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The Recording Academy’s Third Annual GRAMMY® GPS

September 11, 2012

The Memphis chapter of the Recording Academy will host its third annual GRAMMY® GPS: A Roadmap for Today’s Music Biz on Saturday, September 29 from 10:30 am to 10:30 pm. The event aims to educate artists, producers, labels and managers who are trying to succeed in the music industry.

The event will feature a keynote address from Sub Pop Records co-founder Jonathan Poneman. In 1987, Poneman started the label with Bruce Pavitt in Seattle. The label played an important part in launching the careers of artists like Nirvana and Beach House. The event will also have a panel discussing socially conscious hip-hop hosted by Talib Kweli, who has often been called a king of New York hip-hop and has worked with everyone from Mos Def to Kanye West.

The all-day event will feature more educational panels and demonstration sessions. All those in attendance will have access to rare high-profile contacts as well as valuable information that they can put towards developing their career in the music industry. The event is free for Recording Academy and GRAMMY U® members and is $35 for the general public. For more information  and to RSVP for the event, click hereImage


September 7, 2012

Rock for Love 6 is celebrating the Church Health Center’s 25th birthday September 6th-9thin midtown Memphis.

The festival kicked off yesterday at the Hi-Tone Café with Mark Edgar Stuart, The Merry Mobile, Mouserocket and Jim Mize performing.

Rock for Love is full to the brim with music, food, and includes a block party at Overton Square on September 8th. Artists include the renowned Memphis Dawls, a local group of talented Memphis musicians whose career has soared since opening for Jack White last spring, as well as the legendary artists Booker T. and Al Kapone. The Rock for Love festival is a collaboration of newage sound, Memphis blues, classic soul, jazz, and unimaginable talent. Each of these musicians have their own, unique voice, yet adds to a single voice that is Memphis. If you’re looking for a good time this weekend, there is no better place to be.

Rock for Love brings many musicians and music lovers to the Memphis area, thus enhancing our musical culture. The rich diversity of this weekend is a delightful treat that you just can’t miss.

For more information, including the complete schedule and line-up and ticket information, visit All proceeds will go to the Church Health Center.


September 7, 2012

Since it was built in 1936, the Levitt Shell has been at the heart of Memphians community spirit. Year after year, friends and family gather to see the free concert series the Shell offers.

This year’s fall line-up is diverse and eclectic, including artists such as Emmylou Harris, Gregory Porter, Alvin Youngblood Hart, FreeWorld, and many more. Also, as a part of Rock for Love 6, Booker T. will be playing at the Shell on Sunday September 9th as the festival’s final performer. The concert is free and all food and drink sales will benefit the Church Health center. This is a great way to support Memphis music and get a taste of the real, local community.

Like the Memphis Music Foundation, the Levitt Shell strives to develop community in Memphis through music. The fall series starts on September 6th and goes until October 14th. Shows are at 7:30 pm, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and at 6:00 pm on Sundays. The Levitt Shell is centrally located at Overton Park in midtown Memphis.

For the complete calendar, directions, and more information visit

Gospel Music Community Town Hall Meeting Notes

May 10, 2012

Monday, April, 30th was a Great night for Memphis Gospel and Christian Music, Historic even.  As you may know Memphis Gospel Alliance hosted its first ever Town Hall Meeting.

 Memphis Gospel Music Community Town Hall Meeting and SAGMA Membership Drive at Visible Music College
 The Memphis Gospel Music Community Town Hall Meeting was a City Wide effort to: 

  • Unify the Gospel Music Community at Memphis
  • Discuss strategies to advance and promote OUR Gospel Music Artist Nationally
  • Improving the quality of life and cultural condition for Gospel music and its makers

The Information was powerful and the panelists were OUTSTANDING. 

Cameron Mann (Memphis Music Resource Center ) Johnnie Walker – (Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission, National Association of Black Female Executives in Music & Entertainment, Inc.), Jon Hornyak (The Recording Academy Memphis Chapter , Sheri Jones-Moffett – STELLAR AWARD Winning, GRAMMY nominated Gospel Recording Artist), Dion Moffett (Technology Evangelist,  Enough Industries LLC)Ken Steorts – Founder and President of Visible Music College – Founding guitarist, songwriter, and road manager of the GRAMMY, DOVE, and Billboard Music Awards nominated rock band Skillet). Jonathan W. Cross II – Music Business Professional – Chairman, 3PM Media Group/NMC Holdings Inc – Principal at 1st Sentinel Talent Advisors – Chief Sound Engineer at Mississippi BlvdChristian Church), Jason Clark – Producer and CEO Cannon Music Group –  AWARD WINNING, GRAMMY NOMINATED MUSIC PRODUCER – MUSICAL DIRECTOR – MUSIC INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE – COMPOSER), Marque “Keybeeetsss” Walker – Multiple Grammy and DOVE nominated Producer, Engineer, Song writer, and Musician – with contributions on many STELLAR Award winning CD’s), Ron Elliot Briggs (Ronnie B) – Owner / Creative Mind at Purpose By Design Print and Graphics – Music Director / Personality at AM 1480 WBBP – Coordinator, Public Relations International Music Department Church Of God In Christ, Inc.), Darrell Pettis – National Gospel Artist of Darrell Pettis and Strength in Praise (SIP) one of the hottest Gospel groups in the nation!

All came together in one place at one time and shared information that will pierce the glass ceiling seemingly over Memphis Gospel Music and help to catapult it beyond the Greater Mid-South.
Information is power, shared information is strategic power when used wisely it creates partnerships to help us all achieve common goals and objectives. That night was the start of something big, how big is up to you, the Memphis Gospel Music Community stakeholders.  “United We Stand, Together We Can”

This event was in keeping with the Vision and Mission of the Memphis Gospel Alliance (MGA).

Memphis Gospel Alliance (MGA) commits to educate, expose, promote and celebrate the Gospel through Memphis music and toMemphis through Gospel music. 

MGA actively facilitates communication and interaction between local, regional, national and international music entities to advance Memphis and its gospel music to the forefront of the industry GLOBALLY.

We are committed to sharing information and identifying resources that create opportunities for Memphis Gospel and Christian Music.

Help us, help you.  Send commits and suggestions to us via e-mail to:

Michael Steven Moore
Executive Director, Memphis Gospel Alliance
Columnist, Memphis Music Foundation
431 South Main Street, Ste 201B
Memphis, TN 38103
901.690.3262 – Cell


May 7, 2012






24 Hours/ 24 Awards/ 8 Cities/ 1 Historic Road Trip

New York, NY, May 04, 2012 – Viacom Music Group, which includes MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo, today announced that its groundbreaking and Webby Award winning O Music Awards,, a digitally driven event that celebrates and honors the artists, fans and innovators impacting digital music culture, will return on June 27th. The third iteration will be the world’s first 24-hour award show live stream, an event that will unfold via a historic bus ride through the Mississippi Delta, the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. Running tandem with the awards, one courageous band will board a tricked-out bus and zigzag across the region in attempt to break Jay-Z’s Guinness World Records® title for the Most Live Concerts In 24 Hours (Multiple Cities) hitting a total of 8 cities starting in Memphis and ending in New Orleans. Beginning today, fans can suggest potential categories and nominees via Categories, nominees and the band attempting to break the world record will be announced at a later date. Confirmed sponsors include Honda, SK Energy and Starbucks® Frappuccino® blended beverages.
With each cycle, O Music Awards continues to best itself and smash records in the process. O Music Awards 2 beat out April’s debut as MTV’s second biggest live stream ever, nearly doubling the previous numbers, generating more that 1.4 million live streams and 22.3 million votes.

Having already invaded Las Vegas’ iconic Fremont Street last April and West Hollywood on Halloween night in 2011, O Music Awards now has its sights set on the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll: the Mississippi Delta, an area that’s been home to musical greats like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Robert Johnson, W.C. Handy, Howlin’ Wolf, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Justin Timberlake, Alex Chilton and Three 6 Mafia.

But this is no mere road trip down memory lane; it’s a celebration of musical roots and a down and dirty, 24-hour live stream where anything can happen. The band in question will be in a constant state of “go” as cameras follow them on the bus, on the stage and everywhere in between. Along the way, the band will stop in 8 different cities and will play alongside a wide range of artists, meet up with fans and presenters who will dole out awards, and, of course, deal with all the pitfalls and unexpected detours that a multi-state road trip entails – flat tires, stops at musical monuments, and perhaps the occasional music-making hitchhiker. The audience at home can watch it all from any screen and, naturally, interact, influence, and play a part in the voyage as they head toward the final destination.
“We started O Music Awards as an experiment and it keeps gaining momentum as an incubator for experimenting with interactive storytelling across multiple platforms,” said Dermot McCormack, Executive Vice President of Viacom Music & Logo Group. “We invite the audience in and together we want to push the boundaries of how stories are told. We also have some fun, give out awards and break a few records.”
Categories and nominees will be announced on Wednesday, May 23. Past O Music Award winners have included Bjork (Digital Genius Award), Kanye West (Best Tweet), Tokio Hotel (Fan Army FTW), Nirvana (Best Vintage Viral Video), Spotify (Most Addictive Social Music Service), Aquarium Drunkard (Best Independent Music Blog), Way Out West (Most Innovative Festival) and CrowdJuke (Best Music Hack). (NOTE- KP TO ADD HYPERLINKS TO ACCEPTANCES WHERE AVAIL)
In the coming weeks, we’ll reveal the identity of the band slated to take on the world record, as well as the artists who will join them on the road. The previous award shows have featured a myriad of performers that span multiple genres, including The Flaming Lips, Robyn and Mumford & Sons; and have been springboards to launch artists including Foster the People, Mac Miller and Alabama Shakes. (NOTE- KP TO ADD HYPERLINKS TO PERFORMANCES WHERE AVAIL)

Running in tandem with the awards and performances, O Music Awards have successfully made its way into the history books by carving out 3 Guinness World Records. During the inaugural O Music Awards in Las Vegas in April of 2011, rapper Chiddy of Chiddy Bang snagged Guinness World Records titles for the Longest Freestyle Rap and the Longest Marathon Rapping record after rapping for 9 hours, 16 minutes and 22 seconds. For O Music Awards 2, the show took on an even more ambitious goal: Longest Team Dance Marathon. A group of 13 dancers assembled at LA’s famed club The Roxy on Halloween Eve to take on this epic attempt.  Twenty-four hours later, all 13 were still standing and seized the record. The effort also raised more than $32,000 to fight bullying, with the money divided equally between The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), The It Gets Better Project, The Gay Straight Alliance Network (GSA), Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and The Trevor Project.
The O Music Awards are much more than just an awards show. With a news blog, monthly live event series (O Music Awards Unboxed) and more, has become one of the premiere destinations for all things related to digital music innovation both online and off.



Kurt Patat
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Carucage Records: Your New Favorite Label

May 3, 2012


 Carucage Records is Memphis’s new DIY label. Taylor Bryant, co-founder of Carucage Records, began working in promotion and production at a young age, especially when you consider that when the label originally launched he was completing his senior year at Christian Brothers High School. Alongside Taylor is his cousin, Cory Robinson, based out of St. Louis and close friend Zohayr Shirazee (guitarist/vocalist of Memphis’ own Adaje).  These guys run the label solely on their individual personal finances and of course with any profit that the label generates. When asking Zohayr about the label’s goals, he stated “our only goal really is to help bands that support themselves but don’t have the funds necessary to put out releases they want to put out. The key…is to only work with bands that can pull their own weight for multiple reasons. One, it makes it easier on us financially because it’s easier to make our money back that we’re putting into these releases. The fact is that none of us are millionaires and we can only do a certain number of releases at a time…Also, we constantly work with other labels for virtually every release we’ve done so far, so this further exposes us to different scenes and audiences, which is another goal of ours…The more exposure we have as a label, the more exposure the band can get”

Since the label’s beginning, Carucage Records has had a wide range of artists from practically every corner of America and the demand is so high for the guys at Carucage that submissions for 2012 are already filled up due to the “interest of not going broke”.  DIY ethics are firmly rooted in the label as most printing, recording, promotion, etc. is done by Carucage or close friends. Additionally, did we mention that most of the releases from the label are available for a digital download for free? Of course, there are other forms of release such as vinyl and cassette tapes, which yet again is another indication of the label’s DIY drive. This method of wearing their hearts on their sleeves is paying off, especially for Memphis’ own punk band Adaje as they recently played numerous gigs at Austin’s SXSW, have an upcoming release, and are going to be touring this summer. That being said check out the label’s upcoming releases and help support these guys and their desire to change and unite music of all forms spread throughout the country.

Recent Releases:

  • Louds? – Self-Titled Cassette Tape
  • Tubetops – Self-Titled EP Cassette Tape
  • Dads – Brush Your Teeth, Again 😉 EP Cassette Tape

Courtney Little Birthday Celebration

April 27, 2012

Groups unite to locate royalties for musicians from The Commercial Appeal

April 27, 2012

While it’s no secret that Memphis has a wealth of musical talent, the wealth that those artists should be pocketing often remains unknown, even to them.

To help change that tune, the Memphis Music Foundation is collaborating with SoundExchange, a performance rights organization, to locate unclaimed money owed to Memphis artists.

10, more than $65,000 in royalties has been distributed to local musicians, and the MMF wants to help others claim thousands of dollars in additional uncollected royalties.

One of the local organization’s primary missions is to educate artists about the business side of the music industry and to help them make money, said Pat Mitchell Worley, director of development and communications for the MMF.

“Digital has been a godsend for many independent artists because of increased exposure, but too many of them are missing out on royalties from that exposure,” Worley said.

“There’s so much more to being a musician than performing on stage. There are many pieces to put together and we’re here to help them do that.”

That’s why the MMF is stepping up efforts to encourage its members — as well as local artists who aren’t affiliated with the organization — to register with SoundExchange. There’s no cost to sign up, but the potential payoff could be significant.

“We believe what’s been claimed by Memphis artists so far is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s really no way of knowing how much in collected royalties is out there until artists register and collect their earnings,” Worley said. “There’s absolutely no cost for them and we’re firmly advocating that they sign up. We’ll even be glad to help them with the process if they need assistance.”

Memphis artists receiving royalties collected by SoundExchange include the 8Ball and MJG, Magic Kids, Preston Shannon, and Project Pat.

Established in 2003, SoundExchange is a nonprofit performance rights organization that collects royalties on behalf of sound recording copyright owners — typically record labels — and musical artists for digital performances.

Fourth-quarter distributions of royalties for 2011 were nearly $90 million, with year-end royalty payments exceeding $290 million. The organization has paid out more than $900 million in collected royalties since its inception and that figure is expected to keep growing.

Last year SoundExchange performed more than 80 database matches with partner organizations such as the MMF and registered more than 15,000 new artists, labels and rights holders.

And while many top-name musical artists are registered with SoundExchange, the group primarily helps independent artists. In fact, 90 percent of the royalty checks distributed by the organization are for under $5,000.

And the agency also benefits legacy acts and estates. For example, artists whose music was recorded decades ago — but is still being played on digital oldies stations — also may be entitled to uncollected royalties.

“It’s not just the superstars, but up-and-coming artists and some of them who are no longer performing or their heirs who stand to benefit from signing up with us,” said Marie Knowles, vice president of communications for SoundExchange.

“We understand that some artists have a sense of skepticism about this and think it’s too good to be true, but the fact is that it’s their money and they’re entitled to it. Our job is to help them get it.”

— James Dowd: (901) 529-2737


What: Nonprofit performance rights organization that collects statutory royalties from satellite radio such as SIRIUS XM, Internet radio, cable TV music channels and similar platforms for streaming sound recordings.

Cost: Free registration, but organization keeps back 6.7 percent of collected royalties to pay for operating and administrative costs.


Five Things Every Musician Should Know About Personal Finance

April 20, 2012

April is Financial Literacy Month and your music business can’t grow without sound fnaicial planning. Here’s a blog dedicated to teaching musicians about money management. 

from Music Money 101

Dealing with one’s finances can be a daunting task. However, learning the basics and using a consistent approach to managing your personal finances, the task is not all that difficult after all. Below are the five most important finance concepts every musician should know.

1. The Time Value of Money 
Despite recessions, deflation threats and falling house prices, a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow.  This is really one of those big dilemmas in the world of finance because you have to make a choice between something of value (your cash) for another thing called time.  You can’t have both at once. You either spend your money now or you save your money and spend it later. If you wait and spend it later you want your money to grow over time and be rewarded for not spending it right now. Otherwise, why bother waiting knowing that your dollars will buy you less over time. Can you see that time has value?  How much value is better understood once you appreciate the power of exponential growth and how it applies to interest.

2. Compound Interest
Albert Einstein once said: “Compound interest is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time.” Yet, everyone seems to memorize his famous E=mc2 in favor of the good old compound interest formula. What was that formula again?  Here it is:  Pn = P0 (1+r)n

Where, Pn = Future Value, P0 = Present Value or Principal, r = interest rate (per year), n = time (in years) a.k.a. compounding periods

To really appreciate the power of compound interest let’s call it by its real name: Exponential interest.  Exponential interest is based on an exponential function with the value for time being the exponent. For longer periods of time, the exponential increase of the interest amount becomes all the more clear when comparing it to a linear growth rate, the much more intuitive way of looking at increases over time. 

This can have particularly devastating effects when underestimating the power of exponential interest for credit card and other debt.  Understand the exponential function to get a sense of how the power of compound interest can make or break you.

3. The Rule of 72 
The Rule of 72 is a simplified way to estimate how long an investment will take to double, given a fixed compound interest rate. Here’s how it works: 

72 ÷ interest rate =  # of years it takes to double your money

For instance, if you could earn 6% return on an investment each year, it would take approximately 12 years  (72 ÷ 6 = 12) to double your money.  If you are a guitar player, the number 72 should ring a bell.  In case it doesn’t, please consider the Guitar Player’s Rule of 72.

4. Understand Credit, Debt and Leverage 
Consumer credit, credit cards and various ways of financing have become an essential part of today’s economy. No industry has been untouched by the pervasive use of credit and the global economy would come to a standstill if credit were to dry up completely. During the financial crisis of 2008/2009 we saw a glimpse of what could happen when the well of instant credit dries up.

It is essential to understanding how interest and financing charges on your credit cards and loans work. But it is equally important to limit the amount of overall debt.  Credit can be a tool just like a lever; it can multiply your purchasing power.  The downside however, is also clear.  If you use leverage to purchase depreciating assets like consumer goods and electronics, you may find that the amount of debt you took on can be overwhelming.

I use credit cards for their convenience and for some of the benefits they provide.  In essence, credit cards give you about 20 days to use their money without any interest charges.  The tricky part though, you should be prepared to pay back any outstanding balance in full when it’s due.  That takes a lot of discipline.  More often than not, you may only have a partial amount of the payment available and try to catch up making installments as you go.  Credit card companies are banking on your inability to pay back the money they lend you.  Be very careful when you purchase goods with a credit card.  Only ever charge something to the card when you know that you can pay it back in full at the end of the month.

5. Plan Ahead, Budget and Live Within Your Means 
Planning and budgeting are essential concepts when it comes to managing your personal finances.  It’s all based on the notion of living within your means.  As they say:

It’s Not What You Make, It’s What You Keep!

Making a ton of money does not mean that will remain financially successful. Just do a Google search for famous bankruptcies or bankrupt musicians. You will get a list of names that rivals any guest list at a red carpet Hollywood event. Their money problems were not primarily caused by an inability to make money. These artists all made plenty of it, often tens of millions each year. Yet, they spent more than they earned and therefore ended up in bankruptcy court.

Learning how to establish and keep reasonable budgets is the key to living within your means and to get financially ahead.  Musicians and independent artists often have highly fluctuating incomes.  They can make a ton of money for a few months only to experience a dry spell and earn substantially less during the following months.  For instance, a musician may go on tour and earn quite well.  When the tour ends, the regular payments end as well.

Who knows, that one project that wasn’t going to pay you until completion 4 months down the road could be the most important musical project of your career.  But without having enough of a financial cushion, you will simply not be able to afford the project that might make you as an artist.

Taking care of your personal finances is not rocket science but it does require some work, lots of discipline and a healthy dose of common sense.  Musicians know all about discipline and hard work.  Nobody wakes up one day to become a great violin player or pianist.  It takes years of practice.  Similarly, it takes some practice and some time to learn how to manage your finances.  Start saving early, spend wisely and always live within your means.  Your financial success depends on it!

Event: Artist Merchandise and Branding

April 13, 2012

Event: Artist Merchandise and Branding

Join us this weekend for a workshop on merchandising and branding. We have put together a great panel of experienced branding professionals to discuss branding basics, graphic design, digital sales, tour merch needs and general image strategies that fit your sound. Feel free to bring your material for review and direct consultation. Their combined clients lists have included Atlantic Records, Epic Records, MTV Networks, Paramore, Toby Keith, and Lady Antebellum. Some conversation topics will include what branding is and how it relates to bands, how to use social media to maximize the power of the brand, and when to consider a marketing firm or graphic designer, to name a few.

Moderator Larry Robinson: Creating Lasting Perceptions in 1997, Larry has carved out a niche as a “Marketing Guru”, as noted in a national periodical, for his innovative work in the healthcare, spiritual and cause related marketing. Over the years, he has created segmented and integrated marketing programs for various government and corporate entities. He formerly worked for one of the largest children’s healthcare charities in the world, as their Director of Multicultural Marketing, and two of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies in sales and marketing. Present and former clients are: Nike, Anheuser-Busch, National Basketball Association, Coty Fragrances, L’Oreal, SoftSheen-Carson, Motown Records, Merck, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, FootAction USA, Atlantic Records, Epic Records, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Methodist Healthcare.

John Sylvester: As an Entrepreneur and small business advocate John has been fostering growth in people and their organizations across the country for over a decade. Skilled in strategic and organizational development, John has worked with some of the brightest minds in the Entertainment, Real Estate and Professional Service industries. In 2010 he Co-founded Sache Clothing and Design. A lifestyle fashion and design company born right here on South Main. John is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, holds an MBA from Mercer’s Stetson School of Business and Is a licensed affiliate Real Estate broker in Tennessee.

Bruce Fitzhugh: Bruce Fitzhugh started in the music business at the age of 18 when his metal band Living Sacrifice was signed to a recording contract in 1991. Since then he has toured the world and performed multiple duties and manager, booking agent, and product development. In 2003 Fitzhugh relocated to Nashville TN and started an ecommerce and merchandise company Since that time Zambooie has been absorbed into Music City Networks, also in Nashville TN. The combined company now handles website, ecommerce, fanclubs, digital strategy, branding and merchandise for a number of clients from Lady Antebellum and MTV Networks to Paramore and Underoath.

Joel Halpern: Joel Halpern is a native of Memphis who has lived in New York and Paris and has always had a passion for the entertainment business. He has held various creative jobs in advertising/branding agencies in NY and Memphis. As Marketing Director, he helped re-launch the Memphis based St.Blues Guitar Co. He has managed and worked with several bands, including Kuroma , MGMT and The Dynamites. While working with the marketing firm the Musebox in NY, he was responsible for several branding overhauls for bands and independent record labels. Currently Joel is Creative Director for ABC24/CW30 here in Memphis.