Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chuck the Writer hangs out with Bowzer

For those of you who might have watched the old "Sha Na Na" television series in the 1970's, you would have seen their charismatic front man, Jon "Bowzer" Bauman, flexing his muscles and shouting "Grease for Peace."

Today, Bauman is a tireless advocate for a project called 'Truth in Music," which attempts to curtail the various phony groups touring the country and pretending to be classic artists of yesteryear. Example - for a long time, there was a package tour advertising performers by the Drifters, the Coasters and the Platters, none of which had any original members that performed on the original recordings. Example - Herb Reed and Sonny Turner are the only living and touring members of the Platters who sang on the original recordings; Reed is the bass voice on the Platters' recordings, while Turner sang on their 1960's hits "With This Ring" and "I Love You 1000 Times." Other knockoff Platters groups, whose members are younger than the songs they sing, have previously flooded the market
and can confuse ticket-buyers. Today, those knockoff groups need to let ticket-buyers know that they are either "tribute" bands, or they risk violating truth-in-advertising laws.

This is a major victory for those performers whose income comes from touring - if you sang on those classic hits, you should be able to reap the benefits of doing so, and not watch as some copycat group sings your songs and charges a lowball price for tickets. It's unfair predatory marketing.

And it's great to see someone like Bowzer fighting the good fight for those artists.

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