Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Mike Read’s banging the drum for UK songwriters

VETERAN broadcaster and Henley resident Mike Read is feeling on song for 2016.

VETERAN broadcaster and Henley resident Mike Read is feeling on song for 2016.

So much so that he will shortly be hitting our screens as the presenter of a new TV show billed as “ The X Factor for songwriters”.

Tin Pan Alley is a 10-week series showing on Showbiz TV (Sky channel 266) and other platforms.

Entries opened on January 1, but songwriters wanting to take part still have plenty of time to submit their work via the show’s website www.tinpanalley.biz

A Tin Pan Alley spokesman said: “UK songwriters are invited to submit no more than one unpublished song on MP3. Entries will be uploaded on to a secure area of the website.

“Over a five- to six-week period these will be judged by several dozen people from all areas of the music industry.

“The 12 songs with the most votes will go forward to the TV series, where each of the songs and their writers will be assigned a top record producer, who between them have been responsible for more than 250 million record sales.

“The premise is to make a six-track album, meaning that each week the song with the least votes from the viewers and the judges will go.

“The final six writers will get a publishing deal with Tin Pan Alley, administered by the world’s largest independent music publisher, Peer Music.

“The aim is to put the great British songwriter back in the limelight, help to breathe new life into the industry, secure publishing deals for aspiring writers and introduce their work to other territories.

“The original British Tin Pan Alley was London’s Denmark Street, the home of our songwriters and publishers for almost a century.

“The new virtual Tin Pan Alley is here on TV and online. The songwriter once again has somewhere for their songs to be heard.”

The series will also feature many chart artists talking about the importance of the songwriter, including Billy Ocean, Gary Kemp, Sir Cliff Richard, Robert Plant and Midge Ure. Lamont Dozier, the writer of 18 US and UK number ones, has been confirmed as one of the on-screen judges.

No slouch himself in the songwriting stakes, Mike Read has had his songs recorded by dozens of artists including Don McLean, Gene Pitney, Boy George, David Essex, Robin Gibb, Cliff Richard, Marc Almond, Brian Wilson, Justin Hayward and Jon Anderson.

The former Radio 1 DJ’s compositions have twice topped the Independent Singles Chart and made the top five in the UK singles chart.

Mike said: “British songwriters have given us many of the world’s greatest songs. They are the engine room of the industry. They boost our economy. They give us songs that inspire, comfort, influence, entertain and are part of the fabric of our lives.”

Broadcast dates for Tin Pan Alley are due to be announced shortly. For more details or to enter a song, visit www.tinpanalley.biz

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