Songwriting vs “songwriting”

Quote of the day, from Casual Observer:

If you’ve ever read a press release for a new album, you know that the challenge is to distinguish the project from all the others vying for shelf space at the local Christian bookstore. They do this by presenting a list of “bullet points” - a string of trivia type “sound bites” regarding the group, or the album itself, that will hopefully pique the curiosity of the store buyer or the consumer. Since most new projects lack an intriguing back-story, the PR person must rely on the group’s past accomplishments, song titles, and the obligatory list of those involved in the making of the album, to fill space and to create interest.

One tried-n-true selling point, that is intended to set a group apart from others, is the mention of one of the members involvement in the writing of the songs. In an industry of “singing heads” this provides and added dimension of artistry and authenticity that seems noteworthy. This is not lost on the fans. Of course, how could they miss it when the artists, themselves, trumpet that fact from the stage…night after night. “And now here’s another song that our bass singer, Brother Bloodbought, wrote in the back of the bus on the way to Tunica.” We all know that not even Obama writes his own stuff! So anyone who can sing AND write is naturally elevated to legend status among those who are easily impressed.

So yes, being a singer/songwriter has its advantages both real and perceived. But…the dirty little secret that you won’t hear about at The Singing News Fan Awards, is that Brother Bloodbought has never finished a song by himself. His producer is always nearby to put the finishing touches on his Tunica tunes.

I can still hear George and Glen…, “Now here’s a song that our own Ernie Haas wrote” (cue the track for “He Made a Change”). Did anyone ever hear them mention that Ernie Haas AND Joel Lindsey wrote that song together? Probably not. Ernie has even introduced it, himself, as a song he wrote. Joel’s name is conveniently left out, but those of us who know what Joel’s written over the years, and those of us who can’t name anything that Ernie’s written alone, know the score. And heck, while this can of worms is open, has anyone ever seen Jim Brady’s name on a song without Tony Wood’s and Barry Weeks’ names in tandem?

There may be some out there, but I bet you can count them on one hand. And yet, Jim is lauded as the Songwriter of the Year at this year’s Diamond Awards and he’s gaining a reputation just short of the second coming of Fanny Crosby throughout the industry. Tony Wood is a Dove Award winning writer with astounding credentials in both the CCM and Southern Gospel markets. He can, and has, written amazing songs by himself. Barry Weeks has been The Booth Brothers’ producer.

If it means getting a cut on a decent project, most songwriters will agree to write with any artist who will show up and do nothing more than serve coffee. Smart move on Barry’s part to introduce the artist he’s producing (Brady) to his award winning songwriter friend (Wood). As the conduit who brings the parties together, he gets a piece of the copyright pie by being in the room. But the “Tony Woods” of the writing world are not the ones the fans know about - so the “Jim Bradys” of the SG world will continue to be heralded as songwriting wonder boys. And now, as Paul Harvey would say…you know the REST of the story.

Not much to disagree with here. It’s often hard for ordinary fans to know or tell when the symbiosis  of collaboration between performers and bonafide writers ends and a more parasitic relationship of harvesting someone else’s writerly talent for a group’s PR begins. And this confusion is, to a large extent, by design. Of course as the reader notes, professional, non-performing songwriters allow this to happen to some degree (they must if they want to work), but the greater responsibility for this paradigm falls to those with the greater power.

Among other implications of Casual Observer’s analysis, it suggests that artists and labels have a vested interest in elevating the alleged “singer/songwriter” profile of group member/writers at the expense of giving adequate due from the stage to the professional writers and composers without whom many of the songs artists claim to “write” would never be written.

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Comments

  1. quartet-man wrote:

    Larry Gatlin once told about a song that he wrote that Barbra Streisand had recorded and wanted to release. She insisted on being a “cowriter” as to get half the publishing. Larry refused and said something to the effect of they would talk when she splits her money from her records with him. They didn’t release it. Later he kind of kicked himself knowing what royalties even half would be, but when he mentioned to her about how she had cut one of his songs but not released it, she said she never really liked how her recording of it turned out.

  2. gina wrote:

    On a similar note, I remember hearing a story about Elvis wanting to record ‘I Will Always Love You’ and Dolly declining due to some insistence that she sign away some of the rights. Maybe somebody else out there has the details on that?

  3. Kyle Boreing wrote:

    Elvis got co-author on a lot of his songs….yet he never wrote a single one.

  4. joe wrote:

    Jimmie Davis was notorious for doing this. He published some of Dottie Rambo’s earlier works and stuck his name on them as a co-writer. He did the same thing with Jack Campbell’s “I Know a Man Who Can.”

  5. natesings wrote:

    Speaking of The Booth Brothers, I saw them last night and Steve Ladd did an awesome job filling in. I’m sure that someone that never saw or heard anything about the BB’s would not have known he wasn’t a permanent member.

  6. Ed wrote:

    JD Sumner was notorious for hearing a song, buying the song for $25.00 and putting his name on it.

  7. Nate Stainbrook wrote:

    5. I agree the blend is incredible. Here is a link to a Video of him, singing with Ronnie and Jim.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0av0JBVneM

  8. Bob wrote:

    Wow. I get so tired of industry wanna-bes thinking they know the ’score’ about things they have no clue.

    Avery - get back to writing your own stuff. i get so tired of you blowing others smoke up our collective asses.

    I know almost everyone mentioned in that article, and in one case for sure - it couldn’t be more wrong.

    Stop with the conjecture - get back to commentary.

  9. Casual Observer wrote:

    Bob - first of all, I’m extremely flattered that you think my writing comes close to Avery’s - but you’re wrong - he has no need to hide behind a pseudonym - he pretty much hangs it all out there under his own name. And second of all, I work in this industry along side everyone whose name I mentioned. I know that of which I speak - personally. Chill.

  10. Wade wrote:

    Bob… yeah come on here blowing your smoke when you have a big enough set to say who you really are. Besides the OTHER bloggers trying to get a ride off of Averyfineline there are precious few others who have a big enough sack to say who they really are.

    I’d say coming OUT on his own blog qualifies as HANGING it ALL OUT and Dr. DH takes the heat and allows some stuff to go up that amazes me sometimes… but THAT is WHY we are all here!!

    On that note add me as your friend on facebook… mine are big enough and I have taken the hits for it… but it is better than being a SKEERED!!

  11. LS wrote:

    I just got the new Booth Brothers CD last night…”I Have an Anchor” is written by Jim Brady, and ONLY Jim Brady, and yes, it’s a great song! By the way, how many songs have you written (or co-written)?

  12. Not so fast, Casual wrote:

    “Smart move on Barry’s part to introduce the artist he’s producing (Brady) to his award winning songwriter friend (Wood). As the conduit who brings the parties together, he gets a piece of the copyright pie by being in the room.”

    That statement seems to suggest that Barry is just “in the room” when a song is written. That is a completely false implication. Barry is a writer in his own right, and yes, he’s smart to be part of that writing trio. But to get down to specifics, Tony is a brilliant lyricist above all, and Barry is stronger on the music end — so together they provide a good balance if they write with any artist.

    P.S. For the record, I’m not Jim, I’m not Barry, I’m not Tony, and I’m not related to any of them.

  13. cdguy wrote:

    Bob, Casual Observer is right. A lot of what the singer/songwriter gets credit for was written more by the collaborator than by the artist. But conversely, there are producers who add their names to the writing credits, just because they produced the song, and thereby made it sound better than it originally was.

    The producer may have altered very little (may be a word or two here and there, or a couple of chord progressions), but that shouldn’t always qualify as co-writing. That’s just part of producing, which is making the best recording possible with the songs and artists that are involved.

    I know of one arranger/producer who was quite prominent in the 70’s & 80’s, that would change a word or 2 in the studio, and NEVER take credit. In fact, one singer/songwriter told me about an argument he had with said producer over a lyric change. The producer won the battle, and years later the writer stated the change was SO right, he couldn’t remember the old lyric.

    I guess it depends on how much the producer thinks his changes are worth, and/or how greedy he/she is.

  14. Casual Observer wrote:

    LS (#11) - I said you could probably count them on one hand - so there’s one…

    I’m honestly not anti-Jim Brady. I just don’t think there’s enough depth to his writing experience to merit a Songwriter of the Year nod. He benefits greatly from his cowriting relationships and his heightened profile as a member of one of the hottest groups out there….that’s all I’m saying.

  15. Sensible wrote:

    I worked for a guy who would not record any song unless he got the publishing. He never took songwriter credit, but he got the publishing or it did not get recorded. He passed big songs just because he did not get publishing.

    Second, there’s another guy in this industry who might just arrange or re-write one or two words. He will publish it, call himself the co-writer, and take all the credit. One song even got song of the year, and he alone stood on NQC stage with the group and took the credit. He briefly mentioned the other writer.

  16. Casual Observer wrote:

    (#12) I really didn’t mean to diminish Barry Weeks’ roll - I only meant to say that, since he was, apparently, the go-between, he didn’t necessarily have to contribute - just showing up counts when it comes to collaboration. All you really need is one legitimate writer and the song WILL turn out well. But having said that, I believe that Barry is a formidable musician and producer and I’m sure that his contributions are a vital component of any song he’s involved in. I love what he’s done with Brian Free & Assurance.

  17. Doug Sword wrote:

    In the interest of fairness, the first time I heard George introduce “He Made a Change”, he said the song was written by Ernie and Joel Lindsey. Additionally, he made the same acknowledgement at the NQC.

  18. Not so fast, Casual wrote:

    Casual:
    “All you really need is one legitimate writer and the song WILL turn out well.”

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    It depends on the forcefulness of the personalities involved. For example, if one of the writers in the room (especially the artist) cannot be dissuaded from a bad idea/hook, it’s pretty tough to finish with a good song.

  19. Casual Observer wrote:

    “Not So Fast” (#18) - You’re absolutely right. One of the perils of writing with less experienced writers is that they easily become defensive and don’t understand the art of give-and-take necessary in that environment - especially if they are writing it for their own album. You can’t build a strong song on a weak premise. In that situation the more experienced writer would either make the best of a bad situation and end up with a guaranteed cut of lackluster song, or they would reach an impass and the song would simply not be written. Everyone’s reputation is at stake and no professional songwriter wants his/her name forever linked with “a dog”

  20. Not so fast, Casual wrote:

    And SOMETIMES, the song written with the artist doesn’t make it onto the artist’s project(s).

    If it’s a loser song, that’s good; the writers’ reputations may survive intact. If it’s a good song, it still may never be cut, because many people will assume “If the song had been great, the artist would have recorded it personally.” Writing is a risky business.

  21. mark forester wrote:

    I have known Jim for 30 years. I have been a close family friend….and by that I mean more than just having spoke with him once at a concert……I KNOW him.

    To mr. know it all casual observer and others:

    You want a list of Jim’s songs? You want to know how many he has written by himself?

    There are 26 on this list that I know for sure he wrote by himself. Other’s I am not positive so I wont add them. Many he has co-written. trust me……there is a REASON he is listed first on the mechanical license.

    He DOES co-write alot. So does/did Gaither.

    26….you asked for one….I count 26 out of this long list.

    I have been recording his songs for 15 years. I’ve written enough checks to him to know how many songs he writes. He is much more than the “name” being used here. I have had the chance to sing for the last 4 years a song of his that no one else has sung. The Hoppers just cut it so you will be hearing this mega hit real soon.

    Here you go:

    Ark Of Safety
    As Long As We All Worship Him
    Blessed
    Because Of You
    Be Not Weary
    Cool Water
    Compatible
    Consuming Fire
    Cover Me
    Climb The Highest Mountain
    Can’t Believe (I Didn’t Believe)
    Don’t Let Me Lose Sight
    Don’t Ever Miss The Chance
    Eyes Of Heaven
    Earth Holds No Sorrow (That Heaven Can’t Mend)
    Feel Your Touch Again
    Faithful One
    Fast Lane
    First Day Home
    Good To Me
    God’s Outstretched Hand
    Glory Flight
    Give You Praise
    He’s Living Today
    He Made A Change
    Have No Fear
    Hands Of Grace
    Hold On
    He Remembers To Forget
    Held By Hope
    Hello After Goodbye
    I Have An Anchor
    I’m Gonna Walk
    I Will Survive
    I Belong To You
    It Takes Faith
    I’m So Amazed
    I’d Still Walk With Jesus
    I’ve Enjoyed The Journey
    I Keep Looking Up
    I’m Gonna Sing
    Jubilee
    Just As I Am
    Knowing You
    Look To The Savior
    Livin’ A Dream
    Live Until I Die
    Love Has No Limits
    Let It Be Known
    Light Of A Brighter Day
    Legacy
    Love Came Down
    Livin’ For The Moment
    Love And Grace
    Mountain Mover
    Move My Heart Again
    My Sister
    Never Let You Go
    Never A Doubt
    On My Way
    One Moment With You
    Once And For All
    Promise Made
    Pathway Built For Two
    Peace In The Shelter
    Point The To Calvary
    River In The Rain
    Stand
    Standing Tall
    Sooner Than You Think
    Song Of My Life
    Spread Your Wings
    Stuff Of Life
    Tell Me The Story Again
    That Same God
    The Greatest Wonder
    The Half That’s Never Been Told
    There Is A Fountain
    There You Are
    There’s Nothing God Can’t Do
    Together In Love
    Truth Is Marching On
    Testify
    The Sun Will Shine Again
    Turn The Tide
    That’s All
    Turn Around
    Unexpected Love
    Welcome To The Family
    Windows Of Heaven
    What Love Has Grown
    Wake Up Christian
    Why
    Well Of Life
    Willingly
    When I Can’t See
    Will You Be The One
    When He Saved Me
    When Jesus Prays
    You Saved Me
    You Are
    You’re The One
    You Can Still Find Forgiveness

  22. Casual Observer wrote:

    Mark Forester (#21) - I admire your loyalty and friendship to Jim. He’s fortunate to have you in his corner. As I said in post #14, I have nothing against Jim or his writing. However, I do wish you would have only listed the songs he wrote by himself so we could see if any of them were widely recognizable. I have no doubt that he is developing into a fine writer over time. But 26 songs does not, in and of itself, constitute a Writer of the Year candidate. There are people who write that many songs each month, and yet they will not benefit like Jim has from his notoriety and associations. It’s not Jim’s fault - it’s just a fact of business. I say go for it if you can get it.

  23. Casual Observer wrote:

    And FYI #21 - writers are not listed on Mechanical License in order of their importance or contribution. His name likely appears first because it begins with a “B”

  24. mark forester wrote:

    Well….let’s see. I mentioned he has written 26 of those songs by himself. Your comment is that some writers write that many in a month. I am sure they are amazing songs too. hilarious.

    As far as royalties…..I am fully aware of who is getting the largest cut of the publishing. I know whereof I speak sir.

    I am not going to bother to go thru the list of songs so you can see ” if any of the are widely recognizable”…..that would be silly since you are only a “casual observer” and therefore would not know much about this sort of thing anyway.

    Jim just texted me to say he would respond but he is in the studio cutting a demo for a song he just wrote……seriously…..he did.

  25. AnnD wrote:

    This is really weird…if a writer agrees to share a song with a co-writer, then why should it bother anyone else????? lol lol lol. AD

  26. Bob wrote:

    Well,

    I have had enough of this nonsense and the internet as a whole.

    Only on a faceless apparatus such as this can people sling anonymous drivel towards people.

    You apparently don’t like Jim. You don’t know Jim. Jim could have been in the ‘limelight’ many years before he joined the Booth’s - but chose not to. He was singing with his family (which by the way was far more dynamite than ANYTHING he has done since) and he was happy to continue.

    Everyone just shut up. This is ridiculous.

    PS…I am who I say I am. My name is Bob. People call me Bob. My drivers license says “Robert” but that’s only because my Mom call me that when she’s angry - admittely it’s been at least 20 years since she’s done that - getting married and having a family will do that to someone. Maybe you should try it.

  27. mark forester wrote:

    Ok….I did some digging in my cd library. I am sure this is a very incomplete list.

    Maybe I am making too big a deal about this. I just didn’t like the slant or tone of this post at all.

    Jim Brady has told me many times that he has done a lot of co-writing lately because of the opportunities to write with some great writers. His passion is to fill the gospel music industry with great songs. On many occasions he has pitched songs that he did not write or publish simply because they were great songs and he felt they needed to be heard.

    Some of Jim Brady’s recorded songs not co-written with Tony Wood and Barry Weeks.

    Written By Jim Brady
    Peace In The Shelter Recorded by The Booth Brothers
    Don’t Let Me Lose Sight Recorded by The Booth Brothers
    I Have An Anchor Recorded by The Booth Brothers / Ivan Parker / Chosen Few
    He’s Living Today Recorded by The Whisnants
    When I Can’t See Recorded by The Whisnants / Forester’s
    Because Of You Recorded by Curt Davis
    Move My Heart Again Recorded by The Shulers / Curt Davis / McKloskey’s
    Livin’ A Dream Recorded by Jim and Melissa Brady
    Together In Love Recorded by Jim and Melissa Brady
    Never Let You Go Recorded by Jim Brady
    To Know You More Recorded by Jim Brady
    My Sister Recorded by Jim Brady
    I’d Still Walk With Jesus Recorded by The Rochesters / The Shulers
    Ark Of Safety Recorded by The Shulers
    Nothing God Can’t Do Recorded by The Shulers
    Feel Your Touch Again Recorded by The Shulers
    You Can Still Find Forgiveness Recorded by The Shulers
    There Is A Fountain Recorded by The Shulers
    Cool Water Recorded by The Shulers
    Look To The Savior Recored by The Northams
    Have No Fear Recorded by Melissa Brady
    God’s Outstretched Hand Recorded by New Life Trio
    He Made A Change Recorded by New Life Trio
    Glory Flight Recorded by The Brady Family
    Point Them To Calvary Recorded by The Brady Family
    Earth Holds No Sorrow (That Heaven Can’t Mend) Recorded by The Brady Family
    Jubilee Recorded by The Brady Family
    Will You Be The One Recorded by The Brady Family
    Tell Me The Story Again Recorded by The Brady Family
    What A Savior We Serve Recorded by The Brady Family
    One Moment With You Recorded by The Foresters
    I’m Going Home Recorded by Paul Lancaster

    Written By Jim Brady / Melissa Brady
    Well Of Life Recorded by The Booth Brothers
    I’ve Enjoyed The Journey Recorded by Ivan Parker
    Sooner Than You Think Recorded by The Beene Family
    Don’t Ever Miss The Chance Recorded by Jim Brady / Shiloh
    Why Recorded by The Northams
    The Greatest Wonder Recorded by The Shulers
    That Same God Recorded by The Shulers
    Unexpected Love Recorded by Jim And Melissa Brady
    You’re The One Recorded by Jim And Melissa Brady
    Compatible Recorded by Jim And Melissa Brady

    Written By Jim Brady / Melissa Brady / Sue Shuler
    Willingly Recorded by The Hayes Family

    Written by Jim Brady / Melissa Brady / Tony Turner
    I’m Gonna Walk Recorded by Mended Wings

    Written by Jim Brady / Phil Cross
    When He Saved Me Recorded by The Booth Brothers
    Pathway Built For Two Recorded by The Hoppers
    Knowing You Recorded by Voices Won

    Written by Jim Brady / Melissa Brady / Greg Day / Philip Robinson
    There You Are Recorded By The Ruppes

    Written by Jim Brady / Rodney Griffin
    The Half That’s Never Been Told Recorded by The Booth Brothers
    Love And Grace Recorded by The Booth Brothers

    OK. I have spent enough time on this and I think a blind man could see the point here.

  28. Casual Observer wrote:

    (#24) Mark, you’re seriously not doing your friend any favors by continuing to make statements like this. I’m guessing he would be embarrassed to read what you’re writing. I’ve personally co-written hundreds - MANY hundreds - of songs and, with only one or two exceptions, the percentages have always been split evenly. That is standard procedure in our industry. If JB is regularly getting a larger percentage than his cowriters - for whatever reason - then there’s a serious problem. I think you would do well to stop commenting beyond your realm of knowledge.

  29. Bryce wrote:

    Casual Observer wrote:

    And FYI #21 - writers are not listed on Mechanical License in order of their importance or contribution. His name likely appears first because it begins with a “B”

    That’s not always true. I have a mechanical license in my possession. My name is listed second and would be in first position alphabetically if subject to the above criteria.

  30. RDB wrote:

    For the folks who think this doesn’t count as good commentary, I’m voting against you. I’m quite happy to read posts about music, less enthusiastic when other, um, off-topic stuff is discussed. So I’m a fan.

    As far as songwriting is concerned, we need to be careful not to be too hard on those performers whose talents as songwriters need buffering from other full-time writers. Sure they need help.

    The real sin isn’t so much performer/song-writers getting too much credit as it is that the full-time songwriters who don’t perform not getting enough, or any credit. Take the time to go through the song-writing credits on albums and take note of the non-performer names that keep popping up. If only enough people would do this we might see a full-time songwriter non-performer getting a much-deserved “songwriter of the year” award. Alas, visibility seems to be the criteria that carries the day.

  31. RDB wrote:

    Hmmm, maybe Rodney Griffin should co-write more often. I’d have to check, but I don’t think he does that much . . .

  32. cynical one wrote:

    The singer/songwriter isn’t always cutting his own songs, just because he’s greedy or egotistical. Often, it’s purely a matter of feeling strongly about a message, and he can’t find a song that speaks to that issue. And sometimes he knows he’s not strong enough on his own, and solicits co-writing from his producer, or asks his producer to recommend a co-writer.

    Or he may have a set of lyrics he’s written, but isn’t happy with the tune. Or vice versa. Look at Mark Lowry’s “Mary Did You Know”.

    Some things in this industry MAY be on the up-and-up.

  33. mark forester wrote:

    Casual…..Im not interested in discussing Jim anymore…..said my piece.

    I do want to address the fact that you think that there is always an even split of royalties/publishing. It does happen and it is often negotiated. and being one in SG who actually PAYS royalties….It is within my realm of understanding.

    I am done now. Have a nice day.

  34. Casual Observer wrote:

    #33 - Mark, I have immense respect for you because you pay your royalties - may your tribe increase! Royalty percentage calculation is a complex matter. While it may appear that you’re paying one person more than another, keep in mind that one writer might actually own all of his own publishing, while another writer might have a co-publishing situation, or might not own any of their publishing. So if you owe $100 total royalties for a song, you might be paying writer A $50 while you’re paying Writer B $25 and a separate publishing company $25. Many writers in our industry own only half of their publishing while most own none of their publishing - their publisher receives all of if and distributes the writer’s portion to them at a later time. It’s complicated. But enough of that - I’m with you…I don’t want to discuss any of this anymore. God speed, my friend.

  35. Nashville Phil wrote:

    Mark,

    Are you the same Mark Forester that is based out of Flint Michigan? The same guy that scams folks to join your Army?

    http://www.markandandreamusic.com/army

    The same cat that screws wannabe Gospel Artists out of their money, to give them a “Album”, in Jesus name?

    If so, your reputation proceeds you. Yep, Nashville knows of you.

  36. mark forester wrote:

    Phil. You are a funny man. give us a link to you so we can have a real discussion.

  37. Wade wrote:

    Nashville Phil…

    Just love it when SOMEONE ELSE CALLS BS on somebody!!! lol

    Sign me up for the Army and a PROJECT!!! lollolollo

    That’s as funny as cdguys post about EH on the other thread!!

    Come on Mark you been having a discussion about everybody else on here… let’s be like our new president and be transparent!!! or NOT!!!

    Is it NOT REAL ALL OF A SUDDEN when some one calls BS on YOU?!?!?!

    Don’t want to go run and hide now. If what you are doing is real… let keep it right here!!! But don’t paste stuff from your sad site. I am sure you have ppl running from here to sign up for THE ARMY for ONLY $5 a month… and I am sure you want it monthly so you can PRAY MORE For THEM on a consistent basis.

    So you mean to tell me if I sent ya $200 as a one time LOVE GIFT you would not pray for me SPECIAL every month???

    LoL;-)))

    Just another blogasite as in para!!!

    Least Dr. DH labels his a BLEG every now and then!!!

    Call it what it is… a BSaSITE!!!

  38. mark forester wrote:

    Wade…You are making no sense. You think I posted Phil’s comments? Um…no. I’m not in the buisness of trashing myself.

    Also….poeple don’t send $5 for ME to pray for them. We have a small group of people who support US through finances and prayer each month. (just like most other groups) I will pray for you Wade…for free! You need to learn to comprehend when you read. I have no clue how you got that out of from that page.

    As for a recording…..call me! I can help you. I am very good with autotune!

  39. mark forester wrote:

    I had not posted here in emxactly a year. It was about a year ago I posted something and got roasted by someone with with an agenda.

    Nashville Phil ( who is no closer to Nashville than I am) used the name smarterthanyou last year.

    I truly have no idea why this person is so vindictive as to sit a year waiting for me to to post so he can instantly slam me. I thought EVERYONE loved me! lol

    I do want to say that if I have done something to hurt, offend, or misuse nashvillephil/smarterthanyou in any way, I would like to offer an apology. I said this last year when he attacked me…..If you would be willing to call, write, email or visit I would do whatever I could to make it right. Obviously you have a serious problem with me for some reason and if you are a brother in Christ, let’s deal with it.

    Here you go:

    Mark Forester
    P.O Box 190152
    Burton, MI 48519
    www.markandandreamusic.com
    markforestermusic@yahoo.com
    586.873.0480

    Now you can reach me and we can resolve whatever your issue is.

  40. Nashville Phil wrote:

    Mark,

    Do you know what happens when you assume? I am in Nashville. I have been here in the Music Industry for over 20 years(Not SG).

    Further, I don’t know anything about “Smarter Than You”. My guess is though, they probably are. I have never made any comment to or about you til this thread.

    My only problem regarding you is your self-rightousness. I called you out because you are a Con-Artist(well maybe not an Artist) using the medium of Christianity as your weapon. Here in Nashville, we refer to your kind as SHARKS!

    Some folks put their foot in their mouths, It appears that you swallowed your whole leg. Do yourself a favor…Clam up.

  41. mark forester wrote:

    Ok Nashville Phil,

    Here is a simple test for you. Complete the test and I will mail you $50.

    Name 3 projects I have produced (other than my own)and I will send you $50.

    2 problems:

    1. you can’t
    2. you would have to identify yourself

  42. Nashville Phil wrote:

    Mark,
    Sooo, how does your other leg taste? Really, your responses are pathetic.

    My experience has been that Cons have no defense to allegations…Much like you.

    Your response to Wade cracks me up! Perhaps, “You need to learn to comprehend when you read”. You seem unable to comprehend what Wade said.

    As to your $50.00 offer; What would the “Army” think about you taking 10 folks “donations” and sending it to me? Gosh, I make plenty enough to support myself. Besides…You must need it, with all that begging you do.

    Let me add, I am not interested enough in you, to research the wannabes whom you’ve scammed. And, the fine Doc here has given you your 15 minutes…Let us move on.

  43. mark forester wrote:

    Ok Phil. You have shown to be what you are. Someone who gets little glory thrills out of ripping someone without saying who you are.

    I am so hurt and wounded by this that I am going to have to shut myself up in the basement and hide my face from the world. You have destroyed me and I may never recover. LOL

    I guess I will have to go the rest of my life knowing that someone who calls themselves Nashville Phil doesn’t like me.

    My only prayer is that somehow my hot wife, awesome kids, full schedule, great studio, new house, littany of friends, full head of hair (i’m fat so that’s all I have) and the fact that I once shook Bill Gaither’s hand will get me thru this trial of Phil not liking me.

    I ask that everyone else will pray that I get through the trial of Phil not liking me.

    Bye,bye……

  44. Larry The Cable Guy wrote:

    Hot Wife! Now that’s funny right there!
    Git er Done!

  45. CWG wrote:

    Mark - let it go brother

  46. Wade wrote:

    Nashville Phil… yeah Mark did say he would not use any of the Army $$$ for promotional purposes to raise more money. So we both comprehended that fine.

    One big problem with ppl like Mark is some of THE BIGGEST NAMES in SGM do the same thing taking ppl’s money to produce projects and giving them the FALSE HOPE of MAKING IT!!!

    One of them is very similar to Mark as in he recently had to EAT it and did not have the sack to stand by what he had written. I still can’t believe somebody like M. Gamble did not have the nuts to keep up what he had written in his OWN BLOG!!!

    What made his blog so bad it is looks SOOO much like this one I would be ashamed to call it my own. Atleast the other blogasites LOOK DIFFERENT!!!

    YOUR AD COULD BE HERE!!! lol;-)))

    Mark give us a break… we all know you could not go a YEAR with out posting. You seem to know an MUCH about posting under cover.

    Although you are so silly to make your HOT WIFE COMMENT, which would make her fair game. I am not going to GO THERE!!! She probably did not know she was marrying such an idiot!!

    TRY going 2 years this time!!!

  47. Brett wrote:

    If truth be told God writes the song which beats every human writer.

  48. Joel Lindsey wrote:

    Well, obviously this thread took a turn for the worst before I had chance to read it and respond so my comments may be a bit off-track from the most recent. But here goes….

    Instead of wondering if Jim Brady is worthy of a songwriting award or not, shouldn’t we be asking why Barry Weeks and Tony Wood aren’t nominated right in there with him? Seems to me that the fault here is simply the ignorance/negligence of the people who produce the award shows because if the songs that Jim has gotten the most recognition for was written with the other two guys, why couldn’t you just give the award to the three of them? Unorthodox, perhaps, but a little more honest and ethical, it seems. Now I understand the average joe just wants to see his favorite gospel star up there on stage, and I understand that award shows are more about the show than the award, but still it seems to put all three up there would solve all the problems.

  49. LS wrote:

    Joel…How dare you try to bring courtesy and common sense to this thread?! We’re enjoying the knock-down, drag-out, steel-cage match in progress!

    Now run for cover before they start attacking you. You’re too nice to get mixed up in this mess.

  50. Wade wrote:

    Joel is nice… probably one of the nicest guys in the biz… if he was a OUT THERE and had an army like Mark more ppl would know his name and deservedly so!!!

    Joel should get MORE AWARDS!!!

  51. RDB wrote:

    Joel . . . thanks for adding a little sense to this brainless brawling that seems to have taken over. Maybe someone with a little knowledge of the industry and analytical abilities can evaluate the pros and cons of such a notion?

    Time for the moderator to knock some heads together or turn off some microphones . . .

  52. RDB wrote:

    Oh, btw, I’m not suggesting Joel Lindsey doesn’t have knowledge of the industry or analytical abilities. In case someone was wondering.

  53. apathetic wrote:

    A dog was sitting on one side of his fenced in yard. Along came a skunk who teased the dog. The dog knew he had the ability to jump the fence and rip the skunk apart, but wondered to himself, “is my little victory really worth all of the stink?”

  54. cdguy wrote:

    The problem with including the co-writers is that the award is not supposed to be for just a song or three. It’s supposed to be for a body of work. So the people who are nominating name the writers they know, and quite often, that’s going to naturally be a performer, not someone who’s primarily “behind the scenes.”

    And that really doesn’t have anything to do with the people who produce the awards shows, it’s human nature.

    Perhaps there should be 2 different categories: Songwriter - performing, and Songwriter - non-performing. It seems like I’ve seen something like that somewhere (maybe a musicians’ award in other genre?).

    That might get some deserved attention to some other writers.

  55. cynical one wrote:

    If God gave these songs to all our Christian songwriters, how many give all their royalties to their church, or give the statue to the church.

    Oh, I think I hear the sound of a can opening. That would be a can of worms.

    I know I’ll get people up in arms over that ugly comment.

  56. cynical one wrote:

    #53 apathetic — what are you trying to say? We raise a lot of stink on here?

  57. Bones wrote:

    I sure will never go see Mark Forester.

  58. Derek wrote:

    I know in Country music they have a “Single of the year” where the award goes to the artist…then there’s a “Song of the year” where the award goes to the writer(s)…all of ‘em. Maybe SG should stick to the same m-o…and drop the “songwriter” category…thus eliminating this type of fiasco. Otherwise, these other guys will have to get more Singing News ubscriptions! ;o)

  59. Casual Observer wrote:

    #55 (Cynical One) - I cringe every time I hear a songwriter claiming that “God gave them a song” - mainly because, the ones who proclaim it the most adamantly are the worst writers. Mark Lowry used to reply to that statement with, “I’m sure God did give it to you - He certainly didn’t want it.” Having said that, I know what people mean when they make that statement, but they are just not thinking it through. I had one guy send me the most awful song I’d ever heard and prefaced it with (and I quote) “God gave me this in the throne room” (I could only assume he wasn’t referring to the toilet!) I know that God gives us all the ability to create because we’re created in The Creator’s image. And I don’t discount God’s ability to steer our hearts and minds in certain directions - if we keep them stayed upon Him. And of course, “Every good and perfect gift” comes from The Lord. But when you say that God GAVE you a song, you’re basically saying that you had an experience equivalent to that of Moses receiving The Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai. I believe that we have all the direct revelation from God that we need or will ever receive. It’s called The Bible. Inspiration and revelation are two different things. For someone to suggest that God is dictating new information to them, by way of a song, is nothing short of heresy. The Book of Revelation pronounces a stern warning against those who would add to, or take away from, God’s Word. I suppose it’s a nod to modesty that they don’t want credit for the song themselves, but I do wish people would think before they speak. So much REALLY bad stuff is being blamed on God - I know God, and trust me….He could do better. I suppose that, if you follow their logic, those people should surrender all their royalties to the church. But, in a broader sense, God gives each of us the strength to get out of the bed in the morning and the breath of life to sustain us through whatever work our hands find to do - so really, it’s all FROM Him and FOR Him. We’re just temporary caretakers. He owns it all.

  60. scope wrote:

    Good to hear from you Joel. You brought some much needed sanity. BTW, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a really great song, and thought “that must be one of Joel’s.” Most of the time I am right. There is such a wonderful quality to your work. You will always be one of my favorite songwriters.

  61. apathetic wrote:

    #56 - that’s exactly what I’m saying. A little stink is interesting, but this much stink for no victory…..not so much.

  62. Rita Stacy wrote:

    MARK FORESTER IS THE REAL DEAL!!!
    We love and support Marks family.
    If you dont see Mark, then you can’t
    judge for yourself, he has a very large
    following!
    Keep up the good work!
    Rita Stacy

  63. Brian wrote:

    Casual Observer, there’s a big difference between someone who says “God gave them a song”, which I’ve heard many times, and someone who claims they had some kind of revelation and are, as you said “dictating new information to them”. I’ve never heard of the latter. I just thought you were kinda painting with a broad brush there.

    Really, God gives us everything we have, including songs if He gives us that ability. That’s not heresy…that’s the truth.

  64. Casual Observer wrote:

    Brian (63) - Re-read my post, especially the last line, and you’ll see that you’ve basically restated what I’ve already said. And I stated that I understand what people MEAN to say…it’s just that they need to rethink HOW they say it, because taken literally, it does border on heresy.

  65. Bones wrote:

    Remember J.D. said “if God gave you that song, you need to give it back.”

  66. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Wade,
    You know…you could buy my ad space, and then you wouldn’t have to look at it. :o)

    Regarding the Songwriter category of the Fan Awards, I have said for several years that those nominees should be determined by the votes in the Song category. If fans had a push in the right direction, a non-artist might have a chance at winning.

  67. Wade wrote:

    DBM… if there is something I thought I could sell I would!! If get a gig I am working on selling Health Insurance to Self Employed PPl we might be in biz… but then i would miss… YOUR AD HERE!! ;-)))

    Thanks DBM for not being as thinned skinned as many of these ppl!!

  68. chuck stevens wrote:

    One of my duties at Cox Radio here in Tulsa is hosting a Gospel show on Sunday mornings. Joel, thank you for so many great songs. I am a fan. I always look to see who the wirter is. And i mention it most times on the air. Your music can be fun and quartet like and the next cut so deep. Thank you for quality songs. We need more writers like Joel. Keep the great songs coming, and thank you for checking in here.

  69. Barry Weeks wrote:

    Casual Observer, I don;t know who you are, but trust me. Jim Brady is a brilliant writer. Many of the ideas of the songs we’ve written together we’re Jim’s ideas. And, he has a big part in all of the songs. I just spoke to Tony about this and he says and feels exactly the same way. Sorry to bust your bubble “Who ever you are” but next time maybe try to not speak as such an authority about something you know nothing about.

  70. Casual Observer wrote:

    Barry - of course I don’t know the level Jim’s participation in the songs you guys have cowritten - but that was not really my point. My point was, and is…the “Jim Brady’s” of our industry benefit greatly from writing with the “Tony Wood’s” and “Barry Weeks” of our business. And yet, you and Tony remain relatively unnoticed by the fan base. As I said earlier, that’s not really Jim’s fault. It just goes with the turf. But I do think that the NQC could help remedy this inequity by creating 2 separate songwriter awards (performer and non-performer), or by basing the songwriter awards on the Song of the Year authors. I’m sure Jim is a talented writer, but I don’t think you can begin to compare him to someone like Tony Wood who spends every day of his life writing songs.

  71. Sadie Sidewalker wrote:

    It seems to me that, in the naming of names, Casual Observer’s very valid points have been lost: It doesn’t matter how much Jim Brady did or didn’t write on the songs….the point is that the only songs of his that have had any true recognition are the songs written with Barry Weaks and Tony Wood. So, in other words, he’s getting songwriting awards because he’s an artist, not because he’s a songwriter.

    Am I wrong?

  72. cynical one wrote:

    Maybe the writers understand these awards have no eternal value, so it really doesn’t matter, in the over all scheme of things.

    I hope no one thinks God sits on His throne, rooting for one writer or artist over another, when the little trophies are passed out.

  73. Wade wrote:

    Cynical1…we are all God’s Children… he’s is our GREAT BIG SUPERNATURAL DADDY!!! He ROOTS for all of us just like you do your kids if you have any!!!

  74. cynical one wrote:

    But He doesn’t root for one over the other. If both of my kids are running a marathon, I’m not going to hope one will beat the other. I KNOW one will beat the other, but I’m going to be proud of both, if they both do their best. I’d like to think God is the same way: He’s proud of all writers who are truly doing what He wants them to do, whether they receive the accolades or not.

    I really think he’d want us to remember that these trophies are temporal, and that they really don’t matter, in the eternal. And that maybe they shouldn’t matter as much here, either.

    I suspect some of the writers in question understand that better than most the rest of us.

    And to be honest, they matter to a much smaller group of people than many performers, writers, executives, etc, would like to believe. Otherwise, you’d be able to watch SN Fan Awards on NBC or CBS, or at least CMT, instead of a really lousy internet feed.

  75. Wade wrote:

    lollol… cynical1… you are too funny!!

  76. Jonathan wrote:

    When people come to realize it’s about doing the right thing with the right heart and for the right reason, we would be in a whole lot better shape.

  77. Sadie Sidewalker wrote:

    Jonathan, my life revolves around working with songwriters who do what they do, tirelessly, for little (and sometimes no) money. For the most part, they receive very little recognition for their work so for you to imply that they DON’T write their songs for the right reasons is really unfair.

  78. cynical one wrote:

    Sadie, I took Jonathan’s remarks directly the opposite: That most in our industry DO write for the right reasons, and with the right heart, but not everyone who watches from a distance understands that.

    I think there are a lot of fans that think sg songwriting is a lucrative business. FAR from the truth, and you alluded.

  79. Ken Hughey wrote:

    Tonight, I came into this room for the first time. I couldn’t believe the bickering going back and forth about song writing. I have been active in all phases of Southern Gospel Music since 1955. I also know Jim Brady and Mike & Ronnie Booth very well. There is absolutely no reason to debase the character of Jim Brady. The most that needs to be said about any song (regardless of who writes or sings it) is that it either does or doesn’t honor and glorify the name of Jesus. The holy Spirit inspired the writings of our Bible. Likewise, it inspires the writing of the great songs of our trade. “Nuf said.

    Ken Hughey

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