Advertisements

Tag Archive: NAMM


If you were ever at a Stuckey’s when they were around, you know they were a far cry from anything associated with adult products. They were rectangular buildings at countless exit/entrances on highways with a green roof. They had a lunch counter and you could get chocolates, candies, and souvenirs. When the company closed, the buildings were left empty.

When my son, Cameron, and I were driving to Nashville for Summer NAMM – a yearly trip – I noticed that the Stuckey’s buildings in Tennessee have been re-purposed. They are now part of the Miranda’s chain of Adult Stores – toys, videos, and lingerie. Your pornographic one stop shop.

I couldn’t get a picture because of the trees, and I’m not about to get any closer to one than I was driving by at 75 miles an hour. But I do think the re-purposing is ironic or disgusting – I’m not sure which. Maybe both.

Then we were miles down the road and it didn’t matter anymore.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Advertisements

916 Acklen Ave., in Nashville

When my family went to South Dakota on vacation to see where our parents met and were married, we found out that the church where the wedding had been had been torn down. It became a running joke that continues to this day. Anytime we couldn’t find the building we were looking for, I would say “they tore it down.”

Last Friday, the 14th, after visiting NAMM one last time, Cameron and I then drove to the area of Nashville where I lived in the ’70s. Going

Picture of a bad picture from the ’70s

through Hillsboro Village, we saw that the Villager was still open. Joel Nichols and I played there. Of course Belmont College and Vanderbilt College have expanded incredibly. There is a fraternity on Music Row. It’s quite a bit different than the street I walked with my songs on cassette, shopping publishers. Thankfully though, it’s still recognized as Music Row, there are still some publishers there, and most of the businesses are music or arts related. In the same buildings, with a few remodels.

916 Acklen Avenue today

A number of years back, Cyndy and I took the same basic drive, although it looked quite a bit different. I wanted to show the children the house I lived in. And – you saw it coming didn’t you – they tore it down.  In the picture above, the door on the far right was the door to our apartment upstairs.

I wanted to show Cameron where it was and I wanted to get a picture. 916 Acklen Avenue is a parking lot for the church across the street. Which is larger than it was then. There was a lot of good music made in that house. A lot of other things were done there too, but mainly a lot of good music. I wouldn’t expect a historical marker, but they could have at least put a plaque in the sidewalk. Just sayin’……..

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Crystal Gayle

Cameron and I arrived in Nashville in time to  check into the hotel and be at Music City Center to register for Summer NAMM  just before 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 13.  After a mad dash around the show floor, we headed upstairs for the American Eagle Awards of the National Music Council  (NMC).

David Sanders, director of the NMC, welcomed the audience  and talked about the awards and the past recipients. Then he introduced Richard Leigh, who introduced Crystal Gayle before presenting her with the award. During her acceptance speech, she talked about growing up in Butcher Hollow and how valuable music was to her and what a vital service the NMC and its members do to involve children in music. Gayle asked Richard to play while she sang Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue. Which is only appropriate, considering he was the songwriter of the song.

Patti Smith

John Ingrassia introduced Patti Smith and presented her award. He talked about her long history of arts, music, and activism involvement. He said that she was also a very good and devoted mother. When Patti reached the microphone, she said that she hadn’t known she was going to have to say anything, so she didn’t bring any remarks. In true Patti Smith fashion, it was not long before she was off and running about activism, music, and working together – quite eloquently, in her own way. She sang a song with her bass player on acoustic guitar. There was noise and activity around me, so I didn’t get the name of the song.

Paul Shaffer introduced Harry Shearer with the worst introduction I have heard- and I’ve heard a few. He said he had his comments on his phone, but I’m not sure there was anything on it. He babbled some stupid jokes – including one that I will not repeat and that repulsed the audience. Everyone held their breath for a second, wondering if he had really said what they heard. Harry’s reaction seemed a cross between surprise, pain, and trying to act nonchalant. Then Shaffer sat down at the keyboard to play a song for Shearer. I think it was supposed to be funny, but it fell as flat as his jokes, only with music – which wasn’t all that swell either.

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer brought it back in line by talking about the real reason he was there – as a passionate advocate for creators and artists. Among other things, he was voice-over artist on The Simpsons and writer for Fernwood 2 Night. He played bassist Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap. He has received to this day $18 for Spinal Tap. An effort has been underway for some time for those involved to recoup the money they should have made. That is a large part of what fueled his activism for creators and artists.

After Harry’s acceptance speech, the entire ensemble joined together on stage to play Patti Smith’s People Have the Power. Shearer played a ukulele bass and Shaffer actually sounded good on keyboard. Patti felt the spirit rise up in her. No doubt stirred up by the memory of co-writing and performing the song with her late husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith, from MC5. Many people got into the spirit of the activist song while others weren’t quite sure. As an old hippie, I thought it was great. It was a perfect end to the awards.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

Dan at session with headphones With only one session on Saturday morning, Cameron dropped me off at Music City Center and went to pick up a few things for the drive later that afternoon. I covered the booths at Summer NAMM I hadn’t been able to visit earlier. At 11 a.m., I went to one of the two booths where they held sessions throughout the event. The session was at the Idea Center Booth and was entitled DIY – Marketing for Musicians.

The two session booths had wireless headphones on each chair and the presenters had earphones and wireless mics. If you wanted to ask a question you had to flag down the person with the microphone. There were sound barrier sheets on each side of the “booth” to keep out the sounds of the exhibit hall as much as possible. There were times when the headphones or the mics would cut out, but that’s to be expected with speakers holding the wireless mics wrong, and a building full of electronic and wireless equipment and computers.

Half way through the session, I realized I probably wouldn’t learn anything new. The speaker was keeping to basic information. I’ve been to enough sessions on the subject that I should have a t-shirt. I became bored so I took the picture of myself with the headphones. But the information was new to some of the attendees, because they were taking notes like crazy. Which makes it worth it for them. And the information was not wrong, it was just the basics.

I took off my headphones and met Cameron. We went out on the terrace, got something to eat, and watched the band that was playing. Then we walked down and got in line for the American Eagle Awards of the National Music Council. This year Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, and the Grand Ole Opry were honored. I was looking forward to seeing them. We were finally let into the hall (after the VIPs had a chance to eat and meet and great).

When I read the program, I saw that Roy Clark and John Conlee were going to perform. Nice bonus! I don’t remember what Emmylou Harris sang, but Vince Gill sang a song about Merle Haggard’s passing that was great. Roy Clark sang “What a Wonderful World,” while a friend played the keyboard. John Conlee, of course, pulled out the rose-colored glasses and sang “Rose-Colored Glasses – as only he can do. (Check out my pictures on Instagram).

Then it was over, and we were on the way to Memphis. We checked in at the hotel, and headed for Beale Street. In the place we went for barbeque, there was a band playing. Within three songs of us sitting down, the band did Rose-Colored Glasses – just saying. Back to the hotel with a to go box. In the morning we packed, checked out, and headed for Dallas.

Peace be with you.

With Chris Martin

With Chris Martin

Cameron and I woke up early on Friday – although later than on Thursday – and stopped off for breakfast on our way to Music City Center. When we got to the exhibit hall, we visited the booths we had on our list that pertained to the church. It was going better than we thought it might. We found exactly the companies and services we had come to find out about.

We covered the majority of companies in the House of Worship area list in a little over an hour. We were walking out of the exhibit hall and we passed by the Martin Guitar booth. I noticed that Chris Martin, CEO, was at the booth. I waited until he was free, then said hi, shook his hand, and told him I’ve been playing Martin guitars for years. He thanked me and was kind enough to pose with me for a picture.

We found a seat in the hallway and went over the plan for the day. We decided it would be a shame to be across the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum and not drop in for a visit. Actually, Cameron was planning to go and didn’t want to go by himself. Which I could understand. We had a couple of hours open before our next session anyway.

I was interested to see the “new” museum. I remember the original museum on music row from the ’70s. I

A piece of floor from the original Country Music Hall of Fame.

A piece of floor from the original Country Music Hall of Fame.

passed it all the time when I dropped songs off at music publishers who all had offices on music row. Some of the exhibits, I recognized. Particularly the older exhibits that haven’t changed. But there was plenty I hadn’t seen. If you visit Nashville and want to go to the Country Music HOF Museum, go during the week if you can. We drove by on Saturday and it was packed.

After the museum, we attended the sessions we needed to, including one on acoustical considerations for houses of worship and another on easy live recording (easy being relative). Then we headed back to the hotel and watched the Rangers game as we looked over information we had picked up from exhibitors.

Peace be with you.

Summer NAMM opening party.

Summer NAMM opening party.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable fourth of July weekend. I took the time to catch up on some things, like posts. My son, Cameron, and I went to Nashville a week ago to attend Summer NAMM. NAMM is the National Association of Music Merchants. They have Winter NAMM in LA and Summer NAMM in Nashville. They will have one in Russia soon.

The three events are where music merchants – and prospective music merchants – come to show their products to buyers representing companies country-wide (and worldwide in some cases). There are also companies that fall into the category of the House of Worship area. They cater to everyone, but houses of worship in particular. Which is why Cameron and I were there.

We were representing our church, Christ UMC in Farmers Branch. The church is making some changes and we were there for information pertaining to the potential remodeling of the sanctuary. The A/V team, in particular. But don’t get the idea that as a singer-songwriter I couldn’t glean some information and contacts for myself. And having fun at the same time never hurts.

Cameron and I left home at 6 a.m. Thursday morning. We wanted to arrive in time to check into the hotel before going to Music City Center. Hopefully, we’d have some time after picking up our badges to wander around before Charlie Daniels was to play for the opening party. He had been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame earlier in the day.

Which is exactly what we did and how it went. We had time to walk around the exhibit hall and get an idea where we needed to go on Friday morning. Then we went out on the terrace and tried to find shade and not move a lot waiting for things to begin at 6 p.m. The food and drinks were free. Fortunately, Cameron and I were near a food table.

When it was time, we got some fruits and pulled pork sliders. We went to another table later for grilled corn on the cob and other things. There were only a few choices for beer, but when it’s free you just suck it up. They had water as well so that helped.

Charlie Daniels came on while we were eating our sliders. I have yet to hear any outdoor concert sound that is not lacking. Then there is the fact that it was downtown and sound was also bouncing off of the surrounding buildings. We may not have been able to understand him when he talked, but we could hear him when he sang, and that is more important. I haven’t seen Charlie Daniels in thirty years and he still sounds the same. They played a great set. We went back to the hotel, watched the Rangers game, and called it a day.

Peace be with you.

%d bloggers like this: