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” https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/rock-and-roll-heaven/

For Joe Klein http://podcastvoiceguys.com

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4 Responses to “Come On Down To Coverville!”

  1. Graham Says:

    Hey Artie! Thanks for turning me on to another cool site. Did you happen to see the video of Julie Moffitt doing her cover of REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”? Very cool and she’s hot too! You don’t think you can use some of your connections to get me her phone number do ya? haha…

    Your blog rocks! Keep up the good work!

    Graham
    http://gambro.blogspot.com

  2. Charles Sheen Says:

    Brian,
    keep on doing great on Coverville. Next time you do a show on movie songs, you might want to consider my late father Bobby Sheen’s classic hit, “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”. He was the Bobby in Bobby Soxx and the Blue Jeans.He also cut a few singles for warners “something new to do” and the original hit by mel and tim “i may not be what you want”

    thanks

    Charles Sheen

  3. JERRY ROSS Says:

    Hello Brian:
    just got off the phone with our mutual friend Artie Wayne.!!!! I shared with him my very good thoughts on what you are doing at Coverville.Keep up the wonderful exposure of the “music copyrights of our times ”

    F Y I:I am enjoying several memorable covers:
    I produced “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb( according to BMI there are 584 covers) I also wrote”I’m Gonna make you love me” by The Supremes & Temps( note this would be timely and make a great country cover with the likes of Tim McGraw/Faith Hill etc…)

    So, I just wanted to say hello and how much your efforts are appreciated!!!!!

    regards,
    Jerry Ross
    954 456 8390
    imreps@aol.com

  4. Miranda Says:

    OMG..Look what I found! A guitar signed by Cheap Trick. How cool is this I never thought I would ever get my hands on a signed Cheap Trick item. If you want to bid on some awesome items that I found visit this link. http://www.ebay.com/virginunite There is this item up for grabs and many others. I think the auction page said that new items go up every week too.


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