LASC to be Dissolved

Remember the Good Times

By Jean Metcalfe

It's not easy to dissolve a once-thriving organization. It's not fun. But sometimes it's the right thing to do.

From the LASC's first organization meeting in the fall of 1985 through the final member meeting on January 15, 1996, a lot of things have happened — good and bad, ebb and flow, tears and laughter. As we close the final chapter on the LASC, we hope that each of the approximately 534 persons who have joined the LASC during its history is a better songwriter — a better person —— for having been a part.

As a cofounder of the LASC and one who has been actively involved in its administration for all its years, I have not yet fully realized that there is no longer an LASC. But the two of so years of agonizing that lead to the decision have been eased by the realization that closing the curtain was the right thing to do. Not to mention that I might now be able to write and pitch songs

Willie Nelson has a famous two-word philosophy that characterizes how I sometime feel, but but I plan to mostly heed the philosophy in one of Willie's songs and "remember the good times."

First and foremost, I have met many wonderful people, and I will always cherish the memories ... well, most of them.

• Hearing "Papa" Gene Adams sings his new song, "Ship Soon to Sail" over the phone as I sat at my kitchen table. It was the first time I had heard the song and both of us got pretty emotional. "Ship" was subsequntly performed by New Horizon, played on WFPL, and performed at one or more bluegrass festivals. It also won the $1,000 grand prize in an LASC songwriting competition. Now if we had just given a demo of "Ship" to Vince Gill …

• Doing two television interviews at WKU in Richmond, one with "Papa" Gene in which he sang his "Agent Orange" song (accompanied by Paul Moffett and Hugh Hill), and the other when Susan Tomes sang my song "One and Only" and Charlie Walls sang, I think, his "Saturday Night in Dixie."

• Watching and listening to the Willie Nelson-style guitar licks laid down on my "Willie, Please Sing a Duet With Me" by a wonderful session player in Nashville when Alan Rhody produced our debut LASC compilation album, First Time Out.

• A excursion in Hugh Hill's van for a showcase with several wild and crazy LASC singer/songwriters at a funky venue in Dayton, Ohio.

• Great Christmas parties at the home of LASC's Perle Mesta, Karen LeVan.

• A very memorable afternoon of Christmas caroling at a modest local nursing home.

• Having Kix Brooks as a house guest when he led a seminar and sang on a showcase for the LASC back before he became half of the dynamic duo Brooks & Dunn. Kix was very polite, gracious, cooperative and entertaining.

He even told me he'd like to listen to some of my songs. Following my own admonition to songwriters insuch a plum situation, I replied, "Uh, I don't really have any that you ... uh, er ..."

• Hearing David Pitts' recording of Debbie Tuggle's contest-winning "Foolw The Light." What a combination!

• Singing informally at The Rud after Monday night open stages (hosted by LASC Président for Life Paul Moffett) until owner Ken Pyle shooed us out well after 2 a. m. Bill Ede would honor requests for "The Weight," and we would fall out sing our "and" at the right time.

And there were the marathon Bill Ede closing sets. Most notable was the one in which he left the stage mid-song to visit the men's room, then returned through back door, got back onstage, and picked up the song were he had left off.

And a couple of times sitting on a piano bench with Prince Phillip Mitchell as he sang harmony to my lead on some classic Patsy Cline and Ray Charles. It sounded great; at least that's how I remember it..

• Seeing, meeting, and posing for a picture with Vince Gill at a superb performance at Jim Porter's, courtesy of The Country Music Association Board of Directors, who met in Louisville in '92. was the best! The guitar pull with Vince three other outstanding songwriters " ~ Richard Leigh, Don Schlitz and Tom Schuyler — was the best! (What a lot of fun they were.) I sat up close, and got personal with my camera.

• Emceeing a Songwriter Showcase at The Rud when Bill Ede showed up with Townes Van Zandt in tow. Townes did us the honor of singing a few of his originals, including "Pancho and Lefty," which he sent out to me after I had introduced him.

• Those nights after meetings when we went to Frisch's, et al., and stayed later than we should have, talking about the music biz. My friends — and you know who you are — I miss those days.

• And as they say, many more too numerous to mention.

Thanks for the memories!

There is a Season

By Paul Moffett

To everything, there is a season and so it is with the Louisville Area Songwriters' Cooperative, an organization with which I have been intimately associated for ten years. The LASC, by a vote of the membership, will be disbanded immediately .

The vote was called for by Board because of longterm declining attendance and interest by the members and by members of the Board. It became painfully obvious last summer that the time had come to dissolve, it, as there was no one sufficiently interested to keep in going,

The remaining assets are to used to pay the outstanding debts. No excess is expected.

Now for the personal feelings part…

"It's been painful, it's been good" - Ticket on the Wind, by Paul Moffett,

I know it's really tasteless to quote myself, but it says what needs to be said.

Jean Metcalfe suggested that a bit of reminiscing was in order. I find this difficult, as I I have mostly operated at by the Satchel Paige dictum, "Don't look back, something might be gaining on you." However, when a visible organization like the LASC goes belly up, some comment is called for, whether I am personally reticent or not, so here goes.

There have been extremes of experience in the ten years of being President for Life of the LASC.

We suffered from the curse of success, as in "be careful what you wish for." I got what wished for and more, with only one insignificant exception: a hit song.

We set out to publicize the Louisville music scene to the rest of the national music business, in particular to the record companies, the songwriting and publishing companies, the artists, promotion companies and related businesses.

We were successful, we think. We hear about the LASC from elsewhere in the country, and, from out there, we looked mighty big.

We made two tapes, one recorded in Nashville and produced by Alan Rhody, the other cut at Allen-Martin Studios, produced by Vince Emmett, with Bela Fleck, Sam Bush and Buddy Spicher on several tracks.

Of course, we didn't sell anything like the number we needed to, but it was a kick anyway. It didn't pay off the first time, so we did it again. I think that's how the record business works.

I learned how to run a contest and will probably keep on doing it, under the sponsor the Louisville Music News.

We staged more showcases than I care to think about. It was like being a roadie on a three month road trip, stretched out over nine years. Some of the music was wonderful, some of it was awful and most of it fell in magic middle range of "not-too-bad to pretty-good."

The two years when we put together two three-stage simultaneously made me appreciate the people who really do all the work to make anything like that happens. I would like say that it was a lot of fun, but, in fact, the second time we did it, I probably should have checked myself into OLOP for treatment of depression after it was over.

I did have some fun times, in particular the at the Hurstbourne Hotel, when Jon Vezner and Don Henry sang "Where've You Been?" long before Mrs. Vezner (Kathy Mattea) took it to Song of the Year status. Jean Metcalfe fondly remembers them doing that tune. I was taken with "Mr. God to You" and "4353 Cadillac Avenue" by Don Henry. De gustibus, non est disputanam or something like that.

The seminar with Kix Brooks was both exciting and a nightmare. Kix was very gracious and tolerant in the face (literally) of some pretty rough treatment. Jean Metcalfe let him sleep in her bed – while she and her husband took the guest room.

Then, of course, there are all the people I have met over the years, same as you have.

Some of them still like me, some of them don't.

I feel the same way. Finally, I can only say that I am not going away the Louisville Music News will continue and get bigger, now that I will have a little more time to devote to it.

And we'll keep right on publicizing the Louisville music scene to the national music business.

Just don't let on, okay?