John Kerry’s upset win in Iowa must have delighted a lot of folks on Music Row. Hot Talk scanned the lists of contributors filed with the Federal Election Commission and saw some familiar names in the Kerry camp. Nashville record label chiefs Joe Galante (RCA Label Group), Luke Lewis (Universal) and John Grady (Sony) chipped in $2,000, $2,000 and $500, respectively. Singers Nanci Griffith and Bette Midler (who listed a Nashville address) contributed $1,000 and $2,000. Lawyer, manager and TV producer Bill Carter anted up $2,000, as did talent manager Bob Titley (who handles Brooks & Dunn and Terri Clark, among others). Ronnie Dunn’s wife, Janine, also ponied up $2,000. Bob Doyle, a music publisher and Garth Brooks’ co-manager, gave $1,000. Others who endorsed Kerry with their dollars include songwriters Bobby Braddock ($2,000) and Bill LaBounty ($500); producer Paul Worley ($1,000); talent bookers Greg Oswald ($2,000) and Rick Shipp ($1,500); music publishers H. C. Turner ($2,000) and Walter Campbell ($500); and BMI executive Del Bryant ($500).
Howard Dean numbers among his fiscal fans Emmylou Harris ($500), producer Kyle Lehning ($250) and songwriter Dan Tyler ($1,250, who also tipped in another $1,000 for John Edwards). Bette Midler (see above) shelled out $2,000 for Richard Gephardt’s campaign. Former Curb Records exec Phil Gernhard gave Wesley Clark a $500 salute. Hot Talk found no Music Row angels hovering around Al Sharpton, Carol Moseley Braun, Dennis Kucinich or Joe Lieberman, although tons of Nashville lawyers wrote checks to fellow barrister Edwards.
None of this is meant to suggest that Music Row is more passionate about the various Dems than it is the singular Bush. According to the current FEC report, 171,364 individuals have donated to the Prez’s 2004 campaign — and wading through that list is going to take some time.