Gracie Muldoon on WWB and the Day of Silence

I’ve been asked for comments for the last few months on the royalty fees imposed on the webcasting community and have chosen to remain silent. I felt when I did have something to say – I would speak. I speak now.

You might find an article or someone today, criticizing for not being “silent” yesterday, in support of the Webcasting Community. However, this is not totally true, and those who reported us as not in support, we feel did so unfairly. We did support the “DAY of SILENCE” from our community, but in a different way.

We did not feel that larger stations and even our own community – could dictate to us – in how to be supportive. We are independently supported by our bluegrass listeners, that pay our bills. So we stood on our own and took a different route. I will try to explain to the best of my ability, which is sometimes unlearned or at best, disappointing.

Our way was to let the others know what was going on, with lots of public service announcements in conjunction with the broadcasters making commentary on the subject during their LIVE shows yesterday and last night. We felt the general public isn’t/wasn’t well aware of this “stand’ or “cause,” and someone had to tell them why their favorite bluegrass (or other music) wasn’t being played on their favorite stations. We felt that was our best way to be effective to make others aware and to let them know that though we were streaming – we felt the stations had a right to be doing what they were doing. We also felt we had a right not to. I personally polled out chatroom “listeners” and the broadcasters to make my decision.

In support of our listeners, however, we also felt no need to punish bluegrass music lovers by going silent. It has taken us, the bluegrass community, long enough to get OUR BELOVED BLUEGRASS music heard on the internet – in good quality and volume, and we felt it to be detrimental to us, NOT ONLY AS BLUEGRASS MUSIC, but particularly as a station because of our small size. We support “name” bluegrass artists and “indie” bands, and they’ve waited long and suffered tremendous hardships to get their music heard and appreciated by a large audience. Our staff of volunteers, including myself, work for no money, but for the love of our music – like the artists have done for so long, for so little.

We do support the artists and songwriters and labels and feel they need to get paid on the products of their creativity, and while the fees do seem extremely unfair to smaller stations, such as, we still feel that they (artists and songwriters) deserve money for their hard work. SoundExchange is trying to make sure those that make the music get paid, and we’re behind that. However, to say what is fair, is not left to us, but to the powers that be. When was the last time you saw a bluegrass artist’s “crib” featured or even noticed their “bling” from the stage? Yes, said tongue in cheek, but still, we feel an obligation to those that produce our music. We also feel that they will in turn advertise with us, to ensure that we, the smaller stations, do not “disappear” for doing what we love to do best, “supporting the music and its artists” – which, is exactly what we did yesterday.

Gracie Muldoon, General Manager

  • Hi Gracie:

    Well said. Yes, I was somewhat disappointed with the lack of action taken by the Bluegrass Streaming community but I do understand your reason for not participating. I chose to go silent at Bluegrass Radio but only for 12 hours instead of the entire day. While you consider WWB as small, I hope you no not plan on staying small. Once you reach the magic number of 156,000 listening hours, as we do every month, the picture becomes a bit different. That is why I felt we had to make a statement. As for artist getting paid for their work, I have always advocated that. I write a check to Sound Exchange every month and it is sometimes difficult to do. I do want the artist getting paid. As web casters of this wonderful music, we are all in the same boiling pot just looking for a way to get out without getting burned to bad. Continued success with the WWB. Wish had you promotion talent girl..!!

    Clyde Scott –

  • don-harris-wi

    Gracie; of course only my opinion but i felt you did the right thing. many announcements asking folks to contact officials about the problem; we did that and yes it was no reason to punish the listners (and artist) by withholding the music. i am sure each person had to make a choice. i fully support the efforts of everyone no matter what choice they made. you did ask for a vote of the listners and in the chat room it was stay up and do the protesting by contacting officials. guess in my opinion i would just have listened to my cd’s all day however you provided us with music. others i have spoken with that get their music from other sites , well let’s just say were not so happy with their music being cut off for a day. it takes time to build up an audiance and many have very little patience. no music they search elsewhere gotta keep what you have and build on it. You did show that you cared about the listners and artist. we were not the ones to start this new ruling so why punish us. the ones that should be punished is the board that evidently were bought by the for profit stations (had to say that as it is how it appears to me) The WWB is a non profit station and it does cost you. already so why should you have to pay more. i know i would not listen to a station that only plays what some stuffed shirts dictated be played
    we have too many of those already i guess that is one more thing i love about the WWB you play songs the people want to hear (maybe i might not like everything i hear but it is not the same few selected artist all the time. you give us a wide choice. it is so great to hear the new artist and they have a chance to be heard we like them they get played if we don’t then perhaps there is a reason we don’t have to listen to what others evidently are paying someone to force on us