Chuck Johnson: The Intriguing Story of a Guitarist’s Adventure to Success

3/28/2018
Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Chuck Johnson: Playing on the Front Lines with the Biggest Names in Music 3/28/2018
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Chuck Johnson knew since he was a child that he wanted to be a musician. After persistently nagging his father (who played music in a band during rowdy parties) to teach him how to play, he learned his first 3 chords at 6 years old.

Chuck Johnson probably never imagined his early childhood fascination would turn into a successful career as a prominent member of 3 bands and internationally touring with a jazz legend.

From the ins and outs of forming bands over his career to the way he balanced a job with his musical commitments, Chuck spends this episode sharing stories and providing insight into his wide-ranging career– including playing some live music from his most recent album.

About Chuck Johnson:

Originally from Ferrum, a small rural town in southwest Virgina, Charles “Chuck” Johnson is a guitarist and vocalist for the band TK-421 and Najee. He got his first big break in a variety band called Bananas At Large. In addition to his experience with Bananas At Large and TK-421, Chuck performs occasionally with jazz artists Alex Bugnon, Jeff Lorber, Will Downing, Maysa, and others.

Show Highlights:

  • Chuck’s early musical influences, from family jam sessions to big-time artists
  • What motivated Chuck’s father to give him a banjo at 12 years old
  • Who influenced Chuck to veer away from his musical roots of country and bluegrass
  • When and how Chuck decided to improve his vocal cord care
  • How Chuck was recruited to join Bananas At Large
  • What goes through Chuck’s mind during a performance
  • Chuck hypothesizes on why Bananas At Large became such a huge success
  • The events that led to Chuck leaving Bananas At Large and forming TK-421
  • What it was like to perform in music while he was balancing a full-time job
  • Andy and Chuck reminisce about the cross-over in their musical backgrounds
  • How Chuck bypassed auditioning and began playing with Najee
  • Chuck’s tips for learning on the job in brand new situations
  • What it was like for Chuck to play in front of Stevie Wonder
  • Chuck shares his love of music by singing and playing a song from TK-421’s latest album

 

Links Mentioned in the Show:

Bananas At Large

Bananas At Large performing Led Zeppelin’s “Trampled Under Foot”

TK-421 – Facebook Page

Najee

 

Wombi Rose of LovePop: Using Shark Tank to Make a Larger Impact

3/14/18
Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Wombi Rose of LovePop: Using Shark Tank to Make a Larger Impact 3/14/18
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Wombi Rose learns by doing. After recognizing his love for art and engineering, he took on a college experience in a literal shipyard, learning how to engineer large vessels. When he graduated college, he created his own experiences as a consultant in the energy and ship industries worldwide. So naturally, when Wombi got a call from his friend John Wise encouraging him to apply for Harvard and go into business together, Wombi was in. An accepted Harvard application and a trip to Vietnam brought Wombi and John to the inspiration that would eventually become Lovepop– a business that would elevate the pop-up greeting card.

Fast forward to December 2015, when Wombi and John took Lovepop to Shark Tank, beating out nearly 40,000 other applicants. With around $300k in sales in the first 18 months of their business, some wondered why the two entrepreneurs would consider sharing a piece of their business with an outside investor. But as Wombi explains in this episode, Lovepop isn’t just about intricate greeting cards– it’s about making a larger impact. And after successfully securing an investment on Shark Tank, they way their business has quickly transformed is proving him correct.

About Wombi Rose:

Born in Berlin and raised in Pittsburg, Wombi Rose started LovePop with his business partner John Wise in 2014. Wombi attended the Webb Institute for Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering before eventually applying for Harvard University and earning his MBA in 2015.

Show Highlights: 

  • Hear how Wombi turned his love for art and engineering into a lucrative business
  • Learn where Wombi and John found the inspiration behind Lovepop
  • Insights from Wombi’s experience building an international production team
  • The motivation behind putting an already successful business on Shark Tank
  • How to prepare for pitching on Shark Tank
  • What not to do as a Shark Tank participant
  • The biggest tips for Shark Tank participants to be successful
  • Find out which shark invested in LovePop – (hint: it’s a WONDERFUL match)
  • Wombi gives advice on choosing the right investor for your business
  • The importance of customer “happiness” over customer “service”

Links Mentioned in the Show:

Lovepop

Daily Motion – Lovepop on Shark Tank – Season 7 Episode 11

YouTube – Lovepop on The View

Twitter – Billboard Music Awards Lovepop video

Lovepossible – a Lovepop collaboration with The Possible Project