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Jingles for the colonel.

OK, so Fort Wayne isn't New York or Los Angeles. People aren't writing songs about it ... at least nothing like "New York, New York" or "I Love L.A." But practically every American--without even knowing it--frequently hears tunes written in Fort Wayne, melodies from the minds of LaBov & Beyond.

The 10-year-old firm, for example, is playing a big role in promoting Colonel Sanders' new image. Kentucky Fried Chicken is changing its name to KFC, and the folks at LaBov & Beyond recently set the new image to music. The "Nobody's Cookin' Like Today's KFC" songs Americans will see and hear for the next year or so were composed and produced not in one of the nation's major music capitals, but in Fort Wayne.

KFC's challenge, says Barry LaBov, president of LaBov & Beyond, is to expand its clientele. The Louisville, Ky.-based chain apparently has realized that "fried" to some people is a bad word, so it dropped the word from its name and reportedly plans to add more non-fried menu items. Because KFC's potential demographics are so broad, getting the new name and slogan across was a complex task for LaBov & Beyond.

"We created six different pieces of music for them," LaBov says, "with different styles ranging from country, to rock 'n roll, to an oldies style, to jazz, to rhythm and blues, to gospel. Each piece had a different lead singer."

Writing the KFC tunes took a couple of weeks, and the actual production was done during a marathon three-day session. LaBov brought in talent from a 20-state area to record the KFC pieces. Now, LaBov's KFC work is getting airplay all over the country.

National airplay is nothing new for LaBov & Beyond, which also has written music for clients such as Goodyear and Wendy's. But LaBov is pleased to be able to bring such work to Fort Wayne. "It is quite a coup. A lot of times they would have worked with someone out of New York or California. But they were familiar with our work and wanted a piece of music that would stand up to anything that they've done in the past and be better."

That's what keeps customers coming back to Fort Wayne. "We realize that being in 'Indiana is not necessarily as romantic," LaBov admits. "However, there are advantages of coming to Indiana and we let companies know about it. We can work with union or non-union musicians in Indiana, so clients can own the piece of music and not have to pay royalties. We also have our own plane, so we'll pick up clients and fly them into our city."

Another difference between Fort Wayne and some of the bigger music capitals would appear at first to be a disadvantage. "We don't have five singers in our city of the same quality as the top five singers in Chicago," LaBov says. Bt that actually is an advantage. Firms in Chicago or other big music cities tend to use the top few singers on practically everything they do, LaBov says. Because LaBov & Beyond has to shop farther for talent, it tends to offer a wider variety of musicians and singers. "We get our talent from everywhere."

"Creativity," says Labov, "doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the ZIP code."
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Fort Wayne, Indiana, company, LaBov and Beyond Music Productions Inc., writes jingles for commercials; advertising music for Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp.
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Date:Jun 1, 1991
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