Bill Curtis (Fatback Band) – August 2012

(The following newsletter is being shared with the permission of Mr. Curtis. Enjoy!)

An Old Frame with a New Picture

The new music industry in some ways is like the old music industry, but with a newer approach, that addresses today’s technology. The techie builds a whole new industry for themselves by using our music to sell their product. Think about it. The tech companies out in Silicon Valley were not in the music business, so they didn’t have the creative artist in mind when they started out (willing to bet you). I feel like if they did…why didn’t they build a way the artist could get something for use of their music? As I said, music wasn’t their thing, and please don’t get me wrong, I love all the new technology. I just want know why is it so hard to remove the third party out the picture for independent? If steaming is the next big thing… where does Indy fit in? We need our own Spotify/Mog for the small Indy’s that will pay each individual in their own account. No, Spotify is not for the small Indy’s… never was and will never be for the Indy. Ok, so why did they go to old gatekeepers and give them all that front money… (That the artist will never see)? Who are they sending royalties to? The labels, which will never pay the artist because of the way they have their account system set up (only a few of top artists will see some). There is nothing out there that I know of that musicians can get paid directly for sale of his music without going through a third party and believe me, that third party is not kicking down any doors or breaking his neck to get your music heard. What you are doing is just placing your music on their site and it just sits there. No, that’s not their job to get you heard…creating new apps for you to buy and think you getting your music heard. I’ll take that back, nobody buying That’s what it’s all about, selling you apps.

When Label was king, they use to pay to get what they wanted heard. They controlled distribution and that’s the whole key…distribution. Yes we all are on an equal playing field in a way; let me explain what I mean. I don’t care how great your music is if you can’t get it heard it ain’t worth a damn. The labels lost control when the internet came along but the net haven’t figured out how get your music heard and you get paid. And the labels are blocking and buying anything that looks like it’s getting close to getting in the marketplace. Distribution, This is where the money is and the label knows that. Why don’t you think Spotify want just come out tell us exactly how they pay? It’s because the labels are in partners with them. What they want to do is, put the old school into the new school, where they can just give us what they want us to have. No transparency.

Spotify know not to do anything that will upset their partners. Believe me if a tech company came up with an ideal how each indy artist could get paid from steaming, what I mean negotiate your own deal worldwide if they did (1) They couldn’t get the backing financially (2)if they did get money they would put them out of business, mafia style. When all the old gatekeepers are gone and out of the picture, maybe then we might see a new music industry and music people running the industry again and not techies.

If you haven’t notice, old music is out-selling new music for the first time. I wonder why, anyone have any ideas? Is it because there’s too much new music to choose from or is it because they are just making good music and not great music? Could it be that new music has too much competition with texting, video games and computers? Maybe young buyers are losing their interest in new music or could it be because the prices went down on the old catalogs. On the other hand electronic music is gaining grounds and feeling no pains. They are drawing more people than the so call big acts. Why, because of the experience. That’s what the people want; an experience, they want be in it and music can give you that when it’s done right. Go out and get caught up in a musical experience and see what I’m talking about. If it doesn’t happen then that act sucks, Oh! I didn’t mean that, I meant they are not quite ready for prime time.

Outta here! Bill is still running his mouth. Just writing what I feel and tell it how I see it! ”An Old Frame with a New Picture.”

Will be in the Uk for two shows:

November 17th
The Coronet
28 New Kent Road
London SE1 6TJ

Newcastle November 18th
Hoochie Coochie
54-56 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6SF

Places on the internet you can find Fatback Band music

For the albums back in the days:
Ace Records

For all the new music “Bill Curtis and Friends w/The Fatback Band”:
Reverb Nation


Bill Curtis & the Fatback Band

The following is the latest newsletter from Bill Curtis (of the Fatback Band). It is being shared with his permission. Some great things going on here – including the Fatback Band in the UK & Europe!


This is my kind of weather…”Summertime,” “Girl watching time”…the butts are hanging Baby!! I haven’t loss my eye for those big leg girls and when you lose that you might as well hang it up.

I hope you go out this summer and hear some good music, whatever your taste may be. The experiences of being at a live performance are one of a life time and you’ll never forget them. I still recall my first live dance! We didn’t have concerts in my days they were called “dances”. The band was Buddy Johnson’s Big Band and the music was dance music. Don’t ask me what kind of music is dance music. To me all music is dance music! Blacks have been dancing to all kinds of music since the beginning of time. I don’t know exactly when they started breaking music down in categories. To me it’s just music. Music is music and it’s all dance music. Those experiences of losing yourself and letting the music take you there. “There” is anywhere you want to be! Music has that power and once you’ve had that experience…you’ll never forget it! Wow, the magic of music.

Fatback Band will be coming to UK London on two dates:

November 17th 2012 at The Coronet – 28 New Kent Road, London SE1, 6tj – Show Time: 9:00 pm – Occasion: Celebrity Street Sound Records 30th Anniversary

This will be our first time back in the UK since 2009 and we’re looking forward hanging out with old friends and making new ones.

November 18th 2012 we will be headed to Newcastle:

Hoochie Coochie – 54 Pilgrim St up on Tyne NE 1 6sf. This is my friend Warren Thomson’s Hoochie Coochie Luxury Bar, very intimate and funky. I love playing in small rooms. If you can, catch us…Ph: 0191 222 0130 or Email:

We’re still putting together our Europe tour. Dates are still open. Now is the best time to book…around these dates. You can contact me via email at or call me 910 476 6007 . Let’s see if we can make it happen.

I will be telling you more about these dates as time draws near, especially the Street Sounds gig!!! That’s the exciting one! They are meshing different genres all together in one big live show…Electro/Hip Hop, Funk and Jazz Funk with Dj’s and somewhere in there, they throw in a little “Fatback”!

Places on the internet you can find Fatback Band music

For the albums back in the days:
• Ace Records

For all the new music “Bill Curtis and Friends w/The Fatback Band”:
• iTunes
• Reverb Nation
• YouTube


(c) July 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Bill Curtis (Fatback Band)

The following newsletter crossed my path yesterday. I am sharing it with permission of Mr. Bill Curtis (The Fatback Band). Much to think about here … including why I have always felt uneasy about Spotify!

Thank you, Bill!

“Summertime is girl-watching time. I’m gonna watch ’em, baby. I haven’t lost my eyes for them big-butt girls. I like the girls, y’all.” A little tune we did back in the days is still a great dance song. Go to, that is where you will find all of our albums, if anyone is interested.

Hey I want to remind you not to add Spotify play Buttons to your Facebook page, Twitter, tumbir blog, etc. I ‘m not a lover of Spotify, because it doesn’t pay the artist that much money. If you are an artist it takes 200 streams equal one iTunes download and one to three years to get paid. To me, Spotify is just another great way to get rich off of the artist and songwriters. I have nothing against people making as much money as they can, but not at the expense of others. But, they keep telling you it’s better than piracy, you’re getting something, 0.04cent per stream. Well, you are right, but you can’t make a livelihood off that. My question is why everyone gets paid decent money except the creator and the artist. Tech-slavery is what I call it.

But one good thing, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want too. Putting Spotify play buttons on your page is giving free advertisement to Spotify and Facebook. Once you get a fan to your page, you have a potential sale. Someone might just buy your stuff. If you want to send them somewhere else, send them where they pay more. To your download site: iTunes, Tunecore, Amazon. Spotify pays a fraction of a penny. I could see if they were paying you to put their button on or giving you something for pointing a potential customer their way. We have got to get smart and stop falling for that Bull s—. You know how they feel about us.

I haven’t heard of any major yet stepping up to the plate to bat for the artist or express any concern that they feel our rates are to low. On their end, they are getting paid big time and keeping it on the down-low. Hey, I’m not saying you don’t need Facebook page, apps, Twitter accounts and blogs. However, you do not need to point your fans to places only paying a fractions of a penny. Your own site is very valuable property where you sell and do business. You have your fans in your store who dig your music and want to know about you. Okay they say Spotify is better than piracy, well it might be so, I’m gonna tell you this. Piracy is one of the best free advertisements you can get in the world, one thing they don’t piracy junk.

I hear and read about the state of Black music culture or Black Music, whatever. Maybe they are talking about the commercial side. Yes, I do think Black music(funk), is on the decline on the so call ”pop or commercial music. The funk it is alive and well in the Churches. If you want to hear good funk go to church or listen to gospel radio, its there. That’s where our music culture started. Black music has always been an experience, just like the church. When we go to concerts that’s what we looking for that one time experience. Something we can talk about the next few days. tell your friends what they missed that’s what made the early Black Entertainer connect so well. They took their church experiences to the stage and build on that. I often tell people there was a very thin line between James Brown and a country preacher.

Some of our new and upcoming Entertainers need to go and check out that experience that I’m talking about( got to find the right church). I guarantee you will be talking about it to your friends the next day. This is what today’s audiences are looking for, that experience. They want to be involved. Back in the days in my Hometown when I was growing up I knew most of the acts that came to town I had met them before and they knew me, (they act like they did). They stayed in the hood, ate in the local café and you could walk up and talk to them. And when they took a break, they were out in the audience, (maybe because there were no dressing rooms), talking and going on. As a Entertainer you got to get back to that kind of thing. The people want to know about you. YOU want them to, so they can go and tell others. Everyone wants to be involved they want to have that one time experience.

Ok, if you don’t believe me go to Church and get your groove on, come back and tell me about your experience.

Hey, if you want to lose some of those pounds you are carrying around and stay healthy at the same time and make money take a look at We are doing it over here, it works. If you want know more email me


(c) May 2012 Bonnie Cehovet