Come On Down To Coverville!

February 3, 2007

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I was bitching to Joe Klein of Podcast voice guys, about how few cover records I’ve gotten on my songs in recent years, and he told me about Brian Ibbott, the creator and host of COVERVILLE, who has one of the hottest podcasts around, with 40,000 subscribers, who ONLY plays cover records!

I’ve always been proud of the multi-million selling cover records I’ve been involved with over the years, which include “You’re 16″ which I gave to Ringo Starr, “Rock And Roll Heaven” by the Righteous Brothers, and “Daydreamer” by David Cassidy. So needless to say, as a songwriter/ publisher who’s still running hot and heavy in the street, this program is very inspiring to me! As well as providing information on who’s doing cover records these days, I was surprised how many new versions of my favorite songs from the the 60′s to the present are spotlighted on the show. I heard covers of Elvis Presley songs I’d never heard before by the Pet Shop Boys, Cheap Trick, John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen. There were covers of Beach Boy songs by the Troggs, Elvis Costello, and the Brian Setzer Orchestra, John Lennon songs done by Eva Cassidy, Dream Academy and Roxy Music. Surprising covers of James Brown songs from The Who and Concrete Blonde. Even artists like Metallica, and Pink Floyd, had covers as well as hundreds of others!

COVERVILLE was the first place I heard Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line”, recorded by Fuel…whose arrangement was at the center of a controversy on “American Idol” last year. Chris Daughtry, a finalist in the competition, who currently has the number one album on the Billboard charts, performed Fuel’s version without crediting them for the arrangement. What The Fuck! When has anybody ever credited anybody for doing their arrangement on TV?

Before I got all worked up about it…I thought wait a second, all this controversy is over a cover? Maybe doing somebody else’s song is cool again?

It’s been a bitch trying to get a song recorded by a group who writes their own material, since artists and managers have long realized that song writing and publishing royalties are sometimes the only source of income from their”Multi-Platinum” CDs. Remember, the poor artist is usually charged with everything a company can get away including outrageous studio costs, touring expenses, promotion, and the making of million dollar videos!

I remember hearing stories about Beatle manager, Brian Epstein, sitting down with John Lennon and Paul McCartney and forcing them to start writing more original songs for economic reasons. I heard that Andrew Loog Oldham, The Rolling Stones manager, convinced Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to do the same, which changed the musical direction of two of the greatest “cover” groups of all time!

I was there with “Papa” Joe Jackson, the day that Michael and the Jackson 5 escaped from Motown, 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 the world based on songs that were yet to be written by unproven writers.The deal ultimately included “Beat it”, “Billy Jean” and most of the compositions on the 65 million selling,”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 today? I asked Brian Ibbott, why do cover records seem to be coming back?

“I think because the reasons people cover songs have broadened. It used to be a purely financial decision to cover a song, but these days, many do it because it’s an honor, and a tribute to a band that helped shape their own music. At least, in an ideal world, that would be the most prominent reason.”

“Brian, you seem very committed to your podcasts and to cover records?”

“Second to my family, Coverville has turned out to be the joy of my life. I look forward to new episodes, email feedback from listeners, and the music they introduce me to. I can’t imagine what I’d be doing, if it weren’t for the show!”

Personally, I’d be happy as a music lover and consumer to have a couple of familiar songs, I could sing along with, on every CD that I buy. Am I wrong? Wouldn’t all of you like to hear more of your favorite songs performed by more of your favorite artists?

Copyright by Artie Wayne 2007

Check out Brian Ibbot’s “Coverville”, he’s got an archive of over 250 podcasts you can download. Hear what all the buzz is about! http://coverville.com

For Artie Wayne’s website and complete discography http://artiewayne.com

To see Sebastian Prooth’s inspiring video of Alan O’Day’s brilliant update of he and the late Johnny Stevenson’s classic, “Rock and Roll Heaven” http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/rock-and-roll-heaven/

For Joe Klein http://podcastvoiceguys.com

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All in one place…Top 10 You Tube vids, Top Viral Videos Of All Time, Justin, Mary J., Rihanna, U2, Best Rock Archives, Viral vids, Top art museums, best websites What do a couple of cats know about videos and websites? Let’s find out!

BEST MUSIC ARCHIVES

I wanted to locate a video I’d seen on MTV of the group OK GO performing, “Here It Goes Again”. They do imaginative, synchronized moves on four moving treadmills, filmed by a single camera in one continuous shot! You can imagine how I felt when I discovered the FatAdam.Com’s collection of ” The Top Ten Viewed You Tube Videos Of All TIme”. Not only did I find the video I wanted, I found the Token’s “Lion Sleeps Tonight”, performed by a CGI Hippo and dog, Plus eight other internet smashes I’d never seen before!
http://www.fatadam.com/2006/12/03/top-10-viewed-youtube-videos-of-all-time/

IFILM.Com never ceases to amaze me with it’s constantly updated coming attractions, previews and Viral Videos! http://www.ifilm.com/

Top Viral Videos Of All Time!…The title says it all! http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15958470/

Then I found some incredible videos on my Spectropop pal, Laura Pinto’s website!
“In 2001, A&E’s Biography presented a fantastic documentary called ‘Hitmakers: The Teens Who Stole Pop Music.’ This documentary, which is available on home video under the name ‘Songmakers,’ covers the work of the gifted composers and producers from the Brill Building era, early 50′s to late 60′s. Biography launched the weeklong series with a 90-minute special featuring a wealth of historical information, archival photos and footage, and interviews with dozens of singers, songwriters, producers and insiders – among them, Carole King/Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller, Neil Sedaka, Jack Keller, Don Kirshner, Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, George “Shadow” Morton, Mary Weiss, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Steve Lawrence, Shirley Alston Reeves, and so many more including a 1991 interview with the late Doc Pomus. Recently, the Hitmakers special was added to the popular video site YouTube in nine parts, approximately 10 minutes in length each. Being a huge fan of the Brill Building music in general and Jeff Barry in particular, I wasted no time in posting all nine videos to my Oldies Connection MySpace blog. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!” http://blog.myspace.com/oldiesconnection

Spectropop… One of the main reasons I joined Spectropop, was the appreciation, by its members, of the well-crafted Pop song, the kind that dominated the Top 40 charts in the 1960s. The site is full of information and entertainment that has brought me back dozens of times this year! I personally want to thank “Spectrotopper”Mick Patrick for helping to create and maintain one of the best music sites on the web.
http://spectropop.com

Wolfgangs Vault…Bill Graham, the unequaled concert promoter and humanitarian, who died in a helicopter crash in 1991, has left quite a legacy. Not only did he loom larger than life in the careers of the Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Janis Joplin, ad pop infinitum, he was astute enough to extensively document most of the acts that performed concerts along the way.

Bill was always nice to me and let me and my pals in backstage to watch his shows from the wings…even though he knew I was there to probably pitch a song or impress some girl. I can’t tell you how surprised…and happy I was to see a segment about him on the CBS Network show “Sunday Morning”, that spotlighted his vast collection of memorabalia that includes millions of posters, unused concert tickets, photos, high quality audio and videos from concerts at the Filmore West and Filmore East.

http://wolfgangsvault.com/

Coverville…Creator and host, Brian Ibbott, is one of the most consistant podcasters around. His twice weekly show spotlights new covers of older songs, that never cease to amaze me! This week is his 277 th show (all of which are downloadable), which features the official 2006 Coverville Countdown!
http://coverville.com

BEST INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

The Smoking Gun…One of my faves! “The Smoking Gun brings you exclusive documents–cool, confidential, quirky–that can’t be found elsewhere on the Web. Using material obtained from government and law enforcement sources, via Freedom of Information requests, and court files nationwide, everything here is 100% authentic.” http://www.thesmokinggun.com/about.html

TMZ…Harvey Levin and pals seem to get the scoop on celebrity mis-behavior, and is quoted often as a source on news and entertainment shows.
http://tmz.com

BEST MUSIC VIDEOS

I grew up with top 40 music listening to Pop, R&B and Country side by side. Today to get that kind of diversity is impossible, so now I must get my music from 4 different sources.

MTV…The pioneer in pop videos where you can see videos on line! The best artists to watch, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, JoJo, The Killers, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, All American Rejects, Cold Play, Black Eyed Peas and Jay-Z http://www.mtv.com/ Here’s Justin Timberlake and, “Sexy Back” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgtmETjMT7Y

VH1…Check out…James Blunt, John Mayer, John Legend, Nelly Furtado, Pussycat Dolls, Shakira, Ne-yo, Riianna, Mary J. Blige, Green Day, Danity Kane, and the Fray http://www.vh1.com/ Here’s one of my personal favorites…Rihanna, “Unfaithful” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1154844957034870481&q=rianna+unfaithful+video&hl=en

BET…The Black Entertainment network A bit rap heavy, but diverse within the Genre. This is the place where artists break out! Chris Brown, Timbaland, Ludacris, Mary J. Blige, Emenem, 50 Cents, TI, R.Kelly, Fat Joe, Jaimie Fox and Kanye West.
http://www.bet.com/ Here’s the Artist of the Year, Mary J. Blige and “One” featuring U2 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3297419603290460058&q=Mary+J.+Blige+videos&hl=en

CMT…Country Music Television plays the best country videos. Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Allison Krauss, Sugarland, and Shania Twain. http://www.cmt.com/ My favorite of the year, Carrie Underwood, “Before He Cheats” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbvZlfTulYc

BEST ART MUSEUM WEBSITES

The Louvre in Paris…Still one of my favorite museums in the world, even though I was once thrown out for trying to photograph my hand puppet Kah-Kah on the shoulder of the Venus De Milo! Take A virtual tour. http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home_flash.jsp?bmLocale=en

New York’s Museum of Modern Art…Where many of my romances began and ended in front of Monet’s “Water Lillies”. View permanent collection http://www.moma.org/

Los Angeles County Museum…finally has become a world class destination!
http://www.lacma.org/

BEST DIFFICULT TO CLASSIFY VIDEOS

My longtime friend, Ken Schaffer, inventor of the “Wireless Microphone and Wireless Electric Guitar”, put a video up on that he and his son , shot at the launch of the Columbia Space Shuttle. I asked Kenny to describe what you’re about to see.

” I’d done some work with NASA, so we (Kenny’s then-wife and then 8 year old son) got front row seats in the VIP bleachers – a mile and a half just west off launch complex 39A. anyone closer was a bird. It was an hour before dawn, so the view to the east was amazing – and you can see the dawn-coming glow framed around the pad. All NASA guys were ecstatic in their agreement that this was the most beautiful launch in shuttle history.

It was the first day of March 2003. The mission was to fix the Hubble Telescope (which you can actually see near the moon at the start of the video!). It was beautiful – brighter than the sun, louder than ay train Woody Guthrie rode – bone rattling – awesome in the same way as St. Basil’s Cathedral in St.Petersburg “How can human bubbleheads create something so beautiful!?” It was the last successful mission of the Columbia. You know the rest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdjID2osZ0A

To see what Kenny Schaffer up to these days http://tv2me.com/

The next video, my friend and journalist Ellen Sander created about Amsterdam. An unpretentious look at one of my favorite cities in the world. In her words,

“The Van Gogh Museum was one of my most coveted destinations and it did not disappoint. In the lobby a quartet was playing a Dutch version of Hank Williams’ Cold Cold Heart as we walked in, and they continued with a gentle repertoire of country and folk music. The exhibit upstairs was small, the Van Gogh family’s collection of around 70 of Vincent’s paintings. I was thinking of the consonances between the works of Bob Dylan and Vincent Van Gogh as I walked around. They both broke the mold, they both crafted their work out of inference and references that embodied their images. The portrait of Vincent by Gauguin was there as was Van Gogh’s canvas of Gauguin’s Chair, the emptiness of which almost echoed with sobs.

In the exhibit you’re so aware of light and shadow and brushstroke, how a drip of multiple colors from the same paintbrush defined the grain in the trunk of the Small Pear Tree in Blossom. Vincent. You were here, you are here.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh2FnQRDIqU

Here’s an inspiring video, that author and composer, Patti Dahlstrom sent me. She writes, “Having a nephew who is #1 in his class as a Marine Lt. flying Harrier jets and another nephew who is an Honors junior at West Point, has enlightened and educated me about military service. This is more than a choice, it is a calling, as many who are reading this were called to music.

We would not have what we have today, any of us, without people who were willing to fight and die to protect our loved ones, our families, and our freedoms. Unfortunately, negotiating has never solved anything with a tyrant; we tried it with Hitler and Hussein. The only temporary peace we receive is a grace from those who are willing to defend us from those who wish to dominate and/or destroy us.

Today’s military is voluntary, which means they are there because they want to be. They don’t want to kill or be killed, they want to defend freedom. If they pay the ultimate sacrifice, so be it. It is their calling, and they understand the consequences of such a path. I once read that spiritually the souls who come to fight our battles are the same throughout history. This is the job they come to do. Please take a moment to view this wonderful video and to hear this wonderful song in tribute to those who allow us our reality.” http://www.managedmusic.com/php/BYGIndex.php?page=Listen_To_BYG_Introduction#

The last video is produced and directed by Sebastian Prooth. It’s the updated demo version of Alan O’Day and the Late Johnny Stevenson’s number one hit, “Rock And Roll Heaven”, featuring singer Ronnie Kimball. Prooth humbly says,

“I’m very pleased it affects so many people on such an emotional level. We all remember at least one of the people featured in Alan O’Day’s song. This video serves to remind us of not only the artists remembered in pictures, but also the ones that we remember personally. I hope it will be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come.”
http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/rock-and-roll-heaven/

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Artie Wayne on the Web and Whoppy and Streaker on the couch!

Website http://artiewayne.com Blog http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

To reach Alan O’Day http://alanoday.com

Sebastian Prooth http://sebrt.com

Ellen Sander http://ellensander.com/crackpot.html

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

“If you believe in forever…Life is just a one night stand.

If there’s a Rock and Roll Heaven…You know they’ve got a hell of a band!”

Director and producer, Sebastian Prooth’s inspiring video of Alan O’Day’s brilliant update of his classic number one song, “Rock and Roll Heaven” (O’Day/ Stevenson) continues to rock the Internet. Just click on to hear Ronnie Kimball’s amazing demo! http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/rock-and-roll-heaven/

You can reach Sebastian Prooth at http://sebrt.com

Alan O’Day at http://alanoday.com

Artie Wayne at http://artiewayne.com

Sebastian Prooth’s brilliant video of Alan O’Day and the late Johnny Stevenson classic, “Rock and Roll Heaven”, featuring Ronny Kimball, has been played thousands of times on eleven internet sites in the past 24 hours! If you haven’t seen it scroll down to my previous post and click onto Elvis’ triangular eye!

If you like to read about some of my “Brief Encounters”with some of our late rock heroes including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Croce just click onto http://artiewayne.com/pg9.html


In 1971, When I was general professional manager of Warner Brothers music, the late Johnny Stevenson played me a song he just recorded, “Rock and Roll Heaven’. I thought the chorus was a smash, but didn’t care for anything else! I suggested that he collaborate with Alan O’Day (“Undercover Angel”, “Angie Baby”) and turn it into a tribute to Rock Stars who have passed away.

In 1974 the Righteous Brothers recorded it and took it to number one! Since then we’ve lost so many more of our heros that it was time for an update of the lyric. Alan O’Day worked on it for months, then he went to Nashville and made a demo with Ronny Kimball. I e-mailed a copy of the demo to my friend, director and producer, Sebastian Prooth for an opinion. This morning he surprised us with this brilliant video he made!

You can reach Sebastian Prooth at http://sebrt.com
You can reach Alan O’Day at http://alanoday.com
Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.com

Of course, it was impossible to mention every Rock Star who has passed away in the song and the video, but I would like to start a list to honor as many as we can on this blog. I would like to begin with my friends Jim Croce and Bobby Darin, who were mentioned in the Righteous Brothers record. Then we have Bill Haley (Comets), Rick James, Marvin Gaye, Carl Perkins, Rick Nelson, Johnny Burnette, Dorsey Burnette, Sam Cooke, John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Keith Moon (The Who), Richie Valens, Luthor Vandross, Eddie Cochran, Wilson Picket, Tammi Tyrell, John Phillips (Mamas and Papas), Mama Cass (Mamas and Papas), Frankie Lyman, Peter Ham (Badfinger), Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Chas Chandler (The Animals), Mike Milward (The Fourmost), Stu Sutcliff, Brian Jones (The Rolling Stones), Keith Relf (The Yardbirds), James Jamerson, Dennis Wilson (Beach Boys), Carl Wilson (Beachboys), Big Mama Thornton, Bert Berns, Curtis Mayfield, Otis Blackwell, Ben Benay, Lowell George, Van McCoy, Floyd Cramer, Ersel Hickey, Bobby Sheen (Bobby Soxx and the Blue Jeans), Mickey Most, Jim Capaldi (Traffic), Gene Vincent, Tony Williams (The Platters), Joe Brown, John Lennon, George HarrisonJohnny Johnson, Ray Peterson, Janet Vogel (Skyliners) Jan Berry (Jan and Dean), Freddy Garrity (Freddie and the Dreamers), Eugene Record (Chi-Lites), Chuck Willis, The Big Bopper, Jimmy Radcliffe, Bill Orr (the Cars), Doris Troy, Joe Tex, Joe Simon, Duane Allman (Allman Brothers), Billy Preston, Joe Strummer (The Clash), Del Shannon, Barry Cowsill The Cowsills), Bill Cowsill (The Cowsills), Joey Ramone (Ramones), Stevie Ray Vaughn, Link Wray, David Blue, Danny Gatton, Zal Yanovsky (Lovin’ Spoonful), Phil Seymour, David Blue, Shel Silverstein, Graham Parsons, Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead), Bobby Fuller, King Curtis, Buddy Knox, Johnny Preston, Eddie Cochran, Kirsty MacColl, Jimmy Bailey, Maurice Gibb (Bee Gees), Richard Tee, Hank Ballard, Tony Romeo, Jessie Belvin, Ed Townsend, Sterling Morrison (Velvet Underground), Jackie Wilson, John Fred (Playboy Band), Hank Ballard, Bobby Hatfield (Righteous Brothers), April Young, Arthur Conley, Dick St. John (Dick And Dee Dee), Timi Yuro, Lou Rawls, Paul Atkinson (Zombies), Johnny Bristol, Francine Barker (Peaches and Herb)Maurice Gibb, Chris Curtis, Shirley Goodman (Shirley and Lee), Johnny Cymbal,The Duchess, Little Eva, Mickey Most, Billy Preston, Irving Green, Morris Levy, Nick Drake, Barry White, Laura Nyro, Frank Zappa, Barbara George, Arthr Lee, Baker Knight, Eddie Kendricks, Tony Jackson (Searchers), Link Wray, Kevin Gilbert, Michael Hutchence (INXS), Milan B. Williams (Commodores), Adam Faith, Johnny Wilder junior (Heatwave), Richard Barrett, Arthur Lee (Love), Syd Barrett (PInk Floyd) , Arthur Conley, Gene Pitney, Freddy Garrity (Freddie And The Dreamers), Shannon Hoon, Ray Peterson, Denny Doherty (Mamas And Papas), Bruce Gary (The Knack), Freddie Marsden (Gerry and the Pacemakers), Dennis Peyton (Dave Clark 5), Ruth Brown, Ahmet Ertegun, James Brown, Bill Pinkney (Drifters), Harry Nilsson, Dusty Springfield, Florence Ballard (Supremes), Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon), Barbara Acklin, Ron Miller, Donnie Brooks, Paul Griffin, David Ruffin, Freddy Scott, Hank Medress (Tokens), Dan Fogleberg, Ike Turner, Al Gallico, Mike Smith, Wilson Pickett, Bo Diddley, Norman Whitfield, Alan Gordon, Levi Stubbs ( 4 Tops) , Estelle Bennett (Ronettes)…

To view a RARE VIDEO OF BO DIDDLEY IN HIS PRIME!                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8PIbrMh6vo&feature=related

Copyright 2008 by Artie Wayne

If you have any names that you would like me to add to the list you can click onto comments (below) or e-mail me at artie_wayne@yahoo.com You may submit up to three names to add to the list, which I will post.

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