I grew up in Memphis, TN in the 1950's and 60's. I started piano lessons at age five and church youth choir somewhere in there. I started playing percussion in the seventh grade and, two years later, joined the Memphis Youth Symphony Orchestra, on tympani. At Memphis State University, I majored in Music Performance and subbed for my instructor, occasionally. I dropped out of school and went to Boston to teach drums, theory, and ear training at the Berklee College of Music. I went on the road with "Ain't Misbehavin'" for a year and after that, I went to Germany for a year and toured with various jazz groups playing drums.
A short digression, if I may. My wife came to me for drum lessons in 1972 and we have been together since. She would join me on the road, when possible, but being separated probably had a lot to do with her sticking with me.
My wife and I moved to Charlotte in 1983 and, on a lark, I took the course "Tuning and Repairing Old Uprights" at Central Piedmont Community College in 1987-88. After completing the course, I passed my Guild Exams and became a Registered Piano Technician. Eugenia Carter was on a panel of three examiners for two of my three exams. She was the tuner/technician for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra at the time and asked me if I would sub for her with the CSO. I jumped on the opportunity and she mentored me for fourteen years. Gena died February 4th of 2004 and I was asked to stay on as the tuner/tech for the CSO and Blumenthal Center for the Performing Arts. I actually took over in March of 2003 after Gena was in a serious wreck and cancer was found.
I took that opportunity to stop playing drums and the music community is still celebrating. My wife had some health issues in June of 2014, but seemed to be doing well so I started the 14/15 season. By March 2015, it was obvious that I needed to be home more so I resigned from the CSO and Blumenthal. I concentrate on homes and churches, now.