Stephen Arnold Music

The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America

Category Archives: Stories

Hello, Holiday Season!

I think it’s safe to say we are in holiday season mode. With Thanksgiving approaching next week, we are either giddy as a child or resentful as Scrooge. Thanksgiving has lost a bit of its historical meaning and has evolved into an eating holiday, right? It’s still a beautiful thing – family and food.

Just a reminder, if you are feeling a big nostalgic and want to add some historical data to your dinner conversation: according to Wiki, Thanksgiving became an official Federal holiday in 1863. President Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving and praise… And then there is the story of the first Thanksgiving, which we recreated every year in elementary school. I was always the Indian because of my darker completion…now that I think about it that was just wrong.

I am incredibly thankful I will be spending Thanksgiving with friends and family this year and very excited that my daughter will be coming in from Nashville. We’ll pick up annual traditions:

  • Pictionary
  • Eating
  • Mad Libs
  • Eating
  • Dancing
  • Eating
  • 4 a.m. Black Friday Shopping!
  • 10 a.m. nap

I wanted to tie music into this post, but Thanksgiving is not really a musical holiday. However, I did find this:

Our Stephen Arnold Music family wishes you and yours a beautiful Thanksgiving holiday.

NAB: Small Market Television Exchange…Everything but SMALL

My first ever SMTE conference, in San Antonio, Texas, was much bigger and better than I could’ve imagined! I mean—Small Market—it’s right up my alley being from a tiny little town in Arkansas. These guys really are the heart and soul of their towns. I remember what a big deal it was when the local news stations would come to our high school football games to get highlights for the 10pm news–Talk about some excited kids, doing everything they could to be on TV!

I had a blast manning the SAM exhibit. We definitely stood out—I mean we were giving away a vintage ’77 Takamine 12 String signed by James Taylor…HELLO! Can’t tell you how many people asked me if they could drop their entire stack of business cards in the ballot box!

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This year’s guitar giveaway turned out to be a pretty cool moment. David Praga, GM at KIMA in Pasco, WA was the card that I drew from the fishbowl. I immediately start cheering and congratulating him—grab the guitar off the stand—and happily hand it over to him. To my surprise, and every other person standing there for that matter—HE GAVE IT AWAY!!!! Yes, you read that correctly—HE GAVE IT AWAY. He handed this gorgeous, sought after guitar over to Bob Berry, his Station Manager. Bob was like a kid at Christmas! Beyond excited! He is a huge guitar junkie, and had come by our booth a few times just to admire it—always reminding me that it was going to be HIS guitar this year. And then low and behold—he got his wish. Such a cool moment to witness. There ARE some pretty great bosses out there, right? Loved it.

I met so many great people who, like me, love and appreciate their small towns. I am grateful to have met such passionate, hard-working people.

Can’t wait to build on these relationships made, and already looking forward to seeing them all next year!

Following My Passion

Coming from a country where oil refineries are the bread and butter of life, you wouldn’t be surprised to know that a music career doesn’t sound too appealing to the ears of some parents where I grew up.

 

That was kind of my case.

 

I was born and raised in a little town in the north part of Venezuela, on a little peninsula called Paraguana. There are three things you can find out there: beautiful beaches, perfect weather and oil refineries.

peninsula_de_paraguana_1

I always loved music and I started playing music at a young age and had several bands growing up. But, when it was time to go to college, I didn’t have too many options given the local industry; it was either be an Oil & Gas Engineer, or an Oil & Gas Engineer! I lost my dad at a young age and he was a Mechanical Engineer his whole life, despite never recieving a college degree in it…So I went to college and got a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I knew its what he would have wanted

 

After six months and a horrible experience working in oil refineries I decided to follow my passion: Music!  I came to the U.S. with $100 in my pocket and did not speak English. My best friend from high school was living here already, so I stayed with him; going to community college to learn English and working as a cashier to pay for my school. I went to Dallas Sound Lab, now called Media Tech.

 

After I finished I thought it was my time to shine.  But nobody called; no emails, nothing!! So, Plan B… wait, there wasn’t a Plan B.

 

Finally I got an interview in Austin, to work in a Recording Studio there. The interview never happened, even though I sat in their lobby waiting for 4 hours AND after driving 3 hours to get there.

 

On my way back home I got a call from somebody I had never heard of. I never sent my resume to him, but some how he found me…his name is Stephen Arnold, from Stephen Arnold Music.

 

I remember that conversation like it was yesterday. Stephen said, “ I would like to bring you in for an interview for a paid internship.” … pause… I thought was a friend of mine making fun of me. I said, “look man, this is not funny, my day is a mess, don’t joke with me right now”… pause… Stephen: “I would like to bring you in for an interview for a paid internship”… pause.. me: “holy crap! So sorry man, sure I will be there!”   Wow, I was speechless.

 

11 years later I still work for Stephen as a Senior Audio Editor and Sound Designer in the Creative Services Department. I have been learning from the best, because I want to be the best. Working at SAM has been a unique experience, learning so much more about the music business than I had ever even dreamt about. The quality of musicians I have the privilege to work with every day and the amazing writers, producers and engineers help me to grow professionally.

 

Learning the creative process of making music at SAM is such a unique thing, the way we walk step by step with the client to get to know exactly what they have in their mind is just amazing. Following my passion has taken me for a nice ride, and I am still learning. I’ve been doing Sound Design, Mixing, Recording, also I have the chance to do Live Sound and even working on Movie Sets as a freelancer. And of course I still get a band together when I can…. Gonzo City may have played its last gig in Ft Worth, but here’s a picture of the guys!

gonzo2

I guess the phrase “Follow Your Passion” worked perfect for me. A wise man told me once, “Find what you love to do and then find the way to get paid doing it”. Music is such of big part of everything, and learning how to be good at it has opened a lot of doors in my career; and it is because of working at a place like SAM that I am where I am in my professional career.

 

The Non Musician – There is a Place for you in the Music Business!

Often, when you meet someone new, one of the first questions they ask is, “What do you do?”  Which always means, “What do you do for a living?”  I reply that I rep Stephen Arnold Music and explain that we produce original music for broadcast and cable networks, along with creating branded music packages for local television stations.  With excitement and intrigue, they ask, “Oh, you’re a musician?”  I anticipate the big let down when I’m forced to respond in the negative.   “Well, do you play an instrument?”  Again, my less than thrilling answer: “No.”

Yes, I work for a music company, but I do not have a musical bone in my body.  I tried picking up the guitar, but my fingers are really not long enough or strong enough.  I tried playing the piano; again, it’s helpful to have longer digits.  I played the flute in elementary school, but there was just too much spitting – ewww, gross.  I suppose if Stephen was in need of a tambourine player, I could keep a gypsy beat . . . or if he needed a cow-bellist, I’d be happy to volunteer.

I’ve been with Stephen Arnold Music for 10 years, and I still stand in awe of the talent and brilliance that surrounds me. Music moves us; it motivates us to do something – dance, sing, cry, or run into the room to catch a newscast – because we recognize the music. So I am proud to say, I am part of the music industry, even though I have no musical talent.

I was talking to Pat Beard from WCTI about this very subject, and he so eloquently stated, “Every great musician needs someone awesome to support them, and that person is you.”  I like that!

So next time someone asks me what I do I just might say, “I am an awesome support person for some great musicians!”

 

Our talented SAM staff and their instruments:

Stephen: Guitar, piano, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, harp guitar

Chad: Piano, keyboards

Whitney: Guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, piano

Noelle: French horn, mellophone, trumpet

Alice: Awesome support person

Michael: Violin, guitar (novice- with 4 songs under his belt!)

Clay: Saxophone, bass guitar, piano, guitar, and vocals AND flute, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, and tuba

Tinley: Awesome support person

Jesus: Guitar, bass guitar, congas and bongos, drums, keyboard

Lyndsey: Awesome support person

Katherine: Awesome support person

Paul: Keyboards

 

 

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Promax Preview…..SAM style!

Happy Monday everyone!

It’s another gorgeous Spring day here in New York and, after lounging in Central Park most of the weekend, I’m so thankful that I won’t have to leave the city for this year’s PromaxDBA: The Conference!

Stephen, Chad, and Lyndsey will all be joining me in NYC for the June 10-12th conference. I moseyed over to the Hilton Midtown last week to check out the venue, and I think we’re going to have another great convergence of creative geniuses!  And, if you haven’t heard, Stephen and Chad will be giving conference-goers the inside scoop in a session featuring the rebrand and relaunch of CCTV China’s foreign language channels.  Stop by the Mercury Room on Thursday at 3:45. Hope everyone’s able to check it out! #WTFuture

Win this Tom Petty Signed Strat!!

Win this Tom Petty Signed Strat!!

And if local creative is your game, keep pushing until the end of May book on Wednesday! Then give us a shout if you’d like to meet up in Vegas! This year we’ll be taking over The Mirage the last week of June for the PromaxBDA Station Summit. And yes, the wrap party Thursday night is a go. Feel free to send us a note to make sure you’re on the invite list and get all the official details.

Whether we’re seeing you in Vegas or NYC be sure to stop by, say hello, and drop your business card in for our drawing for a Tom Petty signed Road Worn Fender Stratocaster!

On a personal note – is it inappropriate to take a baby to Vegas? Nah, didn’t think so. Baby Alanis will be joining us at the roulette table. That’s his game. #STATIONSUMMIT

Baby Alanis on a roll....

Baby Alanis on a roll….

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