The following is the text of music industry legend Paul “Rap” Rappaport’s speech to the “Music Industry Reunion New York” on October 15, 2014.
By Paul Rappaport
Classics du Jour
But I thought it was worth reminding us all here tonight, that we were not only lucky to live through one of the most artistic times this country has ever seen, but that we also got to have a hand in shaping that culture.
By being able to help shape that culture, it let each of us know that we mattered, that we were in the right place at the right time — that we belonged to a much bigger picture, in helping connect some of the greatest music ever made with the public and that by making that connection we were somehow amazingly connected ourselves.
It was a time of creating high art, not only for the musicians, but in the way promotions were done at radio, the way we treated the press, and all of this art and creativity took precedence, and mattered before the money did. And, we were all able to accomplish things that could have only happened at that magical time.
Pop, rock, AC and urban can take a creative lead from country
By Rob Stevens
One Stone Productions, Ltd.
NEW YORK — I’m in the music making side of the record biz. Exec producer, producer, mixer, musician, etc. Eleven Billboard #1s. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Herbie Hancock, John Lennon (posthumous anthology), ONO’s recent string of dance hits, and scores of current top shelf EDM performers and remixers.
I’m also a big fan. I’ve got high school and teenage kids who turn me on to the rare artist I haven’t yet turned them on to.
So I’m a hybrid. Not some putt-putt Prius; more like one of those new Lexus power ‘brids, or my beloved “05 Accord hybrid with the 270 hp internal combustion engine AND a battery to make acceleration from 30-60 feel like you’re in a banal looking Porche.
So much for my street and corner office cred.
Perhaps we should focus what we are good at and that the public still wants and needs
By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality
Time spent listening to your AM and FM radio stations is declining precipitously each year. This is particularly true among young people. They’ve grown up in a world of visual stimuli and conditioning addicted to “screens.” They love music, but have minimal attraction to or experience with AM and FM radio. Advertising revenue for AM and FM radio is flat to declining.
There are shiny new high-tech competitors everywhere. Mobile phones and the internet are sucking up massive amounts of consumer time and attention. Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and other services and apps offer continuous music customized to listeners moods and tastes as well as individual songs on demand. This competition is becoming widely available and easily accessible in cars where the majority of AM and FM radio is consumed.
WFAS-FM has served Westchester and environs as a locally based suburban station with various music formats for years and we wish them well as they now turn their focus to the highly competitive New York City market.
During our own 54 years of serving the County, we’ve always had cordial relations with the 17 (count ‘em!) absentee owners of WFAS-FM … and, indeed, with many among the dizzying parade of 43 hard-working general managers who tried mightily to give the station some meaning and purpose and at least a semblance of local involvement despite the many corporate changes and turmoil in their front office.
By Paul S. Rotella, Esq.
New Jersey Broadcasters Association
MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ — I am writing to you concerning the pending legislation entitled “Songwriters Equity Act” and what I feel is the continued “politicizing” of the topic without anyone fairly providing meaningful background on the inner workings of the “music compensation” topic from both sides of the isle.
In the essence of full and fair disclosure, which is something unfortunately very lacking about this topic by the partisan groups weighing in on this topic, I am the President and CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association, representing the free-over-the-air radio and television broadcasters in the Garden State since 2008. I am also an attorney and a creative artist and have many friends and colleagues in the recording and performing arts.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Dick Foreman, our dedicated and dynamic vice chairman, recently dispatched a powerful, timely and rather pointed note (it didn’t pull any punches!) to a fellow broadcaster who had turned a deaf ear to our recent pleadings and importunings on behalf of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.
Foreman’s good letter got me to thinking about how to reach those who haven’t yet gotten the message.
“Don’t let us forget who we are…and where we’ve come from.”
– – – Mario M. Cuomo
Through our work with the Guardian Fund of the Broadcasters Foundation of America, we’ve encountered many generous individuals, some now retired with their glory years behind them, and many still in the arena, who have unhesitatingly responded with remarkable grace and becoming generosity to our entreaties on behalf of those hurting and almost forgotten broadcasters we serve all across the country.
By Walter Sabo
“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” – Stephen Hawking
NEW YORK — Better cash bet? Telephone or telegraph? That was the debate among investment bankers at the turn of the 19th century. A significant portion of the population preferred the written word. They liked the formality, pause and thought of composition. Telephones didn’t let you take back or erase words you regretted.
As the telephone was funded and adopted, extroverts embraced the technology. Extroverts enjoyed talking for hours. They prefer to express themselves spontaneously, passionately. They love group think, brainstorming, team playing, drama in the conference room, public speaking and spontaneity. The phone is made for them.
By Bill Conway
KOIT, San Francisco
Program Director, 1997-2011
SAN DIEGO — The Duane Doobie column about “Golden Ears” published Monday (2/3) was terrific and I admit that in all my years as a PD, I never had “golden ears.” Instead I always had people around me who loved music, listened to a variety of styles and were always talking about it. Most DJs got into it radio either because they loved music or they wanted to be a star. I knew I needed the music junkies to complement my strengths. It was a way to learn about new music and let listeners know more too.
In recent years I have been espousing a format that doesn’t depend on only one consultant or one god-like national PD but used the music junkies and cutting edge technology to get involve the audience to reignite the role of radio in music discovery.
The All New Music Crowd Sourced Radio format. (Not a catchy name but I’m sure we can come up with one)
By Bill Freund
EVP/Chief Revenue Officer
BOULDER, CO — Over the past few months both Shazam and Soundhound have announced partnerships with pure play music services such as Pandora, Spotify, iTunes and Rdio to connect terrestrial radio listeners to those services through music identification apps. A terrestrial radio listener who likes a new song can identify the track with one of these apps and tap a button to create a custom pure play station based on that artist. In essence they are leveraging one of radio’s core native assets, music discovery. Shazam and Soundhound are effectively hijacking the music discovery experience with the listener by taking them away from terrestrial radio to pure play streams. Radio needs to recognize this is a big deal, and understand why audio content identification and listener interactivity with the broadcast is so critical to radio’s future.