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was using radio broadcasts in the same way that he would use
live musicians, to entertain the customers. Only it costs him
less to do it that way.
Then they said that the existing law, which exempted
music use by home-style apparatus, was too vague and led to
too much litigation. That we agreed with. So we said (as did the bipartisan leadership of the
Subcommittee), let's sit down together and work something out.
We made market place offers
to expand the "home-style"
We always have believed that this is a market
place dispute between the owners of property and the users of
property and should be decided in the market place.
got was a stone wall.
We addressed many other points as well
-- we offered a code of conduct for both sides' dealings with
information about our repertoire, which now exists and is
available by direct modem, through the Internet, by 800
number, or by mail.
And still we were stonewalled.
But then the National Licensed Beverage Association, the group which had started the whole process, came to us and said
that they did want to work something out.
And, in the course
of a long hard day of bargaining, we and they reached an
It would clarify the law.
And according to the
Congressional Research Service, it would exempt almost 70% of
the restaurants and taverns in this country.
The only ones
24-690 - 97 - 3
which would pay fees for radio and TV music would be places
over 3500 square feet
the large chain restaurants and
It is regrettable that the NLBA was not given the opportunity to testify about the market place agreement we
have reached, while not one, but two representatives of that
group for which an exemption of 70 plus percent of their
members isn't good enough, are here to complain.
One other major group behind this pernicious legislation the Religious Broadcasters Music Licensing Committee.
of religious format stations
are . operating
commercial enterprises, which use our music and are making huge profits. Let me tell you just how huge. The head of the
RBMLC, Ed Atsinger, owns 26 radio stations through his Salem
In May, 1995, he bought KDBX-FM in
Portland, Oregon for $1.3 million. The April 15, 1995 edition of Broadcasting & Cable magazine announced that he was
selling the station for $14 million
an increase of 976.9%
in a year.
In 1994, the ASCAP license fees for all the Salem
stations amounted to six-tenths of one percent of their gross
That's the nature of the businesses which believe
that by using the word religion they are somehow relieved of
their obligation to pay a fair fee.
What is worse, to adopt
the viewpoint of the religious broadcasters is to state unequivocally that Christian music is to be valued less than
other forms of music. We can never accept that premise. And
don't let them fool you -- ASCAP royalties are paid for what's
performed on radio to those whose works are performed, and those who write Christian music are paid for the performances
of their music.
Yet what is it that these owners of profitable commercial
broadcasting enterprises want?
First, they want a complete
exemption for the use of music in "religious services" which
that the various forms of
agreements in place were negotiated with representatives of
all types of radio stations and never mind that they make a
lot of money from those broadcasts.
Why is Christian music
worth less than other music? I surely don't think that it is,
yet that is what they are telling you.
Then, they want to
force ASCAP to offer a new form of license agreement because
they want to pay even less for the music they do use.
mind that they're seeking the same relief in federal court in
a case to be tried in four months and evidently can't wait for
That's just not right.
My music is all I've got.
It's what I rely on to feed my
family, to pay my bills, to provide for my retirement.
The owners of the restaurants and religious
stations testifying before you want to pass legislation that
amounts to a "taking" of my property. Surely this Congress in
particular believes in market place solutions. Surely this Congress in particular is opposed to the taking of private
The representatives of these organizations complain about
Yet what they pay is a pittance.
I think it's clear
where fairness lies, and I hope that you won't let these
powerful interests run roughshod over this small businessman
and the tens of thousands of his struggling colleagues who
work hard everyday to continue to make American music the most
popular in the world.
Singedwongwrited guitarist Pat Alger grew up in the small town of LaGrange, Georgia In the mid-sostics, Pat moved to Atlanta to study architecture at Georgia Tech While at Tech he beym writing songs and performing at folk chubs.
Pat bad bis first taste of big songwriting success in 1980 when Livingston Taylor recorded "First Time Love which became a two chart hit - Top 40 Pop and Top 10 Achat Contemporary. In 1981, he moved to Nastville to concentrate on songwriting building a catalog of material that such people as Nanci Griffith, The Everly Brothers, Dolly Parton, Peter, Paul and Mary, Crystal Gayle, Brenda Lee and many others bave recorded. He has two number ones for Kathy Matten, "Goin' Gone" and "She Came From Fort Worth", as well as ber top five hit, "A Few Good Things Romain". Since January of 1991, Pat has scored six mumber ones. Garth Brooks' Unanswered Prayers", "The Thunder Rolls", "What She's Daing Now", "That Sumber"; Hal Ketchun's "Small Town Saturday Night and Trisha Yearwood's "Like We Never Had A Broken Hearts and is the writer of the top five Don Williams single, True Love" and Mark Collie's top twenty single "Calloused Hands". Other cuts include Garth Brooks' The Night I Called The Old Man Our from Garth's newest album titled IN PIECES, Kathy Mattea's "Seeds", Hal Ketchur's "Sotter Than A Whisper and Slaip Ewing's "Rodeo Romeo".
Pat coatinues to perform live locally and on the road. From 1984 through 1988, he was the opening act for the Everly Brothers on almost all of their live shows in the US and Europe. His first solo album, True Love And Short Stories" was released in 1991 on Sugar Hil Records. The critically acclaimed album was distinguished by appearances by Trisha Yearwood, Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith and Kathy Mattea Pat's second album, entitled SEEDS, was released in 1992. It also featured many of Pat's friends (Garth Brooks, Kathy Matten, Trisha Yearwood and Tim O'Brica) Last year, Liberty Records released "Notes And Grace Notes and sponsored a tour throughout the US and Europe
Along with his songwriting and performing careers, Pat remains actively involved in
In 1991 Pat was elected Songwriter of the Year by the Nastville Songwriters