The Business Side of Music

The Business Side of Music is an interview show designed to help independent artists and songwriters better understand and navigate the music industry. 45-year industry veteran, Bob Bender talks to successful guests from every corner of the industry about their careers to discover the things they did right as well as the lessons they learned from any mistakes they made.


#122 - Affordable Health Insurance for the Working Musician

It's a tough business we work in. Often times we're working from paycheck to paycheck, and some items such as health insurance can be considered a luxury to those that work in the trenches, trying to make a living in the music industry.

Then there's Music Health Alliance. Founded in 2013 with the goal of helping find affordable (and in some cases, next to nothing in cost) health / medical insurance for anyone who works within the music business. Sheila Shipley Biddy who is the COO and Senior Advisor for MHA discusses what options are available for anyone who works in the music biz, and is seeking to find medical insurance coverage that they can actually afford.

With over 4 decades of diverse music industry experience and a continued passion for the well being of music and its makers, Shelia Shipley Biddy is the perfect advocate for the music industry. Her career began in an entry-level position at the legendary Monument Records (home to Roy Orbison, Larry Gatlin and Kris Kristofferson). Over the next eight years, she worked her way up the ranks of RCA and MCA to become Vice President of Promotion at MCA and most notably, the first woman to sit at the helm of a major record label in Music City. During her tenure with MCA, the label was named Country Label of the Year seven times by Billboard Magazine, three times by R&R Magazine, and the promotion department garnered over 137 # 1 singles under her leadership. Shelia went on to become senior vice president and general manager of Decca Records, another first for a woman in Nashville. Decca’s roster included Mark Chesnutt, Lee Ann Womack, Gary Allan, Rhett Akins, Chris Knight, and others. Shelia has continued to leave a positive mark on music as an artist manager and partner with Hallmark Direction Company and as President of Flying Island Entertainment. Shelia was voted Gavin Magazine’s Country Promotion Vice President of the Year on three occasions, and Nashville Life Magazine named her one of Nashville’s Top 25 Most Influential Women, and named one of Billboard Magazine’s 2019 Top 100 Country Power Players. She was presented with the Country Radio Broadcasters President’s Award recognizing her significant contribution to the marketing, production, growth and development of the Country Radio Seminar and the services that CRB provides to the country radio and music communities. In 2012, she was inducted into the SOURCE Hall of Fame, an organization she co-founded in 1991 to support female executives in the Nashville music industry. She is a 1992 Alumni and past President of Leadership Music. She has served on the Boards of Country Radio Broadcasters, Leadership Music, Academy of Country Music, NARAS, Nashville Film Commission, and the Music Industry Retirement Center. She is also a member of Brentwood Baptist Church. Shelia has been married to music publisher, Ken Biddy, for over 27 years and together they share a blended family of five children and six grandchildren. Shelia’s addition to the MHA team is like coming home. In addition to utilizing her executive experience to develop the operations of MHA, she is implementing the MHA Senior Care programs and services for the family she has been a part of for over forty years.

The Business Side of Music ™

© 2020 Beyond the Music

Co-Produced & Hosted (by the guy who has a face for podcasting): Bob Bender 

Co-Producer, Creator & Technical Advisor (the man behind the curtain): Tom Sabella

Audio Engineer (one really cool guy): Jim Tennaboe

Director of Video & Continuity (the brains of the entire operation): Deborah Halle

Lighting Director (the inventor of video): Mark Pleasant

Marketing & Social Media: Kaitlin Fritts

All Around Problem Solver: Connie Ribas

Recorded at: The Coffee House and Underground Bunker in Franklin, TN (except during the Covid 19 pandemic, then it's pretty much done VIA Skype or over the phone, with the exception for those fearless enough to come to Bob Bender’s living room… and there are a few).

Mixed & Mastered at: Music Dog Studios in Nashville, TN


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Special Thanks to Tom Sabella and Traci Snow for producing and hosting over 100 episodes of the original “Business Side of Music” podcast, and trusting us to carry on their legacy.

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The music provided for this episode is from:

Artist: Cheryl B. Engelhardt

Single: Earthshine

Album: Luminary (2019)

Composer: Cheryl B. Engelhardt



 2020-07-06  48m