Hints for Hit Makers '94

By Paul M. Moffett

For the seventh year, the LASC is bringing the music industry to Louisville. Music publishers, representatives of performing rights organizations, hit songwriters, a music attorney and other persons knowledgeable in the business will be accessible to attenders.

This year, we also have the good fortune to have Greg Martin, guitarist for the Kentucky HeadHunters on the panel. Greg is a longtime supporter of the Louisville music scene and his presence will add a lot to the event.

Russ Zavitson, President of Music Mill Publishers, will be here and he has promised to bring his wife Debbie, who works for Sony CBS in the Artist & Repertoire department. He's also looking for that next "Achy Breaky Heart," so if you have a hit tune, bring it.

After last year's successful pitch session to Sher Powers of Sonlite, we have made extra efforts to bring in Gospel/Contemporary Christian music publishers. So far, we have confirmed Cindy Wilt from Benson Publishing and a tentative 'yes' from Greg Higgins of Sonlite. Efforts to get someone from Sparrow Records are continuing.

We will have Another Colour and Dave Cole perlorming during the banquet. Both of these acts are very good and we are sure you will enjoy them.

If You Plan to Attend . . .

1. Bring demos of your best songs to be critiqued and to pitch. One song per tape, cued up to the beginning of the song, is what is expected. Putting more than one song on a tape is penny wise, pound foolish: if a publisher takes the first tune on the tape, then you have nothing else to pitch. if the publisher likes the last tune but can't find it after rewinding the tape to the beginning, then that tape is likely to end its days in the round file. Remember that publishers are just as busy as you are, if not more so. Make it easy for them to find and listen to your songs.

2.Have lyric sheets wrapped around the cassette when you give one to a publisher. Be certain that you have put your name, address and phone number on the cassette label and on the lyric sheet. If they can't find you, your song will get tossed in the trash. Putting your contact information on the j-card (the insert in the box) is not adequate —tapes and boxes get separated with amazing speed.

3. Don't argue with a publisher – you're looking for a connection, so if he or she doesn't care for your material, say thanks, then move on. If he or she suggests a rewrite, make notes, say thanks, then be sure you have the address to which to send the rewritten song.

4. Act professionally. This seminar is where you "do something with your songs," just as everyone has encouraged you to do. As a professional songwriter, you should be aware that the publishers who are coming to this seminar are donating their time to be here, so please do not waste it. Listen to what other writers ask and make a note of the answers, so that you do not embarrass yourself by asking the same question again.

Taking a shot at fulfilling a dream is exciting – enjoy!