About the Founders
KAFONK CEO and Chief Musical Director
Rick Chudacoff has been a successful music producer and songwriter for nearly four decades. His musical history began in Omaha, Nebraska where he honed his musical skills as a bassist for various bands, one of which, Crackin’, secured record contracts with Polydor/MGM and Warner Brother’s Record companies.
In 1979, Rick partnered with Peter Bunetta (drummer from Crackin’) as they began their production partnership in producing Robbie Dupree and his world wide hit song “Steal Away” (also co-written by Chudacoff). When looking for a second single, they met Bill LaBounty who provided the song “Hot Rod Hearts” which became Dupree’s follow up hit. Thus began the long relationship between Rick and Bill. Dupree was nominated for a Grammy in 1981 for Best New Artist.
The subsequent decades brought a number hits by the Bunetta/Chudacoff production team including Matthew Wilder (“Break My Stride”), Michael Bolton (“Soul Provider”), Patti LaBelle (“New Attitude”), Smokey Robinson (“Just to See Her” and “One Heartbeat”), two albums for the Temptations (“Lady Soul”), Kenny G (“Saved the Best for Last” - duet with Smokey Robinson) among others. Following his relocation to Nashville from Los Angeles, Rick’s productions for Kathy Troccoli and Clay Cross generated more than ten hit songs on the CCM charts.
Ricks writing relationship with LaBounty led to the 1996 Grammy winning song “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart”, for the country duet featuring Shenandoah and Alison Krauss.
Chudacoff’s compositions include top 5 chart songs in three different genres: “Steal Away” (Rpbbie Dupree - pop), “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart” (Shenandoah with Alison Krauss - Country) and “Whenever I Call Your Name” (Clay Crosse - CCM).
Rick continues to write and produce for various artist
KAFONK Chief Artistic Director
Bill LaBounty's musical direction was clear by the age of 19, when he was signed with his rock band to RCA Records. The Pacific Northwest native then took his act solo, recording an album for Twentieth Century Fox Records, followed by 3 albums for Warner Bros. Records, which spawned the pop hits “Never Gonna Look Back” (with James Taylor), “Livin' It Up” and “This Night Won't Last Forever”. Bill's album The Right Direction, co-produced with Robbie Dupree, enjoyed success in Europe and Japan with featured singles “The Right Direction” and “Mr. O”.
He also established himself as a songwriter for other artists, with successes that span almost two decades. Over the years his resume includes cuts by an array of Pop and Country artists including Patti LaBelle, Jimmy Buffett, The Judds, Steve Wariner, The Temptations, Brooks & Dunn, Steve Goodman and Phoebe Snow, Peter Cetera and Tim McGraw, among others.
An accomplished keyboardist and synthesist, LaBounty has worked in the studio with such artists as James Taylor, Jennifer Warnes, Patti LaBelle and Peter Cetera.
In 1983, while working in Nashville, LaBounty met his wife, songwriter Beckie Foster, which led to a joint career in Nashville and L.A. and resulted in Steve Wariner's #1 record “The Weekend” and Peter Cetera's “No Explanation”, the end theme for the movie Pretty Woman.
His hits include Robbie Dupree's “Hot Rod Hearts”, Michael Johnson's “This Night Won't Last Forever”, Steve Wariner's #1 records “Lynda” and “I Got Dreams”, “Somewhere In The Vicinity Of The Heart” (a Grammy-winning record by Alison Kraus and Shenandoah), Tanya Tucker and Delbert McClinton's “Tell Me About It”, “Tequila Talkin’” by Lonestar, the #1 Shenandoah single “I Want To Be Loved Like That” and Brooks & Dunn's “Rock My World (Little Country Girl)”.
To date, he has had over 100 songs recorded by other artists, resulting in 25 BMI Awards, including 10 Million Performance awards.
Bill's latest album, Back To Your Star, is available for listen/purchase at https://www.billlabounty.com.
Bill initially pursued a career in art as a young man and college student. Life took him in other directions but his love of cartoon art and drawing has continued throughout life. He’s continued his drawing and has always loved the great MAD art cartoonists, Will Elder, Wallace Wood, Jack Davis. All the great panel cartoonists of the fifties and sixties. The old school animation of the Fleischer Brothers. And the underground art of Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton and others.