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Stoy by your favorite breakfast spot for an invigoratingespresso, and you may hear the gentle strains of CharlesRough's clever ode to coffee playing over the speaker--thanksto Rough's entrepreneurial savvy. Back in 1997, the careermusician took matters into his own hands after the recordingcontract of his dreams had eluded him for more than a decade."I had searched for the Holy Grail for many years but nevermade it to the dotted line," says Rough, 35. "Finally, Isaid `Why do I need a major record label when I can do itmyself?' "

So the musician-turned-entrepreneur (known as Chaz to his fans)recorded "Black Coffee," a song he penned while touringcoffeehouses nationwide, then shopped the single (complete with anacoustic-only "decaf remix") under his own label,Louisville, Kentucky-based Primitive Entertainment. Sold to coffeecompanies as corporate giveaways for their clients, "BlackCoffee" has since found its way to radio stations across thestate.

After the success of his coffee "cassingle," Roughwent on to produce a CD recording of "Journey," a weddingsong he'd written for his own nuptials. He marketed it with aninnovative twist: Packaged inside a wedding greeting card, the CDcontained advertising spots Rough solicited from 11 localwedding-related businesses. Rough then struck a deal with Bride& Groom magazine, a Louisville monthly, to distribute thecard/CD inside 1,000 issues.

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