Tonight I was rereading some parts of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. I needed some encouragement so I normally pick up one of my many self-help books to get my mojo back. The first two chapters of the book talk about how you must have a BURNING DESIRE to achieve a goal in order for the goal to become reality. That started me thinking about myself.
I started out as a teenager in my father’s band, Electric Image, over three decades ago. This is me and some of the band members with my mom. I cannot tell you what year this is! 🙂 R.I.P Donald “Bird” Bryant and my mother Joyce Vick…
Back then I was a nervous kid who didn’t trust her own ability but I always knew I wanted to be on stage. I hadn’t been on stage in that capacity before so my stage presence sucked and my voice was very green. Needless to say, I didn’t feel very good about myself. I was in that band until I was about 30. During that time, of course I got a lot better but I still didn’t really trust myself.
It wasn’t until I was about 35 that I joined another local band called Rhythm Express. Here’s a flashback…
I became close friends with the bass player in that band. He stopped and looked at me one day and said “What are you doing? Why are you in this band? You should have your own!” And he repeated it so often that I started to believe it. Eventually, he and I left that band and started mine together. I was about 39 by then and had finally begun to believe that I had the talent and the business savvy to pull something like this off. TOOK LONG ENOUGH! This was around 2015….
I decided to make a CD. Along with that same bass player, we created a 10 song really roughly produced CD called “Can’t Stop Me”. I did it myself but I’m not a music engineer. But, it was decent enough to get folks to listen to it so I set out to perform my originals and some covers live. I hit the Southern Soul circuit first but was encouraged by my good friend DJ Heavy, that I should go for Beach Music too, although he was booking me for Southern Soul gigs at the time. They are very similar so I thought, what the hell?
Obviously, since I was just starting out, these were very lean times! I decided to quit my job and focus solely on music. When I say I was broke… I WAS BROKE! I couldn’t really afford to keep good musicians because I couldn’t pay what they wanted. We did catch a break once when East Coast Entertainment took us on and gave us a gig. I thought “Finally, we can make some money.” Well, that quickly went south when three of my musicians didn’t show up for that gig. East Coast dropped us immediately and I was never given another shot.
Man, did I want to quit! But something told me I couldn’t do that. I just couldn’t. So, I kept rolling and got a couple gigs at Deckerz down in North Myrtle Beach, where the Beach Music scene is huge. Somewhere along the way, I ran into Mr. Neal “Soul Dog” Furr. He was an extremely popular DJ down in NMB who somehow took a liking to me. He said I reminded him of a younger Ms. Jody! (This wasn’t the last time I would hear that.) He started playing some of my songs on his show. Here we are…
He invited me down to the Carolina Beach Music Awards in 2016, stuck an artist tag around my neck and acted as my tour guide in North Myrtle Beach. He took me around to meet more musicians, and I was allowed to do guest spots at Deckerz and the Spanish Galleon. I was allowed backstage at the awards and everything! It was great! Here’s me at the Galleon! If you want to see more images from that trip, head over to my Photos.
In talking to him one day I explained my goal to be one of the most popular bands in Beach Music. He said, “Beach bands with female leads don’t usually do too well.” I said, “They haven’t met me.” He smiled and said, “That’s true!” R.I.P. Neal Furr. You are missed.
That has been my mantra from that day forward. If anyone tells me what I can’t do in this business….THEY HAVEN’T MET ME! I went from doing free gigs whenever someone gave me a shot and losing musicians left and right to being choosy about what gigs I want to take now and having a wonderful group of musicians that have become like family.
I am so thankful for the journey and all of the experiences I’ve had. Seven years out here on my own and I’ve been nominated for a few awards in Southern Soul and my fan base is growing every day on both sides, BUT it’s not over yet. My goal is STILL to be at the TOP of both Beach Music AND Southern Soul.
There are venues that I have yet to play. There is still more money to be made. (Doing OK but there is still A LOT of room for improvement!) I know that to get where I want to be that I cannot stop. I will not stop. I guess you could say I have a BURNING DESIRE.
That is my two cents for today. Thanks for reading y’all and keep on listening…. Until next time…. And who knows when that will be?