• Ron Tudor Interview - TAGG 1st Edition June 14 1979

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      The following is an article on Ron Tudor, the Grandfather of Oz Rock recording, written by Al Webb for TAGG's first issue on June 14th 1979

      Ron Tudor (“I’m very old- 55”) is the managing director of Fable Records and the President of the Australian Music Maker’s Association. He has been in the music industry for 23 years and started at the now defunct W&G Records as a sales rep in 1956.

      Here he discusses the AMMA in the first of a series of stories which will look at…


      By Al Webb
      Australian artists are shortly to be given a fairer go on the nation’s airwaves, according to the chairman of the Australian Music Makers’ Association, Mr Ron Tudor. Mr Tudor said last week discussions had been held with the bodies concerned and he expected a quota of 30% Australian content for all radio music shows to be adopted within the next few weeks.

      “We took a delegation to the Minister for Post and Telecommunications, Mr Staley, and questioned the delays in the implementing a quota which is in line with a recommendation from the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal,” he said.

      “We are pushing for a 30% quota with an annual increase of 21/2% until the quota reaches 40%.” The announcement, if made, will be the culmination of much of the hard work by the A.M.M.A and particularly Mr Tudor, since the groups inception last November.

      The idea for an association was first mooted three or four years ago, Mr Tudor said. Discussions had been held with various record companies, artist and producers, but nothing had come ofit.“ I had the opinion for a long time that there was a need for a body to represent the interests of recording acts, especially solo artists, producers, and other individuals, who simply through their own ‘singleness’, could not represent themselves,” he said.

      ‘Then last year we invited about 40 people to a meeting in Sydney to discuss it, 35 turned up and, signifying that a need was there, and so the association was formed on the spot.” Mr Tudor emphasised that the association was NOT a union, “We don’t want to cut across any union’sactivities,” he said.

      With the association’s first aim now everything but fulfilled Mr Tudor is looking to the future for new members to help “Work for the betterment of the Australian talent in their own country. ”We are now approaching the contemporary artists to join up - and Skyhooks and Dragon have been some to accept,” he said.

      “We are also approaching the media people who have dealings with the music industry too, the Australian music industry needs a shot in the arm like the 30% quota, but the path is fraught with more than the obvious objections from the Federation of Australian Radio Broadcasters (i.e. Commercial radio).

      The federation disagrees with the principles of imposing a quota, claiming that records are programmed according to their merit. But to Mr Tudor comparisons of ‘merit’ are valueless.

      “A programmer confronted with the choice of an American single which is in the Top Ten at home and a brand new Australian record single, which of course has no chartings, will invariably choose the American record,” he said. “We are not seeking advantages for Australian performers; we just want a more equal level of opportunity.”

      Mr Tudor said the Industries Assistance Commission report of 1976 had revealed some interesting facts. Roughly $2 million in royalties a month leave Australia for the pockets of our overseas counterparts," he said.

      “And this is attributable to the effect radio airplay has on record sales. Other countries play a much greater
      percentage of the locally produced material than Australia – and they do it voluntarily.

      In America it’s 95% and in Britain it is 65%. Worldwide success depends on the local radio’s attitude to the domestic product. ”Mr Tudor said Australian was also fighting the age old stigma that ‘Australians don’t do anything in the show business as well as the Americans.

      Many people I’ve spoken to seem to think that they don’t hear many Australian records on the radio because there aren’t many around,” he said "The truth is that only about 10% of Australian recordings get airplay.”

      For more information on the A.M.M.A, Mr Tudor may be contacted at Fable.
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