Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Hello Songwriter,

OK, keep your seat. This year is starting out in a roar. We had the musical chair dance on the board and some comings and goings. See member news #6 below for the new director  positions that were elected.

Our Second Tuesday Meeting will feature guest speaker, Kathy Forste from the internet radio station, KC Cafe.  See #2 below.

Workshops and conferences this month include The Waymores at the MCM Grand in Lewisville and the Folk Alliance in Kansas City. SXSW is coming in March. This is Black History Month, I hope you will check out the articles in section 9 about songs in the movie, Selma, and the Centennial Celebration of the Folk Recordings of John Lomax for the Library of Congress. Also,one of those folk songs, Stagger Lee, is a new musical from an SMU Fellow, and is playing now at the Wylie Theater.

Grammy Awards are coming up this Sunday evening, 7PM CT on CBS.

The Wildflower Performing Songwriter Contest is now accepting entries. See #10 below.
 BW Stevenson song contest at Poor David's is coming next month. 

Heads up and take notice that we will not have a Second Sat. Showcase at Angela's. They are having a special Valentine show there. The Fourth Saturday at Angela's will feature an all girls night, including yours truly.

 Our regular DSA monthly events remain the same 1st and 3rd Monday SongSwaps and 1st and 3rd Thursday Open Mic. For details, see #2 and #4 below. Some of us like to visit the Poor Davids Pub Open Mic. Heads up - the day of the week has moved from Wednesday to every Monday.

Hey You! Happy Valentine's Day!


Check out our pictures on the Dallas Songwriters Facebook. Go on Facebook and LIKE us. New, tell your friends about Dallas Songwriters on Meetup.

QUICK LOOK CALENDAR OF DSA MONTHLY EVENTS - put this in your bookmark.


1. ANNUAL SONG CONTEST - Winners Announced - See the complete list on our contest page.  http://dsasongcontest.blogspot.com/ 


“Lucia Comnes is a singer, songwriter, fiddler & guitarist with a ‘singular voice’ (SF Chronicle) and ‘a powerful imagination’ (C. Poling) whose atmospheric roots music crosses genres of Americana, folk, Celtic, bluegrass & alternative.”
Drawing from the past but refreshingly contemporary, Lucia demonstrates that she isn't afraid of taking chances. Her crystal clear voice with a hint of mystery was decried by the San Francisco Chronicle as "singular…. embedded with soul and spirit."  Her fiddling is powerful and full of emotional expression. All these talents and imagination have conbined to create the grand prize winning song, "No Hiding Place." Her... more....... http://dsapress.blogspot.com/2015_01_01_archive.html

WINNER of IPOD: Maxin Senin, Lakewood, CA

On December 9th, at Sons of Hermann Halls, we announced our song contest winners. Our grand prize winner was Lucia Comnes; Second place was local girl, Gracie Lott, and James Bennett took third place. See the press release about the grand prize winners here: http://dsapress.blogspot.com/2015_01_01_archive.html  See the complete list of winners on our song contest page: http://dsasongcontest.blogspot.com. Our Christmas Party and Awards Dinner was so much fun.  details here: http://dsasongcontest.blogspot.com/p/awards-dinner-tuesday-december-9-at.html 

                 2014 Dallas Songwriters Song Contest
Now in its 24th year, The DSA 2014 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes.

GRAND PRIZE  -   A Casio Privia Piano
and a Nashville recording session at Bieard Music Group. 
Beaird Music Group

1st Runner Up
 wins studio time at
River Sounds Recording Resort

2nd Runner up
wins recording time at 

Grand Prize winners receive:
($199.95 Value) 
Includes Artist Website, 1 Yr. Hosting
1 Yr. Sonicbids Membership

Category winners get cash prizes

Listen to the winners on Soundcloud at:


Click here for more info about this contest, and for more information about joining DSA (membership not required to enter contest). Click here to view a list of frequently asked questions. 

2001 - 2007 Winners Compilation CDs available at the DSA store

All winning songs are on a CD Compilation that was given out at the Awards Ceremony. To get any 3 double CD's simply make a quarter note donation to DSA through our online store and send us an email to request which 3 years of Cd's you want us to mail you.

  KC Cafe Radio Music Director, Kathy Forste, tells Secrets of Getting Airplay

 Music Director KATHY FORSTE graduated from Central Missouri State University with a degree in Broadcasting and Film and a minor in music. KC Café Radio is a realization of her two passions, broadcasting and music.  Kathy has worked in television and radio for the past 30 years in various capacities.  This includes production, master control, programming and development for  ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS.  Kathy’s passion for music began as a child. At the age of 13 she wrote her first “real song” and has been writing songs and playing guitar ever since. She started performing live about 24 years ago as a solo artist in Oklahoma. She has played everywhere from Seattle, Washington to the Bluebird Café in Nashville. Kathy has written, recorded and produced three CD’s, “Mojo Hum”, “Too Late For Regrets” and “Home Fires”.  In her role with KC Café Radio Kathy has had the pleasure of interviewing over 60 singer/songwriters for the KC Café Radio website. She is also the sole ear for choosing the music of almost 500 songwriters and 5,000 songs for the playlist on KC Café Radio.  In her role as music director she coordinates and books the music for KC Café Radio Concert series which has included such well known acts as the Stray Birds, Jonathan Byrd, Beth Wood, Jeff Campbell and Stephanie Urbina Jones.  Kathy is a member of Folk Alliance International and Kansas City Songwriters Group.  www.kccaferadio.comhttps://dallassongwriters.org/calendar/2015/01/2nd-tuesday-monthly-dsa-meeting-2/

Free to Members | $5 for visitors
Sign in and Networking begins at 6:30
Announcements at 7PM
Program about 7:30
Song Critiques follow – Members only may enter for $10
Mar 10 – Annie Litt, DJ from KNON
April 14 – Jim Collins , Country performer, songwriter
May 12 – Ray Baker  - publisher, producer, jazz sax player raybaker@rab.com
June 9 – Hal Ketchum - tentative
July 14 – Giovianni  on Social Media For Songwriters - tenative
August 11 – No Meeting
September 8 – Brooke Malouf - tentative
October 13 - OPEN
November 10 - Annual Membership Meeting
December 8 - Christmas Party and Awards Dinner

NEW shirts: $15 at the meeting (you must ask me for the special) or online by mail $20
OLD shirts: $10 at the meeting (you must ask me for the special) or online by mail $15
MONDAY SONG SWAPS for peer critique
Song Swap Workshops
Monthly 7:30-10 PM
Free, Visitors Welcome
Where songwriters perform their songs for peer review. Bring your guitar and a few lyric sheets. This is like an old fashioned guitar pull with comments between songs.

FIRST MONDAY in East Dallas
Half Price Books, 5803 E Northwest Hwy Dallas, TX 75231-6519 (214) 379-8000
 Jame Pappas coordinating.
We'll be in the Community Room at the back left in the building.

Tino's - Steve Sullivan, coordinator.
Tino's Too Mexican Restaurant 2205 Ave K, Plano, Tx  972 881-9226

3. BEST SONGS of the 2nd Tuesday Meeting

JAN 2015
Sweet Rolls and Cream by Rio King

We announced the winners of our second Tuesday Meeting Critiques at the Awards Ceremony on December 9th. See details here: http://dsasongcontest.blogspot.com/p/awards-dinner-tuesday-december-9-at.html 

Honky Tonk Shrink by Rio King 

You never know what will come of a question.  We provided Dallas Song of the Year winner Rio King with a list of questions, and he responded with this fascinating conversation.

Please, feel free to eavesdrop.

Buck, this really IS an honor and I'm having a blast already with Song of the Year acclaim!  


Bobby Montgomery 


John Wayne had it. So did Clint Eastwood. That solid feeling that let’s you know you can count on them.

While Bobby Montgomery, the recently named Dallas Songwriter of the year, may not have Hollywood girth and brawn, he makes up for it in character.

He more than fills the Duke’s boots when you need someone you can count on.

When Bobby found the Dallas Songwriters, he found a home.  He knew there was something valuable here, and things of value need to be cared for. More.....

To view past winners go to the Best Songs blog. http://bestsongsofthemeeting.blogspot.com/
To hear the winners go to our Soundcloud page https://soundcloud.com/dsa-best-songs
Did you know that AnR reps from labels and music publishers are listening to our Myspace page each month?




EVERY 3RD THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

HALF PRICE BOOKS - NORTHWEST HIGHWAY - Rotating guest host featured artist
EVERY 1ST THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Sign up begins at 6:30
Featured Artist at 8PM


Saturday Night at the Angela's at the Crosswalk in Downtown Plano

2nd Saturday Night   -Feb. 14 - NO DSA SHOW
4th Saturday Night, February 28, 7:30 to 9:30 pm   Buck Morgan will host.
         Featured: LaToya Cooper, Helene Cronin
         After Show 9:30 - 11: Barbe McMillen, Harry Hewlett, open call.



TEXAS SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND at Sandstone Cellars Winery Showcase and Open Mic in Mason Texas.  ON HOLD UNTIL MARCH
HOURS 6-9PM 211 San Antonio Street, Mason, TX 76856
Shows will be on the 3rd Thursday of each month .

Every 2nd Tuesday 7-9 PM @ Fuel Coffee House 106 Main St, Llano, Texas

Guidelines for our stars @ Texas Songwriters in the Round shows:
* All original set of 45 minutes
* A professional commercially released CD with some airplay and press.

We allow any songwriter to come be part of the TSR in the Round, with one star per month! If you'd like to come out and join in as a rounder I can make sure you have a place for the night! To Showcase contact: Jeri Alice
Other area open mics OPEN MICS

5. DSA LYRIC CONTEST - Next deadline postmarked MARCH 31st

Enter onine


Next Lyric Contest Deadline is June 30th for Spring Lyric Contest
Entry fee is $10
Please see lyric contest webpage for details.



Wanna get involved? Become a committee member. It's fun! Be apart of the inner workings or the DSA. We have committee positions open.

Officers Elected at the Planning Meeting on January 10, 2015
Michael Brandenberger -  Prez
Bobby Montgomery - Executive VP, VP Programs
Dicky Johnson - Treasurer
Rachel Wilhelm - Tech
Buck Morgan - Showcases/ Open Mics, Workshops
Dan Roark - Lyric Contest Director
Barbe McMillen - Communications, Administration, Newsletter
Joe Milton, Steve Sullivan, Ken Duren and James Pappas - At Large

If you are not a DSA Member, you missed these tips sent out through our yahoo group:

* Publisher looking for Childrens songs
* Artists/Producers looking for original material for recording artists
* Major Brand X (To be disclosed at a later time) Seeks Independent artist for music campaign.
* Where to get your cd reviewed
* Music related job listing
* Film Licensing Co. seeking instrumental music
* Cheap and free tickets - Free tickets to selected Winspear Opera House events.

Lyricists are invited to co-write with music writers by submitting your lyric through the member yahoo group.
Patron Sponsor L3: Bobby Montgomery, Harry Hewlett, Latoya Cooper, Kent Poynor, Ken Duren, Terry Bloss, Martha Myre, Michael Brandenberger, Bill Honker, Morri Hartgraves, Steve Sullivan, James Pappas
Patron Sponsor L1: Ann Cornelius, Suzi Morse
Patron Sponsor: Bill Kapac, Mary Guthrie, Mimi Balkey

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Jacquelyn Christina Leigh,Kathryn Taylor, Will Kincaid

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

EXPIRED IN SEPT: Ted Alvarez, Mary Matthews, Marcus Belmore, Patrick Beck, Marcy Carter.
EXPIRED IN OCT: Eddie Lott, Cal Scott, Brian Kalinec, Stephen McWhirter, Arek Religa, Kate Diaz, Maureen Fichten, Brent Benton
EXPIRED IN NOV: BC Cornish, Jasmine Dia, Richard Hopson
EXPIRED IN DEC: Scott White, Brad Davis, Ashley Sichler, Davi Morales
EXPIRED IN JAN: Grady Yates, Terry Fansler, Ray Phillips, Bill Kapac, Tim Spitzer, Brian Joyner, Cliff Monroe, Troll Mallow, Brit Morgan, Skip Spoonts, Mark Bone, Aaron Rose,Laura Bertwell, Jordy Searcy, Cousin Don Brown, Erin McGee, Bob Fisk, Richard Hunt

TIME TO RENEW THIS MONTH: Jonathan Malone, Jesse Anderson, Wayne Dobry, Anthony Castillo, Daniel Zagotta
A Members Page off the Dallas Songwriters homepage has a list of members and a url link. Please check the page and email me your link if it is not included.

Member News : 

Read performance reviews here: http://dsareviews.blogspot.com/


Renew your membership online,
You'll find the link to the store on the panel to the right



(Each month DSA hosts 3 workshops at our monthly meetings on the 1st Monday, 3rd Monday and 2nd Tuesday these are ongoing. see item 2 above.)

• 11th Annual Songcrafting Seminar at Bluebird Cafe http://www.steveseskin.com/calendar/upcoming?c=2

Feb. 21             The Waymores + SONGWRITER WORKSHOP! mclgrand.com

Conducted by members of The Waymores - Tom Kimmel, Sally Barris and Don Henry., these Nashville based A-list songwriters have not only composed songs for Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Trisha Yearwood, Miranda Lambert, Linda Ronstadt and dozens of others, but they also have successful solo careers.
Come to this workshop on Saturday, February 21 in Lewisville, Texas to learn their insights on becoming an effective songwriter!  
You may be a gigging artist, a seasoned or amateur songwriter, or someone who would just like to write a song; there is a feast of knowledge for everyone. 

Contact: Tim Phillips

• SoundEmerge Master Series - Ralph Murphy hosts award winning songwriters.
Register and view online. http://soundemerge.com/

Want to study songwriting but don't want to get out of your PJ's? Take a class online through a songwriting workshop yahoo group.

8. EVENTS - Featuring local and worldwide events of the songwriting community including, seminars, conferences, and showcases.

8  Grammy Awards, 7PM on CBS
18 - 22  Folk Alliance International and Winter Music Camp, Kansas City, KA http://www.folkalliance.org/conference/
14  Tony Ramey at the Rustic, 4PM
21   The Waymores + SONGWRITER WORKSHOP! at MCL Grand, Lewisville, TX
27 Tony Ramey at the Texas Theater in Greenville 


14  Willis Alan Ramsey and Special Guest Alison Ramsey
       at MCL Grand, Lewisville, TX
 17-22 SXSW Music Conference, Austin  http://www.sxsw.com
24-28 Winter Music Conference, Miami, FL

3 - 5  Deep Ellum Festival, Dallas, TX
18   Tom Faulkner  at MCL Grand, Lewisville, TX

13-17  SERFA - South East Regional Folk Alliance, Montreat, NC
15 - 17 Wildflower Festival, Richardson Tx 
23    Max Baca and Los TexManiacs at MCL Grand, Lewisville, TX

 13    Colin Gilmore and Nicolette Good
        at MCL Grand, Lewisville, TX

Moses Avalon's List of Top Ranked Music Conferences.
Go to the events page to view links to local and Texas venues. There's a list of holiday music for this month.  http://songwriterevents.blogspot.com/


9. Featured Articles:

David Pogue on CES

Nashville's Musical Middle Class Collapses
By Nate Rau -- Since 2000, the number of full-time songwriters in Nashville has fallen by 80 percent...The result has been the collapse of Nashville's musical middle class — blue-collar songwriters, studio musicians, producers and bands.

Nashville's New Music Middle Class Is on the Rise
By Charles Alexander -- Recently my favorite reporter at The Tennessean, Nate Rau, wrote a brilliant piece on the collapse of the musicalmiddle class in Nashville. It seemed to be a report that resonated with a lot of Nashville based artists, songwriters, musicians and music business professionals alike. Not too long after that Josh Collum of Sorted Noise, a Nashville music for film/TV and artist services agency painted a more complete picture of the Nashville musical landscape in his Tumblog.

When Pop Broke Up With Jazz
NPR -- Writer Ben Yagoda has set out to explain a shift in American popular culture, one that happened in the early 1950s. Before then, songwriters like Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin and Jerome Kern wrote popular songs that achieved a notable artistry, both in lyrics and music. That body of work, at least the best of it, came to be known as the American Songbook. By the early 1950s the popular hit song had evolved into a work of less artistic ambition. Novelty and simplicity ruled — and sold. What happened?

Alan Lomax Recordings Celebrate Centennial
Folk songs like House of the Rising Sun, Frankie and Johnny, Poor Wayfaring Stranger, Rock Island Line and hundreds more are archived and sung today due to the efforts of Alan Lomax. Stagger Lee is one that has been recorded by generations of performers, each giving up a unique take on the song. Premiering this month is in Dallas is a new musical based on the folk song.

Stagger Lee the Mephis Slim version - While your on youtube, check out the Taj Mahal and Amy Winehouse versions.

MUSIC BUSINESS - more articles posted on  DSA Music Biz News
4 Ways to Get People to Your Shows That Actually Work
By Dave Kusek
The Complexities and 'Price' of SoundCloud Going Legit
By Alaister Moughan -- The debate on the future of the music business and the streaming economy is often framed by discussions of user base and per stream payments. What these parameters leave out is the business practices which bring about these rates.
Sam Smith Adds Tom Petty to Songwriting Credits on Hit 'Stay With Me'
By Andrew Flanagan -- Unlike some other recent cases of supposed compositional purloining, this one ended quite...peacefully.
Sly Stone Is Awarded $5 Million In Lawsuit Over Unpaid Royalties
By Randall Roberts and August Brown -- Sly Stone, who had been reportedly living out of a van in recent years, wins millions in royalty lawsuit. [Thanks to Michelle Kay for the link.]


Rod Mckuen, Mega-Selling Poet And Performer, Dies At 81
By Hillel Italie -- Rod McKuen, the husky-voiced "King of Kitsch" whose avalanche of music, verse and spoken-word recordings in the 1960s and '70s overwhelmed critical mockery and made him an Oscar-nominated songwriter and one of the best-selling poets in history, has died. He was 81.

Seasons In The Sun


Mind-Blowing SIX Song Country Mashup!
By Sir Mashalot -- A mashup of six country music songs that all sound suspiciously similar.
Morgan O'Keef and Monarchs
Sheeran Chin Puppet Named Ed Sheerchin
By Andrea Romano -- Solomon's chin puppetry is so impressive that it's impossible to look away.

THE WAYMORES are playing and presenting a workshop on Feb 21st. Hear clips.


"Sweet Lovin' Girl" - Erin Inglish w/ Dylan Johnson 

he Song: “Monarchs,” off of The One They Call The Wind, out March 25th.

The Artist: Songwriter and banjoist Morgan O’Kane, who you can catch at this year’s SXSW.

Fun Fact: O’Kane is an activist for the Anti-Mountaintop Removal movement.


[Elvis would have been 80?!*!!*?]
The Elvisualization
This visualization shows the influence that Elvis has had on modern music. Mouse over any artist on the graph to see how they were influenced directly or indirectly by The King of Rock and Roll. Click on an artist to sample their music.  http://static.echonest.com/insights/elvis/elvisualization.html

How to Rise From Personal TragedyThrough Songwriting
By Kathleen Parrish -- Some of the greatest and most successful songs were written after heart-wrenching moments in life.
Embiggening English: The Simpsons and Changing Language
By Michael Adams -- The first episode of The Simpsons aired twenty-five years ago, on 17 December, 1989, and since then, English has never been the same. Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge, and their friends in Springfield, Wherever-it-is, have given us fancy words of pure invention.

Barbe McMillen's blog, The Craft of Songwriting

Online Thesaurus and Rhyming Dictionary

Great web tool for lyric writing
10. Song and Talent Contests

DSA Quarterly Lyric Contest http://dsalyriccontest.blogspot.com/
Next deadline - March 31st

Wildflower Performing Songwriter Contest  - Now accepting entries until March 1st.
Only 300 entries accepted.  10 finalists compete on May 16 on the Singer Songwriter Stage.
Genres include Acoustic, Folk, Country, Blues, Americana, Bluegrass, and Celtic.
Four $500 cash awards.  Opportunity to perform on the Courtyard Stage.
Lodging provided.


Song, Lyric and Fiddle Contests

20th Annual USA Songwriting Competition http://www.songwriting.net

Second annual youth Songwriter and composition competition for ages 10 thru 17. Deadline Feb 1.  Submissions are on-line with youtube or MP-3. For Guidelines and prizes, see: http://www.violettesbybecky.com/blog/composition-competition-songwriter/
A comprehensive list of Song Contests compliments of MusesMuse.com

11. Songwriting Resources -  Now accepting book reviews

Links to websites about songwriting, performance, music industry.

DSA Book Store - reviews, links, lists of recommended reading, and what's in the DSA Library.
12. Archives of Past Programs and Activities

Did you know???  DSA held two song contests for active military and the Cds of the winning songs, Songs From the Soul of Service Vols. 1 and 2 are available online at:http://store.kagi.com/cgi-bin/store.cgi?storeID=7TE_LIVE&page=SSS4
Tribute to our fallen soldiers from DFW at our Podomatic site:
You Know Me Tribute to Fallen
Read the latest story about this years winners

View past showcase performances and workshops on Crossroads Youtube.

DSA depends on your support.

Giving Rocks! While it never hurts to remind you that DSA is a non-profit organization (and so your contributions are tax-deductible) -  this year it means so much more. We're proud to be celebrating our 21th Anniversary as a non-profit. DSA has been an organized songwriter group since 1985 and became a non-profit in 1990.

Your gift
 enables us to meet our mission.

Our programs created to meet our mission goals are: a monthly newsletter, workshops, critique sessions, showcases, contests, networking opportunities and community service.
If you like what we do, and want to help us keep doing it, please make a contribution today. Gifts of all sizes are meaningful and appreciated.
Donations are welcome year round. 
Thanks for reading this far. If you have any suggestions for the newsletter, please let me know. Follow me on Twitter @barbemcmillen. Give me a tweet.
  Barbara McMillen, Editor
  Songwriter Notes
  Founding President Emeritus, DSADSA Online Store
  Online Songwriting Workshops and Classes