Tuesday, February 13, 2007
HAPPY 93RD BIRTHDAY TO ASCAP!
TODAY IS ASCAP'S BIRTHDAY AND AS A SONGWRITER. I AM VERY PROUD TO BE ONE OF ITS MEMBERS. THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THERE FOR ME. AMAZING ORGANIZATION! THIS ORGANIZATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE FOR ME. IT WAS FOUNDED BY THE GREATEST SONGWRITER OF ALL TIME- IRVING BERLIN.
ASCAP was established in New York City on February 13th 1914 to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members, then mostly writers and publishers associated with New York’s Tin Pan Alley ASCAP’s earliest members included the era’s most active songwriters – Irving Berlin, James Weldon Johnson, Jerome Kern and John Philip Sousa. Not long after, prominent songwriters such as W.C. Handy Richard Rodgers Oscar Hammerstein II and George and Ira Gershwin became members. As of early 2007, ASCAP claims 275,000 songwriter, composer and music publishers as members.In 1919, ASCAP and the Performing Right Society of Great Britain signed the first reciprocal agreement for the representation of each other’s members’ works in their respective territories. Today, ASCAP has reciprocal agreements all over the world and licenses the U.S. performances of hundreds of thousands of international music creators.The advent of radio in the 1920s brought an important new source of income for ASCAP. Radio stations originally only broadcast performers live, the performers working for free. Later, performers wanted to be paid and recorded performances became more prevalent. Many composers didn't want their music performed or played for free, but some radio broadcasters grew reluctant to honor ASCAP license fees, and in 1940, during negotations with ASCAP over rates, radio broadcasters formed Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) in an effort to drive down licensing fees. Eventually, public demand forced the radio broadcasters to agree to new rates. Today, over 11,500 local commercial radio stations and 2000 non-commercial radio broadcasters are ASCAP licensees.ASCAP was the first U.S. performing rights organization to distribute royalties for performances on the Internet, and continues to pursue and secure licenses for websites, digital music providers and other new media.ASCAP honors its top members in a series of annual awards shows in seven different music categories: Pop, Rhythm and Soul, Film and Television, Latin, Country , Christian and Concert Music In addition, ASCAP inducts jazz greats to its Jazz Wall of Fame in an annual ceremony held at the society’s New York offices.Through its ASCAPlus Awards Program, ASCAP compensates those writers whose works are substantially performed in venues and media outside of its surveys. An independent panel reviews the applications and makes cash awards to deserving members as well as writers whose works have a unique prestige value. ASCAP is the only performing rights organization with a cash awards program of this kind.In April of 2006, ASCAP inaugurated its annual ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO, the first national conference fully dedicated to songwriting and composing. The first EXPO featured workshops, panels, mentor sessions and performances with hundreds of notable figures from all music genres and sectors of the music industry, including an interview and Q&A session with Tom Petty. The second EXPO is scheduled for April 19 through 21, 2007.