The world is full of people who have dreams of playing at Carnegie Hall, of running a marathon, and of owning their own business. The difference between the people who make it across the finish line and everyone else is one simple thing: an action plan.
My favorite bands were Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep, Grand Funk Railroad. If you listen to some of my early music, you can hear it.
We never want to go into a tour and play 15 songs and say 'Enjoy.' We have messages: Number 1, follow your dreams. If I can do it, you can do it. Number 2, give your life to something. We say, 'Volunteer and add seven years to your life.' You can have your own personal ministry. The message we have is 'What do you stand for?'
I guarantee you that the people who watch 'Conan O'Brien' or who watch 'Entertainment Tonight' and probably a lot of these other programs have never heard of Operation Blessing. Maybe they have heard of UNICEF, and I'm sure they have heard of the Red Cross, but they haven't heard of this organization.
Risk means everything from being honest about your faith, to moving, to quitting a job that's paying you a fortune but it's not what's in your heart. Risking things is one of the biggest fears we have.
I grew up wanting to be a musician, but my parents were sure I would starve to death. So, they put me in physics and chemistry. That eventually blew up, and I got into radio.
I hate to say it, but Christmas as a kid was always a moneymaking venture for me. I played trumpet, and a friend of mine who played trombone and a guy who played tuba, every Christmas we'd go out for three or four days beforehand and play Christmas carols on our horns.
There is no better feeling in the universe, other than being married and having a family, than standing on stage behind a piano and having 5,000 people waving at you. You cannot bottle that.
I took the ET job because I wanted to stop traveling and they said I would only work half a day. Then I could work on music the rest of the day. They put in my contract that I wouldn't work after 1 P.M.
'Entertainment Tonight' would send me out to do interviews with musicians like Sting and Coldplay, and I was able to watch how they plan their shows. The late Jerry Garcia of Grateful Dead always had a game plan, but he also was flexible if he had to change something at the last minute.
I always wanted to be a full-time musician. Every television job I had was a means to buy a grand piano, or to put in a recording studio, or something like that.
I like writing different types of music. I like writing Christian music. I like collaborating with Christian artists. We have a Christian following. I love writing kids' music.
Most of the people interviewing me are far more square than me. I think it's the ET thing. I'm sitting there, my hair is combed, and I'm in a suit.
When I was first writing, I was writing mostly about sporting events, which was really what my assignments were. I was working on the Tour de France bike race and the Barcelona Olympic Games, and those songs tend to be very big, very bombastic-type music, which is the type of music that I love to write.
Really, at a time when they're debating when and where a nativity scene can be used, this is the kind of stuff we need to have out there - outside of the church.
There's probably a way to use that great content and to live under the radar now and then in order to reach a new audience. That's the thinking I'm talking about.
Being in music forever, I have good pitch, so I know when I'm singing in or out of tune. But the key to really good singing is just relaxing and thinking about what the song is.
After playing so many songs in churches for eight or nine years, I've learned what songs people react to. Then I just had fun with the arrangements. That's how this album came together.
Big band music, to me, it really has three key elements. First is the lyrics are really sweet, and they're just really family-friendly. The second thing is the music is jazz music, so the music is complicated enough to hold your attention for 5 or 6 million plays. That makes the songs interesting. The last part is the fact that it's danceable.
Christians, just like anybody else, want to have an impact on their lives. And if you can find music that helps you have an impact on your family, on your faith, on yourself, then that's the kind of music you want to listen to.