Harlan Howard Songs has had some wonderful interns throughout its history. One reason is the plethora of universities nearby like Belmont, MTSU and Vanderbilt. One great intern turned employee was Sara Johnson now Sara Johnson Knabe who is doing a wonderful job heading the BMG/Nashville label A&R duties. Another great intern was Seth England who has risen to fame and glory at Big Loud label also headquartered in Nashville.
This summer was no different. I had an awesome “intern!” I put intern in quotation marks because technically Meagan was not an intern as she didn’t receive college credit for working; but what a worker she was. Meagan wanted to experience the eclectic scene of Music Row from an insider’s perspective. So, this summer, she got to hang out at Harlan Howard Songs and hear stories about Harlan while listening to him sing his songs. Harlan Howard may no longer be present on this Earth, but his songs and his voice are ever present at Harlan Howard Songs.
If I have learned anything, it’s the art of delegation. Meagan’s first task was to catalog the 400 of 4000 + songs that have been recaptured to date of Harlan Howard. To simplify, the Copyright law returns copyrights to the writer(s) after a certain number of publication years for the duration of the authors life plus 70 years. That means more than likely the heirs of a songwriter will have to care for their loved ones copyrights. That is the current situation at Harlan Howard Songs, we are actively terminating publishing rights and reclaiming the songs of Harlan Howard. Now with that out of the way onto Meagan and her stellar performance.
Meagan created a digital file for each returned song. Within those 400 files, she put every version of the song that she could find on YouTube or in our database. Songs such as “I Fall to Pieces,” “Busted,” “Heartaches by The Number,” “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down,” “He Called Me Baby,” just to mention a few. I thought the project would keep Meagan busy for two months. I don’t believe it took her two weeks. I don’t know how many songs that amounts to, but 400 titles and some titles had ten or more versions, that’s a lot of songs.
Project number two was to scan photos of Harlan Howard. This all started when the legendary photographer, Jim McGuire, called because he had negatives of Harlan and me and wanted me to have them. Thank you, Jim for your generosity. Jim’s act of kindness prompted me to purchase a new scanner as to make the monotony of scanning a bit more pleasurable and efficient. Next, I brought boxes of photos from home dating back to 1987 when Harlan and I met. The photos were of events such as the Harlan Howard Birthday Bashes, Harlan and Friends Unrock the Hard Rock, holidays, birthdays, family reunions, you name it, it was every trip we ever took to every fishing boat Harlan loved in his lifetime. I thought Meagan might get a box or two done. All photos scanned in a week. I went to the basement and pulled the files of publicity photos, album covers, more family photos dating back to the 60’s and 70’s again all scanned in a few days. Nearly 4000 photos were scanned. Can I just say, Meagan is a machine!
Project three was for Meagan to write songs while she was here. To her credit, Meagan wrote 34 songs during the month of June and July. Some are practice songs but some are quite commercial. I was impressed by her work ethic. Co-writers bragged on her songwriting skills as well as her vocal capabilities. She performed at Belcourt Taps in the round with friends, Brittany Morgan and Tony Zavitson. I was proud as a peacock of young Meagan!
Other interesting facts I gleamed while Meagan was in residency was that when she came for a home-cooked meal, she left her phone inside while we grilled and ate outdoors. For three hours she never once looked at her phone. Impressive, right? She was quick to help around the house and the office. Meagan is shy and doesn’t mind being alone, but she fit right in when the Chicks With Hits were at the office pitching songs to artists, producers and managers. She pitched songs and even had one of her songs played for a producer. She looked terrified, but no one noticed but me. When someone asked whose song that was, I proudly said, Meagan, as the color returned to her face.
All in all I had the most enjoyable summer hanging out with young Meagan Connors. She’s bright, astute, well spoken, quirky sense of humor and quite talented. She’s off to Europe in a few weeks to study abroad. I like that quality too. She’s adventurous and heading out into the unknown by herself much like she came to me in Nashville. I look forward to seeing the transformation of young Meagan the college student to young Meagan the pop songwriter. Stay tuned…...
Check out Meagan's new song below: B.O.M.B.