Below is a video where I explain how I became the first non-signed artist on iTunes through CD Baby.
Transcript of what I said in the video:
This is the really condensed version of how I became the first non-signed artist on iTunes.
Derek Sivers started a little company called CD Baby a bunch of years ago in order to help independent musicians sell their music on the web. I didn’t want him to sell my music when he first contacted me. So he actually hounded me for four months before I finally relented and started selling CDs on his website.
CD Baby was originally more of a Windows, Linux, kind of a platform and I’ve always been an Apple guy. Any time there was an issue with the website I would contact Derek and have him try to fix it, so that it would work for Apple customers.
Over the course of a few years Derek and I got to be really good friends. One day a few years ago I was driving down to the NAMM show in LA and Derek called me while I was driving in my car. He calls up and he says “Guess where I am?” And I throw out a couple of random answers and Derek is like “No. It’s not there. No, it’s not there.” And eventually he tells me that it’s Cupertino and he’s about to meet Steve Jobs at Apple.
So I’m like “Fuck You.” (laughter). Because I’ve always wanted to meet Steve and unfortunately as we now know, Steve is no longer around. And the reason he was up there is because Apple wanted to bring in the CD Baby catalog to the iTunes catalog. So that they could pump up their numbers and make them sound really big. Because everyone wanted to have a million tracks and nobody had it with all the major label songs.
A couple of months later Derek calls me up again and he says “Are you in front of your computer?” And I say “Yes I am.” I type in the URL that he gives me and low and behold it is a little special place on CD Baby to find out how you can fill out all of your information to send your music to iTunes. I filled out the information. I hit send and Derek calls me back and says “Congratulations. You are the very first person in the database going to iTunes!” And I’m like yeah. Actually I didn’t actually do that, but it felt like I needed to say that just now.
The next step was to wait around until the music actually got uploaded to iTunes. Unfortunately Apple was dragging their feet and Derek was having problems with a guy by the name of Moses Avalon, who was creating all kinds of trouble.
Couple of months later, Derek calls me up again and he says “I’m thinking I want to dump the whole digital distribution thing. Because all I ever wanted to do was sell CDs.” And I’m like, “Derek, you don’t want to do that dude. Digital distribution is the future.”
The decision was made to stick with the digital distribution. Derek decided that it would be a wise idea to return everybody’s money. In the end, what ended up happening was, Derek returned everybody’s money and people still got to go to iTunes through CD Baby. And I ended up being the very first person in the database to go to iTunes.
And that is how you are now able to get on iTunes. Thanks to a guy like me.
A little update for my side project known as Don’t Kick The Baby…
Turns out that now the rest of the variations of Go Get The Goal are now available on iTunes and many of your other favorite digital superstores. I’m not sure how soon it will be gracing the streams of Spotify, Deezer and the like, but I’m sure it will be soon if it’s not already.
Make sure you tell your Soccer loving friends Stateside that they can get their favorite team’s version for the MLS. For all my friends across both ponds, all of England and Australia football teams are covered at the moment for their main leagues. More leagues coming soon. As are versions for foreign language teams as well.
Viva La Football, Viva La Soccer. <– not sure that’s the right phrase but roll with it anyway.
I got an email recently. One from someone who had seen a movie that was released mid year last year. The movie in question actually has me scratching my head about one of the supposed stars in the film. As it turns out, a song that I had a hand in writing and performing called “Happy When I’m With You” was in this movie. In a way, I could say it’s lucky music in a movie.
The flick is called Lucky. It’s main star is Colin Hanks. Son of Tom Hanks. Other stars include Jeffery Tambor, Mimi Rogers, Ari Graynor, and Ann-Margaret. If I were prone to playing the Sesame Street game of which one of these is not like the other, it would be Mimi Rogers. Why? Well, quite frankly due to the fact that she is credited with a starring roll and I couldn’t find her in a single moving image in the movie. That’s pretty Lucky if you ask me.
Music can often make or break a film. While I would like to think the song I co-wrote in the film made the movie, it did fit very well and didn’t break it. How it got in was a little strange and how it got credited was a bit of a mistake. See, I did write the song with Johnny Elkins. I did perform all the instruments (except for the drums, they were done by my buddy Donny Gruendler). I did sing the song. Where it names the artist performing it should have said: The Pieces. Somehow it got credited to me – Jody Whitesides. Additionally, it got credited with the wrong title too.
I’m not trying to hide from something I created. It was an agreement Johnny and I had that it would go out as a band name rather than a solo artist. Despite that, somewhere along the line, there was miscommunication on the credits part and I got named. Not the end of the world. Oh well.
Getting back to the original first line here. Someone wrote me an interesting email. In it, he had stated how he tried to find the song on iTunes, Amazon, and other digital sites and could not find it. Then he went on to explain how he tried to find it on YouTube, other places and then pirate sites. All to no avail. He likened it to a search of Bigfoot and Nessie. This made me chuckle and I was flattered. Flattered that someone would go to such lengths to find a song from a movie.
Needless to say the song was not released on a soundtrack. Johnny and I never thought of releasing the song. It’s a catalog type of track, that wasn’t really intended for sale. However, I loved the email so much and I felt this fan really wanted the song. So we made an agreement. He sent a $1 and I got him a copy of the song for his very own.
I’m going to guess that you’re reading this post right now having searched for Happy When I’m With You as co-written and performed by Jody Whitesides. Which means you’ve seen the movie and now wondering where you can obtain a copy of that song. Which to me is lucky music in a movie. You can contact me and I’ll work it out with you on how to get the song. I also appreciate that you want to purchase it and not pirate it. That means the world to me.