ICON presents veteran manager, music publisher, speaker and consultant Barry Bergman, responsible for launching the music careers of Meatloaf and AC/DC, among others. Barry has published more than 150 songs recorded by various artists including Michael Bolton, Cher, Kiss, Joan Jett and others. Here Paul Doty and Carleigh Arnold talk to Bergman about his work with Meatloaf and the album “Bat Out Of Hell,” which has sold more than 43 million copies world-wide – even though major players like Clive Davis originally passed on it. Barry Bergman is the founder and president of the Music Managers Forum in the United States. An outspoken advocate on artist rights, he has testified on Capitol Hill serving the interests of artists.
ABOUT BARRY BERGMAN:
As a young man, Barry Bergman was hanging out at Greenwich Village coffeehouses, listening to music while attending New York University where he acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Management. After graduation, unsuccessful attempts to be employed within the music business on a full-time basis sent Barry further downtown where he became a stockbroker with Steiner, Rouse & Company. While employed on Wall Street, Barry created Free Enterprise Music Company, a record production and publishing company, signing recording artists and songwriters.
Several minor successes and networking landed Barry his first full-time job in the music business for the well-established publishing company, The Edward B. Marks Music Corporation. He signed several big artists and played a key role in the launching of the careers of Meat Loaf, AC/DC, John Paul Young and Flash and the Pan. Barry was made vice president, Professional Manager.
Barry joined United Artists Music in the capacity of vice president, Creative Affairs, where he was responsible for professional department direction and promotion of the recording careers of writer/artists and self-contained groups signed to United Artists.
Barry left corporate life to become a music business entrepreneur, forming Barry Bergman Management, representing recording and performing artists, Ellymax Music Company and Wood Monkey Music, representing songwriters.
Barry has published more than 150 songs recorded by various artists including Michael Bolton, Cher, Kiss, Joan Jett and others. Three of Barry’s biggest hit singles were Don’t Shed A Tear‚ recorded by Paul Carrack on Chrysalis, Don’t Close Your Eyes‚ by Kix on Atlantic and Kathy Mattea’s‚ Love Travels on Mercury.
Barry founded and became and president of the International Managers Forum in the United States. The IMF was formed to further the interests of managers and their artists in all fields of the music industry, to provide a forum to discuss the issues and problems facing the music industry manager and to educate and disseminate information regarding areas of interest to managers.
Barry was retained as an expert witness in the well-publicized music industry trial of‚ The Cameron Organisation vs. Marie Dixon.
On June 28, 1995, representing the International Managers Forum, Barry testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property in a hearing on H.R. 1506: “Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995.” Through his efforts and other industry leaders, President Bill Clinton signed this bill into law on Nov. 1, 1995.
In 1998 Barry became a business consultant to the entertainment industry. His artist clients included Dan Zanes of the Del Fuegos, Donnie Purnell of Kix and the Christian rock band MXPX. Barry began corporate consulting Sony Music of Canada and entered into the new economy with EMusic.com, where he advises the content department and also licenses and purchases catalogs for them.
In addition to consulting and publishing activities, Barry started public speaking engagements with the Seminar Center in New York City, where he lectures on the ‚”Art Of Music Publishing: What Every Artist, Band & Songwriter Should Know.”
The IMF changed it’s name to the Music Managers Forum, and Barry headed back to Washington D.C. in an effort to roll back a provision inserted by the Recording Industry Association of America into the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999 whereby SoundRecordings were made works-for-hire and artists lost their rights to reclaim ownership of their master recordings beginning in 2013.
The MMF along with several other artist rights groups convinced Congress and the RIAA of the need to repeal the controversial change to U.S. copyright law, and Bergman claimed another victory. In November 2001, six years of work came to fruition when Barry signed on behalf of the MMF, a landmark agreement whereby SoundExchange, the collection and distribution agency for Artists digital sound recording performance license fees, along with the major labels and artist groups, agreed to pay artist performance royalties directly to performers. This landmark agreement would also place SoundExchange under the joint control of recording artists and record companies.
Barry currently manages Billy Harvey, a singer/songwriter and producer based in Austin, Texas. He is currently in the studio producing the new Bob Schneider album for Universal. When he finishes this project, he will be making his own album. Barry also handles Marc Ribler, a New Jersey singer/songwriter, currently making his debut CD. Barry already had 30 of his songs covered by other artists around the world.