After working hard at writing and producing our music, we are now featured on the internet radio site Last.FM which is one of the top five internet radio sites on the internet. Last.FM is considered to be one of the giants in the internet radio sites next to Pandora, Jango and only a few others. If you have an account on the site you can log in and search for us. You can also create an account for free and listen to us, or any one of your favorite artists. You can also create a “Ronnie and Heather Whitley Gibson” radio station on Jango. Thanks to everyone for your support! To see our profile click on the link below.
After an exhaustive listing of alleged abuses spanning decades, Kenny’s legal team settled on a sad assessment, one that unfortunately matches our grim picture of big-label accounting.
This isn’t just an EMI (or Capitol Records) thing: in fact, a string of lawsuits by major-signed superstars have now etched a pattern of systematic dishonesty, all in the name of lowering one huge cost: the artist. That complements lots of troubling tales about broke – and broken – artists who were simply screwed by smarmy label execs and lawyers (and oftentimes, their own collossal mistakes).
It just seems baked into the system. So why is Kenny Rogers now signing with another major, right down the block? On Thursday, Kenny Rogers proudly announced a brand new deal with Warner Music Group (Nashville), specifically through his old-time label, Warner Bros. “Our history together, combined with the incredible team that’s in place now, provides the catalyst for a great new relationship going forward.”
Of course, there are several reasons why this might make sense. For starters, the executives at Warner Nashville may be totally different than Capitol, and the presence of a label frees the burden of doing (or at least overseeing) everything. On top of that, Rogers now has considerable leverage to not only negotiate more favorable terms, but also construct deals that focus on more limited areas (ie, marketing, distribution, etc.)
But this is still Warner Music Group, a company with a legacy of outlandish executive salaries and now-aggressive cost-cutting. And this seems like a golden opportunity: maybe Kenny isn’t Amanda Palmer, but there are plenty of experts that could have shepherded a truly independent, ‘DIY’ career for this legend. Warner, on the other, seems like an ongoing ‘Gamble,’ no matter how good it seems upfront.
So what does Grooveshark do? When you click the “about” link on their website, a little pop-up box appears that says: “Grooveshark is the world’s largest on-demand music streaming and discovery service.” What this means is that anyone can go to Grooveshark, and, for FREE, type in the name of an artist and then play any recording by that artist in the Grooveshark system. Users can make playlists, stop, start, skip and basically listen to what they want, when they want, with little-to-no restrictions. And guess what, allowing anyone to listen to anything they want with basically no restrictions got them a whole bunch of users. How many? According to their little pop-up box: “Over 30 million users flock to Grooveshark…” Wow. 30 million users that “flock to Grooveshark,” and, again, I quote from their own site: “…to listen to their favorite music, create playlists, discover new tunes, and share it all with friends via Facebook, Twitter, social news sites, and more.” Well, when you have 30 million people coming to your website, you have a lot of web traffic. This means you can start making money by charging entities to advertise on your site. After all, you reach tens of millions of consumers. Just think of all the money Grooveshark makes by selling ads. There is just one really big, big problem: they don’t get licenses and don’t pay the artists, the labels and/or the songwriters for the use of the music that’s making them tons of money. I can assure you, 99% of the hundreds of thousands of TuneCore Artists whose music is in Grooveshark have not been paid a single penny. Said more simply: ARTISTS SHOULD BE PAID FOR THE USE OF THEIR MUSIC! In order for Grooveshark to pull off their “aren’t-we-so-clever-f**k-the-artist” scheme, they use copyright law in a way it was not intended to be used.
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There are too many stories of musicians signing rights away to songs and future royalties, and now a member of ’60s group the Chambers Brothers — best known for their classic ‘Time Has Come Today’ — is taking his plight to the masses via YouTube and Facebook, attracting the support of Yoko Ono.
Earlier this week, a photo began circulating online showing 72-year-old Lester Chambers hiding behind a gold record with a lengthy message beneath it. “I am the former lead singer of a 60’s band,” the letter began, adding the various festivals the group played. “I did not squander my money on drugs or a fancy home. I went from 1967-1994 before I saw my first royalty check. The music giants I recorded with only paid me for seven of my albums. I have never seen a penny in royalties from my other 10 albums I recorded.”
Chambers also said “our hit song” was licensed to over 100 “films, TV & commercials without our permission.” He concluded the message by stating his current economic status, trying to live on $1,200 US a month, with music charity Sweet Relief taking donations for him. Chambers also said only one percent of those in his situation are financially capable of suing for royalties, stating: “I AM THE 99 Percent.”
A video featuring a song co-produced by Chambers was posted Wednesday on YouTube; it expands on the musician’s situation. “America, we have been given a bad cheque, a cheque that has come back labeled insufficient funds,” he says in spoken word on the song ‘Make a Stand.’ “We cannot believe that there are no funds in this money vault of opportunity, in this great nation, this great country that we call America.”
The five-minute video features various images of the Chambers Brothers — one of rock’s first interracial bands — with facts on the band’s history and sales, including the point that six of the band’s albums made Billboard’s Top 200 and six singles were in the Hot 100.
“My foreign royalties from 1977-1999 were $1,300 total for only a few Columbia albums,” a statement in the video reads. “Never received foreign royalties on any of our other products.”
Chambers also says ABC used ‘Time Has Come Today’ for a national ad in 2000 but “Sony insisted we only receive payment from Boston ABC network, so the payment I received for an 8 week national commercial was $625.”
“So even though we face trouble of today and tomorrow I have hope that we will stand up, join hands, unite and make a stand,” says a message that concludes the video.
Chambers’ campaign has struck a chord with many. According to The Examiner, 24 hours after it was posted, Chambers’ Sweet Relief Musicians Fund received close to $10,000 in donations.
“We received an e-mail from Yoko Ono’s office this morning, and they were glad to see that the word was getting out and hoped that Lester’s cause would get more attention now,” Sweet Relief’s executive director Rob Max said. Max also said Chambers’ living conditions as recent as two years ago had him “sleeping on an air mattress” in a house that “was under construction and it had no roof” north of San Francisco. Max also stated that Sweet Relief is not assisting Chambers regarding his royalties dispute but “we wish him all the success, always.”
Although his health condition makes touring quite a challenge, Chambers is taking advantage of the Internet again by playing a concert as Lester Chambers & The Mud Stompers on March 24 which will stream online.
The Chambers Brothers released their final album, ‘Recorded Live in Concert on Mars’ in 1976.
It appears that the seemingly eternal struggle between Peter Hook and his former bandmates in New Order is going to court. His main concern is over the fact that the other members of New Order are trying to trademark the name without his permission. He said that this is illegal because it’s an oppression of the minority — in this case, Hook — and wants it settled. Peep a quote from his interview from NME.
We all have a varied opinion on what exactly a song is and considering the 140 character limit of twitter no longer applies here, I can now happily share my own view with you.
Pedantically, we can look at a song as being part melody, part rhythm, part arrangement and part “ message”. I wish to focus on the message, but just to clarify the first three:
A melody is a series of notes. We play the notes with various textures and in varied rhythm as we stop, start and mix how the melody flows. A melody is usually presented on top of a rhythm (not necessarily a drum), possibly as simple as the rhythm you get from pausing, sustaining or holding. You can easily whistle a good melody but can struggle to whistle a bad one.
Take Singin’ in the Rain – by Freed and Brown. The melody has a wonderful rhythm to it. If you started whistling it now, you may very well be distracted from reading the rest of this article, so don’t start whistling now!
The term arrangement changes with genre and with time but effectively is the chosen structure, for the chosen instruments, playing the chosen melody/chord etc. This can have an effect on the message.
The message part of a song is an interesting one and where the rest of this article will now concentrate. It is interesting because it is relied on heavily by modern pop music. The message is not just lyrics but also the vibe.
Take hip-hop as an example. Hip-hop contains more message than rhythm, more rhythm than arrangement and more arrangement than melody. Take message away and you have a mediocre poem. No one wants to listen to average. So to improve the rap, one must big it up to compensate. Hip hop relies on a kick ass rhythm which creates a vibe, which reinforces the message.
To avoid dull rap, rappers write lyrics that test. They put violence or a sexy/lust slant into the message, something to make it edgy.
In the past five years, hundreds of millions of dollars of songwriter royalties have been generated and never paid to the songwriter, or have been given to Warner Bros, EMI, Universal, Sony and others based on their market share- estimates put this new income at over half a billion dollars.
Once these companies get the money, they keep it and don’t account to anyone.
All the while, the songwriters that earned this money have no clue their pockets are being picked, their royalties are not being paid, and their rights are being violated.
I discovered this infringement and lack of royalty payments while embarking on a journey to discover how much money TuneCore Artists earned as songwriters. In the past three years, TuneCore Artists have sold over 500 million songs and earned over a quarter billion dollars from the sale of the recordings of their songs. With the help of Jamie Purpora, the former SVP Bug Music Publishing Administration and now President TuneCore Songwriter Publishing Administration, we identified another $60 to $70 million earned by these artists in songwriter royalties. The upsetting part, over 70% of this money never made it back to them. And keep in mind, I’m only talking about artists that use TuneCore—there are many more.
This infringement and lack of payment is one of the biggest outrages of the music industry and yet it is rarely talked about and even more rarely understood.
It needs to stop.
Let me explain the nutshell version of how it happens.
The new music industry is global. However, outside of the United States, digital services require additional rights, use different royalty rates and pay the owed royalties differently than the United States music industry. The end result is:
-The digital music service does not get all the rights needed from songwriters and therefore never pay the songwriter the money he/she is owed.
-At the same time, local performing rights and collection agencies outside the U.S. illegally take a % of the songwriter’s money while making it impossible for the songwriter to get what’s left over.
This guitar was featured on the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” when Les Paul’s Nephew took it in to, and I can’t believe he did this, sell it…
The guitar was then put up on ebay where it sold for $110,000 which to be honest I think is pretty cheap considering what an incredibly rare guitar this is, you don’t see Les Paul’s personal guitars pop up for sale very often!