How Fervor Records Built a New Business with Classic Arizona Music
"We're a boutique and we like that," adds Hilker. "We're not a clearinghouse of music. Since we built our catalog organically, we know what's in it. Where there are companies that will relentlessly sign everything and then rely on a search engine to figure out what they have. Not only is that not a lot of fun but also it doesn't really serve the client very well.
YouTube Sometimes Fervor's artists catch on--20 years late--under a pseudonym.
"What we really want to do is perpetuate legacies from artists from Arizona," he continues. "We're fortunate to have stuff that Duane Eddy is on, and Wayne Newton. We have the song that got Wayne Newton his deal with Capitol Records when he was 12 years old, which is awesome. The whole Duane Eddy thing started here. Phil Spector shadowed Lee Hazelwood at Audio Recorders in Phoenix. It's an amazing story. And the whole Mill Ave thing, that's a sound that identifies an era, so we pick music that's true to the era."
On Hilker's mixing desk for review are a stack of Doug Hopkins two-track reels and cassettes, pre-Gin Blossoms material that you had to be there to know even exists.
"The 10 O'Clock Scholars, The Psalms... Doug has this legacy. A great body of work. And that's a story we would want to tell."
So maybe you'll hear a Psalms song in an HBO series, or a movie in wide release. But for someone still alive who's never sold more than a few thousand records, a placement like that could be a real game changer.
"The first cut I got placed was in the Jack Nicholson film As Good as it Gets," Hilker recalls with fondness. "It changed my life. You can't even hear the song, and nine months later I got a royalty check. And I still do every quarter. [I said] 'I gotta figure out how to keep doing this. This is awesome.'"
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