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An Interview with Terry Gilson
By Kenny Love
(more articles from this author)
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Terry Gilson is former General Manager of Desert West Record Pool. He offers insight into the music industry from a Record Pool perspective. Learn how this particular aspect of your marketing and promotion is one of the most powerful you can involve yourself and your product in.

[Kenny Love] Terry, for the benefit of our readers, what is the purpose of a Record Pool?

[Terry Gilson] Kenny, the purpose of a record pool is to enhance it's area marketplace. Pools promote and make people aware of product that is available. So, in other words, pools are a street-level test market area.

[Kenny] How does a record pool work?

[Terry] A record pool receives promotional product from record labels and supplies this product to its membership of disc jockeys who, in turn, play the product in their clubs, on their radio special programs, and/or at their station. They report the results back to the record pool for a computerized rating. There is no charge to the artist, whatsoever, outside of supplying the requested amount of product for the genre of the recording.

[Kenny] Why is the record pool vital to the success of the artist?

[Terry] It is vital because a record pool can get immediate street-level club response. It can also arrange club dates, shows, and concerts so that the artists can perform. We also can work in conjunction with radio in supporting events through the artist.

[Kenny] Do you only receive records from local or regional artists, or from artists all over the country?

[Terry] Pools are serviced by all the major record companies. They also work with numerous independent bands. A pool also has a diversified roster of artists.

[Kenny] Is there any way an independent artist can connect with one of the major labels through a record pool?

[Terry] Well, in that respect, pools can take an independent release from a local artist or independent record company, and expose it and 'track' it. If it really comes back and 'blows up,' pools then contact a local major label rep and turn it over to them.

[Kenny] Of all the records received during a month's time, what percentage have all of the right elements to become a success?

[Terry] There's so much product, but I would say 2%.

[Kenny] What are some pitfalls you see artists falling into?

[Terry] Everybody's trying to sound like somebody else-not having an individual sound. Not trying to be themselves. They want to sound like somebody-they want to act like somebody-they even want to look like somebody who has been successful. Another thing is for them not to got out and try to take the world by storm in one day. Don't try to do too much, too soon.

[Kenny] Don't you feel that comes from the pressure of the record labels, you know, the image and all?

[Terry] Well, maybe in some respects, that may very well be true. But, I think it comes more from the independent standpoint rather than the majors.

[Kenny] What is some advice you can give to up-and-coming artists?

[Terry] Be yourself. Don't try to emulate someone else.

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