Marcy Rauer Wagman’s amazing career has spanned all corners of the music industry. As a teenager, she was a nationally known recording artist with her band High Treason and toured throughout the United States, opening for artists such as Santana, Chicago, Jefferson Airplane, Miles Davis, Van Morrison and many others. She later went on to work as a studio singer and vocal arranger, as well as a hitmaking songwriter, publisher, producer, and jingle-writer.
As an educator and author, Marcy has worked to impart her comprehensive knowledge of the music industry to the next generation; her recent e-book Rock Your College is a comprehensive guide to the music industry for college students and music industry entrepreneurs. Today, Marcy is an entertainment, media and technology attorney and the Managing Partner of her firm Wagman Dickman, LLC. She represents a large range of industry clients, including recording artists, publishers, songwriters, producers, recording studio owners, artist managers, as well as media and technology professionals.
As part of our Future of Music Coalition Summer of Love profile series, we recently sat down with Marcy and asked her a few questions:
What’s your first music memory?
When I was about 8 years old, my father got me and my best friend tickets to see The Beatles at the Atlantic City Convention Center. I will never forget The Beatles jumping onstage and slammin’ into their version of Twist and Shout. The veritable sea of teenage girls’ arms reaching for the stage, the deafening screams were overwhelming. I fell madly in love with the music business that day. Oh, and The Beatles, too.
How did you first get involved with the Future of Music Coalition?
I met Kristin Thomson, and was very impressed with her and what she was doing with FMC. So, I attended an FMC Policy Summit in D.C.; it was the single most informative music industry conference I had ever attended. All points of view were represented. Pressing issues were discussed in realistic terms by the highest-level, most innovative music industry professionals. I learned a tremendous amount of useful information. And, at each Policy Summit I have attended since, I have had the same positive experience.
What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing musicians today?
The “civilian” population relies on musicians - and all artists - to elevate our society, inject richness into our culture and give voice to our emotions. So, an artist’s first objective must be to create the best art they can by practicing and finely honing his or her craft. That, IMHO, is Musician Job One. However, it’s important that artists realize that they must now think of themselves as small (and hopefully growing) businesses. And they can’t do it all by themselves. The artist has to have a reliable, knowledgable, dedicated business team to assist him or her, consisting of, for example, a manager, an attorney, a booking agent, a publicist/social media manager. Otherwise, the art will suffer.
What would you tell FMC friends that haven’t donated to the Summer of Love campaign?
What the heck are you waiting for??? FMC does more for musicians than any other. Get on the stick, brothers and sisters.
What’s your favorite Summer album?
Wow. Tuff one. There are tons! But I have to say I couldn’t go a whole summer without another listen to A Love Supreme by John Coltrane, Things Fall Apart by The Roots, Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones, Sky Blue Sky by Wilco, The Meaning of 8 by Cloud Cult, Head Hunters by Herbie Hancock, Heavy Weather by Weather Report and American Idiot by Green Day. Those are but a few of the summer staples - I’ve left out about a bajillion more.