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Archive for the ‘Industry Links’ Category

I was recently contacted by John Dargan, a Florida-based computer programmer who is also the webmaster for a new music-related web site called www.Nurturemusic.biz.  The concept of the site is simple, and somewhat unique:  it is a “slide show” of publicity photographs of various musicians, artists, bands and related music industry professionals.  Dargan finds musicians to be fascinating people, so he founded tphoto_reviewhe site this past March with a goal of providing a marketing avenue for talented musicians allowing them to attract a wider audience.  So far, the site has engendered  an enthusiastic response from both the musicians and their fans.

To obtain the content, Dargan scours MySpace and other websites looking for musicians, artists and bands that have both great publicity photos and an apparent talent for music.  Dargan works hard to ferret out the best photos and the most promising musicians.

“It’s a tremendously fun hobby,” Dargan says.

A viewer arriving at the website is greeted simply with a photograph framed on the top with the site’s logo, a navigation bar, and the name of the artist, and on the bottom with various links and information related to the artist.  In the navigation bar, the user can move from photo to photo in the slideshow or learn more about the artists by clicking on one of the links or directly on the displayed image, which is generally hyperlinked to the musician’s website, MySpace page or the CDBaby location offering the musician’s CD for sale. In this way, Dragan hopes to drive web traffic to the commercial sites of the musicians.

In addition to providing free publicity to the musicians, the site provides credit to the professional photographers who took created some of the images as well as a hyperlink to the photographer’s website. Dargan makes an effort to contact each professional photographers not only to seek permission, but to ask them to comment on the the photo session, asking them to describe how they decided upon the location of the shot, the best angle, or any incident associated with the session that a reader might find of interest.

The goal is to enhance the viewer’s understanding and enjoyment of the photography and to provide a more intimate glimpse into the life of the photographer and the musician. Dargan’s approach to the website is drawn from the concept of “high-tech, high-touch,” a book by John Naisbitt, which introduces the concept that technology can help bring us closer as a community.

All of Dargan’s discover efforts seem to focus on quality.  For example, he searches for photographs in which the faces are clearly visible, i.e. not hidden behind microphones or musical instruments.

I prefer eyes that are visible, not closed, nor looking away. The expression on the face provides an insight into each person’s personality.

Dargan was surprise to find that a number of the photographs he chose were taken not by professional photographers, but by the artists and musicians themselves.

The key emphasis in the search for music is also on quality elements.  Dargan searches extraordinary talent and musical express. He listens for lyrics that are not only original, but have qualities and characteristics that are touching, heartfelt, plausible or engaging. 

In contrast, Dargan avoids photographs that contain disturbing elements, such as blood, or music that contains “excessive screaming or cursing.”

The music should engage the listener right away. The execution of the music should be crisp and should indicate a high level of musical skill. The quality of the instruments should be high. The vocals should be compelling and dynamic

Dargan says. 

Dargan has also been surprised by the number of extremely talented teenagers that he discovered in the plethora of musicians on MySpace and YouTube. While he generally he avoids direct contact with minors for obvious reasons, Dargan was particularly impressed with one young country singer named William Michael Morgan, so he contacted the boy’s father and obtained permission to feature William on the website.

Other examples of the talent featured on the website are

  • David Bradley, a singer/songwriter who is also an oil engineer.  Bradley wrote some of his songs while stationed in the forests of Siberia and on an oil rig in the middle of the Caspian Sea.
  • Colin O’Donohoe, an outstanding composer, conductor and musician who has developed hauntingly beautiful music involving wonderful instruments from the Far East.

Dargan is also sells “slots” in the slide show to attorneys and other industry professionalsDargan who specialize in the music industry.  Dargan chuckles at the thought of money trickling in from these professionals, particularly  attorneys, as Dargan, a patent-holder who has been involved in patent litigation, has sent tens of thousands of dollars to attorneys.  “Getting even a small amount of income from attorneys seems only fair to me,” he chides.

Dargan received a Bachelors degree from American University in interdisciplinary studies, and a Masters degree from Washington University in St. Louis, in Technology and Human Affairs. Dargan has one expired patent and one pending patent, both related to Touch-Tone interaction with computers, such as with text messaging. Dargan can be reached at nurturemusic@yahoo.com.

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Effective immediately, the Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc.® has announced the addition of three new executives to its Board of Directors:

Clay Hunnicutt, Senior Vice-President of Programming, Clear Channel, Atlanta.  Clear Channel is the largest operator of radio statiClay Hunnicutt2ons in the country.   As the person in charge of programming for Clear Channel’s 200 plus country radio stations, Hunnicutt must have an inside track on what’s going on in country music.  In an article for the American Chronicle, Hunnicutt says of his job “I love what I do because it affords me the flexibility to not only focus on the Country format but also to be able to look at and understand all formats.”  See, Clay Hunnicutt:  Clear Channel’s Country Connoisseur. 

Renee' Leymon Renee’ Leymon, Senior Director of National Promotions at Lyric Street Records in Nashville.  Leymon has been part of promotions at Lyric Street Records since 1998, when she landed there after a stint with Arista Nashville; andKeith Kaufman

Keith Kaufman, has been Program Director at WSIX-FM Nashville since 2004, when he was responsible for making dramatic changes to WSIX’s slogan, positioning and airstaff in order to rebuild its “big” position in the country music market.  WSIX is, of course, the mother ship of country radio as the first successful country music formatted station on the FM dial in the US.

The current list of directors to which the trio will be added are identified on CRB’s web site (Click here to view).  Hunnicutt fills the void left as a result of Gregg Swedburg’s recent resignation.  Kaufman and Leymon fill two newly created at-large positions, which expire in March 2009 and March 2010, respectively. 

The CRB is a non-profit organization founded in 1969 to support the country radio format.  The organization has done a great job at this task over the years by organizing various industry events and seminars across the country, one of which is the well known Country Radio Seminar which is held annually in Nashville.  CRB is also the trustee for the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame, founded in 1974.  Ed Salamon is CRB’s current director.

Kaufman and Leymon are also serving on this year’s Agenda Committee for the 40th annual Country Radio Seminar.

When asked to comment about the new Board appointments, CRB president and board member Becky Brenner stated “it is always a tough vote because we have so many deserving individuals who apply to serve on the board. These three individuals have been long time supporters of the Country Radio Broadcasters and the Country Radio Seminar. Their individual talents and passion will help to lead us into our next 40 years.”

General information about Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. may be obtained at their website www.crb.org or by calling the CRB office at 615-327-4487.

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Music Row magazine has been “Nashville’s Music Industry Publication” for 26 years.  Yesterday, Music Row announced that it was being acquired by SouthComm Communications, Inc. 

SouthComm is a Nashville-based media company founded Music Rowin 2007 by Chris Ferrell and Nashville investment firm Solidus Co., led by Townes Duncan.  Duncan is chairman of SouthComm and Ferrell is CEO.  Their first acquisition was SouthComm Publishing Company, Inc. of Alphraetta, Georgia.

Ferrell was formerly a council person in Nashville and publishers of The Scene, an alternative weekly publication owned by New Times Media of New York.

SouthComm is a custom publishing company focusing on local and niche news, information markets, membership directories and city publications. Music Row joins SouthComm’s current stable of publications, which includes the print and digital publications Nashville Post and Business Tennessee.

“I’m a believer in niche publications. My belief about the future of print is that it needs to be very targeted.”

Ferrell said in an article for Nashville Business Journal in January of this year.

“The SouthComm collaboration is a great fit,” says David Ross, current publishers of Music Row magazine.  He will remain CEO of the industry publication, but will given the position of Vice President for SouthComm and a seat on the Board of Directors.

“Joining a larger organization means Music Row [magazine] will benefit with added resources, efficiencies of scale and cross marketing opportunities. SouthComm also provides added conduits for music industry news to reach a wider network of Nashville business leaders and bolster the process of uniting Nashville’s music and business communities.”

Music Row‘s current staff will remain intact, including Ross’ wife and partner Susana and Robert K. Oermann, who has appeared in MusicRow for most of its existence.

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Nashville Mayor Karl Dean issued a proclamation declaring the week of March 3, 2008 “Country Radio Week.”  The mayor will present the official proclamation to Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc.’s Executive Director Ed Salamon and President Becky Brenner when he officially welcomes attendees to the 39th Country Radio Seminar (CRS-39) on March 5th.

The mayoral proclamation recognizes that “Country radio promotes Nashville tourism daily by broadcasting information about [Nashville] and its attractions. Country radio is the primary medium for exposure of Country music, an endeavor that CRS39employs many Nashvillians as artists, writers and producers. “

The 39th Country Radio Seminar takes place from March 5th through the 7th at the Nashville Convention Center.

Ed Salamon, Executive Director of the CRB stated, “We are gratified that Mayor Karl Dean recognizes the considerable economic impact that country radio has on Nashville and Davidson County and has given radio its own week”

This honor reinforces the reputation of the Country Radio Seminar  as the premier forum for education and information for members of the country music industry. Along with continuing education panels for industry professionals, the 39th Annual Country Radio Seminar agenda includes research presentations, artist showcases and discussion forums. Issues that impact country radio sales and programming, as well as the record industry in general, will be covered during the three-day event.

Agenda and registration details are available at www.crb.org or by calling the CRB office at 615-327-4487.

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