March 19, 2019

Bouncing in Off A Cloud

By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine

In 1959 Cuba was frozen in time. It’s politics, culture and commercial life stopped dead in it’s tracks and remained there. One of the most tale tell signs are their automobiles. Most are 1950’s American models. They have kept them in pristine condition and running with parts hand tooled in privately owned garages. 

In recent years the government opened its doors. This led to an opportunity for American artists to begin preforming there. In December 2015 the 30th Annual Havana Jazz Festival was held in Havana. One American artist appearing there was ZZ Top’s lead guitar and vocalist Billy Gibbons. Knowing the country had been frozen in time Gibbons wasn’t sure what to expect when he arrived. He was shocked when he arrived to sold out crowds and people in the streets were singing his song   when he was sited walking by. He shared this with one of the organizers and asked how was it that he was so well known here?e He askd     

He was told that in 1973 a Little Rock Arkansas radio station KAAY played rock and roll. In Cuba, if the weather was in their favor, they could catch the signal if it bounced off a cloud. It was received in Havana Cuba by a radio DJ there. He recorded it and shared the music with the people in Havana. The artist they heard became a legendary figure in their music. ZZ TOP’S Billy Gibbons appeared to them in the flesh in Dec 2015 for the 30th Annual Havana Jazz Festival. He had bounced in off a cloud some 40 plus years earlier and was now standing before them.

No matter what profession you are in each of us, if we continue that road and persevere, will have a “bounced in off a cloud” moment. There will be a time when we are propelled forward, a quantum leap so to say. We never know what will trigger it or, as the case with Billy Gibbons, when the rewards will arrive.

Chicken Soup for the Soul got the “bounce” when the sequestered jury members of the O.J. Simpson trial were given the book. The media took notice and asked about it. The rest was history. The same for Andy AndrewsThe Butterfly Effect. Robin Roberts of Good Morning America received the book from Andy’s Nashville publicist and made it one of her By the Book choices for her nightstand. After reading it she promoted it and had Andy interview on the show. That was Andy’s “bounce” and he has returned to introduce each book since then.

You never know what may lead to your “bounce”. We at Southern Writers Magazine hope we can be a part of it. We have many ways for you to promote yourself and your works, an article or a Suite T blog. Advertising on line or in our regular issue or seasonal catalog may do it. If we can be a part we would love to do so. Look us over and see where you think you would like to start. Just email for information and we can get you started.   

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