Our Song Did Well on Day One of the 2012 Songwriters Conference

I am a lucky and very grateful man. Songwriters fly in from around the world to come to this annual conference that just happens to be about 20 minutes away from my home.

It started off on Friday night with a Meet & Greet that included a bunch of talented songwriters performing their songs for the group.

Then four of us had a “Pickin’ Party” (as in guitar picking) in a hotel room. The other three had over 60 years of songwriting experience between them. I had less than 3, but was graciously accepted as a full member of the group. We had a ton of fun telling stories about our songwriting experiences, the genesis of the song ideas and how they morphed over time, and of course, we played and commented on many songs that we’d written. It was a most enjoyable evening.

Then today, the first day of the conference, was amazing. We got to hear many exceptional songs as music industry execs screened and critiqued songs. And we presented ours.

I only had one song to present this year but it fared well. One industry exec suggested a minor (probably a 2-line lyric change) and asked my collaborator Denis Loiseau and me to send the revised version to her. That’s considered a “pick-up.”

That pick-up means that all 6 of the songs that Denis and I co-wrote and pitched in the 3 conferences I’ve been to have been picked up by one or more music industry execs. I love that our record stayed intact again this year. I know that it is bragging, but I think that is quite a rare feat and as a newbie I’m quite proud of it.

But the news got even better. During the last session of the day, a Film and TV exec said he is actively looking for the types of songs that we presented to him. He enthusiastically picked up three songs including the one Denis and I worked on together. He plans to pitch them for possible inclusion on a TV music show for which he’s been asked to send possible songs in the next week or so, and said that if the show people are interested he would get back to us regarding terms sometime in the next two weeks.

So, our songs are going to be pitched for possible inclusion in a TV show. That’s a first for me. I’m very pleased that he liked them that much. And I’m quite realistic that every step of the way has a very high attrition rate, but I’ve got to admit that it would be cool to hear our song on TV and to see our names on the show’s song credits. Getting paid for it wouldn’t break my heart either, but it is the least of the reasons that I write songs.

Day one of the conference ended with a Sunset Concert where we got to hear 10 or 12 incredibly talented performers and songwriters put on a terrific show.

I’m looking forward to Day 2 of the 2 day conference tomorrow.

Thank you for your support and feedback regarding my latest song.


About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and the beauty of kindness and nature.
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29 Responses to Our Song Did Well on Day One of the 2012 Songwriters Conference

  1. billgncs says:

    wonderful news!

    this is really exciting, I always wanted to write lyrics for a song. It is neat to see someone living the dream, and read about how it happens.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Bill! It has ben a lot of fun. It’s not too late for you to start.I didn’t write my first song untl I was about 54. I’d be happy to give you feedback, suggestions, or pointers. But please keep in mind that I’ve only co-written 8 songs and am still a newbie. You are welcome to email me at russtowne@yahoo.com and we could arrange a time to have a phone call if you’d like.


      • billgncs says:

        thanks — I have lots of questions:

        did the music come first or the lyrics, or do they come together?

        • russtowne says:

          In my case, the lyric came first as I’m not a musician and can’t read a note of music. That’s one of the reasons I always work with a co-writer. The other reason is that I love the creative synergy that so often occurs when co-writing.

          Some songwriters start with a lyric idea and some with a music idea. At some point part-way through the process it is often good to start to mesh the two. In our case, I usully write the first draft of the lyric and then it’s off to the races. Many iterations later we sometimes have something we’re pleased with.

          Since music was like magic to me–and still is–I always assumed it was the hardest part of songwriting, but everyone with whom I’ve spoken says that lyric writing is much harder to do well. I guess that’s why senior songwriters want to work with me. Whatever the reason, I’m grateful!

          It’s time to get off my computer and headed to the conference.


  2. manty67 says:

    Wow, congrats on your success so far. Hope Day 2 is as good 🙂

  3. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Congratulations, Russ. It’s a great song. I hope it goes as well today!

  4. How exciting!! I can’t wait to hear what happens!!

  5. I am so thrilled for you….I’m going to send you my email address so if it is still possible you can send me a copy of the song ‘No More Secrets…No More Lies’ or whatever one you choose to. Perhaps I’m too late…and it’s okay if that’s the case…Diane

  6. Andrea Kelly says:

    What wonderful news! Congratulations! It’s always an honor to have something you’ve worked hard on and put a piece of yourself into be appreciated by others, I wouldn’t call that bragging, I’d call that excitement 🙂
    Keep us posted on what show it ends up in, if it makes it that far!
    I hope the rest of the conference goes just as well.

  7. Judy says:

    That is just wonderful news Russ. I am so excited for you. Congratulations 🙂

  8. mindfuldiary says:

    Well done Russ! 🙂 Hope your song makes it to the TV.

  9. What a respected talent! Our son writes music/lyrics also. This is VERY exciting! 🙂

  10. Rhonda says:

    You’ll always have this day. And what a day! Good for you both Russ.

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