Thursday, May 25, 2006

My Friend: Jody Williams

Important music business news announcement this week regarding my friend Jody Williams who has just been appointed Vice-President, Writer/Publisher Relations, BMI Nashville.

Read the Music Row item.

Jody will direct all writer/publisher relations activities for the US p.r.o. in BMI's Nashville office beginning May 30.

Jody Williams was the most passionate and dedicated advocate of my songwriting talent and hit potential in Nashville during his earlier tenure with BMI in the mid 80's when he worked as an associate director of writer/publisher relations. I was a new young writer exploring opportunities in Nashville at the major pro songwriting level after enjoying several big radio hits with my songs in Canada.

I earned a nomination for a Juno Award as Country Male Vocalist on the strength of those songs. The Juno is Canada's "Grammy" Award.

Jody Williams quickly became a true believer in supporting my goals as a professional Nashville songwriter and he personally introduced me to everybody who was anybody in the Nashville music business.

Jody's access to the very highest levels of the Nashville industry opened every door on Music Row for me in my efforts to secure a contract as a writer ultimately resulting in my signing a deal with Combine Music in October of 1987. I had considered a number of other publishers, but made my choice for Combine Music mainly because of the keen interest of legendary Combine CEO Bob Beckham who had helped revolutionize the songwriting business in Nashville by discovering, signing & successfully promoting the landmark songs of Kris Kristofferson who was my all time greatest Nashville influence.

A partial list of some heavy hitters whose access, interest and generous hours of time were accorded to me and my songs in those days because of Jody Williams include: Tony Brown, Martha Sharp, Mark Wright, Pat Higdon, Bob Beckham, Blake Chancey, Bob Doyle, Dennis Morgan, Susan Burns, Larry Hamby, David Conrad, Ree Guyer, Bob Montgomery, Al Cooley, Ralph Murphy, Karen Conrad, Walter Campbell, Pat Halper, Henry Hurt, Kevin Lamb and Larry Shell.

Just to mention a few.

Had it not been for Jody Williams, it's also likely I would never have met or hung out with such famous folks as Ricky Scaggs, Mel Tillis, George Jones, Marty Stuart, Mel McDaniel, Larry Gatlin, Steve Earle, Roseanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Shelby Lynn, Billy Dean, Mickey Gilley, Bill Monroe, Mickey Newbury, John Prine, Billy Joe Shaver, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Chet Atkins, Bobby Bare, Tony Joe White, Tammy Wynette, Porter Wagoner, Del Reeves, Doug Sahm, Buck Owens, Vince Gill, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, The Oaks, Lorrie Morgan, Kathy Mattea, Don Henry, John Vezner, Nanci Griffith, Robert Earl Keen Jr., Alan Rhody, Nigel Olsen, Larry Butler, T. Graham Brown, Emmy Lou Harris, Vern Gosdin, Harlan Howard, Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, and many others.

Again, just to mention a few. I've met other great songwriters and artists in my life before and after Nashville, such as June & Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Carl Perkins, Gordon Lightfoot, Jose Feliciano, Gino Vanelli, Bruce Cockburn and others, but Nashville is a whole different arena in which to connect with songwriters and artists.

Which brings me back to Jody Williams who played no small part in ensuring that the Nashville music industry community extended its full welcome to me as a professional. I was honored and grateful then and I'm proud today to say thanks to my friend: Jody Williams.

Congratulations Jody! All the very best in your new position at BMI and our very best also to Karen and your sons, Driver and Edward.

Talking Points: Here's a few of my personal Jody Williams quotes:

"Frank Trainor is a great singer with great songs. He is also my friend and a true gentleman in every sense of the word." - JW

"A publisher can only hope to find a writer as unique as Frank Trainor" - [Jody recommending me as a professional songwriter]

"Frank Trainor...if you ever write a book I'll buy it" - [Jody replying to my insights regarding his artist & writer discovery Josh Turner’s big hit song called Long Black Train]

Spotlight: For reasons that should be obvious, today’s spotlight is on Kris Kristofferson who wrote many great and groundbreaking songs including one I related to when there was really nothin' left to lose Shipwrecked In The Eighties …but hell, I was born to float ‘cause it ain’t the time to learn how to swim when the tide comes rushin’ in

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Digital Downloads, Decoding Da Vinci, The Arrogance Of Excellence & Folk Right Off

Guardian Unlimited in the UK features a special report this week on legal downloading of digital music from sites that respect the rights of songwriters & artists in this growing new realm of music industry. Integral to my own music and business interests is the fact that this special report features links and important information on some of the major players currently populating the worldwide digital music download business. Among those download sites represented in the Guardian article are Audio Lunchbox, Sony Connect and eMusic, all of which feature my three available CD's and single songs for purchase.

Downloading Frank Trainor Songs and CD'S Via FRANKtalk
For those of you new to FRANKtalk I invite you to visit my associate music download sites as represented at my InDepth Links sidebar section of this page where my CD's [and single songs] are currently all available through these following worldwide digital download sites: Audio LunchBox, Sony Connect, ItsAboutMusic, Groupie Tunes, eMusic, Sandbar and also coming soon to Amazon and!

ItsAboutMusic is my digital distribution record label partner and publishing associate and is responsible for promotions to all major download sites & cool Internet radio programming around the globe. It's a whole new world of music business these days and of course we are still in very early times, but my music is now being picked up at an increasing rate by more of these major digital download sites.

So, thank you all for your appreciation of my songs and for your purchases of my music around the world through these great sites.

DeCoding Da Vinci
As a Catholic I cannot be completely unaffected by the current hype surrounding the abomination known as The Da Vinci Code. However, it is difficult for me personally to raise this ridiculous fairy tale to any level of serious concern based as it is on wholesale fictions, fabrications, untruths, deceits, myths, improbable conspiracy theories and occultist propaganda. It’s a good thing there were no slanderous attacks on Islam or The Prophet in this fluff or there would have been some heads cut off and theatres torched by now.

It's amazing to me how restrained we Catholics are in the face of pure evil's purposes in the deconstruction of our religious beliefs and deep spiritual values. I should think that fact alone would make obvious to anyone the true strength of Divine foundations created to withstand evil and to prevail against the most destructive powers of hell for all eternity. We are not indifferent to offense. We suffer it.

That to me is a faith and a Church worth believing in even if it occasionally requires some defense other than God's own justice.

The chickens are already coming home to roost for our western civilization and they are sitting in full egg dropping position as regards The Da Vinci Code. Amen. But still, we must pray for our enemies. Love conquers everything. Nothing trumps the Truth.

We'll let the critics take the hindmost in this case and shrug a slight movement of our shoulders towards those whose job it is to pithily comment on such current cultural events even though they verge on the reflexive requirement of universal condemnation in response.

I will never view The Da Vinci Code for the same reasons I would not subject my soul to the mortal sin of The Last Temptation Of Christ.

Both movies are blasphemous attacks on The Holy Catholic Church, The Divinity of Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit.

They offend God and all humanity in their cheapness and degradation of The Divine Grace. And they exist for no other purpose but money.

When the heathen money changers get this close to the temple they ought to be driven out with whips, chains and a few cat o’ nine tails.

In light of the movie's stunningly bad reviews and notwithstanding the expected opening week-end box office bonanza hoopla it will undoubtedly experience, you can be rest assured that this vapid, over hyped, superficial cultural travesty will recede to its proper vestigial irrelevance on its way to ultimately occupying the well worn ubiquitous "point of purchase" dustbins of mediocrity at Blockbuster.

Here’s a few links to informed journalistic perspectives on this issue.

Michael Coren's Toronto Sun Column: Da Vinci Code: A Disgrace

MacLean’ The Da Vinci Code: [bad writing for Biblical illiterates]

Pat Buchanan / Whose God May We Mock this is an important piece

The War Room Nicol DuMoulin’s ruminations on Pat Buchanan's piece

I condemn The Da Vinci Code. That’s my clear & unequivocal stand.

Otherwise I’m listening to Jethro Tull and The Allman Brothers Band.

Beyond this, I've got Nothing To Say

'Cause it just ain't my Cross To Bear

Talking Points: Recent comments made about Frank Trainor “Conservative artists tend to be incognito as they "live" and do business in a liberal world & culture. However, that being said, this one decided it's best to be himself, the thought being he would attract his fanbase better, or have a more "open mind" to different ideas if they liked his music. I consider music an art.” [Crusader]

Well, my sincere thanks to The Crusader for those kind words and the recommendation at Free Dominion. It's true, I make no apologies for my Catholic faith, my philosophical conservatism or my prerogatives as a free human being in any respect. Why should I? My talents are true gifts of love from God. Any who reject me don't have a prayer.

Some might mistake such assertiveness and bold confidence for arrogance...not at all...arrogance is based on underlying insecurity whereas certainty and confidence are based on skill and excellence. You might call my confidence "the arrogance of excellence" as my old friend Spero Bassil used to say...heh, heh...what ever you choose to call it; excellence doesn't shrink from mediocrity or political threats.

The mediocre and the politically correct crowd are always fearful of higher purposed spiritual energy that is freely soul giving.

To hell with the crowd. What has the crowd ever done for you?

Which leads me to this little item from The Medicine Hat Folk Club
It's Martha Wainwright's Party And She'll Swear If She Wants To So Conservative Fans With Family Values Can Just "Folk Right Off"

A tip of the fedora to the Medicine Hat Folk Club for expressing its dissatisfaction with cheap vulgarity & relativistic postulating against conservatives and family values in folk music circles. It's good to see that not all folk network allies in music are required or willing to be debased in either their own meaningful purposes or their commercial interests by a few spoiled gutter acts who don't know the difference between low-brow juvenile selfishness and professional decorum.

Spotlight: Our spotlight feature this week is The Iconoclast. You can find The Iconoclast linked at my Scribes & Illuminators sidebar scroll. Check out the photo funnies page. It's hilarious.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

In The Madness Of Sanity

In the madness of sanity, John, the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, half-naked, hair-shirted, speaks with the voice of the Desert Flame who allows the grass to wither and demands that men bear the weight they’ve given, in pride and deeds, their names.

“Prepare the way. For what is close at hand, burns.” And the people, convicted, edge in a mass toward the bar. The Baptist would drown each man again and again, until, in death, the last deception goes down, and this sin, our daily bread, is exposed: a food that starves, a meal that feeds itself. When I hear, I fast, am wracked and led to a desert scored with tiresome habits and needs. To kill this self, I need to raze it seems: each carefully vaulted wall, each decentered beam.

Let my violence offend the world and its superficial dream.

COPYRIGHT 2001 The Christian Century Foundation [with apologies to David Craig] COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group

More From The Sanity Zone….
What Athenian vantage point is this perchance...?

Let Freedom Reign!
Richard Evans at Let Freedom Reign! [formerly known as the blogsite Cannuckistan Chronicles] has a great post up [May8] illuminating the scope of a book first published in 1958 called the Naked Communist. We need to read material like this to understand what has always been at stake in our western civilized democracies. The objectives have never changed for the anti-freedom forces in the world who appear in history under various guises as Marxist-Leninist, socialists, secular humanists, radical feminists, Islamofacists, NDP, Liberals...?Pierre Trudeau, The Walrus, Maude Barlow, Naiomi Klein & more.

Here's a portion of Richard's post....

The Conservative Reclaimation of North America 1
This is what the lib-left has been working on over the past 6 or 7 decades: Way back in 1958 a fella named W. Cleon Skousen wrote a book called the Naked Communist. In that book he stated 45 declared goals for the communist takeover of America. I haven't read the book but I have read the stated goals. Let’s have a look at some of them and see how they've done so far. Please bear in mind that terms "America" or "US" can be meant to mean "North America" or can be replaced with "Canada" and still have the same effect. Oh, and because we're nice Canadians let’s call them "Socialists" instead of "Communists”…[read the rest of the blog post here].

Let Freedom Reign! is noteworthy today also [May 9] for its classic pedophile/moonbat psycho comments diatribe & spaz email feature which Richard has amusingly frontpaged at his site under HolyCrap!

Commies AND Moonbats...!! Really great stuff....very important and also highly entertaining too Richard. Keep on fighting the good fight.

Thanks to Richard Evans for adding FRANKtalk to his new LFR blog.

You'll find FRANKtalk linked in Favorite Sites @ Let Freedom Reign!

How Democracies Perish
And speaking of truthfully calling a communist spade a hammer and sickle, a very famous and brilliant man named Jean-Francois Revel died last week. Revel was a French newspaper editor and author who was regarded very highly in intellectual circles in France. My eyes became opened wide to the reality of the true communist threat to our western hemisphere by reading Revel's now long out of print book “How Democracies Perish” more than twenty years ago.

Here's an obit link. We need to hear Jean-Francois Revel today.

I'm personally not an optimist regarding the world in any event. I've seen too much and lived too far outside my sangfroid comfort zones.

Bob Dylan summed it up best...this world can't stand long.

Talking Points: Jean-Francois Revel was a free spirit whose works trace a singular, fertile and indispensable path. That's not only a great way for a man to have lived and created, it's a truly great and noble way to die. We should all be so fully alive when we kick it.

Spotlight: The spotlight this week is on our brand new InDepth Links addition Groupie Tunes which is now promoting my most recent CD Grace & Gravity which is available at GT via ringtones & downloads.

Friday, May 05, 2006


I married Isis on the 5th day of May,
But I could not hold on to her very long.
So I cut off my hair and I rode straight away
For the wild unknown country where I could not go wrong.

I came to a high place of darkness and light.
The dividing line ran through the center of town.
I hitched up my pony to a post on the right;
Went in to a laundry to wash my clothes down.

A man in the corner approached me for a match.
I knew right away he was not ordinary.
He said, "Are you lookin' for somethin' easy to catch?"
I said, "I got no money." He said, "That ain't necessary."

We set out that night for the cold in the North.
I gave him my blanket; he gave me his word.
I said, "Where are we goin'?" He said we'd be back by the 4th.
I said, "That's the best news that I've ever heard."

I was thinkin' about turquoise, I was thinkin' about gold,
I was thinkin' about diamonds and the world's biggest necklace.
As we rode through the canyons, through the devilish cold,
I was thinkin' about Isis, how she thought I was so reckless.

How she told me that one day we would meet up again,
And things would be different the next time we wed,
If I only could hang on and just be her friend.
I still can't remember all the best things she said.

We came to the pyramids all embedded in ice.
He said, "There's a body I'm tryin' to find.
If I carry it out it'll bring a good price."
'Twas then that I knew what he had on his mind.

The wind it was howlin' and the snow was outrageous.
We chopped through the night & we chopped through the dawn.
When he died I was hopin' that it wasn't contagious,
But I made up my mind that I had to go on.

I broke into the tomb, but the casket was empty.
There was no jewels, no nothin', I felt I'd been had.
When I saw that my partner was just bein' friendly,
When I took up his offer I must-a been mad.

I picked up his body and I dragged him inside,
Threw him down in the hole and I put back the cover.
I said a quick prayer then I felt satisfied.
Then I rode back to find Isis just to tell her I love her.

She was there in the meadow where the creek used to rise.
Blinded by sleep and in need of a bed,
I came in from the East with the sun in my eyes.
I cursed her one time then I rode on ahead.

She said, "Where ya been?" I said, "No place special."
She said, "You look different." I said, "Well, I guess."
She said, "You been gone." I said, "That's only natural."
She said, "You gonna stay?" I said, "If you want me to, yes."

Isis, oh, Isis, you mystical child.
What drives me to you is what drives me insane.
I still can remember the way that you smiled,
On the 5th day of May in the drizzlin' rain.

Bob Dylan & Jacques Levy
Copyright © 1975 Ram's Horn Music
From the Columbia album Desire [Bob Dylan]
. .