Doak Turner: From Radio Networks to Music Row’s Networking Maven

By PHIL SWEETLAND
Music and Radio contributor, The New York Times

NASHVILLE –A little more than eleven years after Doak Turner moved here, on October 15, 2002, hundreds of songwriters would find it almost unimaginable to work here without him.

Doak was awarded the NSAI Community Ambassador Award on September 17, 2012 at The World’s Largest #1 party. The award was presented at the afternoon ceremony in the Roundabout Plaza.

Within six months of his arrival, Turner had begun two of Music Row’s most admired and powerful networking tools, the weekly Nashville Muse and the Third Sunday at 3:00 gatherings of singers and songwriters at his home in West Meade.

Doak also owns a website www.musicstartshere.org with videos of pros giving advice in the music industry.

The Nashville Muse, whose motto is “Friends do not let friends play to an empty room,” is a comprehensive listing of songwriter appearances and industry happenings all over Nashville, which is eagerly read by over 3,500  Songwriters, Radio Personalities, Publishers, Artists, Record label Execs and other Music Row executives every Monday.

He also initiated the monthly Third Sunday at 3:00 confabs, which combined food, fellowship, co-writing sessions and song pitches for an ever-increasing number of Nashville and out-of-town writers which ran for 112 months and discontinued in 2012.

Each April, there was also a Guitar-B-Q; 150 folks came to the first Guitar-B-Q and by last April that number had swelled to 600. That yearly event was discontinued after (7) years – “The crowds just got too big for the house” according to Doak.

The 3rd Sunday at 3;00 hit milestone – month #100 on July 17th in 2011. a couple articles on the 3rd Sunday are: 3rd Sunday At Doak’s Reaches Milestone. March of 2012 will mark the (9) year anniversary of the 3rd Sunday at 3:00. More info on 3rd Sunday at 3:00 www.nashvillemuse.com/events The 3rd Sunday at 3:00 have been discontinued at the house (Doak moved to another part of town) after 112 months that ended July, 15, 2012.

http://www.musicrow.com/2011/07/3rd-sunday-at-doaks-reaches-milestone/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Musicrow+%28MusicRow%29 and http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/8210339/doak_turners_100th_3rd_sunday_at_300.html?cat=8 Yahoo

In a town where many of the most talented writers and singers are by their nature very private and even withdrawn souls, Turner’s enthusiasm and ability to bring folks together are indispensable.

“I’m living my dream,” he said in August 2008. “My years in Nashville have been the happiest of my life.” “I am a poster child for God sends people much more talented and smarter into your life to keep you on your journey”.

30+ years ago (1982), Doak began in Radio sales with Beasley Broadcasting in his native West Virginia. He worked for stations with a variety of formats. Turner’s success in creating successful advertising copy and campaigns for his clients was a revelation. He told himself: “I can be creative. I started writing 90% of my clients’ ads. I loved the competition, I was motivated, and I began reading self-improvement books by folks like Norman Vincent Peale, Zig Ziglar, Og Mandingo, Dale Carnegie and Coach John Wooden. Those all helped shape my life. I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to have fun.”

Turner moved to Charlotte in 1987 in the radio business, and by the mid-1990s he was working in Radio for one of North Carolina’s most famous exports – NASCAR. He syndicated NASCAR Country, building a network of more than 300 stations for the company, and selling sponsorships worth in excess of $300,000. Doak’s characteristic success helped rekindle his lifelong love for Country music and Radio. By this time, he had also been trying his hand at writing songs for several years.

He started and was the coordinator of Charlotte chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) in 1996, where he first met North Carolina native Byron Hill. Hill’s 600-plus Nashville cuts include Tracy Byrd’s “Lifestyles Of The Not So Rich And Famous” and George Strait’s “Fool Hearted Memory”, 7 #1 songs and over 700 cuts.

Doak was by now getting the itch to move to Nashville himself, which he at last did in October 2002. Three months later, a visitor to Turner’s house mentioned a weekly party of songwriters in Greenwich Village, New York, where spaghetti was served to every tunesmith who sang a new song. “That was a cold Sunday afternoon, and I remember thinking how much I missed having dinner with my family. So I invited 30 of my peers over for dinner on that Third Sunday of March 2003. The next month we ordered 50 pounds of barbecue and had the first Guitar-B-Q.”

The Nashville Muse began in a similar serendipitous way. Doak was visiting songwriting friends in San Diego when someone suggested, “why don’t you send out a newsletter? That seed of an idea grew into the Nashville Muse,” Turner says. The idea itself is simple, but the painstaking execution, and the growth into a fully-sponsored E-newsletter with 1,000′s of readers a week, is pure Doak energy, enthusiasm, and work ethic. February 2013 celebrated TEN Years of the Nashville Muse!

The years of tireless support Turner has given songwriters are finally translating into success for his own tunes. Indy artists have cut about six of them. A recording of an Alabama soldier singing Doak’s “Talkin’ Part” nationwide on Sirius Satellite Radio got spins at Country Radio stations around the USA in 2007. Warner Brothers artist Frankie Ballard cut a song, “That Look” on his Indie CD “Electric Hillbilly” that Doak wrote. He has (10) indie cuts since moving to Nashville. Recent cuts include Brad Puckett singing and climbing the Music Row charts “At Least I’m Feelin’ Again” and also Jimmy Fortune (of the Statler Brothers) cutting “At Least I’m Feeling Again” for his new CD.  Kate Logan recorded, “Rocks In The River” for her independent album and Mallory Miller recorded “Rocks In The River” and “I Talk To God” for her album to be released in 2014.

The All-American Tailgaters (CJ Solar Band) and Doak are working on a college tailgate theme with “We Bleed” themes www.theallamericantailgaters.com  such as “We Bleed Blue and Gold” for the WVU Mountaineers and will produce the song for many college tailgate parties with the college teams in the song! The WVU song, “We Bleed Blue and Gold” can be downloaded on iTunes and several college and pro teams “We Bleed” tailgate songs are available  at www.theallamericantailgaters.com    Tailgate parites wiht the theme “We Bleed Purple and Gold” are held near the LSU stadium for the Tigers games with the CJ Solar band playing the song to cheering crowds.

Earlier songs recorded include, “Dreamin ‘Bout Sunday Afternoon“, “Righteous Right Hand“.

Doak has started the Artist Workshop in December of 2012 that will feature artists and pros in the industry to give the up and coming artists an opportunity to learn from the pros in the industry – entertainment attorneys, other artists, promoters, booking agents, publishers, consultants and others in the industry to inform the artists on the do’s and don’ts, marketing/branding and the realities of being a successful artists. The workshops are held the first Tuesday of each month at Two Old Hippies in The Gulch in Nashville.

Doak is now the Representative for www.ottoprint.com  OTTO Print – the makers of the Backstage Pass, laminates, wristbands and all your printing needs for your music journey. Dave Otto invented the backstage pass and laminates and Doak is the first representative the company has ever worked with outside of the company headquarters in Dayton, KY.

Doak recently became a rep for “Music With Friends”that bring legendary concerts to Nashville to play concerts in the new CMA Music Hall at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

For Doak Turner, Nashville’s living embodiment of the Power of Positive Thinking, that’s another dramatic step on the journey to his music and Radio dreams.

CONTACT: www.nashvillemuse.com new site www.doakturner.com for all of Doak’s sites and blogs
615 354 6400  doak@doakturner.com
doak@nashvillemuse.com and doak@doakturner.com
Listen to Doak Turner’s songs at: www.doakmusic.com

(Photos by Mike Hall’s Photo Graphix  www.wvphoto.com )

Doak Turner And The Nashville Muse from Rory Bourke on Vimeo.

More info and comments on 3rd sunday at 3:00 www.nashvillemuse.com/events

Doak interviewed by Hall of Fame songwriter Rory Bourke – www.rorybourke.com

Story on the 3rd Sunday at 3:00 was in the June 2012 edition of American Songwriter magazine and can be read on www.nashvillemuse.com/events

Inside Music Row story on the 100th 3rd Sunday at 3:00:

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