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Leading into MUSEXPO 2015 in Los Angeles, the third global edition of the A&R Expo (taking place on Sunday, April 26th) will seek to create a dialogue on the future of the creative and commercial aspects of the A&R process. Through a number of keynote interviews, A&R forums and face-to-face meetings, attendees of the event will have the opportunity to hear about new projects, share music and gain valuable insight from some of the A&R community’s most successful and innovative A&R minds.

Publishers, writers, producers and managers will gain invaluable insight into the future of A&R, briefs, artist development, the core fundamentals of breaking an act and the requirements; both creative and commercial that ensure national and global success in breaking songs and artists.

Additionally, participating A&R’s will have the chance to interact with content creators and owners from around the world who may just be holding onto the next big break-through artist or global hit. A music discovery feature will be included where pre-screened unsigned artists will be exposed to some of the leading A&R minds from the global music industry. Previous editions in the U.S. and Europe have resulted in some great outcomes for participants.

Andrew Gould Aton Ben-Horin Bjorn Deparade Greg Federspiel Mio Vukovic

Nick Raphael Pete Ganbarg Seymour Stein Steve Yegelwel

A&R executives already confirmed to attend include: Andrew Gould – Sr. VP Creative, BMG N. America; Aton Ben-Horin – Director of Global A&R, Warner Music Group; Ben Gordon - A&R, Cherry Tree/Interscope Records; Bjorn Deparade – Managing Director, CopyRiot; Greg Federspiel – A&R, RCA Records; Hannamari Pyykkφ – Director A&R, Warner Music Finland; Kenny “The Tick” Salcido – A&R, Red Bull Records; Marc Nicolas – Head of West Coast, Glassnote Entertainment; Mio Vukovic – Sr. VP A&R and Head of Creative, Disney Music Group; Nick Raphael - President, Capitol Records Group (UK); Pete Ganbarg – Head of A&R, Atlantic Records Group; Seymour Stein - Chairman, Sire Records & VP, Warner Bros; Records and Steve Yegelwel – Sr. VP, Island Records with many more to be unveiled in the coming weeks from the U.S. and global A&R markets.

For more information on the A&R Expo 2015 or to register for the limited capacity event reach out to Tyler Polzin at tyler@anrworldwide.com.


Marc Cimino
Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) announced last week the appointment of Marc Cimino to the newly created global position of Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective immediately. Cimino reports to Jody Gerson, UMPG’s Chairman and CEO, and will be based at the company’s headquarters in Santa Monica.

Cimino comes to UMPG from Warner Bros. Records, where he served as Executive Vice President & Head of Business & Legal Affairs as a member of the company’s core executive team. From the newly created role with UMPG, Cimino will focus on the company’s global business strategy, including playing a key role in guiding public policy and business development.

In making the announcement, Gerson said, “At this time in our business, it’s important we work with a global perspective and more closely with our record label partners. Marc’s broad experience in recorded music will help bolster our organization and bring a broader industry approach to everything we do, and to the ultimate benefit of our artists and writers.”

Cimino added, “I’m grateful and excited to be working for such a dynamic visionary like Jody and for Universal Music Publishing Group. I look forward to working with the entire team around the world, and with our labels and tech partners as we face a rapidly changing business environment with many new opportunities and challenges.”

Prior to Warner Bros. Records, from 1998 to 2004, Cimino held business affairs and business development roles at Sony Music Entertainment.


BMG has been named the most successful music publisher of 2014 in Germany with a market share of 18.05%, according to a report by GfK Entertainment based on publishers’ shares of the official German Top 100 singles chart. The achievement comes just six years after the launch of the Bertelsmann-owned international rights management company, and is more than double the 7.7% share BMG scored in 2013.

BMG’s artists and writers held 11 Top Five positions in 2014, including five No. 1 hits. BMG’s chart success reflects its strength in domestic German repertoire, which accounted for almost 60% share of the Top 100 singles chart. The same trend is also displayed in the official Top 100 long-play chart market where BMG German artists and writers were involved in 14 No. 1 albums.

Among BMG’s 2014 singles chart success are: Andreas Bourani and co-writer Tom Olbrich charted at No. 1 with the World Cup anthem “Auf Uns” and spent eight weeks in the Top 5 and 35 weeks in the charts, with over 600,000 units sold (double platinum); Adel Tawil and co-writer Sebastian Kirchner saw “Lieder” spend seven weeks in the Top 10, 40 weeks in the charts and sell 200,000 units; Daniel Nitt, as co-writer and co-producer of the song “Au Revoir” from Mark Forster feat. Sido, spent 16 weeks in the Top 5 and 34 weeks in the charts. The song sold over 500,000 units; Nico & Vinz and co-writer William Wiik Larsen aka “Will IDAP” spent eight weeks in the Top 5 and sold, in 31 chart weeks, around 300,000 units with “Am I Wrong”; “Budapest,” from British newcomer George Ezra made it to No. 3, spent seven weeks in the Top 10 and 41 weeks in the charts with over 300,000 units sold; Mr. Probz with the No. 1 hit “Waves” (Robin Schulz Remix) spent 12 weeks in the Top 5, 49 weeks in the charts and sold over 600,000 units (double platinum); “Dark Horse” from Katy Perry feat. BMG-writer Juicy J held 11 weeks in the Top 10 and sold, in 44 chart weeks, over 250,000 units; John Legend’s “All Of Me” spent 46 weeks in the charts and sold over 250,000 units; No. 1 hit “When The Beat Drops Out” from Marlon Roudette spent nine weeks in the Top 3, 19 weeks in the charts and sold over 300,000 units.

BMG Managing Director GSA Maik Pallasch said, “This milestone is a reflection first and foremost of the success and creativity of our artists and writers. We thank them for their artistry and belief.”

BMG’s CEO Hartwig Masuch added, “To achieve market leadership from a standing start in just six years is unprecedented. Maik and his team have impressively demonstrated that BMG can compete with even the biggest and most-established industry players.”


Eurosonic Noorderslag 2015 took place last week in the Netherlands’ city of Groningen. A key platform for the European music industry, the event provides a great networking opportunity for its attendees as well as showcase opportunites for European artists which has led to many success stories on the live front. In addition, we stopped off for a short visit with some of our friends in the UK.

Alongside the Eurosonic festivities, the event also hosted this year’s European Border Break Awards (EBBA’s) which recognized talented artists from across Europe for traveling over their native borders with their music. Among the winners for 2015 were included: Hozier (Ireland), Indila (France), John Newman (United Kingdom), Klangkarussell (Austria), Melanie De Biasio (Belgium), Milky Chance (Germany), (Denmark), The Common Linnets (Netherlands), Todd Terje (Norway) and Tove Lo (Sweden).

Additionally A&R Worldwide invited some of its A&R relationships across Europe to give the Eurosonic attendees an innovative and inspiring look into the A&R process and its differences and similarities across the world. Among the A&R executives on the panel, moderated by Music Week’s U.S. Editor, Emmanuel Legrand, were Bert Meyer (Grandmono, Netherlands), Kai Robψle (Waterfall Music, Norway, Sigi Schuller (Universal Music, Germany) and A&R Worldwide’s Sat Bisla.

Below is a pictorial overview of A&R Worldwide’s European trek last week.

THE 2015 EUROPEAN BORDER BREAKER AWARDS were introduced by Eurosonic’s Peter Smidt in Groningen, Holland last week. JUST SAY MØ: Danish sensation MØ delivered a captivating performance to the attendees at this year’s EBBA Awards.

A TASTE OF FRANCE: Parisian sensation Talisco delivered an electrifying show at this year’s Eurosonic to a packed-house of music hungry pundits. DISCUSSING THE FUTURE OF A&R (l-r) were veteran European music executive Bert Meyer, Sigi Schuller (Sr. Director A&R, Vertigo/Capitol – Polydor/Island, Germany), Kai Robøle (Founder & CEO, Waterfall Music, Norway), Sat Bisla (Founder & President, A&R Worldwide) and Emmanuel Legrand (U.S. Editor, Music Week).<

SHARING THEIR VIEWS ON THE LIVE BUSINESS are (l-r): Folkert Koopmans (Founder & CEO, FKP Skorpio), Sat Bisla and Clotaire Buche (Founder, Junzi Arts, France). INSPIRED BY THE EVOLUTION OF RADIO: Discussing their passion for radio are A&R Worldwide’s Sat Bisla and his longtime friend Jeff Smith (Head of Music, BBC Radio 2 & 6 Music, UK).

HOPING TO HAVE AN “XL” YEAR IN NEW MUSIC PRE-DISCOVERY (l-r) are Tyler Polzin (Sr. Director, A&R Worldwide), Sat Bisla and his longtime, fellow music aficionado Ruth Barlow (Director, Beggars Group, UK). OPENING THEIR VIEWS TO THE GERMAN MUSIC MARKET are (l-r) Florian Baufeld (Booking Agent, KBK Konzert, Germany), A&R Worldwide’s Tyler Polzin and Rouven Bönisch (Booking Agent, KBK Konzert, Germany).

MILKING THEIR MUSICAL CHANCES (l-r) are Tyler Polzin, Björn Deparade, Founder, Wasted Talent (manager Milky Chance), Sat Bisla and Frederik Boutahar (A&R, Copyriot). VISUALIZING THE MUSICAL FUTURE are Sat Bisla with Joe Harland, Head of Visualization, BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra (UK).


The influential tastemaker radio program, Passport Approved, has announced the line-up for its second West Coast U.S. Commercial Alternative Radio tour to hit the road in late February. The weekly program, which broadcasts in nearly 30 markets around the world, will see the tour stopping through the hometown’s of its west coast affiliates including Phoenix (KWSS), Los Angeles (KROQ), Fresno (KFRR), Carmel/Santa Cruz (KRML), Sacramento (KKDO), Portland (KNRK) and Seattle (KNDD). The Passport Approved radio tour will once again bring great global talent to the masses not only through the radio dial but through the live event experience!

Among the featured artists for the upcoming run are Ireland’s Buffalo Sunn, the U.K.’s These Reigning Days and Scarlette as well as Canadian buzz-act Forest Blakk and SoCal’s own New Beat Fund.

The radio tour will kick-off February 27th in Phoenix, AZ and conclude on March 8th in Seattle, WA. For more information go to www.passportapproved.com.


IMAGEM Music Germany and Berlin-based Steam Music Management & Publishing have finalized a worldwide co-publishing deal. The deal was spearheaded by IMAGEM Music GmbH Managing Director, Jens-Markus Wegener and Steam Music co-founder, Andrew Campbell. Among the first signings under the partnership are Denmark’s Marstal:Lidell, Sweden’s Tyred Eyes, Israel’s Omri Vitis & the Bells and Switzerland’s Who’s Panda.

Kobalt Label Services has finalized a unique global, digital services agreement with iconic alternative rock band Placebo. Covering the band’s first six studio albums including their platinum-selling debut Placebo, as well as other audio and visual material, the digital catalogue deal incorporates distribution, monetization and marketing of the bands material. Kobalt will also provide Placebo with reporting and analytics services.

Last week it was announced that Narcis Rebollo had been promoted to President of Universal Music Iberian Peninsula from his previous position as Managing Director of Universal Music Spain. From the new position, Rebollo will oversee the major’s Spain and Portugal operations and will stay based in Madrid, reporting to Universal Music Latin America and Iberian Peninsula Chairman & CEO, Jesús López.

Additionally, Universal Music Group has appointed Andy Fixmer to VP of Global Communications for the company. Fixmer will report to UMG EVP and Head of Global Communications, Will Tanous, and brings his experience as a long-time business journalist for Bloomberg Businessweek and Mashable.

Spek Hussain
A&R Worldwide has learned that long-time friend and colleague Spek Hussain has joined the team at Reservoir Media as Sr. VP, Creative and A&R. Spek, who will be based in New York, will help drive the initiatives of Reservoir’s growing position as an independent publishing company, building on its current success that includes over 100 No. 1 Billboard hits. Spek founded the highly-successful UAE-based music publishing and music rights consultancy company, PopArabia, which will now be headed by Yassine Watson Bedaisi.

According to projections, the German music market saw an increase in sales for the second consecutive year in 2014. The stats, presented by the Berlin-based Federal Association of the Music Industry (BVMI) and research company GfK Entertainment, showed a 1.8 percent increase in sales generating 1.48 billion euros. The sales data includes that of CDs, vinyl, downloads and revenue from streaming.

In its most recent release, Spotify announced that among its 60 million monthly listeners are included 15 million subscribers. It’s been reported that up to 80% of the new subscribers to the service have come through the free mobile option.

Big Deal Music and BMG have announced the signing of Sleater-Kinney. The fiercely independent musical act will see the release of their new album No Cities To Love on Tuesday through Sub Pop and it will be their first release since 2005.

A&R Worldwide recently met with Björn Deparade in Groningen at Eurosonic 2015 to congratulate him on all of the success he’s experienced as part of the management team for the German break-through success Milky Chance. Deparade also gave a peek at a new artist he’s working with, Simonne Jones, who is signed to Universal Music Germany. Simonne is currently working on new material with writer/producer Sacha Skarbek (Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, Adele).

Grammy-nominated Irish breakthrough, Hozier, took time last week to speak to students at BIMM Dublin’s BA (Hons) Commercial Modern Music course. During his visit he talked to students about his path to success and offered advice to the student musicians that were present. Hozier was featured in the A&R Worldwide newsletter in 2013 with his hit-single, “Take Me To Church.”

According to reports, Live Nation has finalized its acquisition of Paul McGuinness’s Principle Management (U2) and Guy Oseary’s Maverick (Madonna) for $30 million. The deal for Live Nation to pick up the two management companies was first rumored to be in motion in 2013.

A&R Worldwide has been informed that their long-time friend John Cloud has taken up a new role with Swedish-based music company, Playground Music Scandinavia as Label Manager for Nettwerk Records. Playground represents Nettwerk for the Nordic region.

ASCAP has appointed current EVP and General Counsel, Elizabeth Matthews as the new CEO for the PRO. Matthews has been with ASCAP in her current role since 2013 and will replace former ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento who recently retired after a 33 year tenure with ASCAP. Over the course of her career Matthews has also spent time with Viacom Media Networks (EVP/Deputy General Counsel) as well as serving on the Intellectual Property and Corporate Groups team for Chadbourne & Parke and the Business Technology Group for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.

Google announced last week, changes to the search engine’s coding that will see improvements to the way official ticket links, event listings, comedian events and venue events show up in search results. The changes will allow web developers to write the markup directly into a ticketer’s website code or engage a widget or plugin to create the markup. This will point pertinent information like event pages or ticket links to Google to include in search results. Google is making the markup available through its schema.org. Additionally, through sites like BandPage, Bandsintown, Songkick or Gigpress, widgets creating the markup are available for download.

Pollstar Live!, the largest gathering of concert industry professionals in the world, is returning to Nashville on February 19th - February 21st, 2015. Industry veterans and newcomers alike will share information and ideas, solve problems and brainstorm new ways to keep the live experience fresh as well as profitable. Additionally, Pollstar has announced Production Live!, a new, separate one day conference recognizing the importance of the production aspect in the concert industry which will take place on Thursday, February 19th. The 26th Annual Pollstar Awards will take place on Saturday, February 21st, with nominees selected by an anonymous collection of promoters, agents, managers and other touring professionals. For more information regarding Pollstar Live! click HERE or reach out to Marci Gentry at marcig@pollstar.com.

Universal Music and Qyuki, a Multi-Channel Network (MCN) co-founded by Academy Award winners, director Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth), musician/composer AR Rahman (Elizabeth, Slumdog Millionaire) and former MD Digital of Disney India, Samir Bangara today announced The Dharavi Project. The initiative will fund the expansion of the music and dance school in Dharavi, a school seeking to discover fresh talent from Dharavi, India and Asia’s largest slum, to nurture and amplify them through the program on a domestic and international scale via digital and traditional media. Universal Music will deploy funds towards basic infrastructure, rent, utilities and equipment for the students of the school while Qyuki will amplify content via its digital broadcast network on a domestic and international scale.

Rdio has launched its 32 million song library in India which brings the service’s reach to 61 markets globally. The Rdio offerings to the Indian market include an on-demand service for $1.99 USD per month in addition to the free radio player for mobile.

Additionally, last week Rdio was announced as the official streaming partner for the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR). The partnership will see Rdio featuring the Carlton Dry Independent Music Charts weekly, a chart that is currently sponsored by the streaming service.

Ticketmaster UK has appointed Gillian Henderson to head its Scottish operations as Business Development Director for the company. Henderson comes to Ticketmaster from her role as General Manager for The Picture House in Edinburgh where she spearheaded the openings for regional venues for MAMA. Henderson has also held management roles with Academy Music Group’s Academy venue in Glasgow as well as been involved with festivals and events including T In The Park, The Ryder Cup, BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend and BCC at the Quay.

The Orchard and Dangerbird Records have announced a partnership that will see The Orchard distributing all digital and physical releases for the indie in the U.S. and Canada. Upcoming releases under the partnership are included new material from Butch Walker and Grammy-winner Jesse Harris.

A&R Worldwide has learned from Hidden Track Music’s Justin Reeve that Chris Lavarias has been promoted to Manager of Creative for the company. Lavarias has been with Hidden Track Music since 2011.

Insieme Music Publishing has announced the signing of songwriter, producer and arranger Jonny Wright to a worldwide publishing deal. Based in London, Wright has worked on a number of projects including Becky Hill, Daniel James and Stephanie Fraser as well as co-writing the single "Beauty Queen" by the Foxes. Wright joins the roster of Insieme, a Glassnote Entertainment Group affiliate, that also includes artists/songwriters like Deap Valley, Tor Miller, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear and Half Moon Run.

HMV has reclaimed the spot as leader for physical music sales in the UK according to sales figures released for 2014, surpassing the previous No.1 Amazon during the holiday season. 2014 saw the UK’s CD sales rise by 1.5% while vinyl sales crossed the one million unit mark for an increase of 170%. It was the first time vinyl sold over a million pieces in the UK since 1996.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Louis Bloom, Laurent Hubert, David Taylor, Benjamin Budde, Edison Waters, Steve Lamacq, Jon Lieberberg, Markus Kuehn, Josh Deutsch, Mark Beaven, Emma Banks, Alex Ljung and Joe Cuello.


Have you ever sent a personal IM to the wrong screen name, accidentally replied “send all” on an E-mail, or made a total ass of yourself? Yes, we’ve all had a jackass moment at one time or another in our life. This week, we show you one of the most insane accidents ever! Click HERE to watch a bicyclist walk away from an almost impossible situation.


Five years ago, Bjψrn Tveit and Hans Thomas Kiζr spent their summer as workers on a farm. Without any experience, they spent their savings on guitars, a microphone and a sound card. Six months later, their first song was completed under the moniker Alfred Hall and after the second gig ever, the rave reviews started coming in and the band quickly became the band to watch out for in 2012. The debut single “So Bright” was a hit on international tastemaker radio stations and on Norwegian radio making way for the album Wilderness, which was released exclusively in Norway. The single “Lose That Gun” was featured at several short-film festivals and the video was nominated as “Scandinavia’s best music video” at the Bergen International Film Festival last year. Next, the band landed a synch placement with Netflix, using their song “Safe and Sound” on the official trailer for the Netflix original series Derek. Soon after, the Mexican beer brand Cerveza Pacifico Clara used their song “Someplace Beautiful” in their release campaign in the U.S. Last month, Alfred Hall released their latest self-titled EP globally on iTunes and Spotify through Waterfall/Phonofile – already Alfred Hall are generating some great early response on their new music. The 2013 MUSEXPO alum are releasing a new single in Norway next month through Sony Music Norway called “The King of Cape.”


Pretty Vicious is a Welsh quartet that hasn’t even celebrated its one year anniversary as a band yet, but musically, they are seasoned beyond their years. Comprised of Brad Griffiths (lead vocals/guitar), Tom McCarthy (guitar), Jarvis Morgan (bass) and Elliot Jones (drums), the average age of the rock outfit is just 17 years old. Labeled as a Great X-Pectation for 2015 by XFM, featured in NME as their “Buzz of the Week” and getting great reviews from BBC 6 Music; they’re on the cusp of great things. Pretty Vicious is currently the subject of a major label bidding frenzy based on their single “Cave Song” alone. Many fans in the UK are branding them the next Oasis, again, based on their debut single. To start 2015, they dropped the video for “Cave Song,” the black and white visual which is full of adrenaline and screams Rock and Roll. Watch the infectious video HERE and learn more about this young band HERE.


“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, January 18th, 2015: The weekly import show. As heard on The World Famous KROQ 106.7FM Los Angeles; WBOS-FM “92.9FM” Boston; 99.1FM Radio Doble Nueve, Lima, Peru; KNRK-FM Portland OR, KNDD “The End” Seattle WA, WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” NY 107.7FM, KKDO “94.7FM” Sacramento CA; KWSS “93.9FM” Phoenix AZ, KRML “102.1FM” Carmel CA, KFRR “New Rock 104.1FM” Fresno CA; WLCE-FM, Springfield, IL; (now with a “Passport Approved Daily” segment on KNRK Portland, KNDD Seattle WA, KRML CA and 99.1FM Radio Doble Nueve); WCNR Charlottesville, VA; KIWR “The River” Council Bluffs, IA; 2XM Ireland (national radio); KRZQ-FM Reno NV; PUK-FM Johannesburg, South Africa; East Radio-FM Shanghai, China; KAFA “97.7FM” Colorado Springs, CO; WITH “90.1FM” Ithaca, New York; UCFM 87.8FM Australian Capital Territory, Australia, WRUR 88.5FM Rochester New York; WCRU-FM Hamilton, NY and on www.indie1031.com and The Independent FM (iHeart Radio) in the United States. Also, on the worldwide web and twice weekly segment on Flux FM Germany (Berlin, Brandenburg and Stuttgart) and Allgauhit-FM Bavaria Germany.

Listen to this two-hour show by clicking HERE:

COASTS – “A Rush Of Blood” (Tidal Recordings, UK)
TOVE STYRKE – “Borderline” (Sony, Sweden)
FOREST BLAKK – “Love Me” (Unsigned, Canada)
SECRET COMPANY – “Saviour” (SO Records, UK)
THE FAULTS – “Alexander” (Unsigned, Australia)
THESE REIGNING DAYS – “Thrones” (Unsigned, UK)
NEW BEAT FUND – “It’s Cool” (Red Bull Records, N. America)
BUFFALO SUNN – “I Wanna Be In Love” (Reekus, Ireland)
HURRICANE DEAN – “Fragrance” (Wintrup, Germany)
TIGERCUB – “Blue Blood” (Raygun Records, UK)
EZRA VINE – “Braver Than Most” (Mythologie, New Zealand)
CAPE LION – “Jennie” (Sony, Sweden)
SEAN KELLY – “Hands In The Sky” (Unsigned, N. America)
ALFRED HALL – “So Bright” (Waterfall, Norway)
TOM VEK – “Sherman (Animals In The Jungle)” (Moshi Moshi, UK)
ALL MANKIND – “Simple Desire” (SO Recordings, UK)
TWO HARBORS – “Be Forever” (Susstones, USA)
JΪNΝUS MEYVANT – “Color Decay” (Record Records, Iceland)
TALISCO – “The Keys” (Roy Music, France)
CIRCA WAVES – “So Long” (Transgressive/Kissability, UK)
SAHARA BECK – “Brother Sister” (Sonic Services/Suggarush Music, Australia)
VILLAINETTES – “Diamonds” (Unsigned, Australia)
THE DΨ – “Despair, Hangover & Ecstasy” (Get Down!/Cinq7 Wagram, France)
GAVIN JAMES – “Book Of Love” (Good Soldier Songs, UK)
MIAMIGO – “Opinions” (Unsigned, UK)
FANCI – “Funky Sexy Cool” (Unsigned, Germany)
HIDDEN CHARMS – “Sunnyside” (Unsigned, UK)
ELIZA & THE BEAR – “It Gets Cold” (Mi Familia/Capitol, UK)
KAITLIN RIEGEL – “System” (Unsigned, New Zealand)
TOURISM – “Run” (Unsigned, Australia)
MALKY – “History Of Broken Hearts” (Unsigned, Germany)
SCARLETTE – “Helena” (Unsigned, UK)

(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively onAllAccess.com including Talisco, Kaitlin Riegel, Little India, Buffalo Sunn and Thelma Plum).