For Detroit-based country artist David Shelby the concept of being in the right place at the right time couldn’t have been more apropos; especially as it applied to two recently acquired endorsement deals. This past summer the Highway South recording artist was appearing at the annual NAMM show in Nashville, a large convention where instrument and gear manaufacturers show off their latest wares. This became the birthplace of his professional association with both Phaeton Trumpets and Telefunken Microphones.
“I have a degree in jazz and contemporary media from Wayne State University,” explains Shelby. “Trumpet was my first instrument and the last sideman gig I had was playing with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. I always wanted to incorporate trumpet into my live country show, but I didn’t want it to be like a ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic kinda thing. I wanted it to make sense and work. Phaeton was at the show and I started talking to Pete from the company about what I was trying to do.”
“Go to trade shows and introduce yourself. Try to get a
performance at a NAMM event."
Shelby set up a Nashville showcase with some of his friends from Bob Seger’s horn section. They arranged a brass line on one of his original songs, and when Phaeton heard that they were immediately sold.
Telefunken Microphones—a German product now made in the USA and based in Connecticut—fell into Shelby’s lap in a similar manner. “I have a lot of high overtones in my voice,” says the modern country singer. “They just came out with a new line of high performance microphones that were perfect for me. I inquired at that same NAMM show about working with them and they told me what they needed by me promoting their product.”
Shelby, who is currently supporting his latest release, Oh Yeah, offers sage advice from his experience in securing endorsements with a manufacturer. “Go to trade shows and introduce yourself. Try to get a performance at a NAMM event. Also, try to assemble a good team. Finding reputable people with good track records in this business is invaluable.” – Eric A. Harabadian