|Bob & Elmo go over some contracts
Industry Profile: Bob Frank
By Larry LeBlanc
This week In The Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Bob Frank
Bob Frank is the New York-based president of Koch Records and Koch Music Publishing, the content divisions of Koch Entertainment.
Koch Records was launched in the U.S. in 1990 as a small classical imprint and then buying an equity stake in Shanachie Records and DRG, It expanded into a mainstream label in 1995. It has since further expanded to cover rap, metal, jazz, rock, R&B, Christian, country, and children's titles.
Its diverse roster includes Hatebreed, In Flames, Dope, Bubba Sparxxx, Jim Jones, OTEP, Unk, the Alchemist, DJ Khaled, Jerry Douglas, Bob James, Ring, Earl Klugh, Barbara Cook, Robert Earl Keen, and Charlie Daniels.
The company also holds the exclusive audio rights to such children’s properties as Sesame Street, Barney, the Wiggles, Pokemon, Bob The Builder, Strawberry Shortcake, Teletubbies, Hi-5, Madeline, Fraggle Rock and Thomas The Tank Engine.
During the ‘90s, Frank worked at PolyGram, including at Mercury Records - Nashville, where he was general manager/senior vice president for four years. He then became president of the Velvel Music Group in New York from 1997-99.
Velvel, formed by former CBS Records’ head Walter Yetnikoff, was launched as a full-service umbrella company for new and established independent music labels. Yetnikoff, however, could not secure financing to keep the company afloat, and it was acquired by Koch International in 1999.
Velvel held the recordings rights to classic recordings by the Kinks; and a stake in two New York labels, Razor & Tie and Bottom Line Records; and had a roster that included Bill Wyman & the Rhythm Kings, Novocaine, the Amazing Royal Crowns, Paul Rodgers, Michelle Malone, and Smithereens’ front man Pat DiNinzio.
After Koch International principal Michael Koch acquired Velvel, Koch Entertainment was founded as an umbrella distribution arm for content and intellectual properties of Koch International in North America.
Michael Koch had come to the U.S. in 1987 from Austria to build business for the CD pressing plant owned by his stepfather, Franz Koch. Within three months, he had started a distribution company, joining forces with the classical buyers for German News, the company that distributed his stepfather's label, among others.
Initially a distributor of such well-regarded classical European labels as Chandos, Supraphon, ASV, Pearl, and Ondine, Koch Distribution later broadened its offerings to include pop, folk, jazz, rock, and world music.
Under Frank, Koch Entertainment quickly enjoyed enormous success with its World Wrestling Federation and Pokemon titles, and the Mo Thugs Family's "Layzie Bone Presents Mo Thugs III: The Mothership" album.
In 2005, Koch Entertainment was sold to Toronto-based Entertainment One, for approximately $80 million. Then Entertainment One was sold to the London based firm Marwyn Investment Management for a $188 million dollars. Today, Entertainment One is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investments Market.
Koch Entertainment Distribution is today's largest independent distributor not affiliated with a major, behind only Warner-owned Alternative Distribution Alliance and Sony-owned RED. The company distributes some 100 active labels, with about 180 imprints. Its catalog encompasses 25,000 titles. As well, Koch Vision has a catalog of 400 titles, including Japanese martial arts titles, military movies, anime and classic TV comedies.
Koch Records is the largest label in the Koch Entertainment Distribution portfolio Two years ago, Frank launched three divisions, bringing in Chuck Mitchell, a former president of Verve, to oversee jazz; Barry Landis, a former president of Word, to oversee Christian; and Scott Givens, who has been at Roadrunner, to oversee metal.
In 2007, Frank became the first president of global independent-music sector digital-rights licensing agency Merlin. In his role, Frank collaborates with Merlin CEO Charles Caldas to protect and exploit the copyrighted works of independent labels worldwide.
Frank has a BS Degree in Economics from St. John’s University in New York and an MBA in Management from the New York Institute of Technology.
Your parent company Entertainment One closed on a $150 million credit facility the day after Lehman Brothers crashed.
That’s pretty amazing isn’t it? If that isn’t a good omen, I don’t know what is. I don’t think deals like that would be there for just a record division in this (economic) climate.
Koch Records is nearly 18 years old?
The record label really got started when Koch Entertainment was formed on June 1, 1999. Until we formed Koch Entertainment’s content division there was no chart presence for the label. They had done a few things to feed the distribution company, like releasing singer/songwriter, classical and wrestling recordings.
Koch Records is now the #1 independent label in the U.S.?
We’ve been the #1 for some time. But what does independent mean anymore?. There are so many different gradations that define what an independent label is these days. Is an independent label anybody who is not part of Universal, Sony, EMI or Warner? We are part of Entertainment One which is a public company traded on the AIM Market exchange in London.
2008 was a time of change for the music industry.
2008 was a perfect storm with a lot of drama and pain. We had a recession all year while the music business went through a dramatic reinvention of itself. A lot of companies had an off year and it wasn’t one of our best. Hopefully, we will have a much better year in 2009 as we further stabilize our company. But we expect (a further market decline) and we know we will survive it, and come out of it stronger.
You recently slammed the MySpace Music deal in which major record labels received ad-revenue sharing deals and equity stakes amounting to 40% of the MySpace venture. Independents and unsigned artists face being shut out of the revenue stream generated by ads on their pages.
We’re still in negotiations with MySpace. I do think it will end amicably. But that (deal) really touched a nerve with me. Having spent the first half of my career at a major label, I have seen (the market) both ways.
When I was a major label executive I never gave the independents a second thought. All I cared about was growing our company.
As an independent label executive, and head of the #1 independent, my perspective has changed. We have a large business and yet MySpace hasn’t taken that into account. Part of that comes from MySpace not really understanding the dynamics of the business.
MySpace likely figures that the music business is still the Big Four. But independent labels represent about 30% of the global recording business today. Koch, Beggars Banquet, Domino and Epitaph all have global hit artists.
Yes and the Big Four aren’t that big any more. Also their (market share) numbers include a lot of embedded independents. Many labels that go through ADA or RED aren’t getting participation in MySpace. Just like they didn’t get participation in the Kazaa settlement either. So there’s a double standard which we are trying to address.
Aren’t you really trying to build a digital foundation that will be strong in five years time?
The (business) model is going to be completely different in five years. It’s going to be a whole new world. A lot of these social networking sites are going to be the primary revenue generators in, perhaps 10 years. There are so many interesting dynamics taking place today.
Meanwhile, the physical retail sector for music keeps shrinking.
We are in the middle of a drastic shift in the retail marketplace. Within five years we’ll be a 75-80% non-physical business. I don’t think we’re going to lose (physical music retail) but that market will continue to shift. And I don’t think we are going to bottom out in 2009. But we have to look for new revenue streams and grow some of the existing new ones. The economics have changed. I read somewhere that “We have gone from analog dollars to digital dimes.” If so, we have to face that reality.
All genres of music are feeling the same pain today. But that pain is driven by a change in the overall marketplace that we are all reacting to. This business isn’t going to go away; it’s just changing. I hate saying “I’m a record guy” anymore. We are not in the CD business. We are in the song business.
What do you make of Warner pulling their videos off of Google-owned YouTube?
The memory of MTV building itself into billion dollar company on the back of our (music) content is something everybody remembers. Nobody wants to see it repeated. Everybody wants to participate (in profits). I understand the perspective of the majors when they take those types of positions. They are the biggest guys in the room. As an independent, we have always taken a different position. We have never supported DRM (digital rights management), for example. And now ITunes has announced no more DRM.
How about Warners’ and consultant Jim Griffin’s suggestion of a surcharge on ISP accounts? Isn’t that like DRM in that it is restrictive?
It is. People have been talking about DSP [digital signal processors] deals for some time. There is a potential there for a new revenue stream. I think that long-term the subscription model is going to be a big part of the future.
ISPs have shown a great reluctance to go that way.
We tend to get stuck on the technology part of [music delivery] rather than focusing on the psychographic shift in the nature of ownership. The nature of ownership has changed from me wanting to hold onto my vinyl or my CDs. I’ve got 60,000 songs on my hard drive, using three IPods. Unless it is something I’m really into, I am fine buying from ITunes. I don’t need to have the physical.
Let’s see how you feel when your computer hard drive crashes with all your music.
It happened to me. It was almost like someone died. I spent years loading music onto my computers and it was like, “Holy crap, what do I do?” I sent the (computer) out. They rebuilt about 80% of the hard drive and I had some Itunes files dumped back into it from another program. I then bought this funky hard drive that is two hard drives in one which backs up itself.
The digital side of your business has grown at Koch Records. In 2007, digital was 33% of your net income.
In 2008, it will end up being about 45% (of our net income). It is something we have really focused on.
Publishing has also been an area of growth as well.
The way we have built it has primarily been with artists that we have signed. We have a few thousand songs now. With the heavy metal division specifically, there was an opportunity to acquire publishing as we did the audio deals. It’s an area that we can really grow without an incredible investment. We are not signing writers. We are not doing that.
The label is diversified, musically.
That’s our competitive advantage. It lets us get through difficult times in a specific genre. If one genre is shrinking, another is growing. We don’t lose a lot to piracy with metal or jazz (titles) and with children’s product (piracy) is virtually zero. Unless there are moms out there downloading the Wiggles.
What led you to broaden the label’s musical scope two years ago?
In the fourth quarter of 2006, our urban division made up a huge percentage of our year-to-date sales for the first time. It had been 65-75% of our business for some time but it became almost 85% of our business. However, the sales (on individual titles) on hard core street level hip hop were starting to go down. We knew we needed to make some changes. The challenge was what genres to bring in.
Why did you decide to develop jazz, heavy metal, and Christian catalogs?
When asked about his secret to hitting, Hall of Fame (baseball) legend 'Wee' Willie Keeler used to say, "I hit 'em where they ain't.”
We decided we wanted to be in genres that the majors aren’t focused in. We’re not going to compete with the Pussycat Dolls or Britney Spears. That’s not our world. We’ll sign acts that either have a fan base or new artists that have a buzz. We are not going to create acts from scratch. If we did that, we’d soon be selling pencils on the corner because the rate of success (with unknown acts) is not great at all. (Unlike the majors) we don’t have a huge catalog behind us to help cover mistakes.
You certainly been successful with metal bands like Hatebreed, Dope, In Flames, Oh Tep and Dirt Fred. One of your most recent signings is Satyricon from Norway.
We feel we can grow metal and be one of the top players in the genre in ’09. With hard core metal, you aren’t going to have a platinum record but you can sell 50,000 to 100,000 CDs. Our metal guy Scott Givens will be at MIDEM for the first time looking to bring things in. His official title is God of Metal.
You do co-ventures with the majors, including making a deal about 18 months ago with Epic to work urban acts together in the U.S.
Epic doesn’t have an urban radio staff, and we don’t have a pop radio staff. So we pick projects together. Sean Kingston was the first and it was huge. Epic worked Ray J at pop radio which was our signing. We are working their artist Brandy at urban radio now.
The deal gives us the ability to be part of the bigger machine to take some of the songs to pop radio. For Epic, it’s a great deal because they don’t have to hire an urban infrastructure. We have some of the best urban staff in the business.
Would you like to do more deals like this?
Yes. As the majors go through their transition and bring down their cost structures, there’s an opportunity for companies like ours. We are set up to handle some of these genres at a much lower cost structure, and with a greater expertise,
You signed Sinead O’Connor for North America. Why?
I always wanted to work with her. She’s exactly what I expected: a very strong personality. If she wants to, she still has a real record in her. She still has the pipes. We’ve recommended a couple of producers to her.
You are of Irish descent but you never visited Ireland until 2004. That must have amused Sinead.
Well, we had a couple of discussions about it. She was quite surprised when I told her where my family was from [County Wexford]. It was a big bonding thing for us.
You grew up in Valley Stream on Long island. How did you get introduced to the entertainment business?
I worked in clubs on Long Island and in New York from when I was 16 through college. When I started I did anything the manager asked me to. I ended up being an assistant manager at several clubs.
When I started in the club business, the business was going through a similar time to what it is going through now. It was at the end of disco and the (recording) market crashed and burned. Over a period of 1979 to 1982, it went from a business doing over $4 billion a year to $3.5 billion. So there has always been gloom and doom times.
The crash in the music industry in the U.S. started in 1979.
Yes, the crash started in ’79. I remember the old jukebox guys coming into the clubs to replace 7-inch singles. They’d complain about how the record business was hurting. Primarily, it was due to the death of disco and nothing had come back yet.
Did you try to get into the music business in New York?
When I was 22, I got a junior product manager’s position at Doubleday Book and Music Clubs, and stayed there for a couple of years. Then PolyGram was expanding and I applied for a job there. I worked in business planning at PolyGram for two years in New York.
Then I met Luke Lewis who had started in Nashville in 1992. There was an opportunity down there. Without even visiting Nashville, I said “I’m out of here.” I was 26 years old. I knew it was a great opportunity because Nashville was exploding, and I wanted to work with Luke. To be able to move to Nashville in my mid-20s and work for a guy like Luke Lewis, you can’t buy that kind of experience.
Nashville was a great experience. That’s where I really went to school. I just watched and learned from Luke.
[Lewis, a former Army journalist, broke into the record business when he landed a job as a sales rep for CBS Records in 1976. He spent more than a decade with the company and then became MCA's vice president of sales and marketing in 1988. Four years later, he was lured to Nashville by Mercury's Nashville division, where he was named president. He is currently chairman and CEO, Universal Music Group Nashville.]
You came into the recording industry while it was at a crossroads.
PolyGram was a tremendous learning environment during that time. They sent me to various senior management training programs, and paid for my MBA. [PolyGram president] Alain Levy was a huge believer in executive development and that permeated the (company’s) culture.
[Frank attended the PolyGram Senior Management program at the London Business School in 1994. He was also sent by PolyGram to the Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina in 1995 and the PolyGram joint music/film training program in Los Angeles the same year].
There was an influx of people in country music in those days that weren’t from Nashville.
In our office, only one person was from Nashville. Nashville is a very transient town. But that‘s part of its charm. It is also an insular world. It is just country. It is not like dealing with pop music from New York or Los Angeles and working different radio formats and international acts.
When you were in Nashville, country music sales exploded with the growth of country radio and the emergence of the CMT and TNN networks.
It was a (sales) machine. It was also a much different time at retail too. There were records we would ship 75,000 units of then that we’d be lucky now to ship 20,000 of today. It was a period of massive growth in market share for country.
You worked with some big-selling acts including Shania Twain, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Toby Keith.
It was an incredible roster. We had an incredible executive team with Luke leading the way and we had some of the best A&R guys ever in the history of country music like Harold Shedd, and Keith Stegall. Luke put together an amazing operation which is why he’s still there.
Did the country explosion of the ‘90s create greater corporate expectations?
It really did change expectations. If you had a few platinum records one year, the next year you had to have two platinum and one gold. That is relatively unrealistic if you don’t know who that artist will be. We were lucky we had some big successes.
With greater success country labels began to be run like pop labels.
Well, (success) changed the cost structure. We went from making $10,000 videos to making $500,000 videos.
What brought you to VelVel?
I got a phone call from Walter Yetnikoff who I had never met. I thought it was a joke. I picked up the phone and I said, “Okay, who is this?” And it was really him. He told me, “I’m starting this company, and I’m looking for a young guy to help me run it and be my partner. People keep telling me I should talk to you. I want you to come up to New York and see me.”
I happened to be going up to New York that week, so I decided to take the meeting. We hit it off right away. About three hours later, he asked me to come back the next day and meet with him and a few other people. The next day I walked in and all of his advisors were there. The next week, Walter called and said, “I’d like you to take the job.” I didn’t think it would go that far.
He didn’t talk about acts for the label?
It wasn’t going to be a record label. The initial goal was to buy independent labels. Unfortunately, none of the big financing came through. Walter was so mistreated by the investment community.
Walter never hid the fact that he was a pretty wild character who had battled for years with Sony brass.
He never tried to hide it but I know a different guy. For two years, I was with him seven days a week traveling around the world with him, doing deals. The guy I know is one of the smartest people around. He can read a contract in an hour and then repeat it back to you. And he’s one of the best people persons around.
You were also trying to raise money during a time when people were raising money for new dotcom companies.
That’s true. In 1997 and 1998, investors were only interested in the digital future. If you were out there with a dot.com trying to raise money, it was easier than being out there with an ex-CBS executive and myself trying to raise funds to buy up independent record companies. But a lot of those dotcoms went belly up.
In 1999, in a move that would have beefed up its presence in the U.S., German music giant Edel negotiated with you to acquire Velvel. All Edel had in the U.S. in those days was a small label with singer Jennifer Paige.
Exactly, that is why they were interested in our operation. But it just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t a good fit. The Koch International deal was Koch was looking to get into the record business. When I knew it wasn’t going to work out with Edel, I called Michael Koch [then chairman and CEO, Koch International]. We did the deal in one day. That’s when we formed Koch Entertainment which initially was the content arm (of Koch Distribution). The first deal we did as Koch Entertainment was for Pokemon.
VelVel had owned a 50% stake in the Bottom Line label which later became full ownership under Koch Records. I understand there’s a box set coming this year featuring performances from the club?
[The Bottom Line was an intimate music venue in New York’s Greenwich Village. Owned by Allan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky, the 400 seat club opened in 1974, and closed in 2004. It featured acts like Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Harry Chapin Dolly Parton, Ravi Shankar, the Ramones and hundreds of others.]
Allan Pepper and I are currently working on a historical box set of Bottom Line recordings to be released in June or July. We aren’t sure how many tracks. We are thinking 75 to 100 tracks. Obviously, many of the tracks have to be cleared but because of the state of the record business today we have been able to clear an incredible amount of tracks. It is such an incredible library. We’ve even got a spoken word piece from John Lennon.
Larry LeBlanc is widely recognized as one of the leading music industry journalists in the world. Before joining CelebrityAccess in 2008, Larry was the Canadian bureau chief of Billboard from 1991-2007 and Canadian editor of Record World from 1970-89. He was also a co-founder of the late Canadian music trade, The Record. He has been quoted on music industry issues in hundreds of publications including Time, Forbes, the London Times and the New York Times.
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Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver’s Division of Theatres and Arenas 08/23/10
Paolo d’Alessandro, International Solutions 06/25/14
Ros Earls, 140dB Management 02/19/14
Art Edelstein, Festival Productions 12/01/02
Bruce Eisenberg, Audio Analysts 08/31/01
Martin Elbourne, The Glastonbury Festival 12/18/09
Michael Elder, Red Entertainment 03/17/06
Tod Elmore, Sixthman 11/24/06
Paul Emery, Clear Channel Entertainment 11/19/04
Arty Erk, Citrin Cooperman 04/27/16
Joe Escalante, Kung Fu Records 07/08/05
Colin Escott, Music Historian/Journalist 07/18/11
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 09/27/02
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 04/24/12
Mike Esterman, Esterman Entertainment 09/01/06
Jeff Eyrich, BePop Records 11/25/05
Bob Ezrin, Bigger Picture Group 05/24/09
Lisa Fancher, Frontier Records 08/09/10
Rick Farman, Superfly Productions 10/15/04
Ray Farrell, eMusic 06/09/06
Sam Feldman, S.L. Feldman & Associates 10/25/02
Bob Feldman, Red House Records 11/24/02
Charlie Feldman, BMI 08/26/05
Paul Fenn, Asgard Promotions 11/22/09
Debra "Fergy" Ferguson, TourDesign 08/01/03
Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry 09/11/09
David Fishof, David Fishof Presents 01/08/01
David Fishof, Rock 'N Roll Fantasy 10/05/08
David Fishof, Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp 02/28/12
Mike Flanagin, New England Country Music Festival 09/12/08
Joel Flatow, RIAA 12/13/11
Jim Fleming, Fleming Artists 03/20/10
Joe Fletcher, Joe Fletcher Presents 01/12/06
Jeff Fluhr, StubHub 10/06/06
Nancy Fly, The Nancy Fly Agency 04/02/04
Arthur Fogel, Live Nation 08/09/09
Martin Folkman, Independent Music Awards & Music Resource Group 08/11/06
Belle Forino, Fantasma Tours 03/18/05
Fletcher Foster, Universal Records South 07/31/09
Sam Foxman, Contemporary Productions 01/06/06
Todd Frank, 4Star Entertainment, LLC 01/24/03
Bob Frank, Koch Entertainment 01/09/09
Larry Frank, Frank Productions 01/17/11
Mike Fraser, Record Producer/Engineer 10/11/08
Carl Freed, Metropolitan Entertainment 06/22/01
Elizabeth Freund, Beautiful Day Media & Management 01/26/07
Harlan Frey, Roadrunner Records 07/11/03
Adam Friedman, Nederlander Concerts 06/22/07
Ted Gardner, Larrikin Management 04/25/03
Daniel Gélinas, Festival d’été de Québec 05/23/13
Marci Geller, Sonic Underground 08/15/08
Chris Gero, Yamaha Entertainment Group 10/26/16
Steve Gerstman, SGS 07/19/02
Sandra Gibson, The Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/09/04
Sandra L. Gibson, Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/16/09
Steve Gietka, Trump Properties 07/30/01
Steve Gietka, SMG Entertainment 03/19/14
Darren Gilmore, Watchdog Management 03/17/16
Daniel Glass, Glassnote Entertainment Group 10/16/14
Jake Gold, The Management Trust 04/13/01
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 09/07/07
Harris Goldberg, Concert Ideas 06/27/11
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 04/16/14
Martin Goldschmidt, Cooking Vinyl Group 09/29/16
Harvey Goldsmith, Harvey Goldsmith Productions 06/28/10
Michael Goldstein, RockPoP Gallery 11/09/07
Seth Goldstein, Turntable.fm 09/20/11
Anna Paula Goncalves, CEO Global Brand Appeal 08/20/14
Arnie Goodman, Blue Storm Music 11/15/02
Wesley Goodman, Red Entertainment 09/16/05
Richard Goodstone, Superfly Productions 01/27/06
Christie Goodwin, Photographer 03/18/15
Rob Gordon, What Are Records? LTD 02/01/02
Steve Gordon, Entertainment Attorney 08/06/04
Yoav Goren, Immediate Music & Imperativa Records 06/10/14
Mike Gormley, L.A. Personal Development 11/10/06
Jonathan Gosselin, Gosselin Marketing & Promotions 07/02/04
Richard Gottehrer, The Orchard 04/10/09
Sean Goulding, The Agency Group London 09/12/12
Jerimaya Grabher, RPM Direct 09/26/03
Mary Granata, The Granata Agency 09/06/10
Kelly Graves, Providence Performing Arts Center/Professional Facilities Management 01/20/02
Stan Green, Stanley A. Green Lighting and Productions 12/12/03
Mark Green, Celebrity Talent Agency Inc. / Bergen Performing Arts Center 08/12/05
Jeffrey Green, Americana Music Association 03/10/06
Paul Green, The School of Rock 07/06/08
Benjy Grinberg, Rostrum Records 12/06/11
Brent Grulke, SXSW 03/06/09
Michael Gudinski, The Mushroom Group 10/29/15
Phil Guiliano, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. & OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/25/05
Steve Gumble, SBG Productions 06/16/06
Greg Hagglund, Vivelo! 05/07/04
Rodney Hall, FAME Music Group 11/06/09
Rob Hallett, Robomagic 02/05/15
Craig Hankenson, Producers, Inc 02/23/06
Kerry Hansen, Wynonna Incorporated 10/03/03
Eric Hanson, Ted Kurland Associates 12/20/02
Eric Hanson, Tree Lawn Artists 03/23/07
Rusty Harmon, MTM Music Management 12/06/07
Ali Harnell, Clear Channel Entertainment Nashville 08/15/03
Bob Harris, 02/06/09
Evan Harrison, Huka Entertainment 12/08/16
David Hart, The Agency Group 02/20/04
Laura Hassler, Musicians without Borders 12/02/15
Abe Hathot, Musician, composer, and music producer. 12/21/16
Steve Hecht, Piedmont Talent 08/29/12
Travis Hellyer, Mezzanine 09/02/05
Janie Hendrix, Experience Hendrix 02/01/10
Nona Hendryx, Rhythmbank Entertainment 06/02/06
Dan Herrington, Dualtone Records 07/25/03
Sara Hickman, Sleeveless/Stingray 06/30/06
Dan Hirsch, On Board Entertainment 04/04/03
Nick Hobbs, Charmenko 12/14/01
Carel Hoffman, Hilltop Live/Oppikoppi Productions 11/07/12
Ian Hogarth, Songkick 08/09/11
Gene Hollister, Rose Presents 04/08/01
Rusty Hooker, Rock Steady Management Agency 02/16/01
Jake Hooker, Hook Entertainment 05/10/02
Martin Hopewell, Primary Talent International 04/19/02
Tom Hoppa, TKO Booking Agency 09/29/06
Bobbie Horowitz, Times Square Group 01/04/02
Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages 11/01/11
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 10/27/00
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 01/22/14
Andi Howard, Peak Records and Andi Howard Entertainment 09/02/03
Barbara Hubbard, ACTS 09/12/03
Laurent Hubert, BMG US 11/12/15
Seth Hurwitz, I.M.P. 04/20/09
Ariel Hyatt, Author, and founder of Cyber PR 11/23/16
Mark Hyman, Ashley Talent International 11/09/01
Brett Hyman, Category 5 Entertainment 07/23/04
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 08/17/01
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 05/28/14
Doug Isaac, Super Bowl Concert Series Producer (EXI) 08/24/01
David Israelite, National Music Publishers' Association 11/29/08
Tom Jackson, Tom Jackson Productions 02/06/13
Jay Jacobs, Parc Landon 09/21/07
Larry Jacobson, World Audience 09/17/04
Audra Jaeger, The Management Trust 05/09/03
Ralph James, The Agency Group 01/31/11
Jeffrey Jampol, Jampol Artist Management 07/18/12
Jean Michel Jarre, International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) 06/19/13
Michael Jaworek, The Birchmere 05/08/09
Peter Jesperson, New West Records 11/03/06
John Jeter, The Handlebar 08/15/12
Mike Johnson, Groundrush Media 02/17/06
Mike Gormley & Jolene Pellant, Yes, Dear Entertainment 04/23/10
Susan Joseph, Justice Entertainment Group 02/21/11
Darren Julien, Julien's Auctions 10/25/10
Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson Guitars 09/28/10
Leonard Kalikow, Music Business Reference, Inc. 06/26/08
Craig Kallman, Atlantic Records 03/20/09
Steve Kane, Warner Music Canada 02/09/17
Danny Kapilian, Independent Producer 07/12/02
Mike Kappus, The Rosebud Agency 10/26/09
Andy Kaufman, Birdland 05/17/02
Wendy Kay, Mars Talent Agency 03/09/01
Lucas Keller, The Collective 03/22/11
Marty Kern, Clemson University 07/07/01
Carlos Keyes, Red Entertainment 10/08/04
Golnar Khosrowshahi, Reservoir Media Management 10/24/12
Martin Kierszenbaum, Interscope/Cherrytree Records 09/06/09
Barney Kilpatrick, Rattlesby Records 10/28/05
John Kinsner, The Walnut Room 03/28/08
Doug Kirby, LiveTourArtists 10/24/03
Steve Kirsner, Compaq Center 06/29/01
JoAnne Klabin, Sweet Relief 03/21/03
Andrew Klein, Revolution Marketing 11/05/04
Larry Klein, Producer, bassist, songwriter 03/13/12
Jack Kleinsinger, Highlights in Jazz 04/25/08
Ann Kline, Casa Kline 09/04/14
Brian Knaff, Talent Buyers Network 09/29/01
Kymberlee Knight, IEBA 11/16/00
Mike Kociela, 360 Productions 05/30/08
Stefan Kohlmeyer, Bach Technology 02/08/10
Lily Kohn, Microsoft Corporation 02/14/11
Tim Kolleth, Alligator Records 01/25/08
Al Kooper, Musician/songwriter/producer/author 02/06/14
Mitchell Koulouris, Digital Musicworks International, Inc. 02/11/05
Mark Krantz, John Schreiber Group 06/15/01
Jeff Krasno, Velour Music Group 11/19/07
Jeffrey Kruger, The Kruger Organisation 01/25/02
Harvey Kubernik, Author/historian/music journalist 08/20/15
Ted Kurland, Ted Kurland Associates 01/15/01
Jordan Kurland, Zeitgeist Artist Management 08/23/11
Carianne Laguna, Blackheart Records 03/07/08
Brady Lahr, Kufala Recordings 04/30/04
Ernie Lake, EL Records 01/19/07
Roks Lam, Wolfman Jack Entertainment 12/17/04
Anni Lam, Parc Landon 06/29/07
Gary Lane, CenterLane Attractions 10/14/05
Tom LaPenna, Lucky Man Productions 09/10/04
Camilo Lara, EMI Music Mexico/MIS 08/10/07
Gary Lashinsky, Lipizzaner Tours 05/13/05
Gregg Latterman, Aware Records 12/13/02
Tony Laurenson, Eat to the Beat 02/27/04
Emily Lazar, The Lodge 10/15/15
Bill Leabody, Leabody Systems 06/10/05
Peter Leak, 24-7 Worldwide Management 03/28/12
Steve Leeds, SR. VP/Promotion/Rock Formats at Virgin Records 07/26/02
Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter 11/14/08
Carl Leighton-Pope, Leighton-Pope Organisation 07/05/09
Steve Lemon, Live 4 Live, Inc. 12/06/02
Randy Lennox, Universal Music Canada 06/24/15
Simma Levine, Disson Furst and Partners 11/10/00
Andy Levine, Sixthman 06/08/07
Rich Levy, Clear Channel Entertainment Properties 06/25/04
Eddie Levy, Chelsea Music Publishing 07/24/14
Myles Lewis, Denise Rich Songs 12/20/10
Adam Lewis, Planetary Group 01/20/16
Terry Lickona, Austin City Limits 03/14/11
Justine Liddelow, Stage and Screen Travel Services 08/31/11
Jim Lidestri, Border City Media 09/03/15
Larry Lieberman, 4EverWild 03/28/03
Eric Lilavois, Crown City Studios, and London Bridge Studio 12/10/14
Marc Lipkin, Alligator Records 03/05/05
Tommy LiPuma (Part 1), Verve Records 11/08/10
Tommy LiPuma (Part 2), Verve Records 11/15/10
Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud 10/04/10
Andy Lo Russo, The Singing Chef 12/16/05
Phil Lobel, Lobeline Communications 08/13/04
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 01/21/05
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 05/17/10
Julie Lokin, New Audiences 03/23/01
Dave Lory, Artemis Records 03/30/02
Max Loubiere, Tour Director 04/11/12
Mark Lourie, Skyline Music 03/08/02
Dave Lucas, Live-360 04/28/06
Joe Lucchese, EventJoe 02/23/07
Kevin Lyman, 4 fini 03/30/01
Kevin Lyman, Vans Warped Tour 05/23/12
Bubba Mac, 09/14/07
David Macias, Emergent Music Marketing 06/17/05
Kristen Madsen, Grammy Foundation and MusiCares 11/22/10
Larry Magid, Larry Magid Entertainment 05/04/10
Peter Malkin, PM Management 02/07/03
Toby Mamis, Alive Enterprises 02/12/01
Billy Mann, Green & Bloom | Topl1ne, Manncom 09/18/14
Tasea Margeolas, Multi Entertainment 06/23/06
Tony Margherita, dBpm Records 09/06/11
Bob Roux & Mark Campana, Live Nation 12/20/11
Lee Marshall, Magic Arts & Entertainment 09/13/02
Zach Martin, Radio Producer at New York's WAXQ-FM 08/30/02
Mario Martin, Gorgeous PR 04/27/07
Molly Martinez, Ticket Summit 2008 05/23/08
Paul Mascioli, Mascioli Entertainment 01/14/05
Michael Maska, Big Hassle 01/28/05
Ted Mason, Mi-5 Recordings 11/16/01
Steve Masur, Masur & Associates, LLC 11/21/03
Pam Matthews, The Ryman Auditorium 04/08/05
Terry McBride, Nettwerk Music Group 03/01/10
Michael McCarty, ole 06/20/11
Jim McDonald, McDonald Group 12/19/03
Virginia McEnerney, HeadCount 11/26/07
Doc McGhee, McGhee Entertainment 06/14/10
Camilla McGuinn, Tour Manager 08/24/07
Andy McLean, North By Northeast (NXNE) 04/01/05
Dennis McNally, Grateful Dead historian/publicist 09/06/02
Garry McQuinn, Back Row Productions 06/14/11
Ruthann McTyre, The Rita Benton Music Library; and president of the Music Library Association 08/31/10
Dick McVey, Musician's Referral Service 10/27/07
Katherine McVicker, Music Works International 01/08/15
John Meglen, Concerts West/AEG Live 02/21/13
Mark Meharry, Music Glue 05/28/15
Jorge Mejia, Sony/ATV Music Publishing 09/17/15
Dan Melnick, Festival Productions, Inc. 02/22/02
André Ménard, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 06/12/09
Bob Merlis, Merlis For Hire/Memphis International Records 01/16/04
Doug Merrick, Cumberland Talent Agency and Merrick Music Group 07/21/06
Louis Messina, The Messina Group 10/22/04
Louis Messina, The Messina Group/AEG Live 07/17/09
Louis Jay Meyers, North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance 03/30/07
Louis Jay Meyers, Folk Alliance International 01/23/09
Todd Miller, House Of Blues - New Orleans 11/14/03
Jeff Miller, Fantasma Productions 03/16/07
Ben Miller, Rock Ridge Music 11/02/07
J. B. Miller, Empire Entertainment 08/22/08
Richard Mills, S.L. Feldman 11/02/09
Marty Monson, Barbershop Harmony Society 07/07/16
Linda Moran, Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) 04/05/09
Jesse Morreale, Nobody In Particular Presents (NIPP) 09/20/02
Chuck Morris, Live Rocky Mountains 09/28/09
Mo Morrison, Independent production 05/24/02
Kevin Morrow, Steel Wool Entertainment 01/25/17
Nick Moss, Blue Bella Records 11/30/07
Jim Musselman, Appleseed Recordings 04/14/06
Natalia Nastaskin, United Talent Agency 04/13/16
Marc Nathan, Flagship Records 07/01/05
David Neilon, Rising Star Promotions 11/30/01
Don Neuen, Star Coaches Inc. 10/10/12
Dennis Newhall, DIG Music 10/07/05
John Nittolo, John Nittolo Productions 04/13/07
Ian Noble, Metropolitan Talent 05/23/03
Josh Norek, JN Media, LLC 07/05/02
David Norman, Tour Manager 04/20/07
Mimi Northcott, Canadian Recording Services (CRS) 04/11/08
Bill Nowlin, Rounder Records 01/05/07
John Nugent, NY JAM Inc. 11/08/02
Andy Nulman, Just For Laughs 11/20/13
Sal Nunziato, NYCD 06/01/01
Bob O'Neal, Ryman Auditorium 06/28/02
Andrea Orbeck, Prehab Health and Fitness 03/15/10
Heather Orser, Toad's Place 01/29/01
Janet Oseroff, MultiMediaProperties 11/18/05
Marc Ostrow, Boosey & Hawkes 12/05/08
Riley O’Connor, Live Nation Canada 07/24/09
Jeremy Palmer, Buddy Lee Attractions 11/02/01
John Palmer, Megawave Records 08/31/07
Panos Panay, Sonicbids 12/23/05
Julien Paquin, Paquin Artists Agency 04/30/14
Graham Parker, WQXR-FM 11/26/14
Crispin Parry, British Underground 02/24/08
Donald Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 04/09/10
Donald S. Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 01/06/16
Bruce Patron, Overland Entertainment 07/28/06
Alexandra Patsavas, Chop Shop Music 09/27/11
Cheryl Pawelski, Omnivore Entertainment Group 09/26/13
Kerry Peace, Alligator Records 08/18/06
Eric Peltoniemi, Red House Records 12/14/09
Scott Perry, Sperry Media 03/11/05
Lawrence Peryer, Jr., 23 Omnimedia 11/07/08
John Peters, MassConcerts 06/07/11
Holger Petersen, Stony Plain Records 04/15/05
Jon Phillips, Silverback Professional Artist Mgmt/Controlled Substance Sound 08/29/08
Dave Pichilingi, Sound City 03/30/16
Vince Pileggi, Music Inc./Music Inc. Sounds 12/01/06
Eric Pirritt, Endit! Presents / The Fox Theatre 10/17/03
Neil Portnow, The Recording Academy 02/08/11
Louis Posen, Hopeless Records 04/04/11
Stephen Posen, Estate of Glenn Gould 01/23/13
Nadia Prescher, Madison House 06/20/03
Jeff Price, TuneCore 02/28/11
Tom Principato, Powerhouse Records 02/01/08
Roger Probert, Core Records 12/08/06
John "Grinder" Procaccini, JP Squared (JP2) 01/17/03
Mark Pucci, Independent Music Publicist 09/09/05
David Pullman, The Pullman Group 11/03/00
Rod Quinton, Saigon Sound System 04/18/11
Dolphus Ramseur, Ramseur Records 10/19/07
Jack Randall, Ted Kurland Associates 04/05/02
Jack Randall, The Kurland Agency 03/08/17
Debra Rathwell, AEG Live 05/03/13
Jeff Ravitz, Visual Terrain 02/08/08
Rich Rees, M.P.I. Talent Agency 09/19/08
John Reese, Freeze Artist Management 08/01/08
Bill Reeves, WRIII, Inc. 10/20/06
Stephen Rehage, Rehage Entertainment 07/30/04
Lisa Reiss, Pearl Productions 08/17/07
Salaam Remi, Composer, producer, musician and label executive. 01/08/14
David Renzer, Universal Music Publishing Group 08/23/09
Alison Richard, Universal Orlando Resort 05/06/05
Kelli Richards, The All Access Group 02/07/12
Gary Richards, HARD Events 08/29/13
Sam Righi, Waterfront Entertainment Group 05/30/03
Jon Rinaldo, Joker Productions 01/02/04
Geary Rindels, Geary Rindels Enterprises, Inc. 12/05/03
Doreen Ringer Ross, BMI 01/18/08
Lisette Rioux, Island Def Jam Music Group 05/16/03
Dave Roberge, Everfine Records & Everfine Artist Management 12/03/04
Sandy Roberton, Worlds End Producer Management 02/20/09
Ty Roberts, Gracenote 01/31/12
Bill Rogers, BRE Presents 07/13/07
Ian Rogers, Topspin Media 06/01/10
Benji Rogers, PledgeMusic 12/19/13
Dave Rose, Deep South Entertainment 09/15/06
Eric Rosen, Ronald S. Bienstock & Associates 05/25/01
Stuart Ross, The Ross Group 02/23/01
David Ross, President IAAM; Director, Show Me Center 09/23/05
Bobby Rossi, Ruth Eckerd Hall 02/28/03
Michael Rothschild, Landslide Records 04/29/05
Robert Rowland, Red Entertainment 06/13/08
Bill Royston, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival 03/07/03
John Rudolph, Bug Music 05/24/10
Elizabeth Rush, E.R.A. / Elizabeth Rush Agency 08/20/04
Aran Rush, Expo and Foro Imperial 02/16/07
Maurice Russell, Harry Fox Agency 10/21/05
Barron Ruth, Skyline Music 02/14/03
Andrea Sabata, Skyline Music 01/07/05
Numa Saisselin, Count Basie Theatre, Inc. 02/04/05
Ron Sakamoto, Gold & Gold Productions 01/16/10
David Salidor, dis Company 07/20/07
Shaw Saltzberg, S. L. Feldman and Associates 06/21/10
Bruce Allen & Sam Feldman, A&F Music 12/19/08
Mark Samuels, Basin Street Records 06/11/04
Jacqueline Saturn, Harvest Records 01/21/15
Tamara Saviano, American Roots Publishing 07/22/05
Tamara Saviano, Author, journalist, and producer 08/18/16
Michael Scafuto, Mountain High Entertainment 12/07/01
Steve Schankman, Contemporary Productions 12/21/01
Steve Scharf, Carlin America 10/11/02
John Scher, Metropolitan Talent 11/21/08
Al Schmitt, Producer/Engineer 02/13/10
Bobby Schneider, Tour Coordinator, Third Eye Blind 01/31/03
Jake Schneider, Madison House 04/02/14
Steven Schnur, EA Music Group 07/03/13
Elaine Schock, Shock Ink 02/19/10
Stacy Schott, Mad Booking and Events 08/22/03
Daylle Schwartz, Revenge Productions 08/19/05
Dean Sciarra, ItsAboutMusic.com 11/26/04
Joel Selvin, Author and Journalist 08/07/14
Jay Sendyk, Sendyk, Leonard & Company, Inc. 05/03/02
Peter Shapiro, Ideal Entertainment 04/16/04
Seth Sheck, Access Pass & Design 01/03/03
Seth Sheck, ACCESS Event Solutions 06/22/16
Seth Shomes, The Agency Group 11/12/14
Jay Sieleman, The Blues Foundation 07/18/03
Anya Siglin, The Ark 03/05/10
Bill Silva, Bill Silva Entertainment 10/19/10
Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy Entertainment 03/06/12
Steve Simon, Clear Channel Communications 05/14/04
Ralph Simon, Live Earth 07/06/07
Ralph Simon, Mobilium 04/12/11
Michael Simon, The Harry Fox Agency 08/14/13
Ron Simpson, RCS Productions 01/11/08
John Simson, SoundExchange 07/15/05
Dion Singer, Warner Bros. 12/07/09
Gram Slaton, The Community Arts Center 02/25/05
Owen Sloane, Gladstone Michel Weisberg Willner & Sloane 10/11/10
Peter Smidt, Eurosonic Noorderslag & manager Buma Cultuur 07/17/13
Garrison Snell, Gyrosity Projects 02/23/17
Mike Snider, Paradigm Talent Agency Nashville 05/17/11
Andrew Snowhite, Musictoday 05/04/01
Bruce Solar, The Agency Group 05/14/14
Nikki Solgot, Circle Talent Agency 02/18/15
Michael Solomon, Brick Wall Management 05/25/07
Mark Sonder, Mark Sonder Productions 07/25/08
Steve Sonnier, UIC Pavilion at the University of Illinois, Chicago 09/03/04
Kathy Spanberger, peermusic 06/20/12
Carolyn Specht, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. and OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/26/04
David Spelman, New York Guitar Festival 10/01/04
Jason Spiewak, Rock Ridge Music 04/07/06
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 11/29/12
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 02/18/05
Jeremy Stephan, Ventures, LLC 04/23/04
Walter Stewart, Mars Talent Agency 02/21/03
Gail Stocker, Gail Stocker Presents 11/12/04
Jon Stoll, Fantasma Productions 10/13/00
Jesse Stoll, AEG 06/27/09
Henry Stone, Henry Stone Music 06/24/05
Jason Stone, Live Nation New York 03/31/06
Howard Stovall, Resource Entertainment Group 05/28/04
Cameron Strang, New West Records 10/18/02
Don Strasburg, AEG Live Rocky Mountains 02/27/09
Barbara Strauss, Sovereign Ventures 05/12/06
Richard Stumpf, Cherry Lane Publishing 08/07/06
Patrick Sullivan, RightsFlow 10/25/11
Bernie Swain & Harry Rhodes, Jr., Washington Speakers Bureau 12/07/00
Dean Swett, Paramour Group 06/14/02
Jake Szufnarowski, Rocks Off 05/02/08
Marc Tanner, Chime Entertainment 12/22/06
Donald Tarlton, The Donald K Donald Group 04/12/02
Tess Taylor, Los Angeles Music Network 08/09/02
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Chris Taylor, Taylor 03/15/09
Peter Tempkins, DeWitt Stern Group 03/16/01
Peter Tempkins, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 03/27/09
Lisa Tenner, Tenner & Associates (EAT'M) 08/06/01
Jeremy Tepper, Diesel Only Records 10/10/03
Allan Tepper, Bicycle Music Company 09/28/07
Martin Terefe, Kensaltown Studios 05/31/11
Milun Tesovic, MetroLeap Media 10/18/09
Mandar Thakur, Times Music 08/06/15
Jerry Thompson, Promoter Line Inc. 03/05/04
Jose Tillan, MTV Networks Latin America 12/02/05
Jon Tiven, Hormone Studios 08/05/05
Rob Tonkin, Marketing Factory 12/17/15
John "J.T." Toomey, 25/8 Management 11/15/11
Livia Tortella, Warner Bros. Records 01/10/12
Phil Tripp, IMMEDIA! 01/19/06
Claudio Trotta, Barley Arts Promotion 11/26/01
Chris Tsakalakis, StubHub 01/11/10
Ben Turner, Graphite Media 05/10/10
Steve Vai, Favored Nations Entertainment 04/26/02
John Valentino, Fantasma Productions 04/18/03
John Valentino, AEG Live SE 11/01/10
Don Van Cleave, Coalition of Independent Music Stores 04/09/04
Casey Verbeck, Partners in Music 06/06/03
David "Boche" Viecelli, The Billions Corporation 04/18/10
Ray Waddell, Billboard Magazine 08/27/04
Rob Waggener, Foundations Recovery Network 03/07/11
Jim Walczak, Racine Civic Centre 06/03/05
Jeff Walker, The AristoMedia Group 08/16/10
Carla Wallace, Big Yellow Dog Music 11/04/05
Russell Wallach, Live Nation Network 03/20/12
Steve Walter, The Cutting Room 10/24/08
Neil Warnock, The Agency Group 05/02/09
Diane Warren, Realsongs 08/14/09
Butch Waugh, RCA Label Group Nashville 01/10/03
Lauren Wayne, The State Theatre 05/09/12
Kirt Webster, Webster PR 02/03/16
Ken Weinstein, Big Hassle Media 04/22/05
Bruce Weinstein, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts 02/15/08
Larry Weintraub, Fanscape 05/18/01
Pam Weiser, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 10/11/11
Kevin Welk, Welk Music Group 01/24/12
D-J Wendt, Dmand Management 05/09/08
Alison Wenham, Worldwide Independent Network 02/13/09
Bill Werde, Billboard 08/03/11
Joel Whitburn, Record Research 11/13/09
Judd White, Tour Manager/Accountant 02/13/04
Jeff White, In Ticketing 12/16/06
Adam White, Author 09/14/16
Adam Wilkes, AEG Live Asia 10/13/16
Fenton Williams, 04/04/08
Del Williams, Right Arm Entertainment 04/18/08
Bryan "Birdman" Williams, Cash Money Records 09/13/11
Paul Williams, ASCAP 10/19/11
J.P. Williams, Parallel Entertainment 10/03/12
Kurt Willms, Green Room Productions 09/20/03
Chris Wilson, Heartbeat Records 03/02/07
Tony Wilson, Factory Records/In The City 06/01/07
Tom Windish, The Windish Agency 07/26/10
John Wiseman, XL Touring Video 05/05/06
Thom Wolke, Twincloud.com 02/08/02
Michael Wood, City Lights Entertainment 08/08/08
Keith Wortman, Blackbird Presents 03/22/17
Nigel Wright, Independant Record Producer 11/07/03
Dusty Wright, CultureCatch.com 07/27/07
Jeremiah “Ice” Younossi, A-List Talent 09/20/09
Gail Zappa, The Zappa Family Trust 10/02/14
Kevin 'Chief' Zaruk, Chief Music Management 06/10/15
Ron Zeelens, RAZco Visas 04/20/01
Rick Zeiler, Sidney Frank Importing Company 06/04/04
Danny Zelisko, Live Nation 06/19/09
Hillary Zuckerberg, Brick Wall Management. 07/09/04
Steve Zuckerman, Global Entertainment and Media Summit 03/22/02
Paul Zullo, Muze 01/23/04
Nanette Zumwalt, Hired Power 02/03/06
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