Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Post CD Release Party Wrap-Up

The party was a full month ago, but with the holidays, well, you know how it goes....

What happened at the party? Was it a success or a dud? Did my bad party karma come back to haunt me?

Mother Nature was not on my side. We had a huge snowstorm the night of the party here at Tahoe. But my brother from Southern California and my cousin Joanne, from the state of Washington flew in to support me. Even he was worried that no one would show up. However, sure enough, fifty of my most diehard friends and fans came to the party. They braved the weather and the roads and were there for me. Like Russ, who drove from Sacramento, 100 miles away, and holed himself up in a motel just to attend. And my present and past harp students, Fred, Wanda, and Jo were there. Fred said, “I was worried that no one would come, and I wanted to attend and show you that yes, someone would attend.” I am truly touched and grateful to have such wonderful friends, fans, and loved ones.

Bread and Broth,  the nonprofit organization teaming up with me on the fundraiser, was on hand. Gift baskets filled with all kinds of goodies, from wine to bath salts, to music, were raffled off, with the proceeds going to help Bread and Broth feed the hungry on Thanksgiving Day. With only fifty people on hand, we raised nearly $200!

ScreenBooth Lake Tahoe and JJ Entertainment provided the entertainment. Everyone had a blast putting on silly hats and having their photos taken. And then Suzanne kept people guessing with the following quiz. Do you know all the answers? E-mail me your answers, and if you are correct, I’ll send you a download of one of my Celtic albums. But you must respond by February 1, 2011 to get a chance to receive the album download).

Finally, the food that Harrah’s Tahoe provided, and their service, couldn’t be beat. And the best part of it all was that I enough CDs to pay for the party and line my pockets, too. I’d call the party a success, even though Old Man Winter tried to ruin it.

My quick list of do’s and don’ts for throwing a successful CD release party:

1. Don’t limit your guest list.
Do make it a public party, because you never know if something uncontrollable (like a winter snowstorm) will prevent people from showing up.

2. Don’t use only one means of getting the word out.
Do be vigilant and follow up on your invites. Use email, facebook, mail paper invites, phone calls. Do everything you can to get invited guests to respond, because you’ll have a better handle on how much food and drink to order.

3. Don’t be cheap.
Do provide food, drink and fun for your guests. A party isn’t a party if all you are doing is sitting in a room signing CDs or playing a bit of music for your guests. The entire idea of having a fun event is that your guests will tell their friends, and you’ll have even more people attending your concerts and your next CD release party (and you’ll sell more CDs).

4. Don’t do it all yourself. 
Do team up with a non-profit community organization. You’ll feel good about giving to your community and you’ll receive extra publicity for your good deeds.
Do team up with another company in town to help you make your party happen. I worked with a local DJ and ScreenBooth company. They wanted the publicity, and I needed the help with throwing my party. Or, you can do what my friend Deborah, is doing—She is throwing her CD release party in a guitar store.

5. Don’t make your party inaccessible.
Do hold your party in the closest proximity to most of your fans. And make sure the room is big enough and there is plenty of parking. Holding my party at Harrah’s Tahoe really worked out, because they had valet service and covered parking, so people knew they didn’t have to deal with knocking snow off their cars after the party. Also, Harrah’s Tahoe is centrally located to all my Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley fans. They plow the roads in front of the building, and it is easy to find (all lit up on a cold winter’s night).

So go for it! Let me know how your CD release parties go...

In the meantime, Happy Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year!


P.S.—Here’s that trivia list. Email me your answers, and if you get them all correct, I’ll send you a f*ree album download. (Expires Feb 1, 2011)

Trivia questions (Hint—The answers to these questions are all found in the liner notes of my newest CDs, Blue Jeans and Velvet:

1. The Eagles wrote and performed “Desperado”. What other artist is also known for their version of this song?

2. In what movie did Disney borrow a theme by Tchaikovsky?

3. What rock song causes listeners to raise their lighters and shout the name of this song?

4. The 1937 movie “Top Hat” featured songs by what famous songwriter?

5. The singer of “My Girl” was known by what nickname?

6. “As Time Goes By” has been recorded by many artists. Which movie did it originally appear in?

7. People are often surprised to hear Anne play what song by Led Zeppelin?

8. Popular pianist “Fats” Waller is represented on Anne’s Velvet album by what two songs?

9. What popular British group wrote and performed “I Will” and “Black Bird”?

10. What vocalist, known as the “First Lady of Song”, recorded at least four of the tunes that are on Anne’s Velvet album?

11. Which early Jackson 5 song appears on Anne’s “Blue Jeans” album?

12. The tune “You Belong to Me” goes way back to vocalists Jo Stafford and Dean Martin. What recent animated movie was it featured in?

13. How well do you know Anne: Which of the following statements is not true?

A. Anne taught Algebra for the Los Angeles Unified School District.
B. Anne also plays the guitar.
C. Anne once sold burglar alarm systems.
D. Anne is a martial artist.
E. Anne can analyze your handwriting.