by Kenny Kerner

Forty-one year old songwriter Julie Ann Bailey (a wife and mother of three boys-10,15 &18), can best sum up her career with the title of the famous Bacharach-David song, "Promises, Promises." It's been a never-ending struggle for success, with people in the business trying to help her and then not coming through.

For Julie Ann, the problem wasn't making industry connections--she'd done that on her own, taking meetings with Big Wigs over at Screen Gems-EMI in Nashville and hooking up with famous record producers and attorneys. Her problem was the same one most of us face: Separating the fakes and the flakes.

Ms. Bailey wrote her first song when she was just 13 and got her first guitar (after not being able to cope with piano lessons) at age 15. By the time she turned 17, Julie Ann had already met George, her husband-to be, who also played guitar. It was love at first chord!

Name: Julie Ann Bailey
Residence: St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin
Age: 41
Occupation: Songwriter
Joined TAXI: 1994
Songs Forwarded: 20 (approximately)
Deals: 1 (DSM)
The first batch of tunes Julie Ann wrote were all Christian songs. "I felt this Calling connected with my talent and so all of the songs I wrote were Christian songs for the Christian market," she told the Meter. "My vision then was to get some kind of record deal with Sparrow or some other Christian label. In fact, for seven years, both before and after we were married, we traveled extensively as a guitar duo and performed at colleges, prisons, churches and parks."

After failing to attract a Christian label willing to sign her, Julie Ann opted for an indie release but garnered only moderate airplay. "In 1981 we released an independent album on our own label but it got only limited airplay in the Midwest because our distributor told us that we mixed the drums too loud for Christian music. I had a problem from the beginning with people telling me that my voice was too rock & roll for the Church and that I looked too emotional when I sang. I was told this by radio people, distributors and pastors."

Feeling constrained and frustrated, at age 26, Julie Ann decided to totally change musical directions and sail into pop waters. "Making this decision wasn't going to change what was in my heart, only the sound of the songs I wrote. I felt that I had God's blessing to do whatever I wanted with my talents. So, at age 26, I decided to be successful. I was going to write for the masses."

Bailey began writing more and more and getting more demo tapes out there. In fact, one made its way to a former Prince musician who wanted to help. "It was all very encouraging because it allowed me to get one spec deal after another at the studios. It was a lot of work getting them out because you need to stay on top of the situation. People tend to forget who you are when the party's over and the cocaine wears off. It was encouraging, but still no deal."

Then, the attorney for Whitney Houston (at that time) became interested so Bailey kept making even more song demos. She was overnighting him songs and spending money in the studios. Again, nothing developed.

"At one point," recalled Julie Ann, "we even packed up our entire family and moved to a campground near the Opry in Nashville for a week of meetings with Screen Gems-EMI. David Rifkin in the Twin Cities got me the meetings. I played lots of songs for them and they told me they liked the songs--every one of them. He told me he wanted to sign me as a staff writer. This was all over night and I had already been psyched so many times before. He took some songs for Amy Grant and was making all of these promises to me. I returned home and was on Cloud Nine. This relationship went on for about three months and then he didn't take my calls anymore. Eventually, when I tried to call him, I learned that he was no longer working there."

Figuring she could use some help, Julie Ann spied an ad in a music magazine and called TAXI for a free membership package. She joined immediately and has been a member for about five years--making one deal with DSM that has earned her royalties of about $6,000 for having songs placed in the Jerry Springer Show, and in CBS and NBC shows, as well.

"I have a good relationship with Michael and Doug and a lot of the screeners. They're all very accessible and give me good advice all the time. I keep coming back to them. They've certainly gone beyond what they say in their ads. It's done more for me than my subscription to Billboard which costs the same."

These days, Julie Ann is continuing to watch her catalog and income grow. Her next solo EP, now on MP3. com, is called One More Time. What she has learned from her years at TAXI is that, unlike the dozens of others who meant well, the folks at TAXI actually deliver.


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"In this competitive field you need all the help you can get and with TAXI, you've got a friend in the music business."
— Richard Scotti,
TAXI Member

"I recently got my first deal as a result of a submission to TAXI! I'm very excited to see that this actually works!"
— George Leverett,
TAXI Member