Season 2 – Episode 18: Steven Scharf – Always Go With Your Gut Instinct


This week I am talking with my friend Steven Scharf in Rhode Island. His company, Steven Scharf Entertainment, works with independent artists and producers to get their music licensed in tv and film projects. Steven also served as Senior V.P. Creative for the publishing company Carlin America, and oversaw the licensing of songwriters and artists like AC/DC, The Turtles and James Brown. Plus, he has worked in the studio with The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin and Lynyrd Skynyrd and you are going to hear some amazing stories of how he was able to step into that world in the first place.  We are discussing the importance of networking, having a special “voice” in your writing and making sure you know who the people are that you are trying to reach out to and what their companies are all about before contacting them.

Sponsors: Edenbrooke Productions – We offer consulting services and are offering listeners a 1-hour introductory special. To request more info on consulting services, email Marty at

In this episode we talk about:

*Getting to watch legendary rock & roll and R&B studio sessions recorded live.
*Always go with your gut instinct.
*Honing your craft.
*Networking is the biggest part of everything.
*It’s about the songs.
*You’ve got to have great songs.
*New composers need to work with young film makers.
*Finding internships to work in the industry.
*Take every opportunity that comes your way.
*Find people that can help you grow.
*Building deep, long lasting relationships with good people.
*Composers need to have a special “voice” in their writing.
*Producers need to have a vision when making a record.
*Exclusive vs. non-exclusive deals
*Never sign to a licensing company that asks you to pay them to pitch your music.
*Networking at conferences.
*How to send the right kind of emails to agents and supervisors.
*Make sure you know who people are, what they do and what their companies are about.


Steven Scharf Entertainment was formed in 1991 to manage and develop the careers of independent record producers and recording artists. At that time, Steven aligned himself in a joint partnership with Freddy and Caroline Bienstock of Carlin America, Inc. – one of the most prestigious independent music publishers in the world. Today, Steven Scharf currently serves as Senior V.P. Creative for Carlin America, and oversees the licensing of well established songwriters and artists such as AC/DC, Jim Steinman (Meat Loaf), The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Turtles, James Brown, Bobby Darin, and Billie Holiday.
Prior to the creation of Steven Scharf Entertainment, Steven Scharf spent nearly  30 years working in the recording industry as a record producer, head of A&R, and talent manager. His career began in 1969, when he was privileged to apprentice at the famed Muscle Shoals studio in Sheffield. Alabama. While there he worked with legendary artists as The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Boz Scaggs, Lynyrd Skynyrd, R.B. Greaves, and with such producers and engineers as Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Steve Smith.  
As his career progressed, Steve moved on to work at GSF Records in the early 70’s and held a staff editorial position at Cashbox Magazine.  In 1976 Larry Uttal tapped him to become Head of A&R at Private Stock Records, where he oversaw A&R for such artists as The Mighty Pope, Blondie, Robert Gordon & Link Wray, Benny Mardones, Rupert Holmes, The Dirty Angels and Samantha Sang.  Steve produced many artists during the late 70’s, early 80’s such as Robin Lane and the Chartbusters, Bob Halligan and Duke Jupiter (Motown).
In recent years Steven Scharf Entertainment has become an LLC, and evolved to include the film and television licensing of many new independent artists. Following the trend of major television shows which prefer “one-stop shopping”, Steven began representing a diverse range of artists who control their own publishing and masters. This approach created an advantage with music supervisors who require music on short deadlines; removing the need to negotiate at length with publishing companies and record labels.