Reviews | Quotes



Book Reviews for
You Gotta Be Bad Before You Can Be Good

"Cliffie's latest book, coauthored with his wife (a songwriter with over one hundred published songs), provides the nitty-gritty details about how to use local talent shows to push your dreams into reality. Coverage is thorough; they explain rules and guidelines, how to prepare for performances and deal with stage fright, where to find talent shows, and the ins and outs of artist financing, managers, and audiences. This book is simply a goldmine of information as well as a tome of encouragement toward self-esteem. Recommended for music and/or vocational guidance collections in academic and public libraries."

LIBRARY JOURNAL (January 2000)

"Major Bowes, Ted Mack, Arthur Godfrey - all were synonymous with old time talent shows. Nowadays, open-mike nights and cable TV public access and shows like "Star Search" are the main venues for new talent to get off the ground. Cliffie Stone, longtime country musician and promoter, has joined with his wife, Joan Carol, to put together easily the most comprehensive book on this subject imaginable! All questions and more are answered here and accompanied by anecdotes about Cliffie's colleagues in entertainment and how they did it! The folksy, chatty style is mixed with real nuts-and-bolts theatrical advice...You'll be rewarded with solid pointers!"


"Cliffie Stone serves up, country style, practical advice and encouragement for aspiring musicians. Drawing on his experience as a musician, songwriter, publisher, agent and producer of radio and TV programs that launched careers for a number of well-known performers, Stone and his coauthor/wife provide guidance along with anecdotes and homespun humor… The Stones cover all of the bases from beginner to seasoned pro. Stone's easygoing, conversational tone will help take the edge off newcomers' anxiety and self-doubt…Despite the focus on talent shows, it's Stone's exuberance as a cheerleader for fledgling artists that will likely remain in readers' minds."

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (January 24, 2000)
Book Quotes

You Gotta Be Bad Before You Can Be Good

"Discovering and encouraging new artists is important. It ensures that the music will never stop…"

DICK CLARK, Legendary Emmy & Multi-Award Winning TV Producer/Host

"…Aspiring artists will benefit from Cliffie's know how and straight-shooting advice."

GENE AUTRY, The "Original" Singing Cowboy

"Cliffie's diverse knowledge of the business along with his many talents and kind heart have made him one of country music's best assets."

GEORGE STRAIT, CMA's Entertainer of the Year, 1989-90

"I was playing very few gigs in Bakersfield when I decided to enter a talent show on a dare. Although I came in 2nd, it led to many gigs for me around town…"

MERLE HAGGARD, CMA Hall of Fame, 1994; ACM Pioneer Award, 1996

"Cliffie gave newcomers a chance. He was an inspiration to so many and he certainly was to me!"

BARBARA MANDRELL, CMA's Entertainer of the Year, 1989-90

"When I was young, I'd sit in with local bands whenever I got the chance. I also sang on the Dixie Jamboree in Louisiana, and it fueled my fire to be an artist."

TIM McGRAW, CMA & ACM Male Vocalist of the Year, 1999

"I sang 'The Glory of Love' and 'Twilight on the Trail' in a talent show at Spirit Wood Lake, ND and won $5.00. You'll enjoy reading Cliffie's book because he knows whereof he speaks."

PEGGY LEE, Legendary Pop Entertainer/Capitol Recording Star

"When I was growing up in Waco, Texas, I used to participate in the programs at schools, churches, outdoor activities and other music functions. The real boom was the 'Kiddies Matinee' at the local movie theater, which was preceded by a 30-minute amateur show. I used to enter them because it gave me the opportunity to perform in a professional atmosphere on stage and broadcasting on the radio."

HANK THOMPSON, Entertainer; CMA Hall of Fame, 1989

"I won my first talent show at Rockhill High School in Ohio by singing 'Shot Gun Boogie.' Talent shows are important because they give you confidence and reaffirm what you suspect about yourself - that you have talent!"

BOBBY BARE, RCA Recording Artist/Songwriter/Publisher/Host

"If you could write down the name of every artist, writer, musician, that Cliffie spoke an encouraging word to (I was no exception), it would extend from here to the hereafter..."

BUCK OWENS, ACM Pioneer Award, 1988/CMA Hall of Fame, 1996

"In 1950, I entered a talent show and placed 2nd to none other than Faron Young. I've judged many talent contests on the 'Charlie Daniels' Talent Roundup' shows on TNN. I don't know why but the winners, in most cases, never made the big leap to major labels, and many who came in 2nd or 3rd went on to become big stars…I'm so glad Cliffie's knowledge will be kept alive in his books and that he included a chapter about management."

MERLE KILGORE, Manager of Hank Williams Jr./Artist/Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame, 1998

"I was in the tenth grade when three buddies and I decided to form a band and enter the high school talent show. How excited I was when we won!…"

BILL ANDERSON, Entertainer/Musician/Songwriter/Actor/Author/TNN Host Nashville Songwriters Asso. Int'l Hall of Fame, 1975

"It's always a thrill to see the faces of new talent when we tell them they have been selected to appear on national television. It's a golden opportunity, and they know, win or lose, that the experience and exposure is the most important thing."

SAM RIDDLE, Producer - "Star Search;" "From Hawaii…Destination Stardom"

"We are lucky that Cliffie was able to bless us with this new book, which is destined to become a talent show Bible."

RAC CLARK, Producer; Senior VP/Product & Programming, dick clark productions, inc.

"Cliffie knew more about talent and people than anyone I ever met…Following the path that he lays out in his book can make your journey to success a shorter, sweeter trip."

GENE WEED, Premier Executive Producer/TV Director; ACM Board Chairman

"Cliffie was positive about everything! To follow a dream is a gift and he reached beyond his dreams to create a unique and lasting legacy. This book is that 'gift,' which may inspire you to get on stage, refine your craft and stand tall among the successful."

PAUL CORBIN, VP/Music Industry Relations/CBS Cable - TNN/CMT




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