An Interview with Terry Gilson
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
[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
[Kenny] Of all the records received during a month's time, what
percentage have all of the right elements to become a
[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
[Terry] Be yourself. Don't try to emulate someone else.