EMPTY NEST SYNDROME

( Author Note: As former Romper Room Teacher and Pittsburgh CBS affiliate anchor, my children began their lives with Romper Room and Mr. Rogers as their ‘normal’ family. We relocated with my late husband to New Jersey 43 years ago, but no escaping for them – their friends here in New Jersey always remembered me as the lady on Romper Room.)

Growing Wings Of Their Own

It has almost been 20 years since one of my children took his sisters out from under the ‘Romper Room Mom’ shadow they had been living under for most of their lifetime. A new dimension was added to our lives and nothing would ever be the same again.

In 1996 my Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey singer/songwriter son, Emerson Hart, and his band Tonic released their first album, Lemon Parade, which rocketed to multi-platinum status and garnered him awards, including the Billboard Award for the #1 most played song on rock radio.

What followed in the ensuing 19 years would be world tours, six Tonic albums, two Grammy Nominations, ASCAP Award, movie soundtracks, two successful solo albums and concerts in war zones entertaining our American troops – even being knocked off of his feet by a bomb blast while the band was staying at one of Sodom Hussein’s Palaces in Iraq.

Springsteen. Bon Jovi. Both New Jersey icons, were already firmly established within the 80’s Rock frenzy by the time Emerson and Tonic came along. But the ‘new kid’ on the block from New Jersey, the late ’90’s talent entry, came into the game like gangbusters when music tastes were were changing. Emerson was on the tail end of Rock’s biggest roll, but he and Tonic have survived.

So have his sisters. Each of them with their own quiet, or not so quiet victories growing up and out from under the ‘Romper Room Mom’ memories.

So a toast from parents to our children and their victories growing up and out from under our wings. A toast for 20 more quiet and maybe not so quiet years!

Can’t Think Of A Title

               

Have you ever seen the commercial for Shriners Hospital when the little girl is asked what is love and she sweetly giggles and has a cute little smile and says a little bit embarrassed “I got nothing.”  
Well this week I’m kind of in the same predicament. I’ve got nothing. I’ve been home a week now and all I’ve been doing is cleaning, supervising sheet rock installation, dealing with plumbers, leaking washing machine hoses and selecting flooring for the damage that was done this winter to my home by frozen water pipes. That’s just inside. Outside I had acres of leaves from last fall to be cleaned up. What happened to the good old days when you could set your pile of leaves on fire after the kids had fun jumping into them? Should I admit to loving the smell of burning leaves in the fall? Life used to be so much easier and so much more fun before ticks and the thinning ozone layer.
This week my Creative Center is being smothered by the realities around me. No wonder for centuries artists and musicians have needed patrons to create so that they would be free from worldly tasks. Mozart and Rembrandt wouldn’t even be in our vocabulary had they been forced to work at McDonalds to pay the rent instead of being able to create without fear of being kicked out of their flat.
I have always thought too much outside static short circuits creative energy and right now I am on overload without much sleep. All of a sudden Sophie, who usually sleeps at our feet, has decided to be a bed hog dog and pushes herself between our pillows so that my husband and I have about 5 inches to go before we wind up on the floor. She’s like a sack of potatoes in a coma when I try to get her to move. My daughter Alison told me to let her know I am the master because dogs do well when you tell them what they need to do. Well, obviously not this Lhasa. 
So please forgive me this week friends. I’ve got nothing.
http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7XmY/shriners-hospitals-for-children-what-is-love
Copyright by Sandra Hart 2015. All rights reserved.

Fair Play/Fair Pay

Whatever type of work you do would you ever give away your expertise, hard work and talent and never get expect get paid for those services? Of course not. Well,  this may come as a shock to all of you music fans, no matter what band or artist you love, none of these artists get paid for any type of radio, AM or FM, Internet or Satellite play for their intellectual property. Zip.  Zero payment.  Pandora only pays minuscule royalties.

Performers and songwriters get paid royalties for recordings, but not their intellectual properties in today’s streaming digital atmosphere. Our USA artists don’t even get paid overseas when their music gets played by those countries who recognize performance right of artists. Why? Because the United States doesn’t recognize their artists performance rights. Crazy, right?
There is a short world list of those counties that DO NOT recognize intellectual rights of performers/songwriters. Who are they? I am embarrassed to tell you. Iran. China. North Korea  AND the United States. Some company we keep, eh?
This morning I was privileged to watch a live streaming announcement by SAG-AFTRA of a bill that is being introduced to Congress by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY) and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (TN) called the Fair Play/Fair Pay Act that will correct this wrong and protect the performer’s intellectual rights to get paid for their intellectual rights when  used. 
As Roseanne Cash has spoken out so clearly on this issue, “…. an artist puts his spirit, soul and mind into his work and that has value. Music radio, digital services would not exist if it were not for the artists’ intellectual property.”
If you want to help by writing to your congressman go to: www.musicfirstcoalition.org to ask your congressman/woman to lend their support to this bill. The future of music and the next generation of musicians need your support. 
THANK YOU FROM ALL THE MUSICAL PERFORMERS/ SONGWRITERS BEFORE 1972 AND BEYOND!