Stephen Arnold Music

The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America

Tag Archives: Stephen Arnold Music

Long Live The King

In the world of music – be it blues, rock, pop or even country – there are few names as revered as B.B. King. He was a pioneer of popularizing a sound that had been brewing along the banks of the Mississippi for generations.

As a very young man in the mid-‘90s, I was lucky enough to see B.B. King at the (then) recently rejuvenated, and now defunct, Bronco Bowl, in Dallas, TX.

It was a special night and I will never forget the silk suits, fedoras, and walking canes that were the chosen outfits of that evening.  As an 11 year-old boy it was eye-opening – not for the venue and patrons, but for the man on stage. Little did I realize that few performances later in my life would rival what I saw that night.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fast forward 15 years and I witnessed what, still to this day, stands as the most unique sound check I would ever experience. I was a young road dog – a glorified roadie – living in London and hanging concert PA’s for a family-run sound company called Canegreen; based just steps from White Hart Lane in Tottenham.

Our first show in our UK “tour” of five shows was at Manchester’s MEN Arena and having hung the stage left PA (16 Meyer Milo‘s on the main hang, 10 box side hang) I settled in stage left for what I thought would be an awesome sound check – watching a living legend play with his backing band without an audience.

It did not disappoint, but not for the reasons I had anticipated.

Keep in mind that this was the first of four or five arena shows and we were supplying every piece of equipment barring backline, including front of house and monitor engineers.  So naturally you’d expect the band to come out and sound check, right?

But rather than seeing B.B. King make his way on stage with his band, out came his band leader James “Boogaloo” Bolden. I can only try to recount in writing what happened next (Editor’s note: This may have in fact been the drummer or bass player instead of Boogaloo as James was a killer trumpet player.):

Boogaloo:   “Ok, we ready for sound check?”

Us:             “Sure, the band coming out?”

Boogaloo:    “Nah, I got this”

silence

[MD moves to far stage right position, horn section]

Boogaloo:   “Ok, ya’ll ready”

Us:               “Uh, yea, ok… you want a trumpet?”

Boogaloo:   “Naw…. [shouting in the microphone, NOT playing a trumpet] Bap bap bap bap bap!!! I’m a trumpet!”

[Silence from the sound crew]

Boogaloo:   “Bah bap bap bap bap!!!! I’m a trumpet!”

[Silence]

Boogaloo:   “Hey turn this up a bit…. Bap bah bap bap bap!!… hey, perfect!”

[moves to sax position]

Boogaloo:   “Bee bee bee bee beep!! Be bee bee bee beeeeeeep!! I’m a sax!!”

You get the idea…

So we set the stage levels per the bandleader’s musical direction. Needless to say, when the band came out and we un-muted everything, a wall of feedback greeted the crowd and sound crew; and the first song was spent dialing in the band.

It was the most fun and laid-back set of shows I ever was a part of, and it sounded fantastic. The backing band – and B.B. King – had been performing and touring for decades. They mixed themselves, as the best musicians and performers do.

Luckily, I had a chance to meet B.B. King in person.  He was gracious and I couldn’t help mentioning to him my father’s signed “Lucille” ES-355

Want to see B.B. King? Unfortunately he passed last week at the ripe old age of 89. But you can see Steve Arnold’s signed B.B. King Gibson ES-355 “Lucille” at both Promax NY and LA this June, where we’ll proudly have it on display. It’s our own small tribute to a man who transformed music – and the art of the sound check.

The King is Dead – Long Live B.B. King.

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 Years and #StillIndie

What a long strange trip it’s been.

As you can guess from my last name, I’ve been around Stephen Arnold Music for quite a long time. I’ve often mused that it was quite an eye-opening discovery, around age 8 or 9, to find out that EVERYONE didn’t have a recording studio.

While the business has changed from its humble origins as Stephen Arnold Productions, one thing has remained the same: We’re proud to be an independent and customer service is our lifeblood.

So what exactly does that mean? Aren’t there lots of composers and music houses out there?

Sure, there are many fine composers out there, and many successful music houses. But to have staff including sales, marketing, admin, not to mention our creative team and all the musicians and talent that we count on daily – working alongside full-time employees numbering 15+, Stephen Arnold Music today is a different animal completely.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We’re proud to service over 300 television stations along with some of the largest networks on the planet. Our music helped launch CNN Headline News (now HLN) and recently rebranded CCTV China’s 5 international channels — the largest television network in the world by viewership.

Aside from the detailed creative and production that takes place daily in our studios, there is a heaving database of administration – from contracts to sales to copyrights to registrations to making sure payroll goes out; it’s no small task to keep Stephen Arnold Music humming on a daily basis.

Ask around and you’ll discover what sets us apart: our dedication to customer service, understanding the science AND art of sonic branding, and always putting our clients first (even if adding that saxophone is a bad idea!). Our passion is to make our clients look and sound great; to brand stations, networks, TV shows, and media in a way that’s memorable, innovative and engaging.

Want to know what it means to be #indie? Pick up the phone and give us a call – ask for anyone in the company, from President Stephen Arnold to VP Creative Services Chad Cook all the way down to the mail room and you’ll be put right through. It’s always been that way at Stephen Arnold Music.

Happy Hour is Friday 4pm sharp – stop by, see us and we’ll show you around.

 

Editor’s Note: For more information on what is means to be #indie, check out Newscast Studios article: http://www.newscaststudio.com/2015/04/16/stephen-arnold-relishes-in-independence/

 

VOTE on Local Station Videos – The Sound of Your Story

Voting is now officially open for our online contest “What’s The Sound of Your Story?”

  • Check out the Best Work from Your Peers here »
  • Cast Your Vote.
  • You Choose Who Wins!

THE WINNING STATION will receive this amazing guitar from Stephen’s collection:
An authenticated 1980’s Gibson Les Paul signed by Les Paul!

Stephen Arnold Music - Sound of Your Story

How It Works:
Simply click on the “thumbs up” icon for the video you like. Users can vote for their favorite video one (1) time every 24 hours during the voting period. After 2 weeks, the most popular video will be the winner!

Vote on Your Sound of the Story now!

Stephen Arnold Music Video Contest

What’s the Sound of YOUR Story? Contest and Giveaway!

stephen arnold music contest

WHAT’S THE SOUND OF YOUR STORY?
It’s a contest!  Simply submit your Promos, Branding, Image Campaigns, PSA’s, Specials & Graphic Opens.
Then check out the best work from your peers on our video voting site.
You Vote to Choose Who Wins! (Voting starts January 26th)

ENTER YOUR VIDEOS NOW – IT’S EASY!

How It Works:
Simply enter your video(s) with the form above (must be a YouTube or Vimeo link) by January 25th. After that, users can vote for their favorite video one (1) time every 24 hours during the voting period.  After 2 weeks, the most popular video will be the winner!

Contact all your office mates, colleagues, peers, fans, friends, family, family friends, real friends, fake friends, facebook friends, friends with benefits, friends without benefits, followers, tweeters, instagramers, viners, and every random person who will support you and vote for your video so YOUR STATION can WIN this amazing guitar from Stephen’s collection:  An authenticated Gibson Les Paul signed by Les Paul from the 1980’s!

The winning video will be posted & Promoted at:
blog.stephenarnoldmusic.com, facebook.com/StephenArnoldMusic, and twitter.com/S_ArnoldMusic

Enter Now through January 25th.  You Choose Who Wins.  Enter Your Video Now!

Click here to view our rules and regulations >

Promax Asia 2014!

We’ve had quite an eventful year here at SAM – which we’ll no doubt touch on very soon, so check back here in the coming weeks! But in a year where we saw one of our largest rebranding projects EVER in CCTV International, we just had to get out to Promax Asia, held this year in Singapore!

Stephen Arnold Music was pleased to be a sponsor this year, and if you attended and didn’t pick up one of Stephen’s books – A Story of Six Strings – then be sure to let us know, and we’ll get one shipped out to you.

Our partners in the CCTV rebrand – Flint Skallen – were presenters in the session “A Deep Dive Into The Rebranding of CCTV International”

 

We’re very pleased to continue our long standing relationship with Promax and look forward to many more international projects!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,564 other followers

%d bloggers like this: