I am extremely happy and proud to announce that on May 14th I celebrated my one year anniversary writing this column for the Examiner. What started out with the intent of just being a part-time job for me, quickly turned into a full-time job.
On May 14th of 2010, I came out of a 14 year long retirement from professional writing as a Contract Songwriter & Political Columnist by publishing my first article for the Examiner. When the opportunity originally presented itself for me to write this column for the Examiner, I couldn’t refuse. Truth be told, I missed working in the music scene…whether it was the local or the national scene. I also missed writing professionally as well, and was eager to get back into it once again. However, as valid as those reasons were, even those reasons weren’t the main reason for me wanting to write this column…
My main intention for coming out of retirement and writing this column was simple enough, I was frustrated with the fact that the Tampa Bay music scene had not been receiving any decent or reliable media coverage in the past 15 years. For an area that once had extensive media coverage of the music scene, media coverage was almost non-existent now. I was getting tired of hearing people say that the Tampa Bay music scene was dead, and had been dead for 15 or so years. The fact of the matter was that the local music scene wasn’t dead, it just wasn’t getting the media coverage it once had received.
My goal one year ago was simple enough as well….start reporting on, and help promote the Tampa Bay music scene the way it rightfully deserves…through music news, reviews, previews, and interviews. One year later, my goal has not changed. I will continue to report on and promote the local live music & bar scene for as long as my readers care to read about it. My ultimate goal is to see other local media sources pick up the baton from me, run with it, and start reporting on the local music scene once again as well.
As stated above, what started out with the intent of just being a part-time job for me, quickly turned into a full-time job. I didn’t know what to expect at first by writing this column. I didn’t know if anyone even wanted to read about what was going on in the local music scene…apparently they did though!
The first year:
Within the first six months you (the readers) have made this column the #1 most read Examiner column in the Tampa Bay market, making me the #1 most read Examiner columnist in the Tampa Bay market…beating out nearly 200 other Examiner columnists. My column has been picked up and syndicated on several local, national, and world-wide news websites including The Bay Buzz, World News America, Breaking News Worldwide, Fwix.com, World News Network, and many others…Several Tampa Bay music venues have displayed my plaques in their establishments, including the Banana Boat Too, Grass Flat’s Bar & Grill, Harlie’s Niteclub, and the SportsRock. And I have had the privilege and honor of being asked to make several appearances at local benefit events…and I am currently organizing & promoting my own awards show ceremony next month in Ybor City. All this from a column that I figured would never take off, and nobody would read!
Within the past year I have received tons of emails from you, my readers. You have informed me of what you like about this column, as well as what you don’t like about this column. You have informed me of what you would like to see more of and less of in this column. Though I can’t possibly respond back to every individual email personally, I do read each and every one personally…and I seriously take into consideration all of your suggestions. Based on your suggestions, I will start to gear this column more towards what the majority of my readers want to read about, so please keep your emails coming into KAM Music Publishing at: [email protected]
I do enjoy reading every email I receive, and learning about my readers opinions (good & bad) regarding this column. I have been writing professionally for enough years to realize that you can’t please everyone, no matter what you write. There will always be those who agree with you, and disagree with you…that will never change, that’s just a part of the job! One of the common misconceptions that some readers have regarding this column is that it has to remain unbiased at all times. I am a columnist, not a news journalist….this is an opinion column…bias-ness is irrelevant and in some cases, it’s my job to be biased.
I have been offered the opportunity to write several National columns in the past year from both the Examiner & other media publications as well. In every instance, I have turned the opportunities down. I have written (full time or part time) professionally since I was 17 years old, but the most fulfilling assignment I have ever had is writing this local music column. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to write a National column once again, but not at the price of having to abandon the local Tampa Bay music scene and this column…especially when there is no other music columnist in the local media scene right now that is devoted to writing about the Tampa Bay music scene full time!
I can’t possibly say thank you enough to those who have supported this column throughout the past year. There are several figures in the local music scene who need to be credited for the success of this column. Whether it’s the bars that hang my picture plaques in their bars, the bands that promote my column by announcing me live on stage and reposting my articles on their websites, the local music photographers who allow me to use their photographs from time to time when I need a professional picture to use for an article, or the other media publications who syndicate my column…you are all a huge reason for the success of this column and I can’t thank you enough!
The following is just a short list of who I would like to thank:
Dina Mead of Bay Area Band Source; Mike & Bobby at the Banana Boat Too; Matt & Joidy at the Full Moon Saloon; Anthony Arnold at Black Pearl Rock Radio; Julie Gribble; Candi Bowes & Candi’s Crusaders; Don McKeon, Ali Kelly & Sheree Englehardt at WhereWillWeGoTonight.com;Constance Hilton at The Bay Buzz; Heather Forget at D. Bailey Management; Brendon Whitfield at Sports Rock; Victor Lima & the Tampa Bay Music Network; Mario Vitali; Michele Gwynn of the San Antonio Sex & Relationships Examiner Column; Rebecca Alizadeh of the San Antonio Single Parenting Examiner Column; Amy Joyner at KAM Music Publishing; Nona Clark, Russ Robinson at Russ Robinson Photography; Dennis Daley of Diamond Gray; & Bad Neighbors; Patty Sanphy of the Patty Sanphy Group; Kirk Iannone at Grass Flat’s Bar & Grill; Rich Nation of Jaded & The Brittany Nation Foundation Against Drunk Driving; Amelia Warren of LoudMouth; Tim Knisely, Dave Seifert, & Jay Diesel from Wikkid; The Hanger in St. Petersburg; Cricketer’s Pub in Dunedin; Sobriety X; Paul Marsik of Paul Marsik Artistry; Dean Cox; the Florida Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame; The Fisher House; and the Dunedin Doggie Rescue.
Of course I need to think my flagship publication The Examiner; along with my syndicates The Bay Buzz, Breaking News Worldwide; Fwix.com; World News Network; and World News America.
Most importantly though, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you…the readers of this column. If you were not faithfully reading this column, I wouldn’t be here writing it!
A special thanks needs to go out to the following 5 Tampa Bay bands: LoudMouth; Wikkid; Black Jack Bomber; Black Rose; and Decepcion. These 5 bands do an awesome job in keeping me informed on what is going on with their bands by sending me constant press releases, as well as promptly providing me with any information that I may request from them. These 5 bands make my job easy. I am sometimes accused of showing favoritism to certain bands in the Bay area by writing more often about them. My answer to that is simple…ABSOLUTELY, 100% WITHOUT A DOUBT I DO! It’s not personal favoritism, it’s professional favoritism. Just like a carpenter needs blue prints to go by in order to build a house…I need information on a band to write about them. The 5 bands listed above go way beyond the call of duty to provide me with whatever I need in order to write an article and keep the public informed about them.
I will often ask local bands to send me a copy of their bio and promo pics so I can write a profile on them. Then when they fail to submit one to me, they will actually complain that I never write about them. Write what? After all, how can a columnist or a journalist write about someone or something when that someone or something won’t provide them with the information they need? It’s simple, you want me to take the effort to write about you, then you have to show some effort and give me some information on your band so I have something to write about. It only takes a few minutes to draft up a press release and email it to me so I can publish it. With an area that has hundreds of bands and bars in it, I can’t possibly know what everyone is up to unless they inform me. The 5 bands listed above not only recognize that fact, they do there best to resolve it…that’s called good self promotion and smart business on the bands part!
“Keith works tirelessly to keep his readers informed of all the latest happenings in the St. Petersburg music scene, from live concerts, shows, and events down to the gritty details of band lineup changes and breakups. He writes with an upbeat, engaging style that thoroughly entertains and keeps his readers coming back for more. It’s no wonder that Keith’s column is so widely read, and that his audience is growing by leaps and bounds— nobody out there provides a better, more complete experience when it comes to keeping a pulse on the local scene…Congrats on getting 1 year under your belt, and all the best to you in the future!” – Russ Robinson, Russ Robinson Photography.
“Keith Wilkins…a major player in the live music scene” – Sheree Englehardt, WhereWillWeGoTonight.com.
“Read it all the time, Best articles ever…I look nowhere Else for info on local entertainment” – Dennis Daley, Diamond Gray / Bad Neighbors.
“The Bay Buzz is excited to share Keith Wilkin’s articles from The St. Petersburg Live Music Bar Scene Examiner Column, and to welcome him as a contributing writer! It’s a must read! Welcome Keith!” – Constance Hilton, publisher of The Bay Buzz.
“Over 200,000 hits on the Bay Area Band Source Website so far due to Keith’s article…My deepest gratitude goes out to Keith Wilkins from the Examiner…Without [Keith], this wouldn’t be possible!!! Thank you!!!!” – Dina Mead, Bay Area Band Source.
“Glad to see people like you getting involved to help others…Thank you for all your help too Keith!” – Glen Yarbrough, C.A.Y. Assistance Fund.
Thank you Tampa Bay for an amazing first year!
© copyright 2011 KAM Music Publishing.
Keith Wilkins is a syndicated music columnist living in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Keith’s St. Petersburg Live music Bar Scene column which originates in his flagship publication, the Examiner, was the “2010 Most Read Examiner Column” in the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) market. Keith’s articles can also be read on The Bay Buzz website where Keith is a contributing writer for, and on World News America as well.
All articles published in the St. Petersburg Live Music Bar Scene column are written by Keith Wilkins, and fall under federal copyright laws. Articles cannot be re-printed, re-posted, or re-produced in whole without written consent by the author (Keith Wilkins), KAM Music Publishing, or the icedjamb.com. Partial re-printing, re-posting, or re-producing with a link back to the original article is permitted. For consent, questions, or comments, please email Keith Wilkins c/o Amy Joyner at: [email protected]
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Want to learn more about icedjamb.com Columnist Keith Wilkins? Read part 1 & part 2 of an interview with Keith Wilkins that was published in the San Antonio Single Parenting Examiner Column on October 4th & October 6th, 2010.