The drummer, (who performs with his handmade "cocktail drum", an obscure instrument from 1950’s lounge culture) observed the fraud tied to the song that introduced blues to popular music with last September’s release. Ninety-two years ago on September 28th, "Father of the Blues" W.C. Handy shook hands with an agent of Bry’s Department Store in Memphis, closing the publishing deal for Handy’s composition, "The Memphis Blues". The author was later told that the tune, which had sold a thousand copies in three days, had flopped and he accepted an offer to sell the rights for fifty dollars.
Bronsdon believes this kind of deception has changed only in scope. He has organized for the American Federation of Musicians, and peppers his web site, www.swingdrummer.com, with updates on the looming issue of media consolidation. He was fueled by a national radio study, conducted by the Future of Music Coalition and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, which brought to light the unmet desires of the American public for the content of their airwaves.
Both the AFM and the FMC, along with several other artist lobbying groups, quoted Bronsdon in their offical comments on radio localism filed with the FCC.
Handy outlived his embezzling publishers, and copyright law at the time (which the industry today has vied to change in their favor with stealthy lobbying efforts) restored his ownership of the piece. Bronsdon hopes the growing number of indie artists, with the help of non-commercial radio programmers, will prevail with their do-it-yourself efforts.
He reminds naysayers of the dead Elvis decision that in another notable case, on December 14, 1988, Judge Choppelas determined, "There really, really is a Santa Claus."
"All About the Burn" CD Release
Friday, March 11th, 9:00 pm
1646 Las Palmas Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028