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Here Comes the Music Man: An Interview with Michael Lloyd
By Jeff Holder
He’s an award winning music composer and producer who has sold millions and millions of albums and worked with dozens of major singing stars like Frank Sinatra, Air Supply, The Righteous Brothers, Sammy Davis, Jr., The Pointer Sisters, The Osmonds, Debbie Boone, Roger Williams, and The Monkees.
He’s also a soundtrack composer and music supervisor with more than 100 movies to his credit, including DIRTY DANCING, where he served as music supervisor and produced the soundtrack.
Who is he?
Michael Lloyd is one of the most prolific and creative individuals working today in Hollywood. Movieguide® had a chance to catch up with Michael, and he shared a few things about his life and work.
Michael’s current project is producing a new album with musical legend Barry Manilow, who is creating an album of favorite love songs from the past 50 years.
“Barry is a rare performer,” Michael noted. “The thing that makes him so rare is that he’s so musical himself. He immerses himself in the music. It’s really fantastic.
“There’s few people like him that have his career and history,” he added. “Who else sings, writes, and arranges? There’s not many people like him.”
Michael is producing the new album along with Manilow, as well as handling all the technical aspects of the project. Michael brought in top audio engineers and legendary studio musicians for the project to create an amazing sound.
“It has been great to be surrounded with such a great team,” Michael says.
The album comes out in February 2010 and then Michael moves to the next project - a Manilow album of new, original material.
“Barry has been working on these songs for a long time. It’ll be very special,” Michael predicted.
The Biz of Show Biz
As someone who started in the music industry at age 13, Michael has seen the technology change from vinyl to CDs to digital downloads. Michael has a rare perspective on the business side of the music industry.
“Illegal downloading has been a tremendous overriding factor [in the] music business, Michael said. “The illegal side has been so damaging to the record companies, recording studios, employees, and at retail.
“You can’t overstate it,” he added.
Retail outlets have gone out of business and the CD business is being overtaken by digital downloads such as on iTunes
“Consumer habits change,” Michael observes. “Business has changed. But, the actual idea of music hasn’t drifted.”
The industry has changed how they do what they do. Michael sees record and radio companies becoming large conglomerates. He sees the business is not being entrepreneurial and instead just focusing on the status quo due to insecurity.
Today’s Pop Culture
Michael says, while he doesn’t want to be a prude, there’s much in pop culture he can’t embrace.
“I miss accountability, responsibility,” Michael said. “There’s a lack of God in pop culture these days. There’s a certain component to faith and belief that is a tremendous underpinning to human existence. When that starts to be removed, the beauty of the human spirit seems to be removed along with it, and perhaps a more careless replacement is what you have.”
Michael gives an example from the world of stand up comedy.
“I laugh at all kinds of things,” Michael said. “If I hear the ‘f’ word one more time as something I’m supposed to laugh at, I’m not interested in that comedian anymore because he’s reduced himself to a common denominator. That’s old news to me.
“Give me ‘who’s on first,’” Michael said, referring to the classic comedy routine from Abbott and Costello.
The Real Point of it All
Michael stays focused on what’s important.
“People will say, ‘You’ve had a lot of hit records, you’re so talented,’ but the reality is, ever since I was little, playing classical piano - it’s just a gift from God. I was helped by my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who sacrificed to give me music lessons. They saw that music was important in my path. All the way along, God had his hand on what I’ve done and helped me - against my better judgment sometimes. People can say I was lucky. Luck is when God prefers to remain anonymous.”
Keep an eye out for Michael’s new projects and remember to pray for this talented man of God.