Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Meet the Policy Day Panelists: Rick Carnes

Rick Carnes of SGA

Next up in our “Meet the Policy Day Panelists” series is Rick Carnes. Hailing from Nashville Tennessee, this multi-platinum selling songwriter is currently president of the Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) and has written tunes for Sony Music International, Elektra Asylum Music and Peer Music International. (He's also on the FMC advisory board.)

The Songwriters Guild of America was founded in 1931 with the mission to help advance, promote and benefit the profession of songwriters. SGA offers services for both the developing and professional songwriter, including online and offline classes, in-depth song evaluations, contract reviews, royalty collection, catalog administration and more.

Carnes’ calling kicked off when he narrowed his job choices down to schoolteacher, guitar player or wallpaper hanger. Naturally, he chose to hang wallpaper, which led to him meeting his wife Janice. The two began performing duets, which ultimately led to Rick becoming a hit songwriter. Not your typical vocational path, but what musical career is typical?

To date, Carnes has written Number One hits for Reba McEntire (“I Can’t Get the Blues No More”) and Garth Brooks (“Longneck Bottle”). His credits also include three Top Ten hits for the Whites, as well as songs written for Dean Martin, Alabama and Conway Twitty. All told, Carnes has helped to sell more than 20 million records with tunes he has either written or co-written.

On February 11, Carnes will participate in our D.C. Policy Day on a panel called “Copyright and Innovation in the Digital Age,” which also includes Zahavah Levine (Chief Counsel, YouTube),
Steve Marks (Executive VP and General Counsel, RIAA), (Hal Ponder Director of Government Relations, American Federation of Musicians), Gigi Sohn (President, Public Knowledge) and Walter McDonough (General Counsel, FMC).

If you’re a musician or songwriter wondering how technology and copyright law might impact your own career, you’ll definitely want to attend. And if you act now, you could get in for free — a limited number of musician scholarships are available. Click here to apply!

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