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SongLink NewsLink | Music Industry News for June/July 2006

JUNE/JULY 2006

© Copyright 2006 by SLI - SongLink International
Editor & Publisher: David Stark
23 Belsize Crescent - London NW3 5QY, UK
Tel: +44 (0)207 794 2540 - Fax: +44 (0)207 794 7393

Members of SODS (the Society of Distinguished Composers) will be performing at the MPA's 125th birthday party on July 6th, including Tim Rice, Roger Greenaway, Tony Hatch, Justin Hayward, Barry Mason and Les Reed, along with other special guests. Every attendee will receive a copy of The Great British Songbook, published by Music Sales to tie in with the anniversary. In addition, the winner of a new MPA-financed bursary, the Richard Toeman Scholarship Scheme, will be presented to someone up-and-coming within the music publishing industry.

EMI Group chairman Eric Nicoli received a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours, for services to music. He has been group chairman since July 1999, having joined the group board in 1993 as a non-executive director. R&B singer Beverley Knight was awarded an MBE.

Lynsey de Paul, Mick Leeson and Steve Levine are competing for one vacancy as writer/director of the MCPS-PRS Alliance, while seven publishers are competing for four vacancies as publisher/directors, namely George Barker (JW Media), Catherine Bell (Chrysalis), Andy Heath (Heathwave), Stuart Hornall (Hornall Bros), Andrew King (Mute Song), Paulette Long (Westbury) and John Minch (B&H). The results will be announced at the AGM on June 30th at Cadogan Hall, SW1.

PPL has approved a resolution to amend its articles of association, enabling it to incorporate artist rights societies Aura and Pamra. The merger is expected to take place within the next few months. PPL chairman and CEO Fran Nevrkla said, "The new structure will make it possible for us jointly to deliver a better quality of service."

Blujay Management, run by Steve Tannett, and Jongleurs comedy club are launching a new showcase for songwriters and new acts at Camden venue Dingwalls. Jongleurs Music Lock Out will take place every month, showcasing songwriters and up-and-coming acts, with the first event scheduled for July 6th featuring Scott Matthews, Charity, Mama's Gun, Anna Krantz, Nathan Lee, Jon Green and Beth Rowley. Entrance is free but tickets must be booked in advance at www.lockoutmusic.com.

Ewan Grant has joined Matt Dagger's Apollo Records (Universal) as general manager... Rachael Naisby joins Just Music as label manager.

Xlantic Records founder David Fischer has been appointed MD of MySpace Europe and executive vice president of Fox Interative Media. He also remains non-executive director at Xlantic.

Kobalt Music has signed a worldwide administration deal with hit US songwriter Billy Steinberg's Jerk Awake publishing company.

Apple Computers has been found not guilty of infringing copyright in its ongoing dispute with The Beatles' Apple Corps over the use of the apple logo. Judge Justice Mann ruled that Apple cannot be held liable for infringement, but granted a request from Apple Corps for an appeal.

The UK's Asylum Management is representing Transcontinental, the label headed by Lou Pearlman, the man behind Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync. The deal follows Pearlman's non-exclusive global distribution deal with EMI in January. Asylum is headed by Steve Gilmore, Bob James and Scott Chester. Boy group US5, who have already had some success in the US and Germany, will get a UK release in September.

A new report published by British Music Rights, Respecting the Value of Digital Music, predicts a positive outlook for the music industry with consumer use of legal digital music projected to grow five fold by 2009. However most companies in the digital sector appear indifferent as to whether consumers' access to music is legitimate or not. Emma Pike, BMR Chief Executive said: "ISPs, mobile companies and hardware providers, almost without exception, use access to music as a key selling point of their products or services - yet they do little to promote legal use of music over illegal use. It is time for digital platforms to demonstrate greater respect for the creative community without whom they would have no content to fuel demand for their services."

Warner Music International and South Africa's Johnnic Communications, which owns Gallo Music, have launched a joint venture to create Warner Music Gallo Africa (WMGA). Ivor Haarburger will combine his role of chief executive of Gallo Music with that of WMGA. Under the deal, WMGA will have digital rights to Gallo Music's repertoire, including such artists such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lucky Dube, Thandiswa and Simphiwe Dana.

Jay Landers has left Walt Disney Records to become senior VP of A&R at the Sony Label Group in Los Angeles.

Finnish rockers Lordi (Sony/BMG) won the Eurovision Song Contest with Hard Rock Hallelujah, becoming Finland's first ever Eurovision winners. They also set a record by winning with 292 points, the highest total ever. In second place was Russia's Dima Bilan, and third was Hari Mata Hari of Bosnia and Herzegovina. UK rapper Daz Sampson's Teenage Life came 19th out of the 24 nations competing in the final.

50 Cent was named Songwriter of the Year (for the second time) at the 23rd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards held May 22nd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Song of the Year honors resulted in a tie between Green Day's Boulevard of Broken Dreams and We Belong Together (Johnta Austin, Jermaine Dupri & Manuel Seal). EMI Music Publishing picked up the Publisher of the Year title, and the evening was highlighted with the presentation of the ASCAP Founders Award to Annie Lennox, and the Creative Voice Award to Green Day for their outstanding contributions to music.

ASCAP will honor LL Cool J and Bill Withers at its 19th Annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards on June 26 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. During the awards ceremony, LL Cool J will be presented with the ASCAP Golden Note Award and Bill Withers will receive the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award.

Songwriter/producer team Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds and Antonio 'L.A.' Reid will be honored as BMI Icons at the 6th Annual Urban Awards set for August 30th at Roseland Ballroom, New York. The LaFace Records co-founders will be saluted with an all-star musical tribute during the ceremony. With more than a dozen Grammys between them, seven-time BMI Songwriter of the Year Babyface and Island Def Jam chairman Reid are responsible for launching the careers of such multi-platinum artists as Toni Braxton, TLC, Usher and Pink, and have worked with Mariah Carey, Madonna, Celine Dion, Eric Clapton, Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men, Dido, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Outkast, Ciara, Jay-Z, and many others.

BMI's popular Songwriters' Workshop Series season for 2006/07 kicks off July 11 under the continued tutelage of hit songwriter and best-selling author Jason Blume. His latest book This Business of Songwriting (Billboard Books) is an exhaustive guide to copyright law, publishing contracts and many other items designed to help songwriters cope with business matters. Jason has songs on albums that have sold over 50 million copies, penning tunes for pop artists Britney Spears, Jesse McCartney and the Backstreet Boys, along with hits for country artists Collin Raye, John Berry and the Oak Ridge Boys.

Thirty-three year BMI veteran Eleanor Grier has been promoted to Executive Director, Writer Administration and Research. She was previously Senior Director and will continue to report to John Marsillo, VP of Performing Rights Administration and Research & Information.

RIP: Freddie Garrity (69) lead singer of Freddie & The Dreamers; Grant McLennan (48), singer/songwriter with the Go-Betweens; June Pointer (52) of the Pointer Sisters; Phil Walden (66) founder of Capricorn Records; Buck Owens (76) legendary country singer/songwriter; Johnny Paris (66) leader of Johnny & the Hurricanes; Soraya (37) Colombian/American singer/songwriter; Iain MacMillan (68) photographer of Abbey Road and other album sleeves; Ronnie Cass (83) composer of music for The Young Ones and Summer Holiday etc; Desmond Dekker (65) reggae singer; Ian Copeland (57), booking agent; Clifford Antone (56) founder of Antone's Club in Austin, TX.

Keyboardist and singer Billy Preston (59) aka the 'fifth Beatle' died June 6th in Scottsdale, Ariz., after being in a coma since last November. Known for his big gap-toothed smile and towering Afro, the Houston-born Preston was a teen prodigy on the piano and organ. He first encountered and struck up a friendship with the Beatles while on tour in Europe with Little Richard in 1962. After lending his gospel-tinged touch to many of their albums (Let It Be, The White Album, Abbey Road), as well for other artists like the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, Preston broke out as a solo artist in the '70s, scoring a number of his own hits, including That's The Way God Planned It, Will It Go Round In Circles, Nothing From Nothing, Space Race and Outta Space, which earned the Best Instrumental Grammy in 1973. Other Preston-penned classics include the wedding favorite, With You I'm Born Again, his duet with the late Syreeta Wright, and the Joe Cocker standard, You Are So Beautiful. Other collaborators over the decades included Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, the Jackson 5, Sly & the Family Stone, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, and most recently, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Neil Diamond on their latest albums.

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