Songs for Satire, Parody and Humor: The Challenges and the Marketplace


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May 27, 2018 –

How can you parody or satirize a well-known original song musically and/or lyrically without facing legal issues? What’s the marketplace for these songs? This seminar will include lively discussions on the legal and creative issues surrounding musical satire and mayhem, video presentations of some of our panelists’ songs, and live performances on piano.
Julie Bernstein (L) is a four-time Emmy Award® winner. She has worked in animation as a composer, orchestrator, arranger, conductor, singer and producer. Animated series include Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid, Histeria!, Tiny Toons, Baby Looney Toons, Make Way for Noddy, the feature Wakko’s Wish, theatrical short Carrotblanca and CDs Yakko’s World, Animaniacs and Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure. Her work has been played by the Cleveland Youth Orchestra, the Kentucky Symphony and the COTA Symphony.

Moderated by Adryan Russ, SCL SongArts LA Committee Chair

Julie has written numerous arrangements for string quartet and voice, the most recent were just recorded in Paris by Natalie Dessay and members of the Paris Mozart Orchestra. Her arrangement of “Little Green” by Joni Mitchell, written for the Turtle Island String Quartet and Tierney Sutton, can be heard on Ms. Sutton’s Grammy-nominated album After Blue.

Collaborations with composer Steve Bernstein include: Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars, Baby Looney Tunes (for which they were Emmy-nominated), Disney’s One Saturday Morning, main title songs for Dig Into History and Steven Spielberg Presents: Toonsylvania, a CD of songs commissioned by Kid Rhino Records inspired by the feature Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure, as well as numerous independent films. Julie and Steve co-wrote “Snapshots” for oboe, cello and soprano, commissioned by the Young Musicians Foundation for YMF’s “Living the Legacy” award. The piece was a semi-finalist for The American Prize in chamber music. They recently wrote the orchestrations for the very popular stage production Animaniacs Live!, performed by the Colorado Symphony and the La Mirada Symphony.

Steve Bernstein (R) is a five-time Emmy®-winning composer whose commercial music spans genres from horror to cartoons. His music is heard in such hit television series as Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid, Tiny Toon Adventures, Make Way for Noddy and Baby Looney Tunes. Film scores include the grisly horror features Pernicious and Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys, and his recent film, the feature documentary Mr. Fish: Cartooning From the Deep End, which won the audience award at the Austin Film Festival premiere and is an official selection of numerous other top-tier festivals.

As an accomplished conductor, orchestrator, arranger and producer, Steve has worked on numerous motion pictures, TV productions, popular video games and recordings. His orchestrations can be heard in the films Skyfall, The Amazing Spiderman, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Millions, Windtalkers, City by the Sea, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Perfect Storm, Supernova and numerous others. He wrote the arrangements and produced the album Forevermore for singer-songwriter Aron Celnick and co-produced the album Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure with Julie, performing and writing music and lyrics for many of the tracks. As part of the resurgence of interest in cartoon music, he has guest-conducted for the Cleveland Youth Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony and the Kentucky Symphony, performing several of his own scores live to picture.

Steve has written extensively for the concert hall, receiving several commissions for large-scale works, both choral and orchestral, and for various chamber ensembles. His cantata “To Speed Them All” took 2nd place in the American Prize competition in 2015. He has also been active in the preservation of classic film scores, from such films as The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind and The Bride of Frankenstein, reconstructing music which had been lost or destroyed.

Named one of Billboard magazine’s Top Music Lawyers 2017, Jay L. Cooper is the Founder of the Los Angeles Entertainment Practice and focuses his practice on music industry, motion picture, television, Internet, multimedia and intellectual property issues. He represents individuals and companies on intellectual property matters including recording and publishing agreements for individual artists and composers; actor, director, producer and writer agreements in film and television; executive employment agreements; complex acquisitions and sales of entertainment catalogs; production agreements on behalf of music, television and motion picture companies, and all entertainment issues relative to the Internet. His concentrations are intellectual property; copyright; agreements for musical, publishing, film and television; and the Internet.

Randy Rogel has won three Emmy Awards® (nominated for ten), a Peabody Award, two Annie Awards, three Leo Awards, and the Ovation Award. He co-wrote the hit song “Poisonous Love” for Kristen Chenoweth with John Powell for the major motion picture Rio 2. He was showrunner for the animated series 1001 Nights and won Leo awards for Writing and Best Animated Series. At Disney, Randy wrote songs and scripts for the television series The 7D, House of Mouse, Tarzan, and the animated movies Peter Pan – Return to Neverland, Cinderella II, Cinderella III, Winnie The Pooh, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Three Musketeers, and 101 Dalmations II. Randy spent nine years on staff at Warner Bros. Animation where he began as an original writer on the Batman series and then joined the staff of Steven Spielberg’s Animaniacs, for which he wrote most of the songs and many of the scripts. Randy is a West Point graduate with ten years service as an officer in the combat arms. He has a B.S. in Engineering from the academy and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Boston University.


Adryan Russ (Lyricist/Composer) writes for theater, film, television and recordings. Barry White recorded her song “The Better Love Is, The Worse It Is When It’s Over.”  Emerging artist Luara sings her song “Fire In Me” (co-written with Norman Mamey), generating lots of YouTube views, and her song “Is It Me?” on the album Changing My Tune, co-written with Joel Evans appeared in John Patrick Shanley’s film Doubt. “Another Dose of You” was co-written with Jazz Album of the Year (2015) Hawaiian award-winner Maggie Herron. Her award-winning off-Broadway musical Inside Out, co-written with Doug Haverty, published by Samuel French, has played across the country and in Europe, with the original cast album on Kritzerland Records. Everyone Has A Story is a CD (LML Music) of her songs, some co-written with Glee piano maestro Brad Ellis. As an ASCAP writer, she was twice selected for the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, one in Los Angeles and another in Chicago. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild, and is privileged to serve on the Board of the Society of Composers & Lyricists.