Variety (Oct 1948)

Record Details:

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We<lneB<lay, October 6, 1948 ORCHESTnA-MIJSIC 89 MEDIUM BAND NAMES GO BEGGING NBC Stirs Music Industry on Request For Free Use of Material on Video NBC has stirred up a hornet's + nest with its recent request, through music publisher trustee Harry Fox, for free licenses to re- . broadcast copyrighted music used on television shows. NBC asked that since full networks are not available to carry video shows, it be enabled to film shows which used copyrighted material, for "de- layed broadcasts" by affiliated sta- tions in other parts of the country. Fox relayed the net's request to ■'''"'Though in itself the idea of per- mitting filmization of original shows is not a vital factor, the request has awakened many music publishers to the great Strides be- ing made by television and the Increasing number of sponsored shows. Many pubs are afraid that In adding free rebroadcast rights to the bla iket $1 a year television pacts allowed by the American So- ciety of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, that they will be giving TV people too much of a headstart on the for-free theory, and that when it comes time to sit down and lay out a scale of payment for all video use of music it will be that much more difficult to secure a proper deal. Most music pubs have television sets at home and see such shows as "Texaco Star The*lre," "Toast of the Town" and others picking up financial backing. They see tlve number of spot cominercialSi etc., coming into the television (Continued on page 62) New Majestic ASCAP Case Hearing in the Alden-Ro- chelle ■: ■ (Harry Brandt) case against ASCAP involving mu- sic performance fees paid by exhibitors, is scheduled to be held today (Wed.) before N. Y. Federal Judge Vincent L. Leibell. Court, which found for the plaintiff exhibitors last July, will take up final judgment decrees proposed by both ASCAP and the ITOA as well as an affidavit of the Society's counsel, Louis Frohlich,- re- questing amendments of the jurist's findings of fact and conclusions of law. Further details in the Film section. Chicago. Oct. 5. Decca Records stepped back into the Majestic Records picture last week, making a new offer for con- tracts of artists and masters held by the financially-triubled label. Decca, through its executive v.p., Milton Rackmil, offered $50,000, payable in five annual installmeiits, in Chi federal court before Judge Phillip Sullivan, and the offer suc- ceeded in upsetting the Mercury label's applecart. Judge Sullivan set Oct. 15 as the date of a new hearing at which Majestic's assets will be ofl'ered in open bidding. Two plants, one in. Newark, N. J., the other in Burbank, Gal., will be offered. Mercury had had a deal going under which it sought to take over eight masters made by Eddy How- ard before the Jan. 1 disk ban. It was to have paid a ie royalty per platter sold with a guarantee of a 2,0015,000 sale for the eight sides. Though Majestic's file holds more than the eight Howard masters Mercury wals interested in, the lat- ter firm sought them only because they consist of pops now or soon to be pushed by publishers. Howard and Rose Murphy are the most de^ sirable Majestic artists. In the past, other companies had been interested in securing How-. Ager Ur^es Fdm Exiiib Rigiits Be Kept by ASCAP John Schuhiian, music business attorney,will appear today (Wed.) at the.hearing before N. Y. Federal' Court Judge Vincent L. Leibell in behalf of ■ songwriter Milton Ager, relevant the latter's recent decision taking film-performance rights to. songs away from the American So- ciety of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Due to the many ramifi- cations and implications of Lei- bell's order that the film-perform-' I ance rights be .returned - to the I copyright owner by* ASCAP, Schul- man applied to. intervene in the in an attempt to forestall the. many problems the music industry, faces if that portion of the deci- sion is allowed to stand. Schulman, in effect,, will ask Lei- bell to _strike out that portion of his ' deci-sion, or to change it so that ASCAP is allowed to retain, representation of film-performance rights. His client's argument is tliat up to now that arrangement has proven sound economically, and to disturb it would create vast confusion in the music industry; Schulman's action, though im- portant in itself, is a sidelight to; Ihe main course of th e he aring by: Leibell. ASCAP''s attorneys,'" pre- sumably headed by ex-Secretary of War Robert W. Patterson, will seek modification of Leibell's decision. Patterson's course in the case, which he has been mulling for weeks, is not yet clear and will not be until the hearing itself. FBI Snags K.C. Disk Dealer on Shipping Of 'Obscene' Platters IIECIES. \mm 6 Major Dkkers Asii Blanket \% IN BUYER'S II. Band bookers, who : haven't had too easiy a row to hoe in the year and a half, are running into a ''buyer's market" in medium* name orchestras now that the shut- ting down of summer bookings is just about completed. These in- between combos are now flooding booking offices and the latter haven't enough work dates to go ■ around. As a result, virtually all will find themselves : working for flat scale, and less in^ sonie in- stances, or , go out of existence temporarily. Years, ago. the key to the then "buyer's market" situation Was a plethora of bands fighting for re- mote broadcast opportunities. Many leaders found themselves al' most paying, for. jobs to get on the: air. Today, it's different; the re- mote wire is not'so important. It's high American Federation of Mu- sicians scales throughout the coun- try that is causing the situation. . Many former users'of live music have dropped such ventures be- cause of costs. Those that can still buy live bands want either top names or go for scale musicians. And today even the latter add up to a considerable sum weekly, de- pending on the size of the band used: It means that a medium- level maestro must accept rock- bottom APM quotations or go begi ging. It follows therefore that a pros- pective employer would rather buy no-names, pay them scale and wind up with the same revenue, in the event he hasn't the coin and ca- pacity to afford a top attraction. That is, unless the medium names are willing to work for scale. . Situation is giving band sales- men a headache. 'They've got so many lower-case, names on their hands tliey don't know what to do. Of Sale Price in Petrillo Talks What Price Love? Vienna, Sept. 28. Love letters of Johanii Strauiss, Viennese i waltz'king, touched a new low in an auc- tion at Vienna's Dorotheum rooms. Letters from Strauss to his wife, Adele, went for 30 and 40 schillings ($3 and $4 at inflated legal exchange). A letter by Johannes Brahms' also . went for 40 schillings, while a Franz Lehar letter .brought only .16 schillings. Kansas City, Oct. 5. The FBI apprehended James L, Davidson, Kansas City record and music dealer, on a charge of illegally transporting obscene ard's masters, or a part of them Columbia Records had a deal going - .,„(„„ several months ago, but sought onl^^ S T 30 if oTnaht'James tt'cZr','wo':;rjr^^^^^^ winlVaUon, Special - ing: an arrangement similar to the | leasing it was preparing will) Mer- cury when Decca stepped in. Co- lumbia promptly dropped negotia tions and hasn't- been intere.s since, It/ was not represented last week's meeting. } igent of the Omaha FBI office, said it was the first case of its kind Kariaied by the ibiireau, ■ although tiiere Vhave Ijeeri"... other arrests ' for transporting obscehe and'St "ieerhiieTeTted 'Uterature and photographs. . : ana Jiasnt been inteie.situ, jj^^.j^ig^jn ^.g^ arrested on an in- i dictment returned by a Ped'erai. j grand jury in Wichita, Sept.. 1*7. I'Vhe indictment on five ' counts I charged Davidison With using in- terstate trucking lines and Rail- After 20 Years at MCA ^^"''•^ ^''•"•^^^ N.Y. Band Covers Up, Grosses Slide Top-name openings in New York last week proved to bandsmen that the spirit of band followers is very willing, but the wallet is weak; There were three major openings during a five-day period—Guy Lombardo at the Hotel Roosevelt grill, Tommy—Dflise3f_at. the Cafe Rouge of the Hotel Pennsylvania and Eddy Duchin at the Waldorf- Astoria, latter returning to the band, business after his war service and an intervening layoff. Lombardo, starting his 19th con- secutive season at the Roosevelt, played to what was claimed to be his largest opening-night crowd in several years. Dorsey- a; total of 561 opening-night; covers. Yet the grosses on the individual evenings,- and on the week up to [ and including Saturday (2) night i are off past figures for comparable ; attendance totals. ' Duchin's open-j jng was big, too, but his spotting at: the Waldorf puts him before a level; of patronage that: ordinarily is not | bothered by the effect of inflated; living costs. Lombardo. is in the ■ same pcsition to .some extent at the j Rocsevelt, yet he was off in gross, however. ' ' i Duchin did unusually well dur-1 ing a prior five-day period at the j hotel," Syracuse, starting ; Sept. 21. He rang up a gross of; $15,000 for the short run, averag- ing $3,000 a night. That's outstand-: ing. • ■ ASCAP to Meet Later This Mo. In Pact Stymie American: Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers will meet again late this month with repre- sentatives of the various networks in an attempt to effect a settlement of the one angle that is stymieing an automatic renewal of the cur- rent contract between the two fac- tions. For the past couple weeks, sub-committee, meetings have oc- curred, but nothing concrete can be done about the situation until the full committees are called into a huddle. This entails bringing top radid executives in from all over the country. ■ One snag to a renewal (for nine years) of the radio contract with ASCAP is the source of the money it has been agreed ASCAP is due, retroactively, for cooperative pro- grams that are dispatched as sus- tainers by network originating sta- tions and sold as commercials by affiliated outlets. It was agreed some time ago that ASCAP was due an undisclosed sum in full pay- ment of such rate differences, since it has been paid since the start of the current contract, in 1941 only on the sustaining-rate structure of the originating station. But now (Continued on page 62) "♦■ In their first meeting yesterday (Tuesday) with James C. Petrillo, American Federation of Musicians prez, the heads of six major record- manufacturers made a request foi;. a revision in the sliding sdale of- ro.valty payments to the unioni-;' under the old contract. Whereas they had been paying varying amounts of royalty per record sold,; starting with V4c'' on a 35c disk .(now non-existent), V-iC on a SOci: ^tc on a 75c disk, up to a limit of 5c on higher-priced, classicals,' the. disk companies want to • simplify that idea. They ask that Petrillo , accept a blanket 1% of the selling, price of any disk, pointing out that -test arithmetic proves that on an annual basis the AFM would receive approximately the same: amount, but each manufacturer' would save a few thousand dollars annually in: 'bookkeeping costf)^ ■ varying, of course, with sales fotalSi- The request can be summed up in two ways: firstly, it indicates the. recorders' evaluation of their own strength in the jsituation. Though they say that the blanket 1% idea would return the AFM as much cash in the final sumup as the old arrangement, Petrillo figures to concede to them some coin if the plan is accepted. Secondly, it in- dicates that the recording men are confident of bringing about a set- tlement, A second meeting of the AFM: and . diskcrs will - occur today (Wednesday), Attorneys for the various comi: panics had another meeting Friday (1). They still are not completely; in accord with the legality of the Continued on page 52) Commodore Hotel, N.Y., Uses Non-Pro Aides For Selection of Band Commodore hotely'New York, ex- ecuted a unique method: of select- ing a band to play its Century Room, which this season is iore- going a name band policy and will use music for dinner only five nights a week and both dinner and supper on Saturdays. L. F. Sef- ton, v:p. of the hostelry and; in charge of entertainment, gathered a group of 10 men, from maitre de Leon down through assistants" in various posts, secretaries, etc.f to sit in judgment on the entertain- ment values ot four bands sub- mitted for the job by various agencies and bookers. They looked over Ii'win Kent, brought in by Music Corp. ot America; Val Olman, by Willard an Garber to Morris Hollywood, Oct. 5. - After. 20 years with Music Corp. of America. Jan Garber iia.s switched to William Morris. He's, been threatening to leave for some time. . Several other agencies had sought to get tiarber when word leaked out on his dissatisfaction With MCA., '' phonograph records to and from .loplin. Mo., Kansas City. Kans. (where his wholesale record busi- ness is located), Los Angeles and Long Beach, Cal. Dalton said the records were sold, to select cu.stomers on an under- the-counter basis. Davidson waS: arraigned before the United States comnii-ssioner and jailed when in default of a $5,000 bond. ! Thornhill Resumes I With College 1-Niters |: Claude Thornhill has returned to: j this, country from a three-month ilayoff in Hawaii and will re- ' organize his orchestra immediately. ' He starts a string of college onc- ■nightcrs Oct -29 at Lehigh U., Bethlehem, Pa. I During his vacation, Thornhill rewrote some of his library and t added to it. . : RCA Would Ask % for Breakage RCA-Victor last Week sippjjcd many imiijor miisic publi^Hei%' cold by suggesting that it be allowed to revive the practice of deductiiig! :a percentage of itS: royalty paymentiv to allow 'for breakage,; etc. Com- ^ pahy has asked for permission to sliciB off-and hold 8%% of the coin due individual pubs, as each quarr terly statement . rolls around. -. : • While the disk naanufactiirer ap-. parently has not yet received offi- cial answers .fr<>m those pubs ;ap- proached, the conversation of the: latter makes it appear the request will not be honored: It's pointed I out that many years ago 'Victor was allowed to deduct 10% of its state- merits to cover:broken, lost and records otherwise unaccounted for, but that the practice was dlscp.n-, tinued by piibs when. packaging ol' disks became more reliable. Pubs feel that they have given Victor and other cbriipanies ehbUgh leeway to cover such itemS: by agreeing to: accept Ifjic a: side in i:oyalties, ..wheii: the major. ■ manu-; faclurers boosted retail prices last year to a uniform 75c, By law, they should receive 2q ;a Side, and they feel they are already giving the companies, :"Vict()r in pai^ticulairi enough Of a break, :' <:. : Some manufaetMrers,:HotabIy Co* lumBik,: deduct a pei?cehtage from Alexander; Jose Melis, by Genera" ! fr,^''^^,^®^*'"*^^*?/''^'*'' breakage. Artists; and Tommy Ryan, by Bill I ^" Burnham - Associated :B o o k in g. 1 Ryan was chosen by: the. assembled i judges and hired to start a run as ot Monday (4i despite the fact t?iat Seflon and his own a,ssistants leaned toward the Kent orchestra, i He complied with their opinions, i Each of the people Seflon ;,R e c o r d s ' folktune department, brought in to judge the four bands trained to N. Y. whence he'll sail made" notes as to why they liked ! this Week for a month's prowl of or disliked the combos and sub-; Germany and Austria, looking for findings to Sefton, polkas lie can bring back for etch- CAP SCOURS EUROPE IN HUNT FOR POLKAS Hollywood, Oct. 5. Lee Gillette, director of Capitol mitted their findings to Ryah's run is indefinite Commodore's original idea on .non-name:music, incidentallyi was to hire, a 10-piece . unorganized band. When it found that such a combo would cost over iS 1,000 week- ly :aHd: that for the same price an in& by Cap artists. . Gillette will seek to pierce the Iron- Curtain .{uid delve into the prime spawning ground for polkas, Czechoslovakia. No other waxery is known to have sent a rep into central Europe for material since organized crew with some name | the war's end, although John Hani- value could be gotten, it went lor. mond obtained some masters from- the latlfcr. Prague for Keystone last year.