ANNE E.'S JOURNAL -June 5, 2008
June 5, 2008
Hello hello everyone. Sorry it's been a bit since my last correspondence. I've been waiting for some things to happen so I had some things to share with you. I hope you are doing well and enjoying summer in Cleveland. I've received news that you've had some beautiful weather and that the walleye and bass are biting. Excellent. So the news...
The first thing I want to share is about my neighborhood's ice cream truck. Every day without fail the ice cream truck comes down my street. I hear "Happy Birthday" in the distance, then getting closer a little "It's A Small World" followed by some Christmas song....don't ask me. I mean, yes it's bound to be someone's birthday but I just think they haven't edited out the Christmas tune.
Anyway, one day I was listening to it come up the street and here's what I heard...Love Story Yes, my friends the theme from the movie Love Story. If you're wondering whether or not you're thinking correctly when I say this, here's a link so you can make sure. It's good old Andy Williams singing it. http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZxEazBfPVFg At first I thought "no, it can't be. It's something else that sounds similar". But as I listened on, I confirmed that it is, in fact, "Love Story". "Where do I begin to tell the story of how great a love can be". Oh, how many times have you heard a child walking down the street singing this one? It makes perfect sense. Many a five-year-old the world over has a love story to tell. Stories of heart ache and longing. I just picture a little girl with a red popsicle melting down her hand and to the ground, crying as this playful melody fills the air. It is fantastic my friends.
As far as music is concerned, I attended the Durango Songwriters Expo in Asheville NC this past weekend. There I had three listening sessions with publishers, workshops and I got to showcase the first night. I played "Girls and Airplanes" for the showcase. One guy that heard the song was Ralph Murphy. Ralph is the vice president of ASCAP www.ascap.com . Someone with the Expo brought Ralph in to hear me. Later that person told me I should go up and talked to him. So I spotted him later in the night and went up to introduce myself. He pulled me out in the hall and started talking to me about "Girls and Airplanes", about the country/pop market and about what I could do with my song to make it ready for that market. He is something else. He knows the music business from the inside out. He's analyzed it, like a scientist would some sample under a microscope. So he spilled out a ton of information and I wish I had had a pad of paper and had written it all down.
Turns out that the next day Ralph is doing a seminar while I'm at a listening session. Erin was there with me so she attended. I had just told her that morning that while I appreciate getting some critiques of my songs at the listening sessions, that I would really like to be able to take those suggestions, make changes, then see what those publishers who gave the critique think. Without that I?m never sure if I've taken the information given and applied it. Well I got out of my listening session, walked down the hall and met up with Erin. She said, "Get in the room. He's going to listen to songs, critique them and then have you bring in your re-writes tomorrow morning." Then the skies parted and the Holy Spirit came down.....Anyway, it was exactly what I wanted. So in eight of us went with him. It was good that Erin hung out after he was done because that's how we and the other seven people got the opportunity.
So I played my song and then Ralph told me what he thought I should do. I did not change the melody at all. I've always known that is finished. But I have been told in three critiques now that although the melody is infectious that the listener is not really sure what the song is about until the 2nd verse. Some people never get to what it's about because lyrically I think I was losing them before the second verse. So I took the 2nd verse and put it 1st. Now, right away you're given, "She was a clerk in an office out in Arkansas. She came to Richmond to sew up planes when her country called". I also explained that she did this on her own by going on to say, "she kept a house and job with grandpa gone." Yes, it's now about my grandma. There's an entire theory behind that change too. So now the first verse goes:
"She was a clerk in an office out in Arkansas
She came to Richmond to sew up planes when her country called
Grandma was beautiful and she was strong
She kept a house and job with Grandpa gone"
It may seem weird especially when you already know the song. I made more changes, mostly the pronoun flips and just a few minor things.
The next day I was first up with my changes. When I was finished he said, "You did it. Now you've got an anthem. Start shopping it." I was absolutely elated. No more changes, just get it out there. And the good news on top of that is that I already have a publisher interested in the song, so I may have the means with which to shop it I've got some people in mind and Ralph suggested some to me.
So, that's that. I'm pretty excited.
I have not yet had my meeting with the publisher here in town. It's been cancelled twice now. But it will happen soon and then I'll have a better idea of what's going to happen with "Girls and Airplanes" and some of the other tunes I've finished and think will get interest. I will keep you posted. It's truly exciting.
As far as returning to Cleveland for a show, I think that will happen in early September. I've got a benefit up my sleeve. I am making arrangements now and will let you know when they are finalized. I have a friend in need, and think my return should be used to raise some money to help her.
So, I'm having a good and productive time here and of course miss home. But all is well. I'm where I'm supposed to be. I hope all of you are enjoying yourselves. Thanks to all of you who have stayed in touch. It's so nice to hear from you. I look forward to keeping in touch with you and sharing all the good news.
Take it easy,