Sunday, June 28, 2009

Building the Band Brand
Steal a song that has been a hit

Gale Brooks passed June 28, 2009. She, like Pat Boone, was famous for covering popular songs by Black artists (known as Race records) and recording them for white audiences.

An example is I Hear You Knocking. The original done by Smiley Lewis reached #2 on Billboard’s Rhythm and Blues chart in 1955. Storm’s version landed at #2 on Billboard’s regular chart, meaning Dot Records realized a whole lot more $$$$ than Lewis’ unknown label.

One of Storm’s hits (she covered Frankie Lymon’s Why Do Fools Fall in Love? among many other race records) was a folk song done by John Jacob Niles. Storm covered it two years after I Hear You Knocking.

Bob Dylan was 16 and probably heard the song on his radio. His future girlfriend, Joan Baez did a cover of the Niles song about three to five years after Storm covered it, as best I could learn.

So, how does a young and hungry guy from Hibbing, Minn. build his band brand in the 20th Century? He takes Niles song, re-titles It Ain’t Me Babe and it becomes one of his first and biggest hits.

How to make more $$$? Get the leader of country music, Johnny Cash, to cover it in 1965.

To make even more $$$, realize a Los Angeles band, The Byrds, had a big hit with your Mr. Tamborine man – launching the band.

Why not launch another LA band with the song Johnny Cash currently has a hit with? Yes, Dylan was a marketing genius. He owned the mid-1960s.


If you look closely at the Johnny Cash clip, it must be from Saturday Night (SNL - Howard Cosell owned the name Saturday Night Live). That is G. E. Smith, husband to the late Gilda Radner, on acoustic guitar. Also Duck Dunn on bass and can not place the harmonica player, but he also got to play harmonica with Peter Tosh the night Mick Jagger showed up on SNL to sing with Tosh.

Building the Band Brand
Guess who top touring bands of 2008 were
Clue – not Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift or Jonas Brothers

From Doonesbury 6/28/2009 Click on image

Building the Band Brand
Don’t you love it when artists take risks

You’ve got to love it when an artist is so in love with their own music they’re willing to present new, unheard, songs during a concert.

I almost feel like a shill for Ashley Tisdale, but her marketing skills so outpace most; she’s at the forefront of 21st Century music marketing. Imagine if she, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus started a music marketing company. They’d wipe out all the competition, like Jonas Brothers (who else is touring besides these four – and Demi Lovato? Mitchel Musso?).

If you want to bring your “game” to this level, consult with a 21st Century music marketing professional. It’s worth the investment. Is your music as well known as Ashley Tisdale or Taylor Swift? What would it take to land you there?

Practice, practice, practice. Watch the sound check. You’ll see her moves are almost identical to Saturday’s live performance at The Grove.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Building the Band Brand
Beware of Ebay
Ashley Tisdale being robbed

Poor Ashley Tisdale is being ripped off. Guilty Pleasure is unavailable in the U.S. until July 28 according to Amazon. It has been available on UK and Japan Amazon since June 15.

On Ebay, it’s already for sale by what I can only assume are rip-off artists offering it for a “buy it now” price of $10.90 plus $2.99 shipping.

Wrote the seller and this was the seller’s reply why it is available now, “This is an import.” Only problem is, in the UK it retails for about $17 U.S. The Japanese version has an extra track and a video of It’s Alright It’s Okay. It retails for $24 U.S. That doesn’t include shipping.

The seller had six available and is down to five now. You have to ask yourself, how can someone sell a product for less than they must pay for it? I can only assume they live in mom and dad’s basement and have elaborate machines for printing labels and burning and Ashley Tisdale is not their only victim.

For those artists who think selling on Ebay (and similar auction sites) is a good idea, it does NOTHING for your career. Ebay does not report sales to any reporting bureau. You want to list you work at a site like itunes, Amazon or more than 100 others that report sales to reporting bureaus, more than likely Nielsen SourceScan.

And yes, you’re going to be ripped off – if it’s happening to Ashley Tisdale, think of how powerful her record label is but people are still “allegedly” stealing her work and selling it on Ebay. Having a lawyer on your side is always a good idea.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jonas Brothers #1 as predicted by Marketing Sociologist

Last week one of my clients didn’t believe me when I said Jonas Brothers’ Lines, Vines and Trying times would be #1 right out of the box and sell about 300,000 units – down from the millions right out of the box 10 years ago – in the 20th Century.

This report just out from Billboard, “The Jonas Brothers scored their second No. 1 album in less than a year on the U.S. pop album chart Wednesday, but first-week sales were less than half of those for their previous studio effort.

"Lines, Vines and Trying Times sold 247,000 copies during the week ended June 21, according to Nielsen SoundScan.”

How’s that for accuracy? Is your music career being launched in the manner you want? How about a FREE consultation with someone who has written about music for Billboard, Associated Press, The Denver Post, Arizona Republic and more. Someone with more than 45 years in the music industry who made picture disks famous and had the first national review of David Bowie’s stage debut in The Elephant Man. Contact,

Can being on TMZ resuscitate your career?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jonas Brothers using Marketing Sociologist Building the Band Brand: Becoming famous in 21st Century techniques

At 12:57 p.m. June 17, 2009, the Jonas Brothers blasted this Twitter: “First 500 fans to come to Lot 10 at New Texas Stadium in the next hour get to come to our interview with Larry King AND see our new stage!!!”

Rather than hiring booking agencies to build a crowd for a national news show, the group relied upon Twitter. Since I’m not in Dallas, I would assume they also did a phone in with local radio stations. Yet, it is revolutionary they used Twitter in this manner. Way to go, JB.

Why major record labels are dead
Why you should not sign with them
Building the Band Brand: Becoming famous in the 21st Century series

One turn of the twist of fate and you probably wouldn’t have heard of Taylor Swift, one of the world’s top 3 performers at the current time.

Taylor Swift nearly signed with RCA Records, but at the last moment signed with start-up Big Machine Records. Her career took flight at a fledgling label where at RCA she’d probably be unheard of now.

Major record labels are killing themselves. This morning I tried calling Warner Brothers Records publicity department. I spent 35 minutes getting the run-a-round. Blog is in the top 8 percent of blogs worldwide. It was the first to announce Miley Cyrus fall concert tour – April 11 while mainstream media waited until June 3.

It was the first to announce Ashley Tisdale performing at the Grove in L.A. on June 27.

It was the first to announce the forthcoming Hannah Montana Volume 3 soundtrack to be released July 7, two months before Miley Cyrus kicks off her fall tour.

At Warner, I went through so many voicemail messages it was ridiculous. I finally got through to a live human after 20 minutes, and they put me into Rhino Records where the person at the other end of the phone was upset I actually called looking for Warner.

Same story at Disney. All you get is recorded announcements.

Warner’s has no mechanism to email them on their Web site. Disney public relations department does not return emails. CBS Radio refuses to answer questions or call back.

Wish I could report a happy experience with Big Machine Records, but when I called there, all I got was the answering machine run-a-round again.

What happened to companies that actually had people answering the phone? For a long time I’ve known public relations was as dead as the newspaper industry, that’s why I became a Marketing Sociologist.

If you think you’ve made it if you sign to a major label, think again. You’re going to be more lost than you are right now.

Following Building the Band Brand: Becoming famous in the 21st Century advice, and pre-ordering the forthcoming book through (we respond to email, unlike Disney, CBS and Warner) will help you launch your career to great heights.

Ashley Tisdale – again – is an example of Building the Band Brand: Becoming famous in the 21st Century. She doesn’t rely upon her record label to do the publicity work. She announced her Salt Lake City and Los Angeles performances on Twitter, her Web site, MySpace and probably sites I’ve never heard of – yet they are valid in Building the Band Brand.

If you’re concerned with your music career and becoming famous, you’ll take your fate in your own hands - as Taylor Swift did. Listen to Shanica Knowles at MySpace. She produces her own music. Tie it in with the marketing experts found at places like and other outstanding marketing firms like Bob Merlis in Los Angeles, Dennis Erokan in the San Francisco Bay area and creator of the Bammie awards. Think about this – here’s three of music’s foremost marketers and they are located on the West Coast or Sonoran desert. Granted, there are outstanding marketers throughout the world, but it seems the best, like Ashley Tisdale, are on the west side of the nation.