Academic journal article MEIEA Journal

Along the Cherry Lane: Tales from the Life of Music Industry Legend Milton Okun

Academic journal article MEIEA Journal

Along the Cherry Lane: Tales from the Life of Music Industry Legend Milton Okun

Article excerpt

Milton Okun, as told to Richard Sparks. Along the Cherry Lane: Tales from the Life of Music Industry Legend Milton Okun. Beverly Hills, California: Classical Music Today, 2011.

This is truly a remarkable book. Most music business biographies or autobiographies are either exercises in whipped cream and apple pie, "everyone has been wonderful to me," or they leave no stone unturned in describing thievery, double-dealing, and lies. Okun calls them as he sees them. When working with someone was a dream, as was the case with John Denver and Placido Domingo, he is complimentary and positive. When he feels someone has behaved unethically, he has no compunctions about naming names. For example, at the peak of Peter, Paul & Mary's popularity, Milt's royalties were 3.5%. Not of wholesale or retail, but of Peter's, Paul's, and Mary's royalties! So, if they were receiving a 10% of retail royalty, a pretty good deal in 1963, he would have been getting about l/30th of 10%, or three tenths of one per cent!

In addition to detailing Milt's life as an arranger and producer, he goes into considerable and fascinating detail about Cherry Lane Music, his music publishing company. I was fascinated to discover that it took the company two years to figure out why they were not receiving any performance royalties from European television. …

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