A penny for your thoughts: American Crooner enters the Canadian market, one penny at a time.

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American Crooner, Mark Mahar receives play in Canada through TouchTunes Digital Jukeboxes. What exactly is the currency exchange rate on 1 cent, U.S.?

When Glenn Miller released his recordings of million-seller, "In The Mood" he was receiving three cents per "record sold." You may be surprised to learn, decades later, that royalties haven't changed all that much in the recording industry.

Through a distribution deal that started a couple years ago, Mahar has been receiving national placement in TouchTunes digital jukeboxes at the rate of about "a penny a play". This may not seem like a bonanza deal, but pennies can accumulate to "survival" for an emerging artist. The Jukebox company carries platinum recording artists and emerging talent like Mahar. TouchTunes has also exposed Mahar to the Canadian market (where the company is based).

Fact is we do live in a different era, and though rates have even gone down for distribution royalties, the reach of emerging technology and consumer convenience has made every penny count for artists like Mahar.

"I'm pleased just to see that an independent artist with a modest fan-base can achieve some access to foreign markets", says Mahar. "Earning pennies at a time isn't as important as seeing evidence that a new market can appreciate my music.

"I've got a voucher from Canada for one cent. I will frame it and put it on my wall. It is more important to me than a platinum record."

How anyone could ever hold a single cent in such high regard is a question answered easily by Mahar, "The first step in any direction is always the most difficult. I mark a successful first step as the willingness to commit to the rest...that, for me, means this is the most important Canadian income I'll ever earn. It's the first."

It could be construed that Mahar's gentlemanly demeanor might mask a less philosophical artists. He is, after all, an aggressive entrepreneur who is partner in a recording studio launch, an independent film, and a marketing think-tank...all while he continues to perform at notable venues: The Mohegan Sun Casino (CT), The Rat Pack Cafe (MA), and The Breakers (Palm Beach). The fact remains that he genuinely loves what he does.

"I work steadily with my own band [The Raz Pack] and The Sultan's of Swing. There is a whole other world of private engagements that has allowed me to find a satisfying career in entertainment. I do have some public persona and the ability to travel...like, club dates, radio play, public appearances. Ten years of watching 'one penny at a time' has added up to a career and a loyal following. I don't make light of it."

Fame may be the artists credo, but Mahar sees it differently: "...I never grew up wanting to sign autographs or have the press follow my every move. All I want out of life is to afford the things I need for a family and my business. Stardom doesn't bring wealth, it only brings money. I have enough brains and truly amazing support from my friends and business associates that I can become wealthy without fame. If I want wealth, it is my obligation to create it...but fame isn't up to me so I've never counted it among my future assets."

In today's entertainment industry it isn't likely that a "jazz cat" is going to live the life of a rock star, so it is no wonder Mr. Mahar is so pragmatic. He's dedicated himself to presenting and recreating music from another era (I suspect it will earn him a place in this era). In the meantime, when it comes to his positive outlook you can either "blame Canada"...and don't forget to check out his Debut CD, titled- "Blame It On My Youth".

Jennifer Kitchin, Staff Writer

More information on TouchTunes Digital Jukeboxes can be found at TouchTunes.com

Mark Mahar is available for private and public engagements in USA and Canada.

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Jennifer Kitchin