That said and understood, this past Christmas week (year 2014) was a fulfillment of the dream of a lifetime. Since the mid-1970's I have attempted to be a 'published' song writer. During those days I would write out the score and submit to publishers. The first piece I sent of went to the old "Crescendo Publishing" company out in Dallas, Texas (as I recall). It took the company ( after calling every 6 weeks) 13 MONTHS to decide they were not going to publish the arrangement.
In the 1980's I did a 'little better' as the predecessor to "LifeWay" publications picked up my first song and in short order, the old John T. Benson Company picked up my second piece. That was a setting of Psalm 23 which carried the title, "The Lord is My Shepherd." This was written for the Singing Churchmen of Mississippi and was later sung by their partner group, the Singing Ministers of Louisiana. During those days, although unpublished, I was privileged to write and arrange for a couple of year for the Louisiana group. Also during those days I had close to 10 choir pieces published by an upstart and short-lived company in Memphis, Agape Press.
Along the way, Jim Watson and Jim Whitmire (very successful worship ministers) used some of my material for their "Youth Choir Tours" (remember those??). Though friends may never 'see it', every time someone used my material, it was both an honor and an humbling experience.
One of my passions is to create music for the heart.
In the years 1999-2000, my writing but really picked up. Two wonderful ladies and I partnered together and sang (and recorded) much of my new material.
In recent years God has seemingly, once again, awakened the writing bug in me. However, just like always, it is frustrating to write and not have an 'outlet' for the new material. Now for the Christmas gift.
Over 35 years ago I met a man whom I have been honored to call friend for all this time. He and his wife came to more than one church to sing for us, they stayed in our home, and I visited with them. William (Bill) Traylor is his name. Over the past 35 years I have watched as he has led established artist and publishing companies and started new companies of that type, and each time he's led a company, it has experienced phenomenal success.
Back in August 2014, I finished a song that I thought had some marketability & then in October, we finished the demo - so I sent it to him. Not only did he like the song, after some conversation and connection I, FOR THE FIRST TIME, signed an song-writer's contract. I have always been a 'slow learner', but it has taken close to 40 years to fulfill this goal. I am thankful to Bill and his company for their confidence and mainly I've thankful to my Lord for keeping me focused. I just pray that over the next 3 years, I can make this confidence in me well placed. I would appreciate your prayers. This was an EXCEPTIONAL Christmas present.!
(Find a sample of the new song "Finally Home" at www.jerrywatts.net)