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Everything posted by Don_Krider

  1. The Nashville Songwriters Association International has full details of the legislation, which has been floating around since 2004! Those details are at: http://www.nashvillesongwriters.com/news..._key=1143297575 The bill is H.R. 2594 in the U. S. House of Representatives (introduced by Rep. Ron Lewis, R-Ky.) and the bill is S. 1100 in the U. S. Senate (introduced by baseball great and U. S. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky). It's an election year --- probably the only year elected officials actually read our cards and letters! Don
  2. Here's more evidence of how badly the music business treats it's songwriters and muscians (which I've also posted on Raspberries.net). I just think this is such an important issue that it needs attention. On Dec. 9, 2005, a group of major Kentucky songwriters wrote the most informative letter on the issue of how hard it is to make money in the music business to The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal and I'll bet you can relate to it (it knocked my socks off). One of Kentucky's congressmen (Ron Lewis, R-Ky.) is trying to pass the Songwriters Capital Gains Tax Equity Act, which the newspaper is against, so these Kentucky songwriters wrote their letter in regard to that newspaper's stance. The letter: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051209/OPINION02/512090369/1016/ARCHIVES: Songwriters object to C-J editorial Have you ever heard of us? Jerry Chestnut, James Dean Hicks, Ron Hellard, Lisa Palas, Alan Rhody, Norro Wilson or Kent Blazy? Probably not. We are all professional songwriters born in Kentucky who wrote hits such as: "I'm No Stranger to the Rain," "Jesus and Mama," "If Tomorrow Never Comes," "It's Been A Good Year for the Roses," and "The Most Beautiful Girl." Our songs have been recorded by artists ranging from Garth Brooks to Loretta Lynn to Aaron Neville. But like most songwriters, we have gone largely unnoticed. We are responding to the Dec. 1 editorial headlined "Lewis honky-tonk tax cuts." The editorial implies that the "Songwriters Capital Gains Tax Equity Act" is some sort of special-interest legislation that is undeserved. Here are the facts and what every songwriter goes through: Our profession's average annual income is below $5,000 per year. The federal government determines our maximum wage of 8.5 cents per song, per record, which we usually divide four ways with our co-writer and corporate music publisher to generally earn 2.175 cents every time a record is sold. We earn even less when a song is played on the radio and on top of all that, the federal government requires us to receive royalties immediately after collection. This means we earn virtually nothing for years, then on a successful song are thrust for one year into a tax bracket for rich people! No other authors in America are under these federal restrictions. They have the power to negotiate their incomes and in many instances average them through contracts for tax purposes! Every day our work is being stolen -- 30 billion times in 2004 -- on the Internet. We have no company health insurance, pension or other benefits. Two-thirds of all American professional songwriters have lost their jobs in the last decade. If you are one of the lucky few to write some hits, you can propose a joint-venture business partnership with a corporate music publisher. You will pay at least half of all the costs of getting your song ready to market. Demos run around $1,000 each, and if one out of 10 of those songs gets picked up by an artist, you're doing great, so you should demo a lot of them. Like some, you might want to lease your own office, build a studio in your home and hire someone to hit the streets to get those songs heard. You'll have to pay promotion costs to radio to get the song heard if one gets recorded. After writing hundreds of songs and working for years to build your publishing company with your corporate partner, you each both decide to sell the business. Your corporate partner pays the capital gains tax rate of 15 percent. The songwriter-publisher will pay the top tax rate, somewhere north of 35 percent. Don't forget to add in 15 percent or more self-employment tax. Rep. Ron Lewis thinks this is unfair. It is also important to note that nearly 10 percent of the entire Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, co-sponsored this important legislation -- not just one Kentucky congressman! America's very first professional songwriter, Stephen Foster, who after visiting the commonwealth as a child wrote "My Old Kentucky Home," died, literally, with 39 cents in his pocket. These lawmakers know this is valid legislation that songwriters have deserved for decades. They just want to ensure that future Stephen Fosters are treated as well as corporations. KENT BLAZY Fayette County, Ky. JERRY CHESNUT Member, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, Harlan County, Ky. RON HELLARD Woodford County, Ky. JAMES DEAN HICKS Nelson County, Ky. LISA PALAS Harrison County, Ky. ALAN RHODY Jefferson County, Ky. NORRO WILSON Allen County, Ky. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sorry for taking up so much space, but that letter needs to be preserved and I think it's an important issue. Don Krider
  3. JohnO, I love Tommy Keene's work. Eleven Thirty Records/Yep Roc sent me a promo copy of "Crashing The Ether" a couple of weeks ago for an upcoming review, and it's an amazing slice of good rock 'n' roll. It hits the streets April 4, according to the promo material. I put it in the car stereo the first day I got it and it has remained there ever since (the big beat drum sound grabbed me quickly). The songs are great --- kind of a blend of Raspberries, The Posies, The Who and The Replacements (not surprising since Tommy has toured with Paul Westerberg, as well as with Velvet Crush). Jesse Valenzuela (of The Gin Blossoms) and R. Walt Vincent (from Pete Yorn's band) appear on the album as well. I really recommend this one highly if you like classic rock/power pop. Rolling Stone called Tommy Keene "one of America's greatest, unheralded songwriters." Keene and Robert Pollard have another release due later this year as "The Keene Brothers." Raspberries connection? Check this out --- from Magnet magazine a couple of years back, artists were asked what their favorite power pop songs were --- http://www.magnetmagazine.com/interviews/powerpop2.html --- and Tommy Keene answered: -------------------------------------------------- “Play On,†Raspberries It’s the Raspberries’ “A Hard Day’s Night.†The lyrics are very “rock clichéâ€â€”“Play your hits and all the girls will comeâ€â€”but the main riff is classic, and the too-high-for-my-high-school-band-to-cover harmonies are amazing. The record it’s on, Starting Over, is the quintessential power-pop album, a perfect blend of the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Who. It was their attempt to shed their teenybopper image, and “Play On†sort of chronicles their frustration. -------------------------------------------------- Don
  4. When a guy who played on "Heartbreak Hotel" covers your song, that is cool. I always thought it was interesting, too, that The Lettermen ("Goin' Out Of My Head") cut two Raspberries songs as a medley in 1979 on their Capitol "Love Is" album --- "Don't Want To Say Goodbye"/"Let's Pretend". Don
  5. My favorite Raspberries fade out is at the end of "Let's Pretend" as it appeared on the "Fresh" album --- I always cranked Eric's voice up to hear that part (I've heard "Let's Pretend" on other Raspberries releases where the fade out has been edited out, which drives me nuts). Don
  6. Thanks, you all (we say "you all" in Kentucky a lot). Like an editor at Scripps-Howard Newspapers told me years ago, "When I'm standing up and the copy hits the floor, the story is too long!," but some stories do deserve more words than others. Kudos to the authors and Gene for a fantastic book. Don ...now awaiting "The Collected Works Of Bernie Hogya And Ken Sharp" for review...
  7. Steve Tyler of Aerosmith will undergo surgery this week, so the Aerosmith-Cheap Trick tour has been cancelled. According to news reports, the surgery will keep Steve from singing for two or three months, so Aerosmith has put its tour and recording plans on hold. Reuters is reporting today that the surgery is on Steve's throat, while the Associated Press said yesterday the surgery is for "an undislosed medical condition." Reuters: http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticl...EROSMITH-DC.XML AP: http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/entertainment/article.adp?id=20060321233009990007&cid= I knew something was up when Aerosmith and Cheap Trick cancelled their Lexington, Ky., Rupp Arena appearance the first week of March (my son and I were pretty disappointed). Apparently they cancelled 20 dates on this tour. I hope everything turns out well for Steve, he seems like a great guy. He's one of the great voices of rock 'n' roll in my opinion. He turns 58 this coming Sunday, according to the news reports. On a more positive note, I'm looking forward to Cheap Trick's new "Rockford" CD on June 6. Don
  8. I've often wondered what the scene in Raspberriesland was like when the news came in that Jim Bonfanti was named "The Foxiest Raspberry" in that Star magazine poll --- I bet there was some gentle "razzing" going on amid the calls for a recount of the ballots? What a great moment that must have been for Jim. Don ;-)
  9. Ron, My thoughts exactly! Bernie, You have one --- the car or the kit? Paulie, Then we must find that car! Don ;-)
  10. Anybody ever see the Barris model kit for a similar Rolls/VW --- http://www.showrods.com/showrod_pages/kustom_rollsvw.html Don
  11. I've seen photos of the Raspberries Rollswagen that was given away by Capitol Records in 1973 before, but I don't remember ever seeing a color photo of it --- found this online: http://www.showrods.com/kustom_cars_1/raspberries_sticker.html Pages 129 to 133 of Bernie and Ken's "Marathon Man" tell the car's story pretty well --- but I'd love to know what all the guys said when they learned Jim Bonfanti had been named "Foxiest Raspberry" in that contest by the voters in Star magazine (love to know the experiences of the car winner as they drove that car around town with its collection of 8-track tapes, too). Since George Barris created two of the cars (one for the Capitol giveaway), I wonder what became of the second one that he took around to car shows, according to the book. Don ...now wondering if Bernie doesn't have the second car and plans on auctioning it in the next "garage sale" on Ebay...
  12. Jill's website: http://www.jillkossoris.com/vintage.html
  13. Try this link: http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/reviews/live_review_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002155970
  14. For anyone interested, I just posted a new Billboard magazine review of The Choir reunion concerts in the Cruisin' Music section of this board (mentions Eric attending the two concerts). The internal EricCarmen.Com link is: http://www.ericcarmen.com/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=000123 Sorry for the thread interruption here. I noticed all The Choir threads had moved to the Cruisin' Music section, so I posted the new Billboard article there as well. Don
  15. From Billboard magazine (it mentions Eric attending the two reunion gigs, but I guess this is the section where Choir items should be posted): http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/reviews/live_review_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002155970: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ March 09, 2006, Long Gone Choir Returns For Hometown Gigs Carlo Wolff, Cleveland Nostalgia was a winner when the Choir sold out this Cleveland venue on March 4, drawing fans who used to see the storied band in the late '60s at National Guard armory shows, teen dances and early Who and late Yardbirds concerts. The weekend dates were a dandy way to mark the sixth anniversary of the comfortable Beachland, a club with great personality, a great jukebox and a commendable, well-deserved reputation for presenting original, vernacular pop. Power drummer Jim Bonfanti, versatile guitarist/vocalist Dave Smalley and mighty guitarist Wally Bryson joined Eric Carmen in the Raspberries in 1970, putting an end to the Choir, a band from the city of Mentor east of Cleveland. The Choir scored a local smash in spring 1967 with "It's Cold Outside," a plaintive slice of British Invasion-styled pop written by then-drummer/current rhythm guitarist Dan Klawon. The band evolved from the Mods, which Klawon launched in 1964. This reunion was spurred by a Raspberries reunion in 2004. The few dates the Raspberries mounted in 2005 did well commercially and critically, prompting calls for the Choir's sole hit. This gathering, the first time several of these musicians had played together in 17 years, was the response (Carmen attended both shows but didn't perform). The hour-long set was largely a replica of Mods/Choir dates from the middle and late '60s. The frontman was Smalley, who turned in sweet versions of the Byrds' "Feel a Whole Lot Better," Billy J. Kramer's "Bad to Me" and a winningly handled special request for Gerry and the Pacemakers' treacly "Ferry Across the Mersey." Bryson, a dazzling guitarist with an achingly sweet lyrical sense, handled the tougher, Stones-styled tunes, like "It's All Over Now" and "We Got a Good Thing Going." The surprise was relative newcomer Kenny Margolis, a keyboard player who joined the Choir after the success of "It's Cold." Although his voice was weak on the Animals' "We Gotta Get Outta This Place," he hit his stride on the Zombies' "Tell Her No" and nailed it on "Gimme Some Lovin'." Everybody got his props. Dave "Squire" Burke, the wiry bassist whose earthy, jazzy style makes "It's Cold" so memorable, anchored strong takes of the Who's "The Kids Are All Right" and "Good Thing" and offset Margolis' inspired vocals on "Gimme Some Lovin'" with resonant, standup bass. Klawon, too, shone on harmonica on several tunes and delivered a warm, sexy vocal on "Save the Last Dance for Me," referencing both the Drifters' original and the Searchers' take he likes so much. Above all, the night was about fun, as Mods and Choir shows were way back when Lake and Cuyahoga counties were awakening to the British Invasion. Grounded in the sounds of the Byrds, the Searchers, the Beau Brummels and above all, the Beatles, the Choir was one of innumerable bands eager to put their own stamp on pop. The opening acts were good, too. The Es Shades, a quartet from the Ashland area of north-central Ohio, did a gang of Animals and Chuck Berry tunes and a few originals. Sparked by the gruff vocals of Mark Lance and the pyrotechnic guitar of Cathy Fissell (just imagine a female lead guitarist in a rock band in 1965), they got the crowd moving, setting the tone for the Alarm Clocks, a Parma band working a similarly dated repertoire. Like the Es Shades, the Alarm Clocks did Animals, Stones and Berry, along with "No Reason To Complain," a raw original that has made them a minor garage-band legend. Mike Pierce was an odd, commanding presence, a vocalist so visceral and insistent he transcended his material. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Since these things sometimes don't stay online for long, I thought I'd post the article with the link. There's a nice shot of The Choir (as they look today) in a photo with the article at Billboard's website. Don
  16. Guess I should mention that in 1969 "Good Morning Starshine" peaked at #3 and "Jean" reached #2 (for two weeks). Don
  17. Oliver's fascinating --- both "Good Morning Starshine" and "Jean" went Top 10 in 1969, "Jean" went gold, and he had a third Top 40 hit in 1969 with "Sunday Mornin'." Billboard's 1969 Year-End issue had "Good Morning Starshine" and "Jean" as two of the year's biggest hits. Then the following year he peaked at #97 with "Angelica" and that was his final chart hit (the fourth of four Hot 100 singles). I've got copies of the "Prism" album (two LPs and an 8-track tape) with Eric's "Light The Way" (published by Magic Raspberries Publishing; interesting story on that company in Bernie and Ken's "Marathon Man" book, pages 65-66) on it. Oliver also covered a song by another young kid on the block, Elton John's "Your Song," on that album. Oliver charted with two albums - "Good Morning Starshine" at #19 in 1969 and "Oliver Again" at #71 in 1971, but unfortunately, "Prisms" didn't chart (despite me buying three copies - LOL!). Don
  18. Trindy, I suppose Floyd Cramer's version of "Let's Pretend" might be called "countryesque." It's a very pretty version and the only recorded instrumental version I'm aware of. I've tried to find a clip on the internet to post here, but no luck (since Floyd died in 1997, I guess there's no official website for him, unfortunately). Getting off the subject, but one of these days, I just hope Eric Carmen sits down at a piano all by himself and cuts an album of his tunes with just himself as a vocalist playing the piano. It could be a simple, inexpensive package, pretty much done live, with some sheet music reproduced inside. I think that would be something special just for the fans (whether most critics will like it, who cares?) - but something like that will please the fans, and I think it has a broader appeal to music teachers, piano students, and others. The big selling point is that it wouldn't be very expensive to make, wouldn't need a lot of production, and could be very profitable for a major record company to release. I personally think such an album would work, even in today's market. Again, off of my own topic here, but I've always wondered if Eric couldn't have a hit with a newer version of "Let's Pretend" with a mix of the original version and a newer, more modern piano ballad version --- that concept worked pretty well for Neil Sedaka when he took his 1962 #1 hit "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" and redid it in 1975-76 for a #8 hit. It would be the kind of deal that slaps a radio listener with the old version ("I remember that song; I loved that song") and then blows the listener away with an alternate, slow, even more romantic version of the tune. I also think Raspberries 1975 (it was probably recorded in 1974, but it aired in sundication in March and August of 1975) "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" medley of "Let's Pretend"(Eric singing the tune as a slow ballad while playing it on a synthesizer)/"Starting Over" should have been recorded --- that live version itself would have been a monster hit single in 1975; I've played that version for Radiohead and Coldplay fans in recent years (since my son's friends are college musicians) and I always get comments of "Wow!" from them, so I think it could still have chart potential, too. I know, Raspberries have a chart hit now? Some might say that's not possible, but look at the people who didn't believe Raspberries and The Choir could still sell out concerts all these years later! Don
  19. Steve, I'm also a fan of that tune --- Eric has that "country sound" down on the demo and the chorus is wonderfully catchy. He and Seth Swirsky ( ) did a great job on that one (I always thought Eric could have another country hit *himself* with that one, or it might be perfect for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw as a duet). If anybody hasn't heard it, Seth has the demo on his website and you can hear it here: --- I truly love it! (And the picture of Eric is cool, too.) Might be worth shopping to Faith and Tim, Terri Clark or Martina McBride (I'm starting to realize that I've been listening to more country music than I thought I did)... Don
  20. Cool comments, Eric. I've got that Floyd Cramer LP ("Class Of 73") with "Let's Pretend" and I think it's pretty cool that he chose to cover "Let's Pretend." Loved your comments on Nashville, too. For the folks wondering who Floyd Cramer is and why it's cool that he covered "Let's Pretend", a few quick comments. Floyd Cramer and Chet Atkins are often credited with creating "The Nashville Sound" back in the 1950s. Cramer was the "house pianist" at RCA Records. I imagine Elvis Presley fans are well aware of Cramer's session work on many of Presley's songs, including "Heartbreak Hotel." He also had three Top 10 instrumentals of his own in 1960 with "Last Date" (#2 for four weeks), "On The Rebound" (#4) and "San Antonio Rose" (#8). From 1964 to 1974, he released his "Class Of..." albums featuring his instrumental covers of what he considered to be the best songs from that year's crop of hits. So when Floyd Cramer covered your song, it really was something to be very proud of. If anyone is interested, there's a neat bio of Floyd at http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/bio/0,,418317,00.html#bio . Don
  21. Artful Dodger should have had hits --- I love the tunes and *I* like the lead singer's "screeching," too. Those first two Artful Dodger albums are fantastic. Wish I could see the reunion show, but my kid sister is having her first child around April 8th, if not sooner, so I'm staying close to home as a good uncle-to-be should. Don
  22. A couple of old Donna Fargo albums were released as a 2-for-1 priced CD on Collectables Records in February of 2006, "Shame On You" and "Fargo." That's the label that put out the inexpensive Eric Carmen "All By Myself" collection a couple of years ago (with the color "Hungry Eyes" video cover shot). The Eric Carmen connection is on Donna's 1980 album, "Fargo," which contains her cover of Eric's "Change Of Heart". There's a short clip of her cover of "Change Of Heart" at: http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/7016696/a/Shame+On+Me+%2F+Fargo.htm Though Donna Fargo is best-known as a country star, she had some big pop hits back in 1972 with "Happiest Girl In The Whole USA" (#11) and "Funny Face" (#5), and she had a syndicated TV series in the late 70s that was produced by The Osmonds. The CD is available from various sources (she's selling autographed copies on her website at http://www.donnafargo.com/index2.html ). It's also listed at Amazon.Com, among other sites. Just wondering how she came to record "Change Of Heart" (for that matter, I'm wondering how "Dukes Of Hazard" star John Schneider came to record Eric's "Sleep With Me" as the retitled "Stay With Me" in 1981 on his "Now Or Never" LP). I find it kind of interesting to see the number of country stars who are Eric Carmen fans (Louise Mandrell is obvious, but you've also got Hank Williams Jr.'s cover of "All By Myself"). I often think that 70s pop music can now be found on the country charts. I'd love to hear Faith Hill cover "I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips" (actually, I imagine she could sing any of Eric's ballads quite well)... Don
  23. I voted and I hope you'll let us know how the voting goes. Don
  24. Billy, I loved that earlier post, and I hope you get your Beatle gig one day. Paul, I'm just glad so many of my favorite musicians are still around and still connecting with the fans. I'll forever wish I had seen John Lennon, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley on stage when they were around. Don
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