New Post has been published on Billy’s Blog

New Post has been published on http://blog.billyfranks.com/you-have-to-be-good-to-know-good-the-isc-international-songwriting-contest/

You Have to Be Good to Know Good - The ISC (International Songwriting Contest)

You Have to Be Good to Know Good

 

The International Song Contest is running again right now. I won’t be entering. Contests and talent shows are not for me. Why? Because you have to be good to know good. Unless you know well the art that you are judging how can you ever recognise any real quality?

I entered ISC before with one of the best songs I have written –  50/50 America - A song I would have wished to have written were it someone else’s composition.

Here is a verse:

The black king came to Camelot

The Lip kissed the heavyweight crown

Set a  place, we’ve got a visitor

But lips get bust, kings get taken down

In 50/50 America.

Let them come, let them come.

A hard rain’s gonna fall where strange fruit hung.

This was how that verse was judged in the first round.

“Makes no sense, has no meaning”

This is the meaning

It’s talking about the civil rights movement in the 60s as part of America’s lifelong inner conflict with itself.

The black king came to Camelot (Refers to Martin Luther King negotiating with Kennedy at that time)

The Lip kissed the heavyweight crown (Muhammad Ali was the heavyweight champ, active in civil rights, his nickname was The Louisville Lip.)

Set a place, we got a visitor (There was a great movie around this time called Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in which Sidney Poitier played  the black boyfriend of a white girl who is challenged and challenges the reactions of her parents.)

But lips get bust, kings get taken down (Ali was sanctioned for not taking the draft, King was assassinated)

 In 50/50 America. (as above)

Let them come, let them come. (The song’s main hook, pleading that, despite its faults, America was born out of a great concept that is inscribed on the statue of liberty)

A hard rain’s gonna fall where strange fruit hung. (The first half of this line refers to Dylan’s song, the second to Billie Holiday’s and reflects how,through iconic songs from different eras, change was taking place.)

That’s quite something isn’t it?

Yet the judge’s verdict was a principal reason that the song didn’t even make the first cut.

Here’s something I believe wholeheartedly:  You have to be good to know good.

You have have a deep and personal understanding of the craft or art you are going to preside over in order to be able to judge it fairly.

In a court of law you wouldn’t let a judge decide a defendent’s future if he had no knowledge of the statute, so why allow someone with limited songwriting knowledge or experience decide the fate of  a song that may have true quality?

Judges in song contests, particularly in the early rounds, are not good enough to know good.

I had never entered a song writing contest before for that reason. But I knew I had something special.

The reputation of ISC convinced me that here was a place where music would be listened to by fellow travelers who were enlightened about both the instinct and the craft of songwriting and so would at least recognise these qualities.

I was mistaken.

I hope you can understand that this is neither personal nor vindictive, or an attack on ISC alone.

I have no lasting grudge or bitterness in relation to my own personal experience; it was many years ago and the song in question has since gathered praise from other writers and music lovers from many parts of the world.

Nor is my argument limited to the judging of songs and songwriters.

I have been involved with 3 movies that toured the U.S independent film festival circuit and have seen the same misjudging take place. Not necessarily with the films I was connected to but with other superb pieces of work that were totally overlooked because those judging would not have spotted the subtle or more refined qualities of the more deserving entries.

I know song writing out of intense love and study.

I believe ISC judges and those involved with all songwriting competitions should know it in the same way.

Very best wishes,

Billy

http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/

New Post has been published on Billy’s Blog

New Post has been published on http://blog.billyfranks.com/a-love-letter-for-our-times-2/

My Love Letter to Our Times

A LOVE LETTER FOR OUR TIMES

 

I’m trying to write a letter to the times we live in. The times that you, I and everyone we know or meet are going through. These are times like no other in our lifetimes.

A time when hunger, torture, poverty, injustice and genocide are as common as when we were children.

But what makes these times so much harder to live with is the vile extremes of religious divide that compel believers to carry out acts of such brutal violence as to make a mockery of what human life should be and the lengths some might go to combat it.

So vicious are the lengths some extreme factions will go to that those self-appointed leaders of “our side” have lowered their own moral bar to the point where “we don’t have to be good just be better than them.” Guantanamo Bay, Rendition, Waterboarding and indiscriminate bombing should be enough examples to make my point.

(I put the quotation marks because it is a line from my song Another Cruel Sunday, that appears on A Letter to The Times.)

I am writing this “letter” because I’ve simply had enough. I cannot bear to see so much suffering and remain silent. What breaks my heart is that so much this suffering is unecessary.

It has to stop and stop soon before another generation becomes indoctrinated with the same mean ideologies. I am at the point where I worry that championing any religion only helps the more extreme believers of their own religiions justify their behaviour.

George Bush and Tony Blair who instigated, with undue haste and with self tailoured evidence, an unnecesary war that escalated the insanity we now live through, both decared openly that they were doing God’s work.

No matter how pretentious it may sound, regardless  of how much of a dreamer it makes me and no matter how vitriolic some responses will inevitably be, this album is nothing less than a 5A – An Attempt At An Answer.

I have never sought fame or fortune. I am loved by more than enough people so as to be unconcerned about global popularity or to go out of my way in search of notoriety.

But the more people who receive my “Letter” the more hearts and minds there are likely to join the debate. It has to start somewhere.

It is starting. I feel, see and hear the faint rumblings of an idea whose time has come.

So I ask you from deep in my heart to do whatever you can to make those unknown to me aware of this, my most important album.

I will state my intentions clearly. I want this campaign to become viral in some way,

There is so much we can do and social media can help us do it. President Obama would not have made history without his team’s use of social media to raise awareness of his campaign.

I would like one more attempt at gathering an online street team, in which case sign up below.

But the obvious first step is to share this link on your Facebook Timeline and ask your friends to do the same.

You make that happen then anything can happen.

Its my love letter to the times.  Help it find its readers.

With thanks and the warmest of regards,

Billy.
Badge

 

New Post has been published on Billy’s Blog

New Post has been published on http://blog.billyfranks.com/a-love-letter-for-our-times-2/

My Open Love Letter to Our Times

A LOVE LETTER FOR OUR TIMES

 

I’m trying to write a letter to the times we live in. The times that you, I and everyone we know or meet are going through. These are times like no other in our lifetimes.

A time when hunger, torture, poverty, injustice and genocide are as common as when we were children.

But what makes these times so much harder to live with is the vile extremes of religious divide that compel believers to carry out acts of such brutal violence as to make a mockery of what human life should be and the lengths some might go to combat it.

So vicious are the lengths some extreme factions will go to that those self-appointed leaders of “our side” have lowered their own moral bar to the point where “we don’t have to be good just be better than them.” Guantanamo Bay, Rendition, Waterboarding and indiscriminate bombing should be enough examples to make my point.

(I put the quotation marks because it is a line from my song Another Cruel Sunday, that appears on A Letter to The Times.)

I am writing this “letter” because I’ve simply had enough. I cannot bear to see so much suffering and remain silent. What breaks my heart is that so much this suffering is unecessary.

It has to stop and stop soon before another generation becomes indoctrinated with the same mean ideologies. I am at the point where I worry that championing any religion only helps the more extreme believers of their own religiions justify their behaviour.

George Bush and Tony Blair who instigated, with undue haste and with self tailoured evidence, an unnecesary war that escalated the insanity we now live through, both decared openly that they were doing God’s work.

No matter how pretentious it may sound, regardless  of how much of a dreamer it makes me and no matter how vitriolic some responses will inevitably be, this album is nothing less than a 5A – An Attempt At An Answer.

I have never sought fame or fortune. I am loved by more than enough people so as to be unconcerned about global popularity or to go out of my way in search of notoriety.

But the more people who receive my “Letter” the more hearts and minds there are likely to join the debate. It has to start somewhere.

It is starting. I feel, see and hear the faint rumblings of an idea whose time has come.

So I ask you from deep in my heart to do whatever you can to make those unknown to me aware of this, my most important album.

I will state my intentions clearly. I want this campaign to become viral in some way,

There is so much we can do and social media can help us do it. President Obama would not have made history without his team’s use of social media to raise awareness of his campaign.

I would like one more attempt at gathering an online street team, in which case sign up below.

But the obvious first step is to share this link on your Facebook Timeline and ask your friends to do the same.

You make that happen then anything can happen.

Its my love letter to the times.  Help it find its readers.

With thanks and the warmest of regards,

Billy.
Badge

 

New Post has been published on Billy’s Blog

New Post has been published on http://blog.billyfranks.com/a-love-letter-for-our-times-2/

Pls respost/share/RT #My Open Love Letter to Our Times

A LOVE LETTER FOR OUR TIMES

 

I’m trying to write a letter to the times we live in. The times that you, I and everyone we know or meet are going through. These are times like no other in our lifetimes.

A time when hunger, torture, poverty, injustice and genocide are as common as when we were children.

But what makes these times so much harder to live with is the vile extremes of religious divide that compel believers to carry out acts of such brutal violence as to make a mockery of what human life should be and the lengths some might go to combat it.

So vicious are the lengths some extreme factions will go to that those self-appointed leaders of “our side” have lowered their own moral bar to the point where “we don’t have to be good just be better than them.” Guantanamo Bay, Rendition, Waterboarding and indiscriminate bombing should be enough examples to make my point.

(I put the quotation marks because it is a line from my song Another Cruel Sunday, that appears on A Letter to The Times.)

I am writing this “letter” because I’ve simply had enough. I cannot bear to see so much suffering and remain silent. What breaks my heart is that so much this suffering is unecessary.

It has to stop and stop soon before another generation becomes indoctrinated with the same mean ideologies. I am at the point where I worry that championing any religion only helps the more extreme believers of their own religiions justify their behaviour.

George Bush and Tony Blair who instigated, with undue haste and with self tailoured evidence, an unnecesary war that escalated the insanity we now live through, both decared openly that they were doing God’s work.

No matter how pretentious it may sound, regardless  of how much of a dreamer it makes me and no matter how vitriolic some responses will inevitably be, this album is nothing less than a 5A – An Attempt At An Answer.

I have never sought fame or fortune. I am loved by more than enough people so as to be unconcerned about global popularity or to go out of my way in search of notoriety.

But the more people who receive my “Letter” the more hearts and minds there are likely to join the debate. It has to start somewhere.

It is starting. I feel, see and hear the faint rumblings of an idea whose time has come.

So I ask you from deep in my heart to do whatever you can to make those unknown to me aware of this, my most important album.

I will state my intentions clearly. I want this campaign to become viral in some way,

There is so much we can do and social media can help us do it. President Obama would not have made history without his team’s use of social media to raise awareness of his campaign.

I would like one more attempt at gathering an online street team, in which case sign up below.

But the obvious first step is to share this link on your Facebook Timeline and ask your friends to do the same.

You make that happen then anything can happen.

Its my love letter to the times.  Help it find its readers.

With thanks and the warmest of regards,

Billy.
Badge

 

New Post has been published on Billy’s Blog

New Post has been published on http://blog.billyfranks.com/in-praise-of-a-human-sound/

In Praise of A Human Sound

In Praise of A Human Sound.

 

My next and 7th solo album is well underway and will be released early 2015.

In the writing and producing of all those albums there is an album from 1986 that has been my holy grail.

A record of such precise and economic songwriting, so finely played and produced that each and every album I make conjures up in me the compelling desire to better it.

For sure there are other classic albums that I would like to match in every quality.

Abbey Road by The Beatles is one.

Darkness On The Edge of Town by Springsteen is another. There’s a sizeable list.

But the album I want to go one better than is one on which I played,wrote and sang.

The Faith Brothers’ A Human Sound.

I am being totally objective and distant when I declare that A Human Sound is one of the great overlooked pop music masterpieces of the 80s, if not all  3 decades since its release.

My insistence would be exactly the same had I had absolutely nothing to do with it.

If that record was made by as unlikely a source as The Bay City Rollers, I swear to you that I would be singing no less loudly it’s praises.

It has only ten songs but not one of them is undeserving of it’s place.

(Lyrically it has one of my best, Saint of Contradiction and also my finest song title, “May Your Children Speak Well Of You Mother Tongue.)

It also contains the song DJ Simon Mayo would play many years later expressing his disbelief that it was never a massive hit, Consider Me

In fact at least 6/7 songs were held back from inclusion for that very reason. I have as many unreleased songs as I do in the public domain, I have never believed in wasting time and space with songs that didn’t keep those alongside  them perfect company.

The basic tracks were all recorded ‘live’ so it is tight and punches hard when necessary.

It has some of the best bass lines since early Motown and late Beatles.

I know both James Jameson and Paul McCartney would tip their respective hats to Lee Hirons for his work on that and many other albums.

On its release most reviews were either by people who wouldn’t know or love music enough to see or hear it’s worth or journalists so tainted by a negative overall view of what The Faith Brothers were or represented that their opportunity to twist the knife blinded and deafened them to the point where they couldn’t possibly do their job properly.

Enter the unlikely hero!

One writer from a Surrey newspaper had no idea of the band’s history or current standing in the eyes of the mainstream music press who had written us off as a blustering blue eyed soul group with angry leftward leanings who had neither  the required intelligence or vocabulary to articulate the frustrations of living through mid 80s Thatcherite Britain.

So he reviewed cleanly.

I do not have the review with me so you will have to trust me while I paraphrase. But this was the essence of his summary.

“If this album was put out by any major band, including The Beatles, it would have immediately been hailed as a classic.”

So, you can now understand why it remains the album I would lovingly be happy to be remembered as the second best of my career.

It hurts to admit that, as close as I have come, (Mass would be the closest, The Turtledove Boutique, the most earnest effort), A Human Sound remains unmoved from the top spot.

For how much longer?

A Letter to The Times is released February 2nd 2015.

Billy

New Post has been published on Billy’s Blog

New Post has been published on http://blog.billyfranks.com/in-praise-of-a-human-sound/

In Praise of A Human Sound

In Praise of A Human Sound.

 

My next and 7th solo album is well underway and will be released early 2015.

In the writing and producing of all those albums there is an album from 1986 that has been my holy grail.

A record of such precise and economic songwriting, so finely played and produced that each and every album I make conjures up in me the compelling desire to better it.

For sure there are other classic albums that I would like to match in every quality.

Abbey Road by The Beatles is one.

Darkness On The Edge of Town by Springsteen is another. There’s a sizeable list.

But the album I want to go one better than is one on which I played,wrote and sang.

The Faith Brothers’ A Human Sound.

I am being totally objective and distant when I declare that A Human Sound is one of the great overlooked pop music masterpieces of the 80s, if not all  3 decades since its release.

My insistence would be exactly the same had I had absolutely nothing to do with it.

If that record was made by as unlikely a source as The Bay City Rollers, I swear to you that I would be singing no less loudly it’s praises.

It has only ten songs but not one of them is undeserving of it’s place.

(Lyrically it has one of my best, Saint of Contradiction and also my finest song title, “May Your Children Speak Well Of You Mother Tongue.)

It also contains the song DJ Simon Mayo would play many years later expressing his disbelief that it was never a massive hit, Consider Me

In fact at least 6/7 songs were held back from inclusion for that very reason. I have as many unreleased songs as I do in the public domain, I have never believed in wasting time and space with songs that didn’t keep those alongside  them perfect company.

The basic tracks were all recorded ‘live’ so it is tight and punches hard when necessary.

It has some of the best bass lines since early Motown and late Beatles.

I know both James Jameson and Paul McCartney would tip their respective hats to Lee Hirons for his work on that and many other albums.

On its release most reviews were either by people who wouldn’t know or love music enough to see or hear it’s worth or journalists so tainted by a negative overall view of what The Faith Brothers were or represented that their opportunity to twist the knife blinded and deafened them to the point where they couldn’t possibly do their job properly.

Enter the unlikely hero!

One writer from a Surrey newspaper had no idea of the band’s history or current standing in the eyes of the mainstream music press who had written us off as a blustering blue eyed soul group with angry leftward leanings who had neither  the required intelligence or vocabulary to articulate the frustrations of living through mid 80s Thatcherite Britain.

So he reviewed cleanly.

I do not have the review with me so you will have to trust me while I paraphrase. But this was the essence of his summary.

“If this album was put out by any major band, including The Beatles, it would have immediately been hailed as a classic.”

So, you can now understand why it remains the album I would lovingly be happy to be remembered as the second best of my career.

It hurts to admit that, as close as I have come, (Mass would be the closest, The Turtledove Boutique, the most earnest effort), A Human Sound remains unmoved from the top spot.

For how much longer?

A Letter to The Times is released February 2nd 2015.

Billy

New Post has been published on Billy’s Blog

New Post has been published on http://blog.billyfranks.com/27-from-freedom/

27% From Freedom

Wow!

My Pledgemusic campaign sits at 73%.

Once I hit my target, I get the means to have the CDs and T-Shirts pressed and packaged.

Personally not only can I not wait to see them, the earlier I reach my target, the lower the cut that PledgeMusic take.

So, if ya haven’t pledge but do intend to, take alook now. Some of the exclusives are as little as £8.

Thanks and best wishes,

Billy
Badge

New Post has been published on Billy’s Blog

New Post has been published on http://blog.billyfranks.com/last-day-to-get-the-1-best-selling-book-for-free-only-a-few-hours-left-get-yours-now-45-x-5-star-reviews-100/

Last day to get the #1 best selling book for free! Only a few hours left - get yours now. 45 x 5 star reviews (100%)

A Far Cry from Sunset

Can 4 Friends Travel 5 Countries & Get 10 

Superstars To Appear On A Tribute Album

To 1 Unknown Songwriter?

book cover

“When I wasn’t laughing out loud, I confess to holding back a few tears.

There are abooks that everyone should read. They embolden and they encourage,

They invigorate and they inspire. They dream and dare us to dream too. This is such a book.”  GOODREADS

“For those of us whose dreams were fulfilled. For those whose dreams were not.

For those who dared to dream but not to pursue them. And for those who have a dream in the making.

At last there is a book for each and every one of us. Bold, beautiful & inspirational.”  SUNFLOWER MUSIC

“The true story of a genius with grace who did it the hard way.”  THE REVIEW OF BOOKS

“One of the most honest and heartfelt books I have ever read.

A great adventure has become a stunning read.”  BOOK REVIEW

Go to Amazon and search – A Far Cry from Sunset.

OR

Here’s a list where you can download:

1. FreeDiscounteBooks.com
2. IndieBookoftheDay.com
3. EreaderPerks.com
4. FreeEBooksDaily.com
5. BargaineBookhunter.com
6. Pixelofink.com
7. TheEreaderCafe.com
8. FreeBookDude.com
9. EverythingBooksandAuthors.com
10. KindleBookPromos.LuckyCinda.com
11. EReaderNewsToday.com
12. ItsWriteNow.com
13. Frugal-Freebies.com

Please share as much as you have time to.

Thank you so much,

Billy

New Post has been published on Billy’s Blog

New Post has been published on http://blog.billyfranks.com/my-book-available-for-free-for-one-week-only/

pls share, repost & rt-#My book available for free only a few hours remain - now or never my friends!

Can 4 Friends Travel 5 Countries & Get 10 Superstars To Appear On A Tribute Album To 1 Unknown Songwriter?

If you have a Kindle or other eReader, you can now get a copy of my best selling book, A Far Cry from Sunset at absolutely no cost,

It’s a promotion to raise awareness so if you know anyone who you think should, could or would read it, tell them tio go to their country’s Amazon site and seacr by the title.

Click on Kindle version and download for free.

But please hurry this promotion only lasts for one week.

You can tell a friend about it by clicking the button:

Hope all is and remains well with you,

Billy

Now hit them share buttons like your life depends on it…..mine does!

New Post has been published on Billy’s Blog

New Post has been published on http://blog.billyfranks.com/my-book-available-for-free-for-one-week-only/

pls share, repost & rt-#My book available for free only 48 hours to go!

Can 4 Friends Travel 5 Countries & Get 10 Superstars To Appear On A Tribute Album To 1 Unknown Songwriter?

If you have a Kindle or other eReader, you can now get a copy of my best selling book, A Far Cry from Sunset at absolutely no cost,

It’s a promotion to raise awareness so if you know anyone who you think should, could or would read it, tell them tio go to their country’s Amazon site and seacr by the title.

Click on Kindle version and download for free.

But please hurry this promotion only lasts for one week.

You can tell a friend about it by clicking the button:

Hope all is and remains well with you,

Billy