Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Quincy Jones

I admire Quincy Jones. He's an inspiration.

More on the inspiration part later. First, a bit of history.

Q grew up in Chicago. Moved west to Seattle and as a teenager his love for jazz and scoring music blossomed. It's also where he met his BFF, Ray Charles.

You read right, THE Ray Charles. More on that later, too.

He met, played for, scored, arranged and conducted for everybody. Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, Tony Bennett, Duke Ellington, Lena Horne and on and on...

If he'd only done that...

But, wait, there's more.

He was the first black person to score movies. In Cold Blood, The Color Purple and In The Heat Of The Night are just a few.

Plus do you remember "It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To)" by Lesly Gore? Q produced that and that's pop music. It also went to number one.

Which leads us to the thing most people know him for....the album Thriller.

Is there anyone who doesn't know at least one song from that album? Is there anyone who doesn't know the name Michael Jackson? Huge album and won a ton of Grammys. It's one of the great ones in the history of great ones and Q produced that as well.

One more thing. Remember, "Check your egos at the door?" Q produced "We Are The World."
So there's that.

Okay, a story that Quincy told me...
He was coming home late one night and his friend Marlon Brando was driving. Apparently too fast because they heard a siren and saw the blinking lights of a police car. Marlon pulled over and said to Quincy, "This is when it's fun being Marlon Brando."

The cop got out, walked to the car, and started to say, "License and registration please," but instead said, "Hey, you're Marlon Brando!" Marlon ended up giving the policeman an autograph and got off with a, "Watch your speed," and a smile. No ticket.

That's a story.

Inspiration.

Q had a brain aneurysm, his doctor told him it was the equivalent of sixteen strokes, and he almost died. Being a stroke survivor myself, I took strength from his strength. When something like that happens it's easy to say, "that's it," and retire.

Instead, he battled back, got healthy and kept on keeping on. Sounds simple and easy. It's neither.

Inspiration.

I promised you a bit more on Ray Charles and Quincy.

Ray went on to become a legend and deservedly so. Through it all Q and he were buds.

Ray said when they first met,"Quincy had a loving style about him." Ray added, "He hasn't changed a bit in all the years I've known him. He's still the same. I love him to pieces, and you can print that any way you want to.

And say Ray Charles said it."

That's a friend.




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