Industry Profile: Jim Cressman

— By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess MediaWire)

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Jim Cressman, president, Invictus Entertainment Group.

In 2006, Jim Cressman partnered with Ron Sakamoto to create Cressman Sakamoto Agency, a full-service booking, and brokering agency that was initially based in Calgary, Alberta.

One of Canada’s leading concert promoters, Sakamoto's showbiz clout is formidable. His empire includes his four-decade old concert firm Gold and Gold Productions that has handled tours by Bryan Adams, Kiss, Santana, and Van Halen as well as with such leading country acts as George Strait, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, and Keith Urban.

After six highly productive and profitable years, Cressman and Sakamoto recently amicably dissolved the Cressman Sakamoto Agency.

On June 1, 2012 Cressman launched Invictus Entertainment Group, based in Penticton, British Columbia, that will continue to focus on touring, and agency representation.

Also on June 1, 2012, Sakamoto launched Sakamoto Entertainment, providing representation and event production services.

For decades, working in Nashville was the ultimate goal for Canadian country artists, and many have relocated or worked there since the 1970s.

The international success of Shania Twain, as well as U.S. breakthroughs by Terri Clark and Paul Brandt, opened the door for Canadians in Nashville in the '90s. However, over the past decade, Canadian country acts have faced lessened opportunities in the U.S., but increased tour work at home.

This shift came about, however, as there was resistance by major labels based in Canada toward directly signing country acts. Major labels in Canada tend to opt for production, distribution or licensing link-ups with independent labels, instead of signing country artists directly.

This is largely because of uneasiness among major label executives in Canada over the costs associated with creating competitive country music, and skepticism about securing U.S. release commitments for Canadian acts.

Meanwhile, Cressman—first as an agent at The Key Entertainment Group in Calgary, Alberta, and then at the Cressman Sakamoto Agency--was able to build up a roster of leading Canadian country acts; and an impressive portfolio of secondary and tertiary market contacts that have expanded the market base in Canada for international touring acts as well as benefiting his own roster.

Invictus Entertainment Group’s roster consists of Canadians Terri Clark, George Canyon, Emerson Drive, Charlie Major, Aaron Pritchett, One More Girl, Brett Kissel, Paul McGuire, and Ryan Laird.

The Cressman Sakamoto Agency is no more?

Correct.

Have you bought the agency?

Technically, it’s share redemption. I bought Ron’s share in Cressman Sakamoto Agency, and changed the name to Invictus Entertainment Group.

Cressman Sakamoto Agency had a good six-year run. Why the split?

Anytime you have a 35-year old age gap with your partner, you go into a partnership as the junior guy; knowing that a buy out or some sort of a succession plan is inevitable. Let me say that Ron was magnanimous. He made it clear that he always wanted to hand me the agency, and the business that we built. He wanted me to have it.

Why break apart now?

It was a good time from the perspective of equity with the company. Financially, we had had a couple of good years. Let’s face it, in five years if we had expanded, and hired new staff, and were not as liquid as we are now; if Ron wanted to be bought out then, that could potentially have created hard feelings. Ron and I mutually felt that it was better to deal with this in a proactive manner when we both felt the time was right. I am thankful that we have a mature enough relationship to be able to broach it without things getting weird or contentious.

Are you representing the same artists as previously?

All of the artists came with us, with the exception of Johnny Reid who had left prior to this share purchase. He will be represented by Feldman (S. L. Feldman and Associates). He was offered some international opportunities that I can’t offer at this juncture. He was classy about it (leaving). He was really good about it.

What acts do you now manage?

George Canyon and Charlie Major.

What staff will Invictus Entertainment Group be operating with?

We have five people. Everybody who was at CSA (Cressman Sakamoto Agency), with the exception of Geoff Tanizawa. Ron and I shared him between CSA and Gold & Gold. We are all here (in Penticton) except Erin (Erin Alridge, dir. of marketing and artist relations) who operates from Vancouver, and flies in and out when needed.

Basically, you are a booking agency?

We are in the artist representation business. We can augment or retract that service model as needed. We book clients. We manage a couple of clients who require less of a hard-line manager and more of a consigliore; a little bit of counsel. We also program entertainment into secondary and tertiary markets, which complements what we do with the agency.

You don’t mean being a concert promoter though?

We partner with the municipalities who have brand-new field houses or hockey arenas in mostly tertiary markets, but also some secondary markets that are a distance away from major markets.

You act as a co-promoter?

Yeah, but it’s sort of being more of a broker or programmer. I would call it a broker. They put up the money; we provide the access to the artists, and all of the services.

Why did you and Ron decide to launch the Cressman Sakamoto Agency in 2006?

Ron has always had an incredible passion for country music, and that was where my passion laid as well. We wanted to take the artists that I brought at the time—Johnny Reid, George Canyon, Emerson Drive, Aaron Pritchett, Charlie Major---and we added some artists later…

Well, the two of you actually bought The Key Entertainment Group in Calgary.

We essentially bought out the shares of Key Entertainment. It was an asset purchase, we bought out Key Entertainment, and partnered. And Ron provided some opportunities for some (Canadian) stars to get on some major tours. One of the first tours that we did was Johnny Reid on the front end of Terri Clark and Brad Paisley. Then, through the years, Ron’s influence certainly helped to attain opportunities for some of our artists that were needed for their development.

The Key Entertainment Group was a regional agency.

It was. Key functioned as well as it could have given the roster that it had. The principals were Greg Thomas and Linda Bakken.

You grew a good roster while working as an agent at Key.

I grew a good roster. I would say that in my 5th or 6th year, I really started to hit my stride as an agent; and I started doing a lot of great deals. The reason I ended up buying out Key was the principals couldn’t afford me the commissions I had earned in 2005. I just had this monster year. They owed me a nice six figures, and they were candid with me that they didn’t have it. So I said, “Okay. What do you want for the rest of the company?” I had a roster that included Johnny Reid, George Canyon, Charlie Major, Emerson Drive, and Aaron Pritchett. They all came with me. I certainly appreciated that.

Obviously, you had been dealing with Ron leading up to your partnership together.

Yeah, yeah. I was doing a lot of work. So I caught Ron’s attention. Ron and I talked about creating this joint venture. That we would bring to the table some of his influence (as a promoter); and I could do the legwork (on the agency) and together we could create something bigger than what I could create just being an independent guy on my own.

In 2006, there was a hole in Canada’s country music market for what you two planned to do.

Oh yeah.

Few agencies were booking country music in Canada.

I think that there was an opportunity for someone to take a concentrated and focused approach to the format. For me, it was attractive because I knew the format. I grew up on a ranch listening to country music. Ron Sakamoto was a natural partner because he is so respected in Nashville. But the format needed someone to take charge. (CSA) was also an intelligent way for me to co-exist on the landscape with other (Canadian) agencies out there. Let’s face it, if I had gotten into the indie rock world or the adult contemporary world, I would have been picking a fist fight with some real heavyweights. That’s not a smart way to go for a young independent upstart.

The heavyweights would have been…

Feldman, and The Agency Group. Yep.

Not the way to start as an independent boutique agency for sure.

Definitely not, right? We never confined ourselves with (the country) format but we mandated that we wanted to take one aspect (of the music industry), and do a really great job. That focused approach, I think, gave us an edge.

There weren’t many places Canadian country artists could go for bookings either.

I think that you are right. There were limited opportunities for people who were strong in the country music format. The reality is that a lot of tour models, and a lot of the paradigms that work in other formats are also applicable in country music. But country music is also a unique format in that it does have its own culture. A lot of the business is soft-ticket business with festivals and fairs; and you are interfacing with a lot of small town people. Sometimes, you need a personality that interfaces or works well with people who come from that type of background.

A similar paradigm to other formats is only recent with country. Go back 10 or 15 years, and country was a separate entity. There were no Taylor Swifts or Kenny Chesneys. Nobody blowing up those big shows.

There were Garth Brooks, and George Strait, but they were anomalies. You are right. Now the hard ticket base in country has become broader. In my mind, country music has really become the new pop format, and the new home for the singer/songwriter. If Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan came out as new artists today, they would probably find a home on country music radio before they would find a home on alternative rock or pop.

What is country music today? The genre is so diversified.

I couldn’t agree more. It used to be music written about a way of life. Now, it’s music that inspires a way of life. I think that the future is very bright in country music just given the fact that, although product is an important part of it; it still comes down to being a lyrically-driven format. It is still a format where songs matter for the most part.

And a song still has to feel country.

It used to be fairly common in an urban population to hear people say, “I hate country.” Now you will hear people say, “Well, I don’t listen to country all of the time, but I really like Taylor Swift,” or “This Eric Church guy is pretty cool.” You do hear that. Fifteen years ago, it was very staunch (opposition).

I remember thinking when Bob Seger had a #2 Billboard pop hit with Rodney Crowell’s “Shame On The Moon” in 1982 that Bob could be a country artist. Today, if Bob Seger was a new artist, he would absolutely be a country artist.

Absolutely. Seger would be a country artist today. Springsteen would be a country artist today. I think that bodes very well for the format. The other thing that we are really seeing in the format—and something that is strengthening it in my mind—is a diversification. When Nashville all starts sounding the same, and all of the artists start wearing cowboy hats, it’s predictable that the format begins to choke itself out. But when you have got exciting, edgy, pop-flavored, rock-flavored, Southern rock and traditional country artists all competing for airplay in the same format, you end up with this beautiful mosaic of music that is on opposite ends of the spectrum, but still part of the same family.

[Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band’s version of “Shame on the Moon," the lead single from the album “The Distance,” spent four weeks at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart, and topped Billboard’s adult contemporary chart. The song went to #15 on Billboard’s country chart.]

I’m not downplaying radio because it’s still important but…

Especially in country.

Radio indeed is very important in country. But for years, radio segmented and segregated music. Today, the internet blurs musical genres.

Well, the access to music is so proliferated now that I think that the next big thing is going to be a trusted filter. That’s what people want. Pandora is broad; and some people find radio to be too narrow. I’m old school as far as formats are concerned. I find radio very comfortable. I find putting my iPod on shuffle a little alarming. I might end up with a George Canyon next to Metallica. To me, that’s weird, but I’m from that (radio formatting) generation. In another generation, that may not be weird.

Until three years ago, many rural people in North America were still reliant on dial-up for the internet. That has changed and country artists like Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean and others have been very adept at mobilizing social media to boost their careers.

Yeah, you could get along with the Gary Cooper strong silent type image in country music in the ‘90s. Guys like Alan Jackson and George Strait were known for their great interpretations of songs; for having tremendously strong country voices; but they weren’t known, necessarily, for wild and wily stage shows or for charisma. Charisma in sort of the Garth Brooks sense of the word; if you know what I mean.

Like a rock star.

Yeah. Now I think that with Twitter and even Facebook; with social media interaction, people are becoming more used to stars becoming more accessible. So being the strong silent type is going to be more and more of a struggle for the artist that wants to be very private, reticent and conservative in their interaction with fans. We are just coming into a world now where people expect artists to be accessible. That’s entirely new. Country, more than any other format, has to really wrap its heads around that. Country stars have been able to sing and engage fans on an enduring basis when they wanted to, obviously; but the proliferation of social media has turned the tables a little bit on that. People who were not driven to engage fans in a social media format are almost forced to now. It’s a sign of the times.

Canadian country artists have been slow to realize this. They are behind their American counterparts, generally.

Yeah, I wouldn’t disagree with that. But a lot of our Canadian country stars are picking up speed on the social media front as quickly as possible. Sometimes trends move north to south; and sometimes they move south to north. In social media, I think that Canadian country music stars are doing a good job of getting caught up; and getting on top of it. There’s this sort of rush to arms. “Got to have this Twitter, and a Facebook page. I’ve got to get moving.”

Social media is a lot for any artist to understand.

It is. And it’s a lot of maintenance. You have to remember that Terri Clark, George Canyon or Johnny Reid, these are artists that are busy touring. They are busy songwriting; they are recording albums. They all have time to spend with their respective families. To add the daily social media upkeep to that, until it becomes habitual, it is a bit of a burden.

You have a balanced roster of veterans and emerging artists. Has that been conscious strategy?

Absolutely. You never want your inventory to be redundant. And you always want to make sure that there’s a balance so that you can service the marketplace well; but also so that you don’t have artists on your roster who are frustrated or wondering whether or not another artist is superseding them in terms of opportunities; because, maybe, they are both male hat acts; or, maybe, they are both young female rising stars. We’ve stuck to one format (country), but I have consciously balanced the roster with exactly what you said. Veterans, upstart young new artists, and artists that are different enough in profile and musical styling so that we don’t create redundancies on our roster.

Picking up a new country artist for bookings in Canada is difficult. Usually there’s no label involved, and there may not even be a manager.

Every agency faces those issues. When we consider developmental talent, one of the first things that I take into consideration is, “Does this new artist conflict with an artist that I have already made commitments to?” That’s a big question right off the top. Once I get past that, I want the music to be good, and it has to be unique. That matters just about more than anything else these days. Then we do our best to surround them with a team. For me, that means reaching out to a label that is most likely a subsidiary of one of the majors. Maybe, I will look at their roster, and go, “Okay, they don’t have anyone of this ilk currently on their roster that they are working. And they are doing a good job.” So you reach out, and you develop some partnerships. Hopefully, you can strategically build that artist with a team.

You You might need to find management for the artist as well.

It’s the same thing on the management side. We do the exact same thing. We’d go, “Okay, this is an artist that requires; maybe not a lot of development as far as their product, musically; but they are going require a lot of day-to-day assistance and a lot of work in the interim. So you look at a (management) company that may not have redundant inventory; that is doing a good job; and you try to team the artist up with the right fit.

It’s difficult to find a manager for any country act in Canada.

That’s a fair statement.

Not only are there few managers but there’s no money being made off a new act for at least three years.

Or more. Absolutely. You end up expending a lot of resources with little return at the beginning. So you are really rolling the dice in picking up a new act. That’s something that a lot of people in the industry don’t say out loud, but it’s the truth. You don’t want to distract your attention from clients you have committed to; and whom are contributing to your bottom line by taking on a number of developmental clients who may not end up contributing to your bottom line down the road. It really is rolling the dice, especially today, when there aren’t the resources there were 10 or 15 years in terms of labels to give you the assistance that you need to break an act.

With the dearth of country management in Canada, and with few direct country artist signings by major labels, Canadian country artists are forced to do many things in their career on their own. That’s true even with a label deal.

Yeah, yeah absolutely. It’s a new day of age. And a lot of the labels are understaffed, and overworked. That’s just the way it is now. The revenue model changed so rapidly for them that they had to move so drastically to keep up. That meant cutting staff. It meant that they were tapping out their resources more so than they ever had to in the past. So the onus is back on the artist. But I don’t think that is such a bad thing. Artists usually have more business intelligence and business acumen than a lot of us in the industry, including myself.

Artists are dealing with their careers 24/7; whereas their manager or label will only spend a few hours a day thinking about them.

Totally. And artists are interacting with fans 24/7. They are onstage. They see how people react to their new songs or to their new music. Artists have a lot more to contribute to their own careers than purely creativity and songwriting. With my artists, if I have any interaction with them on singles choices, I will go, “Why don’t you play these three songs that you are considering in the next four or five shows; and let’s see what the audience reacts with. Let’s see how the energy that you are feeling back from the audience during, and after the performance of the song. Gauge that; remember it; and let’s make a decision based on what consumers want,” which is how almost every other business in the world works.

You are known for being candid with artists.

I don’t feel that you do artists any favors by being an obsequious 'yes man.' The days of that type of manager and agent are coming to an end. There’s no excess in an artist’s career anymore; for people to hang around and hang on in order to edify their ego. Artists need to surround themselves with people who are going to produce results. More than ever, everybody on salary needs to produce something now. Or everybody who takes a piece (a percentage) needs to contribute. That has become more and more imperative as the artist revenue model continues to alter its sources of income.

Over the past few years, you have really developed the smaller markets in Canada.

What we are doing isn’t exactly new and novel. Guys like Riley O'Connor and Paul Haagenson back in the House of Blues Concerts (Canada) days, those guys were taking Triple A level shows into small markets here years and years ago.

Since that time, a lot of communities have cropped up with new field houses, and new hockey arenas. In 2009, Penticton (British Columbia) built a new hockey arena (the 5,200-seat multi-purpose South Okanagan Events Centre opened in 2008). A new one cropped up in Dawson Creek, British Columbia(The EnCana Events Centre). A new one in Abbotsford, British Columbia (The Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre opened in 2009 with 8,500 seat capacity). Oshawa now has a nice 5,500 seat performance venue (The General Motors Centre) with multi-use facilities.

So more performance venues have popped up in tertiary and secondary markets over the years. We have really made it a mandate to find a way to make Canada bigger and deeper. Geographically, Canada is a huge country. The issue we have is that a lot of international agents look at Canada and sort of pick out 8 to 11 major markets, and that’s where the Triple A artists go over and over.

From my own roster, I had quickly surmised that I was not going to be able to make a living for a lot of these artists time and time again unless we made Canada bigger and deeper. Take these artists into places where people are aching to spend their money to see top-notch entertainment. They don’t want to drive five or six hours to the nearest major market to see a big show.

[Canada has been a productive territory for touring artists for nearly a decade propelled by a strong dollar, and a sizable demand for live music throughout the regions. It was not just the major metropolitan centers that began cranking out strong box-office numbers. In the past decade, acts like Bon Jovi, the Backstreet Boys, Sheryl Crow, Motley Crue, the Eagles, and Elton John have played all types of venues from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia; towns and cities that were traditionally ignored in the past.]

How were you under Cressman Sakamoto Agency able to book Rihanna at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton in 2010?

Rihanna was booked, and toured with Live Nation in Canada; and as a co-operative (date) with Live Nation, we were able to plant Rihanna in Penticton in between her Vancouver and Calgary shows. That year Rhianna played Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Penticton.

How did you get her 17 trucks into Penticton?

Let’s just say it wasn’t easy.

Last summer, the Cressman Sakamoto Agency did an eight date Kiss tour through northern Washington, the lower British Columbia mainland, with the final date in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Yeah, that date was a Cressman Sakamoto Agency initiative along with Events Wood Buffalo, and the city of Fort McMurray. That tour started in Spokane, went to Everett, Washington, up to Abbotsford, Kamloops, Prince George, Dawson Creek (all in British Columbia), and ended with a big outdoors show in Fort McMurray that sold 10,000 tickets in a matter of minutes. (Kiss manager) Doc McGhee can verify this but I believe that they set a record for merch sales that night for the band in Fort McMurray.

We also did small market shows on the likes of Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood and others.

[According to media reports, Kiss was the biggest concert in Fort McMurray history. According to MacDonald Island Park, it took a mere 30 minutes to clear the concert facility, and a further hour and 15 minutes to get everyone off the island. With 500 volunteers, 150 security (including RCMP, bylaw and emergency services personnel), and staff from Events Wood Buffalo and MacDonald Island Park, the event was almost incident free.]

A lucrative run of dates for Kiss?

A very lucrative run for all of us. It did very well. Kiss had never been to most of these markets.

No big act has played some of these markets.

You are right. We have a John Mellencamp tour, which is similar. Moose Jaw just opened a new performance venue (Mosaic Place), and we have John Mellencamp in there for their inaugural Triple A show on June 24. He’s doing a tour with AEG and they have been really gracious with our company to work with them in the secondary markets. So we delivered John Mellancamp offers in co-operation with cities in municipal-owned buildings in Abbotsford, Penticton, Prince George, Dawson Creek, and Moose Jaw.

It used to frustrate Canadian labels when their top American country acts wouldn’t play Canada because they could make so much more money on the U.S. fair and festival circuits.

After Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson and others began playing secondary Canadian markets, attitudes changed.

You took advantage of that attitude change.

Yeah, with Reba, Carrie Underwood, ZZ Top, Toby Keith, Maroon 5, and Train. We really worked hard. Thankfully, we have gotten great co-operation from the municipal and building (management) side from these communities that see a lot of beneficial economic impact. We have also had great co-operation from the management companies, and the agencies in the U.S. Their attitude has been, “If the show is produced properly; if it sells out; and our client has the opportunity to add to their major market run by picking up three, four or five secondary markets, why not?”

The key has been making sure that the events go really well and finding a mutually reciprocal situation where everybody is happy with what they get in terms of an end product.

The turning point in changing that attitude were successful Canadian tours by Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, and Brooks & Dunn.

You are absolutely right. With any new business initiative, it takes few enterprising individuals to tip their toe in the water. Then once that’s been done, there’s a track record set. All of a sudden, I could go back to some of these U.S. agents who we had not created a rapport with and go, “We have had this list of artists in the venue.” That immediately gave them some comfort to go, “Obviously, they are doing something right.” And, of course, all of these (American country) managers, they all talk to each other. The agents talk to each other.

If we can create a favorable experience, and the artist makes more money coming to Canada than they have historically in their career, and a community of people-- who might have had to drive four or five hours to go and see that artist in a major market--if they are getting what they want, it is a win across the board. That’s been our objective through creating these opportunities on both sides.

Who are your “first call” American agents to book acts in Canada?

They have all been great, actually. Nate Herweyer and Curt Motley at Paradigm Talent Agency Nashville; Marc Dennis and Darin Murphy at CAA (Creative Artist Agency); Keith Miller and Becky Gardenhire at William Morris (William Morris Endeavor Entertainment). All of them have been great in understanding and appreciating what we are trying to build here for our mutual benefit. Without their support, it would have been very hard for us to make it to the next level.

They have been tremendously supportive of this initiative; especially with the American economy where there are often challenges these days in meeting bottom dollar amounts (fees) on their clients in the U.S. touring market. Some of those artists have toured a lot in the U.S. over the years. When they can come and break some new ground in Canada, and it’s a win/win for everybody, why not?

Also supportive has been (Canadian) Nick Meinema at The Agency Group(recently named VP of The Agency Group Nashville, and the head of the Fairs and Festival Department for North America). He’s a hard working, diligent guy. He’s also been great..

For much of the ‘90s, the Canadian dollar was low too. Bringing American acts to Canada became more feasible as the Canadian dollar began to climb in value.

Oh, you have no idea. That was a huge factor. When those artists don’t have to take a 40% punch on the chin, that makes a big difference. Let’s not kid ourselves, if our dollar was sixty cents, this initiative would have a hard time getting off the ground.

The American dollar is currently up over the Canadian dollar again.

That’s nothing new over the past 30 years. As long as it is 10% or 15% (in difference) that is tolerable.

[For years, the Canadian dollar trailed behind the U.S. dollar, but U.S. based booking agents and acts traditionally seek the same advance and payment guarantees in Canadian cities as they get in American cities. Although Canadian concert promoters collect gate receipts in Canadian money, they pay out in U.S. funds, excepting percentage gate deals which are calculated in Canadian funds.]

Overseeing tours of international artists obviously presents opportunities for your roster.

Certainly. Reba, for example, took Victoria Banks as support for a number of her Canadian dates. Both last year, and the year before (in two legs). Reba played Fort McMurray; and we did two sold out shows in Newfoundland; and a lot of places where an artist of her stature hadn’t been, like Dawson Creek, and Prince George (in British Columbia). First off, she did fantastic business; and secondly, she gave an opportunity to a Canadian artist to develop her craft in front of an audience that she wouldn’t be able to draw on her own.

It has always been more difficult getting Canadian acts into the U.S. than American acts into Canada. Ever since 9/11, it’s been even more difficult.

Without a doubt. It is more difficult to get across the border, and perform in the continental U.S. than it is for a U.S. artist to come here. That probably does have something to do with 9/11 but, more so, Canadians are used to American artists coming up here to tour. It’s not as proliferated as a concept in the U.S. to have international artists go down there (from Canada) and then return to their homeland.

Well, there’s also a bleed over of U.S. media into Canada. American artists are largely known in Canada.

Exactly. That’s a great point.

Your hometown is the village of Donalda, Alberta.

It is just north of Settler.

A one-street town?

Absolutely. I got into a lot of trouble in a one-street town.

[Donalda is home to the World's Largest Oil Lamp, a 42-ft. high structure. It is also hometown of Canadian model/actress Tricia Helfer who hosted the Canadian television fashion program “Canada's Next Top Model” and played the humanoid Cylon Number Six in the re-imagined “Battlestar Galactica” TV series.]

Tricia grew up about five miles apart. I rode the bus with her almost every day from grade one to 12.

That’s all cattle ranching in that region.

Yeah cattle ranching, and a lot of oil and gas activity. Our family ranch, which I grew up on, had 16 quarters of land. Four sections of land. At the peak, we were running a thousand head of cows. It was a large operation.

Did you do any rodeoing as a kid?

I did do some rodeoing when I was in 4-H Light Horse Club. I did win an Alberta Wide Steer Riding competition. I never did graduate to (riding) bulls. I have a little bit of fear in an animal that big.

You enrolled in a broadcast journalism course at Mount Royal College in Calgary but left to take a radio job in Brooks, Alberta.

I had interned at Q91 (CKSQ) in Drumheller. I had a great tenure there. Russell Thomas hired me for my first job in Settler. He ended up programming the station in Drumheller which was the head of the (local) network. Oddly enough, he is one of the key council members in Fort McMurray, and has been very helpful in helping us to develop our (concert) initiatives there.

Doing the news on-air at Q13 Radio (CIBQ) would have been a big deal at age 20.

I showed for my first morning there doing the morning news. The morning man had a CD, and it started skipping. It must have been the straw that broke the camel’s back because he got out of his chair and walked out of the station and jumped in his car and drove to B.C. (British Columbia). This is my first morning at the radio station; and it’s like 5:30 in the morning. It wasn’t like I could call anyone to come help me. He didn’t even tell me what he was doing. I looked outside and his car was gone. So I sat down in his chair, figured out the board enough to walk my way through that first morning. I ended up doing both his job and mine for two weeks until they found a replacement. I was at the station for just under two years.

You then went to Calgary to work at Country 105 (CKRY-FM).

I started there in a promotional capacity. Phil Kallsen was the assistant program director and music director when I got. He really fostered me with on-air opportunities, and allowed me to develop my radio skills.

Country 105 was then the powerhouse station in the market.

It was. At the time, Country 105 was the undisputed king of not only the format but the market in Calgary. They are still a very powerful station, but at the time, everyone was listening to that station. It was a big coup for me in my career, and life to work there; even in a minimal capacity.

It was a glorious time to be in my early 20s and working in that world. It was a lot of fun. I appreciate the experiences you get in radio; where no day is ever the same. That’s a lot like the world that I work in now.

You left Country 105 for a drive-home slot at CJAY.

I had started doing some overnight, evening and weekend shifts on Country 105. I heard about an opportunity on the drive home show at CJAY, and applied for it. They were rock and classic rock. I was there for eight months in total. I have always been a collaborative spirit but to jump in the middle of a drive-home show that featured a lot of personalities and characters; and be the new guy in the mix, I just found it too challenging; and too different from what I had done before.

You left a paying job at CJAY to take a job as an agent at Key Entertainment on a straight commission. That’s crazy.

Yeah straight commission. I was basically handed the phone book and told to go and find my accounts. At the time, they had a small client list (of Canadian country artists). Patricia Conroy, Rick Tippe and George Canyon was our initial roster I recall. It wasn’t bad at the time. I didn’t have the festival and the fair accounts. I was sort of the guy trying to convince to corporations to book acts. In Calgary, I did find quite a bit of opportunity there convincing corporations to bring in country acts for stampede parties and other staff events.

Why did you move your office from Calgary to rural Penticton, British Columbia in 2007?

My wife (Kristie Marleau) who helps run the company with me; she is our contracts manager—and I, we have always loved the Okanagan Valley. We loved the climate. We had this great office in downtown Calgary that we were paying an arm and a leg for. We were competing for space with all of the oil and gas companies who seemed to have endless amounts of money in the early 2000s. Most of the time when clients came to town, they wanted to go to dinner or have a coffee. We found having a physical office in Calgary was impractical and a waste of money.

I had always wanted to keep my overhead contained because I had never wanted decisions that negatively impacted the careers based on my financial needs. So we decided. “Let’s move to Penticton. We love it there. Let’s work out of our home. If it works; it works. If it doesn’t we can always move back to Calgary.” Well, in that year, we doubled our business. So our overhead went down; and we were performing even better. We haven’t looked back.

Larry LeBlanc is widely recognized as one of the leading music industry journalists in the world. Before joining CelebrityAccess in 2008 as senior editor, he 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, and the London Times. He is co-author of the book “Music From Far And Wide.”

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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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