Guest Speaker, Rod Phelps and Song Critiques, THURSDAY, APRIL6
PERFORMANCE RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS: $$$ FOR SONGWRITERS
Rod discovered Garth Brooks and Maranda Lambert
The April monthly meeting will be Thursday, April 6 at Half Price Books Community Room in back, just east of Central Expressway in Dallas.
For the April meeting, we are pleased to have an attorney and Music VIP as guest speaker.
When Rod was at Baylor he started booking acts like Bob Hope and Brother Dave Gardner. Bob Hope you’ve heard of, and Bro. Dave had a comedy act that gave rise to the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.
It was this activity that induced his cousin, Sheri Helt, a student at Oklahoma State University, to call him about a singer who was playing the “Strip” in Stillwater, OK. She said that all of the students at OSU really liked this new guy, and suggested that he go hear him.
He went to a place called Wild Willie’s on a Friday night and, walking in, he had some immediate concerns. One, the air was blue from cigarette smoke, and he’s a non-smoker. Two, Wild Willie’s didn’t take credit cards, so he had no idea how he was going to pay for an evening’s tab just to listen to some dude who probably wouldn’t be any good anyway. Three, the men’s room didn’t have a commode, it had a bathtub that served as a urinal.
He listened to the guy and introduced himself afterwards and told him that he was pretty good and he would like to do a demo on him. He found an 8-track facility and the next Friday they did four live sets, two cover and two original. They mixed them on Saturday, and on Sunday he came by the house and he gave him the reel-to-reel demo we had done, a list of his contacts in Nashville, the confirmation number of the hotel he had set up for him to stay in, and a handful of his credit cards.
He said, “Rod, I’m going to have to use these credit cards because I don’t have any money”. Rod told him that he had given them to him to use, and all Rod asked was that he (1) go to Nashville, (2) become a star, (3) pay him back when he could, and to (4) thank him when he won his first Grammy.
Well sir, Garth Brooks went to Nashville, became a star, paid Rod back when he could, but never thanked him when he won his first Grammy. You can read about this in “Chicken Soup for the Country Soul”.
Rod’s nephew, Tye Phelps, who owns the Love and War in Texas restaurants, asked him to listen to a female act playing at the Plano L&W. Rod went to listen to her, and she wasn’t all that good. The other act on the bill who did impress me was a young blond from Lindale, Texas. Rod got a couple of demos from her dad, Rick Lambert, and sent them to his contacts in Nashville, mostly label heads. The rest is history.
Other folks Rod has helped over the years include Chris Cagle (whom Rod hired as nanny because he said he had no money, no job, and no place to live) and Rory Lee Feek (former DSA member of Joey and Rory fame), whom Rod moved to Nashville, along with his two daughters. He had two daughters the same age, and Rod gave Rory the downstairs master bedroom suite. Rory signed with Harlan Howard soon thereafter (one of the most prolific songwriters in Nashville history) and Rory went on to become one of the best known Christian songwriters and performers of all time, especially when he joined forces with, and married, Joey.
Rod also has had the good fortune to work with Larry Weiss (“Rhinestone Cowboy”, “Bend Me, Shape Me”); Richard Leigh (“Don’t you Make My Brown Eyes Blue”, “Greatest Man I Never Knew”); Don Schlitz (“The Gambler”); Tommy Barnes (“Cherokee Outlaw”); Randy Boudreaux (“Goodnight Sweetheart”, “”Brokenheartsville”, “Alibis”, “Who Needs You Baby”).
Rod has helped these local folks you might recognize as DSA writers include David Banning, Dickie Kaiser and Steve Hood.
By simply hanging around individuals in broadcasting, Rod worked with Howard Cosell, Verne Lundquist (Rod got him his divorce from his first wife and introduced him to his second wife) and Roger Staubach, whom Rod got on the speaking tour.
Rod was the first attorney Buddy Magazine turned to some 44 years ago.
This is only a few of many stories Rod has about the music business. His contacts are endless. Rod is an educator and loves to help careers. Come meet Rod Phelps who is doing a series of talks at DSA every other month. He’s starting with PROs. Rod will be staying to hear your songs.
The monthly meeting will continue to have the song critique session but the format will be a little different. Instead of judging a “winning” song each month that is eligible for the “Song of the Year”, all songs submitted at the meeting will be entered in the DSA Member Best Songs of the Meeting at the end of the year for Song of the Year and Songwriter of the year. We are considering adding a peoples choice awards.
Each song entry will receive friendly feebback from two music industry professionals, Joe Milton and Barbe McMillan. Joe has been an LA touring musician, studio musician and songwriter and currently owns Jo Musik, a Dallas area music production company and studio that has done music for film and TV, voiceover and dialogue, plays, live shows, jingles, industrials and videos. Barbe is currently Associate Professor of Songwriting at Collin College and President Emeritus of the DSA. She is also a voting member of the Recording Academy that votes for the Grammy Awards. As a recording artist she has recorded five albums and has written an off Broadway musical called “Give Me Break”.
Songs can be on a CD, or emailed to Harry Hewlett at email@example.com, or performed live, or even mailed in (you don’t have to be present) or members can enter online at https://dallassongwriters.org/dsa-meeting/song-of-the-month/. Just let me know if you want to get a spot at the meeting because we are limited on time and you must be a member to submit your song(s). The song entry/critique fee is $10 for each song. Be sure to provide copies of lyrics for the group so they can give friendly feedback too.
Sign in and Networking begins at 6:30
Announcements at 7PM
Program about 7:30
March 20th: MOVES TO 3RD MONDAY at TINO’S TOO in Plano
6:30 PM – Sign In / NETWORKING
7:00 PM – ANNOUNCEMENTS & PROGRAM
8:00PM – Song Feedback
The Critique Panel consists of 1 to 3 respected industry professionals. The Panel, DSA members, and guests will listen to each song and then judge each song based on 6 categories: Hook, Melody, Lyric, Structure, Originality, and Emotional Truth.
For Entry into the MEMBERS ONLY Monthly Contest for Song of The Year and Songwriters of the year. Submit online here.