It took Disney the better part of sixty years to figure out they had the ability to be pop star makers to the nth degree but they finally came to their senses. In the fifties Annette Funicello was the mousketeer that counts but she left the stable to become a teen sensation in beach blanket movies. Though with stars like Hayley Mills and Kurt Russel they tied up tween comedy movies they hadn’t seen the natural progression.
Both Hayley Mills and Annette Funicello recorded for Disney records sister label Buena Vista and neither met with more thanwith limited success.
As late as the nineties Disney had both Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears and had no idea what to do with them and instead of nurturing the potential big time Hilary Duff they let her slip through their fingers. Duff wanted to grow up and Disney hadn’t figured hot to make her from a tween TV star to a Long Term Artist after she outgrew the Lizzie McGuire Disney TV show though in retrospect McGuire was something of a dry run for Hannah Montana. Duff got out of her contract and grew up to have a somewhat iffy recording career and acting career as an adult.
Come 2004 and Disney had learnt its lesson. When you have Broadway theatres, ABC Network, Disney Network, a radio network, a movie studio and the most popular theme park in the world you should be able to sell your product -tween pop stars- three ways east. Disney Records doesn’t do the multi-tier tees to tours contracts Live Nation does and I’m guessing because Disney essentially invent their own stars they already have em signed up the ying yang.
David Agnew, the head of Disney records since 2007 is a record business lawyer . Here is his resume from Music Matters: “David Agnew is the President of Walt Disney Records. He also serves as Executive Vice President & General Manager of the Disney Music Group (DMG), which is comprised of Walt Disney Records, Hollywood Records, Lyric Street Records and Walt Disney Music Publishing, in which capacity he oversees all business and legal affairs, physical and digital distribution, international and human resources for DMG. Prior to joining Disney in 1998, Agnew was employed at Sony Music, originally as West Coast Counsel, and then as Director of Business Affairs. He began his career as an associate in the music department of Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp.”
Well, of course he is, in a world of extremely complex contracts that unknown teen actors are signing with huge corporations you better have a lawyer at the top because the synergy here is sick. Forget Miley Cyrus and the Jonas brothers, take a look at KSM, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato (all on sister company records, Hollywood records). And while these tween sensations may be all Disney creations (listening to Disney artist is like dating a simulcra: aint nothing like the real thing but it’ll do till the real thing shows). These are first rate creations. KSM is a Joan Jett for a different age, a bubble gum kiss to rock, Jonas brothers a modern day Monkees insisting that they are really, no really, serious about this. Here is some of Demi Lovato’s current Wikipedia entry: “Lovato is currently starring in the Disney Channel Original series, Sonny With A Chance , which premiered on February 8, 2009.She stars in Princess Protection Program as Princess Rosalinda alongside her best friend Selena Gomez. The movie premiered on June 26, 2009, on Disney Channel. Lovato released her second studio album, Here We Go Again, on July 21, 2009.” Here We go Again reached the top of billboard charts. She is seventeen years old. The mind boggles as to what disney would’ve done with American Idol. And Disney owns em all: they squirm and they turn and Miley sez no more Hannah and everybody wants to be taken seriously but there are contracts here and they’ve been signed and when you walk away, you better know damn well where you’re walking because Agnew will beat on your ass. The only way out is to fail AND NOBODY GETS LEFT BEHIND!!
Now you can hate on Demi or the Jonas Brothers or Selina for that matter but these are quality pop star pros providing fodder that sounds like the real (but what’s real?) rock and soul bread and butter and if Stevie Wonder is gonna sing with you at the Grammy’s you are not fake real pretend -as if? you are the computer with a soul. And if they are manufactured, they are manufactured from a mold of talent. Disney records are getting it right in ways Warner bros can’t imagine. Dreams can come true when you sign to hollywood records.
return to the top of country
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – January 1983 (Volume 14, Number 8)
a cow with eighteen udders
“a journey through his life, passions, influences, and enduring legacy”
the true Godfather Giannini Russo
Has Brit rock ever been worse?
essence de 2023
A very percussive song
the mixes his producer Daniel Lanois didn’t like
her best since “Milionària”
dip yourself deep in sonic hellaciousness and disquiet