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Indie Bible 2007 - Get Your Music Heard!

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September 7, 2007
Page 2 of 2

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CMA Awards

Nothing more has to be said because Peter Cooper has said it all, and hit the nail right on the head. There is more politics in the CMA balloting and voting then in Florida or Washington, DC. No Tim McGraw and Faith Hill-the biggest package grossing tour in history and nothing from CMA. Something, as usual, smells like rotten fish, but that is nothing new for the way the voting is done. Who counts the ballots?????? Oh, by the way, where is Carrie Underwood this year. Talk about one hit wonders, that is not the case, it is hype, hype and more hype, and this is only one year later and where is this great superstar. What an embarrassment not to have Martina McBride nominated as female artists and entertainer of the year. Some of those nominated have had one, I said one, good record and now they are being considered nominees over the likes of Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride and other who were snubbed-yes the word is snubbed. Yes Mayor Purcell the eyes of the world will be on Nashville, Tn., on Nov. 7th to see how much we screwed up another awards show. It won't be long before the TV Networks won't be coming back to this neck of the woods. And they we still have to put up with the Country Music Hall of Fame balloting and nominating, with all due respect to the inductees, we sure have missed the boat on some of our great legendary artists, haven't we?

So Peter Cooper, your article was right on the money and many great artists were surely snubbed.

Marty Martel

CMA nominations bring thrills, snubs
Country award nods omit some top names

Staff Writer

George Strait and Brad Paisley's red-letter day was nothing to write home about for Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Toby Keith and Gretchen Wilson.

Strait and Paisley have a field-leading five nominations apiece for the Nov. 7 CMA Awards, while those other stars need not get too excited about the show billed as "Country's Biggest Night."
Some key nominations were revealed Thursday on ABC's Good Morning America (by Best Duo nominee Sugarland and non-nominee Sara Evans), while Montgomery Gentry (Best Duo) and Taylor Swift (Horizon) revealed the rest of the nominees during a follow-up news conference at the Sommet Center. By 9:30 a.m., it was clear that the Country Music Association's 6,000 industry professional members had arrived at some interesting choices.

• McGraw and Hill's "Soul 2 Soul" show last year was country's biggest-grossing tour in history, yet the pair received no entertainer nominations. Hill joined Keith, Evans and Wilson in the shutout camp, while McGraw's only nod came for Musical Event, for singing with Tracy Lawrence on "Find Out Who Your Friends Are."

• Country radio doesn't often feature Alison Krauss or the Dixie Chicks now, but Krauss got four nominations, including one with her Union Station band for top vocal group. The Chicks also got a vocal group nomination.

• What do Alan Jackson, John Waite and Kelly Clarkson have in common? They each have one CMA nomination, in the event category. Waite recruited Krauss for a remake of his pop hit "Missing You," and Clarkson sang with Reba McEntire on a remake of the young pop star's 2005 hit "Because of You." Clarkson's response: "To be honored with a CMA nomination is incredible. This totally kicks (butt)." Wow, so that ringing sound we hear may be Gwen Stefani calling Little Big Town to do a remake of "Hollaback Girl."

• No female acts are up for the Entertainer or Album of the Year prizes. The Female Vocalist of the Year category found Evans, Hill and Wilson bumped in favor of Krauss, Miranda Lambert and McEntire. "All I have to say is, 'I'm in a category with Reba,' " Lambert responded, happy to be in the same race with a hero.

Country fans and industry folks will argue over some of these things until November, but the nominee list did provide for some inclusions of the feel-good variety. Country Music Hall of Famer Bill Anderson is nominated in the Song of the Year category for a song he co-wrote for Country Music Hall of Famer Strait. Vince Gill's much-praised, four-disc These Days collection is up for top album, and Keith Urban's three nominations signaled that he's back in the country music business after undergoing substance-abuse treatment last year.

Swift is totally excited

And there were no complaints from buoyant, 17-year-old Swift. The former Hendersonville High student punctuated a reading of the nomination list with "Sweet!" and "Awesome!" after names she particularly approved of, and she hollered for joy when Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry read her name as a Horizon Award nominee.

"I apologize to viewers who heard that squeal, but I'm so excited, and I don't ever wanted to lose this feeling," she said.

The big-name exclusions were notable enough to cause some concern even for Taylor's label president, Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records. Borchetta's company is best known for bringing new acts to the format, but he questioned some of the selections.

"You can't ignore the biggest ticket-sellers in the music and have that be a good thing," Borchetta said. "This is not a new challenge, it's ongoing. But if the show doesn't look like we want it to look, we need to make changes."

Some labels don't lobby

McGraw and Keith are on labels that don't lobby hard for CMA votes. Other labels send out elaborate mailings with reasons why their artists should be awarded. Asked if promotion plays a part in the final nominee list, Borchetta simply said, "Yes."

CMA Chief Operating Officer Tammy Genovese was pleased with the nominations, which featured first-time considerations including Josh Turner for Male Vocalist, Lambert for Female Vocalist, Emerson Drive for Vocal Group, Sugarland for Vocal Duo and Dierks Bentley for Album of the Year.

"It should reflect the very best of our music, not just the mainstream," Genovese said.

Eligible CMA members will vote again on the nominees, with the winners announced on the show. Last year's CMA Awards ranked in the top five most-watched TV award shows, with the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Grammy Awards and Emmys. Thus Mayor Bill Purcell said Thursday that on Nov. 7, "The eyes of the nation are focused on Nashville. We are the Music City."

More Snubs

Sometimes when Beverly Keel writes an article she really gets the points across by not mincing any words, so that everyone can understand exactly what she is saying. And the following is one of those articles. Sadly, female artists are not getting recognition they deserve, but then again, all we heard about last year was Carrie Underwood, and maybe I am losing my hearing and my eyesight but I don't think she is a part of the industry anymore-is she????? There is something really wrong at CMA. Young new artists who don't have hardly any fan base or are just getting started, are nominated for categories that they do not deserve. But at any rate, it was a truthful article and now maybe people are beginning write about this problem in the voting and nominating for the CMA Awards Show and the Country Music Hall of Fame nominees!!!!!!!

Marty Martel

Friday, 08/31/07
Again? CMA snubs women in top two categories

Back in the day, female country singers were told to just sing and look pretty. Apparently they haven't come a long enough way, baby.

For the second consecutive year, no females were nominated in the Entertainer or Album of the Year categories of the Country Music Association Awards. In fact, there hasn't been a woman in the entertainer category since the Dixie Chicks in 2001.

What does this say about the state of the country music industry? In 2007, it is still a good ol' boys club.

Conventional wisdom holds that the Entertainer nods are heavily influenced by the success of headlining tours in addition to album sales, hits and other achievements. Then why wasn't Faith Hill nominated? Last year, she co-headlined the highest-grossing one-year tour in the history of country music.

Why hasn't Faith been embraced more by CMA voters in recent years, given her undeniable success? Perhaps some green-eyed voters believe that she's already hit life's lottery with her beauty, husband, family and success.

Some small minds in the industry don't like it if you get too big, and heaven forbid if you buy a house in Los Angeles or make a go in the movies. When Faith soars — like performing at the Oscars or landing the opening theme of Sunday Night Football — she takes country music with her.

Some speculate that her snub is partly a fallout of her reaction at last year's CMAs to the news that Carrie Underwood won Female Vocalist. Faith says she was just kidding, but some still believe she was serious when she raised her hands dramatically and said, "What?"

(I also think Tim McGraw — the other half of that highest-grossing tour — was wrongly omitted from the major categories, but that is another column for another day.)

Not only did Martina McBride have a successful headlining tour, but she also had a consistent television presence from stints as musical mentor on American Idol and the subject of ABC's Six Degrees of Martina McBride. (Her ubiquitous media presence is in contrast to that of Entertainer nominee Keith Urban, whose 90-day rehab stint forced him to miss last year's CMAs and cancel media interviews to promote his album.)

Not only do Martina's vocal abilities surpass those of several Entertainer nominees, but she also produced her album and co-wrote several of the songs, including "Anyway," which was nominated for CMA Single and Song of the Year.

This discrimination is a multi-faceted problem with no easy solution. There's not one person, company or industry faction to blame. I don't think there's a vast conspiracy to hurt women.

It's a problem of perception. Many still do not consider female country singers or songwriters to be on par with their male counterparts, especially those industry types who still use the term "girl singer." It's no wonder that this perception persists, given the images that are projected nationally.

For instance, Great American Country will soon air a reality show called The Hitmen of Music Row featuring only male songwriters. They couldn't find one woman to add to this group? Surely Hillary Lindsey, Matraca Berg, Victoria Shaw, Aimee Mayo and Vicky McGehee weren't all busy.

In addition, there has not been a woman inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame since Dolly Parton was so honored in 1999.

Women can't rely on the men to change this perception, so the women in positions of music industry power must be diligent in fighting for opportunities for female artists and writers. They need to battle the double standard that says female country singers must be impossibly thin, beautiful and young, while men can be balding, unattractive and double-chinned.

Women must fight for more positions on boards like the CMAs and create programs to groom young women to become radio programmers and other key industry decision-makers.

The long-held notion that women can't sell as many country albums as men has been shattered. Isn't that right, Carrie Underwood? So it's time for the women to step up and claim their rightful place of influence and respect in the industry. Surely if a woman can be a presidential front-runner, a CMA entertainer nomination isn't far behind.


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OPINION: " A Sunday Point Of View " - Has Music Row Lost It's CMA Voting Power...?
Sunday - 02 September 2007
By Dick Shuey

It's with great interest to see and hear some ripples of unsatisfaction coming from the suits on Music Row about the CMA voting selections in the various categories for the 2007 CMA AWARDS.

One opinion was expressed in Friday's Tennessean that changes need to be made in the voting procedures because that party did not agree with the voting results.

It will be interesting to see if this is the feelings of the majority of the suits on the row.

I'm sure that it is...because a AWARDS winner brings in big buck$ to their label.

One with any brains should realize that the CMA voting membership may be sending a message to the suits on Music Row that they are not happy with the present status quo on Music Row.

The Belly Button and Rock Music they are trying to shove down the genre throat's as country music may no longer cut it.

Through consolidation & down sizing they have lost their majority voting numbers and the "now" majority of the current voting members are saying enough is enough.

Hopefully they will finally take a step back and listen to what the rest of the country music industry is telling them and make some meaningful and positive adjustments to put the country back into country.

The message may be that "my way or the highway" attitude on music row is now finally coming to an end.

It will be very interesting to watch the activities and efforts that surface over the coming year.

One can only hope that it will be a breath of fresh air and real country music will return to the airways and the merchandise shelves.

The CMA Ballot Box may be country music's savior.

That's just my "Sunday Point Of View".



***Read More Country Music News: WWW.TWANGTOWNUSA.COM/NEWS/ 


New show being hailed as best show in the south

Chinese acrobats bring centuries of traditional art to Sevier County, Tennessee

In China, Chinese acrobats are held in the same esteem as movie stars are in this country. It takes years of training to achieve the excellence demanded by this ancient art form. Children who decide they want to dedicate their life to learn the skills needed to become an acrobat, some as young as four years old, will leave their home and spend up to five years in training and practice before they are allow to perform on stage. Daily practice is part of the routine.

The Smoky Mountain Palace (formerly known as the Governor’s Palace) has assembled the finest group of acrobats that China has to offer to introduce the culture to the United States in their Legends Of China performance.
The Smoky Mountain Palace is a state of the art theater with a 1,700 plus seating capacity located in Sevierville/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

The company behind this theater extravaganza was formed in Shanghai, China. The Shanghai production realized that many Americans didn’t understand Chinese culture, the history of the Chinese people and how they lived their lives and the respect the Chinese hold for tradition.

The theater production owners decided to do something to introduce the real China to the American people so the New Shanghai Circus troupe was formed.
In 1998, the New Shanghai Circus began to perform in Branson, Missouri under the production name the "Incredible Acrobats of China".

In 1999, the New Shanghai Circus realized the dream of all acrobatic troupes from China as the first Chinese acrobatic show to be invited to perform on Broadway in New York City. Their record-breaking 28 sold-out shows at the New Victory Theater won the "Best Foreign Production on Broadway" title that year.

A couple of years ago, Lizhi Zhao, owner of the group, visited the Pigeon Forge area and fell in love with it. He felt it was similar to Branson with its mountains, beauty and lifestyle.

This year, Mr. Zhao undertook an expansion of bringing Chinese culture to new American friends by embracing the Smoky Mountains with a new show called “The Legends of China.” It is a Chinese variety show of family oriented entertainment which features Chinese artistries such as Magic Folk Dance, Kung Fu, acrobats in death defying acts, the internationally known Thunder Drum Ensemble and a lady magician who is the gold metal winner from the 2004 International Magicians Competition.

The Shanxi Thunder Drums of China were featured in the Jet Li movie “Fearless.”
Shanxi Province has a population of over 36 million. From these 36 million, 11 girls were chosen for the Thunder Drums.
After the girls qualified, they went to school for one year before they were allowed to play with the Thunder Drums. They practiced eight hours a day.

The local performance features a cast of 44, with a support crew of 16. The performers are chosen from the best of other troupes and shows in China, some having performed in the Olympics and others are international award winning acrobatics. They are assembled and trained at the company’s theater in Shanghai. The best of that group are the performers at the Smoky Mountain Palace.

The Smoky Mountain Palace is located on Collier Drive in Sevierville, Tennessee. Contact the theater for show times and special rates at 800-826-2933.

Reported by Jim Callicott

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SongU.com: August Gold Stars and New Member Special

This week's quotes:

"I just wanted to tell you thanks so much for the opportunities you are providing for songwriters. As you know my song "Two Outta Three" was recently picked up by a publisher through Spin N' Pitch and I have a publishing contract on the way. This would not have happened had it not been for SongU.com. I have learned so much at SongU.com about songwriting and I'm still learning. I know it played a major part in the writing of this song so I wanted to say thanks for making all this possible." - quote submitted on 9/4/07 by SongU.com member, Monty S.

Hi everyone,

Hope you're having a great week. Wow, it's hard to believe it's September already. The summer has zipped on by so I wanted to take a moment to celebrate the recent summer successes of our members. As always, thanks to our talented and hard-working members who continue to show that dedication and working on your craft really does make a difference. I'd also like to share with you an email I received from one of our Spin N' Pitch guests recently who commented on the overall quality of the songs submitted by SongU.com members. 

"Hello Sara,

I wanted to write you and say Thanks! I think we found Dylan Drakes next single 'Dirty'. The writer already sent me the lyric sheet and a mp3. We will probably cut it October 2007. It won't go out to radio until 2008 if we do release it as a single. And the signs point to it being a radio single. Again I wanted to thank you for sending us some of the best songs we've received. -E"

As most of you know, our guiding philosophy at SongU.com is education. That's why our membership includes unlimited access to all our courses (over 70) in addition to an award-winning coaching staff for evaluations along with our pitching opportunities. If you're not a member of SongU.com, but are thinking of joining, we'd love to have you "on campus" (see details at the bottom of this newsletter for information on our new member special).

Member Successes: Gold Stars - July/August 2007
Congrats to David K. who signed a single-song contract with My Three Kids music for his song "A Day Job and a Dream" and already received his first royalty check!  Way to go Joe L. whose song, "Leave It All On The Field" is on hold for Stephen Cochran. Joe also has two holds for the upcoming Mayberry Downunder CD (Tamika Tyler/Deb Bradshaw) with his songs, "Slip Into Something Mexico" and "Have I Loved You Enough". Rock on Ed B. whose song, "Emma's Flowers" is being cut by CT Harrison and produced by Jerry Cupit. Hooray for Germain B. and Rebecca P. whose song "Here without you" (written for an SU Challenge last year) is going to be on the upcoming debut CD for Taryn Cross. A Kodak moment for Juan A. as he celebrates his first cut. A song he co-wrote with SU member and guidance counselor, Lorna F. called, "I Still Think About You" was just released on Arlene Bailey’s new CD on Crashed Records (Ireland). A standing ovation for Barb M. and Mitch T. whose song, "Soli Deo Gloria" is going to be included on the Advent Praise multimedia worship DVD project. Speaking of Mitch, his song, "You've Got A Way" caught the ears of SU faculty and producer, Gary Earl in a recent FDBK class. Gary asked for a copy of it as he thinks it's a perfect fit for a group he's producing called, "5th Oracle". The group just signed up for a 100 dates opening for known bands with a booking agency and have also been offered a label deal. Take a bow, Sue F. whose song "I Don't Think About It" was recorded by Emily Osment (Lily on the hit show "Hannah Montana". The song is going to be the title track for her new movie, "RL Stine's The Haunting Hour - Don't Think About It" which is available in stores nationwide as of Sept 4. The movie is based on the Goosebumps children's book series.

Member Successes: Spin N' Pitch Congratulates....
July and August were another couple of great months for Spin N' Pitch as several members either received contract offers notes of interest in recording their songs. 

Congrats to the following members who received contract offers from our publisher guests in July and August:

  • Elizabeth A. "Christmas in Florida"
  • Donna A. "Change is Constant-Pop"
  • Matt D. "Green Christmas Tree"
  • Matt D. "HOW DID YOU LOVE?"
  • Bill E. "Wouldn't That Be Something"
  • Kent F. "Christmas Wouldn't Be The Same (Without You)"
  • Donna G. "Feels Like Home"
  • Rick L. "Love's Funny Like That"
  • Joe L. "Leave it All On The Field"
  • Todd K. "When I get Back From Mexico"
  • Don M. "How 'bout You"
  • Jeff M. "Dirty Job"
  • Jeff M. "Heading For The Promised Land"
  • Dan R. "I'll Tell God You Said Hi"
  • Kara S. "When I Breathe"
  • James (Jim) S. "Just A Song"
  • Mitch T. "You've Got A Way "
  • Mitch T. "Christmas Past"
  • Mitch T. "America, Honor God"

And congrats to the following members who received notes of interest in their songs from our artist/producer guests in July and August:

  • Ed B. "Emma's Flowers"
  • Anthony C. "Friday Night"
  • David C. "Hot Rod Tractor"
  • Matt D. "Another You"
  • Rebecca H. "BOXING GLOVES"
  • Steve H. "Don't Miss Saturday Night"
  • Ryan H. "Georgia Genetics (Best of Song U)"
  • Rick L. "Dover (Exit Sign)"
  • Andreas L. "Down South"
  • Peter N. "Throw Me Something Spicy"
  • James O. "You've Given Me A Hand"
  • Mark P. "He Made a Man out of Me"
  • Stuart R. "Knee Deep in Clover"
  • Gary S. "Down to Mexico"
  • Mike T. "Hellbent on Havin' Fun "
  • Ed W. "Drinking 101"

September "Back To School" Special - This Week Only!
Come see how far you can go with your writing. This week only, you can sign up as a Platinum Member at SongU.com and choose quarterly billing and you'll receive your first three months for just $50 (regularly $75). You'll get all the benefits of Platinum Membership, including access to all our courses, co-writing and pitching opportunities. And as a special bonus offer, you'll also receive a licensed version of Virtual Studio Systems Lyricist Software (a $50 value itself). 

Just use redemption code
GOLDSTAR when signing up as a new quarterly member at www.SongU.com. This offer is limited to the first 15 people who respond, so hurry!

Hope to see you "on campus" sometime soon ;-)

Best wishes,

Sara Light
Courses, Coaching, Connections

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