Acappella Memories: George Pendergrass at Acafest 2012

George PendergrassGeorge Pendergrass was part of the roundtable discussion at Acafest 2012 this past summer in Nashville, TN. He shared the floor with me, Duane Adams and Robert Guy… Acappella from 1992 to 1995 (I think that’s correct… I lose track).

Anyway, we had been discussing life on the road from the single man’s point of view as Robert shared his memories. We were about to open it up for questions when George spoke up and added something to the discussion. Many people have asked us what life is like on the road with families. George shared the joys and the trials of such a life.

Acappella Memories: Robert Guy at Acafest 2012

Robert C. GuyRobert joined Acappella about 5 years after I jumped into the group. He replaced Wayburn Dean and sang as bass for the combination of himself, me, Duane and George for several years. He brought a new dimension to the group and it was wonderful to have him as part of the gang. You can hear Robert stand out in his first couple of albums with the group, Beyond a Doubt and Hymns for all the World. He went on to sing with various combinations of Acappella over the years and now sings often with ACAPPELLA CLASSIC, the collection of former Acappella members who sing here and there from time to time.

In the following audio clip from Acafest 2012, Robert shares his views of life on the road with families as a single guy. He handled it with style and grace, I can tell you that much. Thanks Robert…

Marketing Your Music

Ariel HyattAfter spending many years in the music industry, I am continually amazed at how much things have changed. Almost everything I did as an executive at a music label in the late ’90’s can now be done with the help of 2 or 3 websites. The Rise of the Independents is well under way, which I think is a great thing.

There have been a number of articles written over the past few months about independent artists and what they should, and can, do to help kick off their career. Here is a great article, the first in a series of three, that includes a wealth of information. If you are an aspiring artist, or even an artist that’s been around a while making it on your own, this is a wonderful step-by-step guide for marketing your music.

In this first article, Ariel Hyatt from Ariel Publicity talks about several important areas:

  1. Digital distribution vs physical media
  2. Your online presence with your website, Facebook and YouTube (by the way, did you know that YouTube is the #2 search engine at this point?)
  3. Techniques for gathering email addresses
  4. Newsletters
  5. Touring and timing
  6. Merchandising and how to deal with the new digital paradigm at a live event

This is well worth your time to read and I would suggest subscribing. Enjoy and keep making good music.

Marketing Plan Tactics For Independent Musicians – Part 1 of 3: New Album Preparations

Acappella Memories: Grounded in Texas

Big RedI have lost count of the people who’ve told me I should write a book about my experiences on the road. I spent a total of 11 years on the road with Acappella. By my best reckoning, I performed somewhere north of 1400 concerts. That’s a lot of stories to tell.

Too bad I can’t remember most of it. And NO, that doesn’t mean I was doing things I shouldn’t have been doing that blotted out my memory. It means I’m getting old too fast. The book may never happen, but I can at least share some memories here in my blog.

Therefore, I will endeavor to share some of these memories, little by little, over the next few months. I’m sure I will get some details wrong, but that’s what the comment section is for. Those of you who know the details better, please correct me.

I-30 Blues

The first memory that comes to mind probably happened in 1990 or so. It was before I married my lovely wife, Sherri. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, we spent a good deal of time in Texas. Interstate 30 runs through DFW and on to the east through the town of Sulphur Springs.

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What Can’t A Cappella Groups Do?

Deke SharonDeke Sharon posted this article this morning. I don’t usually reblog someone’s work on the same day they post, but this one is really good. You can see the original article at this link. If you are a singer in the a cappella genre and don’t follow Deke or CASA, you’re missing out. They are great supporters of a cappella and have done much to advance the art. With full kudos to Deke, here is his article:


I just got off the phone with a friend who has a well known a cappella group (which shall remain nameless) that just got new management. Great new management.

However, like many managers, this person doesn’t really know what to do with a cappella. “What can an a cappella group do?”

What can we do?!? What CAN’T we do?

Opening For Other Acts

There is no better opening act than an a cappella group. Why? No instruments means no load in and no space needed on stage. Just float out in front of the band’s set up, do your thing, and the headliner doesn’t have to worry about your production value or sound upstaging their set, and yet they know the audience will love it. Comedians are risky (too racy? too corny?), a cappella is perfect. Doesn’t usually pay that well, but you make lots of new fans, sell albums in the lobby at intermission, and see the world. A great way to fill in off days in your home town (establish a relationship with local theaters, stadiums and promoters), and a great way to get you on a plane to new regions, where you can make…

Television or Radio Appearances

Slip on stage and slip off stage. A love song for Valentine’s Day, “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” on opening day, “When The Saints go Marching In” for Mardi Gras. There’s a song for almost every holiday, and a pre-existing arrangement if you don’t have time to pull one together yourselves. And while you’re there, giving the morning show or cable access arts program a nice five minute segment, you’re also promoting the rest of your gigs. No pay, but excellent audio and video promotion you can cut into your promo video and splash all over our social media sites. Along the same lines, there are always…

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