Sponsored by Alfred Music.
Charlie Gracie's hit song "Butterfly" topped the American and British music charts in 1957, selling over three million copies. His hits in the late '50s propelled him to appearances on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, The Ed Sullivan Show and some of the largest venues in the U. S. and abroad. Gracie was part of the birth of rock & roll, and his style influenced artists in rock history, including the Beatles, Cliff Richard, Van Morrison, Graham Nash, Chubby Checker and others.
We recently sat down with Gracie to get expert advice for success from the legend himself. Here are his top five tips for launching a successful career as a performer:
1) Be studious. It is vital that you seriously study and learn from as many talented and experienced professional performers as you can. Channel what you learn into your own practice.
2) Be original. Do not try to copy someone else. We've all had our musical heroes growing up. Be the best version of yourself, because no one else can!
3) Be versatile. You can survive and make a very good living in this field if you can play all kinds of music and entertain people from all walks of life. It’s all about experience.
4) Be accessible. Don't go to gigs to play just for yourself—satisfy your audience and ensure they go home happy after your performances. If you’ve done that, you’ve done your job.
5) Be timeless. The phenomena of overnight stardom is nice, but there is still no substitute for seasoned talent—the real thing—which takes time and a long term commitment.
For more on Charlie Gracie, check out Rock & Roll’s Hidden Giant from Alfred Music.