By Kenny Kerner
One of the things that TAXI has been preaching for over a decade now is that you don’t have to be a rock star to make money in the music business. There are other ways—dozens of them.

Ruthie Brock wrote her first song when she was about ten years old. "It was a silly thing called ‘Ridin’ the Trails in His Little Mustang.’ It was back in 1966 and my friend down the street played piano." Although her first song didn’t exactly burn up the charts, Ruthie pursued music through her years in junior high, high school and college but when her schooling ended, so too did her options to write and make music with other people. "When I finished school, I prayed that someday I would meet someone to write and sing and play music with." Ruthie continued to write on her own and even began singing at weddings.

When she turned 17, Ruthie came to the attention of Cliffie Stone (a legend in country music), who wanted to take her under his wings and manage her career. "I was young enough and had the look but lacked the drive.. I loved to sing and play but I didn’t want to travel all over the country and promote myself as an artist. He could see I didn’t have the drive to become an artist. And he allowed me to bow out of a potential management deal with him without feeling like a loser."

Ruthie Brock looked opportunity squarely in the eye and walked away. She turned to a career as a cosmetologist, eventually met someone she loved, married, and raised two children. Though that was the path Ruthie took in life, the question still begs to be asked—Ruthie, if you were so enamoured with songwriting, why turn to a career as a hair stylist? What’s wrong with this picture? But Ruthie, honest to a fault, is quick to answer: "I was just too young, I was naďve, I was a teenager and unsure of myself and just couldn’t go there. I wasn’t ready at that age to do that."

Name: Ruthie Brock
Residence: Acton, CA.
Occupation: Cosmetologist/Songwriter
Joined Taxi: September, 2002
Forwards: None
Deals: OneMusic 16 song deal
Ruthie continued to own and operate her own hair styling business for 20 years before retiring. Then, in 1990, her prayers to meet someone to write and sing and play music with were finally answered. "A friend of mine had asked me to sing at her wedding. Her groom was part of a three-piece band that had been together for eight years. It turns out that they were also providing some music for the wedding and when we got together to work out some music, I was blown away by their harmonies and I felt like that was where I should be. So I wriggled my way into that band and we clicked. The band is called Gold Hill and I’ve been with them for 13 years."

Like most bands, Gold Hill decided to record their own CD of original country/alternative folk music for their families and friends. Their "state of the art recording facility" included a one bedroom studio, a Yamaha AW4416 and a couple of microphones. The guys even had to read books on how to record properly with the equipment. But the band worked hard and recorded their self-produced, 16 song CD in fine style.

Having joined TAXI in October, 2002, "hoping to find an open door," Ruthie was planning on checking out the Road Rally to try and do some serious networking, but was only able to make in on the final day. "I managed to attend the panel on Music Libraries and heard Jim Long from OneMusic speak there. After the panel, I brazenly handed him my CD and thanked him for his time and effort and all the great tips he gave us. I went home and didn’t think another thing of it until two months later when I received a letter from them telling me that they were interested in representing all 16 songs on our CD to the television and motion picture industry. We were dumbfounded!"

Now let’s review for just a second. Ruthie had been a TAXI member for an entire two and a half months, submitted a total of 2-3 songs with no forwards, shows up to the last day of the Road Rally and lands a 16-song deal with OneMusic! Could there possibly be anyone left out there who still believes that TAXI doesn’t work?

Though Ruthie Brock is coming up on her first anniversary as a TAXI member, she’s already begun to figure out how special this company is: "The people at TAXI always take the time to answer all of my questions. Everyone I’ve dealt with at TAXI or through their recommendations has been so nice and so accessible. TAXI is ringing the door bell for us. TAXI is making it personal. They’re bringing us face-to-face with the music industry. They are making the music industry accessible to us. For our band, we’re older…we’re not in that marketable age group. I’m in my forties and the other guys are in their fifties. We play good music that people like but we ourselves are not really marketable. And I remember reading all of the articles written by Michael Laskow (TAXI Founder and President) who keep telling us that not everyone can be a rock star and to try and make money in other ways in this business. Well, since joining TAXI, we ‘ve become very pro-active with our music. And things are starting to happen."

With 16 original songs being pitched to TV and film companies thanks to TAXI, Ruthie promises that this year, right after celebrating her one-year membership anniversary, she’s gonna be at the Road Rally from the starting bell!

About Kenny Kerner:

Discovered and produced KISS. Also produced albums for Gladys Knight, Jose Feliciano and Badfinger. As a publicist, he represented Michael J. Fox and Jay Leno. Was the former Senior Editor at Music Connection Magazine and wrote a best-selling music education book called "Going Pro" Kerner is currently the Director of the Music Business Program at Musicians Institute in Hollywood. Specialties include Personal Management, Artist Development and Music Business.

Kenny Kerner, Musicians Institute, Director / Music Business Program, (323) 860-1122, Fax: (323) 462-6508,

See How TAXI Works

"Thanks for your constant support of my work — I'm running out of compliments for you guys!"
— James Day,
TAXI Member

"I received 5 critiques for one song and each one was right on the money. The critiques and this membership are priceless!"
— Tammy Endlish,
TAXI Member

"I would like to thank Taxi for helping me and my partner and become more polished writers."
— Liz Aday,
TAXI Member

"As writer/artists from another country, we see TAXI as the single best opportunity we have for direct exposure to the US music industry."
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TAXI Member