Music Career
Warren Lynn Alford





Warren "Lynn" Alford

Music Publisher, Producer, Songwriter, Performer, Music Distributor

Organizations and Memberships

Country Music Association (CMA), Gospel Music Association (GMA), Nashville A.F.M. Local 257 Union, Broadcast Music Inc (BMI), American Society Of Composers, Authors, And Publishers (ASCAP), World Music Alliance (WMA), Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), International Association Of Music Producers (IAMP)

Nashville, TN

USA


"Success rewards those willing to leave everything behind to follow a dream." Ralph Quinlan

I grew up in a family of musicians and singers where I learned to play various musical instruments. I was associated with music and the music industry for over thirty-five years, beginning as a professional drummer at the age of thirteen with Joe Woods and the Wildwood Express Show in Ruston, Louisiana. After leaving the Wildwood Express, I played fairs, festivals, and clubs throughout the South with the country/fifties group Wild Honey.On tour with Wild Honey circa 1984 Wild Honey was a ‘family’ band and I really enjoyed those years. I also learned what being a musician and entertainer was really all about: “work, work, work”.

After meeting Michael Rasbury (one of my major musical influences) Michael Rasburyin high school, we began writing songs, formed Albury Music Ltd (ASCAP), and a musical friendship spanning two decades. I later joined The Disciples of God as lead vocalist and keyboard player and produced the band's albums, including a live album for the Barwood Records label.

In the 1990s, I moved to Nashville and started an independent record label, Red Horse Records, LLC. I leased a small office Red Horse Records logoon West End Avenue and between commutes to my day job in Chicago, I set out to find my way in the music business. I also formed a music publishing company, Music City Pitch Publishing (BMI), which published and administered the copyrights of my songs, the artists signed by the record label, and songwriters signed by the publishing company.

My office was across the hallway from the building manager's office and we would have coffee together and talk about the “who's who” of Lynn Alford and Jenny Smith of Red Horse Records, Gail Davies, and Ralph QuinlanNashville. It was during one of these ‘chinwags’ that he introduced me to Ralph Quinlan, who had an office in the building. Ralph had been in the music business for decades and he was a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it came to songwriting and recording. His insight and music row connections set the stage for the future.

After securing a world-wide distribution deal (thanks to Ralph) through AMG Entertainment, it was time to find something worth selling (musically speaking). Record labels are cash-intensive ventures and an indie label discovering the next big artist has the probability of winning the lottery while being struck by lightning. Ralph and I would have lengthy discussions about the ‘yesteryears’ of country music and those conversations led to a single question: “Why was I trying to create a hit record when there were so many hit records out there already?” Eventually, the answer would change my life.

While at West End Avenue location, I also met Mark Lister and Phil Lister, Dixiana with Ricky Skaggs owners of Dixiana Music and in early 2000, we joined musical forces and moved the entire operation (including their recording studio) to 18th Avenue on Nashville's famous “Music Row”. As the driving-force behind the country group Dixiana , Mark and Phil were signed with Sony/Epic Records in the early 1990s. Learning from and networking with such professionals opened the door to the music row inner circle of movers and shakers. Anyone can get advice from everyone but I was now getting advice from those who knew the business and were successful.


I grew up listening to country music records and I would read those LP album liner notes over and over; often wondering why it required so many folks just to make an album. I always enjoyed meeting famous people in the music industry and while meeting a recording artist was interesting, meeting the manager, producer, publisher, A&R, etc. was more exciting for me. The United Artists building on Nashville's Music Row Everyone wants to meet the star but, I wanted to meet those people from the ‘liner notes’ even more. I must admit, I was more nervous meeting Harold Shedd the first time than meeting the members of the group Alabama. Years later, this naive fascination opened several doors, strictly by accident. This was the case when Ralph asked if I wanted to meet a past-business associate of Marty Robbins. As it turned out, the business associate was the one-and-only Hillous Butrum.

Many of you reading this may be scratching your head and asking “Who?”.....

Hillous was a member of Hank Williams' band, Drifting Cowboys and had made his name working Hillous Butrum with Charlie and Jeannie McBridebehind the scenes acquiring master recordings, music publishing catalogues, and video archive footage documenting the evolution of country music. After getting to know Hillous, I asked if he would license wholesale from his back catalogue. Just like many of the deals I witnessed at the Longhorn Steakhouse on Lyle Avenue, a handshake from Hillous now provided the product people were willing to buy. With this deal in place, I was able to distribute music legends such as Mac Wiseman and Merle Kilgore.

As sales numbers grew, Hillous introduced me to Shelby Singleton and soon after the introduction, my company became a distributor for the legendary Sun Records music catalogue. Lynn Alford President Red Horse Records Nashville circa 2000Hillous was just getting warmed up! Our market share conversation over lunch one day resulted in an afternoon meeting with URP Distributors and by 3:15 pm, my company had become a major music distributor. Hillous had created a seven-figure music distribution network in a few hours.

I continued to distribute and sell hard to find music until receiving the offer that changed everything. While I cannot elaborate on the terms and conditions, I will say a few signatures brought this chapter of my life to a close. Well, how many people have a Wikibin page about their careers? I have posted a few memories in my picture gallery Enjoy!!



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