The Nashville Dispatch, Ya Gotta Love It: Details, details, details


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Welcome to The Nashville Dispatch, a feature on NRI NOW

In this monthly column submitted by Burrillville native Keith Bradford, we cover topics in the music business designed to inform, entertain, and enlighten people interested in the topic.

Details, details, details 

Having spent some time as a volunteer teacher at the Pascoag Grammar School’s remedial reading program, and four years in the United States Navy, I learned the value of being a very detailed person. I will attempt to show an example of how important details are and how it relates to the music business.

In Vietnam, we often steamed in diamond formation. When it was time to change course, all the ships sailing together needed to change their direction at the same time. Flag hoist was very popular as a means to let all the captains of the ships know how many degrees to starboard – the right – or Port – the left – the admiral was about to execute. A series of military alphabet flags would be attached to a line and raised up to the highest point of the ship so everyone could see them. Each series of flags had a specific meaning. I will just make up an example –not a real code – for simplicity’s sake: Let’s say raising A (alpha) R (romeo) S (sierra) meant upon execution all ships needed to turn 25 degrees to starboard. Now, let’s say the sailor accidentally raised A S R instead of A R S. This meant a collision was inevitable, as they would be turning in the opposite direction as the flag ship was turning.

So, by now, you are likely wondering what all of this has to do with details in the music business. Are you aware of what happens these days when you send out your song to a radio station that is not properly Meta tagged? The answer is: nothing. Most radio stations nowadays require, as part of the music file information, an ISRC code. The International Standard Recording Code enables sound recordings and music videos to be uniquely and permanently identified. ISRC helps to avoid ambiguity among recordings and simplifies the management of rights when recordings are used across different formats, distribution channels or products. The ISRC for a recording remains a fixed point of reference when the recording is used across different services, across borders, or under different licensing deals.

In addition to the ISRC code, more and more stations are requiring a UPC code. The Universal Product Code is a barcode symbology that is widely used worldwide for tracking trade items in stores.

UPC consists of 12 digits that are uniquely assigned to each trade item.

So, you see, without these two codes embedded in the MP3 audio file of the song you are submitting to radio stations, you are wasting your time even sending it.  

I hope you are now informed of just how important details are as it relates to the music business. By the way, getting your music in compliance by 2022 standards is not as complicated as it sounds. There are plenty of informative blogs and podcasts that explain in vivid details how to get it done.

The Music Business – Ya Gotta Luv It

Keith Bradford is the host of Ya Gotta Love It, a country music show on NBRN based in Nashville, Tenn. Also a singer and song writer, Bradford is the owner and operator of KMA Records in Nashville and brings more than 60 years of industry knowledge to the endeavor.

Do you have questions about the music business? Have a topic or artist you’d like Keith to discuss? Send your questions and requests to [email protected].

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  1. I loved the Bel-Aires. They were way ahead of their time. I was a signalman also during the Viet Nam war. I spent 2 years in Viet Nam and 2 years in San Diego. The first ship was the USS Jouett (DLG-29) and the last year in the Navy I was on the USS St. Paul. My best work as a signalman was semaphore from up in the crow’s nest. Unfortunately that 4 years of training was never used in civilian life. LOL

  2. Good information Keith. Actually, I was a signalman on a destroyer in the 60’s and raised those flags you talked about. We also did the same with flashing light. Thankfully, never made a mistake (we dbl checked each others work) so there were no collisions!

    FYI…..The Bel-Aires still do an occasional gig 62 years later.

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