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J. Michael Dolan: The Lost Interview

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When I was living in Los Angeles in the mid 2000’s one staple that I always saw in the recording studios and news stands was the Music Connection. As I was getting ready to launch SoSoActive, I received an email/blog from the Founder and former Editor of The Music Connection J. Michael Dolan explaining why decided to sell his baby after 30 years of hard-work.

After several weeks of emailing back and forth, J. Michael Dolan and I were able to have long detailed conversation on his history in the music business and he also gave me some words of wisdom as well. The sad part is that I lost my tape recorder this past weekend which held 30 minutes of music history :(, so I will try to recall as much as I can from memory.

The interview started a few minutes off schedule as he is located in PST and I am in Dallas(CST). What began as a Q/A interview quickly transitioned into a coversation where he ended up doing most of the talking and to my surprise he told me that he reads my newsletter all the time and he loves the simplicity of the site and urged me not to clutter it up with useless ads that would probably only fetch a few pennies.

Michael told me that the Music Connection was originally an idea that he thought would be a tool for him to get closer to the record labels in hopes of pitching his songs as he was an inspiring musician himself. However, the publication really had some legs and ended up taking off as him and his partner Eric Bettellin began setting up distribution at 7-11 convenience stores and local newstands.

After five minutes into the conversation, he quickly interupted to remind me that he no longer runs Music Connection and that I should read his blog and see why he sold it. So I quickly transitioned into a quick question: “I see that you have written a few books which one are you most proud of. Ha! I reeled him back in. “Good Question, Kelland.” Out of all the music related books Mr. Dolan has written the one he is most proud of is ‘How to Care for Your Aging Parents…and Still Have a Life of Your Own!’, a self-explanatory that was one of the first books to address the trials of adults taking care of their aging parents. However, the book he is most recognized for is ‘Mastering Showbiz From The Heart,’ which hit #16 on Amazon’s Top 20 Best Seller list and was met with successful critical acclaim.

Another highlight of his career, that he told me he was extremely proud of, was an unexpected 3-year teaching gig at the university’s extension program. The course was titled “How to Produce Extraordinary Results in your Show Biz Career” and quickly became the most attended course in the Department of Arts & Sciences at that time. The popularity of the UCLA class ultimately led to the creation of The Music Industry Network, a private networking organization dedicated to promoting integrity in the entertainment industry and the advancement of professional talent.

By the end of the conversation I felt like I was talking to my long lost uncle and he had schooled me on everything from Alexa rankings to putting together a solid content strategy. The interview was well worth the wait, now If I could find my dam* tape recorder…

Lost but no forgotten…