I’VE GOTCHA’ COVERED!
November 9, 2011
When I was a song plugger back in the ‘60s for Warner Brothers Music, in addition to getting new songs recorded by the hottest artists on the charts, we had to get songs from our catalog cut as well as songs from current films to help promote the movie every time it was played on the radio.
I remember the Warner Raiders (which I nicknamed my professional staff) got over 100 cover records on “The Summer Knows- theme from “Summer of ‘42”, in a three month period, which earned us a lot respect. We also had unexpected hits from the catalog when I updated songs like “You’re 16” for Ringo Starr or super creative casting ideas like getting Al Green to cover, “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart”.
Today artists and managers realize that song writing and publishing royalties are sometimes the only source of income from their “Multi-Platinum” CDs, since the artist is usually charged with everything a company can get away with, including the making of million dollar videos.
When I think back, I remember hearing stories about Beatle manager, Brian Epstein sitting down with Lennon and McCartney and forcing them to write more original songs for economic reasons…Andrew Loog Oldham convinced Jagger and Richards to do the same, which changed the musical direction of two of the greatest “cover” groups of all time!
And speaking of covers, I was there with “Papa” Joe Jackson, the day that Michael and the Jackson 5 left Motown. They were weary of being forced to do “covers” on their albums and “other peoples songs” on their singles. I was able to help Joe get a $25,000 dollar advance, within 48 hours for their sub-publishing around from Freddie Bienstock, for world rights to songs that were yet to be written by unproven writers (Michael, Randy, and Jackie). The deal ultimately included “Beat it” and most of the compositions on the “Thriller” album!!.
Okay…Okay, The world’s a better place because of these self-generating artists…but how many artists
today are capable of really writing “Great” songs all the time? I’d be happy as a music lover and consumer to have a couple of familiar songs on every CD that I buy. Maybe even one I could sing along with.
I’d like to hear Bruno Mars sing, “Wonderful, Wonderful”, Katy Perry do “MacArthur Park”, Bono and Mary J. Blige kill, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” for starters.
WHAT SONG FROM THE PAST WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR REMADE TODAY AND BY WHOM? (YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR SUGGESTIONS AND COMMENTS BELOW THE ARTICLE)
Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/
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