February 2007


Hey friends,

Well, well. Today, Feb. 25, 2007 the song “Jnap” (my ode to the Jefferson North Assembly Plant) is NUMBER ONE on both the SoundClick Jazz Charts and the Soundclick Smooth Jazz Charts!

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Thanks for all your help in getting this song to the top of the charts! I still need your help though – there’s only one direction from the top and that is to fall, so I need you to help me stay on top. Please click on either of the above pictures and hit the gray (for modem users) or green (for DSL & Cable users) button below my name. Four 2 minute samples will play and help keep “Jnap” on top.

And if you haven’t bought the CD ‘Authentic’ yet, don’t forget that you can get it by clicking here: CD Baby and if they are out you can always find it here: Kunaki Distributors.

Thanks again all!

See ya!

Hey friends,

When I started the project that became the CD ‘Authentic’, I thought that the hard part would be writing, arranging, and producing the songs.  I was wrong.

The hardest part of this thing is promotion!  Building the better mouse trap was easy, it’s getting the world to beat a path to your doorway that’s HARD.

So far I’ve done pretty well getting promoted on the SoundClick site. They get over 100,000 visitors a day, and as of today – Feb. 24, 2007  I’m sitting at number 3 on the Smooth Jazz Charts and number 8 on the regular Jazz Charts. But so far that hasn’t turn into a real sales jump. I see that it’s easier to get people to listen then it is to get folks to buy….

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So now my focus has to shift from the creative side of things to being a salesman. Maybe a strong arm man. It’s really hard getting folks to part with their hard earned dollars, no matter how much they say they love your product.

But I’m told that sometimes it can take almost a year to get a project sucessfully launched.  I intend to hang in there for as long as it takes. Stay with me and let’s see how it goes.

Oh yeah, if you didn’t catch the episode of the “Smooth Groover’s Review” that “Jnap” was played on (it’s listed as: SG Episode S2-7 just scroll down the page till you see it and then click the button below where it says ‘Please Play Here’ they get to “Jnap” about 24 minutes into the show), you can click on this link and hear the show: Smooth Groover’s Review.

See ya!

I’m afraid it’s official – yes my friends, the dollar is now the new quarter.

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a treasury department official said that the reason for them issuing this new coin is that we consumers might have available “the currency that’s most convenient for each transaction” – really? What was the last transaction that called on you to use a dollar in coin form? But get used to it, cause it seems the dollar is about to become the new quarter.

Back on the music front – today, Febuary 23, 2007 the song ‘Jnap’ from the CD Authentic is number 11 on the SoundClick Smooth Jazz Charts! We’re trying for number 1, so when you get a chance go on over there by clicking here – SoundClick and hit the green button just below my name and the player will play samples from 4 singles from Authentic. Each play helps move the song further up the charts. (Tell your friends and relatives to visit there too.) And don’t forget to get your Word A Day at:

A Wendell Spencer Review

See ya!

 

Good News!,

I recently found two new British friends who offer a podcast show every two weeks. One calls himself ‘Dr. Groove’ and the other ‘Professor Smooth’, and their podcast is called ‘The Smooth Groovers Review“.

The show has several sections – New Music (new music from popular jazz artist), MySpace Friends (music from myspace music artist), Desert Island Groove (music to play if lost on a desert island), Featured Artist (each show a different artist is spotlighted), and Oldies (favorites from the past).

This week I’m in the MySpace Friends part of the show! The guys play ‘Jnap‘ from the Authentic CD. It feels good to be on a show that also plays Wayman Tisdale, and (Prince bassist) Rhonda Smith. I’m told they get over 20,000 hits each week.  They have a good show that I’m sure you’ll enjoy (my segment comes a little over 24 minutes in to the show).

Check these fellows out at: Smooth Groovers Review

By the way,  if CDBaby is sold out of Authentic – remember that you can purchase it directly from the distributor just click on: Kunaki 

Money saver: I found this site that lets you send free text messages to any cell phone: TextForFree.org you can send a message up to 130 characters in length. You have to give them your e-mail address for replies.

Taking a pause from the usual to comment on one of the saddest stories I seen in many years.

A public tragedy. An exercise in greed.

Vickie Lynn Hogan might have grown up to be anything in this liberated era. She grew up to be known to us as Anna Nicole Smith.

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How much more tragic could a life be? I became aware of her after her fight to gain control of her late husband’s estate. She was only 26 when she married multi-millionaire oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II. He died about a year later.

There was the lengthy fight for the money – she never got it. There was the fight with her weight – she claimed that TrimSpa (a diet product now being sued for false advertising) helped her. There was the marriage to her long-time lawyer Howard K. Stern. Then there was the birth of her daughter, and a few days later the death of her 20 year old son.

There were the drugged-out interviews. They were hard to watch, and hard to turn away from. There was the assorted cast of vultures hovering around waiting for their chance to pounce. And there was Vickie Lynn, in charge? or victim?

Now death has closed the books on the life of Vickie Lynn Hogan.  Oh,  the story will go on,  but time for change is over.  I wonder who the next victim of over-blown fame and greed will be?

Hers was truly a life to bring flesh and blood to the words – what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?

See ya!

I was listening to some musicians discuss “real music” the other day. They were talking about the differnce between “real” instruments and electronic instruments.

They began to talk about the saxophone as being one of the “real” instruments, and sax players as being “real” musicians.

What makes an instrument “real”?

Take that Saxophone:

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First, let’s look at the name itself – Saxophone.

It was named after it’s inventor – Adolphe Sax around 1840. And taking the name apart we get sax (the inventor’s last name) – o – phone ( voiced, or sounding). Which more or less translates – A sound of Adolphe Sax

It kind of made me smile to think how little we know of the history of things. The first sax built in America came in 1885. The first well know composer to use this instrument was Bela Bartok in his work ‘The Wooden Prince’ in 1917.

For most of this instrument’s early life it was relagated to use in the circus. It took years for it to be considered a “real” instrument – it was considered a novelty instrument, kind of like the kazoo of today.  Only when it found it’s way into the hands of musicians and composers who lovingly brought forth it’s true worth was it finally taken seriously.

The point is – the only true natural instrument is your voice. Everything else is synthetic. It’s the skill of the musician that transforms any sound into “real” music.

Let the music play!

See ya!

Morning.

O.K. endulge me one more day, one more shot of Madison (my first grandchild):

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That’s Maddie peeking at her Grandma….

Hard to switch gears here, but here goes….

When I was learning to write music I learned by listening to records. That was a good way, and a bad way. I thought that song writers wrote the whole record, not just the song. I thought they wrote everything you heard from the first note of the record to the last note.

I didn’t have a real understanding of what an arranger did, or what a producer did, or the freedom that a lot of musicians have on records.

So, when I wrote a song – I actually wrote a record. All the parts. I heard the strings, the bass, the drums, the tempo, and the style. Take this track – ‘Great Jazz’ it was written just the way you hear it here:

I have learned through the years to be more flexible, and allow for changes to the songs I write, but I’m glad I learned the way I did because it helps me to have an over-all view of the songs and it really helped me when I began producing.

See ya!

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