Barbara Markay testimonials

Dear Friends:

Here is a sampling of letters sent on behalf of Barbara Markay.
Please add your voice!

President Hal’s email: [email protected]

Barbara Markay runs the Promotions dept., an essential tool for Freelance Musicians in our Union.

Barbara has greatly benefited us all over the years – giving us guidance with reguard to record labels, managers, agents, distribution, CD pressing – every aspect of the needs of recording artists. To have a meeting with Barbara was always to come away with a successful game plan for one’s next career step. A treasure trove. I have testimonials coming out my ears this week. A fine use of our Union dues, with which we were well-satisfied.

Officially Barbara’s title, ‘radio and retail promotions’, conveys the picture of someone providing info on CDs and radio. This any rep could cover. But in reality, Barbara’s abilities cover many more aspects of Promotion. She has had a hit song, made money therefrom, and has a lot of wisdom to give us from a successful recording artist’s perspective.

Like any Union rep, she’s always careful to remind us that she is not in a position to provide legal councel, only sharing her experience, but many of us have avoided serious career mistakes thanks to Barbara. I know many Local #47 members who are still members because they value what has come out of that front office. Being able to pick up the phone during a carreer emergency and get a trustworthy answer from Barbara is something no other local has.

For TV shows, film rights, and movies desiring to use our songs, Carmen Fanzone, John Acosta (and Catherine and Jean before them) have always been great.

But the ‘go-to’ person for Industry standards, the “am-I-getting-ripped-off?” “how can I afford to make my next album/make a pro presskit/stay in the music business at all?” and “what-do-I-say-to-not-look-stupid-at-this-meeting?” questions have always gone to Barbara – because she has been in our shoes.

– Her negotiation of a deeply discounted Union group rate for CD pressing was a stroke of genius, at a savings of 60%! over what most of us had been previously paying. Many of our CDs would not exist if it hadn’t been for Barbara.

– Her seminars on “making and marketing your CD”, featuring recognized Industry giants, were a huge success with a packed house. What other Union program has packed our Local’s hall lately?

– Her 1/2 inch thick Comprehensive Guide for the Professional Musician – free to any member – is a referrence which FMA members still use daily. Have you read it? Full of the ‘secrets’ of how to get one’s career started. She wrote this guide as part of her job. She received nothing extra for it but a large “thank you” from us all.

– She insists that we file Union recording contracts when making CDs. Because of this, we have been protected by contracts for film and video reuse of our songs.

Can we see the financial benefits of having all Freelance musicians filing SELAs, filing recording contracts for their CDs, paying work dues, encouraging others to join, and being financially able to remain members because their needs are being addressed?

Stripping our Promotions dept of its usefulness is not an acceptable use of our union dues, to me or any other FMA member. Doug Caine’s latest communication with me was to suggest that we all now self-pay a consultant for this service, which has been THE reason that many of us stay in the union at all. His earlier insistance that “another, more computer-savvy employee, equally versed in the music business”, would take Barbara’s place, has now proved to be untrue – instead, he chose to try to answer our questions himself, then became disinterested and told us to “go ask an attorney”.

What other budget cuts shall we have, cuts in essential Union services?
Will orchestras now have to pay a consultant to do their contract negotiations?
Will recording musicians now have to pay a consultant to file their contracts and deal with film issues such as Special Payments?

This is the importance of our Promotion dept to Freelance musicians.
This service has been in place for many years. It is a great part of the value of our Union to us.

Lisa Haley

Barbara’s presence at the union has been and I hope will be very important and beneficial to me. On a number of occasions I was able to call or drop in to talk and get advice and sound her out on things without ever feeling the clock was running.

Last year she gave very important advice about a song I had written and produced for an album in Germany, regarding the publishing(which she advised me to hold onto), which rights organisation to join, details of a music company on Sunset (of which Doug Caine has no knowledge) and the benefits of associating with them or not.

Last week I made one of my now rare trips to the local (thanks to the nothing in the book Referral Service) to see Barbara, show her my new CD and talk about ideas for the next step,only to find out she had been fired.

This is plain outrageous. The union is happy to take our dues and without vote or consultation,cavalierly take away services and talented people who might be actually doing something good for members in those areas of the business.

I hope we can turn this terrible decision around.

Dave Winstone

I’ve been a 47 member now for 5 or 6 years. You might have seen our DVD/video in the front walk-in area… 8 Bands In One! Our band has worked at Disneyland for over 13 years.

I am also a songwriter and produced a Solo CD back in the 90’s as well as our bands’ country CD in the late 90’s.

I had spoken to Barbara Markay a couple of months ago and we had planned a meeting for Jan./Feb. after her vacation (and after my Disney Christmas Show) so she could help me make a plan to pursue promoting my CDs in hope’s of creating a new stream of revenue and possible career direction.

I am greatly saddened to hear of her removal right when I had planned to solicit her expertise to “re-invent” my music career.

I urge you to PLEASE reconsider the unions action against her position and reinstate her ASAP.

This action has dashed my hopes of ever transitioning from working for “the mouse” to working for my self. If you don’t know, Disney WILL NOT sign our SELAs and even though it’s been good steady work, it has it’s draw

I– we need Barbara’s insight and experience as working musicians trying to become self sufficient work-due paying professional musicians.

I appreciate all the new tools coming available to us at L47, however, I still feel that letting Barbara go weakens our unions ability to field and handle specific questions dealing with independent and/or major record companies.

It’s great to have more work with my cover bands through the network etc but my goal is to be able to market my own music and get out of “Cover Gigs”. That’s where I think letting her go is bad for our union.

I know people who depend on Barbara for her expertise and personal experience with handling a career of original music, and I had intended to follow a well proven path of her guidance. I get the feeling that the term “freelance musician” has implications of being second class or of a less desirable union member. Aren’t all musicians “freelance” until they get a steady gig? And haven’t we all had steady gigs come and go? Anyway, you can see how I feel and I will solicit other members opinion on this matter.

Best regards,

Bill Horn

I had always looked forward to utilizing the airplay service that Barbara’s office provided. She always had frank, useful advice.

“As a songwriter ready to assemble an album I am curious as to the airplay policy, now that things have changed with B. Markay. Will that program still go on? I was very much looking forward to using it as a tool”.

D.C. Hall

Dear Powers-That-Be,

I am deeply disappointed in the direction my union seems to be going–
away from providing useful services for members who actually perform
music for live audiences. I am also appalled at the way Barbara
Markay was unceremoniously dumped after years of diligent employment
at the union where she initiated programs, produced seminars and
helped promote the work of union musicians. Ten years ago, she co-
produced my comedy CD, which was recorded at Studio 47, and
encouraged me as I began the real work–of marketing my album. I
knew there was someone with expertise, experience and knowledge, to
guide me along the way. That was very reassuring in this
technological age, where business cards and brochures are not enough

There are always at least two sides to every story and I don’t
pretend to know all the facts or the behind-the-scenes maneuvering
that resulted in Barbara’s abrupt dismissal. But from my point of
view, a union that treats one of its own employees in such a abysmal
way, has little regard for me either. And indeed, I am feeling more
and more marginalized because I actually make a living as a freelance
musician. I bring music to audiences who really appreciate a live
person playing a real instrument. Simple as that. Barbara’s work at
the union supported a large segment of the union membership, in ways
big and small.

I am a long-time member of Local 47 and have appreciated the many
benefits of union membership, one of which was Barbara’s vital
presence and help. I hope you will re-examine your decision about
her dismissal. I also hope you will consider how this has
exacerbated the growing division in our union–a division that will
hurt everyone in the long run.

Cali Rose Brandau

To whom it may concern: As a paying member for over 20 years and nothing to show for it. I never say anything but this time I have to voice my personal disappointment in our elected officals.

I met Miss Markay at the union and she is one few people that have helped my career. I can’t believe this is happening to her and after making a disgusting dues increase. The union wants to take away from us once again.

To let you know of her importance. She helped me devolope a plan to get airplay for colleges and regular radio, and Europe, she had me send cd’s to states that have DJ clubs. I have played in Europe thanks to her direction. My CD is on, CD baby, Muzak, DMX, Music Choice, thanks to her expertise.

Just before I met Miss Markay I had my CD pressed and the company pressed it up with a glich in it and wouldn’t give me my money back.
I went to Markay and told her of my problem and she found me another company that pressed my cd properly and cheaper. I was very happy with the outcome. Also with all the sending out I did with Markay’s direction I recevied a deal with Walten & Son in Hawaii. Most of all I actually receive some money. My first record before that I was burned through TBA records and my CD was selling in Europe without my consent and I never received a penny.
I just can’t let the union officals invalidate this person when she been one of the best things at the union.

You can only do a job like this through experience and having a hit yourself and knowing what to do though her personal contacts and what direction to take for a musician’s cd. You can’t take an impersonal approach though a computer and having people program it that know nothing of the business. Especially what the elected officals did with the Musician contact service and putting a person in the job that knows nothing about music and how the job works. And casturating Marcus Bronx I noticed they never did print the outcome of that casturation.

I must voice my opion that they know not what they do.
And I will put the word out that the President and Vice president need to be replaced. They’re not working for us but their own selfish reasons.

Thank You for listening.
A very disatified Union member that just plays gigs and the union doesn’t recongize.

Jimmy Dale

Barbara Markay
the cd packet alone is amazing… I could not have done my cd without her.. from beginning to end… the people she referred to put the cd together were top notch….and she helped me with bar code, too… photographer, graphic artists… printers… copyrights… getting your cd on cd baby… and amazon…

3 of my songs were picked for a pottery barn kids compliation cd nationwide… that was one of my contacts…but again if the professionalism wasn’t there… it wouldn’t have happened… my happy birthday song is on itunes canada… the cd is no. 47… cdbaby too, and i am getting airplay on continental airlines… (cuz barbara refered me to a gal who also does kids music and this gal and another friend of hers had this contact!!)

the only thing i did was write the songs sing the songs and pick the musical producer..and spend a lot of money! 🙂
i believe everything else was from her list…

if i didn’t have the professional product that came form her guidance… i don’t believe these things would have happened… plus in addtion to working full time as a musician, i am booking concerts for kids… she guided me every step of the way in putting this cd together… you wouldn’t think putting a cd together would be hard…but it was one of the hardest things i have ever done… and without her help i don’t know if i would have as professional of a product… and now i have been offered an indie deal…in the kids market… and she is not there for advise… and she also explained how to join sound exchange… as the paperwork is overwhelming… and her last advice to me… besides to do another cd….(yikes!) .was buy billboard international and try to get a deal outside the u.s. in english speaking countries… brilliant… would i have thought of that… NO!!!!
she is brilliant! She knows everything about this market… it’s amazing… she is not just filled with knowledge about the business… but also filled with enthusiasm and being a cheerleading for all the musicians to do well and get ahead…

jamie shaheen


Dear Sir:

I have just heard about the firing of Barbara Markay. I am dismayed that such a thing could happen. Barbara is one of the best things to happen to Local 47 in the many years I have been there. (If you will recall, I got my 50-year pin at the last non-meeting.)

Barbara actually cares what happens to musicians and has worked with and for musicians in a hands-on capacity. She always has time to talk, to bring new material to our attention, to research stuff that we would otherwise not know about… all this and more plus the creating of the cd display and sales that many of us would not have access to in the normal marketplace.

I hope there is some way to re-think this and reinstate Barbara in her job. She is a much-needed force.

Thank you.

Betty Bryant

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