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"Second Life" Bluesman Gets Record Deal in Real Life

August 14, 2008 11:15 AM ET

A Nashville blues musician named Van Johin has been signed to a record label, thanks to his free performances on alternate computer universe Second Life. Von Johin is believed to be the first artist signed to a contract thanks to their performances in this other world. Aside from his steady schedule of touring small real-life venues, Von Johin also plays a weekly virtual concert on Second Life, which brought him to the attention of scouts from Reality Entertainment, who signed the bluesman after seeing his following online. The company's scouts spent months on Second Life searching for talent before discovering Van Johin's virtual venue Blue Note Club. "Never before has a virtual character been signed to a worldwide recording contract," said Reality Entertainment CEO Warren Croyle. "Von Johin is legendary in the virtual community Second Life for his heart-pounding live shows." Von Johin's style of Mississippi Delta blues, consisting of only guitar and vocals, works well on Second Life due to its simplicity, making it sound good on live streams. Von Johin will continue to play free virtual shows for virtual fans at a virtual venue. Whether this translates into real record sales remains to be seen.

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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