by Kenny Kerner

Like most musicians, Roger Yeardley spent his formative years tooling around in local high school bands playing a series of cover tunes. It wasn't until he entered college that he decided to take a crack at original songwriting. "I'd always played music part-time with a passion but I was never able to do it full-time and make money. I never felt like my music career was secure enough to drop everything else I was doing."

Roger's career with music is one of progressions. His high school days were highlighted by performing covers, but in college, he progressed to writing original material in an effort to finally "express" himself. More progress came when Yeardley began entering songwriting contests trying to make some money with his music . "I tried entering songwriting contests and sent some of my songs to publishers. My friend and I would record a song and send it to his friend in Nashville to see if anything would come of it. I was hoping to make some money as a songwriter. I always had the desire to some day make a career out of it."

Try as he did, Roger kept running into walls. "Nothing really came of it," he told the Meter, "I would get letters from them telling me they liked the songs but just couldn't use them now. Encouraging letters but nothing really materialized into a deal of any kind. It was a little discouraging."

Name: Roger Yeardley
Residence: Cincinnati, Ohio
Age: 49
Occupation: Multi-Media Development
Joined Taxi: 1998
Songs Forwarded: 18
Deals: 3
Roger gave it the old college try. For about 10 years, he kept the songs and packages going out with little to show for it. Now in his mid-thirties, Roger decided to take matters into his own hands and released his own indie CD called Sheepless in Seattle. Roger enlisted the help of many well known Cincinnati bands and had them interpret his material on the CD. And it worked! "The response was excellent. All of the reviews were good. I followed this with a second CD called Roger Yeardley's Communal Effort.

And it also got good reviews. Definitely the CDs were the next step in my progression."

Despite the local success of the two CDs, Roger still was unable to crack the Industry marketplace. True, he had more of a name recognition and more credibility, but if he wanted to turn that corner into full-time musician, there was still a long road ahead.

"I heard about TAXI from a musician friend and started seeing some things about it on the Internet. It looked like a really good thing. I had the same problem as most other musicians--no industry connections. So TAXI made a lot of sense to me as a go-between bringing my music to people within the industry. About six months or so after I began hearing about it, I decided to join."

To date, Roger has concluded three deals because of TAXI and TAXI Dispatch. "I signed a deal with One Music for them to represent my first CD. Then, through TAXI Dispatch, I got two of my songs placed in the film, Mr. Id. The other deal happened at the TAXI Road Rally where I met someone from Music Choice who wound up featuring one of my songs for over a month on their music channel. That deal gave me my first BMI royalty check."

In looking back at things, Roger will tell you that joining TAXI definitely helped his career in a big way: "Like most TAXI members, you feel that the impact should be more immediate, but that's not how the industry moves. TAXI has definitely moved my songwriting career ahead. I haven't had a Number One hit yet but I feel as if I've made strides in that direction."

In closing, Roger made a very valid point that bears repeating. He brought to my attention the fact that not everyone lives in New York, Los Angeles or Nashville--the three great music capitals of America. And that makes it even more imperative to build a connection to those areas. "I advise friends all the time to join TAXI--especially if you don't live in a music metropolis or have music connections. TAXI is really your best shot. I've been very impressed with them. I think they're a very sincere, authentic organization."

And so, with TAXI in his corner helping his music connect with the right people, Roger Yeardley continues to make career progress.


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