Jerry VandiverNashville, Tennessee, United States
North Fork Music, ASCAP
Every day I wake up anxious to write my next hit song, demo it in my studio and then pitch it to the movers and shakers in the music business in Nashville. The creativity and energy surrounding me is infectious.
I am an award winning songwriter, author, educator and owner of my own publishing company, North Fork Music, ASCAP. I came to Nashville in 1984, and, today, my songs can be heard on more than 15 million records, two of which hang on the walls of the Country Music Hall of Fame. As a singer/ songwriter/performer, I can be heard regularly at Nashville’s Blue Bird Café.
There are between 20,000 – 40,000 hopeful songwriters in Nashville at any given time. But you have to remember somebody’s going to make it, and the odds are better than the lottery!
Before I established myself as a professional songwriter, I did everything and anything to keep the rent paid and the lights on in order to get my songs out in the marketplace. I taught seventh grade science, worked as a janitor, drove a tour bus and was a sound engineer for the local public radio station.
My dedication and persistence paid off. My first major label cut, “Don’t Waste It On The Blues”, recorded by Gene Watson, reached #5 on the country charts in 1990, winning him an ASCAP Award. Since then, my songs have been recorded by such artists as Tim McGraw, Phil Vassar, Lonestar, Barbara Mandrell, Lee Greenwood and the Oak Ridge Boys, to name a few. I received multi-platinum awards for the three recordings by Tim McGraw. ASCAP and BMI have presented me with awards for most played songs, and ACM and CMA have included my songs on their Albums of the Year.
My dream of being a professional songwriter and hearing my songs on the radio has come true.
I will share with you the importance of persistence and commitment and how to believe in yourself. It is important to keep in mind that the general consensus in the songwriting industry is 10% talent and 90% persistence add up to success. There is no guarantee of a steady job or a steady paycheck in this business, and most songwriters agree you are only as big as your last hit. But for me all the challenges and uncertainties are worth the joy I experience every day when I pick up my pad and pencil and set a story to music.