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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Streaker reconsiders trying to sneak out.

While you’re relaxing this weekend you might want to check out these exclusive interviews from Artie Wayne on the Web and Spectropop of “Unsung Heroes – the powerful men behind the scenes in the music business who helped shape the Pop culture!

SHEL TALMY- THE MAN WHO DISCOVERED, INSPIRED AND PRODUCED, THE WHO, THE KINKS, THE EASBEATS, CHAD AND JEREMY!

When I first went to London in 1965, Bess Coleman – one of the Beatles’ press officers and one of my co-writers – introduced me to Shel Talmy, a five star general in the British invasion of the pop culture. I was anxious to meet the legend who discovered, inspired and produced the Who, the Kinks, Chad & Jeremy and the Easybeats. About an hour before I met him, I was shocked to find out that he was a fellow American! When I knocked on his apartment door, in fashionable Knightsbridge, his beautiful assistant led me down a long hallway that was filled on both sides with more gold singles and albums than I’d ever seen in one place! As I sat sipping tea in his office, I heard someone playing a guitar and singing in the other room. The door opened, Shel introduced himself, as well as the singer I heard through the walls, Cat Stevens, who was there to play a couple of his new songs. Over the years Shel and I became good friends. He was one of the few people I could play a song for and get some good constructive criticism. Here he shares some stories and insights with me in this revealing Spectropop interview. Just click onto http://spectropop.com/ShelTalmy/index.htm

RUSS REGAN – OVER ONE BILLION RECORDS SOLD! THE MAN WHO SIGNED ELTON JOHN, NEIL DIAMOND, OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN AND BARRY WHITE!

When I decided to do a series of articles, on “Unsung Heroes”, the powerful men and women behind the scenes in the music business, Russ Regan, was one of the first people I wanted to interview. The general public may not know his name, but the former head of UNI Records and 20th Century Fox Records has been responsible for selling over one billion records and CDs in his career! Russ Regan is “the man”, because Russ Regan “was the man” who signed Elton John, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton-John, and Barry White, as well as the one who was responsible for green lighting, “Jesus Christ Superstar.” In his spare time, he also named the Beach Boys! Just click onto http://spectropop.com/RussRegan/index.htm

JERRY ROSS – THE MAN BEHIND SPANKY AND OUR GANG, BOBBY HEBB, KEITH, JAY AND THE TECHNIQUES, NOT TO MENTION SHOCKING BLUE!

Before there was a Rogers & Hammerstein, there was Rogers & Hart. Before there was a Gamble & Huff, there was Gamble & Ross! Working out of Philadelphia, Jerry Ross had an impressive array of hits that he produced with Candy and the Kisses, The Sapphires and the Dreamlovers, that he co-wrote with Kenny Gamble. Then he moved to New York and had an amazing run of hits with Bobby Hebb, Keith, Jay and the Techniques, Spanky and Our Gang, and Shocking Blue. When you read my in depth talk with my old friend and sometime songwriting collaborater, you’ll discover a new connection to songs that you’ve loved all your life. Just click onto http://spectropop.com/JerryRoss/index.htm

HANK MEDRESS – UNSUNG HERO BEHIND “THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT”, ” HE’S SO FINE’, AND “TIE A YELLOW RIBBON (‘ROUND THE OLD OAK TREE) “

Hank Medress, the founder of the Tokens (”The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) and producer of the Chiffons (”He’s So Fine”), Dawn ( “Candida”, “Knock Three Times”) , Tony Orlando and Dawn ( “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ( On The Old Oak Tree “) talks about his career, challenges and aspirations. In an exclusive interview that amounts to a couple of old friends talking, Hank shares stories and experiences that make you feel like you’re there in the moment with him! He also talks about the organzation that he represents, and the gratification he receives from finding recording artists who don’t even know they are owed money. Just click onto http://spectropop.com/HankMedress/index.htm

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

When I first went to London in 1965, Bess Coleman – one of the Beatles’ press officers and one of my co-writers – introduced me to Shel Talmy, a five star general in the British invasion of the pop culture. I was anxious to meet the legend who discovered, inspired and produced the Who, the Kinks, Chad & Jeremy and the Easybeats. About an hour before I met him, I was shocked to find out that he was a fellow American! When I knocked on his apartment door, in fashionable Knightsbridge, his beautiful assistant led me down a long hallway that was filled on both sides with more gold singles and albums than I’d ever seen in one place! As I sat sipping tea in his office, I heard someone playing a guitar and singing in the other room. The door opened, Shel introduced himself, as well as the singer I heard through the walls, Cat Stevens, who was there to play a couple of his new songs. Over the years Shel and I became good friends. He was one of the few people I could play a song for and get some good constructive criticism. Here he shares some stories and insights with me in this revealing Spectropop interview. Just click onto http://spectropop.com/sheltalmy/index.htm