My dad brought us to Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. in a “nineteen sixty something” Chevrolet station wagon from the Eastern Hills of Kentucky. I was in grade school at the time. I have grown up in here in the Sunshine State and consider myself a Floridian. I am well acquainted with the beaches from Cocoa Beach to the Keys. Surfing, scuba diving, spearfishing, and fishing from my Proline Sport Fishing Boat, which I talk about my song on my Watersongs CD, “Watersongs”. These are just a few of my favorite things to do on the Indian River and at any of the number of beaches on the Treasure Coast.
My parents bought me a new Harmony 6 string acoustic guitar for Christmas when I was 5 or 6 six years old. I took a few lessons then, but mostly taught myself how to play. I got serious about playing when I was around 14 and began writing songs about that same time as well.
After graduating from Melbourne High School, I joined the U.S. Marine Corp and was stationed at Marine Barracks, Washington D.C. and Camp Lejune, North Carolina. I always carried my guitar everywhere I went. I have always been pretty versatile in my repertoire, playing songs from the 1950’s to the current day rock, blues, pop and country songs.
As a young boy in Kentucky, I have early memories of my dad singing in gospel quartets and watching one of his favorite tv shows, The Gospel Jubilee. Like most of the young moms in the late 50’s, mom loved and had a collection of all of the “rock-a- billy” cats from Johnny Ray, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee, Johnny Cash and the King, Elvis Presley. My parents influenced and always encouraged my musical interests.
After the Marine Corp, I moved to Nashville, TN and began to learn the music business. It was incredibly tough. Criticism was waiting in every office up and down 16th Ave, Nashville’s infamous “Music Row”. The experience made me a better musician, songwriter and more determined to never give up my passion, no matter where I was living.
I actually played solo gigs for $100 bucks a night in Nashville at “Tony Roma’s” in the Vanderbilt district and at the “Bungganut Pig” in Franklin, Tn. That was saying something at the time. Mostly, like everyone else, I played “songwriter nights” at places like “The Music City Cafe”, “The Broken Spoke Saloon”, “Music City Cabaret”, “Windows On The Cumberland” and a number of others. I did get to play at the famous “Bluebird Cafe” a few times and showcased at the “Wildhorse Saloon” on 2nd Avenue which may have been the highlight of my young career at the time.
I got married and she got pregnant with my daughter, Molly, who was born in Tennessee. Six months later, she got pregnant again with my son, Mac, and he was born in Kissimmee, Fl.
Yep,, that’s right, I moved back home to Florida. I might have been on the verge of music success, but decided that my children deserved the same childhood I had. I bought a home here in Vero Beach, Fl. and have been playing music at all of the water front venues up and down the Treasure Coast for 20 years. I have been the performing house musician at the Vero Beach “Mulligans Beach House and Family Restaurant” located right on the ocean for 10 years and counting. I have a fan base from all over the world due to playing to the thousands of tourists who travel to our “tropical paradise” we call home.