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Michael Sigman
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Michael Sigman is a writer/ editor, media consultant and the president of Major Songs, a music publishing company.

Prior to his current activities, Sigman was the president and publisher of LA Weekly, the nation’s largest alternative newsweekly, from 1990-2002. He joined LA Weekly in 1983 as general manager and was named publisher the following year.

Sigman was also the founding publisher of OC Weekly, sister paper to LA Weekly, when it was launched in 1995.

Prior to joining LA Weekly, Sigman was a music journalist, and served as a reporter, then managing editor, then editor-in-chief of Record World Magazine, a leading music industry weekly, from 1971 to 1982.

Michael Sigman graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, with a BA in Philosophy, from Bucknell University in 1971. He currently serves on several Boards, including InsightLA and Society for Singers, and is Chairman of the Board of the Wright Institute, a non-profit psychoanalytic institute which provides inexpensive long-term psychotherapy to the poor.

Entries by Michael Sigman

Chris Morris Writes the Book on a Great American Band

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 11:32 AM

On May 4, 1980, Los Angeles Reader music critic Chris Morris went to see punk heroes PiL (John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols lineup) at the suitably seedy Olympic Auditorium near downtown LA.

Morris and his "plus-one," a saxophone whiz named Steve Berlin, could never have dreamed that...

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Lyricist Yip Harburg's Son Ernie: How My Dad Inspired Me To Become a Scientist (Part 2)

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 11:35 AM

My friend Ernie Harburg and I are both sons of songwriters -- in his case, that songwriter was the transcendent genius Yip Harburg, who wrote the lyrics for such gems as "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" "It's Only a Paper Moon," "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"...

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Lyricist Yip Harburg's Son Ernie: How My Dad Inspired Me to Become a Scientist

(3) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 12:15 PM

My friend Ernie Harburg and I are both sons of songwriters -- in his case, that songwriter was the transcendent genius Yip Harburg, who wrote the lyrics for such gems as "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" "It's Only a Paper Moon," "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and all...

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Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles -- and Allen Klein

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2015 | 3:16 PM

To my regret, I never got to know Allen Klein. Nevertheless, I enjoyed an up-and-down relationship with -- as Fred Goodman describes him in his fascinating new book -- Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out The Beatles, Made The Rolling Stones, and Transformed Rock and Roll.

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Elliot Horne's Hiptionary: Dig We Must!

(2) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 12:58 PM

In the melancholic aftermath of the recent deaths of record industry giants Stan Cornyn (The Coast/Warner Bros.) and Bruce Lundvall (The Apple/CBS, Blue Note), I was drawn to The Hiptionary, a boss tome penned in 1963 by RCA Records publicist Elliot Horne. The wondrous sights and...

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Jeb: All Dough, No Doughnuts, No Fun

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 11:21 AM

If George W. Bush won two presidential elections in part because he was the candidate you'd rather have a beer with, brother Jeb is shaping up as the candidate who better not have a beer with you.

While bingeing on donor dough, Jeb has been purging doughnuts and other comfort...

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Cassandra Wilson Says 'Happy 100th, Lady Day'

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 1:41 PM

Of the many tributes to Billie Holiday's 100th birthday today (April 7), the most compelling I've heard is Cassandra Wilson's Sony Legacy album Coming Forth By Day, a strange, atmospheric brew produced by Nick Launay (whose credits include music by Nick Cave and Arcade Fire) with shimmering string...

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Bob Durst, Camp Counselor

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 4:03 PM

Like millions of others, I watched Andrew Jarecki's The Jinx to its riveting conclusion -- when Robert Durst, the subject of the six-part HBO documentary, all but outed himself as a serial murderer. It was a conclusion powerful enough to prompt the FBI to arrest Durst on suspicion...

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My Mind Misremembered, Not Me

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2015 | 11:20 AM

It was late on a Friday night in May of '03, just weeks after the U.S. had invaded Iraq. I was on my way from Manhattan out to the Hamptons -- all of them -- in a jitney with a band of (erstwhile frat) brothers.

We were having a...

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Elvis! 80!

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 1:40 PM

I was once, just once, this close to Elvis Presley, who was born 80 years ago today.

It was June 1972, a heady time to be in the music business, a time when there were still lots of small, independent labels run by colorful -- if sometimes crooked -- characters...

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'Enjoy Yourself' at 65

(0) Comments | Posted December 31, 2014 | 11:42 AM

New Year's Eve gets a bad rap, but I look forward to it because of a special kinship with a certain song.

The first time I heard "Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)" I hadn't been born yet. Neither had the song. We were gestating -- me in my...

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On Memory, Medication, and Meditation

(5) Comments | Posted December 28, 2014 | 4:11 PM

A few months ago, not for the first time, I forgot something important. My wife suggested I talk to my doctor about my memory.

I got defensive. She had to be wrong.

I was always the guy who remembered everything, from baseball stats to the B-sides of obscure singles...

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PR Guru Schools Hollywood Moguls on Email Fallout

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 11:21 AM

Last week, hackers published email exchanges between Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal and movie producer Scott Rudin that insulted Hollywood royalty. Angelina Jolie? She's a "minimally talented spoiled brat." Leonardo DiCaprio's behavior? "Despicable." Pascal and Rudin joked that President Obama probably favored such movies...

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Book Excerpt: Softball, The Music Biz and the Me Decade

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 11:31 AM

(This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, Field Notes from a Music Biz Life.)

Once in a great while, the exploits of a sports team transcend the playing fields to illuminate something profound about a particular time and place.

Consider the 1964 St. Louis Cardinals,...

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Book Excerpt: Management, and Fun, by Wandering Around

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 11:47 AM

(This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, Field Notes from a Music Biz Life.)

January, 1973.

PARIS, FRANCE U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho sign a cease-fire agreement that, according to President Richard Nixon, "brings peace with honor in Vietnam...

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Fred Goodman: Songwriter, Singer, Parodist Extraordinaire

(4) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 4:49 PM

On Christmas Day 1994, the veteran singer/songwriter Fred Goodman met his future wife Chris's extended family. When caroling time arrived, Fred, the only Jew in a houseful of Catholics, sat at the piano and led the guests through classic after classic, including all the verses -- in Latin -- of...

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Torn Between Two Bosses, Not Feeling Like a Fool

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 1:41 PM

(This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, Field Notes from a Music Biz Life.)

Question: What to do when you have two bosses who hate each other so much they automatically disagree about everything and speak to each other only through you?

Answer: You learn to play...

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The Who's 10th Anniversary, 40 Years Later

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 2:07 PM

This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, Field Notes from a Music Biz Life.

In early 1973, shortly after I took over as editor of Record World, a mysterious package from our Latin American Headquarters in Miami -- aka the apartment of our sole employee in that...

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How to Win Charts and Alienate People

(1) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 10:45 AM

(This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, Field Notes from a Music Biz Life.)

"It's bad enough Beer has an MBA. Why does he have to flaunt that fucking map?" -- Consensus of record company promotion reps, December 1972

In Lenny Beer's first 48 hours as Record...

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Singles Charts and the Battle for Bullets

(1) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 2:38 PM

This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book Just Remember: Field Notes from a Music Biz Life.

In the record industry boom of the early 1970s, revenue from album sales was the mother lode. But the most effective way to break a new artist or take an existing...

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