associates 04/05/02
Jack Randall, The Kurland Agency 03/08/17
Debra Rathwell, AEG Live 05/03/13
Jeff Ravitz, Visual Terrain 02/08/08
Paul Reed, Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) 06/14/17
Rich Rees, M.P.I. Talent Agency 09/19/08
John Reese, Freeze Artist Management 08/01/08
Bill Reeves, WRIII, Inc. 10/20/06
Stephen Rehage, Rehage Entertainment 07/30/04
Lisa Reiss, Pearl Productions 08/17/07
Salaam Remi, Composer, producer, musician and label executive. 01/08/14
David Renzer, Universal Music Publishing Group 08/23/09
Alison Richard, Universal Orlando Resort 05/06/05
Kelli Richards, The All Access Group 02/07/12
Gary Richards, HARD Events 08/29/13
Sam Righi, Waterfront Entertainment Group 05/30/03
Jon Rinaldo, Joker Productions 01/02/04
Geary Rindels, Geary Rindels Enterprises, Inc. 12/05/03
Doreen Ringer Ross, BMI 01/18/08
Lisette Rioux, Island Def Jam Music Group 05/16/03
Dave Roberge, Everfine Records & Everfine Artist Management 12/03/04
Sandy Roberton, Worlds End Producer Management 02/20/09
Ty Roberts, Gracenote 01/31/12
Bill Rogers, BRE Presents 07/13/07
Ian Rogers, Topspin Media 06/01/10
Benji Rogers, PledgeMusic 12/19/13
Dave Rose, Deep South Entertainment 09/15/06
Eric Rosen, Ronald S. Bienstock & Associates 05/25/01
Stuart Ross, The Ross Group 02/23/01
David Ross, President IAAM; Director, Show Me Center 09/23/05
Jack Ross, APA Canada 09/07/17
Bobby Rossi, Ruth Eckerd Hall 02/28/03
Michael Rothschild, Landslide Records 04/29/05
Robert Rowland, Red Entertainment 06/13/08
Bill Royston, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival 03/07/03
John Rudolph, Bug Music 05/24/10
Elizabeth Rush, E.R.A. / Elizabeth Rush Agency 08/20/04
Aran Rush, Expo and Foro Imperial 02/16/07
Maurice Russell, Harry Fox Agency 10/21/05
Barron Ruth, Skyline Music 02/14/03
Andrea Sabata, Skyline Music 01/07/05
Numa Saisselin, Count Basie Theatre, Inc. 02/04/05
Ron Sakamoto, Gold & Gold Productions 01/16/10
David Salidor, dis Company 07/20/07
Shaw Saltzberg, S. L. Feldman and Associates 06/21/10
Bruce Allen & Sam Feldman, A&F Music 12/19/08
Mark Samuels, Basin Street Records 06/11/04
Jacqueline Saturn, Harvest Records 01/21/15
Tamara Saviano, American Roots Publishing 07/22/05
Tamara Saviano, Author, journalist, and producer 08/18/16
Michael Scafuto, Mountain High Entertainment 12/07/01
Steve Schankman, Contemporary Productions 12/21/01
Steve Scharf, Carlin America 10/11/02
John Scher, Metropolitan Talent 11/21/08
Al Schmitt, Producer/Engineer 02/13/10
Bobby Schneider, Tour Coordinator, Third Eye Blind 01/31/03
Jake Schneider, Madison House 04/02/14
Steven Schnur, EA Music Group 07/03/13
Elaine Schock, Shock Ink 02/19/10
Stacy Schott, Mad Booking and Events 08/22/03
Daylle Schwartz, Revenge Productions 08/19/05
Dean Sciarra, 11/26/04
Joel Selvin, Author and Journalist 08/07/14
Jay Sendyk, Sendyk, Leonard & Company, Inc. 05/03/02
Jonathan Shank, Red Light Management 12/13/17
Peter Shapiro, Ideal Entertainment 04/16/04
Peter Shapiro, Dayglo Ventures/Brooklyn Bowl 11/15/17
Seth Sheck, Access Pass & Design 01/03/03
Seth Sheck, ACCESS Event Solutions 06/22/16
Seth Shomes, The Agency Group 11/12/14
Jay Sieleman, The Blues Foundation 07/18/03
Anya Siglin, The Ark 03/05/10
Bill Silva, Bill Silva Entertainment 10/19/10
Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy Entertainment 03/06/12
Steve Simon, Clear Channel Communications 05/14/04
Ralph Simon, Live Earth 07/06/07
Ralph Simon, Mobilium 04/12/11
Michael Simon, The Harry Fox Agency 08/14/13
Ron Simpson, RCS Productions 01/11/08
John Simson, SoundExchange 07/15/05
Dion Singer, Warner Bros. 12/07/09
Gram Slaton, The Community Arts Center 02/25/05
Owen Sloane, Gladstone Michel Weisberg Willner & Sloane 10/11/10
Peter Smidt, Eurosonic Noorderslag & manager Buma Cultuur 07/17/13
Garrison Snell, Gyrosity Projects 02/23/17
Mike Snider, Paradigm Talent Agency Nashville 05/17/11
Andrew Snowhite, Musictoday 05/04/01
Bruce Solar, The Agency Group 05/14/14
Nikki Solgot, Circle Talent Agency 02/18/15
Michael Solomon, Brick Wall Management 05/25/07
Mark Sonder, Mark Sonder Productions 07/25/08
Steve Sonnier, UIC Pavilion at the University of Illinois, Chicago 09/03/04
Kathy Spanberger, peermusic 06/20/12
Carolyn Specht, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. and OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/26/04
David Spelman, New York Guitar Festival 10/01/04
Jason Spiewak, Rock Ridge Music 04/07/06
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 11/29/12
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 02/18/05
Jeremy Stephan, Ventures, LLC 04/23/04
Walter Stewart, Mars Talent Agency 02/21/03
Gail Stocker, Gail Stocker Presents 11/12/04
Jon Stoll, Fantasma Productions 10/13/00
Jesse Stoll, AEG 06/27/09
Henry Stone, Henry Stone Music 06/24/05
Jason Stone, Live Nation New York 03/31/06
Howard Stovall, Resource Entertainment Group 05/28/04
Cameron Strang, New West Records 10/18/02
Don Strasburg, AEG Live Rocky Mountains 02/27/09
Barbara Strauss, Sovereign Ventures 05/12/06
Richard Stumpf, Cherry Lane Publishing 08/07/06
Deb Suckling, SUGARRUSH Music 07/27/17
Patrick Sullivan, RightsFlow 10/25/11
Bernie Swain & Harry Rhodes, Jr., Washington Speakers Bureau 12/07/00
Dean Swett, Paramour Group 06/14/02
Jake Szufnarowski, Rocks Off 05/02/08
Marc Tanner, Chime Entertainment 12/22/06
Donald Tarlton, The Donald K Donald Group 04/12/02
Tess Taylor, Los Angeles Music Network 08/09/02
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Chris Taylor, Taylor 03/15/09
Peter Tempkins, DeWitt Stern Group 03/16/01
Peter Tempkins, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 03/27/09
Lisa Tenner, Tenner & Associates (EAT'M) 08/06/01
Jeremy Tepper, Diesel Only Records 10/10/03
Allan Tepper, Bicycle Music Company 09/28/07
Martin Terefe, Kensaltown Studios 05/31/11
Milun Tesovic, MetroLeap Media 10/18/09
Mandar Thakur, Times Music 08/06/15
Jerry Thompson, Promoter Line Inc. 03/05/04
Jose Tillan, MTV Networks Latin America 12/02/05
Jon Tiven, Hormone Studios 08/05/05
Adam Tobey, Concert Ideas 08/24/17
Rob Tonkin, Marketing Factory 12/17/15
John "J.T." Toomey, 25/8 Management 11/15/11
Livia Tortella, Warner Bros. Records 01/10/12
Phil Tripp, IMMEDIA! 01/19/06
Claudio Trotta, Barley Arts Promotion 11/26/01
Chris Tsakalakis, StubHub 01/11/10
Ben Turner, Graphite Media 05/10/10
Steve Vai, Favored Nations Entertainment 04/26/02
John Valentino, Fantasma Productions 04/18/03
John Valentino, AEG Live SE 11/01/10
Don Van Cleave, Coalition of Independent Music Stores 04/09/04
Casey Verbeck, Partners in Music 06/06/03
David "Boche" Viecelli, The Billions Corporation 04/18/10
Marsha Vlasic, Artist Group International 05/31/17
Mat Vlasic, Bravado 06/28/17
Ray Waddell, Billboard Magazine 08/27/04
Rob Waggener, Foundations Recovery Network 03/07/11
Jim Walczak, Racine Civic Centre 06/03/05
Jeff Walker, The AristoMedia Group 08/16/10
Carla Wallace, Big Yellow Dog Music 11/04/05
Russell Wallach, Live Nation Network 03/20/12
Steve Walter, The Cutting Room 10/24/08
Neil Warnock, The Agency Group 05/02/09
Diane Warren, Realsongs 08/14/09
Butch Waugh, RCA Label Group Nashville 01/10/03
Lauren Wayne, The State Theatre 05/09/12
Kirt Webster, Webster PR 02/03/16
Ken Weinstein, Big Hassle Media 04/22/05
Bruce Weinstein, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts 02/15/08
Larry Weintraub, Fanscape 05/18/01
Pam Weiser, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 10/11/11
Kevin Welk, Welk Music Group 01/24/12
D-J Wendt, Dmand Management 05/09/08
Alison Wenham, Worldwide Independent Network 02/13/09
Bill Werde, Billboard 08/03/11
Joel Whitburn, Record Research 11/13/09
Judd White, Tour Manager/Accountant 02/13/04
Jeff White, In Ticketing 12/16/06
Adam White, Author 09/14/16
Lisa White, Pearl Street Warehouse 10/04/17
Adam Wilkes, AEG Live Asia 10/13/16
Fenton Williams, 04/04/08
Del Williams, Right Arm Entertainment 04/18/08
Bryan "Birdman" Williams, Cash Money Records 09/13/11
Paul Williams, ASCAP 10/19/11
J.P. Williams, Parallel Entertainment 10/03/12
Kurt Willms, Green Room Productions 09/20/03
Chris Wilson, Heartbeat Records 03/02/07
Tony Wilson, Factory Records/In The City 06/01/07
Tom Windish, The Windish Agency 07/26/10
John Wiseman, XL Touring Video 05/05/06
Thom Wolke, 02/08/02
Michael Wood, City Lights Entertainment 08/08/08
Keith Wortman, Blackbird Presents 03/22/17
Nigel Wright, Independant Record Producer 11/07/03
Dusty Wright, 07/27/07
Jeremiah “Ice” Younossi, A-List Talent 09/20/09
Gail Zappa, The Zappa Family Trust 10/02/14
Kevin 'Chief' Zaruk, Chief Music Management 06/10/15
Ron Zeelens, RAZco Visas 04/20/01
Rick Zeiler, Sidney Frank Importing Company 06/04/04
Danny Zelisko, Live Nation 06/19/09
Jason Zink, Emporium Presents 10/19/17
Hillary Zuckerberg, Brick Wall Management. 07/09/04
Steve Zuckerman, Global Entertainment and Media Summit 03/22/02
Paul Zullo, Muze 01/23/04
Nanette Zumwalt, Hired Power 02/03/06


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