Growing up in a household of singers with music as an expression of life caused me to earmark the story of my life with musical songs and their lyrics. When I was a baby, my aunt would come home from singing jazz all night, to sing to me Patti Page’s “With My Eyes Wide Open I’m Dreaming.” It was my childhood lullaby. My aunt was a gospel singer as well as being a jazz singer. My mother was a gospel singer. Both my grandparents were a cappella gospel music teachers. Music was in my blood and it became the footprint of my human story.
I grew up singing gospel and jazz, rhythm and blues, classical music and the blues. I grew up to understand the stories and the notes of loving the music carried. The pregnant breaths and the long-held notes created my world of sounds and words. I spent my early childhood staying up all night watching Busby and Berkeley 1940 musicals. The musicals soothed my soul and allowed me to dream in song and dance. When my life was not going right, I had the world of creative drama based in musical sound to transport me and my soul to a place of serenity.
My grandfather was a storyteller, a crafter of words. He would spend hours telling me stories of Africa and how the world was created, books of the bible and the truth of their parables. Sometimes when we were fishing he would tell the tales of him leaving his family to travel across the country so he could be a part of a team of people holding tent revivals in the 1930’s. He had the honor to be the musical director, he would tell me. I held on to his every word. I believed in his tenor voice, his sense of cadence, lyrical images flowing from his mouth. I enjoyed his song of life and I enjoyed his passion for freedom. It was the freedom of the mind and spirit which engaged me to release the power of my dreams.
Songs of the 1960’s gave me even more permission to seek and find personal and artistic freedom. Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Last Poets, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Dinah Washington, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Redbone, Tower of Power, Wilson Pickett, Creedence Clearwater Revival, David Bowie…
The Supremes, The Doors, The Byrds, The Who, Roy Orbison, Chubby Checker, Van Morrison, The Mamas and the Papas, Chicago Transit Authority, Chaka Khan, Ben E. King, The Temptations, Sly and the Family Stone, Steppenwolf, Sam Cooke and so many more created a narrative which fed my feelings, my hopes and dreams.
“Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding called and directed me to my city of transformation, when I decided to run away to San Francisco to find my personal and emotional freedom. The melodic sound of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” allowed me to remember I was loved before I moved to the city of love. It reminded me of the universal story of love that flows through our human lives in our DNA.
When my dreams seemed like a distant possibility, almost too far away to be true, I needed some words of encouragement, the melodic power of the words of Sam and Dave’s hit song, “Hold on I’m Coming.” Again, the story of my life was being told to me through words and music.
It was a message, a reminder to believe and I was not alone.
After I arrived in the city of love “Piece of my Heart” by Big Brother and the Holding Company reminded me of the truth of valuing my dreams, my passion to share my heart and soul to the world, as an artist and a human being. I knew that to be the truth when I listened to the words and lyrics of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” I knew I would grow into myself, as my mother would say. I knew the growth and the allowance of my inner being to be present for my artistic evolution was my ticket to my emotional and creative growth.
All I have to do was to be present and stay dedicated to my development and I knew I would find the pathways that would complete the journey I have embarked on. The echoes of Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” kept my ears and heart filled with hope and faith.
I had taken a chance to move to San Francisco with my dreams in my backpack, along with a few clothes and the support of my old and new friends. As the lyrics of one of my favorite Beatles song goes, “…I get by with the help of my friends…I get high with the help of my friends.”
I had left southern California, my family, and friends, my band called the Family where I was the lead singer, to become a solo journey kind of guy, a gypsy with no home. I had always been a tribe person, a family person, but I wanted something different for myself, I wanted to be authentically free in my creativity and spirit. There were so many highs and lows, as well as many levels and opportunities to fly high in the moments of playing, growing and sharing the alchemy of being a true flower child, living in the present moment of life.
In those days I learned to trust the process of life, allowing the lessons of life to speak to me and guide me to understand the gifting of life unfolding. I learned to wait to become aware of the story of life so readily available to show a new pathway of living.
I learned to be a poet and a storyteller as I began to understand the value of my individual voice and the possibilities of rhythmic phrases and lines. I performed on the streets, in coffee houses, galleries, performing solo, a cappella and with live musicians. My tears, fears and dreams became stories and the stories became performances, chance meetings of the heart and mind that evolved into performance art/spoken word/spoken song. I found my voice in San Francisco and I have not been quiet since.
My music, songs, the words of my heart and spirit have marked my pathway and illustrated the story of my life and I am eternally grateful. I am an expressive form of unfolding, even after all these years. The freedom of human expression has been my personal freedom.
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Playlists can create memories and moods of all kinds. They are the most powerful medium in music. Streaming music companies spend millions developing algorithms and hiring teams of curators to create them, millions of people tap play on them each day. We get your music heard by independent music curators that manage playlists on Spotify.
Our mission is about helping artists create momentum in this new music industry model. We locate highly involved and enthusiastic fans who will stream, save and even buy music. We do that by locating listeners and getting you on their playlists. We are influencers and growers. Our model involves finding synergies and cross-promotion opportunities between artists and curators. We are the people behind that curator’s online success, the team helping them scale their music platform, growing their playlists and making a career out of their channel.
A playlist is one of the most intimate things you can share with someone. Thanks for allowing me to share with you. Let me know how I can help you get your music intimately played and known.