CONGRESSSWOMAN SHEILA JACKSON LEE GIVES HER SIDE OF THE STORY!
JACKSON LEE: IT’S BEING FAIR TO THE PERFORMERS!
In an interview to address the Swine Flu in Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee quickly changed the subject on FOX 26 news Monday morning. She knew what was on the minds of lots of viewers in her congressional district. Is she selling out Black owned and minority radio stations?
Last week Jackson Lee was at the center of the storm. Radio One went after the Congresswoman alleging she supported a House resolution that would essentially destroy Black radio.
HR 848 is the Performance Rights Act. It requires all radio stations to pay artists for playing their music. In the past radio has paid the writers of songs such like Dolly Parton every time Whitney Houston performs the #1 hit song ‘I’ll Always Love You.” Even though Houston took the song to new heights after the movie ‘Bodyguard’ she didn’t earn a dime from it because it was written by Parton. That’s the way the music biz has worked.
The legislator also pointed out the United States is one of only four countries in the world that don’t pay the artists for performing a song. Also on that list: Iran, N. Korea and China.
Congresswoman Jackson Lee says it’s time for those artists to be paid. She said the legislation that she supports will not put Black radio out of business. She says the most small radio stations would have to pay is about $5,000 a year. Jackson Lee says the amount large radio stations such as 97.9 The Box will pay will be negotiated. She went on to say she’s been appointed the negotiator.
This information is a stark contrast to what the radio station’s (97.9) parent company claimed just last week. Officials with the urban radio station said they could be forced to pay anywhere from $8 to $10 million dollars a year if the resolution is passed. The question is who do you believe?
House resolution 848 is still being worked on according to Jackson Lee. She says if you have questions call her office. But last week her office was inundated with calls and most people couldn’t get through.