I met Rachel in the PETRA office in Nashville; moved there in January of 1986.
Anyway, Jesse Logan David Blocker Brown was me and Rachel's firstborn. He was born on our farm in Tennessee December 16, 1991. He's 6 yrs old now, and his drawings are nearly exactly the same hand as Nathan's early ones were . . He's learning piano, writes songs (you know - makes ‘em up) and makes up stories about fictional characters like "Jack Cactus" ("He's bigger than the earth").
Susanna Mary Gayle, whom I delivered at home, born in Springfield, Missouri April 18, 1996. She's my "spittin' image." At 22 months, she communicates in broken sentence form and "attacks" the piano.
Then we also have our newest member Sharon Bonnie Fiona, born March 25, 1998 at home here in Springfield.
My grandfather taught me guitar from the time I was 8 yrs old. I studied drums and percussion for 4 years from a man named Johnny Johnson, who taught at grandfather's store. He also taught Billy Maxwell (Keith Green/Andrae Crouch and the Disciples). I also had another percussion instructor for two years who had played in the Philadelphia Philharmonic for several years. He gave me the classic approach, along with some jazz. Grandfather also taught me to tune pianos, which I've turned to recently for a part-time livelihood.
Perhaps the strongest influences besides my father and grandfather were (1) my high school choir and music theory instructor in OKC - John Platt. He took our choir to Graz Austria in 1972 to win the International Choir Festival, in competition with professional and college choirs. The man taught me how to focus and project my voice, and implanted discipline (which I sorely needed more of). (2) my junior high and high school band instructor David Carl Price. Although I primarily played brass in the band, he liked the way I played drums and asked me to play them in a quintet with him on sax, clarinet, and oboe where we did material such as "Take Five" by Dave Brubeck, etc. This gave me tremendous confidence to take on unfamiliar music without blinking an eye.
Of course, from the time I was 8 till 15 I performed with my father in numerous "gigs," everything from company Christmas parties, to Dale Evans Rogers home for the mentally retarded, to Jaycee's conventions, where my father could make 10,000 drunk JCs pay close attention to us. I played drums and banjo while he jumped from piano to accordion to toy piano to organ. We had a regular gig at Shakey's Pizza Parlor in OKC (5 nights a week). When I was in school I only played weekends. I also had 3 different bands wherein I played drums (the H.I.S. men), guitar (the Perfect Combination) guitar and keyboards (Blues Road Junction). We did the usual "sock-hops" etc. Altogether, these events formed my eventual musical direction as a record producer.
I might also add that, at age 17 I was ordained by the Holy Spirit as a minister. The story behind this is too much to give here, but I'll say that my non-denominational preacher called me and confirmed that I should be ordained. Whereafter, I embarked upon numerous ministry opportunities with a pioneer "Jesus Music" group called SETH. We toured the country for two years playing everything from street ministry/coffee houses to "Saturday Night" church concerts for evangelism, etc. We sang in Israel in 1973 and 1974 on two "Holy Land Tours" with the Blackwood Brothers, Thrasher Bros. and Jerry, Florida Boys, Downings, and others. Needless to say we stuck out like a sore thumb playing stuff that sounded like a cross between the Carpenters, Crosby Stills and Nash, and James Taylor.
When I moved to L.A., I gave up the ministry to minister to ministers. This inadvertently made me a modern day Jonah, avoiding my original calling in lieu of a more "comfortable" career. More on the belly of the beast part later.
Although I didn't follow through with music university stuff, I have no regrets about education. Would you?
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