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Rising Notes: The Power of Perseverance in Music and Life

Lee Kennedy Playing Horizon Casino Lake Tahoe
Horizon Showroom ~ Lake Tahoe

If there's one thing the music business has taught me, it's that getting knocked down and facing rejection is part of the daily grind. At one point, the setbacks became so overwhelming that I quit music altogether. I sold everything and didn't sing a single note for almost 15 years. Looking back, that was a mistake.

We've all faced challenges in life. It's not about how many times we get knocked down; it's about how we choose to react. We have two options: stay down and complain about our circumstances or stand back up, dust ourselves off, and learn from our experiences.

Being a singer/songwriter was my lifelong dream. As a preteen, I spent countless hours listening to John Denver, Jim Croce, and Neil Diamond. My musical tastes evolved as I grew, but my passion for becoming a musician never wavered.

During my high school years, I played drums in a bagpipe band in New York. After school, I played for anyone and anywhere. In 1985, I hit the road and stayed there until the early '90s.

Each year promised a breakthrough but delivered another broken opportunity. Bands fell apart, managers turned out to be dishonest, and the elusive "record deal" always slipped through my fingers. I lost count of the A&R folks I spoke with—some honest, some who dangled stardom before vanishing without a trace.

Years of disappointment and frustration took their toll, and I quit. I couldn't bear the heartbreak any longer, so I walked away.

Lee Kennedy performing at the Analog in Nashville
Analog ~ Nashville TN

As my new life took shape, I felt a persistent emptiness inside. For years, I ignored it and kept moving forward. Eventually, I found myself in a very dark place, not just because of music but due to other struggles that had festered for years. It was a dark place indeed.

I thought life had knocked me down for good, but I'm stubborn. As I began to climb out of that dark place, music came flooding back into my life. This time, it was different. This time, music was for me and my soul. I wasn't writing for a record deal or stardom; I was writing and performing for myself.

I've learned many lessons throughout my life, but the most significant is perseverance. Don't quit your dreams. Don't give up on what your heart tells you is right. No matter how dark life may seem, keep your dream alive inside your soul. Keep moving toward the light. It will make all the difference.

My Way Home Lee Kennedy

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