Meet Joe Black
edited: Tuesday, December 30, 2003
By Divinity 11 11
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2003
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A Music Producer in Louisville, Kentucky?
He’s not a character played by Brad Pitt in an extremely long movie. He’s Joe Black, a Louisville resident and a music producer. He’s also a talent coach, working with vocalists and dancers. He moved from New York to Louisville 15 years ago and now spends his time scouting, promoting, and producing local music talent. He owns his own production company, which is called Joe Black Productions. According to Joe, he moved to Louisville when some singers, after seeing his company’s website, emailed him. He has family here and decided he would try a different scene. He says New York is very competitive.
“Louisville has a lot of great talent, - more than New York - but it’s hidden. In the 15 years I’ve been here, I’ve been amazed.”
Joe started out in his entertainment career at the age of five when he began dancing. He owned three dance studios in New York, and he performed on Star Search in 1985, winning for six consecutive weeks. He started on his college education at the age of sixteen and acquired a production manager license at the New York Center for the Arts in Manhattan, New York. Afterwards, he went on to get a masters degree in production .
According to Joe, it only takes one year of college to obtain a co-producer status, and then three years to earn a masters degree in entertainment. It could take longer, depending on how far you want to go with it.
Joe said that his favorite part of being a producer and talent coach is spending time with the performers in the studio. His performers are like one big family, and he has certain guidelines to keep the atmosphere amiable.
“I don’t tolerate gossip. I accept all ethnicities, races, lifestyles, -whatever-as long as you’re real.”
Although the performers are his favorite part of the job, they can also be the hardest part. Joe said that the hard part about working with them is making them show up for rehearsals.
“They don’t show up, or they come three hours late.”
When everyone is finally in the studio, Joe pushes them. He is hard on them, but he said that he does it to achieve results. The performers refer to him as “Papa Joe”. His pushing has paid off. At the Gaslight Festival in 2003, they swept all of the award categories. They brought home an award from each category, including the best float, best production, and the mayor’s award.
How does Joe find his talent? He travels to nightclubs in the Louisville area and is always looking for new talent. He works closely with Jerry Green and the continuing Louisville Idol contest. He was a judge for the contests and two of his performers, Carri McMullan and Sharie Gardner, are Louisville Idol winners. Carrie is going to be on Star Search soon and has had call backs from the Jenny Jones and Ricki Lake shows. He holds auditions from 9:30 PM until midnight every Friday at More Shenanigans, located near the corner of Breckenridge and Bardstown Road.
After finding the talent, Joe works with them, coaching them on everything from singing and dancing to how to have poise and what to wear. He tours to different shows around Kentucky with them and records group CD’s. He has a group CD called 2003 Joe Black Productions that is already out and available at Better Day Records and Ear X-tacy. He is currently working on an all diva CD called Louisville’s Finest Divas.
On top of performing around the state, he and his performers perform at benefits and fundraisers. Joe is not only a guy with a big talent, he’s a guy with a big heart. Beyond performing at fundraisers and benefits, he organizes them himself. His performers also perform once a year in a dinner show he calls “Joe Black Productions Extravaganza”. The next one will be at the German-American Club on Lincoln Avenue on January 21st.
Although there is a lot of work involved, there are a lot of good times to be had. Joe said that the “family” of performers has a lot of fun. Sometimes, things get crazy.
“I’ve seen performers walk [fall] off stage and keep on going. I’ve also seen them fall out of limousines in front of an audience.”
As in any job, bad times can sometimes accompany the good. Joe and his performers had to pull together recently after loosing one of their friends. Clay Crockett died in an automobile accident on October 8th, 2003.
“That was hard. We were devastated. We did three tribute shows to him.”
Joe admitted that it is very hard to get into his field.
“You work about 360 days a year. It takes a lot of study, hard work, and discipline.”
He also said that you have to put out money to earn money. According to Joe, one of the most important things someone interested in this business should do is to learn to manage their money.
“The pay rate in this field depends on how far you go with it and the hours you put forth.”
The most important thing a future producer can do, according to Joe, is get their name out there.
“Advertise. Tell them who you are! Get news coverage. Do anything you can to get your name out and get recognized,” he suggested.
He further explained that to be a talent scout and music producer, a person needs an ear for great sound. Since producers work with all types of people, they also need a personality that fits everyone that “walks through that door”.
If you’re interested in auditioning, Joe said that he welcomes people to come out to More Shenanigans.
“We have a lot of fun and it’s always packed.”
Web Site: Cool Stuff
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