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SongLink NewsLink | Music Industry News for September/October 2004

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2004

© Copyright 2004 by SLI - SongLink International
Editor & Publisher: David Stark
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Tel: +44 (0)207 794 2540 - Fax: +44 (0)207 794 7393

Tom Bradley has been elected as new Chairman of MCPS, succeeding Jonathan Simon who has held the position since 1995. Former EMI Music deputy MD Bradley now runs Quiet Man Music Ltd, and was chairman of the MPA from 1998-2001. Additionally, as SongLink went to press, it was announced that Ellis Rich has been elected as new PRS chairman succeeding David Bedford, commencing from January 2005.

Former Universal Music International president John Kennedy will succeed IFPI chief executive Jason Berman at the end of the year. Berman has been in talks to finish his tenure in the post early, as well as discussing the viability of moving the London-based role to New York.

Steven Howard, MD of Zomba Music Publishers UK and Zomba Music Management, has exited the company after 25 years, following the company's takeover by BMG in 2002 and current relocation from Willesden to BMG's Putney HQ. He has not announced any immediate plans, but plans to remain in the business. Tim Smith has been confirmed as Zomba Music's general manager reporting to BMG Music MD Paul Curran, who emphasises that Zomba Music will retain its autonomous status.

Stage Three Music, the publishing company headed by Steve Lewis, former Chrysalis boss , has secured a second round of funding worth 40 million to acquire more catalogue and signings. It has so far purchased the catalogues of US writers Jerry Lynn Williams and Newkastle; and has signed rapper Verbalicious (signed to Paul Conroy's Adventures in Music), and Shellie McErlaine, formerly of Alisha's Attic, who will release her debut solo album Totally Underwater later this year.

Del Bryant, a 32-year veteran of BMI, has assumed the post of President & CEO, succeeding Frances W. Preston who becomes President Emeritus until the year-end. She will then take on a new role as consultant to BMI, focusing on BMI's international relationships and the company's public policy agenda. Bryant, the son of legendary songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, was most recently Executive VP.

Former BMG chief marketing officer Tim Prescott has been named Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer for the recently merged major Sony BMG, reporting directly to CEO Andrew Lack.

Former NuLife/BMG A&R manager Jon Williams becomes head of A&R for the Kickin Music group of labels. His first signing is Harry 'Choo Choo' Romero's single What Happened? which is one of the hottest tunes in Ibiza and due for release at the end of September on Slip n' Slide, whose acts also include Byron Stingily and Blaze.

Steve Sasse is promoted to Head of A&R at Sony/ATV Publishing, following Celia McCamley's move a year ago to the record division.

Ex-BMG and PRS staffer Jay Mistry has launched Musical Sleuth Ltd, a royalty tracking company which "takes the pain out of deciphering royalty statements with the added bonus of claiming possible missing income."

The Mercury Music Prize 2004 was won by Franz Ferdinand for their self-titled debut album. Other nominees performing live at the London ceremony included Basement Jaxx, Amy Winehouse and Jamelia.

EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has confirmed a deal with London based download platform Wippit which will see the creation of easyMusic, selling tracks for as little as 25 pence per song.

A7 Music Publishing has struck a deal for Chrysalis to represent its catalogue across Scandinavia and the Baltic states, including songs by Marcella Detroit and others.

Industry veteran Don Ienner has added the title of CEO to his existing role as President of Sony Music Label Group US. The expansion puts Ienner completely in charge of Sony's main American music divisions, including Columbia, Epic and Sony Music Nashville.

Yahoo is acqiring US-based download platform MusicMatch. The $160 million takeover is part of Yahoo's bid to compete with iTunes and Napster in the digital music arena.

Former Elektra CEO Sylvia Rhone is expected to be named as head of Universal Motown Records Group at the beginning of October, following the departure of Motown president/CEO Kedar Massenburg.

Manager Joe Simpson, the father of Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, has launched a joint venture with Geffen Records. The first act signed to JT Records is male quintet Barefoot, described as a cross between Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Third Eye Blind with its debut out next spring. "This deal brings to Geffen a real pop sensibility, because Joe understands that world so well," says Geffen co-president Jordan Schur.

Alan Jackson has scored seven nominations for the CMA Awards 2004, including Single and Song of the Year for Remember When. Newcomer Gretchen Wilson has five nominations including Record of the Year for Redneck Woman. Kris Kristofferson and industry veteran Jim Foglesong will be inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame during the awards on November 9 at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House. Multi-platinum duo Brooks & Dunn will host the show for the first time with a variety of special guest presenters, including Shania Twain.

U2 are among the artists shortlisted for the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame, along with Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Randy Newman, Buddy Guy, rockabilly pioneer Wanda Jackson, the O'Jays, the Pretenders and Percy Sledge. The US Hall Of Fame honours artists who have been recording for at least 25 years.

Burt Bacharach is working on a new album with Dr Dre, according to MTV, with Dre supplying beats for three tracks on 76-year old Bacharach's next album.

Jet is the frontrunner in the Australian Record Industry Association's ARIA Awards, to be held Oct. 17 at the Sydney SuperDome. The Melbourne-based EMI rockers have seven nominations, for best group, single of the year (Are You Gonna Be My Girl?), album of the year (Get Born), best rock album, highest-selling album and breakthrough artist in both the single and album categories. The John Butler Trio (Jarrah/MGM) and singer/songwriter Pete Murray (Sony) have five nominations each.

RIP: Carl Wayne (61), former lead singer of The Move and recently The Hollies, from cancer; Johnny Ramone, guitarist with The Ramones (55), from prostate cancer; Lyricist Fred Ebb (76), of a heart attack. His work includes Chicago, Cabaret, and nine other Broadway musicals including Kiss of the Spider Woman; Film composer/songwriter Elmer Bernstein (82), whose scores include The Magnificent Seven, To Kill A Mockingbird, True Grit, Trading Places and the Oscar-winning score for Thoroughly Modern Millie; Industry veteran Mike Collier (71) - last of the great "street publisher."

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