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  • Writer's pictureSteven Acker

The A File: There's a Party Tonight

We once discovered an adorable 16-year old Pittsburgh singer named Jayna. John H and I wanted to take her to the studio in New York to record a few songs and then pitch her to Disney.

I had written a song titled, “There’s a Party Tonight.” John H responded to it: "If you were aiming for the 6 to 12 year old Nickelodeon market, you hit a bulls eye." That was my first attempt to write a teen song for Jayna. I considered his remarks to be positive in as that I did hit the Disney 4 to 10 year old ‘tween market square on the head, This was borne out by my own resident Disney expert at that time, Ms. Haley Pesta, age 9. She loved it.

That was the market we were aiming for, was it not? That I could do this, and make the song sound not like some old guy pretending to be young, but actually sound young, was a good thing, right? Right. But as a song for Jayna, I missed the mark by a few years.

I was Alice in Wonderland who had taken a few “smaller” pills, but then I had to take one or two “bigger” pills to grow up just a little more and hit the perfect demographic for Jayna. Fortunately, I had a whole cupboard of bigger pills and smaller pills in the bathroom.

John H also once said that he and I hear the same way. Our tastes are almost identical. I loved Pink, I loved Kesha. I loved Beyonce. I loved Mary J. Blige. I loved Gary Go. There was not a song or an artist that he liked that I didn't equally like. I liked Taylor Swift, too although Taylor was not really country. She was pop.

Taylor Swift was Jayna’s musical idol. How we presented our pop songs to her and how we persuaded her to accept them and to write in that vein was a delicate thing. Doing so is,was part of my job.

So…back to “There’s a Party Tonight.” If we wanted to market that song purely to the Disney market, it was there. If we wanted to market it to Jayna’s more sophisticated young adult market, I had more work to do.

So I quickly wrote more than a dozen complete songs for that market. I painstakingly recorded each demo. I wanted to make hits. That was my mission in life. Sadly, it was not Jayna's mission. She was simply not willing to work and sweat and bleed for it. I was (I still am). She wasn't. Nothing ever came of that project, and nothing ever came of Jayna's career. There was no party tonight for Jayna.


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