Earl's Pearls
By Earl Meyers

Kids buy millions of pop records today, so how does the market attract the 6- to 16-year-old youth?

The same way Magic Johnson suggested this past month to the National Commission on AIDS on WHAS-AM Radio news. Magic accused the commission of trying to reach kids through the adult level and they're not listening. He went on to say, We've got to reach kids through the Hip level in advertising for protection against the AIDS virus.

The Beatles reached kids with dozens of simple love songs with nice melodies and their own harmony, such as Love Me Do in the sixties. Jan & Dean, the Beach Boys and others did it with surfing and fast-car songs such as 409 and Sidewalk Surfing.

Singers with kid-sounding voices, such as Madonna and Michael Jackson, continue to cash in with the young set today (including many older fans). Wild and crazy actions on and off the stage by rock groups are accepted as being cool and often thought necessary for survival in an extremely competitive market.

From a composite of many factors, from artist appeal, delivery of the song, etc., ultimately it comes down to the song itself. One such as Billie Jean appealed to the 8- and 38-year-old listener and did not necessarily need a video, although the video usually adds to the hype and record sales. At any rate, Michael Jackson and others have the listening ears of the younger generation. They have acquired a Hip level for writing and/or singing songs.

And if Magic has his way, some new advertising ideas will cause previously deaf ears to tune in.

NSAI's Silver Anniversary Symposium will be held in Nashville, March 13-15. This is the ultimate experience for aspiring songwriters. For the price of one or two good demos, you may learn more than three or four years on your own.