Industry Profile: Jaye Albright

— By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess MediaWire)

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Jaye Albright, partner, Albright & O'Malley Consulting

Country radio has long been the primary marketing tool for country music. Few would doubt the critical role that radio plays, both historically and currently, in building and supporting the careers of country artists.

While terrestrial radio continues to deal with the unprecedented challenges of emerging new consumer platforms, the country radio format remains somewhat healthy, perhaps, due to strategies devised by industry figures like Jaye Albright, partner in Albright & O'Malley, North America’s leading country radio consultancy firm.

Albright & O'Malley handles 100 stations on a full-time basis. Its staff makes quarterly market visits to its clients, and provides detailed evaluations of stations and their competition. This includes evaluating a station’s brand, talent, music, imaging, and opportunities. As well, a market strategy is developed and updated for stations. Albright & O'Malley also provides services for individual project work.

One of country music’s most-honored figures, Albright, 67, was named to the Country Radio Hall Of Fame in 2008. She is a member of the board of directors of both the Country Music Association, and the Country Radio Broadcasters.

Over four decades, Albright has achieved valued experience in virtually all aspects of radio, including programming, research, sales and management.

She served as a morning personality--with duties in production, promotion or news--at KLUC (Las Vegas), WAVI (Dayton), WNOB (Cleveland), WCUE (Akron), KPAT (Berkeley), KJEM (Oklahoma City), and KDIG (San Diego).

She has been major market program director at KMPS (Seattle), KEEN (San Jose), KUZZ (Bakersfield), KHOS (Tucson), and KTBT/KORJ (Anaheim).

Albright first earned her spurs as a consultant as VP/Country for the Drake-Chenault, and Burkhart/Douglas and Associates in the ‘80s. She went on to be dir. of country programming for Jacor Communications, and Clear Channel Communications; GM of BP Consulting Group; president of country at McVay Media; and president of Let's Talk, Inc., Radio IQ, Inc., and Albright, Hill & O'Malley.

On Feb. 25, 2010, the Country Music Association released key findings from its fourth quarter 2009 follow-up to its 2008 Country Music Consumer Segmentation Study.

Over the past two years, the CMA, in partnership with The Right Brain Consumer Consulting, LLC and Chicago-based Leo Burnett Company, has interviewed nearly 10,000 adults. It is the largest and most comprehensive study in the history of the CMA.

The study shows that the country music industry is facing revenue pressures from a range of consumer-based fronts, including: the economy, a decline in the country fan base, reduced consumer country music spending, and a continued move away by consumers from buying albums to single tracks or acquiring music for free on the internet.

Significantly, the study emphasized that the role of country radio in the U.S. has been strengthened in the past two years.

Usage and average hours spent listening are up significantly--up from 79% of fans in 2008 to 93% today. Weekly country radio listening hours are up to an estimated 9.9 hours per fan from 6.4 hours in 2008.

“With Americans economically stressed and working harder to make ends meet, radio is potentially a strong performer due to its portable, free, and ‘workplace-acceptable' nature, which allows fans to take it wherever they go,” the study reported.

Music to Jaye Albright’s ears.

You have seen a lot of changes in radio over four decades.

It’s a completely different business in every way.

Country radio ain’t our grandparent’s format anymore?

Country is a format where, every 7 or 8 years, there’s a new set of younger artists that come in. Randy Houser is the George Jones of today. There’s a lot of others as well, but the format doesn’t stay the same. Hank Thompson saw that more clearly than George Jones did. There are certainly a lot of artists that have a lot of sour grapes as (the format) moved away from them. George is certainly one of those who went through a tough time. In any pop music form, you have to be pretty adaptable, and be a pretty good marketer. You have to listen to where the audience is going and try to be where they are. Some artists will do that while others couldn’t care less where the audience is, “This is me. You can kiss my ass if you don’t like it.”

Many people say that today’s country sounds like bad ‘70s pop.

I think there’s truth in that. That’s Kenny Chesney’s music you just described. But, there’s more than that going on (in country). That is only part of the mix. It’s always been like that. You would have said the same thing about Stonewall Jackson’s “Waterloo” or Pat Boone (in the ‘50s). Country music has always been watered down chicken rock, to some degree, but that is only part of it. There was George Jones and Johnny Paycheck years ago, and that (traditional country style) still exists today with an artist like Jamie Johnson. (Country is) not just one thing. It’s a variety of sounds that is more inclusive than most people think it is.

There’s a mix of sounds in country today. Have you heard Jamie Johnson? Oh, my goodness. He and Montgomery Gentry are in the mix. At the same station, they will add Taylor Swift. So I think that there is always a balance. There’s that sort of rock sound that today’s boomers like from when they were kids—that’s part of a country mix—and, yet, the more acoustic, natural and authentic sound is also part of it as well.

Will there ever be an oldies country format playing those ‘50s and ‘60s vintage country hits?

No I don’t think so. I think it will always be a variety.

The Classic Country format comes the closest to being an oldies’ format.

Classic Country has always been there, and continues to be there. We have some Classic Country stations that are #1 or #2 in their markets. A new Classic Country station just signed on in Milwaukee a couple of weeks ago. The definition of Classic Country has changed. Country Classic today starts at about 1993 where at one time it was the ‘50s and ‘60s.

I think what keeps country (radio) from fragmenting, is that the older folks who like country seem to like the new music too. They like the older music, but they don’t dislike the new music. That’s true today.

[Saga Communication’s former smooth jazz WJZX switched to Big Buck Country 106.9 on June 7, 2010. The target demo is 35-64 year olds who like country legends who were on the radio from the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Core artists include Brooks & Dunn, Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson, and Hank Williams, Jr.]

Country remains a conservative format. Look at the controversy last year where Atlantic Records had to provide stations with a “radio edit” of Zac Brown’s “Toes” where the word “ass” was cut out.

I would say that (conservatism) is because of the nature of country being so relationship-oriented, and so narrative-driven in its song content and its lyrics. In America, you have red states, which are very conservative; and yet, country does well in Boston, which is very much a blue state area; and here where I am, in Seattle, Washington, which is a blue state as well. So I think how conservative or not conservative country tends to be reflects more on the area. The audience, in a (location), brings its values to the music.

There’s no question (politics is) a factor. Big & Rich broke up over it. John Rich is a big John McCain fan, and very conservative; and Big Kenny is a Democrat. I think their politics are what broke the group up. I keep hoping that they will kiss and make up; and get back together again, as we begin to bridge these divides for the (sake of the) music. Both Toby Keith and Tim McGraw are Democrats. Tim McGraw has even said that when his music career is over, he might run for governor of Tennessee as a Democrat. So we have both Republicans and Democrats in the country format.

But Nashville’s infrastructure is largely Republican.

No question. And very Christian too.

Unlike any other music, country music is centric to one city. If you want to make it as a country artist, you must go to Nashville.

That’s true. But then the Zac Brown Band is from Atlanta in Georgia. They were pretty big before they made their move to (working in) Nashville. They had already built a fan base in Georgia. You can certainly say the same thing about Texas too, where there’s Texas country.

Yes, but country radio doesn’t play much Texas country.

That’s true. Nashville, you are right; it’s a trade organization that promotes country music. In that sense, I don’t think that there’s an American city that does that in quite the same way. (Warner Music Nashville president) John Esposito recently said that there is a community in Nashville, but it isn’t overtly trying to exclude other places. That’s what he said, and I think he’s right.

In a way, Nashville is the Silicon Valley of Country Music. You can walk around New York all day long, and you are not going to run into any other country musicians or songwriters. In Nashville, you can’t go anywhere without seeing people in the business. There’s a tremendous amount of collaboration going on there. You also have the music songwriting community in Nashville. There’s nothing like it in America. It’s what Tin Pan Alley must have been like in New York in the ‘20s and ‘30s.

People literally go to buildings and sit down at pianos and with guitars and write songs all day long. It’s their job. They are employed doing that, while they are waiting for their opportunity in Nashville. That songwriting mill factory turns out song after song. It is truly amazing what they are able to do there. I think that is the backbone of Nashville. They have an incredible music publishing and songwriting community. Incredibly talented people. You can at least make a living there, just by writing or co-writing songs with people.

How many stations does Albright & O'Malley Consulting handle?

My partner Mike O'Malley and I work with about 100 stations. There are about 75 stations in the U.S. and 25 in Canada. They are all pretty much country. I have a few (broadcasters) that I have worked with for so long that they do have me do other things. Our position statement is that we are the country radio specialists. We really try to do that. Country has been good to us. We believe strongly in (the format). I think we are the best at doing it. Mike is in New Jersey, and works out of a New York office; and I am in Seattle in our west coast office.

You have different services?

Oh sure, every consultant does that. Sometimes, we will have projects, or there’s a full service. We also will do visits (to stations for consultation) for a couple of days and write a report. If you count that as well, it’s more like 140 clients we have. We are a team. There’s Mike and myself; and other people in the company like Ray Massie, John Paul, Mike Oakes, and Mark Patric.

You didn’t grow up as a country fan.

When I grew up, I was certainly exposed to country music but I wasn’t a country fan. I listened to some country radio. WWVA in Wheeling, West Virginia was among the stations I listened to. If you had asked if I liked country music, I would have said, “Absolutely not.” I was a jazz musician, a symphonic musician and a player in a band.

How did you get into working in country radio?

I was working in Las Vegas in ’71 and ’72 at KLUC, a top 40 station. They bought a country station in Tucson, and knew that I wanted to be a program director. So they offered me the job as program director at this country station, KHOS. It was on AM back in the days when AM radio had ratings. So, I went there. Since that time I have done nothing but country. If you had told me then, that for the next 40 years, I would do nothing but country music, I would have bet you a million dollars that would never happen.

I think the reason it did happen is that country is still one of the formats where personalities are still encouraged, and are important. I really like that. At most country stations, you can name all of the jocks, and there are personalities. That’s really a strength of country radio.

When you began consulting country radio there were only a handful of people in the field.

The first were George Burns and Joe Somerset (Burns Media Consultants). Bill Drake wasn’t really consulting country but he was syndicating country. My first job as a consultant was at Drake-Chenault. It was 1977 or 1978. They had developed this syndicated format called Great American Country, but their syndicated stations were going more and more live. They called me—I was working in San Jose at a country station, KEEN--and asked if I would be interested in interviewing for a job as a consultant for Drake-Chenault. I had no idea what a consultant did. I had never had a consultant. I didn’t know what a consultant was, but I knew who Bill Drake was. So, go to Los Angeles to interview with Bill Drake for a job? You bet. I am there.

I had worked for Buck Owens in Bakersfield at KUZZ five or six years earlier. The national PD for Buck was Larry Daniels at KNIX in Phoenix. (Drake-Chenault) had first reached out to Larry, but he didn’t want to leave KNIX; he recommended me, and I got hired. It was an amazing experience. I’ve have had a wonderful 30 year run (as a consultant) and I’ve enjoyed it greatly. It’s been like a match made in heaven.

Working as the PD/morning personality at KUZZ in Bakersfield in the early ‘70s put you at the epicenter of a hot local country scene.

One of the most amazing evenings of my life was in 1975, when I was fortunate to be chosen to emcee a benefit tribute evening to (musician/DJ) Bill Woods (“The Godfather of The Bakersfield Sound"). That was an evening I will never forget. Buck Owens and Merle Haggard performed as did Bonnie Owens and a bunch of Bakersfield musical luminaries. It was a wonderful evening.

There is a defined country audience that enjoys country music.

There is a country music community. A real community of artists, and singers, creative people, and fans. They are incredibly supportive and loyal to one another. They welcome new people. Go to a country concert; go to a Taylor Swift concert, and you will see teenage girls, boyfriends, grandmothers and grandfathers, all at the same event. You will see all ages.

The outdoor country festivals all over North America, all summer long, are lifestyle events. Yeah, it’s all about the music, but it’s beyond the music. It is also the psychographic, living the lifestyle and the community of it. It is a very accepting and diverse community. It is amazing how open they are; how welcoming they are. The dynamic aspect of country is its welcoming nature in spite of how conservative and narrow it may seem on the outside; the more you get into it, you realize that it runs from rock sounds to sentimental sounds.

The country audience has been stereotyped as "NRA rednecks in pickup trucks.” In reality, country has always been pandemographic in appeal, more of a lifestyle than an age group.

Exactly. That’s true. And, I think that is what the lifestyle is, relationships. What country listeners are drawn to, is storytelling, authenticity and relationships. So, a country station without personalities, even in a PPM (Portable People Meter) world--where you certainly do need to be brief, if you are on a PPM-rated radio station--they lose their brand essence. They lose what they stand for. You can see it in their listening. It goes down.

I’ve always been a personality coach. I was a personality for a long time, and I still believe big time—more than ever now, with Generation Y, the Millennial Generation—that who you are, and what you stand for matters (as a radio station). If you have no personality, if you have no values, there’s nothing engaging or captivating about you. There are certainly some formats like JACK (the on-air brand of about 60 radio stations in North America, the U.K., Austria, and Russia) that do quite well without personalities, of course.

JACK, BOB and HANK FM are formats that may fade away. After all, their listeners can play their favorite music on their iPods.

I agree with that. Radio’s only strength--and there’s no question that we have done a lot to lose it during the consolidation era in the past 15 years, as companies have become more and more highly leveraged—is its ability to connect to its audience. The smart ones, the ones who get it and continue to do well, are the (stations) that realize that they must have a connection to the local community, and that they need personalities, so they can compete with music by the pound.

The 45-54 demographic is shrinking. What’s the sweet spot today for country radio?

Certainly, 45 to 54 is country’s biggest demo right now. That’s the leading edge boom, which really got into country during the early ‘90s. Just because the size of that leading edge boom, they are still a major factor.

The growing sweet spot—although it’s a challenge—is the young side. I think that Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert have provided us with a tremendous opportunity on the young side. That young female, 15 to 27 or 28-years–old (demo), their music tastes are extremely eclectic. They are all over the road. It’s not the high level of loyalty that the upper end (demographic) have, but I think that there is a tremendous opportunity. Of course, Generation Y is larger than even the leading edge boom.

So, our challenge is that we have three generations in our target. There’s Generation Y, Gen X, which is the smallest of the three, and then the leading edge boomers. What we want to try to do is remain pandemographic, but try to appeal to everyone in that target. The artists that do best, the songs that do best are the ones that achieve that, whether it’s Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley or George Canyon.

Regardless of what people say, radio remains an immensely powerful communication tool, made even more so when it works in tandem with phones, both land line and mobile, texting, the internet, and all sorts of emerging smart devices and apps.

Oh yeah. There’s been plenty of research by both the Radio Marketing Bureau in Canada, and by the Radio Advertising Bureau in the U.S., to show that radio can be in a multi-media mix—and you can see this in PPMs. The cool thing about radio is that you can do other things while you listen to it. There’s a tremendous amount of ‘at work’ and ‘at home’ listening, where folks are literally on-line and listening to the radio at the same time. That has the potential to really enrich the (radio) experience by turning it into a multi-media experience, especially if you are using social networking.

Facebook is huge for country radio now.

Any radio station that is not engaging with its audience by using Facebook is missing a powerful tool. I would say that with the majority of country stations, they haven’t been particularly far-sighted to do it. However, what has happened is that the (country) audience has dragged stations into it. The listeners are so into the music and their personalities, and also the personalities of the artists, that if you don’t engage them, they won’t listen. You must engage them. You must involve them.

Several country artists have dragged country radio further into the social networking world. People like Kenny Chesney and Taylor Swift are very active on the internet.

You bet. The biggest tweeters are Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert. They are almost frightening. They are so out there sometimes that it is almost, “somebody needs to rein these two in.” They are young people and they are very enthusiastic. Blake has some alter egos that he tweets as, that are just a hoot; they are hilarious.

The internet activities of Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert will, almost certainly, impact the next generation of country fans.

I think that’s right. Taylor started as an internet phenomenon. There are others. It just isn’t an age thing. What Jimmy Buffett has achieved on the internet is phenomenal. Through his Margaritaville website, he can sell out concerts with no advertising.

About the internet, you are right, however. The younger you are, the more the digital native that you are; the older you are, the more of a digital emigrant you are. Or, you speak digital as a second language, and you are learning. Obviously, the young pick it up, and are very comfortable with it.

The internet could widen the AQH (Average Quarter-Hour Persons) share for country radio.

That’s right. I think what it also does, is that it makes the whole experience of enjoying country music more multi-dimensional, if you fully take advantage of everything that is there. Blake Shelton has hundreds of thousands of followers on his tweets. In some ways, he doesn’t even need radio anymore, because his relationship is direct with listeners and his fans by using twitter. But, the truth is, that he completes the circle. I don’t think that there is anybody right now who does as much talking to radio as Blake. A lot of others do too.

According to the recent Country Music Association consumer study, country fans are adopting new media and technology at a brisk pace.

(High speed Internet access) has grown tremendously in the U.S. It’s less true in Canada. Canada is a much more wired nation than America. A lot of small towns in America remain on a dial up, even now. Country (radio) tends to be on the edges of metropolitan areas. So out on the fringes of the metros is where country listeners are. In Canada, those places are more wired with high speed. In America, in a lot of smaller towns, high speed is just getting there.

A demo largely missing in country radio has been young males. That seems to be changing with artists like Eric Church and the Zac Brown Band.

I think that’s true. Zac Brown certainly appeals to women as well. There’s been a new energy in country in the last year or two. It has been much more balanced in its appeal. Maybe, some of this is the PPM radio measurement, because the people meter does a better job of finding men who listen at work than BBM and Arbitron diaries, which really struggle to get men into the sample. Diary listening tends not to represent men (as well), and (PPM) meters, where all they have to do is carry it around, does a better job of picking that listening up. Any format that wants to do well in the PPMs has to really look at males.

Most Nashville labels with the first single of a new artist will still target it to females.

Sure. That’s absolutely right. Some of that is because those young females are music buyers. In some ways, it’s like Top 40. Get the women, and the young males will follow. I think there’s truth in that with country on the young side as well. No doubt.

It’s been harder to establish new country artists.

Country has that same cycle that Guy Zapoleon (president, Zapoleon Media Strategies) talks about at Top 40--that there is 7 or 10 year cycle. And country is part of that cycle too. When Lady Gaga, and Top 40 and “American Idol” are really hot; country is down a little bit. When Top 40 gets too much sameness and tends to repeat itself too much, that’s when rock and country (formats) will tend to surge up. The sign that is happening is when country starts moving artists (to pop crossover). There are so many new artists in country. Chris Young, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley on and on. Let alone, Keith Urban.

Country crosses over to the mainstream audiences but then always falls back.

I wish I could give you the exact timetable (when that happens) because we’d both get rich. In the early ‘50s it was Hank Williams, and then (country appeal) went down. In late ‘50s and ‘60s it was Patsy Cline, and Jim Reeves, and then it went down. Then it was Glen Campbell, Buck Owens and Roy Clark later on. So you certainly see that (trend) all of the time.

In some ways, Taylor Swift is today’s example of that (crossover) right now. There are a lot of artist that flirt with (crossover). But the end of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s country careers happened when they crossed over. So there is that if you follow that siren song (of the mainstream). Taylor seems to be aware of that history, and is trying to avoid it. She goes on the MTV Music Awards, and she says that she’s a country artist. We’ll see how (her career) goes.

Someone who has had her ups-and-downs and who is an amazing chameleon is Reba McEntire. What a talented lady. She’s been a Broadway star, a TV star, and she continues to reinvent herself through her music as well. There’s been times when she’s been in the mainstream, and times when she hasn’t been.

There was criticism for several years of Faith Hill and others being so Hollywood that female country fans couldn’t identify with them.

The one artist that was really mismanaged was Shania Twain. She was huge in country for a few years, but she was badly overexposed. I feel sorry for her now. It will be interesting to see if she is ever going to come back.

Country changes all of the time. What might have been country 10 or 15 years ago isn’t country today. My thought is that if country listeners like it, then it's country. So, in that sense, Shania is plenty country for me. Goodness knows, Timmins, Ontario (Twain’s hometown) is pretty country.

Country music remains more reliant on CD sales than other genres.

Sure. I think a lot of things come into play there in causing (strong CD sales in country). One is the pandemographic nature of country. The older you are, the more you still listen to CDs in your car and so on. The other thing that plays a role is that country listeners tend to buy their music at Wal-Mart or Target in the U.S. as well as at Zellers in Canada. Those discount stores, where country listeners shop, still do a lot of music sales in country. Country really does lead the way there.

That’s fortunate because country buyers have always had a problem with traditional music retail.

A lot of country listeners would be intimidated if they walked into a music store and heard grunge or hip hop or rock. They would feel that the music store really wasn’t for them. That has always been a problem for country. Now, maybe it’s an advantage, because where country sales are big is in the discount stores.

What do you think of Warner's $6 "Six Pak" CD concept that debuted with Blake Shelton's six-track "Hillbilly Bone" release?

I think that’s the future. Although, what the future really is, are songs. The next single, or the new 45 is now the MP3. I don’t know if six is the number (for a CD release). It just has to be a value. Listeners are not going to spend $19 to buy three songs anymore like they used to.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the little town of Salem, Ohio. A guy who lived up the street from me was Alan Freed’s personal manager, Lew Platt. Alan came from Salem. Alan’s father owned the clothing store in downtown Salem. So, I knew kids who knew Alan’s family. His meteoric rise from Youngstown radio to Cleveland, and then to New York was just inspiring.

Also, Hugh Downs who comes from Lima, Ohio. He was another role model that I greatly admired. I watched both of those guys and I grew up thinking that I wanted to do that too. I graduated from high school in 1961.

[DJ Alan Freed was born in Johnstown, Penn. in 1921. In 1933, his family moved to Salem, Ohio. While Freed was in high school, he formed a band called the Sultans of Swing in which he played the trombone. In the ‘40s and ‘50s, Lew Platt was closely connected with the ballroom and dance band business in Ohio.

Before his long TV career, Hugh Downs worked as a radio announcer and program director at WLOK in Lima, Ohio. In 1940, he moved on to WWJ in Detroit, and later joined the NBC radio network at WMAQ, as an announcer in Chicago.]

You were inspired by the greats of top 40 radio from Youngstown, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Chicago and Philadelphia.

There was a lot of energy, and a lot of fun in radio then. It was true personalities, a lot of content, and very unique. My favorite station, when I was a kid, was WHOT in Youngstown. The program director back then was Dick Thompson, who remained with the station until just a few years ago. He may have been the longest-standing program director around. He built a sizzling radio station (complex) there, with WHOT and WRED-FM, the red hot combination. And, another one; WHLO in Akron. There were some great personalities there.

Back then, you thought of yourself as a musical snob.

The truth is, that I played trombone in a band. The first time I heard the Beatles, I didn’t like them. I thought that it was a sell-out; almost trash. So I am famous for having bad ears. When the Beatles hit in 1964 and 1965, I was working at WNOB in Cleveland. I did a night show called “Box Seat”, which was sponsored by a local bank. What we did, was literally play a Broadway show every night, and re-enact the Broadway show, and talk about it. For a while, I was in Cleveland and I did mornings on a jazz station.

How old were you doing all of this?

20 or 21.

How did you get into radio?

I was very fortunate. A station licensed to Salem then was WSOM, which was “The Wonderful Sound of Music.” 105.1 FM and 100,000 watts. Russ Jones put the station on the air. He was a tech guy who applied for an FM license. He bought an old 50,000 watt transmitter from KBKA Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, which he repurposed. When I was a kid, I hung around that station. Some really good people from Youngstown, and Cleveland radio were in and out of that station over the years, because it had a tremendous signal all over northeast Ohio.

When I was just a kid, I babysat for the night guy on the station in exchange for being taught how to run the (sound) board. My mother caught him doing that. She embarrassed the hell out of me. She said, “If you are going to use Jaye to baby-sit for your kids while you are working, then you need to pay Jaye.” I was like, “Oh no. There’s goes my chance in radio.”

But you got your chance to be in radio.

I went to Kent State University, and I was the news director at WSOM. Then I went to work at WCUE in Akron. At Kent State, I majored in English. I didn’t want to do radio. I didn’t take broadcasting. I should have. I minored in speech, and I did do some broadcasting. I worked around Ohio in the ‘60s. I worked at (minority-owned) WAVI, and its sister station WDAO in Dayton.

Then you went into the U.S. Air Force in 1966.

I volunteered for the Air Force. The reason I volunteered was that I found out that they had a bypass test where, if you passed the test, you could choose your career field. I chose radio and got into Armed Forces Radio and Television Service.

You didn’t get sent to Vietnam?

I was in southeast Asia but, thankfully, no. I did do some TBYs (shortwave broadcasts) in Vietnam but, basically, I was in the Armed Forces Thailand Network at a base in Korat (in central Thailand), I spent two years over there. I volunteered for a second tour.

In 1995, while general manager of the BP Consulting Group in Seattle, you underwent a corrective gender operation. How did you handle this in your job?

The nice thing about coming out of the closet like I did is that there are no secrets. It’s all out there. I am who I am and everybody knows. I waited a long time to do it because I was scared and frightened. Ultimately, I got to the point in my own personal life where I felt like, if I lost my career, so be it. My attitude was, “It’s important enough that I do this, that if I have to end up flipping burgers at McDonald’s, I will do it. This is me and this is what I’m going to do.”

Fortunately, my boss at BP was Edie Hilliard, who was then president. When I went to her and presented what I wanted to do, I think she was panicked, and was a bit frightened. But what she did was brilliant. She said, “This is a marketing problem.” So we brought in a guy who was the marketing expert for the company, Dave Newton. We brainstormed and talked about how could we do this and make the announcement in such a way that had the highest potential for success.

What we did was that we sent Fed-X packages to every client and tried to get the word out immediately, all at one time. In the letter sent out to everybody I worked with, I also said I would be in the office the following day, that I would be calling everybody, and I was open to answering any questions. The next day was an unbelievable day. It was incredible because if there were any negatives from anybody, I don’t know about them. It was so positive, and so affirmative.

You didn’t lose clients?

None. I fully expected to. I tell people that I am the poster child for “Carpe Diem” (Latin for “seize the day”). I am proof that if you really want something in your life, don’t hide it; admit it; come out and it can be fine.

[“Carpe diem” is from a Latin poem “De rosis nascentibus” by the Roman poet Horace. It is part of the longer phrase “Carpe diem quam minime credula postero,” meaning, "Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future,” as heard in the 1989 film “Dead Poets Society.”

That first year at the Country Radio Seminar (CRS) after her surgery, Albright was on a panel and she had a model come out and sit in her place at first. Then, she took her seat and made a joke about how the surgery wasn't that good. It was apparently a brilliant ice breaker.]

How did you family take the news?

Thankfully, quite good. I was struggling with my gender issues all of my life. I came out to my parents in the early ‘70s and contemplated surgery at that time. I didn’t. So they had about 15 to 20 years to get used to it. They are small town conservative Christians, so it took a long time. It’s funny in a way how it all worked out. By the time I made the decision, my family was wonderfully supportive.

Have you faced prejudice over time?

Yes, of course, but, it’s okay. Part of my deciding to do this is to say that, “I have the right to do this. This is who I am.” So, people have the right to not understand it. I think it was Martine Rothblatt, an attorney in Washington who is transgender, (and who invented satellite radio), who said, “All my life I was confused; now I am not confused anymore. Now, it’s your turn to be confused.” That rings true to me.

It took me a lifetime to come to my decision, and figure out who I am. For other people within 10 minutes to try to figure it out, “Oh yeah, it’s fine.” I recognize that there are people that have issues with this. So, I try to be accepting as I can be of people. That’s really worked well for me.

Larry LeBlanc 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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Industry Profile Archives:
Mick The DJ, DJ/Enterpeneur 04/30/15
Joanne Abbot Green, CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival 10/17/08
Lee Abrams, XM Satellite Radio 11/28/03
John Acquaviva, Fund Manager, DJ and Serial Entrepreneur 07/09/15
Jay Boy Adams, Roadhouse Transportation 05/04/07
Jamie Adler, Adler Entertainment Group 05/11/07
Gary Adler, National Association of Ticket Brokers 12/04/13
Rodney Afshari, Freeze Artist Management 03/01/02
JC Ahn, VU Entertainment 04/10/13
Steve Alaimo, Vision Records & Audio Vision Studios 05/26/06
Jaye Albright, Albright & O'Malley Consulting 07/19/10
Randy Alexander, Randex Communications 10/12/07
David Alexander, Sheer Publishing 07/21/16
Eva Alexiou-Reo, FATA Booking Agency 05/14/15
Marcie Allen, Mad Booking 12/14/00
Jeff Allen, Universal Attractions 08/16/02
Marcie Allen, MAC Presents 06/05/09
Marcie Allen Cardwell, MAC Presents 12/21/07
David Allgood, Bama Theatre 01/03/11
Patrick Allocco, AllGood Concerts 10/05/07
Michele Amar, French Embassy 05/26/16
Mike Amato, Rok Tours International 02/02/07
Jeff Apregan, Apregan Entertainment Group/Venue Coalition 09/30/15
Billy Atwell, AMP Studios 12/13/07
Bob Babisch, Milwaukee World Festivals Inc. 04/02/15
Tom Baggot, thebookingagency.com 05/02/03
Stephen Bailey, EPACC & Deleware Center For The Arts 02/06/04
Cary Baker, Conqueroo 05/11/11
Vince Bannon, Getty Images 07/05/11
Phil Barber, Barber & Associates 02/04/01
Camille Barbone, WineDark Records 12/09/05
Erin Barra, Musician/Producer/Educator 07/10/14
Ben Baruch, The Fox Theatre 09/27/08
Paul Bassman, Ascend Insurance Brokerage 08/03/16
Adam Bauer, Fleming, Tamulevich & Associates 02/15/02
Ed Bazel, That's Entertainment International 10/05/01
Joachim Becker, ZOHO Music L.L.C. 01/12/07
Howard Becker, Comet Technologies 05/02/11
Mark Bego, Author 06/15/07
Jim Beloff, Flea Market Music 09/20/10
Richard Bengloff, The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) 09/12/13
Seth Berg, South Bay Music 01/30/09
Aimee Berger, 2 Generations SPA Music Management 09/24/04
David Berger, Future Beat 10/29/14
Barry Bergman, Music Managers Forum 03/14/03
Steve Bernstein, Relix LLC 09/30/05
Mark Berry, Attack Media Group 04/07/07
Scott Billington, Rounder Records 01/17/12
Jeffrey Bischoff, Cinder Block 03/24/06
Sat Bisla, A&R Worldwide/ Musexpo 03/29/10
Nina Blackwood, Sirius Satellite Radio 07/14/06
Adam Block, Legacy Recordings 11/07/13
P.J. Bloom, Neophonic, Inc. 01/24/11
Rishon Blumberg, Brick Wall Management 06/27/03
Justin Bolognino, Learned Evolution, and The Meta Agency 04/25/13
Steve "Chopper" Borges, Total Pro and Borse Techos 03/03/06
Les Borsai, Mediocre Management 01/30/04
Shane Bourbonnais, Live Nation Canada 03/21/08
Jeff Bowen, Sears Centre Arena 03/13/08
Rick Bowen, Mystic Music Experience 07/11/08
John Boyle, Sanctuary Music Group 03/19/04
Jeff & Todd Brabec, Writers/Attorneys 01/03/12
Bill Bragin, Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 08/08/03
Joel Brandes, Avenue Management Group 11/02/08
Joe Brandmeier, Moving Pictures 03/15/02
Scooter Braun, SB Projects 12/13/10
Ron Brice, 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill 06/08/16
Billy Brill, Billy Alan Productions 11/11/05
Doug Brown, Talent Buyers Network 09/21/01
James Browne, Sweet Rhythm 11/01/02
Bob Brumley, Brumley Music Company 02/17/16
Tony Brummel, Victory Records 05/17/09
Charlie Brusco, TBA Entertainment Corporation 10/13/01
Del Bryant, BMI 05/18/07
Cortez Bryant, Bryant Management 12/06/10
Bruce Burch, University of Georgia Music Business Program 10/09/09
Deborah Burda, Kentucky Exposition Center 08/03/07
Patti Burgart, IEBA 06/07/02
Jordan Burger, The New Musiquarium 01/22/01
Ron Burman, Roadrunner Records 08/25/06
Suzanne Cadgene, Elmore 05/19/06
Karen Cadle, KGC Productions 03/12/04
Gary Calamar, KCRW 07/10/09
Charles Caldas, Merlin 07/05/10
Brian Camelio, ArtistShare 02/29/08
David Campbell, AEG Europe 08/02/10
Tom Cantone, Foxwoods Entertainment Group 10/20/00
Tom Cantone, Foxwoods Resort Casino 07/03/03
Tom Cantone, Mohegan Sun 08/30/09
Ashley Capps, A. C. Entertainment 05/21/04
Rio Caraeff, Vevo 07/12/11
Mike Carden, Eagle Rock Entertainment 08/16/11
Charles Carlini, Carlini Group 05/16/08
Mark Carpentieri, M.C. Records 05/27/05
Mark Carpentieri, M.C. Records 01/10/11
Troy Carter, Coalition Media Group 06/07/10
Daniel Catullo, Coming Home Studios 06/22/08
Raffi Cavoukian, Folk Singer/Children's Entertainer 05/11/16
Jeffrey Chabon, Chabon Entertainment Group 08/22/02
Mike Chadwick, Essential Music & Marketing 08/01/12
Rob Challice, Coda Music Agency 03/27/13
Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts 01/11/02
Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts 10/04/11
Lisa Cherniak, Artists Against Racism (AAR) 07/20/01
Bob Chiappardi, Concrete Marketing 06/13/03
Joel Chriss, Chriss & Co. 10/04/02
Michael Chugg, Michael Chugg Entertainment 09/14/01
Michael Chugg, Chugg Enterprises 10/02/09
Gary Churgin, Harry Fox Agency 09/13/10
Vinny Cinquemani, S.L. Feldman & Associates 12/13/12
Barry Coburn, Ten Ten Music Group 03/28/11
Matthew Cohen, Green Room Productions 10/19/01
Ted Cohen, TAG Strategic 01/10/13
Lisa Cohen, Associated Booking Corporation 02/10/06
Steve Cohen, Music + Art Management, Inc. 03/09/07
Dan Cohen, Music & Memory 01/12/17
Michael Cohl - Part 1, S2BN Entertainment 03/06/13
Michael Cohl - Part 2, S2BN Entertainment 03/13/13
Bryan Coleman, Union Entertainment Group 02/14/12
Mamie Coleman, Fox Broadcasting 07/05/12
Dennis Condon, Disneyland Resorts 07/13/01
Peter Conlon, Peter Conlon Presents 05/20/05
Tony Conway, Buddy Lee Attractions 10/06/00
Allen Cook, TOURtech 04/16/15
Tomas Cookman, Cookman International 09/05/03
Alex Cooley, Alex Cooley Presents 07/12/10
David Cooper, Foxman.com 10/31/03
Jay Cooper, Greenberg Traurig, LLP 05/23/11
Julie Coulter, Near North Insurance Groups 06/07/01
Amy Cox, Deep South Entertainment 02/09/07
Michael O. Crain, Crain Law Group, LLC 10/09/13
Charlie Cran, The Strawberry Music Festival 04/05/10
Jim Cressman, Invictus Entertainment Group 06/06/12
Russ Crupnick, MusicWatch, Inc. 07/23/15
Todd Culberhouse, Vision Management /Vision Records and Entertainment 09/05/08
Tony D'Amelio, Washington Speakers Bureau 04/21/06
Ray Danniels, Standing Room Only Management, and the Anthem Entertainment Group 03/05/15
Ken Dashow, WAXQ-FM (l04.3 FM) - New York 09/08/06
Hal David, Lyricist 07/26/11
David Davidian, Independant Lighting Designer/Director 06/18/04
Anthony Davis, D&L Entertainment Services, Inc. 03/02/01
Chip Davis, American Gramaphone/Mannheim Steamroller 05/31/02
Mitch Davis, Tempest Entertainment 07/16/04
Jeff Dawson, Canadian Recording Services 06/08/08
Desiree Day, USO Celebrity Entertainment 08/10/01
Shauna de Cartier, Six Shooter Records/Six Shooter Management 10/23/13
Gene DeAnna, The Library of Congress 02/21/12
Vincent Degiorgio, Chapter 2 Productions 08/01/13
Tony DeLauro, DeLauro Management 12/23/04
Valerie Denn, Val Denn Agency 04/30/01
Val Denn, Val Denn Agency 03/06/14
Robert DePugh, Alligator Records 07/29/05
Tom Derr, Rock Ridge Music 10/29/04
Paul Dexter, Masterworks Lighting Design and Road Cases 12/10/04
Marty Diamond, Paradigm 01/22/10
Glenn Dicker, Redeye Distribution/Yep Roc Records 07/07/06
Barry Dickins, International Talent Booking Agency 06/06/13
Jim Digby, Event Safety Alliance 09/01/16
Mark Dinerstein, The Knitting Factory 11/17/06
Neill Dixon, Canadian Music Week 03/03/16
Thomas Dolby, Musician, academic, technologist, and author 11/09/16
Jasper Donat, Music Matters 2009/Branded 04/24/09
Jim Donio, National Association of Recording Merchandisers 04/22/11
Marc Dottore, M. Dottore Management 04/11/03
Tim Drake, The Roots Agency 12/12/08
Mike Dreese, Newbury Comics 11/23/11
Charles Driebe, Blind Ambition Management Ltd. 09/22/06
Jeremy Driesen, Ray Bloch Productions 09/07/01
Michael Drumm, Music Link Productions 07/18/08
Angie Dunn, Lucky Artist Booking 10/13/06
Jay Durgan, MEDIAmobz 11/09/11
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver's Division of Theatres & Arenas 08/02/02
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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