Terry Gorka

Terry Gorka
Songwriter / Composer / Producer


In 1964 at age 12, Terry saw and heard The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. He told his parents he was finished with the formal piano lesson and wanted to play guitar and be in a band. A year later he started his first group called The Apollos. This morphed into The Ritual of Sound and then The Ritual. They were mainly a southern California cover band playing songs by The Doors, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Buffalo Springfield – as well as others. Within a couple of years he started writing his own songs and in 1966 was offered his first recording deal which he didn’t sign.  A decade later he signed with Warner Bros. publishing and WEA Records for a one album deal. The record didn’t do much but one of the tracks made it onto an American movie.  He spent the majority of his time travelling around the world and playing live gigs 6 or 7 nights a week, working in record stores and teaching private music lessons.

In 1985 he moved to London and got a rude awakening when he realized how difficult it was to break into the mainstream music biz there. He told one interviewer at an early pitch to find a publisher, “I’m from the US.” The publisher’s candid replay was, “So what?” Terry persevered and landed a deal with Carlin Music Publishers where he collaborated and produced a number of great songs for a variety of pop artists including Sarah Cracknell (Saint Etienne), Judy Boucher, Cossi and many more. He was also involved in club remixes and developing young songwriters for Carlin.

He finally made it back to the US where he settled in Chicago and changed directions working with ad agencies like Leo Burnett (Kelloggs, McDonalds, Budweiser) writing and producing music for commercials. He also discovered the new indie sounds of bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and worked with the talented indie songwriter, actor and vocalist, Lee Sellars, producing a number of notable tracks including, “Me and You”, “In the Dark” and “Just Like Angels.”

After nearly 20 years on the road Terry returned to southern California where the sun is always shining and it never rains … but there are a few fires and earthquakes to keep you on your toes. Truth is he was a broken man at that point … despite his best efforts he had never gotten to the A Level of the music biz and, worse still, he wasn’t proud of how he had treated those around him to try and make a name for himself. But things fell into place rather quickly once he came to grips with the reality that you can’t do anything about yesterday but if you do things right today it will mean for much better tomorrows. He walked away from the music business for the next 15 years.

At the urging of his wife he took some time off in 2010 and wrote and produced about a song a week. These were mostly personal. Thanks to an online A&R service – TAXI Music – he learned about the modern business, digital products, and most importantly, collaboration with musicians, vocalists and producers.

Between 2014 and 2019, Terry and his team of collaborators have signed more than 500 licenses which are used as source music on the major American television networks as well as cable television stations, movies, commercials, etc.