Although Bill Gordon has been making money with his music
since the age of 14, he still considers himself a "late-bloomer"
in terms of getting down to serious studies on the piano,
his instrument of choice.
"I put a band together when I was 14 and patterned it after
a James Brown/Stax-Volt show band. We started playing and
making money right away. We became one of Baltimore's more
popular bands all through my high school days."
At 18, Bill found himself in the Air Force, but while most
in the Armed Services were being sent to Vietnam, Gordon wound
up in Germany. While there, he enrolled in a music conservatory
where he studied piano and harmony and, for the first time,
made the commitment to pursue an education in music.
"When I got out, I applied to Berklee School of Music in
Boston and was accepted. I got my degree in piano and composition.
I was 25 at the time and my primary goal at the time was just
to learn about music. But, being surrounded by musicians there,
I began playing gigs as a piano player. I had always taken
music seriously since 14 but now I actually knew something
about music. To me, music was like a calling. I assumed music
was always going to be my career. It was what I really wanted
to do; It was what I knew."
After Berklee, Gordon put together a jazz band and began
teaching and doing musical arrangements for pay. These jobs
enabled him to once again make money making music. Bill moved
to New York but still managed to juggle various jobs in music.
"I was never really good at focusing on one particular aspect
of music. My love of music really made a mess of my career.
I was all over the place."
Bill confessed that, although he had no problems supporting
himself with his music, like all musicians, in the back of
his mind, he often thought about performing with a major artist
or releasing a CD of his own. "I had the usual desires and
dreams of aspiring musicians," he confided, "and since I always
do everything late, I recorded my first CD of music when I
was about 40. I thought the record was successful artistically,
but I did end up with a lot of them sitting in my closet."
Bill and Nancy moved to Miami and, as a musician, his mail
box continued to be flooded with volumes of ads from various
music companies all promising success in one form or another.
But Bill's association with TAXI might not have happened were
it not for his wife Nancy. "She saw the package and for some
reason felt that it eminated good vibes. I'm always getting
these packages from jive organizations and thought this was
another one of them. But Nancy has a sixth sense about these
things. I met a lot of people during my 10-year stay in New
York, but my music was always of no commercial value to those
that I met. I joined TAXI and realized that there were so
Since joining TAXI in 1995, Bill Gordon submitted 182 songs
and 82 of them were forwarded. He now has 22 songs being represented
by publishers, is receiving regular royalty checks and credits
TAXI for his success. "For the first couple of years it was
exciting but then got frustrating because I got al these forwards
but no action. Then, I got a call from a company that was
called Surreal to Reel and they signed up to represent all
of the songs from my first CD and some other originals. Then,
during the past year, a company called Private Wavs picked
up a couple of cuts from my second CD and finally I hooked
up with One Music who picked up every other original tune
that wasn't picked up yet."
As an aside, Bill mentioned that he used to write pop songs
and submit them--with some poor results. Screeners who heard
Gordon's more jazz influenced material knew immediately where
this artist's talents were and suggested to him that he focus
on that musical genre. He took their advice and went with
his natural abilities and talents.
For an artist who found a way to make money with his music
for the last 40 years, TAXI was an avenue completely undiscovered
until recently. "Starting a few months ago, these checks keep
showing up in my mail. I have 40 years of performing music,
working with musicians, teaching music and just being in music.
I have a degree from Berklee. And to me, the third note in
my career triad is TAXI. They are a great, honorable organization.
They are always there for me and I've been to every Road Rally.
I can't praise them enough."
Hey, Bill, I think your recent successes speak volumes. See
you at the Rally!