Save the New Orleans Musicians Clinic


Left to right: Bo Dollis, Big Chief of the Wild Magnolias (lead singer of what may be the funkiest funk band of all time); rhythm and blues artist Al “Carnival Time” Johnson; singer Michelle Davis; poet Chuck Perkins; composer and arranger Wardell Quezergue (seated); Ken McCarthy

This past Sunday I was at the 80th birthday party for Wardell Quezergue “the Creole Beethoven,” a musical genius who applied his gifts behind-the-scenes to countless hits over the last fifty plus years.

A party like this is bound to bring out some interesting folks and it did: musicians, publishers, music writers, radio DJs. It was a “Who’s Who” of the New Orleans music scene.

It was a very happy occasion, but also a sobering one.

It’s fourth and long…

The three year emergency federal grant that kept the New Orleans Musicians Clinic open after the post-Katrina failure of the US Army Corps of Engineers levee system ends August 1, 2010.

What this means is that hundreds of New Orleans musicians and their families including many who are still struggling to deal with the personally catastrophic impact of the flooding – the second biggest engineering failure in human history – will be without medical care.

No success without a plan

We’ve worked up a plan for the Clinic to permanently replace this funding with funding from individual donors.


As with all things Internet-related, it all boils down to THE LIST.

That being said, I was horrified to learn that this pillar of the New Orleans (and world) music community has only collected less than 400 e-mail addresses over its 12 year history.

How many people on this planet love the music that comes out of New Orleans and would be willing to lend their moral support?


I trust you see the opportunity.

It’s just arithmetic

How big a list of supporters could be created?

The number 1 million comes to me, a big number to be sure, but in the near term – as in the next four months – I think 100,000 to 200,000 is an attainable goal.

What do we need?

List owners willing to do solo mailings on behalf of the clinic. Two to four million e-mails to reasonably well-targeted lists should be enough to generate a six figure opt-in list. Then, of course, we work the list.

Having generated many millions of dollars over the years from much, much, much smaller lists, I know what’s possible.

The challenge: The client is mired in the “we don’t like to send e-mail” mindset.

Let’s hope necessity is the mother of evolution. This one is winnable. All we need to do is suit up and get on the playing field.

UPDATE: The clients “gets” it and the game is on!

Got a list? Mail the story and we can save this Clinic.


– Ken McCarthy

P.S. For over 25 years I’ve been sharing the simple but powerful things that matter in business with my clients.

If you’d like direction for your business that will work today, tomorrow and twenty years from now, visit us at the System Club.

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4 Responses to Save the New Orleans Musicians Clinic

  1. Gary March 31, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Ken I don’t have a list to summon, I don’t have a website. I just like to read your blog posts. I am an attorney here in New Orleans. I love the music these great musicians have created more these many years. I would love to help you in any way I can in your endeavor.

  2. Ken McCarthy April 4, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Well, money works too 🙂 Also, even telling just one friend about the site is a big help. You don’t need a huge list to play a role.

    The key issue is to spread the word. When the list of opt-ins gets big enough, the money will follow.

    Here’s the site. Tell everyone you know.


  3. Ken McCarthy April 4, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Good news. Our visitor to opt-in conversion rate is 12.7%

    Mail the link and the Clinic will be saved.

  4. I’ve passed it on to my private personal list. Good luck.

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