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A fighting chance for Memphis artists and musicians

CarleeMcCullough-160ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: While other cities may have surpassed Memphis as far as their music business infrastructure, Memphis has not given up the fight. As African-American Music Appreciation Month (AAMAM) dawns, three organizations in the city are putting forth every effort to give Memphis artists and musicians a fighting chance in the industry.

The Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission, the Memphis Music Foundation and the Consortium Memphis Music Town are all aggressively supporting Memphis talent. As part of our celebration of AAMAM, we'll profile all three, beginning this week with the Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission (MSCMC).

According to its website (www.Memphismusic.org), the Music Commission preserves, fosters and promotes Memphis music locally, nationally and throughout the world. That involves education, networking, advocacy and professional and industry development.

MSCMC serves as an informational resource for live music performances, venues, booking agents, promoters, managers, recording studios, record labels, record producers and musical instrument retail stores. Businesses that offer services to musicians and music industry professionals also will find them useful.

To fulfill its mission, the Music Commission stages events and offers various programs. Check out this website list:

Memphis Music Monday

Bi-weekly, Monday evenings offer an after-work networking affair built around local music performances. It's a set up for business and idea exchanges and general Memphis Music Community networking.

Now in its fourth year, Memphis Music Monday is the longest running consecutive event in the 15-year history of the Hard Rock Café on Beale Street. It's also the highest revenue generating Monday night in the entire Hard Rock chain!

Memphis Music Monday occurs every first and third Monday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There is no cover and free appetizers are served.

Memphis Trolley Unplugged

Local musicians aboard the Memphis Trolley in a concert-like setting anchor this tourist attracting, fun Memphis Music marketing program.

Stax Fresh Trax

Envision a "focus-group" like gathering and music listening session and you have zeroed in on this program. Attendees include music producers, venue owners, event planners, local musicians, fans and general music consumers. Artists submit their music and once the songs are accepted, the audience listens to the music submissions and provides feedback.

The listening sessions – free and open to the public – are held at Stax Museum, 926 E. McClemore.

First Fridays Rock

Memphis Rock musicians and the powerful music they create are at the center of this marketing platform. Alternative, Garage, Contemporary and Classic Rock bands or artists are invited to join the Memphis Music Commission at the Hard Rock Café, 315 Beale Street every first Friday in the month at 9 p.m.

Memphis Music Revealed

Memphis music and Memphis musicians on shows on radio and television constitute Memphis Music Revealed.

The radio show, hosted by Executive Director Johnnie Walker, airs Friday mornings at 11:30 on WUMR/U-92 FM and Sundays at 6 p.m. on WYPL/89.3 FM.

To get your music on these shows, simply bring or mail your material to the office at 125 North Main, Suite 200, Memphis, Tennessee 38103. Submissions should be professionally mixed, mastered and broadcast ready. No explicit or defaming lyrics will be accepted.

The TV Show airs periodically throughout the month on Comcast Cable Channel 17. A new show airs on the third Thursday in each month at 6:30 p.m.

Memphis Music Legal Clinic

FREE legal assistance, information and resources to Memphis musicians and members of the local creative community are made available at the Memphis Music Legal Clinic.

Musicians, performers, songwriters, producers, small businesses and others have access to professional legal advice at no cost. Volunteer attorneys, with expertise in music and entertainment law, conduct individual, confidential sessions of up to 30 minutes in length. Legal sessions are by appointment only.

About African-American Music Appreciation Month

Originally created as Black Music Month by President Jimmy Carter in June 1979, President Obama now refers to the celebration as African-American Music Appreciation Month (AAMAM). The celebration highlights the rich musical contributions of African-American musicians, composers, singers and songwriters to the nation and the world.

NEXT WEEK: The Memphis Music Foundation and the Consortium Memphis Music Town.

(Contact Carlee McCullough, Esq., at 5308 Cottonwood Road, Suite 1A, Memphis, TN 38118, or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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