COUNTRY NOTES

The NSAI bulletin for the Los Angeles area Workshop

July-August, 1998


Back to Seth Jackson's Songwriting and Music Business Page.

by Seth Jackson

With most of us busy with day jobs to support ourselves and families, it’s easy to view songwriting as a dream that we hope to realize some time in the distant future. But hearing our songs on the radio will remain forever a dream unless we take our songwriting careers seriously.

Making time to write songs and to attend the local NSAI workshop is a good way to set the foundation for success. There’s no substitute for learning how to write great songs.

Moving to the next level involves thinking and acting like a professional. The importance of professionalism may seem less obvious in the music business than it does in the “real world”. Creative people in show business are easily tempted by the myth that all we have to do is be talented enough, and the rest will just happen. But it just doesn’t work that way.

Professionals make it their business to understand the fundamentals of their industries. They know what’s going on inside their industry as well as important external events that affect it.

In April, the AACO hosted a historic International Performing Rights seminar where guests from SACEM, the French society, presented information on overseas royalty collection.  The event was very informative, but as I looked around the room, I didn’t see any of our workshop members in attendance. Overseas royalty collections may not seem to affect us now, but as professionals, we need to understand where the money comes from and what we can do to make sure that we get our fair share when it’s our turn.

If we’re serious about making a living from songwriting, we should make it our business to know about political issues like the music licensing legislation in Congress that threatens to cut songwriter income by 20% (see the April/May edition of Country Notes). It would be catastrophic to put in years of hard work only to find that when the hits start coming, we can’t make a decent living from them.  Restaurant owners are serious about lobbying their representatives in Washington, so we need to be, too.

Do you know the names of the top writers, publishers, and producers on the charts?  Rest assured that the pros getting cuts in Nashville know. We can know, by reading trade publications like Billboard, Music Connection, and Music Row Magazine. A subscription to Music Row costs only $80/year. Billboard is available at the library.

Knowing the long odds we face in the music business, we may be afraid to take our songwriting careers too seriously. But if we don’t take ourselves seriously, how can we expect anyone else to?


Back to Table of Contents.
Back to Seth Jackson's Songwriting and Music Business Page.

July-August '98 Workshop Schedule

Workshop Location
Unless otherwise noted, workshops are held from 4-7p.m. at Musician's Institute, 1655 McCadden Place, just off Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. Admission is free for NSAI members and NAS members, $10 for non-members. For more information, call Bev Nelson at (714) 733-2717 or email Seth Jackson at webmaster.hitmeister@mindspring.com. 
Back to Table of Contents. 
Back to Seth Jackson's Songwriting and Music Business Page.

Member News

John LeGrande and Cathy Carlson had their song “Girls Will Be Girls” recorded on a CD by the Black River Girls.  The song appeared in a nationwide broadcast of the hit TV show “All My Children”.
 

Anna Marie Nicosia will perform at the Orange County Fair on July 14, 15, 21, and 25.  She’s scheduled for 2:00 and 4:00pm shows at Flower Bldg. on the 15, 3:00 and 5:00pm shows at the Youth Bldg. on the 15th,  3:00 and 5:00pm shows at the Visual Arts Bldg. on the 21st, and a 6:00pm show at the Youth Bldg. on the 25th. She has plans to record a 6-song CD prior to the fair.


Back to Table of Contents. 
Back to Seth Jackson's Songwriting and Music Business Page.


Los Angeles Area NSAI Members - DO YOU HAVE:

Let us know, so we can tell the world what you're up to! Submit to Country Notes by sending e-mail to webmaster.hitmeister@mindspring.com. Submissions must be received by 12:00 noon on the 15th of each month for the following month's issue.

Items will be printed subject to space and editorial limitations. 


Back to Table of Contents. 
Back to Seth Jackson's Songwriting and Music Business Page.
 
 

NSAI LOS ANGELES WORKSHOP VOLUNTEERS

EDITOR:
Seth Jackson
WORKSHOP COORDINATORS:
Bev Nelson
Seth Jackson
Craig Lackey
TREASURER:
Vickie Vining
EVENT COORDINATOR:
Cathy Carlson
COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Lisa Blue Fasman
Cliff Nelson

Back to Table of Contents.
Back to Seth Jackson's Songwriting and Music Business Page.