BACK IN THE ’60S, WHEN I WAS GPM OF WARNER BROTHERS MUSIC, I FOUGHT THE EXPLOITATION OF SONGWRITERS AND HELPED MY FRIENDS, AL CLEAVELAND (“I SECOND THAT EMOTION”, “WHAT’S GOIN’ ON”) AS WELL AS NICK ASHFORD AND VALERIE SIMPSON (“AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH”) ESCAPE FROM MOTOWN.

I NEVER DREAMED THAT 35 YEARS LATER, I’D BE IN THE MIDDLE A BATTLE WI TH AN OLD ADVISARY…I GUESS EVERYTHING OLD IS NEWS AGAIN!

MOTOWN ORGINALLY BOUGHT BY THE UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP HAS RECENTLY BEEN AQUIRED BY THE VIVENDI MUSIC CONGLOMORATE. AMONG THE TRACKS THEY OWN ARE, “LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE” AND “TOUCH THE ONE YOU LOVE”, WHICH I CO-WROTE WITH GEORGE CLINTON, JR., AND WERE RECORDED BY MICHAEL JACKSON

THESE TWO SONGS ARE IN FOUR POSTHUMOUS RELEASES, AND I WAS PAID LESS THAN $4000 IN ROYALTIES…

WHEN I STARTED SPOTLIGHTING THE UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP AND THEIR QUESTIONABLE ACCOUNTING SYSTEM I STARTED GETTING CONFIDENTIAL E MAILS AND PRIVATE MESSAGES FROM PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO GET WHAT THEY WERE DUE ALSO, BUT WERE AFRAID OF RETALIATION.

I SUGGESTED A CLASS ACTION AUDIT, WHICH WOULD MAKE ECONOMIC SENSE, IF YOU COULDN’T AFFORD YOUR OWN INVESTIGATION. IN THE MEANTIME, I STARTED WRITING ABOUT THE INJUSTICES I WAS DEALING WITH, URGED EVERYONE WHO HAD A PROBLEM WITH UMG, TO SPEAK UP NOW!

I’M HAPPY TO SAY THAT MORE AND MORE OF THAT IS HAPPENING, AND I’M THRILLED TO SAY THAT TWO MORE VOICES HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE CHORUS…I MEAN THE CHORALE!!

THE ESTATE OF RICK JAMES, WHOM I DISCOVERED AND SIGNED TO A+M RECORDS, HAS FILED SUIT AGAINST UMG FOR THE UNDERPAYMENT OF ROYALTIES THAT COMES TO MILLIONS OF DOLLARS! http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2011/111102jamesa

AND CHUCK D., FROM PUBLIC ENEMY WHOSE RECORD COMPANY DEF JAM RECORDS WAS BOUGHT BY UMG, HAS JUST FILED A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT AGAINST THE COMPANY AS WELL http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2011/111102chuckd

IF I WERE VIVENDI I’D BE LOOKING TO SETTLE OUR CLAIMS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE SO THEY CAN GET ON WITH THE MARKETING OF THE ONE OF THE BEST MUSIC CATALOGS IN THE WORLD!

IF “THE MAN” DISABLES “FIGHT THE POWER”…JUST CLICK ONTO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PaoLy7PHwk&feature=related

THANKS TO PAUL RESNIKOFF FOR THE INFO ON THE LAWSUITS 

SPECIAL THANKS TO DAWN LEE WAKEFIELD FOR SPEARHEADING THE CAMPAIGN TO FIND JUSTICE FOR ME STARTING WITH THE TWO SHOCKING ARTICLES SHE WROTE FOR THE NATIONAL EXAMINER LAST WEEK…ARTIE WAYNE VS. THE MUSIC INDUSTRY  http://www.examiner.com/classic-rock-music-in-national/artie-wayne-vs-the-music-industry-can-a-nice-guy-finish-firstAS WELL AS PART TWO OF HER SCATHING BEHIND THE SCENE STORY. http://www.examiner.com/classic-rock-music-in-national/the-artie-wayne-school-of-music-economics-counting-up-friends-who-count

IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM GETTING PAID FROM THE POWERS THAT BE PLEASE LEAVE YOUR STORY IN THE PLACE PROVIDED FOR COMMENTS BELOW…THANKS

EXTRA! EXTRA! NOW YOU CAN BUY MY NEW UNEDITED…UNCENSORED BOOK ,“I DID IT FOR A SONG” AT AMAZON or Barnes & Noble or from Smashwords

TO READ A CHAPTER OR TWO FOR FREE CLICK  HERE

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

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“It’s summer of 1973 and Ed Silvers, President of Warner Brothers Music, is losing his patience with me. He thinks I’m spending far too much time trying to get our songs cut at Motown. Although I secure songs in our catalog by some of their biggest artists, they’re only album cuts. Ed is convinced that I’ll never get a single released by Motown.

I know at this point that the only way I could have a chance for a hit and escape the wrath of Ed, is to get a cover by the Jackson 5 or little Michael. There was only one staff writer at Warner Brothers music who could write in a classic R+B style, George S. Clinton, Jr.

I go to the two producers who love George’s writing the most, Jerry Marcellino and Mel Larson, who just had big hits with 12 year old Michael on “Rockin’ Robin” and “Little Bitty Pretty One” (which was my suggestion). They tell me that “Ben”, from the movie of the same name, is racing up the charts and Berry Gordy wants each of his producers to start recording new sides with him.

I sit with Jerry and Mel and we talk about what kind of song they should record with Michael. I suggest a Christmas song, one so commercial that it could be the follow up single to, “Ben”. When I see their eyes light up, I tell them that George S. Clinton, Jr. and I have started such a song! When they ask to hear it, I tell them we were still working on it, when in fact we hadn’t even started! I can’t tell them the title, ’cause there isn’t any! I do tell them, however, that it’s a true story of how my girlfriend left me out in the cold like the last tree in a Christmas tree lot, which is left unsold on Christmas Eve. They freak out and say they had to have the finished song by Monday. I say, “No problem”

I call George, who knows nothing about any of this as soon as I get back to my office. He can’t believe I told them we’d have a finished song to them by Monday, when it’s Friday and we haven’t even started.

Saturday morning we meet at my office. It’s the middle of summer, about 90 degrees, but we have to get in a Christmas Mood. As I tell George about my break up with Diana last Christmas, then I start to throw Ivory Snowflakes around the room. Soon, we have the first verse and chorus.”

i2 year old michael

“Little Christmas Tree, looking sorta’ sad and lonely just like me

No one seems to care, they just went away and left him standing there…All alone on Christmas Eve!”

little

On Monday morning George does a piano voice demo, and I get it to Jerry and Mel that afternoon. They love it so much that they knock one of their own songs off the date and cut ours.

I’m almost in tears when I hear the finished record the following week with the news that it’s being considered for the follow-up to “Ben”, which had just hit number one! You can imagine how I feel a few weeks later when Berry Gordy, Jr. decides not put out any follow up to the Oscar nominated “Ben”, until the Academy Awards are given out…which is after Christmas! A few days later I come up with a plan and present it to Motown. I suggest that the company puts a double albums worth of previously recorded Christmas songs by each of their hit artists, along with “Little Christmas Tree”. The double album is called “A Motown Christmas”, which includes cuts by Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Diana Ross, and it’s released just in time for the holidays.”

“LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         George S. Clinton, Jr. and Artie Wayne

I watch the snowflakes fall
against my window plain
and wonder if you
are watching snowflakes too?
I take a walk downtown
to where you used to meet me
There’s joy everywhere
but all that waiting there is just a…

LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE
Looking sorta’ sad and lonely just like me
No one seems to care
They just went away and left it standing there
All alone on Christmas eve

I hear the Christmas bells
The happy people singing
The songs of the chill that only brings me tears
I sadly close my eyes
and say a little prayer you’ll be waiting there for me
I look but all I see is

LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE
Looking sorta’ sad and lonely just like me
No one seems to care
They just went away and left it standing there
All alone on Christmas eve

This is the season of love
(This is the season of love)
But I’m as sad as I can be
(sad as can be)
Why did you have to leave me
(Why did you leave me)
(Why did you leave me)

LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE
Looking sorta sad and lonely just like me
No one seems to care

They just went away and left it standing there
All alone on Christmas eve

Copyright 1973/2009 by Warner Brothers Music

NOW YOU CAN BUY “LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE” BY MICHAEL JACKSON IN THE JACKSON FIVE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS ALBUM AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.COM

ultimate-christmas-collection1

If you liked “THE STORY BEHIND “LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE”, please feel free to share it with a friend…but if you loved it, please feel free to send it to your entire address book! MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKKAH, HAPPY KWANZA…ENJOY TO THE WORLD!

From Artie Wayne On The Web https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.com

 

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michael-jackson-is-madman

It isn’t very often that I’m shocked at the passing of one of our musical heroes, but when I heard about Michael Jackson I was devastated. I’ve known Michael since he was 12 years old and he recorded a song I co-wrote, “Little Christmas Tree” (Clinton/Wayne)

I met him and his family at the Tokyo Music Festival in 1974, and had a chance to tell him how much I liked his recording of my song. I also told him that he was one of my biggest dance influences, which made him smile considering I was three times his age.

When I told Michael that I was a songplugger and I couldn’t go out dancing late at night like I once did, he said in that high little voice of his, “Artie…why don’t you build a dance floor in your office?”.

As soon as I got back to Hollywood, Warner Brothers Music built me a four foot circular plywood dance floor, but a few months later when I went to run A&Ms publishing company they constructed a six foot mahogany one for me! To this day I’m proud to tell everyone that it was Michael Jackson’s idea.

The last time I was in touch with him was when he was about to do the “Thriller” album. He was holding onto one of my songs for over a year, and even made a few suggestions to improve the bridge, but in the end he didn’t record it. I was still grateful for the opportunity.

From now until the end of time millions of words will be written about him and his influence in music, dance, and fashion, but the most important gift he has given the world is everlasting hope and inspiration.

 

Thank you Michael and R.I.P. may you ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

 

Respectfully, Artie https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/