10 Questions with ... Jody Best
November 26, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 1986-1990- CEMA / Capitol Records - Sales
- 1990-1993 - Capitol Records - National Radio Promotions Top 40/AC
- 1993-1997 - Capitol Records - National Radio / Catalog Marketing
- 1997-1998 - EMI-Capitol Entertainment Properties - National Radio Catalog Marketing
- 1998-2007 - EMI Music Marketing - National Radio & Catalog Marketing
- 2007-Present - Best Bet Promotions
1. What made you want to get into the music business? Early mentors? First job?
My brother was seven years older than me and at an early age I became a big fan of The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, Grand Funk Railroad, Steve Miller, Pink Floyd, Santana, and so many other Classic Rock artists. I always had a passion for music and knew one day I would work with music in some capacity. Little did I know that years later I would work at Capitol Records, the home of so many legendary iconic artists. As a teenager I worked at Licorice Pizza and had the opportunity to be a seat filler at The American Music Awards. It was my first behind-the-scenes experience in the music biz and I was hooked. I loved the excitement of working with artists and I knew then that I wanted to pursue a full-time career in music.
I started my first real job in the music business in 1986 at Capitol Records working with distributed labels, then I moved into the sales department and eventually made a transition into radio promotions. Here I found my true love of working with artists and getting their songs played on the radio. It is such a thrill and so gratifying to hear a song on the radio and know that you had a part in getting that on-air. I had so many amazing bosses but one of the most influential and one of the biggest mentors to me was John Fagot, who headed up the promotions department at Capitol when I came on board. I learned so much from Johnny and he is the reason I am doing what I am doing today, as he created a new position for me to work with Classic Rock stations, Oldies and Standards on a national level. He gave me the opportunity and I took the ball and ran with it, creating contact lists from scratch and reaching out to stations to work together to promote our Classic Rock releases. The rest is history and here I am today.
2. You spent quite a few years as Dir./Radio Promotions at Capitol/EMI. What was your role there and tell us about those years and some of the bands you worked with.
Yes, I headed up the Catalog Division, where I worked with all of the catalog and reissues. This started as a new national position that John Fagot created, seeing a need for exposure at these formats on a national level with our catalog releases such as The Beatles Anthology and Sinatra Duets. From what I understand, I was the first to do this on a national level, setting up promotions across the country with catalog releases and reissues. One of the highlights of my career was being involved in The Beatles Anthology releases. Hearing "Free As A Bird" for the first time with Paul, George and Ringo recorded with John's vocals gave me goosebumps. It still moves me that same way whenever I hear that song. I have never been a "star struck" person, but meeting Paul McCartney the first time pretty much left me speechless. After all it's Sir Paul !!!
3. After years working for Capitol/EMI, you formed Best Bet Promotions. When did you start this company and what is the primary business model ... promotions, consulting, artist management or all of the above?
I started the company in 2007. Primary focus is on promotions focusing on Classic Rock radio. I'm a one-stop shop securing radio airplay, setting up interviews, promotional giveaways, meet-and-greets, soundcheck parties and radio special clearances.
4. How was the experience going from working for a label to working for yourself?
At first I was a bit scared to venture out on my own after 20 years working for a record label. However with encouragement from some friends, I ended up giving it a go and six years later, I am still going strong! I feel very fortunate to have my company and to be working with the Classic Rock artists, Classic Rock radio and the music that I grew up on is such a thrill.
5. Best Bet Promotions seems to specialize in promoting Classic Rock artists. What has the response been to this company from both the artists and radio?
I work on promoting primarily Classic Rock artists. Response has been phenomenal My artists and stations know that I always go the extra mile and make sure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. I am tenacious and thorough and always good for my word and follow-through. I have built great relationships over the years that will last a life time as I really feel my artists and radio are family to me. I truly love them and love what I do.
6. Who are some of the artists you're currently working with? Any other artists that you're going to be working with you can tell us about?
Currently I am working with Def Leppard, Boston, REO Speedwagon, Manraze (featuring Phil Collen of Def Leppard, Simon Laffy of Girl and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols) and Orianthi. I'm so very blessed to be working with such amazing talent ! Regarding future releases ... nothing new to report yet, but I am really anxious and looking forward to 2014 to see what other new releases and opportunities lie ahead !
7. You've done Rock Promotion for a major label and now with your own company. What's your take on the current state of Rock radio?
The Classic Rock format is timeless. Also, there's a whole new generation that is being turned on to The Beatles, The Stones, Def Leppard, etc. and the new artists of today will also become the classic rock artists of tomorrow.
8. Artist development is a key intangible for new artists and bands. But for a Classic Rock artist who has already built a career, I suppose your challenge is how to make that artist still relevant today. How does your company accomplish that?
In addition to airplay exposure on the artist's new songs, I specialize in marketing and getting promotional campaigns via on-air mentions, radio website exposure and social sites to let the fans/listeners know about the release.
9. Who are some current Rock artists you think might become viable Classic Rock artists in the future and why?
Avenged Sevenfold and Imagine Dragons are the first two artists that pop into my mind right now. Avenged Sevenfold reminds me a bit of Metallical; they are awesome. I LOVE Imagine Dragons and I am addicted to the song "Radioactive." Can't get enough of that song right now. I work out to it pretty much daily.
10. What was the first album or single you purchased on your own?
The Beatles 45 - "Something."
When you're NOT in Rock Promotion work mode, what do you like to do to relax and get away from the business?
Spending time with my family. I have three beautiful children. Our oldest son is 12 years old, our daughter is 10 years old and our youngest son will be turning 8 years old in January. They ROCK my world and make everything worthwhile. I also enjoy working out at the gym in my spare time and going to the movies.