Robin Green just might be your best friend. On the other hand, if you
are in the business of screwing artists and songwriters, you can run but
you can't hide -- Green is a self-described pit bull of a collection agent.
Lynne Robin Green freely shares her expertise through songwriting seminars,
workshops and magazine columns. As the head of Lansdowne Music and Winston
Music (ASCAP), Bloor and Hoffman House Music(BMI), and Casa de La Luna
Music (SESAC) she certainly knows of what she speaks -- Green personally
tracks a mindboggling array of projects. Her combined companies boast
over 1,250 recordings to date and she estimates that in any given month
25-30 releases include songs from her catalogs. In addition, over 490
film and television shows -- from The Andy Griffith Show to Hairspray
-- have featured her material.
"It all comes down to the songs", says Green, "and being able to
creatively market them." A cross-section of pop gems -- recorded by everyone
from the Doobie Brothers, Dick Dale and the Dillards to Phil Spector --
light up the company's catalog. "We take songs and masters and utilize
them for every possible usage -- commercials. videos, films. TV and more.
Songs have more than one shelf life; once they have been recorded there's
a pretty good chance of them being used for film and TV. If we have the
master, we take it to the next step. If it's a demo, then it's a matter
of researching the right artist to see if they're open to doing outside
songs. But we can't be limited to just pitching songs to artists."
Then, there is her crusade, what she calls "a lost art": artist royalty
recovery. "I have a big heart for classic artists," she says, "I have
recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in rock, R&B and surf music
royalties that may not have been received or have just been under-accounted
for many years. I'm 98 percent successful, without having to go into litigation."
Green also listens to new songwriters. "I've fought very hard for 21 years
to try to keep an open door. If you send me music and enclose an SASE,
I will usually reply within four weeks." But, she reveals this notable
truth: The best referrals come from other artists and writers." Writers
she represents include Butch Norton from the DreamWorks band, the Eels;
jazz vocalist Bill Henderson; legendary sax man John Handy, and Vicki
Randle from the Tonight Show currently has four cuts on Albita's
latest CD and theme music for The Christina Show (Univision 2001).
Lynne Robin Green began as a songwriter; her first year's credits included
songs on network TV and the jazz charts. Moreover, she met her mentor,
Jack Hoffman, the founder of the companies she now owns. These days, Green
also keeps a close eye on internet licensing and new media. She says,
"I'm interested in two types of situations: if it's a band that has something
which will be imminently released, they need an administrator, somebody
who knows how to do licensing. With new writers I'll do a single song
agreement with a one-year reversion, but I have to be very positive about
the song" And what do her personal tastes dictate? "I don't like things
that sound formulated -- I like it from the gut, something that's become
a part of you without having to figure what it is."
What is her most basic advice for songwriters? "Learn what you're talking
about, how it works, how to protect yourself, and get honest people on
your side to help you. Never sign anything without an attorney. Make sure
you know what you're doing every step of the way, and always document
A well-versed songwriter advocate, Green also reflects, "I consider it
a privilege to be given the gift of knowledge which took me so many years
to learn, and then to be able to give that back. It's what makes my life
worthwhile; my cause is the art of creation. My motto in life is: Create,
protect, go forth and collect".
Lynne Robin Green, The Peoples Publisher
was written by Dan Kimpel and appeared in Music
Connection Magazine 2001 - Issue 11.