TAXI Member Composes for The Oprah Winfrey Show

By Rachel Laskow
taxi member oprah winfrey show
When Dave Walton first joined TAXI in 2004, he had a plan: get a deal on network TV in eight months. But it didn't take Dave long to realize that he might need a little more time than that.

As a composer, Dave spent his first year as a TAXI member getting his music up-to-date. "Being away from music for quite awhile, I was stuck in the '70s. The critiques said I was outdated and helped me modernize and get a grip on what I needed to do," said that 49-year-old musician.

During his second year, his music was forwarded more often, and it was during his third year that he reached his goal of scoring deals. For Dave, it was worth the wait. Through a TAXI Dispatch listing, he landed a contract with a management company that represents a small group of composers and acts as the conduit between the composers and Harpo Productions, Oprah Winfrey's company.

"I was overwhelmed [when I found out about the deal]. For the next week, I couldn't tell anyone. I thought it was an expended version of Punk'd. It took a while for it to sink in," he said.

Dave's contract is a three-year automatically renewable contract, and he can continuously provide music to the company. The management company sends project requests to Dave and their other composers on staff; then the composers submit their music. Dave's first project was to write music for an upcoming special episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show in which Oprah Winfrey and friend Gayle King take a road trip across America. Seven of his tracks will appear in the fall show.

"I would have been thrilled to get one to two tracks in a show like this," Dave said.

He attributes his success to TAXI, which he joined because of the critiques. "There is no other place I can go to to have people who know music look at my music," he said.

Another reason Dave joined TAXI was because of his location. He lives in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, a college town about 100 miles south of St. Louis. Because of his location, when he joined TAXI, Dave didn't have a sense of what the TV and movie industries were looking for and how he compared to other composers.

"It's kind of a surreal situation. I'm a regular guy. I live in an unheard of place. TAXI and technology flatten the world... TAXI brought the whole industry within touching distance," he said.

See How TAXI Works

"Your dedication and hard work never ceases to amaze me."
—Jimmy Clark,
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