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 ten 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 by Sheree Spolotore and Bart Herbison 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 gatherings of singers and songwriters at his home in West Meade. Doak has also started a website www.musicstartshere.org with a biz partner, Will Carter. The site has over 300 video interviews with music industry pros giving advice. The Nashville Chamber of commerce encouraged Doak and Will to start the site to be a resource for people visiting and those new to Nashville for songwriting and the music business.
The 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 tunesmiths, Radio personalities, and Music Row executives every Monday.
He also initiated the monthly Third Sunday confabs, which combine food, fellowship, co-writing sessions and song pitches for an ever-increasing number of Nashville and out-of-town writers. Each April, there’s 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 lyric writing for several years. He began going to meetings of the Charlotte chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), 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.”
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 1000′s of readers a week, is pure Doak energy, enthusiasm, and work ethic. February 2013 will celebrate 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 with Marc-Alan Barnette and Gary Dennis. He has (10) indie cuts since moving to Nashville. Recent cuts include Brad Puckett singing “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. 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
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 at Two Old Hippies in The Gulch in Nashville. Check the Nashville Muse for details and dates for the workshops.
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.
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 email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Listen to Doak Turner’s songs at: www.doakmusic.com
(Photos by Mike Hall’s Photo Graphix www.wvphoto.com )
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: