Hello Folks! Today On GIVE ME A BREAK Radio We take a look at Promotion of a Single Record…Featuring songs by Jim Ed Brown, Lacy Jay Syler and Bobby Pizazz. We dispel myths of what it really takes to compete. Our first guest is someone I have known of for years and is the oldest running independent radio promoter in the city of Nashville… from Door Knob Records our guest is Gene Kennedy… We talk about days gone by, the current days in promotion of a record, and the Music Row Chart & News Weekly Charts… We touch Billboard and the cost of charting on there is in the Millions… Also on the show VP of CDXCD Joe Kelly who takes us through the steps of charting a single record on more then 2200 country radio stations here in the USA
Back about October of 1975 I had the idea of opening an office and doing Independent Promotion and Independent Production. I felt that I knew enough people in Nashville to make a living doing those 2 things. On the day that I opened my doors for business I had a song that was being recorded that day and I had to have a name for a publishing company. I called Patsy Bradley at BMI and asked what I needed to do to start a publishing company and she said write down 10 names that I knew nobody was using and come over to her office and she would clear it for me. I did that and when to her office and every name that I had written down was being used so I was dumb founded and looking at the door knob in her office and jokingly I said how about Door Knob and she said I think that would clear, so I said Clear it and lets get started. It did clear, so I had a name that had cleared all the hurdles. Then one day a friend of mine came into the office and had a master that he had produced. He asked me to listen to it and it sounded like a hit record to me, so we ended up putting it out. The song was called TURN LOOSE OF MY LEG and it was by C W WOOTEN, which in real life is Bill Haynes. He couldn’t use his real name because he was under contract to another company. Anyway the song did what it was supposed to do and that was get a lot of airplay. We were covered by and artist named JIM STAFFORD and it became a big record for him, and I was in the record business. That lead to another artist and another artist and before long I was an Independent Record Company. I had distribution that I had set up and was shipping and selling records. I had a total of 7 artists that I was totally supporting, recording them and putting records out on them. I had 11 people working for me at one time. We were able to chart records in “Billboard” as well as all the other trade magazines like Cash Box, Record World etc and we were doing really well. Slowly but surely those times passed as the industry changed. Things that we were doing we could no longer do and I was spending more money than I was talking in. I gave all the artists contracts back to them and started doing sessions that the artist had to pay for. This was a totally different way of doing business and I had to adjust to it. I no longer had to reach in my pocket and pull out the money to pay for everything but the artists were doing it. We had great success doing business that way. It has carried us thru to this day October 2005 and enduring 30 years of successful business.
Door Knob Records has been in business for 35 years and is the oldest Independent Label in Nashville with over 104 Billboard Charted records to it credit. It has been 35 years of ups and downs but thru it all we are still in business and still charting records in MUSIC ROW and NEW MUSIC WEEKLY magazines, and an occasional BILLBOARD Magazine. (The latest being THE SADDAM STOMP by PAT GARRETT). If I were starting out today I don’t think I would try what I have done. You could not be successful in today’s market.
Auction at Doorknob Records
Friday Jan 31 and Saturday Feb 1, 2014
3950 North Mount Juliet Road
Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37122
In 1987 upon entering Ashland University, Joe majored in Radio and Television, spending the next three years studying and dreaming of a life in Nashville as a music professional. During his junior year, Joe discovered that his aunt and uncle were personal friends of Jim Foglesong, President of Capitol Records in Nashville. They wrote to Jim who agreed to help Joe once he arrived in Music City. A couple of months later, on a trip to Nashville for Spring Break, at a Nashville Cracker Barrel Restaurant Joe and his parents found themselves standing in front of Sam Lovullo, producer of the hit show “Hee Haw” and the actor George Lindsey. During their 30-minute wait, Sam agreed to meet with Joe and the next morning they did, backstage at the Grand Ole Opry complex where Sam promised Joe he’d help him when he made the move to Nashville.
That was all Joe needed; he dropped out of college and told his family he was headed to Nashville. His parents gave him a second-hand Coupe de Ville and $500 and said, “Go make a life!” Once in town, Joe rented an apartment, put on a sport coat, packed a stack of resumes in a briefcase and walked in every building on Music Row. He soon found himself working as a carpenter for the father of a college friend; it might not be the music business but he was in Nashville and had a job.
It wasn’t long before Joe received a phone call from Jim Foglesong who visited with him for over two hours and soon hired him at his new company, DPI Records, an independent label funded by a Texas Oil Barron. The president of the label was Mae Boren Axton, known as the “Queen Mother” in town and the writer of “Heartbreak Hotel” for Elvis Presley. Jim was head of A&R and Joe’s first assignment was to meet George Collier, the new Vice President of Sales and Marketing. For the next two years Joe was Boy Friday for all three and got the education of a lifetime.
When the Texan closed the label in 1992, Joe soon joined CDX, a bi-monthly, compilation service of all the major and independent record company’s new singles delivered to radio. At the helm was Paul Lovelace and the business was very successful. Paul became a major influence, mentor, and friend.
In 1996, Joe partnered with Roy and Glada Kelly and bought a country music nightclub in Ohio, using his Nashville contacts to run national acts through the club for over ten years. Some of the artists to appear in the club were Toby Keith, Joe Nichols, Blake Shelton, David Allan Coe, Confederate Railroad, The Kentucky Headhunters, Daryle Singletary, Lee Roy Parnell, Mark Wills, and many others. Joe Kelly’s music career was soaring.
In 1999, Joe was named Southeast Regional Director of Promotion at Intersound Country and Platinum Entertainment, where he controlled a seven-state area with sixty-two major radio markets promoting such artists as The Bellamy Brothers, Suzy Boggus, The Oak Ridge Boys, Earl Thomas Conley, T. Graham Brown, Roy Clark, Lynn Anderson, Billy Joe Royal, Jo-El Sonnier, Don Williams, Charlie Pride, Ronnie McDowell and many more.
Continuing to climb the ladder of success he joined Blue Diamond Records in 2001, as Vice President. He directed all label divisions, including A& R, marketing, promotion, sales, press and publicity. Joe achieved a top ten single and two top-twenty singles, charted all three releases on all three major reporting trade magazine charts. He planned and executed a 26-state, 50,000-mile radio tour travel plan. And in 2004, he and two partners launched their own, Aspirion Records Group, assuming the role of Vice President of National Promotion, collaborating on all label divisions, A&R, marketing, sales, press and publicity in the promotion of label-signed and distributed artists such as John Corbett, Joe Nichols, Collin Raye, T. Graham Brown, The Roys, Jo-el Sonnier, Don Williams and The Oak Ridge Boys. While at Aspirion, Joe successfully charted single releases on all three major reporting trade magazine charts and garnered over 88,000 spins of Aspirion Releases at the Music Row Panel in 2006.
Since 2007, Joe formed another company, Kelly Talent, an independent entertainment management/booking agency representing national acts such Mel McDaniel, David Ball, Earl Thomas Conley, T. Graham Brown, Eddy Raven, Daryle Singletary, Mike Aiken, The Sheagles and many others, secured bookings in national venues across the country, identified/targeted new locations for engagements and for some handles day to day personal management.
In 2011, Joe’s career came full circle when he rejoined CDX as Director of Marketing and Label Relations. Joe can be reached at (615)-292-0123 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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