Monday September 25, 2017
Why Chad Brownlee is inspired by The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
more stories from this episode
- Why David Chariandy wrote about 'the resilience, the imagination, the sheer intelligence' of Scarborough
- Kathleen Winter on bringing the past into the present
- Susan Perly on the inspirational power of the desert
- Why Chad Brownlee is inspired by The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
- Jennifer Robson answers the Proust Questionnaire
- Why Randy Boyagoda keeps re-reading Middlemarch
- Full Episode
Chad Brownlee was a professional hockey player, but when injuries sidelined his career he turned his attention to music. It was a good move: the country artist has released four albums, including Hearts on Fire and The Fighters, and has been nominated for multiple Juno and Canadian Country Music Awards.
Brownlee recently finished reading The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom:
"Mitch Albom is one of my favourite authors. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is inspiring to me because it comes from the narration of music. Music itself speaks about the character Frankie Presto, who is an orphan out of Spain. Mitch believes that when we all come into this world as a child, before we even open up our eyes, there are all these colours and it's the human spectrum of talent. As the baby closes its fist, it grabs one of these talents that most suits them. In the book, Frankie grabs music with two big fistfuls and he goes on to meet all these famous musicians: Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, the guitar player for Elvis Presley.
"The magic strings are the strings that were put on his guitar from an early age and the six strings save six different lives. Throughout the book, it tells the story of each one of those people who he affects. The metaphor is that we all have a talent within us. His just happens to be music. Whether that's a single mom who raises a child or a painter or anybody of any occupation, when you do something that resonates with you, you have the ability to change lives, to affect lives. That's what really gravitated me towards this book. I've always said, 'Do what you love to do.' That's why I chased the crazy dream of hockey and now music. I really do feel music has the power to change lives. Frankie Presto is a huge inspiration to me as a fictional character. It's one of those books that I could read again."
Chad Brownlee's comments have been edited and condensed.
Listen to Chad Brownlee perform "Might As Well Be Me":