|Music Women To Watch
June 5th, 2001
She's intelligent. She is charming. She has "ears" as they say in the music biz. She's definitely savvy. Deborah Wagnon not only knows how to play the game, but does it with a sincerity and grace that sets her apart from most everyone else. And, she's one of the leading entertainment lawyers in the film and entertainment industries. A former Miss Atlanta and Miss Los Angeles, Deborah, from age 17 was an established studio and touring singer/musician. In Atlanta and Los Angeles, she had her own rock band in the seventies and a bilingual pop band (Spanish) in the early eighties, literally singing her way through college where she graduated number one at Georgia Tech and then through the top-ranked Stanford Law School in California. In an age where some are finding it seemingly impossible to "have it all," take a look at Deborah Wagnon. Hard work...long hours …a sense of humor. Add to that a heavy dose of class, a strong sense of integrity make a difference and the determination to simply do it… is proof positive that you can She proves it everyday to everyone she meets. Wagnon, a principal in the highly regarded law firm of John Mason Partners, Ltd., has extensive international expertise in music and film.
She came up through the ranks first as a music producer, then became head of music business affairs, and ultimately was named General Counsel of Landmark Entertainment Group in Hollywood, a major 400 employee company with worldwide projects in music, film and live entertainment. Her work on international projects included a great deal of work in the Pacific Rim, including a six month assignment in Japan. She served two terms as the Los Angeles liason for the Tennessee Film, Music & Entertainment Commission's Advisory Committee, and upon arriving in Nashville, was appointed to a professorship in the Recording Industry program of the University of Middle Tennessee (Formerly MTSU). Her specialization in international issues took her to London in the Summer of 1996 where she worked with Russells Solicitors in London, the UK's leading entertainment law firm. She also worked in the Business Affairs departments for both Virgin Records UK and EMI UK. She returned to London and Dublin as part of her negotiating the first American Airlines International Recording Industry Fellowship in 1997 and she literally "delivered" the first scholarship award winning student recipient to the UK to work a summer internship abroad in the music industry.
In April 1998, Deborah will return for another month in London--this time primarily as the representative for U.S. based artists seeking international expansion in their careers, as well as a growing international clientele seeking U.S. representation. Deborah now works with a client base of top notch artists that include Gloria Estefan, Reba McEntire, Jon Secada, Deana Carter, Randy Travis, John Berry. Olivia Newton-John, Travis Tritt, Lee Ann Womack, Mindy McCready as well as A&M's hot new alternative artist, Matthew Ryan, A&M master singer/songwriter Paul Thorn, Shanachie Record's songwriter/master blues guitarist, Sue Foley and the newly signed MCA Los Angeles pop act, Four Letr Word. Deborah's ability to find the right place for the right artist, with no geographical nor genre boundaries is her gift. Her skills and talents have made her a lightening rod for international artists who have success abroad and seek the same in the U.S. And, ff that isn't enough, her firm also represents major music producers such as Tony Brown, James Stroud, Chuck Howard,' Steve Diamond and Billy Jo Walker. One would think that with all of the projects and deals crossing her desk that she'd have time for little else. Not true. Deborah finds times to give back to her community.
In addition to the professorship, she now serves on the Board of Directors for the Nashville Entertainment Association and the Tennessee Repertory Theatre. She is a regular contributing speaker for the National Recording Academy (NARAS) and is a founding Director of the newly formed Nashville Screenwriters Conference, which along with other top industry colleagues, is working to bring Hollywood writers to Nashville to share their crafts and make their movies. She is also working with established U.K. and Los Angeles based music supervisors on major film soundtrack projects, including the just completed Pierce Brosnan film shot in Ireland, 'The Nephew". A capable and talented executive, Deborah Wagnon is a role model for women in all areas of the music industry. She has given many seminars and panels at MWI events and enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise to others. She lives in an historical home just outside of Nashville.
Copyright 2001 Music Women International