Thursday, December 8, 2011

Always Give Your Best - A valuable lesson Hawaii's "Lady of Love" taught me

"Always give your best", We can all agree this is sound advice. We all have all heard this peice of advice at some point and time. As with most great things, the concept is always easier than the actual act. How often during the day do you truly give your best?

One of the best "real life"examples of this philosophy for me was on Maui back in late 1998. I was working for a sound company that handled most of the sound requirements for Loyal Garner. Loyal was dubbed Hawaii's "Lady of Love" for her always heartfelt stage show and her amazing voice. As Wayne Harada once put it "On the Island music scene, Loyal Garner was the essence of love. She preached it, she believed in it, she lived it."

Most of her shows were big events, but this one was set for a family and a few of their close friends. I've forgotten their name but will never forget their party. They were celebrating their anniversary, and the husband set up this whole function. The wife was a huge Loyal Garner fan. She had all her albums and they always tried to book their vacations to Hawaii to coincide with a Loyal show. ( Keep in mind this is all pre Facebook, Twitter, iTunes and smart phone technology, when you had fans booking vactions around your performance schedule, you earned them the hard way.)

The husband set the scene - Loyal hid back stage with a wireless microphone. Her band played a few songs with out her, posing as a regular local band. Then the Husband got up and made a heart felt speech thanking everyone for coming and thanking his wife for all those memorable years. Then he says "Honey, I know you love Loyal, I tried everything to get her here, but she was booked for other shows." He then holds up a picture of Loyal and says "This is the closest thing I could get to the real thing". At that moment the band starts on Loyal's Music and Loyal comes out singing. His wife started crying tears of joy and they danced together that first song that Loyal sang. Amazing!!

What I noticed after Loyal had finished her show was that the 15 or so people in the audience got the same show, anybody would have gotten if it was a huge concert or more prestigious event. They got the best of Loyal. They got her heart. It didn't matter how much she was getting paid, It didn't matter who was there or what the event was. She always gave her best!


Time and time again we read about developing the artist / fan connection as the goal of marketing music today. Creating true fans and building a relationship with them. Loyal did it all with out social media. Funny, even with social media today the expert advice is in tune with what Loyal did instinctively. I guess no matter what new technology there is, the fundamentals always remain relevant.

She may have sang in front of thousands and thousands of people, but what mattered to her, was that she touched every single one of their hearts.


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