The Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences will hold the ACE 2016 Conference at the Peabody Hotel Memphis June 12 – 17, 2016. Yours truly will be hosting two workshops on “Creativity” and my “Wagon Wheel Method” of songwriting.
Below are testimonials from my Michael Porter’s “Wagon Wheel Method of Songwriting” workshops. Watch for my announcement for the next one coming Summer 2016.
“I thought it was wonderful – EVERY songwriter should attend!” – Bob Holden, President, Memphis Songwriters Association https://www.facebook.com/bob.holden.16?fref=ts
“Great Session! I learned a lot and enjoyed myself so much! Thank you Michael Porter! You are apreciated!” – Anna Pylant Pechak (member of both Memphis Songwriters Association and Nashville Songwriters Association International) https://www.facebook.com/anna.pechak
” Just got back from a songwriter workshop put on by Michael Porter. Excellent info and great technique!” – Steve Collins (member of Memphis Songwriters Association) http://stevecollinsfunny.com/
“Your class was brilliant. Loved it!” – Stephen Haynes, Co-owner of Space Girl Tunes https://www.facebook.com/pages/Space-Girl-Tunes/240780139126
“The October 5 workshop was so refreshing and educational! Michael’s presentation of the Wagon Wheel methodology showed me a new approach to songwriting that I can put to use at once, and escape the woes of writer’s block. Great job, Michael!” – Clement Griffin, President of Clement Griffin Music Group http://www.ClementGriffinMusicGroup.com
Michael Porter Music Career Bio
Michael Porter began his career as a staff jingle lyricist for the William B. Tanner Company, later bought out by Media General Broadcast Services, Inc. His songs have been recorded by Shelby Lynne, Jimmy Griffin, Jim Brickman and Clay Crosse.
In 1989, his first professional cut was on Shelby Lynne’s first album “Sunrise,” released on Epic Records (a division of CBS Records). The song “Thinking About You Again” was co-written with Stephony Smith, and published by Keith Sykes Music. Although not released as a single, the track received international airplay.
Here is Shelby Lynn performing the song live! https://youtu.be/TkxbpnleRQs
In 1985 Michael was signed as a staff songwriter for Chips Moman Music when the famous “American Sound Studios and 827 Thomas Street Band” writer/producer returned to Memphis and set up a new state-of-the-art facility in the old fire station at 3rd Street and Linden. During this period Moman produced the “Class of ’55″ Sun Records 30th anniversary reunion album with Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins.
It was also during this time Chips produced a very controversial and ultimately unreleased album with Ringo Starr. If you are a Memphis Music history buff, you may enjoy this short documentary on the ill-fated Ringo & Chips project. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x81lrf_ringo-starr-chips-moman-pete-drake_music
He is the co-writer (with Stephony Smith) of the Memphis holiday classic “Christmas in Memphis.” The song was written in 1985 and performed by The Media General Singers (Staff Vocalists: Kelli Bruce, Bruce Wermuth, Bill McMath, David Mayo, Michelle Amato and Stephony Smith), with special guest Reba Russell. The session was recorded at the old Tanner ‘Studio Five” at Poplar and Evergreen. Sam Shoup produced and arranged the song, with engineering and mixing by Joe Dixon. Original copies of “Christmas in Memphis” (distributed on cassette on those days) are very rare, but here is a wonderful video of the song produced by Robert Patterson.
In 1998, WRVR-FM 104.5 “The River” produced a special promotional version of “Christmas in Memphis,“ It was produced by Jim Brickman, with piano/arrangements by Brickman and vocals by Memphian Clay Crosse and Anne Cockran. CD singles were released and sold at local record stores with proceeds going to Porter-Leath Children’s Hospital.
Here is the WRVR version.
Since 2000, Michael has been an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis, teaching in the Department of Communication, the Freshman ACAD Program, the Department of Continuing Education and the Freshman Honors 1100 Forum. This semester he is teaching an interdisciplinary Honors Forum course, “Creativity: The Genius Within You.”
In 1995, Michael and master guitarist Phil Black http://www.philblackartist.wordpress.com teamed to write a full-length Broadway style stage musical, “The Book of Esther.” Based on the Old Testament story, Michael wrote the libretto and lyrics, and Black composed and arranged the score. The musical held its world premiere in March 1995 at the Memphis Jewish Community Center Theatre. The production (which featured 21 songs and more than 50 cast members) enjoyed a highly successful two-week run to excellent reviews and sold-out houses.
Here are several songs from “The Book of Esther.”
My Beautiful Hadassah
If I Perish
Does He/She Ever Wonder?
All You Have To Do
Michael served as Vice President on the board of the Memphis Songwriters Association (MSA) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Memphis-Songwriters-Association/257320382683 and was a Memphis coordinator for the Songwriters Guild of America (SGA).
In 2008 Michael’s song “May the Lone Star Flag Forever Fly” (co-written with Wake Eastman) was released as a single by independent country artist (and Willie Nelson protegee) Pauline Reese and her High Country Band on their album “Too Texas: Live At Cherry Ridge” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nr0rNZXrRI. The album won “Album of the Year” and “Lone Star” was nominated for “Record of the Year” by the Academy of Texas Music (a,k,a. the Texas Grammys).
Here is a great video (actually a slide show) of “Lone Star Flag” produced by “Texas Dragon22″ on YouTube!
Cut # 7: “The Knowers of Things” (co-written with Wake Eastman)
Here is a link of Wake Eastman performing “The Knowers of Things” at the Bluebird Cafe in 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HugQlLBcZX0
Cut # 8: “You Double Crossed My Mind Again” (co-written with Wake Eastman)
Cut # 10: “The Sore Spot” (co-written with Wake Eastman)
Cut # 5: “My Near Mrs.” (co-written with Wake Eastman)
Cut # 6: “You Double Crossed My Mind Again” (co-written with Wake Eastman)