Music Morsels - June 2001
Music Morsels - June 2001
  • Crossroads - Blues Guitarist Walter Trout
  • Industry Profile - Jan Mirkin of Mirkin Management
  • Spotlight Review - The Black Crowes "Lions"

This month's Crossroads feature interview
Blues Guitarist WALTER TROUT
Special article for Independent Musicians
This month's Industry Profile

Special offer for Music Morsels subscribers!
Scott Turner, renowned publisher/producer/songwriter with over 20 songs in the TOP TEN and columnist for Music Morsels has begun his audio cassette series chronicling his 47 years in the music industry. Each 90 minute tape will highlight the important events in his music career from his first recording session and how he landed a recording deal to his days with Buddy Holly, Tommy Sands, Guy Mitchell, Eddie Fisher, Herb Alpert, Audie Murphy, Harry Nilsson, Phil Spector as well as his career at recording labels such as Central Songs and the country division at Liberty which eventually became United Artists. With over 20 Top 10 hits and numerous others in the Top 20, you can learn from Scott Turner's experience. 24 tapes in the series. Each tape sells for $12 (+ $1 shipping & handling) and will periodically include songs that have never been heard before and rare photos. The first several tapes chronicle Scott Turner's "Early Years" beginning in the mid-50's spoken by Scott Turner himself. Here is an opportunity for you to learn from his experience! Several publishers have approached him to write a book, but guess what? Scott Turner has graced us with the honor of presenting his musical career on tape to you!
Tapes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 are now available!
Please see the order form in the Music Industry Marketing Showcase at the end of this issue.

The E-mail version of Music Morsels is FREE! To subscribe, send an email to Music Morsels at with the word "Subscribe" in the subject field and from then on, you will receive Music Morsels every month in your email box until you tell us to unsubscribe.
NOW! The entire issue of Music Morsels will be posted at with PHOTOS after the fifth day of this month.

ATTENTION LABEL PR DEPARTMENTS, MUSICIANS AND SONGWRITERS! If Music Morsels is not on your mailing list for your new releases, please add us to your database. Our readership has reached 35,000+. ATTN: A&R REPS - Please read our UNSIGNED/INDIE BAND SPOTLIGHT for information on up-and-coming acts. Mailing Address: Sandy Serge - Editor, Music Morsels, P.O. Box 2760, Acworth, GA 30102 USA

To unsubscribe, just ask....and you will be removed from our list.

Music Morsels is the award-winning monthly music industry newsletter targeting musicians, songwriters and music industry professionals. We are distributed via e-mail to all the labels, many radio stations, and music editors around the world. So if you want the latest educational information on how to develop your music career - or if want to know more about how national recording acts or successful industry professionals hit the big time - or if you want to read interviews about the latest up-and-coming unsigned or indie label bands plus tons more, you can read it all here. ATTENTION MUSICIANS & LABELS: SEND YOUR PRESS KITS TO US FOR POSSIBLE UPCOMING REVIEWS OR INTERVIEWS IN MUSIC MORSELS. We cover all genres! To subscribe, just send an email to MUSMORSELS@AOL.COM with the word "Subscribe" in the subject field.


June, 2001
MUSIC MORSELS - The legal stuff
Music Morsels is distributed worldwide the first week of the month by subscription.
The e-mail version is FREE. That's 12 educational issues brought to your computer screen! Feedback is always welcome at <>. Thank you for your support! Disclaimer: Just because we print the stuff that doesn't mean we necessarily endorse it. Problems with content? Contact us ASAP and we'll tell you how we can help.
Music Morsels reserves the right to reject certain advertisements based on content.
Copyright © 2000 by Music Morsels, a Serge Entertainment Publication.
Editor: Sandy Serge
Contributing Columnists/Writers:
Mark E. Waterbury, Scott Turner
Webmistress: Dee Price
Music Morsels
P.O. Box 2760
Acworth, GA 30102 USA
Phone 678/445-0006
Fax 678/494-9269


The human mind is like an umbrella - it functions best when open. - Walter Gropius


1. CROSSROADS - Blues Guitarist WALTER TROUT by Mark E. Waterbury


3. SPOTLIGHT REVIEW - The Black Crowes "Lions"
& ALBUM CAPSULES - Walter Trout, Shadow Gallery, SparkleDrive, Eric Alexandrakis, Jacobstone, No One, Derrick Jordan, Michael Monroe by Mark E. Waterbury


5. QUIPS & QUOTES - Stories & Sayings to keep you motivated in your music career


7. MUSIC BIZ NEWS AND OPPORTUNITIES - compiled by Sandy Serge

8. MUSIC INDUSTRY MARKETING SHOWCASE - the latest and greatest music industry products and services



1. CROSSROADS.......... WALTER TROUT by Mark E. Waterbury
Pivotal moments in musicians careers propelling them from obscurity to infamy

It's a typically warm late spring night in Georgia as I sit across from Walter Trout on the back porch of Chip's Roadhouse. Walter, the Jersey born guitarist/singer and his band the Radicals, have just finished an evening of blistering blues before an appreciative crowd. The word 'legend' comes to mind when you consider this musician has been a sideman for John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (you know, that band that had a couple of fairly well-regarded alumni such as Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and Peter Greene?) Wlter is now fifty years old and is a prototypical road warrior, playing well over two hundred shows a year. And it doesn't take too long to watch him in concert to realize his immense talent. So with this pedigree, what is he doing playing in the middle of nowhere? Chip's is on a little knoll in the farmland between Atlanta and Athens, and a five year old could throw a football from one end of the bar to the other - not a five year old Brett Favre either. Walter had recently played in front of thousands at the prestigious Memphis in May Festival. So why is he here?

First of all, Walter played an extra Thursday night show at Chip's before his scheduled Friday show to help an old friend celebrate his 50th birthday, but it goes a little deeper than that as to why Walter returns year after year to play this tiny watering hole in the Georgia country side. And it says a lot about the man's philosophy on playing music as well. "For the last two years I've been on the road nine months, and I will be again this year. I love to get in front of people and play, and communicate with them and reach out to them. I love it and I've loved it from the first time I ever did it. I had a guy come up to me tonight and tell me he never heard a guitar player that brought him to tears, but two times in the course of the evening my playing made him weep, and that's about the best compliment that I ever have received. I want to create feeling, I don't want to impress people, I want to move them. This is the smallest club that I play in and people are just great here, and it's so much fun to be this close and to interact this much with the crowd. I'd never want to not play at places like this."

Let's go back in time to forty years ago when Walter was a ten year old who's musical interest was the trumpet. The great Duke Ellington was playing at a theater near Walter's home, and Walter's mother took him to the stage door of the theater, knocked on the door and told the Duke that her son was a trumpet player and wanted him to say hello to Walter. The next thing they knew they were in the dressing room with Duke, his full ensemble as well as Tony Bennett. "They befriended me and let me hang out with them all day and then be their guest that night at the show. And Duke was just a nice, warm and generous man to me. It was an incredible afternoon." Although the trumpet did not remain his instrument of choice, the musical philosophies that the Duke instilled in young Walter would apply throughout his career. "One thing Duke said that stuck was, 'If you go into this and want to do this and try to do it for a living and devote yourself to it, keep your focus on the music and the art of it and creating and being the best musician and the finest artist you have it in you to be. Don't get caught up in the hype, the glitter or the glamour. Strive with everything you can to maintain your focus at being a musician and the joy of creating the music'." Eventually, after really throwing himself into the music of Mike Bloomfield, Bob Dylan and the Beatles, Walter picked up the guitar and never looked back. He started working hard, playing in a number of bar bands which helped him become involved with some fairly well-known blues performers such as Louisiana Red, Big Mama Thornton and Percy Mayfield. It was while playing with Big Mama Thornton that he was spotted by a particular member of the audience named John Lee Hooker. Hooker invited Walter to join his band, which in turn spurred interest by Canned Heat. The progressive rise continued for Walter when Canned Heat opened for John Mayall and soon afterward, Walter became a member of the Bluesbreakers. "I basically went through about twenty years of being a sideman for the legends. But when I lived in Jersey, I also had a band just like the Radicals. It was my band with the same kind of instrumentation. We did much of the same type of material. But when I moved to California, I had the dream of doing a solo band but I kept getting these gigs playing guitar for all these other people and it was very easy to go from one band to the next. But when I was with John Mayall, I realized one day that if I really wanted to pursue my dream of doing my own music, I would have to leave his band." The chance came one night when they were playing in Denmark. John Mayall was sick and had to stay at the hotel, so the rest of the Bluesbreakers played the show without him. Walter and Koko Montoya took turns fronting the band and singing. After they came off stage, a rep from Elektra Records told Walter that he wanted him to record a solo album. There was also a promoter who told Walter that if he made the record he would book a tour for him. "It was dumped right in my lap, so I went for it and I haven't looked back." Walter released his debut album "Life In The Jungle" on Netherlands based label Provogue in 1990, and released several more albums on that label as well as appearing on tribute albums to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff Beck and a live album of the Jimi Hendrix Festival. Walter continued his hectic touring pace, gaining widespread popularity in both the U.S. and Europe, and in the late 90's, he was signed to the U.S. label Ruf Records who released his self-titled American debut in 1998. His 2000 Ruf release "Live Trout", capturing his live performance at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival, reached number 15 on Billboard magazine's blues chart. Walter was also recently ranked number six of all-time great guitarists in a BBC radio poll.

In 2001 Walter Trout hit the road again with the Radicals, who were comprised of bassist James Trapp, keyboardist Bill Mason and drummer Bernie Pershey to prepare for the late May release of their third Ruf album "Go The Distance." An unexpected possible snag developed shortly after the U.S. leg of the tour began as Bernie decided suddenly to quit the band to join Eric Burdon. Some quick scrambling found a replacement; Kenny Soule, who had drummed in the late 70's-early 80's band Nantucket. "I think Kenny was meant to be in my band because he's kicking ass. He's singing harmony with me and I've never had harmony in my band. Things happen for a reason and I'm very happy with him."

It is often thought by many folks that to play the blues you have to "live" the blues, but Walter has his own philosophy on the music that he loves and performs. "It's gotta have feeling. As far as the life style, all that crap about how you have to be the hard living blues man and be drinking and doping and tormented with the broken heart and all that, I think that's a myth. I think it's possible to be a pretty well-adjusted, happy and fulfilled human being and still play this music with feeling." After the last notes had faded into the lovely Georgia night, I'm sure that the hard core blues fans at Chips would agree with Walter's blues philosophy, as I'm sure the fans do in Memphis and Tampa and all the other towns that he tirelessly makes the annual trek to. For Walter Trout is a man with a lot of talent and passion who loves what he's doing, which bodes wonderfully for his fans as they keep looking forward to that next Walter Trout show. "I'm having the most fun right now. I'm fifty years old and I'm having the best part of my life. I've got a wife that I love. I have kids I love and I'm taking care of them by playing the guitar. I'm going out on tour and living my childhood dream which is to get up and play and sing for people. I haven't had a drink or a drug in fifteen years, and I'm lucky to be alive. But I'm clean and sober, I love my family, I love my band, I love what I'm doing. I've got it all. I don't ever want to retire; one of my dreams is to make it to where John Lee Hooker is where I'm eighty-five and they're putting me on the stage and handing me the guitar and I'm playing for people. I don't ever want to stop as long as God allows me to have the ability to do this." :->


2. INDUSTRY PROFILE - JAN MIRKIN of Mirkin Management by Mark E. Waterbury

Jan Mirkin was born and raised in a Maryland family that loved music. Her mother was a piano player who also sang at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and her father played piano as well as clarinet and banjo. "Us kids all took music lessons, and we had one of those households where family time was spent with everyone on an instrument. That's what we did for fun." Jan continued to play music while attending college at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos where she was majoring in journalism and psychology. A number of her friends were also musical performers. "I eventually found out that I did not really like performing, but my friends all did. I did like throwing parties so I kind of fell into where I'd throw parties and have my friends jam out and we'd charge admission. Then word got out in the community and in Austin that there was this college kid in San Marcos who was doing shows and they were great parties to play at, so bands just started contacting me." Jan really became interested in one band called Bad Mother Goose that played several of the parties, and they asked her if she would work with them. She started working with them as a manager, learning about the music business as she went and gleaning some aspects from both her journalism and psychology forays in college to help her with her new found career in the music business. Some of her learning came from a job as a booking agent for BBA Management, and the owner Michael Mordecai taught her about contracts and contacting promoters. "The rest I learned by trial and error. And then South by Southwest (music conference) started and that helped me. I went to a lot of the seminars, met a lot of people, listened, networked as much as possible, asked a lot of questions. And I still do that today." She securred a major record company deal for Bad Mother Goose and would later start an indie label called Fable Records to release subsequent albums. She would also land them a European licensing deal as well as touring the country with the band. She stayed with BBA for two years before leaving to start Mirkin Management in 1988, about the time she met Ian Moore and Miles Zuniga. She started managing Ian and Miles along with Bad Mother Goose after finding she wanted to do more management than booking. "I always cared for the artist and wanted to make sure that they were taken care of and that their needs were met - ensuring they did not get the short end of the stick, helping them move towards their dreams; it felt real normal for me to play the manager role." Eventually, Bad Mother Goose broke up after nine years, and Miles Zuniga, who was fronting a Warner Brothers signed band called Big Car would move on to become the front man for Fastball. But Jan continued managing Ian Moore and still manages him to this very day. Jan comments on her client selection process: "I've never looked for a band. I don't have a love for management. I have a love for the artists I manage. If my relationship ended with Ian today and I didn't love another artist in the sense of believing in their music, the people that they are and their dreams and visions, I wouldn't got out and search for another band just to stay in management. I would move on with my life. It just so happens that I continually get surrounded with great artists and people who I believe in and it has kept me going in the business. But it's got to be great music and it's got to be great people, because you get so entwined with these peoples' lives that you really have to like these people and want to be around them. So it's great music, great art, vision and the ability for them to be responsible on their end for what I need them to do for their success." Ian Moore has released numerous albums over the years, and is currently on tour again leading up to the release of a new album called "Via Satellite". Jan has also been running the creative division of Texas' ASCAP office for the past three years and may decide to delve into other areas of music in the future. "I'm always reaching out and changing to do different things. That's one of the reasons I'm working with ASCAP. It gives me the opportunity to work with a lot of artists and composers that I normally wouldn't have had the opportunity to, but without getting so involved that I'm managing them. It's a great bridge for me to use my talents in other ways and also learn more about the business." :->


3. SPOTLIGHT REVIEW - The Black Crowes' "Lions" by Mark E. Waterbury
ALBUM CAPSULES by Mark E. Waterbury

The Black Crowes - Lions
V2 Records - 63881-27001-2
There have not been that many cliches used to describe The Black Crowes in their ten-plus years of existence, but the ones that have been used with the most frequency are definitely grandiose. The most rock and roll, rock and roll band in the world. The second coming of the Rolling Stones. Addressing the later, sure - this band has not reached anywhere near the legendary status or popularity of the Stones, but they came along at a much different time than those legendary Brit lads. They arrived when rock and roll had to be pissed off or morbid, or to be a mega popular pop band, your music had to have more cheese in it than Wisconsin and Vermont combined. So element one for the Crowes was they had to play tough, solid rock and roll, which perhaps led to the moniker "the most rock and roll rock and roll band". Whether you believe that or not would have to depend on your personal definition of rock and roll, but from their raw straight forward beginnings to their hippie resurrected Dead flirtation in mid-life to their return to pounding rock anthems on 1999's "By Your Side", it has been that injection of gut basic rock and roll that has kept this band going and has kept their healthy-sized following happy. They have also always had that knack for liberally lacing their music with the roots of soul, R&B, blues or southern country and then planting a size twelve, steel-toed rock and roll boot square in its kiester, and roots is the key word that leads us to their latest effort "Lions". Perhaps just the singular "root" may work better, because "Lions" keeps most of the root definitions narrow, the music often bringing to mind folks like Sly Stone, Bill Withers, Billy Preston and Ike Turner. But the stylings of the songs themselves take several interesting turns within these soulful rock offerings. The lead track "Midnight From The Inside Out" does start things off with a potent dose of driving rock, and "Greasy Grass River" kicks a hippie tinted boogie into overdrive. If you listen to the foot stompin', hand clappin' "Soul Singer", a song sounding of a tent revival with the band members preaching their gospel through a snappy groove and choir-like chorus, or the very gin-joint retro "Ozone Mama", you can feel some of the truer example of their soulful roots which permeate most of this album. Chris Robinson's normally high pitched preaching has become a tad huskier, albeit on purpose and with more fervor and passion than ever, particularly on the throaty ballad "Miracle To Me". This is also the first Crowes recording with guitarist Audley Freed, and he plays in symbiotic complement to Rich Robinson's snarling blues-edged punch and razor sharp rhythms. Keyboardist Eddie Harsch gets to add more tasty morsels than usual to this overall church social supper, and Steve Gorman's simplistic but powerful drumming keeps the rhythm machinery in solid working order. With all the musicians clicking and the creative fluids flowing freely, it gives a serious edge to the songs that take a few little jaunts off the beaten path while still keeping that heady marriage of rock and soul a happy one. So "Lions" is not really a new direction - it is merely the same one with some pleasant and surprising detours on the way.


Walter Trout and the Radicals - Go The Distance
Ruf Records - RUF-1067
It can be tough sometimes for a blues player these days, as there is a fairly short list of song structures you can use and stay reasonably within the limits of the genre. So if you're going to perform original blues music, you better have something special going. Walter Trout has something special, and it goes a step beyond his obvious talent on the six string. His third solo CD "Go The Distance" is full of enough intense guitar solos to cause a guitar hero stigmata among young players as just listening to the chops could make your fingers bleed, but his solos are not just standard or flashy, instead they complement the music with their own personalities. He also has an emotive voice that adapts to the various song styles, carrying the lyrics that have unique and thoughtful slants on tried and true blues subjects. The songs themselves are all well crafted, from the nasty rock of "Outta Control" to the bad-ass shuffle "Ride 'Till I'm Satisfied" and the impassioned title track ballad. His bandmates add their own powerful chops to this equation, creating a killer effort by a veteran blues master who obviously loves what he's doing. E-mail: URL:

Shadow Gallery - Legacy
Magna Carta - MA-9047-2
The third release by power prog rockers Shadow Gallery gives serious credo to the six piece outfit, proving you can mention their name in the same breath with bands like Dream Theater, Marillion or Fates Warning. They don't push the heavier elements in their music quite as far as Dream Theater, but there is still a nice dose of dramatic metal, with intense keyboard passages and incredible guitar soloing to the slight nod of Yngwie. The songs also weave in uplifting passages bordering on classical and new age, and the song structures vary from standard to intricate and complex. One nice edge to the music is the ornate harmonies complementing Mike Baker's soaring vocals. From the tornadic rocking "Cliffhanger 2" to the awesomely beautiful ballad "Colors", this album would make a great collection to anyone who enjoys music of the musically brilliant but still rock and roll type. E-mail: URL:

SparkleDrive - SparkleDrive
Aware Records - CK 69833
SparkleDrive's self-titled debut takes gutsy, hook-driven pop, kicks in a healthy dose of edgy rock power and sprinkles with a subtle mix of songwriting personalities. Vocalist Val Strain brings a lot of the different facets to the forefront with her varied vocal slants, from little girl innocence to hard-bitten fervor. Guitarist Dan Strain then adds his own signature to the tunes, keeping things fresh from the burgeoning groove on "Climb Out" to the poignant ballad "Ugly" and the strong drive on "Let Go". The thought-provoking and life-driven lyrics all penned by Val, and the potent rhythm duo of bassist Clint Harris and drummer Adam Farley, complete the equation, and the result manages to take music that is not particularly ground-breaking, and put enough fresh feeling and talent into it to make it enjoyable, prompting a reason to believe this band could have a very bright future. URL:

Eric Alexandrakis - Self-titled
Y&T Music
This five song EP features two songs that are penned by Eric Alexandrakis, and three that were written by musicians he enjoys. Also performing, recording, arranging and producing the album, Eric proves to have talent but a quite bizarre take on music. His own songs are a very avant-garde mix of ambient acoustic and spacey psychedelia with Brit pop like vocals reminiscent of Billy Bragg and Robyn Hitchcock. The poppy folk of "Little King" penned by Phillip Roebuck is the strongest song of the bunch, with production not so overdone by effects and a hooky acoustic vibe with sweet vocals. In most aspects, the music on this CD could be considered a tad weird, but it's weird in a wonderfully extraordinary fashion. URL:

Jacobstone - Chambers & Volumes
True Tunes Records
This sophomore album by Wisconsin fivesome Jacobstone shows a great slant on unique songwriting, weaving elements as diverse as retro psychedelia, modern alt rock and ambient jazz. The lead track "Local Ember" makes you think of early Santana one minute, and the Verve Pipe the next. "Beauty Vines" starts as a piano-laden ballad with a new age vibe and then bursts into an edgy but melodic rock drive with a subtle early U2 feel. The music throughout the album is very intriguing, and it is obvious that a lot of thought and passion went into the songwriting. The musicianship is also stellar, keeping the songs very fresh and brimming with life. It's actually amazing in the fact that the music doesn't sound like anything out there now, but has a reassuring edgy rock pulse and a smooth pop undercurrent that should make this very popular with a wide variety of modern music fans. This band is one to definitely watch out for. E-mail: URL:

No One - Self-titled
Immortal/Virgin America
Coming from the Windy City, No One's brand of ferocious metal is powerful enough to topple the Sears Tower. Slated to appear on Ozz Fest, No One's self-titled megaton rated debut shows why they got a slot. Fierce grooving metal in the vein of Biohazard and Pantera is given an extra jolt by the intense voice of vocalist Murk, who goes effortlessly from gritty albeit understandable growl to intense clear-voiced passion, the latter very noticeable in a song like "Chemical". Guitarist B-Larz lays waste to the landscape with a brutal assault, but adds interesting dimensions, like the acoustic edged lead-in to "Shedding". The torrential rhythms of bassist Flare and drummer Billy K are sure to show up on doppler radar every time someone plays their music. And all heavy plaudits aside, they do put expend great effort into doing some little different things with the songwriting, which helps in a day when a lot of metal is getting to sound homogenous again. E-mail: URL:

Derrik Jordan - Expecting A Miracle
Worldsoul - W0033
The first full CD from Vermont-based performer/songwriter Derrik Jordan is a great collection of uplifting pop tunes with acoustic light jazz and rock backdrops and slight world embellishments. Subtly different facets of Derrik's wonderfully expressive voice are showcased on songs like the Toto-flavored title track, the grooving blues fueled "I Knew You When" and the exquisite ballad "Heal The Wounded Child". Another side comes out in the snappy island-flavored "Gonna Give You Love." Derrik's passion for lyric writing is also evident, and it adds great flavor to the music. His multi-talented abilities on various instruments are further augmented by the excellent core of musicians he has on this album. With great songs that range from easy listening to adult contemporary, Derrik is sure to catch some folk's attention with this effort. E-mail: URL:

Michael Monroe - Life Gets You Dirty
SPV - SPV 085-21522 CD
One of the top rock vocalists to ever come out of Scandinavia, Michael Monroe kicks some serious ass with his new solo album "Life Gets You Dirty." The former front-man of Hanoi Rocks performs blistering rock tunes which carry that punk edge to them with a nice touch of Bowie-esque glam and just plain old hard rock fervor. Surrounding himself with a hot core of musicians from his native Finland, the songs remind you of a time when rock and roll was good and nasty, but has enough modern flavor to pique the interest of kids who prefer edgier rock these days. Included is a remake of Hanoi Rock's "Self Destruction Blues", the song title being an apt description to the ferocious rock fired blues on this song. Other stand out tunes include the gritty "Go Hard" the fiery pop of "If The World Don't Want Me" and the Nugent flavored crazy rap laced "Not Bad For A White Boy". Michael's voice sounds awesome and this wild musical ride will hopefully bring more of his solo music to the States in the future. E-mail: URL: :->



Another Good Friend....Gone

The industry was saddened this week when they learned of the passing of Perry Como. He was the epitome of the gentleman's gentleman. Our first meeting was in 1958 when we (Tommy Sands' Group) appeared on his live TV show in New York. Perry detected that we were "All Shook Up" (no pun intended) by our nervousness during rehearsals, but he was both congenial and patient. Before the show, he came in our dressing room and readily noticed the panic. "What's wrong?" he asked. And I said, "Tonight we're going to be seen by millions of people and that's scary." Perry replied, "No it's not millions per se, it's one or two people sitting in front of their TVs or maybe ten in a nursing home so it's really not millions." That one statement helped a lot and furthermore, I was asked by Leo Fender to introduce a new model guitar (The Jazzmaster) on the show and I'd only played it once!! I didn't want to mess up! Strangely, Fred Newell, one of Nashville's finest guitarists, recently asked me if I still had that "white Jazzmaster", and I, in turn, said, "Yes, but where did you see it as I only played it once!" (Tommy liked the Strat sound better.) Fred replied, "On the Perry Como Show. You were my idol." My only reply to him was, "Good Lord! I can't even carry your guitar case these days!!" I gave up playing guitar when I became a producer as these session players here are far above what I ever was.

My second meeting with Perry was in Las Vegas when I was with the Eddie Fisher Show and Perry came backstage and was surprised to see me again. He asked me to have dinner with him, which I did, and at that time I asked him what he listened for when he was selecting material and he said (simply), "I'm a melody man." Then he went on to say that during the first and second listen, he tuned into the melody. Then if it hit him positively, he would get into the story in the song and obviously it worked because I saw the Gold Records on his wall when I was appearing with Guy Mitchell at the Copa in New York and went over to visit.

My last meeting with Perry was at the Chet Atkins Golf Tournament at Knoxville. I was not a great golfer, but because of being an ex-hockey player, I could blast it a mile so to speak, but never knew which clump of trees the ball would end up in, which provided many laughs for both Chet and Perry. This happened to be 14 years after our appearance in 1958 and I was seated between Perry and Chet at the banquet. I whispered to Chet that I had the rehearsal schedule for the 1958 show in my room and Chet said, "Go get it." So I did, then gently placed it in front of Perry and said, "When do we go on?" Perry was stunned and he went over each page line by line, remembering the show, and talking about those who were on it. (I recall Gwen Verdon being one of the acts.) You could tell he was recalling old memories and many smiles flourished.

My last remark to him was, "Didn't you get butterflies in your stomach before each show?" And Perry came back with, "Butterflies!!! I used to get eagles!" But you could never tell it by the way he graced the stage. Goodbye, old friend and thanks for the many things you taught this neophyte through the years. They will remain with me forever. :->



Stories & Sayings to keep you motivated in your career

You've got to think about big things while you're doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction. - Alvin Toffler

A wise man will make more opportunity than he finds. - Francis Bacon

My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging. - Hank Aaron

Love truth, but pardon error. - Voltaire:->


Lessons for Musicians from Music Midtown by Mark E. Waterbury

I hope some of you aspiring bands and musicians took heed to our article last month that revealed a frank glimpse at the touring world for baby bands. For those of you who honestly feel you're ready to hit the road with your show, you need to take a good look at your band and your live performance. Is your show the kind that's going to make people want to come back and see you again? Tell their friends about you? Buy your CDs and merchandise? Perhaps the reason some bands don't make it, even ones who have that drive to tour hard, is that their live show is boring. If you're the kind of band that just stands there like statues and plays your music, you might as well just get Marie Toussard to make wax figurines of the band members and set them up on stage with your music playing in the background on a CD player. OK, if you're a folk singer you're not going to jump around and do a Pete Townsend on your guitar, and no one expects a band starting out to have KISS-like pyrotechnics. But I'm talking about PERFORMANCE, and when people come to see a band they want to see what kind of passion you have for your music, and what you give to your performance can appear indicative of your passion in their eyes. If you want the audience to be passionate about your music, you have to relay the fact that YOU are passionate about it. That's why people go to see live music! They want you to connect with them. For examples I'd like to use some signed acts that performed at Atlanta's prestigious Music Midtown Festival. For those who are unfamiliar with the fest, it is three days on the first weekend in May of varied music from about 120 bands on eight stages. And it's a great way to see how a passionate live performance can spell success for your band, because these are stripped down performances at their best. Due to logistics at the festival the lights are fairly standard and of course during the daylight performances unnecessary and there are virtually no theatrics. Just the bands, their music and their fans.

Many of the Midtown acts were veterans of several generations and they excel in crossover music, and when you see most of these bands in concert you can understand their longevity. 80's melodic hard rockers Night Ranger are a perfect example. With no new music that radio will touch in a long time, and critics who slam the band making the 1984 hit "Sister Christian" their albatross, the band has to do what many bands from the era do to survive; tour. But they keep their fans happy and perhaps make a few new ones with their very energetic live show. These guys are constantly moving and enticing the crowd, and their energy level was contagious for the several hundred onlookers. Critics may disavow them, but this band obviously loves what they're doing and plays for the fans, not the critics, and this has made survivors of them. A band who has been around for about seven years longer than Night Ranger, Cheap Trick, brought one of the largest crowds of the weekend to the 96 Rock stage. Another band without a hit in a number of years, Cheap Trick has enduring sing-along tunes like "Surrender" and "I Want You To Want Me", and granted it is very important to have strong songs as well. But in concert this band adds to their music the frenetic antics of guitarist/singer Rick Nielsen, which are complimented by the solid performances of Robin Zander, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos. Nielsen is the obvious focal point, and his mere entrance on stage brought one of the biggest ovations from the crowd. Sometimes if you've got the right slant on being a little weird on stage it can help, and it has always fit with Cheap Trick. Remember this also about Cheap Trick's and Night Ranger's shows; these guys are not kids anymore either. So there should be no excuse for you kids today not to have energy on stage. And while one of the most enduring performers at Midtown, Al Green, considered the "Reverend" to many, does not jump or run around much anymore, he still writhes and contorts and literally secretes his passion as he reaches from deep within his heart and soul to sing the songs that have made him a legend in the R&B and Gospel worlds.

A solid front-man can definitely keep a show exciting even if the other band members tend to move around very little. While The Black Crowes band members aren't exactly zombies on stage, most eyes tend to be on the choir leader Chris Robinson. Chris is a constant ball of energy as he leads his congregation in the band's soulful rock and roll gospel. But the Crowes ad another element to their live show. They just seem to play everything a bit heavier, beating their strings harder, pounding on the drums and the keys that much harder. They reach for that little bit extra, and it causes an intensity that always seems to send their shows over the top, and enthralled the very large crowd at the 99 X stage even though many of the songs played were from the band's yet to be released album "Lions".

Steve Earle is another performer who finds a way to pump up the intensity in his music in a live show. He doesn't move around like Chris Robinson, but he by no means stands still either, and the electrifying way he and his solid band The Dukes ad an extra rock jolt to the varied country, blues and rock flavored songs that he has written over the years. His songs are already song, but he makes them even stronger in concert, thus making him one of the more popular albeit slightly underground singer/songwriters today.

Remember how in last month's article we told you how important it is to play your best no matter the size of the crowd? One band that proves that point is Less Than Jake. Ignored by radio (they sound kind of like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones but without the gargling with ground glass vocals) they had an unenviable slot early in the afternoon on Sunday, but they drew in a couple hundred people and blew them from here to Boston with their live intensity and biting humor while talking to the audience. Even the horn section was jumping around. Interacting with the audience also boded well for a couple of the old-school rap acts on the V-103 stage; the Sugar Hill Gang and Run DMC. The two groups brought their audience to a frenzy with their energetic antics and crowd pleasing communication as they led virtual sing-alongs to their familiar tunes. Musical women were also well represented at Midtown from several eras. Patti Smith, one of the few surviving true punkers spit out pure energy as if this was CBGB's in the late 70's. Atlanta's folk heroes The Indigo Girls, playing mere miles from where they cut their teeth at tiny watering holes in Decatur, prove that folk music can be intense on stage, with the passion resonating from them enough to grip a crowd that was sandwiched between sets by intensely rocking bands Fuel and Tantric. And the Jennifer Nettles Band, another Atlanta outfit, proved why they may be the next hot thing coming out of the Peach State with a very entertaining show and passionate vocals, guitar and flute work performed by Jennifer with unbridled enthusiasm.

The Jennifer Nettles Band was not the only new act to have an exciting stage presence. Austin's Dexter Freebish should be another band on the fast track to stardom, as their power pop songs were augmented by the energy of their stage presence, with the women really digging front-man Kyle. Guys (and gals) to be blunt and more than slightly cliche: if you've got it, FLAUNT IT! This helps the popularity of bands that have charismatic frontmen, like Live's Ed Kowalczyk. Young soul R&B singer Bilal puts a classic slant on his modern music and moves his audience as he controls the stage with his karma. Atlanta's Marvelous 3 also has a charismatic front-man in Butch Walker, but it doesn't stop there with this band. Even though there were no official pyrotechnics involved, Marvelous 3 literally explodes when they hit the stage, providing a wildly energetic show without taking away anything from their music. This too is important. You can go crazy and jump around on stage, but the songs can't suffer from it, and if you're good at what you do, they shouldn't. The stage presence should come naturally as you feel your passions flow, and your actions will then augment and complement your music. Even modern radio darlings know that they have to have a strong live show to keep the popularity rolling. The Offspring played to one of the largest and craziest crowds at the fest and it is easy to see why. Despite the fact that their hits are among the most homogenous collections of songs since ZZTop fell in love with MTV in the mid 80's, they go nuts on stage performing them, and get the crowd as involved as possible. Even though the crowd was generally the younger college-age type, I know one particular 40-something who really enjoyed their onstage energy.

So I've gone around and around with this, but I hope that you glean the important points from this whirlwind tour of some of the highlights of Music Midtown. It shouldn't matter if you don't like some or any of the aforementioned acts' music. What should matter is that these bands are playing on a big stage in a respected festival in one of the country's biggest music markets in front of up to thousands of people. The next night or in a couple days most of the acts will be playing in another fest, or an arena or large music club. And they will keep playing at them. They are SUCCESSFUL! And everyone that I mentioned plus several I did not mentioned as well as numerous successful performers worldwide have made it not just on their music but on the strength of their live performance. I will repeat it: Your live show is a reflection of the passion you feel for your music, and that passion should connect you with your audience! So when you hit the road, reach inside yourselves for your passion every time you hit the stage. That will be another step in the right direction if you want to hear your names mentioned in the same breath with those successful acts at Music Midtown someday. :->


News and Opportunities Compiled for Musicians, Songwriters and Music Professionals by Sandy Serge

Music Morsels encourages all of you to fax your press releases to us at 678/494-9269 or email them to for possible inclusion in this column. This column will be featured monthly. Deadline for inclusion is the 25th of the month for the upcoming issue.

Attn: Musicians - Serge Entertainment Group needs dedicated booking representatives in all parts of the USA. If you have booking experience through booking your own band (or anyone else's) and you want to make some extra money by securing quality bookings for other indie bands, please email for more information. This is your opportunity to help other indie musicians and make money while doing so! Commission based with incentive program.


OE Pop Group Auditions
Diversifying Pop/R&B For more info visit
P.O. Box 1631
Duluth GA 30096 - Want to see YOUR film, TV program or video on internet television? Write them at

THIS OFFER EXPIRES 5-31-01 - You can sign up for a Special Services Membership for a limited time only...this is an unadvertised Special Offer for previous La Costa Music Site Visitors. It is an all inclusive membership that gives access to all La Costa Music websites and seminars for only $10 per month!!!!!For more information go to this webpage:

Banzai, DJ at, is willing to let anyone sit in with him as a guest host during M4Radio Live (if you are in the Central Florida area). Just drop him an e-mail of when you can and why he should let you be my special guest host for a day.

SFK is back! SFK - Email zine covering the worlds of power pop and melodic rock....
Sign up at

Good music biz articles -
Insider Secrets to the Music Business
By Carla Hall (Associate Writer)
Be a Musician - That Ain't Workin'!
By Ken Klar (Must Have Music)

NEW Links pages on JIPrecords - ADD YOUR LINK!
JIPrecords does link exchange with your entertainment - shopping - music site!
p.s. Get a FREE Vacation 3d/2nites JUST FOR VISITING!

Undercurrents 2001, the 13th annual international music expo, is now accepting tapes and promo kits from musicians, bands and songwriters who are interested in being considered for a showcase performance during the September 20-22 event.
All entries should include a 3-song cassette tape or CD, one-page biography, an 8 X 10 black & white photograph, and a $25 handling fee. Entries are not returned and deadline is postmark of August 1st, 2001.
Undercurrents 2001 will feature music business seminars, and musical showcases. The Undercurrents Music Showcase connects fans with bands. In addition, the showcase performances will spotlight musical talent to industry professionals such as record companies, music publishers, agents, managers, producers, radio stations and print media who come to Cleveland for this three day event.
Send all entries to:
Undercurrents 2001
P.O. Box 94040
Cleveland, Ohio 44101-6040



Looking for products or services to assist you on your path to success?? Then look here! Ad rates are only $15. Your ad runs for 3 months and has visibility all over the world. For complete ad rates, contact All ads are also posted on our web site at
Labels, musicians, songwriters - send your press kits with CDs for a possible upcoming review/interview to Sandy Serge - Editor, Music Morsels, P.O. Box 2760, Acworth, GA 30102 USA .


Music Morselsí Own Scott Turner Chronicles His Life In Audio Cassette Series
Scott Turner Audio Cassette Series Tape #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 Are Now Available!
Scott Turner, renowned publisher/producer/songwriter and columnist for Music Morsels has begun his audio cassette series chronicling his 47 years in the music industry. Each 90 minute tape will highlight the important events in his music career from his first recording session and how he landed a recording deal to his days with Buddy Holly, Tommy Sands, Guy Mitchell, Eddie Fisher, Herb Alpert, Audie Murphy, Harry Nilsson, Phil Spector as well as his career at recording labels such as Central Songs and the country division at Liberty which eventually became United Artists. Each tape sells for $12 and will periodically include songs that have never been heard along with rare photos. The first tape chronicles Scott Turner's "Early Years" beginning in the mid-50's spoken by Scott Turner himself. Several publishers have approached him to write a book, but guess what? Scott Turner has graced us with the honor of presenting the treasured moments in his musical career on tape to you!

To order Tape #1, please complete this form (copy and paste is easiest) and mail with your check or money order for $12 plus $1 shipping and handling ($13 total) to: Scott Turner Cassette Series, c/o Serge Entertainment Group, P.O. Box 2760, Acworth, GA 30102 USA . You will receive ordering information for additional tapes when you receive your first tape.

Name __________________________________________

Address ________________________________________

City, State, Zip __________________________________


Email __________________________________________

Please make checks payable to Serge Entertainment Group. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Thank you for your order!


Rock Candy Music Video Show is looking for videos from unsigned bands to air on their show. They are based in Vacaville, California and are currently cablecast in several Northern California cities. The show debuted on June 27, 1996 and has received great response from unsigned bands from all around the world. The response from unsigned bands has been so good that they have been able to do all unsigned bands "Rising Stars" episodes about every 10-12 months. Rock Candy is a non-profit show produced for the entertainment of its viewers. The show is one hour and airs one new episode per month. They feature top name bands that perform Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, and Glam. On each episode, they feature one unsigned band on their "Rising Stars" segment of the show. If you would like to get your video on Rock Candy, check out the Rock Candy Unsigned Bands Page at
You will find all of the information you need to submit a video there.
You can contact Rock Candy with questions at:
Rock Candy
142 S. Orchard Ave
Vacaville, CA 95688
E-Mail us at:
Producer: Troy Correia
Rock Candy is a non-profit show produced at TCI Cablevision in Vacaville, Ca. for Public Access Television.
Rock Candy Music Videos is a Trademark.

================================ ~ Save Time & Promote Your Music Free!
1000's of contacts for musicians, no cost, no hassles.
Where Serious Musicians Surf


SONGWRITER'S MONTHLY - the stories behind today's songs. For a free sample, call 1-800-574-2986.


"Best of Bad Boy", the CD on Surgeland Records by Midwestern rockers Bad Boy has sold-out its first pressing. On to the second pressing. To order, visit the best on-line indie store around - CD Baby - at Also available at The Exclusive Company, Mainstream Records, Nickelodeon, Dream Disc and Madcity Music Exchange. Overseas the cd is available through DSB Distributors in Germany. For more info on Bad Boy, please visit their web site at Order at or call 1-800-448-6369. THE LEGEND LIVES ON....


Musicians Tip Sheet - The Tip Sheet is a free newsletter for musicians which includes many industry contacts and informative information about the music industry. To subscribe, please send an email to: mailto:


Attn: COUNTRY MUSIC LOVERS - hearing is believing! If you haven't ordered your own copy of Lea Brennan's debut CD "The Entrance" produced by Nashville's Scott Turner, please do so now at If you like Stevie Nicks, Alison Krause and Dolly Parton, you will love this beautiful soprano's vocal renditions on this collection of wonderful traditional country tunes!


The new alt/rock CD "Seeing in the Dark" featuring the single "Nothing at All" which aired on the ABC series "Making the Band" by NineDollarMelonBaller is now available at CD Baby


Like Hip-Hop? If you like the song "Baby Got Back", then visit and download the song "Sexy Thighs" by Prince EQ. coined the song the "Baby Got Back of 2000".


CD Baby - the best indie online store in the world -


JOIN INTERMIXX, the nation's first true indie music Internetwork. Indie musicians need to market themselves in every way they can, to reach the maximum number of consumers. The Internet has helped make this more possible now than ever before. Maximize your Internet marketing capability by joining InterMixx. Find out more by entering the InterMixx IndieGate: or call 1 800 MIXX MAG. Because Sandy Serge, editor of Music Morsels, is a valued InterMixx member, please mention Music Morsels and receive a special $50 discount off the annual membership fee of $150.00!


ATTENTION BANDS, LABELS, MUSICIANS & MUSIC BUSINESSES! Serge Entertainment PR gives you access to all of the music industry's top publishers, editors and journalists in print, broadcast and the Internet. We position you for success!! Visit our web site at


Get a FREE subscription to The Buzz Factor, Bob Baker's music marketing tip sheet. Every issue features inspiration and low-cost marketing ideas for your independent band or record label. To subscribe, just send a blank email to or visit


181.4 Degrees from the Norm! If you're looking for today's newest music, then stop by 181.4 Degrees from the Norm! We put out a new issue each month that's loaded with album reviews, regular columns, concert reviews, and more. No fluff - just truth in reviewing.


Labels, songwriters and musicians!
Check out the Bandit A&R Newsletter at
For a free sample copy and info, send a blank email to
Here is just ONE example of numerous listings that appear in Bandit A&R Newsletter:
Barry Tomes of GOTHAM says "We are currently on the lookout for Finished masters of Rock product for Russia and Japan also cover versions for many overseas territories, New Dance product is always required by our international partners. Publishing opportunities are there for the right product. No demos are accepted only master quality recordings, all masters sent must have written confirmation of ownership attached.
Tel 0121 477 9553 [Return with SAE]


GAJOOB Magazine's DiY Report is a listing of DiY recording information, distributed freely over the Internet 2-3 times monthly for musicians. To subscribe, send an e-mail to Also available in hypertext format on the World Wide Web at


Fall into a place beyond earth listening to music by new age/classical pianist Mark Birmingham. Visit his web site at for a taste of his "Garden Life" CD that offers some true soothing and relaxing music as well as several uplifting, emotive tunes for your listening pleasure. Media members: For more info or a presskit, contact


ATTN: MUSICIANS! HAVE WE GOT THE 411 FOR YOU! Get the only directory you will ever need - A&R Registry (Regional A&R contacts not listed in any other directory with all major & independent labels in LA, NY, Nashville & London). All this for only $325.00 1 year (6 issues) or get a trial issue for only $65.00. Call the Music Business Registry at 800-377-7411 for ordering information.



To SUBSCRIBE to our FREE e-mail version of Music Morsels, send an email message to and put the word "Subscribe" in the subject field. That's it. Expect to receive your email issue the first week of every month. Please note: We do not share or sell our mailing list with anyone so your privacy is protected.


That's it for June! Thank you for your subscription. E-ya next month!


To the Serge Home Page.
Back to the Music Morsels page.