Month: March 2017

March Madness – Music Business Style

I’m not talking about basketball March Madness. In this case, I’m referring to how I cast songs for projects. Actually, it’s kind of the same thing. The simplified version of March Madness (basketball style) is this; Sixty Four teams earn the privilege to compete for the title of the NCAA National Champion. You’ve probably seen those teams graphed out in what’s called The Brackets. Through the process,  some win and proceed (Sweet Sixteen) until all but four are eliminated (the Final Four) and then the two winners from the Final Four compete for the National Championship. Working Those Brackets...

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The Business of the Music Business

(L to R, Norro Wilson, Billy Sherrill and Bobby Braddock) It’s a well known secret – this business of the music business. The late Al Gallico knew it and taught it to me.  Music publisher and entrepreneur Buddy Killen knew it.  In fact, all the great visionaries of the entertainment industry knew it.  Norro Wilson knows it, too. I’m proud to call the legendary songwriter, music publisher and hit record producer, Norro Wilson my friend, but more than that I’m glad to call him a teacher.  Along with Al Gallico, he taught me the business of the music business;...

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Building Bridges (Take Two)

My most recent newsletter was entitled Building Bridges and dealt with how I was able to get the Top Ten Single and Vocal Event by Brooks and Dunn (featuring Sheryl Crow and Vince Gill)  recorded.  My friend and client, songwriter Mark Crawford emailed me after reading the article saying, “My first thought when I saw the title was you discussing how to build bridges in songs, which can be hard to do.” Take Me To The Bridge So, let’s discuss bridges in songs.  A bridge offers a melodic respite and introduces new subject matter or lyrical information to the...

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Tools of The Trade. Do You Have Them?

If you intend to be a great songwriter or artist, you need the right tools. Not hammers or nails or drills (Oh, my!) but the tools of the trade. Here is my list; Desire. You really have to want it so bad you can taste it.  The path will be incredibly tough and crowded with other songwriters and artists seeking the same goals. You have to want it more than them. Perseverance. When everyone else packs up and goes home, you stay in that practice room or writers’ room and give it one more try. Take it from the...

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What’s In Your Wallet? – Ideas? Inspiration?

Samuel L. Jackson is one of my favorite actors and when he delivers the line, “What’s in YOUR wallet?” it makes me smile. I’m not sure if it’s the look in his eye or the sound of his voice in the Capital One advertisements but it certainly gets my attention.  And it reminds me of journaling.  Say what?!?  Yeah, you know – ideas and inspiration. Okay, maybe it just reminds me of this. Here’s the idea. Every songwriter I know has notes and random ideas scribbled on napkins, scraps of paper or receipts stuffed in their wallet or purse....

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Song Plugging | Asking the Right Questions

Huh? What? These are not really the questions to which I’m referring. I’m talking about asking the right questions at the right time. Asking the right questions will get you where you want to go (kind of like asking directions, right guys?). It’s even biblical.  Check out Luke 11:9-10. Or this. Really? In my experience as a music publisher and song plugger, I have learned that being GOOD requires knowing the kind of songs artists are seeking and when. It is my job to gather the necessary information and make it part of my plan.  Bottom line: if you...

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Chris Keaton

Chris is a Nashville-based entertainment industry executive, award winning music publisher, artist management consultant and a 2016 Inductee in the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.