CAN THE MEDIA SAVE ARTIE WAYNE?
October 21, 2011
WHEN I READ THAT MICHAEL JACKSON’S ESTATE EARNED $315 MILLION DOLLARS SINCE MICHAEL PASSED AWAY TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO, I KNEW THAT SOMETHING WAS WRONG. I HAVE TWO SONGS, “TOUCH THE ONE YOU LOVE” AND “LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE”, BOTH CO-WRITTEN WITH GEORGE CLINTON, JR., THAT WERE IN FOUR POSTHUMOUS RELEASES…THAT EARNED ME LESS THAN $3OOO.OO IN THE SAME PERIOD OF TIME.
IN FACT, THE LAST QUARTER I DIDN’T EARN A PENNY! WHEN I WROTE ABOUT IT, I WAS CONTACTED BY DAWN LEE WAKEFIELD FROM THE NATIONAL EXAMINER WHO IS HELPING ME NOW TO FIND JUSTICE!
DAWN WROTE, “Reading the Artie Wayne biography, ‘I Did it for a Song,’ readers are moved, nay compelled, to ask themselves two basic questions.
Question 1: Can nice guys finish first in business? Answer: Which business? Response: The Music business.
Question 2: Which nice guy? Answer: Artie Wayne. Response: The answer is up to you, the reader to decide.
Do you know Artie Wayne? If you love rock and roll music, chances are good you’ve heard his name at some point in the last 50 years. And it could be for a number of reasons. Among other things, Wayne is a singer, songwriter, demo guy, promoter, producer, record label executive, nurturer of creativity, messenger of great ideas, and more. He’s more than a Renaissance guy. He’s a futurist, in the best sense of the word.
Most importantly, Wayne’s best skill is having been, and still being ‘the man in the middle’ of some of the best music ever to go from ‘how about this?’ to ‘vinyl is final’ stages. And as Wayne says, ‘he did it for a song.’
Or, you have read it if you’re one of those types to check in often on blogs such as ‘The Pop Culture Addict,’ ‘Forgotten Hits,’ or even ‘Artie Wayne on the Web.’ If so, then you probably scout out treasures on eBay, you have alerts set to find a copy of a song or album that means the world to you. We know you.
You’re also the music lover who reads liner notes and knows the name of the recording studio, the recording engineer, arranger, composer, publisher and who played bass on those Billboard chart hits across the country for the past 50 years, a period in which the genre of rock and roll rose, soared, and crested into the genre we now enjoy as “classic rock music.”
In a Perfect World
In a perfect world, the music industry is an assortment of vibrant personalities, creative talents, unique business and music skills and opportunities to bring all these factors together. When combined, bright people of like minds and commensurate talents find each other, join forces and create great musical works.
Creating a music product that is known and appreciated from Middletown, CT to San Jacinto, CA is usually done for the sheer joy of creation. That’s in a perfect world. But inevitably external variables creep into the equation, introducing imperfections and exceptions, advance sales, chart positions, units moved, power rotations, remainders, returns, pre-orders, gold and platinum certification, the Grammy Awards and who will be nominated for the controversial, dubious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
So, who is Artie Wayne? He’s a man who lives in that perfect world, believes in the basic goodness of others, and has trusted more than a few people to do the right thing by him, particularly when they said that they would in the first place. During his career, within the upper echelon of the music business, he’s found some of the faith and trust he’s placed in others to be well worth his time.
Others have disappointed him in large measure, but he doesn’t absorb the negative energy of their misdeeds. Instead, he figures it’s just a matter of time before they do right by him. A do-right man, as the song goes.
Artie actually entered this world as Wayne Kent, a great name on two levels. One, it’s strong, to the point, and sounds like a guy who’d grow up to be an executive, doesn’t it? Two, it’s gently amusing that both names comprise portions of the alter egos of two cartoon heroes whom people are always counting on to rescue them and in fact, save the world.
Batman, as you know, was Gotham City millionaire Bruce Wayne by day; and Superman, of course, was mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, he of the Daily Planet. Put them together and you have Wayne Kent. I doubt he ever once thought about that, yet the longer you visit with Artie Wayne, and the more you learn of his amazing abilities to make others’ dreams come true, as he introduces the world to yet undiscovered talents, the more likely you are to search him for a cape and a mask.
Just Call Him Artie
The name switch came from his being bright enough to use his real name, Wayne Kent, for songs he’d written for ASCAP publishing. His pseudonym for BMI songs was Art Wayne. It was not all that unusual back in the day to have a show biz stage name if you didn’t like the name your parents gave you. But he was savvy enough, early on, to know that he could be in both publishing organizations with a little panache and an extra non de plume. His friend and colleague, Ed Silvers, began calling him ‘Artie,’ and hence, ‘Artie Wayne’ became the bon vivant of the music business. He has not let go of the spotlight yet. He owns it. It belongs to him. That, and a few other things are due him.
How and where he’d get into the music business was never a worry. Artie seemed to have a sixth sense and proclivity for being in the right place at the right time. As a young songwriter working on future hits with a great friend, Ben Raleigh, Artie’s natural confidence and magnetic personality took them far up the ranks in short measure, all because of a positive attitude he still has to this very day. It started with Bo Diddley and Bobby Darin.
Going into Bo Diddley’s backstage dressing room before his appearance on Alan Freed’s TV show, ‘The Big Beat,’ Artie was just hoping for an autograph. Instead, Bo showed him how to get his famous ‘Hey, Bo Diddley’ riff, even tuning Artie’s guitar to an open E-chord for him. The lesson ended when (get this) Jimmy Clanton, Jackie Wilson, and Bobby Darin come through the door, interrupting the lesson to play Diddley a test pressing of Bobby’s song, ‘Dream Lover.’
Incredible Breaks, Breaking Records
Wayne and Darin became good friends, with much in common as two Bronx boys who loved music. Darin encouraged Artie in his songwriting and is responsible for not only starting Artie’s career as a songwriter, he kept it from ending. Artie shared with Darin his excitement, as he was about to sign a management contract with Alan Freed. Darin knew something that Artie (and most of the rest of America) didn’t, that Freed’s house of cards was soon about to come down with the revelation of the payola scam. Darin suggested to Artie that he go see a publishing friend of his who was officing at 1650 Broadway.
What an incredible break that was. Turned out the company was Aldon Music, and the friend was Don Kirschner. And thus began Wayne’s career. His book of 70 chapters is chock full of star-studded stories like this but the funny thing is, Artie doesn’t think of himself as a star and perhaps he’s not. He’s actually a starmaker. He perceives himself to be a regular guy, born under a lucky star, and never does seem to be affected by all the glitz and glamour that were once a part of his daily life.
Without giving the whole story away, Artie’s career went from songwriter/singer, to demo man, to producer, to (with partner Kelli Ross) running Quincy Jones’ New York publishing companies. And he didn’t stop there. At the pinnacle of his career with Warner Brothers Music, his title was General Professional Manager, and Director of Creative Services.
He ran the ‘New York, Nashville and L.A. offices out of Hollywood,’ and represented the ‘songs of Badfinger, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, the Faces, 5th Dimension, the Kinks, George Clinton, Gordon Lightfoot, Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Graham Nash, Randy Newman, J.D.Souther, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian, Sly and the Family Stone, Carly Simon, Jimmy Webb, Allan Toussaint, Donny Hathaway, Neil Young, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Dick and Don Addrisi.’ He was the chief ringleader of a group of brash boys of bravado, ‘The Warner Raiders’, seven stalwart songpluggers whose mission was to know every single song in their catalog and find artists and producers to record them. Their successes were legendary.”
Continue reading on Examiner.com Artie Wayne vs. the music industry: Can a nice guy finish first? – National classic rock music | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/classic-rock-music-in-national/artie-wayne-vs-the-music-industry-can-a-nice-guy-finish-first#ixzz1bMflfsIYmusic-industry-can-a-nice-guy-finish-first#ixzz1bME2zPo7
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