When You’re Stuck, Switch Your Tune

medium_8399586064In 1956, a group of musicians at Sun Studio in Memphis was recording a follow-up to a young pianist’s debut hit. The band was working on a song by sound engineer and producer Jack Clement, but Clement became bored and asked them to try something else. A bass player suggested a song that had been popular during live shows, and they recorded it in one take.

The result was Jerry Lee Lewis performing “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” a song that quickly climbed to the top of the country, rhythm and blues and pop charts and became a classic hit. The lessons:

  1. When you’re stuck, move on. Quit trying to lead your team through a bog. Take a break and do something new.
  2. Listen to your team. Musician J.W. Brown had information Clement didn’t about what was popular with the audience. Encourage your staff members to sharetheir expertise as well.

— Adapted from “Jerry Lee Lewis: ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,’” Ben Manilla, All Things Considered, http://www.npr.org.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikesmemphistours.

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