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The Woodshed: Being original

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JJ Rocks Article # 122: Being original
This article was written when Dorothy and I were visiting record company legend Joe Mansfield for 10 days at his home in Nashville.  
As I sit here behind the desk of the man who is responsible for the success of Garth Brooks and countless others, I am pondering over something that he told me earlier while we were having breakfast with Michael Jacksons manager Frank Dileo. It was when I was comparing a country singer who lives here in St. Croix to an already famous artist. He said we are not looking for another Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, or Alan Jackson. They already exist. We want a singer who has their own style This is something that I have always thought about, but it never seemed so real as it did that Sunday morning coming from a true record company legend.

That also applies to the kids (and adults) out there who are trying to play their instruments like their heros. Yes, you should learn from accomplished musicians and singers, but when it gets to the point that people are saying things like That person sounds just like my favorite recording star, thats when the want to be star should to try to find themselves. Face it, anyone who plays decent guitar or sings in tune should be able to copy any lick out there if they slow it down and keep trying. Success in the record industry comes with finding new directions, not just mimicking your heroes like a parrot waiting for a cracker. So if you want to tell someone that they are great, first be sure that they are truly being original.

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