WVLT-Sen. Alexander: Music reform bill helps all artists, including Dolly Parton

Posted on May 26, 2018

WVLT-Sen. Alexander: Music reform bill helps all artists, including Dolly Parton

By Kyle Madura 

May 26, 2018 


WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- From singers to songwriters, music executives to tech titans, almost everyone is singing the same tune before Congress.

"Please, I beg you," Tennessee songwriter Josh Kear begged. "Pass the (Music Modernization Act) and bring us the relief we've been asking for."

Kear told a Senate hearing that the middle-class musician is disappearing. He said the number of professional songwriters employed in Nashville, is down 80 percent since 2000.

"Our music is being used more than ever, and valued less," Kear said.

The proposal before Congress better compensates those outside the spotlight and sets new royalty rates to account for online streaming. It cleared the House 415 to 0 and is expected to breeze through the Senate.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said it's not the icons like Dolly Parton that need this change — it's everyone else.

"People like Dolly get paid," he said. "But most of the songwriters in Tennessee are taxi drivers, waitresses, school teachers, piano teachers. And they don't get paid much."

Alexander said regulations written when the player piano was cutting edge no longer cut it now that half of music revenue is recorded online.

"A lot of people, they don't know what a player piano," Alexander said. "It's been such a long time since anybody successfully addressed this."

Alexander said this bill strikes the right chord by finding areas of agreement rather than trying to solve every problem. That approach could strum up the votes in needs in the Senate, and a signature from President Donald Trump.

Sirius XM Satellite Radio has been the most vocal opponent of the reform. Company spokespeople did not respond to our request for comment.

Read the original version of this article at www.graydc.com.