Successful TAXI member, Peter Sivo in his bedroom studio
As we were going to print with last month’s Passenger Profile of 92-year-old TAXI member Peter Sivo, Sr., we heard about two more placements of his music. While those placements would get mentioned in our Member Deals section, they piqued our interest: How many other placements had the humble Mr. Sivo not mentioned in last month’s interview?
As it turns out, quite a few!
Peter has had a bunch of great placements in really big hit TV shows, and some feature films as well. And they’re beginning to happen more and more frequently. Peter Sivo is fast becoming a “rock star!”
We think the list that follows would get any songwriter or composer of any age excited. For a 92-year-old gentleman who has patiently waited for 70 years to have his music heard by millions of people, we think it’s nothing short of extraordinary!
Here is a list of placements we found by digging deeper. There might be even more placements that we missed. We also have little doubt that the incredible Mr. Sivo has even more cool placements of his very special music on the near horizon.
See last month’s interview (in full) immediately following this updated list. Congratulations again Peter. All of us at TAXI are so proud of you, and truly grateful that we got to play a role in making your lifelong dream come true!
- “This Is Ours” was placed in FX’s hit TV show, American Horror Story.
- “Love of No Return” placed in HBO’s hit show, Girls, episode 408, which should air in March, 2015.
- “I Don’t Want Your Kind Of Love” was used in NBC’s hit show, Parenthood.
- “The Sixty Four Thousand Dollar Question” was used in the season finale of the FX mega-hit TV show, American Horror Story.
- “Too Many Times” was also used in the season finale of the FX mega-hit TV show, American Horror Story.
- “This is Ours,” will be used in episode 102 of ABC’s new show Agent Carter.
- “I Don’t Want Your Kind of Love,” will also be used in ABC’s Agent Carter.
- “Come My Love,” was used in A&E's hit show Bates Motel in episode 206.
- Two songs of unknown titles have been placed on New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel on Fox.
- Two songs of unknown titles were used the TV show Ben & Kate on Fox.
- “Come My Love” was used in the feature film, Loitering With Intent, starring Oscar winning actress, Marisa Tomei.
- “Just Because You Loved Me” was used in Lifetime’s Witches of East End.
- “Katrina” used in Disney’s hit feature film, Million Dollar Arm.
Thanks for doing this interview, Peter! All of us at TAXI are very proud of you for finally realizing your dream of getting your music heard by millions at your age, which I should point out to our readers, is 92 years young! But, we’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to go back to what you told me in an email recently – you actually danced to Benny Goodman playing live back in the 1940s. Tell us about that!
Back in the late 1930s and early 1940s, all the major theaters had stage shows. Big bands were a major attraction. I used to hitchhike to New York City and Philadelphia to see them. In the Atlantic City Beautiful Ballroom, a quarter of a mile out of the Atlantic; on the Steel Pier is where I danced to most of them. I also danced to some bands at the Med du Brooks Club in New Jersey. I don’t think I ever missed a day.
What year were you born?
Do you come from a musical family?
No, I’m the only member of the family that played music.
How old were you when you started playing music, and what was your first instrument?
I was 12 years old when I began to play, and the piano was my first instrument.
What instruments do you play now?
To this day, the only thing I really play is piano or other keyboards that I need to create my music.
How old were you when you began to compose or write songs?
I was just 15 years old when I started to compose my own music. I got my very first copyright in 1938!
When did you do your first recordings?
The first time I ever recorded anything was in 1940, and I recorded the song in a music store on a device that used cut glass as the recording medium.
Did you have more players on those early recordings, or was it just you?
Did you pitch your music to record labels back then?
No, for me, music was just a hobby, and it’s still a hobby for me to this day.
How did you first learn about TAXI, and how long have you been a member?
I don’t remember exactly when I first heard about TAXI, but I think I’ve been a member since at least 1995.
Did you ever think it would become the vehicle for getting your old master recordings singed to a publisher in the 2000s, and eventually start getting placements in some great TV shows?
Tell us about some of those placements.
First of all, let me say up front so you can better understand that my music was just a hobby for me. I never had to buy food or pay any bills from my music earnings. I’ve had a successful career in industrial management.
My relatives and friends all told me how good my music was, but I would say their opinions were too kind. I needed to know if my music was really professional, and then along came your great idea, TAXI – to have songs screened by knowledgeable experts. Wow, just what I needed! So I jumped on board!
Getting my music forwarded by TAXI’s A&R team gave me the answer I needed. After some time, I had over 200 forwards, and some deals were offered to me, but I turned down many of them because they wouldn’t split the publisher’s share with me. Some of my songs were actually forwarded three or four times! Most of the music that was forwarded was Latin and Jazz instrumentals, so I created a studio orchestra – “El Toque Latino Orchestra” and “Peter Sivo Band,” and so far, I’ve put out seven albums that are distributed by CD Baby. I’m very happy that my music is now getting heard by people all over the world.
I would not have done this without all the forwards by TAXI. A publisher heard my third album, “Romantica,” and offered me a great 50/50 contract for all 14 songs. Two have been placed on New Girl (FOX); two on Ben & Kate (FOX); and one on Disney’s movie, Million Dollar Arm. I just mailed in the contracts for five more songs with another great publisher I met by submitting to a TAXI listing. I’ve now got 38 pieces of music that are published. Thanks TAXI!
Editor’s note: Here’s an excerpt from a Member Deals email we sent out in January of 2014, that gives even more information on another one of Peter’s placements!
“Back in August, 2013, the CEO of a Music Library that got Peter's music through a TAXI listing, entered into a $12,500 contract for his back catalog! Since then, the Library has placed Peter’s song “Come My Love” on the A&E network's Hit TV Show Bates Motel in Episode 206, which is scheduled to air sometime in Spring 2014!
The Music Library loves Peter, and boasted that he is the ‘youngest 90-year-old composer’ they know. They went on to state that ‘his alacrity, passion for music and kindness come through in his emails, and we are looking forward to getting Peter more placements!’ How exciting! Congratulations, Peter, we're all very happy for you, and proud to have helped you become successful with your music!”
How did you feel the first time you heard that you got a placement?
[For me] it was always [about] the TAXI forwards—that was really my goal. I just wanted to know if my music was good or not! The placements are icing on the cake, and they make me feel great! It’s similar to how I felt when Tex Beneke, Chief Petty Officer, who was fronting one of the Glenn Miller service bands, and he used two of my arrangements in 1942. But that’s another story!!!!
Have you seen any of the TV shows that have had your music in them?
No, I haven’t!
Are you still writing and composing new music today?
Yes, but it’s limited by my health. I’m in my 90s!
What genres do you mostly work in?
Latin, Jazz, and Pop. I only write and record instrumentals now.
Do you have a home studio that you run yourself?
Yes, like many TAXI members, I have a studio in my bedroom – 16 tracks.
How did you learn to run the gear? Most people of your age would probably find that to be a huge technological challenge! Heck, we know people who are half your age that have a hard time with the tech stuff!
I read the manuals, and my son Peter Sivo, Jr. has been very helpful in helping me learn how to use the gear.
Do you have any advice for other songwriters or composers who are reading this?
Join TAXI. I don’t think saying “Thank You” to TAXI is enough, so let me repeat my philosophy: Living life is like eating a watermelon—you must spit out the seeds if you want to enjoy the fruit, and TAXI has given me more fruit to enjoy. And I am!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, we certainly like that advice! And thank you so much for doing this interview Peter. All of us at TAXI are very proud of you, happy for you, and we wish you continued success for many, many more years to come!
Here are a couple of Peter’s TV placements: