Evidence Supporting Marie Digby Over Wall Street Journal Claims

In wake of the expose by the Wall Street Journal, insinuating that her YouTube success was the project of a clever marketing campaign initiated by her record label, I reviewed her interview with Valentine & Lisa Foxx of Star 98.7 in Los Angeles on August 2nd. This is after the station had been playing her cover of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ and the night after her first television performance on ‘Last Call with Carson Daly’.

During the segment, Marie was never asked if she had a record deal, while the WSJ article seems to suggest she was obligated to volunteer the info. If Digby came up with the acoustic covers and the idea to post them online, why should she suddenly give her label any credit after they had been basically ignoring her in favor of their big time artists or Aly & AJ? Lisa told her, “Dan our music director was surfing the net” and had discovered the YouTube ‘Umbrella’ performance. Marie then responded, “Oh, is that how [he] found it, I’m so lucky.” It’s logical that the LA radio station playing the track caught the ear of Carson or someone on ‘Last Call’ – also taped in LA, explaining how he may have discovered her about the same time period. The WSJ article stated Diana Miller, ‘Last Call’ music booker, said she booked the singer through Hollywood Records’ public-relations department, suggesting it was ‘Last Call’ who initiated the interest.

The Journal also took pains to note that Digby put “none” in her MySpace profile, but again if you’re not actively being promoted, if you have no idea Hollywood Records will release your material (besides ‘Fool’ on the ‘Girl Next’ soundtrack), should you feel obligated to mention it? The psychology behind the omission seems to come from an understandable resentment over being signed by a record label who hasn’t released hardly any of your material for 18 months and showed no signs of doing so rather than marketing strategy. Besides, it was listed on her first Wikipedia entry on August 21st, submitted by “this guy from Finland” Chekkie, apparently before this WSJ probe began.

So unless the Lisa Foxx and Digby were both lying as part of some grand conspiracy initiated by a Hollywood Records marketer, it’s probably safe to say Star 98.7 music director Dan’s web surfing habits had more to do with the mainstream success Marie is currently enjoying, and not a record label that had her on the back burner and could have easily dropped her before she decided to post the YouTube clips. In fact the real story is that in the rigid world of top 40 radio programming in an era of media consolidation, a major radio station gave spins to a local artist with no solid record release plans in the pipeline or no market testing.

Audio of the Valentine & Lisa Foxx interview at akamai.net has since been removed.

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2 thoughts on “Evidence Supporting Marie Digby Over Wall Street Journal Claims

  1. Bill Hallahan says:

    The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article was wrong about Marie Digby. Marie Digby never lied. To anyone who followed her videos, it’s obvious that Marie Digby has always been herself.

    The article stated:
    “Ms. Digby’s MySpace and YouTube pages don’t mention Hollywood Records. Until last week, a box marked “Type of Label” on her MySpace Music page said, “None.”
    However, she had joined MySpace in 2004, roughly 2 years before she was signed, and she merely didn’t bother to update a setting, and she’d probably forgotten that setting even existed. I signed up for a MySpace music page, and it could even be missed when first signing up. And, since months after she recorded her CD, there was no indication it was ever going to be released, I wouldn’t expect that it would even cross her mind to change her status to signed, even if she was still aware of that setting. Note, her CD didn’t come out until approximately 2 years after she was signed, and approximately 4 years after she joined MySpace.
    The article went on to state:
    “After inquiries from The Wall Street Journal, the entry was changed to “Major,” though the label still is not named.”
    Makes sense to me. There is no point in naming a record label when there is no indication they are going to release your CD. And, given that, who she was signed with has just as little relevance as that she was signed. (Note, the CD, titled “Unfold” finally came out on April 8, 2008. Buy it, it’s wonderful).

    The Wall Street Journal article also contained:
    ‘Most of Ms. Digby’s new fans seem pleased to believe that they discovered an underground sensation.
    In fact, the vast majority of the posts were about her music, and not about “discovering” her. For most of us viewers, a huge number of people had already seen her videos when we found her, which were posted long before the WSJ article, so we could hardly claim to have ‘discovered her.’

    The term “feigning amateur status”, used in the WSJ article is completely ridiculous. Marie Digby posted music videos, and expressed enthusiasm, and hope. She was largely unknown outside of Los Angeles.

    Marie Digby has posted that a Wall Street reporter talked to Marie Digby for about an hour, but they never asked the questions that would have cleared this up. Instead, they took one response, which merely meant that her signed status wasn’t relevant to her goals (and frankly, would have seemed ridiculous in the videos), as meaning she was hiding it.

    There were radio station interviews, before the WSJ article, where she mentioned being signed. If she were hiding it, she would have hid it there too.

    I gather Marie Digby’s family is rather well off. She never mentioned that in her videos either. I wouldn’t say she was, “feigning middle class status,” but I’m sure some people would! Sad!

  2. Beach Umbrella says:

    Dan our music director was surfing the net and had discovered the You Tube ‘Umbrella’ performance. It’s so lucky……..

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