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"Success doesn't come to you. You go to it." - Marva Collins Gold Stars
September 2014

Image of LogoHi everyone,

This is a special "Gold Stars" edition of the Campus News to celebrate our members successes in 2014 [Editor's note: if you submitted good news in October, and do not see it here, it will appear in the next Gold Stars issue].

From contest winners to publishing contracts to TV placements, first cuts, radio airplay and more -- there's some great successes in this current quarterly issue. We're proud of you for dreaming big, working hard and making it happen. You will also notice that many of the songs below were co-writes with other members or came up through the Coaching system or were signed through one of our various pitch listings. That is just awesome. Keep up the great work!

Ok, without further adieu, maestro, please cue the fanfare music (and apologies to anyone whom I've accidentally overlooked. You can email me with any corrections).

Image of trophy Members Who Won or Placed In Songwriting Competitions!
Image of gold star = Denotes Grand Prize Winner or 1st Place Winner
  • Swagata "Ban" Banerjee ("Gotta Be A Country Star" co-written with Ronnie Wilson) - Honorable Mention in Song of the Year, October 2014. It was entered in the Folk category. [The song emerged out of a co-writing challenge.] .
  • Becca Bessinger ("The Kind of Thing That Gets Passed Down" ) - Great American Song Contest Finalist in the Country category.
  • Mitchell Collins ("Second Luckiest Man" co-written with Kimberly Kime, James Hancock) - Great American Song Contest Finalist in the 15th annual Great American Song contest in the country category.
  • Charlie Crawford ("Dancing on the Moon" ) - Billboard World Song Contest. Among the top 500 in the 17th annual Billboard World Song Contest.
  • Image of gold star Mary Haller ("This Side of the Dirt" co-written with Lee Johnson) - 2014 Durango Songwriters Expo “Write With a Hit-Maker” contest Winner in the Country category.
  • Betty Holt ("Count the Cans" and "Another Place, Another Time" ) - Both songs received honorable mention in the 2013 Song Door Contest.
  • Image of gold star James Hoppe ("Before Your Karma Catches You" ) - 2013 Song Door International Songwriting Contest won the Country Category.
  • James Hoppe ("House Divided" co-written with Mary Haller) - Songwriter's Universe Song Contest. Top 5 songs for the contest.
  • James Hoppe ("Down This Wide Open Road" ) - Songwriter's Universe Winner -Top 5 Songs for May 2014.
  • James Hoppe ("House Divided" co-written with Mary Haller) - 2013 Music City Songwriting Competition Finalist.
  • James Hoppe ("Down This Wide Open Road" ) - 2013 Show Me The Music Song Contest This song was a finalist in the Country category.
  • Kimberly Jakubicki ("I Am Soul" ) - Song of the Year, Bonnie Doge Music, Kim Yarson, JOY. Runner Up.
  • James Johnson ("Shooters and Beer" ) - song door International Hi I just found out that my song [shooters and beer] was an honorable mention in the song door competion marked with special attention a first for me.
  • Kimberly Kime ("Second Luckiest Man" co-written with Mitch Collins, Jim Hancock ) - The Great American Song Contest finalist, Country Category.
  • Image of gold star Brooke Malouf ("Til love comes back" co-written with Eric Roberts ) - Dallas Songwriter's Association's Song of the Year.
  • David McKenzie ("Better Days", "On Your Own" ) - Song of the Year "Runner Up", Suggested Artist Award in the Country Category.
  • Susan Muranty ("Four Hands Around One Heart", "I Feel Sorry For The Stars Tonight", "And She Walks", "Three Shadows" ) - UK Songwriting Contest semi-finalist: lyrics only.
  • Susan Muranty ("Stephen Hawking Wants You To" ) - UK Songwriting Contest semi-finalist: adult contemporary, open, lyrics only.
  • Susan Muranty ("Amen Amen (So Be It My Love)" ) - UK Songwriting Contest semi-finalist: acoustic/folk, open, christian/gospel.
  • Susan Muranty ("Silver Storm" ) - UK Songwriting Contest semi-finalist: love songs, open, Christmas, lyrics only.
  • Jane Pahr ("New Dawn" ) - UK songwriting contest. 2013: Finalist- Jazz.
  • Jane Pahr ("I Wanna Sing My Heart Out" ) - New Song Contest Finalist - International regional of 13th Annual New Song Contest.

Members Who Signed Songs With A Publisher/Licensed! Image of contract 
  • BJ Baker - Signed a publishing agreement with TrueFangled Music on four comical oriented songs..Astrogliding, Whipped Cream Dream, and Love Spackle.  
  • Jordan Edwards ("Songs: My Patchwork Life, Blue Jean Queen, The Moonshiner's Wife, Flash Flood, The Loneliest Man in America" ) - Winner's Circle Country Music Signed a publishing contract on the songs listed above. Thanks!
  • Wayne Gamache ("GOIN NOWHERE FAST" ) - Signed with Silk and Denim Music (BMI) IN NASHVILLE.
  • James Hoppe ("Bright Skies", "Epic", "In Your Face" and "The Champion" ) - Signed an exclusive publishing deal with Sky Bound Entertainment (NBC, FOX, HBO, Discovery) on four songs for worldwide licensing.
  • James Hoppe ("Down This Wide Open Road, I Knew, So Hooked On You and You Get What You Give" ) - Signed a non-exclusive publishing deal with Winner's Circle Country Music Publishing on four songs.
  • James Hoppe ("Driven" and "Radium" ) - Washington Street Publishing Signed a Non-exclusive publishing/licensing Agreement on two songs in my catalogue.
  • Jennifer Jones ("Country Sweet kisses , Lets make up , Smooth Talker, and Meet me at the water" ) - Winners Circle Country Music Publishing signed a single song 12 month contract for all 4 songs.
  • Devra Olano ("Burn This Roadhouse Down" ) - Signed to My Three Kids Music Non-Exclusive License.
  • Marianne Philbin ("The Passport Song" co-written with Erik Olsen) - Truefangled Music thanks to a listing on, and early encouragement from Coach #3762!
  • Yvonne Perkins ("The Altar Call, My Eyes Wait, I Don't know" ) - Perpetual Music Group.Coach #1230 nominated "My Eyes Wait" as Best of Thanks Coach 1230 for your feedback!
  • Tony True ("The Whole Nine Yards" ) - Winners Circle Country Publishing Company. I have been a SongU member for only about 8 weeks and have already had a song picked up at What a great feeling!
  • Jamie Trent ("The Outer Banks and You" ) - Southern Shores Realty Vacation Rental Company Leveraging Emotions and Memories for Branding With New Official Company Song.
  • Bob Wirth ("Life's Full O' Surprises" co-written with Katy Powers) - Signed with My 3 Kids Music through!

Image of CD  Members Who Had Songs Recorded/Receiving Airplay!
  • Donna Aylor ("New Dreams of Old Mexico" and "This One's A Keeper" " ) - Recorded by the Nevada Country Band and released in March 2014.
  • Rita Case ("ALWAYS ROOM IN HIS HEART Written by Rita Case" ) - Ryan Seaton, former lead singer with Ernie's Haase's Signature Sound Quartet, Grammy nominees and 3 time Dove Award winners has recorded my song, "Always Room In His Heart." My song was signed to a single song contract through a pitch on several years ago. The majority of the songs on this CD were written by the famous Gaither family, so I feel honored to be in their midst.
  • Bob Clay ("Bound and Determined" "Country Mile" "A Sad Song Don't Care" "The Paint's Already Dry" and "The Man Standing Next To You") - Recorded by Canadian artist, TIlmon Duguay on the CD "Working Man". The CD is available at
  • Jerry Glidewell ("Gravity" ) - My song "Gravity" has been recorded by Maddie Deneault. This song was successfully placed through the "Fast Track" pitch opportunities. THANKS!
  • Shirley Goines ("Don't Promise Me Sunshine( and bring me rain)" ) - Diane Shaw Soul, R&B Artist and my song was one of the first three singles released!! The song is available on iTunes, amazon, and other on line stores. .
  • Debra Gussin ("KISS ME LIKE U MEAN IT" ) - ALLY MAYSON, the 2012 WINNER of OTTAWA IDOL, recorded and released KISS ME LIKE U MEAN IT. The song, currently in Top 30 rotation at country radio stations in Canada, is now available on iTunes.
  • Debra Gussin ("I'VE ALREADY WON" and "THIS IS OUR TIME" ) -Two of my songs appear on a new Inspirational CD, LIVING WITH A DREAM! - I'VE ALREADY WON and THIS IS OUR TIME. The CD will accompany the best-selling book BEGIN WITH YES, by motivational author, Paul Boynton.
  • Charles Hayden ("Rain That Falls In The Desert" ) - The song has been recorded by Eric Copeland and released internationally on Touch Records and sung by Eric Copeland. I want to thank my coaches and the staff at SongU for helping me become a better writer!
  • Kimberly Kime ("Bedtime Stories and Lies" ) - Recorded and released at a CD Release Party by Austrian Band Rhythm 4 Boots on May 3, 2014. Thanks for helping us pitch this song -- we could not have done it without you!
  • Ken Matejka ("2000 Years" ) - James Robert Webb, Bison Creek Records recorded my song on his Christmas album.
  • Donna Opfer ("THINGS I CAN'T TURN DOWN" ) - The group Barbarella Red Rock from Switzerland is recording this song for their upcoming CD.
  • Yvonne Perkins ("Where Do They Go?" ) - Arnetta Yancey first single "Where Do They Go" Arneta recorded two more of my songs (The Altar Call and Shut Your Mouth Satan) released April 2014  
  • Yvonne Perkins ("MY WORSHIP IS MY WARFARE" ) - FAYE MOSBY released "My Worship Is My Warfare"and is writing a book to accompany the song. She has already committed to recording two more of my songs, "Walk in the Rain" and "Lord I Believe".
  • Dan Robinson ("Three Days to Live" co-written with Ken Matejka) - The group Barbarella Red Rock from Switzerland is recording this song for their upcoming CD.
  • Rita Weyls ("Busted" ) - This will be on Laurie Shaw's new CD along with my song, 'Breathless'. Many thanks to Bob Dellaposta of My3kids Publishing.
  • Rita Weyls ("Breathless" ) - Recorded by Laurie Shaw on Banner Records Laurie was on the Hotdisc UK charts for 13 weeks. It has has been picked up by three stations in France and various other stations across Europe and Canada.
  • Rita Weyls ("Sister, Sister" ) - Artist is Amber JoAnn and the song is geting airplay in Sydney and Brisbane, Australia.
  • Rita Weyls ("Breathless", "Bittersweet" ) - The Road Chicks, released on their CD "Bittersweet"through a pitch from My3Kids Music by Bob Dellaposta.
  • Barbara Wilkinson ("BITTERWEEDS" ) - Larry Sparks, Lonesome and Then Some 50 year Celebration As of August 8th, "Bitterweeds", which was released as the first single of his newest album, has been #1 on the Bluegrass Today Radio Charts since it's release a month ago.

Members Who Have Other Good News To Share! Image of celebrating
  • Donna Aylor ("Country Diction" ) - Placed a song on TV show Access Hollywood (ABC).
  • Ed Cawthon ("One Freckle At A Time") - My song was on the NSAI TOP 40 and was #1 in the Top Ten of the NSAI Top 40.  
  • Kelley Edwards ("Forever" ) - A song I co-wrote was accepted by Hollywood Trax for a specific ballad slot.
  • Mary Haller ("Six-Pack Sunset" and "Working My Way" ) - Tracks from two songs (“Six-Pack Sunset” and “Working My Way), written with Marty Dodson were featured in the premiere episode of the new MavTV show, “GearHeads"
  • Pat Kelley ("It's All Country" ) - My song is being used as the theme song for a new TV show with the same name. It is a joint venture between Star Com Media and it's partners, SCMTV and LaZer Productions. The artist is, Doug Briney who recorded the song on the Atlanta based CBM Records. The program will spotlight top Indie artist from around the country and there are plans for it to go international.
  • Susan Muranty ("Amen Amen (So Be It My Love)" ) - Released a new video
  • Jamie Trent ("Outer Banks and You" ) - A song I wrote, "The Outer Banks and You" just got licensed by a real estate company in the Outer Banks. They song will be used in their nationwide advertising campaign involving tv commercials and radio ad's. Received my first royalty check yesterday!

Congratulations To All!

We always love hearing your good news. So if you have some good news to share, just look on the right-hand side of the member homepage after you login where you can submit your good news for the next Gold Stars.

And of course, a big THANK YOU to our members for not only talking the talk, but walking the walk and delivering high-quality songs. Thanks for showing the world that talent, dedication and education go a long way. Keep up the great work!

Wishing you all continued success!

Danny Arena
Courses, Coaching, Connections

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