Geo’s Media Blog (Twenty Feet From Stardom) Under Construction

After watching the documentary “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” and before that, “The Wrecking Crew” and also the one about “Muscle Shoals,” I realized that the only people making any money in the record business, besides the Record Companies, are the background singers and musicians. They’re the only ones who get paid for the recording sessions.

I remember years ago backing up Ral Donner when he toured in Canada. Before Ral, who sounded like Elvis, had a couple of hits. He would be hired by songwriters to sing their songs so they could better pitch them to Elvis. Ral got paid to sing them, Elvis didn’t.

Most of the singers and players in the documentaries complained about how many hit records they were on, but never got any credit or a sniff of the money that a hit record produces. What they neglected to mention is that most recordings don’t make money, but the background singers and musicians still get paid. However, even if the record is a hit, the artist has to pay all the expenses of the recording session, so most background singers can’t afford to step out front because they make good money standing twenty feet from stardom.
 
GE O’S LIFE-LINES
Bigness is the result of doing a bunch of small things. 
 
You have to know what the rules are before you get to break them.
 
I’m growing weary of all the attention the losers get, let’s hear it for the winners.
 
Most beautiful women are powerful, but like most gifted athletes, they only get about ten years of it.
 
Speaking of women, the other night at Duffy’s, I overheard a lady at the bar say to her girlfriend, “I don’t know about all that going electric stuff, isn’t that gonna drain a lot of energy from the sun?” 
 
As Leon Russell said, “You have to earn the right to wear shades at night.” 
 
Because it’s popular, don’t make it good. 
 
Do you find it as strange that the government debate on and on about raising the minimum wage, but when they want a raise, it happens instantly? 
 
Information scarcity is now a rarity. 
 
If you think the radio industry is in rough shape, aren’t you glad that you don’t own a taxi company?
 
Hey, you media types, freedom of the press gives you the right to call out the rich leftists too, they’re also ass-holes.
 
If one has the ability to take action, they also have the responsibility to do so. 
 
When I get nervous, I talk too much, so I guess I’m nervous all the time? 
 
Giving advice is hard to resist, but listening to it is even harder. 
 
Getting people’s attention isn’t as important as getting their interest.
 
The more praise you give, the more you receive.
 
COMMENTS

Jed Duvall: George, another of the great lessons that you and Jim taught me along the way at WIBC-AM was that if there was a personnel problem that could not be fixed within the station that was jeopardizing the “Plan”, no matter how inconvenient it was for the staff and for me, the program director, take care of the problem immediately. Don’t string it along, don’t orchestrate it out to make excuses while waiting to hire the right person for a replacement.  Root out the problem, terminate the employee if rehabilitation (or retraining) is out of the question.  Then hire the best available “athlete” for the role, be it the weekend person or whomever…because there are always good coachable people if you look hard enough. You and Jim also taught me by example to make a list and build a “recruitment” file for the cultivation of talent.  I won’t say that every decision I made was great, but my batting average was better than Ted Williams (.406). (The Big One)

John King: Frank Sinatra did pull off the remake of a 1935 Fats Waller track, “Truckin’,” which he updated in 1962 as “E’v’rybody’s Twistin’,” with a smashing big band arrangement by Neal Hefti. But he didn’t pull it off by much – it lasted two weeks on the Hot 100, topping at #75. (It’s The Song Man!)

Geo: I can’t even imagine it, John.

Mark and Bridget Hubbard: Cami,
We think it is great that you were able to help your dad get through college, we know this is a big accomplishment for him. You are a hard-working gal with so many talents but he’ll need all the help he can get. Good luck. (Camera Graduates)

George, Tim Moore here. Jake Hoot has been on the sales team of one of our client stations. Great guy and the team there felt that he would win it all. (It’s The Song Man!)

Geo: I can see the look on the client’s faces when he’s making cold calls, Tim, what a hoot. Oh, I’m sorry. 🙂

Russ Morley: Hey George,
You know, I hired Jack in Memphis and in Dallas with that magic phone machine he had. It seemed to work and did temporarily put lipstick on a ratings pig (In Dallas anyway). Thinking back, I had my reservations about the machine but just wanted to be able to spend time with Jack as he would come to town regularly for checkups and consulting the contest. Truly one of the most interesting guys I have ever known. But then again, so are you, but I would find you even more interesting if you buy me lunch soon! (My Friend Jack)

Bruce Walker: Excellent blog George. I still remember Chuck and Daryl recording our first record at CKY.  I really liked both of them. It’s funny but what really sticks out in my mind was Chuck wrapping tape around the center of the recording tape reel to make the recording sound better. I don’t remember how it helped, but the London records guy was impressed. (What The F**k Happened To My FU Account?)

Josie Thomas: Trains have always been a big part of our family. Hours are long but the benefits are worth it. You may be called out on holidays, birthdays and family time but in the end, the rewards are great. 

Congratulations to your nephew as he is a prime example of what perseverance will accomplish.
Thank you, George, for being a truly awesome friend to Bob Thomas. Your words of wisdom inspire me. (First, ya gotta get noticed)

Doug Chapelle: George…what a great pic, cream of the radio biz I remember, I worked records on all of you !!! Actually now that I think about I was actually helping all of you pick your music and make the station sound even better !!! (Hidden Mentor)

Geo: You worked us all well, Doug. I still remember that great rating book you got me at CFTR when I first got to Toronto, it got me my first happy ending massage.

Geo’s Media Blog is an inside look at Radio, Music, Movies, and Life. For a sneak peek at some upcoming Blogs or to see some that you may have missed, go to Geo’s Media Blog @ GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.

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