Texas Star Telegram and Knight Ridder Newspapers Garner AMA Praise

Share Article

Dallas-Ft. Worth auditions are covered by Ft. Worth Star Telegram ace entertainment reporter John Austin.

American Music Auditions which provide local artists the chance to counsel with various major label producers and former major label Executives recently invited John Austin, entertainment reporter for the Ft. Worth Star Telegram newspaper to attend the AMA auditions in Arlington, Texas. The audition which was filmed and was open to the public covered over 100 local musicians, artists and bands in the Arlington, Texas area for 4 days.

The Ft. Worth Star Telegram newspaper which is one of the leading newspapers in the State of Texas and also owned by the Knight-Ridder chain of newspapers, took time out to attend the event from the opening day and ace entertainment reporter John Austin covered the event for the front page of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram site and also carried the auditions on the front page of the Arlington, Texas section of the newspaper’s local edition. See http://www.star-telegram.com

Organizers of the event encouraged various television networks who participated, along with the local newspapers to cover the event from start to finish. All three major television networks, ABC, NBC Universal, and CBS covered the Texas Metroplex event along with the Caribbean Television Network, the Urban American Black Television Network and media throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas area.

One of the things that the judges discussed with each artist and band that entered is the "importance of the local media" in breaking their music career. The AMA event which only allows 135 registrations was attended by artists throughout Texas and the southwest United States. Some traveled as far as Mexico City to participate in the event. The event which primarily featured country and gospel artists also had Latino registrants, blues, bluegrass and jazz artists who sang “live” in front of the judges and each had a 15 minute consultation session with the judge’s panel after their performance.

The artists paid a registration fee of $100.00 to receive counsel and personal advice on where they are with their music careers in light of what it takes to actually become a commercial artist in today’s music climate. Each artist performed two complete songs on site and in most cases were encored to perform a third song for the judges. Each artist then met in person with the judge's panel to ask questions and receive guidance on their performance. See http://www.americanmusicauditions.com

Charles E Fach, Jr. who is the former Sr. Vice-President of Mercury records in New York told the participants that “Every artist needs to counsel with someone who can direct them to managers, agents and the proper people in the music industry.” The judges panel advised each artist to make their local media a prime source for their fan club base, mailings, and press releases. Participants were encouraged to subscribe to their local papers, submit their play dates and venues for coverage, and work with local reporters in covering their appearances at local venues. See http://www.platinumplusuniversal.com

Robert Metzgar, a member of the Legends Hall Of Fame who was nominated "Texas Producer Of The Year" last year told participants that the most important exposure a band or artist can receive is “from their local newspaper, entertainment insert, or from a reporter who covers the entertainment section of their city paper.” “Encourage your fans and those who attend your concerts to buy subscriptions to their local paper and write to the local papers about their favorite band, star, or musician,” Metzgar said at the event. Metzgar praised the Star Telegram with recognition of his mother's songs early in her songwriting career. See http://www.robertmetzgar.com

The Star Telegram was the first newspaper in Texas to recognize the early gospel songwriting talents of Mr. Metzgar's mother, Janie Metzgar who with her husband William, pastored the Jack Coe Revival Center in Dallas during the 1950's. Janie Metzgar was an orphan in the Buckner's Baptist Orphanage who rose to become a famous songwriter of songs published by the Broadman Baptist publishing house in Nashville. Mrs. Metzgar has a scholarship at Buckner's Orphanage in Dallas and also at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. See http://www.janiemetzgar.com

The AMA judges gave participants information on how to copyright their songs with the Library of Congress, how to choose a PRO (Performance Royalty Organization) and advised each artist to seek out a local studio and get their help in putting together a commercial demo prior to approaching record labels. ASCAP, BMI and SESAC information was provided to the participants on site. See http://www.capitolmanagement.com

The third judge, Abigail Fletcher who is a lead singer in one of Nashville’s priority southern rock bands, encouraged artists in the Ft. Worth-Dallas area to advertise and purchase ads in local newspapers about their local appearances. Ms. Fletcher currently has a top single record on Nashville radio station WKDF entitled, “High Maintenance.” She has a wonderful fresh perspective on the entertainment business as a 25 year old artist that has a big breaking record out on radio now. Ms. Fletcher’s band, Apocalyptic Cowboys played recently at Fan Fair in Nashville which was attended by over 145,000 people and Abigail’s band opened the first two days of the event for the Gibson Theater next to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. An incredible performer and singer, she was able to give her own personal insight into getting a band started and getting local coverage from the newspapers, entertainment reporters, radio and television stations in a local performance area. See http://www.apocalypticcowboys.com

The AMA panel praised Knight Ridder newspapers for their support of local musicians and artists and the coverage the nation's newspaper chain gives to local musical events. Knight Ridder Newspapers are the second largest newspaper chain in the United States. As publishers of the 2nd largest newspaper chain, Knight Ridder reaches over 12 million people a week through their many newspapers in various major metropolitan markets throughout the USA. The 32 Knight Ridder daily papers have received 84 Pulitzer Prizes and 14 Gold Medals for their meritorious public service. P Anothony Ridder is the Executive in charge of the Knight Ridder Newspaper chain. See http://www.knight-ridder.com

AMA judges credit the Tallahassee Democrat’s Knight Ridder coverage of acoustic rocker Tori Sparks with their discovery of the monumentally successful singer songwriter that can be found on the U2 concert ticket page, as a favorite of fans throughout Florida and the southeast two years ago at an audition held on St. George’s island. Ms. Sparks was a college student who has completed a tour of Europe, and is currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. Ms Sparks was voted the “Best Acoustic Performer” at the Gibson Theater during Fan Fair 2005. See http://www.torisparks.com See http://www.gibson.com

Mr. John Austin


400 West 7th Street

Fort Worth, TX 76102-4793

817-390-7832 (main)



Mr. Robert Metzgar, GM

Capitol Management Group

1214 16th Avenue South

Nashville, TN 37212-2902

800-767-4984 (toll free)

615-321-0600 (wk)

615-321-0182 (fax)


Mr. Charles E Fach, Jr.

Platinum Plus Universal Records

1214 16th Avenue South

Nashville, TN 37212-2902


Mr. Anthony Ridder


50 West San Fernando Street

San Jose, CA 95113


Ms. Abigail Fletcher


1214 16th Avenue South

Nashville, TN 37212-2902

615-321-0600 (wk)

615-321-0182 (fax)


This article written by Mikel Gore

Entertainment Headline News Editor

Nashville, Tennessee


Please feel free to use, reprint and copy this article in your newspaper or media guide.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Robert Metzgar
Visit website