Q&A with multi-talented Doc Holiday, performed and worked with some of the biggest names in music industry

"WI’ve been doing music or should I say "the business of music" for over 60 years now and seen heard and learned a ton about humanity. I think one of the most important lessons is "show business" two words folks, two words! "show" a very small word, "business" a big ass word, remember that folks, it boils down to business!"

Doc Holiday: Music Dream Machine

Doc Holiday is a multi award winning record producer, songwriter and recording artist. He began performing live at the age of 13 with his first band called “The Harbor Lights” by the time he was 28 years of age, he had performed and worked with some of the biggest names in rock & roll: Jerry Lee Lewis, The Rascals, Bruce Springsteen, Vito & The Salutations, Randy & The Rainbows, The Dupree’s, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Danny & The Juniors, Ray Charles, and The Fifth Dimension, just to name a few. This creative man was constantly recording, producing and performing music. While working at the famed Bradley’s Barn in Nashville, Sun Studios in Memphis, Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, Virtue Recording Studios in Philadelphia, Alpha Audio in Virginia, Acoustic Loop Studios in Alabama, Fame Studios in Alabama, and The Record Plant in New York City he worked on national projects such as: Jimi Hendrix, The Rascals, Mountain, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ohio Express, The 1910 Fruit Gum Company, Eddie Holman, The Stylistics, Loretta Lynn.                              (Photo: Award winning record producer Doc Holiday)

His production credits include legendary artist: Mel McDaniel, The Kentucky Headhunters, Drummie Zeb of The Wailers, Jeffrey Steele, Ricky Lynn Gregg, Becky Hobbs, Big Al Downing, Herman’s Hermits, Mike Pender’s Searchers, Jon Washington of the Fortunes, Doug Dillard, Gary Pine from Bob Marley’s Wailers, Cissie Lynn, The 1910 Fruit Gum Company, and Doug “The Ragin’ Cajun” Kershaw to name a few. Doc Holiday has produced over 600 lifetime chart records, with over 100 of them hitting the #1 spot on different charts worldwide. As an entertainer, he accomplished three complete world tours. He and his band have toured, appeared, or performed with The McCoys, The Beach Boys, Chubby Checker, The Kingston Trio, Yes, Donovan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bobby Goldsboro, Ray Charles, Bobby Rydell, The Doobie Brothers, Allman Brothers, Wet Willie, Jan & Dean, Sha Na Na, Jose Feliciano, Big Al Downing, Waylon Jennings, Mickey Gilley, B.J. Thomas, Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad and numerous other acts. In 2016, published the book "Nightmares of the Dream: Remembering the Journey of the Life and Times of Record Producer and Recording Artist Doc Holiday"; and the second part of book: "#2 The Encore Edition" in 2018.

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the music influenced your views of the world? What characterize your music philosophy?

It's kinda like a break from the madness and I really hope it continues to be that well needed break from reality.

Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you? What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

I really think years ago, when I was in the studio with Conway Twitty and Sam Moore when they were doing "Rainy Night in Georgia", Conway said something to me, I will never forget, he said "if you’re doing it for money doc, you’re doing it for the wrong reason, do it for the love of the music. The money will come!!!" I never forgot that conversation.

Are there any specific memories or highlights of your career that you would like to tell us about?!

Looking back, I think there were many, the one that stands out is when I produced Mel McDaniel's last album "the last ride". Ole Mel was really sick at the time and was not 100% on his game and he knew it. I finished the final mix and brought it over to him and at that time he was really in bad shape. he listened to the final mix and looked up at me with tears in his eyes and said "you’re a fu#kin magician" Ole Mel passed away two days later, he never got to hear and see the final release.

"Hell yea, there better be, otherwise music as we know it is doomed!"

(Photo: Doc Holiday)

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

What do I miss? Musicians that have paid their dues and learned their art form from the ground up, without the help of electronic devices like auto tune. Today it's all about looks and the age of the artist, it has nothing to do with real music, the art form. The future? I really don't see it changing on the whole, because the talented "real" artist is not out there developing the way they should be. Sure, there may be a few out there, but not enough to take the nails out of the music coffin to fix it.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

Do away with free streaming!!! If someone can't pay $.90 that's ninty damn cents for a download to support an artist who has spent their hard-earned money recording it in a studio or spent endless hours of their life writing that song, then the consumer doesn’t deserve to hear that release.

What is the impact of music on the socio-cultural implications? How do you want the music to affect people?

The impact from all forms of social media like Facebook, tic tok etc. etc. Is really fake for the most part. People hit that "like" button and for the most part, that's all they do and the artist for the most part thinks they are moving mountains when in reality they isn't doing jack but feeding their egos.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?

Way too many to mention here, I’ve been doing music or should I say "the business of music" for over 60 years now and seen heard and learned a ton about humanity. I think one of the most important lessons is "show business" two words folks, two words! "show" a very small word, "business" a big ass word, remember that folks, it boils down to business!

Do you think there is an audience for American Roots music in its current state? or at least a potential for young people to become future audiences and fans?

Hell yea, there better be, otherwise music as we know it is doomed!

Doc Holiday  (Dream Machine Production) - Home

(Photo: Multi-talented Doc Holiday, performed and worked with some of the biggest names in music)

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