After leaving a successful career in the music business for over 25 years, musician Gary Spaniel is back on the scene with a focused intention: to help children and families in need through his music.
His latest album release, titled In Wonderland, has a 60s flair, and features his many years of talent as a musician, songwriter, and record producer. However, his purpose has changed. Now, all sales of his music benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
“I’ve decided that for all sales of my music, I will double the purchase and donate it all to St. Jude’s,” Spaniel says. “I’ve been very fortunate, and am so grateful. It’s my way to give back.”
The native Detroiter, who now lives in the North Valley, picked up a guitar at the age of 10, and began to play. “It’s all I wanted to do,” says Spaniel, “I practiced 8 hours a day or more. My mother would beg me to come out of the basement to play outside.”
His successful career lead him to earning both gold and platinum records for his work. Some of Gary’s producing and songwriting credits include a top 10 hit with the R&B group, Ready for the World, a song for the Beverly Hills Cop II movie soundtrack, and The Romantics to name a few. “I worked with over a 100 groups,” says Spaniel, who sold his Michigan recording studio to the group Insane Clown Posse.
Then, the music stopped. His motivation turned towards another creative career – computer programming and software design. “Computer code became my only focus,” he says. “I taught myself programming, and wanted to automate everything.” Gary went on to invent a high-end home automation system, which is displayed at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry as the future of home automation. His invention has earned him many awards.
Years later, Spaniel came back around to his first true love – finding and creating music – all over again.
“For some reason, one day I just got the urge to go to the guitar store, where I haven’t been for decades. There, out of a hundred or more guitars, hanging on the wall, this one just stared at me. I knew what he was trying to say, so I packed him up, and brought him home.”
Immediately, Spaniel says, original songs were flying out of the guitar, resulting in the release of his first instrumental album Entropia, followed by his classical album, Lost in Control, and now his latest release, In Wonderland, which is rich in harmony, melody, and ear candy production.
“I’ve always been blessed with picking up an instrument and writng songs. I like to believe that the songs live inside the instrument. You just have to find the key to unlock and release them.”
Spaniel plans to start playing his music live again soon. Learn more at GarySpaniola.com.