On a trip to Sioux Falls my Mom bought the Maynard Ferguson,“Dancing Sessions,” album for me. She said she bought it because it had a nicely dressed young man playing the trumpet on the cover photo and she thought I might like it.
I had been playing trumpet since second grade, the year that I decided that I would spend my life in music.
When I listened to Maynard for the first time, I couldn’t believe my ears. He would just scream out high notes that I didn’t even know existed. I wore the Maynard record out playing it over and over again. I got my hands on every recording of Maynard I could find and I listened to them by the hour.
I loved the way Maynard played and I wanted to play just like him.
As an incentive, my parents told me that if I got a Superior rating on my solo at the high school music contest in Platte the next year, they would buy me a trumpet just like Maynard’s.
It was a promise they would soon live to regret, as I almost drove them around the bend with my incessant practicing.
I got the Superior rating in Platte and I got a trumpet just like Maynard’s.
Maynard, without even knowing it, was a huge influence on my career.
The years went by and I made good on my second grade postulate of spending my life writing or playing music.
Then one day in 1982, over 20 years after Mom bought me the Maynard record, I was producing a recording session at Larrabee Studios in Los Angeles.We were recording the horn parts for an ad campaign. I had an 8-piece brass section made up of some of LA’s best studio musicians.
We were rehearsing the parts with the rhythm track and I was quite pleased because all was going well. The musicians were out in the studio and I was in the control room standing at the recording console with my back to the door when I heard someone say,
“Hey Gary, that sounds great do you mind if I listen in for awhile?”
I turned around to see who it was and he reached out and shook my hand and very humbly introduced himself,
“Hi, I’m Maynard Ferguson. It’s nice to meet you Gary.”
Gary Michaels is the Founder/Creative Director of MTI Studios and Gary Michaels Online Corp, (mtistudios.net, garymichaelsonline.com) With over 5,000 clients throughout the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Gary is one of the world’s leading producers of branding campaigns.