· All the media mentions about the departure of WFPK DJ Scott Mullins were typically noncommittal, echoing the press release from the Public Radio Partnership. Nobody mentioned the recent dust-up over the "Dirty Soul Party" at the Red Lounge that resulted in Mullins' quite abrupt departure (and subsequent return) earlier this year, which likely contributed to Mullins' decision to relocate.
It would not be a surprise to hear of additional changes at PRP in the coming year.
· Speaking of PRP, the Louisville talent buyer, Production Simple, will launch Simple 5 Series, in 2006. The series will stage up to four shows a month at Headliners Music Hall. Tickets will never be higher than $5. PRP's WFPK will also promote one show a month. Production Simple is owned by Joe Argabrite, John Grantz, Lizi Hagan and Billy Hardison.
Production Simple's Hardison said that "this a great opportunity for national and local bands alike to perform in Louisville's premiere music venue where under normal circumstances they would be unable. Thanks to support from the venue, we are going to be able to pull off some really cool shows for cheap. It isn't necessarily going to change the amount of money these bands would make in a smaller venue, but their exposure will be greatly increased." (italics added)
Hardison also handles publicity for PRP and Grantz, who is married to WHAS TV's Kirby Adams, handles underwriting sales (though they don't call it that) for PRP. Grantz also has a financial interest in a company that distributes Budweiser for live events, including the "Waterfront Wednesday" Series. It's all so Louisville.
· While the rest of the country is paying attention to the various political scandals unfolding on every hand, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office has made some serious progress on the problem of payola in the radio business. Specifically, both Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group have settled lawsuits brought by Spitzer's office and agreed to stop using various forms of payola to ensure airplay for their artists. According to the settlement documents, the payola took these forms:
" Outright bribes to radio programmers, including expensive vacation packages, electronics and other valuable items;
· Contest giveaways for stations' listening audiences;
· Payments to radio stations to cover operational expenses;
· Retention of middlemen, known as independent promoters, as conduits for illegal payments to radio stations;
· Payments for "spin programs," airplay under the guise of advertising."
The agreements, which include damning correspondence between various record company employees, are posted on the Attorney General's website. They make very interesting reading. Here are the links: Sony: http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2005/jul/jul25a_05.html . Warner BMG: http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2005/nov/nov22a_05.html.
There may be hope for independent artists yet.
· Up in Scottsburg, Bill & Phyllis Duke have sold the Scottsburg Jamboree. They'll be moving to the Junction Jamboree in Lebanon Junction, with their first show on January 7. For more info, log onto www.junctionjamboree.com
· The Kentucky Foundation for Women has announced these grants for Kentucky musicians:
Phyllis Free (Louisville): $3,000 to attend two workshops that will enhance her skills as a drummer and her knowledge of traditional world music percussion techniques.
Kate Larken (Louisville): $1,050 to compose and record original music that addresses social injustice themes by putting a face on the issue.
Janice Nessibou (Louisville): $1,000 to develop and produce a series of original compositions made up of intergenerational women's expressions.
Cynthia McCloud (Lexington): $2,000 to produce a CD of her compositions about the healing process of young girls who are survivors of sexual abuse and illness.
Beth Burden (Lexington): $1,050 to produce and market Mother Jane's new CD of original acoustic pop music reflecting the life and observations of a Kentucky woman.
· In the music business, nothing succeeds like being out of the business. The long-defunct Another Mule will release a new CD in 2007.
· Louisville's Eclectic has snared a multi-album production and songwriting deal with Los Angeles music producer Jeff Blue. Blue was Senior Vice President A&R/Staff Producer with RCA Music Group and has worked with Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Macy Gray. Blue and Eclectic have been co-writing and recording at Downtown Recording.
· Come on out to the Phoenix Hill Tavern on January 6 for Eddy Metal's "News From the Pit Gathering." Lots of bands and there's a guitar that'll be given away, courtesy of Uncle Samm's Jams. Do remember your ear plugs.
· Allen, Jesse M "Buddy" Jr, 81, died in Louisville on December 6. He was a retired musician.
· Braxton, Anthony Ray, 52, died in Louisville on Saturday, December 10, during a gig with the Mr. Wonderful Production Band. He was a drummer.