MICHAEL TYRONE BOYD ..I WAS BORN and raised in the rough and tumble city of Baltimore, MD. Orphaned at the tender age of 6 and shuffled from one foster home to another. But while living in those homes I began my life long love of music.I began playing the piano at the age of 6.
As a teenager,I hung with neighborhood friends, and singing the bass voice and idolizing our favorite groups like "The Temptations and "The Four Tops" and others.
At the age of 9, I had a vision while walikng down the steps in the foster home, that, I had spent most my childhood living in. I saw a startling vision!
I saw myself standing on the stage singing with bright lights surrounding me, and in the darkness beyond a large audience of people! I never forgot that vision, and it served as the catalyst that I could be a successful singer someday.
And from that time on I became more involved with music; And then, not long after I had that vision, I was moved to another "home"....It was there that I made my really first big step on the road of launching my dream of my music career,.
For it was while living there that I wrote my very first song at the age of 15.
I was not encouraged by my foster parents..In fact, I was roundly mocked and ridiculed by my foster father.
But fortunately, the day,that,I declared that Ihad written my first song ... great excitement! There happened to be a woman neighbor who was visiting the home, and when she heard me she said:" He going to be rich someday! I hope he marries one of my daughters!" She said
However, that was not to be so because not long thereafter I joined the US Navy. And yet, this move proved to be fortuitous for me in many ways. For one thing I had escaped the horrors of being an orphan in the cruel foster home system.
And for another it was while serving my 3 year tour of duty during the height of the Vietnam War ,that, I really began to develop as a singer and musician. It so happend that because I along with the other sailors had to spend so much time at sea....I had to find something constructive to do!
And so, I recruited some other music minded mates, and I formed my first band. And we used to practice in our spare time singing, and playing songs by the classic group "Kool and the Gang" "Hollywood Swinging", "Can't Get Enough of that Funky Stuff"), and other groups as well.
And whenever we did get to a port of call like in Hong Kong,,I spent my money loading up on professional gear like Shure mics and Peavey amps! It was lots of fun during those days in the Navy, and I even managed to bone up one some songwriting courses that I got through mail order.
Once I was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1975..I headed straight to Los Angeles, California to pursue my musical dreams. And that also proved to be a very fortuitous move for me.
Because it was while living there for quite a few years that I eventually became a well trained singer-songwriter-musician .I also later became a music publisher (Tavon Publishing). And had one of my clients songs performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
I was very fortunate to attend Los Angeles City College with the Veterans benefits that not only paid for my units,.but also helped me to find my own voice/style.
Attending LACC was wonderful! I was blessed to be able to be under the tutelage of some great instructors. I learned music theory, music history, and I sang as a featured performer in college concerts, too I was well recieved.. But most of all I learned how to sing professionally!
My idols at that time were the late, greats Nat "King" Cole, and Ray Charles. And I also loved Billie Holiday. and i listened to many others like Sam Cooke ( I learned about music biz reading about him).Areatha Franklin as well as Stevie Wonder , Marvin Gaye. and James Brown.
But perhaps the one professor who stands out in mind is the late, great Dini Clarke. I really did not learn of just how great he was until he was long dead.But when he was living he was a great professor, friend as well as private vocal coach to me as well as many now very famous names.
Some of his private vocal students now reads like a whos who of the music industry the likes of Roberta Flack, Al Jarreau, Peabo Bryson among others. But at the time I was just a starry eyed student in his Commercial Voice classess 1-3 ..I personally knew of one woman who was quite friendly to me who then went by the name of Ivy Reeves. She who years later became known as the Grammy winning Jazz artist Dianne Reeves.
Dini Clarke also had quite an impressive music backround of his own.
After college, I had the good fortune to be a singer in the chorus of a production in which I personally was guided by the late,great producer "Robert "Bumps"Blackwell who was the discover of "Little Richard", and who also co-wrote Richards early hits. Mr. Blackwell was also the mentor/producer of the late, great Gospel and Soul pioneer Sam Cooke.He also later produced Bob Dylan tracks, Sly and the Family Stone as well as others.
Later, I did a KPKF radio show in Cali performing my anti-aparthied rap song called: "Botha Is A Monster". it got me into ASCAP as a writer and publisher member.
Years after that I sang and played in churches ,and famed L.A. nightclubs such as the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip as well as Spaceland in Silverlake, CA
1997, I produced and hosted my own local cable accessTV show: "Spiritual Thinking With Michael Boyd" which ran for 5 years. However, I got my first big introduction to the public via the cult classic childrens puppet cable access TV show :" The Junior Christian Teaching Bible Lesson Show".
It was produced by the famed David Liebe Hart.( Now known for his role in "Tim &Erics Awesome Show Great Job!on Cartoon network) I co-starred reading the Bible on it , and singing my own songs and playing guitar for 8 years. I am also a professional actor having appeared as the character "Thug 1" in the Charles Bronson classic "Death Wish 2".