By Diana Black


November 5

Reflections on "Hit Makers '90" seminar and playing of category final winners.

November 19

Critique session. Please bring ten (10) lyric sheets along with your tape.


A Louisville favorite, pop singer / musician / songwriter Bobby Lanz spoke to the Co-op during our October 1st meeting at The Rud. Bobby has been in the music industry since the age of fifteen. He gave the membership an interesting perspective on not only the local music scene but the markets in New York and L.A.

As a teenager, Bobby went to Nashville with his self-penned tunes, only to be told they were too good! He was told that he should write more in the vein of Herman's Hermits. From that day forward, vying to become commercially successful, he has been writing for everyone but himself. (Want to know were his heart truly is when it comes to writing and performing? Jazz.)

In the past the membership has heard speakers from various markets. Bobby substantiated that pop tunes are no exception to the oft-heard rule that the first line of a song has got to be great. (Actually, he went beyond that to include the introduction.) He mentioned that a radio program director may listen to a tune one day, then re-evaluate it a day or two later. The tune has to grab him or her during the first couple of lines, plus the chorus, through each subsequent listening.

Another point Lanz stressed has also been touted to the membership: use an entertainment / music industry attorney for legal matters. There are many aspects to consider when dealing with music contracts, and agreements can be handled effectively only by someone familiar with the business.

Long-time Lanz fan Mike Layman asked Bobby why it is so difficult to get backing from other entertainers / writers. Bobby's opinion was that entertainers are looking out only for themselves. They are busy looking for their next "right" song. Rather than seek help from other performers, Lanz sends material to his attorney in New York City who charges only for songs that he is able to place or market.

It became apparent during Bobby's talk that he is an exception to those entertainers / writers he described. He is extremely supportive of local talent and willing to help anyone who he feels has talent, determination and drive. (He has recently been writing with former LASC board member, Ron Gambrell. You may be familiar with their tune "Now It's TIme To Do It.") Few people may know that he is also attempting to open the door so that more Louisville studio work is done by hometown performers rather than folks from Cincinnati.

By the end of the evening's meeting, though never said in so many words, it was obvious that fans, performers and writers are very fortunate to have someone like Bobby Lanz in the community, someone who is truly dedicated to the growth of music in Louisville.

The second meeting of the month was a discussion session followed by critiques.

Prez Paul suggested that the Co-op might consider sending a monthly tape of members' songs to previously contacted publishers. Members of the Co-op could pre-screen the songs, particularly looking for problems of demo quality as well as some assessment of the songs themselves.

The twist in this suggestion was that no member's song could go on a tape unless that member had first served on a listening committee. Because the Board had judged the Co-op's songwriting contest, it was suggested that the first committee listen to songs by members of the Board, in order to compile the first tape.

There was further discussion, refining the idea, and it was proposed that it begin in January.

The first set of volunteer judges include: Mike Layman, Karen Le Van, Bill Matz, Ron Allgood and Alan Morris.