I grew up in Southern California singing and playing piano along with AM radio to sounds of the Beach Boys, Four Seasons, Motown and the country music that was crossing over.
In 1964 we moved to Hollywood and I joined a garage band, Raga and the Talas. We released a single, “My Group and Me” on legendary Liberty Records. Produced by Jackie DeShannon, her family was originally from Kentucky and I was exposed to the music of Lefty Frizzle, Hank Williams, Bob Wills, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson and so many others.
In 1969 I went into the army and to Viet Nam where I was music director for Command Military Touring Shows, a branch of Special Services providing entertainment for the troops. I performed in and produced bands who flew out in helicopters like in the film Apocalypse Now, performing on makeshift stages.
In the mid ’70s I returned to school and received a master’s degree in Music Composition from USC. I wrote an opera as my thesis. Songs that I had written with Jackie were eventually recorded by various artists including Elton John drummer, Nigel Olson, Kelly Garrett and Jackie herself.
Fresh out of school I formed Raw Meat, a Zappa-ish band, with my buddy PR Paul, who was on the television show Fame at the time. We were the principal writers of the songs and had a cello player in that band which was unique at the time. We played hundreds of shows in the LA scene.
AND THEN In 1984 I met the love of my life, Cathy, and we married and started a family. I began writing music for television commercials and various projects, while always keeping fingers in music we started a real estate company to help support our growing family. Just as my parents did, we insisted both kids play instruments. I took five years off to grow our ever more successful real estate business and I would coach the kids with their music lessons. It made me realize how much I missed music. I teamed up with poet and spoken word artist, Stephen Kalinich, cowriter of many songs with Brian and Dennis Wilson. We are still writing together three decades later.
Earl Brown, who played Dan Dority on the HBO show Deadwood invited me to join a band he was assembling – Sacred Cowboys. It was the perfect fit, giving me a new platform to write and perform with great musicians. He coincidently is also from Kentucky and our material is Americana. All of my history had come full circle.
We recorded an album which was mixed at Blackbird Studios in Nashville by Dave Ferguson, famed engineer to Johnny Cash and most recently Sturgill Simpson. We opened for Big and Rich, Gretchen Wilson, David Allan Coe among many others and played Stagecoach at Coachella. We are currently working on another album.
In the fall of 2015 Cathy and I fulfilled a long time dream – we bought a one-acre ranch in NE Los Angeles. I converted the guest house into a recording studio and the music continues……