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  • gary0053

Hello World!

It's been a while since that picture below.

That's me, my boy Nate, the great Stevie Wonder, and an eye doctor/specialist from USC whose name escapes me.

We all spent a morning with him on live radio at KJLH in Ingle Wooooooooood. Nate (my production partner, classmate and friend from Berklee) and I had just recently met Stevie backstage a few weeks before that, when I ended up basically opening for Stevie himself at a gig in North Hollywood. It was Stevie's birthday that night, and I was a featured act as part of the celebration. Stevie showed up after my set and surprised everyone by sitting in with the house band—part of what turned out to be a birthday celebration for Stevie-fricken Wonder I'll never forget. I was in the audience by the time he went on. Nate and I watched from the balcony with permanent smiles plastered on our. faces. It's a personal highlight for obvious reasons. All things musical, at least in my world, lead back to Stevie. End stop.

It's been a while since this picture here too:

That was me singing as part of the Andrae Crouch choir at Michael Jackson's funeral memorial in the Staples Center.

We (the Andrae Crouch choir—that's them back in the day in the Like a Prayer music video) were supposed to back up MJ in the studio and record choir parts on his new record he'd been working on that year. A small group of us, along with our leader and choir founder/gospel legend, the great Mr. Andrae Crouch, had even met with Michael a couple of times to go over parts, once at this iconic rehearsal studio in Burbank and then again at an undisclosed location (until the very last minute), a very swank mansion somewhere in the Hollywood Hills.

That was a fun year, up to that point. We even recorded as a choir with this cool cat on this record. You can hear us come in at around the 2 minute mark and then throughout the rest of the song. Yes, that's us faking British accents on the chant parts.

And then, the day the music died happened all over again, and we were all sad. The world was sad.

I still bob my head whenever any of his music comes on. May his memory be for a blessing.

Pastor Crouch, his sister Sandra, the choir, the entire Crouch family were so kind to me, especially for including me, a relatively inexperienced newbie, during that little stretch of time when I got to sing with some gospel greats and take some small part in music history. I'll always be grateful. Rest in peace Pastor Crouch.

It's good to be back writing, sharing. creating.

- Gary

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