By Doug Minnick
Dear Taxi -

I am a little concerned about the organizations who are listing with your service. I have had around 35 forwards and when I get a forward, I try to look up the credentials of the listing company. Some of the forwards are huge companies like Sony or Artisan, but many of the organizations seem like real hustlers with no major credentials (or even a website). What is going on here? I hope you will address this question in your next listing report or in Recording magazine, as I am growing a little suspect about this organization.

No name given

Dear Anonymous,

Every company listing with Taxi offers a credible opportunity. We turn down hundreds of listings that don't meet our standards.

We identify the type of company in each listing-for example, a major label, an indie label, a small publisher, etc. etc.-so that the members can make decisions about the types of opportunities they want to pursue. If you want to pitch only to major corporations avoid listings that come from independent companies - but you may be missing a gold mine.

In my 25 years in the business, I have learned that the best opportunities often come from the smallest sources. Let me share three stories with you.

In the first couple of years that TAXI was in business, we got a call from a guy in Texas named Wilbur who was looking for Country songs for his 12 year old daughter. He told us she had no record deal, but that she was "a real good singer". We politely asked him to call back when his daughter had her record deal.

That guy was Wilbur Rimes and his daughter was LeAnn Rimes. And yes, she certainly is a real good singer.

Another story:

When I was working at Almo/Irving Music Publishing (division of A&M Records) in the early 80's, one of our staff writers asked me who I had been pitching his songs to. When I told him that I had sent them to an unknown artist who was just preparing her first album, he was furious, "Whitney Houston!?! Who the f*@# is that?! I've never even HEARD of Whitney Houston!!" he shouted.

My last story:

We used to run listings for a very small start-up company called Wind-Up Records. I got a call from an irate member who had tried to look them up on the internet and couldn't find them, and thought we had made up the listing. A few months later they put out a record by a little band from Florida called Creed.

My point? You never know who will be the next Whitney Houston, the next Wind-Up Records, the next hot producer, . . . whatever.

We run listings for people we know and/or who have credible industry experience and connections who have some real value to offer the members. Some of these companies are just one or two people. Many have no real need for a web site, and don't waste their time putting one together.

If you ever have questions about a company you've been forwarded to, just give us a call. We'll tell you what we know about them. Nobody's trying to hide anything.

Check out the following letter from a member who is getting placements from a company that has no web site:


I just wanted to update you as to my two songs that were licensed to J2R Music back in January. I received an e-mail on Saturday July 12 that my song 'Lookin' For My Baby' would be used in the ABC daytime drama 'All My Children' to be aired the following Monday, July 14. Needless to say, that sure made my weekend.

I work at a music store in Redding, Ca called Herreid's. We all gathered around a portable TV to watch the episode and sure enough, towards the end of the show in an ongoing 'Roadhouse' segment, we heard, as though coming out of a jukebox, my song playing in the background. While the segment only lasted 23 seconds, it will be a highlight of my life forever since this is my first placement. Like I've said in prior e-mails, we've had our differences over songwriting formulas but you've always had my respect as to your commitment and hard work on behalf of us songwriters.

Thanks again for all your help
David Thompson
Redding , CA

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