I always wondered why Billboard magazine didn’t include catalog items when tabulating sales on their Top 200 album and singles chart. Now finally all of that has changed! I’m especially grateful that it’s happening at a time when I have four tracks on three recent Michael Jackson re-releases.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Good news for fans of Michael Jackson, the Beatles and other veteran artists.

The compilers of the Billboard 200, the benchmark pop albums chart in the United States, said on Wednesday they would dramatically overhaul the listing later this month to include catalog recordings as well as current releases.

The Billboard 200 generally lists only albums released in the past 18 months, and accordingly failed to reflect two of the biggest events in the music world this year: Jackson’s death and the reissue of the Beatles catalog.

Fans scooped up millions of copies of both artists’ albums, but an 18-year-old policy at trade publication Billboard meant that the stampede was marked in its relatively obscure Top Comprehensive Albums chart, which combines both current and catalog releases.

The comprehensive chart essentially becomes the new Billboard 200. The change takes effect for the week ended November 22. Sales data, collected by tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan, are published on Wednesdays.

If last week’s Billboard 200 were based on overall sales, 35 catalog titles would storm the chart, led by Jackson’s “Number Ones” at No. 13, Billboard said.

The 2003 compilation was the top album in the United States for six weeks in the wake of his June 25 death, and Jackson is the second-biggest selling artist of the year, just behind country star Taylor Swift.

The first new-look Billboard 200 could include up to seven of Jackson’s solo catalog titles, as well as a pair from the Jackson 5, depending on overall sales.

The Beatles reissued their digitally remastered catalog in September. First-week sales would have sent five of the group’s albums into the top 10 of the Billboard 200, led by “Abbey Road” at No. 3. The new chart could also include up to seven Beatles albums.

Greatest-hits albums by the likes of Bob Marley, Journey, Guns N’ Roses and Creedence Clearwater Revival could also make the cut.

“The events of 2009 and the continuing creativity in the repackaging of catalog titles have led us to conclude that the Billboard 200 would be best served presenting the true best-sellers in the country, without any catalog-related rules or stipulations, to our readers, the media and music fans,” said Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard’s director of charts.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Jill Serjeant)

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/thank-you-for-one-million-hits/


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November 10, 2009

munsonI recently reconnected with my longtime friend and sometime collaborator, guitarist Art Munson, who’s worked with Phil Spector, Paul Williams, John Lennon, Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand, The Righteous Brothers, and Paul Simon. Art told me about a new project that he considers one of the most important in his career.

Two Months ago Art, who has had his music cues used on “Oprah”, “America’s Got Talent”, “World News Tonight”, and “Entertainment Tonight”, put up a new website that’s become the talk of the internet. It’s called The Music Library Report, a free website that is an ever expanding listing of music libraries from around the world. In effect it is a one stop resource for music creators looking for outlets to help place their music in money earning situations.

Munson explains,” I spent a large part of my musical life working in high pressure situations with many big name artists, writers and producers, but I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want the stress of working on deadlines and in high pressure situations. I do want to keep on creating music though. Fortunately the technology has evolved to the point where one can create convincing music with limited surroundings and resources. Some say it’s killing music but I find it liberating!

In the last few years I’ve become aware of “production music” and the music library business. More and more of this type of music is being used in places that were once unimaginable. From films to TV shows to ringtones. I inadvertently got into this when we were offered the opportunity to write a large number of music cues for a TV production company. Since that time I’ve placed music with a few music libraries which has resulted in earning money, mainly through BMI performance royalties, and having our music appear on many, many shows from cable to major networks.

Because there are hundreds of music libraries out there, it’s difficult to know which ones are good and which are accepting submissions. To that end I created a web site to address that problem, http://www.MusicLibraryReport.com The site went live on August 25, 2009. As of November 1, 2009 we have over 200 libraries listed and nearly 800 comments from composers and songwriters. The site has become the de facto standard for music creators all over the world to research music libraries. I myself have been helped immensely by reader’s comments and experiences.

Based on these readers comments I now have a starting point with libraries that I would consider working with. A nice feature about the site is the search function. For example you can search only for the libraries accepting submissions and then review the reader’s comments about a particular library. It is really a time saver!

Please come and visit us at www.MusicLibraryReport.com, add to the knowledgebase and share your experiences. You do not need to use your real name or e-mail address when leaving a comment and, best of all, it’s FREE! Thank you Art Munson MunsongRecords.com/Art-Munson/

Thank you

Art Munson MunsongRecords.com/Art-Munson/

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/thank-you-for-one-million-hits/

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ken sting

I first met Kenny Schaffer in 1968, when he was the publicist for Alice Cooper and the Left Banke. My friend Allan Rinde had just joined the staff of Cashbox magazine and rented a room in Kenny’s “Funky” penthouse apartment, which adjoined the Plaza Hotel in New York.

After every rock concert at Madison Square Garden or show at the Fillmore, everybody would wind up at Kenny’s. It was a lot of fun to hang out with the stars and their groupies, even though Allan and I had to eject rowdy guests from time to time. I wonder if Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart have ever forgiven us.

Of all the things I admired about Kenny was his imagination…but he didn’t just dream, he turned his dreams into reality. He conceived, designed, built, and sold the first wireless guitar and wireless microphone that forever changed staging and the way music was performed.

Ken remembers, “The idea to make the first wireless guitar stemmed from Lynne Volkman being my girlfriend… Lynne was the first female tour manager in rock ‘n roll, doing everyone from the Rolling Stones to the Who, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Lynyrd Skynyrd… (For Peter Rudge and Nat Weiss)…. of course, up until then tour managers were always guys (who’d bring their girlfriends out for weekends). As I was Lynne’s boyfriend, roles were reversed., so instead of the tour manager’s girlfriend flying out to join the tour on weekends, it was me! If you go to http://www.nutcom.com/nyer and browse for “Rolling Stones,” it describes how Ace Frehley (Kiss) got electrocuted and I came to invent the wireless guitar/microphone.”

Kenny, I remember introducing you to Maurice and Verdene White of Earth, Wind, and Fire, as well as producer Tony Camillo (Gladys Knight and the Pips) who became a couple of your good customers.

Now how on earth did you get involved with Russia and the fall of the Soviet Union?

I got into Russia pretty much by accident. It really started as a spin-off of my long-time hobby, ham radio, designing crazy radios and crazy antennas – electronics.  In 1983 I invented a fancy, technical-breakthrough (satellite system) that was able to eavesdrop on internal Soviet TV.  I put up a few systems for some cryptic government agencies, then for a few major universities. Columbia became the first American university to offer a course “Russian through Soviet Television,” and, well — it was the girl again — I met an incredible girl who was a graduate student in “Kremlinology,” and followed her to Russia.  (Of course, I would’ve followed up to Easter Island of Pago Pago, it didn’t really matter, you know…) We started a company together they came up with and set up really bizarre media projects between the US and Soviet union — like getting a Life Magazine reporter into Red Army boot camp for a month, and handing out 10,000 Trojan condoms to newlyweds in Red Square… that was a real rock ‘n roll… we got to know some really amazing Russians.

Schaffer continues, “In 1987 ABC TV had no choice but to air their long-delayed $50 million miniseries, “Amerika” — “10 years after the Soviets come over and do that… to your sister and mother.” Already 2 years into Gorbachev, I thought the series an anachronism that didn’t make anybody anywhere feel better in the morning and decided to come up with an antidote.  In the end, I came up with the idea of “sandwiching” the week-long ABC series between a week of internal Soviet TV, seen at the same moment it was being seen in “the other superpower,” 260,000,000 Soviets. (My crazy satellite system remained the only technical means of bringing Soviet TV into the Western Hemisphere …)

The Discovery Channel was barely known at the time – wasn’t carried by cable companies in New York, LA, Washington, etc. —  I only knew of it from my days walking around the sky playing games with satellites — so found a trade directory, learned the name and number of Discovery’s chairman, John Hendricks…  called and said “Hi — my name is Kenny Schaffer — you don’t know me — don’t hang up, but would you consider preempting everything you have next week?” John must have been pretty desperate — the channel had only 11,000,000 subscribers then, not nearly enough to stay on the air much longer. They were nearly bankrupt, their offices were just one small room in Bethesda and all the equipment they owned was two ¾” U-matic VCRs….   So I guess I dropped in like Discovery’s Angel – John thought the idea I threw with 5 day’s notice at him was ballsy — though inconvenient, and sure the heck timely.”

Two days later the Discovery Channel held their first press conference– at the Washington National Press Club — to announce that, come Sunday, they will run a week of live internal Soviet TV. “The first time the people of one superpower can look through the keyhole into the living room of the other,”  I described it.  Press coverage for Discovery’s announcement was avalanche — by Sunday, Discovery’s audience had 30,000,000 homes from the cable companies that signed on special. Following that week, 20,000,000 stayed with them, including the systems in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc…  Nielsen reported that more Americans that week watched local Moscow then watched ABC… finally, the stunt won that year’s Golden Ace Award from the National Cable Television Association as the best program on cable. Yay!

Now what have you been up to recently?

“In 2003 I invented something that came to known as “placeshifting” — TV2Me was the name of the box — I made it to bring me my home cable company (Time Warner New York) wherever I traveled.  The box I built was very exquisite, take no prisoners, and cost a small fortune — until recently close to $5000, currently $3750 – and it processed video as faithfully as the old Schaffer-Vega wireless guitars and mics processed audio….

I’ve sold a few thousand of the units over the years – word of mouth, and obviously, to fairly well-heeled individuals: rock stars, sports stars, business magnates, oligarchs, and to governments, schools and broadcasters.  By using TV2Me they got the same quality picture as they’d get at home, or would get if they were sitting in some city it were especially interested in, anywhere on Earth.”

Actually, Sting, my friend from the wireless guitar days and the Police’s first tour, became the world’s first “placeshifter” when he took a big chance and bought my first box in 2003…

Right now I’m sweating over a startup that turns a standard laptop into the equivalent of an expensive satellite truck for broadcasters — and on “TV Everywhere,” which scales placeshifting as a new service/revenue tier for cable and satellite companies,” so that everyone can take their cable/satellite subscriptions with them wherever they travel, watch their shows, at any time, at any place.”

Note: Sting wrote “Russians” after hanging out all night watching Soviet TV at Columbia University with Kenny in 1986.  Kenny also popped up, indirectly, a few years later in REM’s ”What’s the Frequency Kenneth?” http://www.svs.com/rem/other/real_people.faq

Photo at the top from People Magazine

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/thank-you-for-one-million-hits/

To reach Ken Schaffer http://nutcom.com


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big artie

When my longtime friend and sometime collaborator, Artie Kornfeld the Father Of Woodstock, invited me to the festival in 1969, I thought it was going to be a great picnic, I wasn’t expecting a life changing experience!

Back in 1967 my wife Sheilah was working at Mercury records as a secretary to the songwriter/ producer (“Pied Piper”, “Dead Man’s Curve”, “The Rain, The Park, and Other Things”) we hung out a lot with Artie and his wife Linda. Artie was always concerned about social issues and making the world a better place, but none of the gang at the Brill Building or from 1650 B’way ever expected that one of our own could make such a powerful impact on our culture!

A few weeks ago right after the world wide celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock, I spoke to Artie who filled me in on everything going on in his life, his book, his radio show, etc.

“My memories of my most wonderful days were after three recording deals and managers while attending Queens College at night that, as I tell in my book “The Pied Piper of Woodstock” that I met Charles Koppelman and Don Rubin. With a 25$ demo I took the subway into Nevins Kirchner a/k/a Aldon Music and left with a 75$ a week advance against royalties and a $ 500 advance from BMI.The bread meant nothing as I was now a writer for what soon became Screen-Gems Music. I was accepted in a world of Goffin and King, Mann and Weil, Barry and Greenwich, Leiber and Stoller, Artie Kaplan, Artie Wayne, and so many others who I had only read about and got to learn with the whole Brill Building gang and was lucky enough to have hit songs with Toni Wine my first collaborator and then Steve Duboff and Jan Berry and Brian Wilson. Even my idol Steve Allan, I thought I was in heaven and I was. That is why when I got into position my door was always open. Although we all competed we all were happy at our friends successes.. It is this love of making music and affecting others through song that the seeds for Woodstock 69 were born, I used all my knowledge of music, I actually made a living out of while learning.

Those days in the rooms writing and the friendships that remain almost sacred to me are as clear in my soul as anything in my life.Those incredible days with brooks Arthur in the studio and others and the incredible Hugh McCracken. I am proud to carry on that message we all were sending out of NYC. It remains all about giving all you have for others. As Jerry Wexler told me when he backed out of a label deal in front of my attorney, the incredible Paul Marshall, who is back in my life again. Jerry said, “Artie “, d.” I am backing out because you said we are going to make a lot of money and I wanted you to say we will make great music”. Those  were the most important words I have heard . Since then I have carried the sword of our groundbreaking music in three buildings and the incredible world of super talented and wonderful friends. I am so happy I took a breath and through Artie Wayne’s work and others to be back home in my heart where I started, still carrying our message.

I tried to tell it all in my memoirs, scratching the surface in MY GIVE BOOK “The Pied Piper of Woodstock”, a writer is always a writer.

Peace and Love through Music.- Artie Kornfeld




Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

HERE’S ARTIE KORNFELDS OFFICIAL WEBSITE http://www.artiekornfeld-woodstock.com/

MY INCREDIBLE, AMAZING, AND BIZARRE WOODSTOCK ADVENTURE 1969! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/06/14/my-return-to-woodstock-1969/


“In 1988 I left Hollywood where I had built a lucrative wearable art business, with an illustrious celebrity clientele that included Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Downey, Jr., J.D. Nicholas of the Commodores, Pam Tillis, Patti Dahlstrom, Sammy Davis, Jr. James Caan, Val Garay, Steve Cropper,  Luther VanDross, and Erte the father of Art Deco.

I gave up hosting Genghis Cohen, a hot Chinese Restaurant, which I named for my friend Allan Rinde, where I sold these one of a kind jackets and shirts that I painted by hand.  I put everything I had in storage and ran off to Vermont with my dog Nookie and a beautiful model half my age, whose drug dealer boyfriend was trying to kill her.

Unfortunately our relationship never develops into anything, so I go to New York when her racist uncle corners me in the bathroom and tries to beat my ass. I reluctantly leave Nookie with her in Vermont., while I go back to the Bronx and stay with my aunt Wan, who isn’t allowed to have a dog.


I have to make some money fast so I put on my elaborate $5000 lion jacket and head to Greenwich Village where I could probably sell it. The first store I pass is in SoHo, the UNIQUE CLOTHING WAREHOUSE, which has five artists airbrushing denim jackets in the window. They stop working to check out what I’m wearing along with a little crowd who had gathered around me, admiring and touching my jacket.lion2

The manager Eddie Ingber, watching all this, motions for me to come into the store. After he looks at pictures of creations in my book, he brings me upstairs to meet the owner of the 25,000 square foot specialty store, Harvey Russak. Harvey likes what he sees and hires me to replace Jean-Michel Basquiat, who left UNIQUE to collaborate on paintings with Andy Warhol.

At first the other artists, who were mostly gang bangers and graffiti artists, are jealous of the high prices I’m getting for my work, until I start negotiating prices for them as well. All of the pop and rap stars come in for custom creations for their videos and personal appearances, including The  New Kids On The Block”, New Edition, Tiffany, Bobby Brown, P.Diddy, “Notorious B.I.G’, Chris Rock, Queen Latifa, Aaron Hall, “Marky Mark” Walberg, Cher, and Tupac Shakur.

It isn’t long before I become head of the department, which is now averaging $20,000 a week!

I introduce Harvey Russak to my publicist friend Kenny Schaffer (Alice Cooper, The Left Banke, Jimi Hendrix), who in his spare time invented the wireless guitar. Kenny tells us that he’s made a deal with the Soviet Union to bring their television signals to colleges in the US.

Kenny’s idea of running a week of live internal Soviet TV to neutralize ABC’s miniseries “Amerika” ran on the near-bankrupt  Discovery Channel, winning him (and it) the National Cable Television Association’s Golden Ace award, and taking the fledgling Discovery Channel from 11,000,000 subscribers to 30,000,000 subscribers in a single week.

Kenny went on to establish the biggest communications company in the former Soviet Union that made the round trip from New York more than 100 times.  When he got too lonely for Seinfeld reruns, invented TV2Me, thus inventing “placeshifting,” that you check your local home TV with you anywhere you travel.  The first customer for placeshifting was Sting, bought Kenny’s first TV2Me unit so he could watch Newcastle United from anywhere he happened to be.  (It was after spending a night watching Soviet TV with Kenny at his first “public” Soviet satellite installation, Columbia University, that Sting wrote “Russians,” song with which he opened in 1987 Grammies broadcast.

It’s because of Kenny Shaffer that the world is able to watch the Soviet Union collapse before our very eyes! Of course, I “capitalize” (pun intended) on the situation and I create a line of T-shirts about the thawing of “The Cold War” including  “MORE THAN JUST A DREAM”, the most popular shirt in the line.which depicts an American flag and a Russian flag inside a Peace sign.

I’m proud to say that these shirts I design with some of the artists at UNIQUE are featured on the ABC TV show “Prime Time” with Diane Sawyer, and in the pages of Business Week. Then a few weeks later the world watches as they tear down the Berlin Wall!”


(To Be Continued)

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne  from his  forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song” https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/thank-you-for-one-million-hits/

To reach Ken Schaffer http://nutcom.com


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