Jim Liddane

International Songwriters Association
Founded 1967

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International Songwriters Association

Jim Liddane

Jim Liddane

Jim Liddane was born in Limerick City, Ireland, and first attended St Philomena's Preparatory School run by the FCJ order of nuns before moving to the Jesuit-operated Crescent College at the age of seven. During this period, he followed the Irish Academy of Music piano syllabus at St Anthony's School Of Music, while also studying under the Jesuit organist James Hassett.

In his time at Crescent College, Jim was a member of a number of bands including the Gus Molloy Quartet (led by Gus Molloy), the Skiffling Boatmen (led by John and Frank Ahern), and the Heartbeats (led by Bryan McHugh).

Having sat the Irish Leaving Certificate in 1962, he went on to read History at University College Cork, graduating four years later with a BA degree and a Higher Diploma in Education. During his period in Cork, he continued to perform at a number of venues throughout Ireland.

After graduation, Jim returned to Limerick, joining the staff at CBS Sexton Street. That same year, he and Michael Collins opened one of Ireland's first professional recording studios, Menlo Music.

The following year, the pair launched Menlo International Records which went on to release a number of singles including the first recordings by Reform who would later sign with CBS Records in London.

At the same time, Jim also joined with Ger Baggot and Bobby O'Driscoll to form The Broadways, a three-piece band which played a weekly residency in the Bohemians club for several years.

In 1967, he set up the International Songwriters Association (ISA) which within months, was attracting songwriters from the UK and the USA, and which by its 50th birthday in 2017, could boast members in more than 70 countries.

Simultaneously, he also launched "Songwriter Magazine" whose main purpose Jim said was "to locate and interview as many of the world's legendary songwriters as I could, and in particular those non-performing writers who had penned some of world's best loved tunes but whose own lives and indeed songwriting careers, remained a total mystery to the general public."

Since then, "Songwriter Magazine" has published interviews with numerous multi-million selling songwriters, composers and music publishers including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gordon Lightfoot, Norman Petty, Lionel Bart, Bill Martin, Barry Mason, Billy Joel, Don McLean, George Harrison, Hal David, Johnny Marks, Julie Gold, Gene Pitney, Kris Kristofferson, Mike Batt, Neil Diamond, Tom T Hall, Roger Hodgson, Mitch Murray, John D Loudermilk, Guy Clark, Les Reed, Don Black, Dan Hill, Steve Harley, Bill Anderson, Roger Cook, Cameron Mackintosh, Mel Tillis. Buck Ram, Herbert Kretzmer, Nik Kershaw, Sonny Curtis, Allan Rich, Stephen Schwartz, Marijohn Wilkin, Guy Chambers, Janis Ian, Hank Cochran, Bruce Welch, and quite literally, hundreds more.

In 1972, the International Songwriters Association opened ISA Recording Studios and set up its own record label ISA Records whose first release "The Beautiful Lakes Of Killarney" by the Mike Sexton Band was later re-issued on Kerry Records, while the song itself was also covered by several country acts including Susan McCann and Dermot Moriarty.

In 1975, "Songwriter Magazine" launched "Songwriter Update" (a monthly tip sheet for songwriters) along with "Songwriter Newsflash" and "Songwriter Yearbook", (an annual directory of music publishers, record labels and recording stars worldwide). The following year, the International Songwriters Association published Jim's "Twenty Songwriting Questions" answered, which was revised yearly until 2004 when it was re-published in an expanded format under the title "Selling Your Songs".

A keen soccer fan, in 1973 Jim was invited by Eric Lynch to become co-manager of the CBS team which went on to win the FAIS Cup in both 1974 and 1976. Jim would also act as joint manager of the team which represented Ireland in the 1975 ISF World Cup held in Turkey.

Jim has always been an avid radio enthusiast and record collector, and in 1980 joined the broadcasting staff of Big L Radio Limerick (owned and managed by Mike Richardson), where he hosted a number of shows, before moving in 1986 to Sound Channel 102FM (owned by Joe Taylor and managed by Darren O'Brien).

In 1989, Technological University Of The Shannon lecturer Jim Wallace invited Jim to join him in seeking the first commercial radio licence to be awarded by the Irish government's Independent Radio & Television Commission. Their application was successful and Radio Limerick One (RLO 95FM) went on air in October 1989 with Jim performing the roles of controller of programmes, company secretary and presenter, while the station was again managed by Darren O'Brien.

In 1998, ISA launched its website www.songwriter.co.uk and in 2017, the International Songwriters Association marked its 50th birthday by publishing the first 50 of its most famous interviews online.

Jim is currently working on "The Legendary Princes Of Denmark Street 1911-1992" a book profiling the leading music publishing moguls of London's Tin Pan Alley.

Revised 28 April 2024

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ISA International Songwriters Association (1967)

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