From Problems
to Promise

By fifth grade, Greg Anderson had established quite a reputation for himself—a reputation of bad behavior and failing grades.

Though struggling in nearly every area of his elementary school life, there was one thing Greg had going for him: a natural talent and passion for music. Shortly after starting piano lessons in second grade, Greg recognized that he had a knack for hearing a song on the radio and playing it back note for note. It didn’t take long for him to discover that his abilities carried over to other instruments including the ukulele (which his grandmother had always played), guitar, clarinet, saxophone, bass, accordion, and finally steel drum.

Greg’s musical talent caught the attention of his fifth-grade music teacher who urged the principal of his school to let her take extra time with him. Her encouragement and support became the catalyst for great changes in his life including increased confidence and improved behavior—positive changes that came just as some pivotal new friends moved into his Indianapolis, Indiana neighborhood.

First came Doug Adams, whose father was a professional drummer who taught his son all he knew. Then lifelong friend Chris Browning (a shredding guitar player) moved into the neighborhood; and finally, Billy Warren, an awesome bass player, was added to the mix. Greg’s first band, The Emblems, was officially formed.

A Clear Direction

The Emblems wrote and recorded several singles including “That Girl of Yours,” followed by “Lumberjack Jack” (recorded in the same RCA Studio A in which The Monkeys recorded). Their third single “Naptowns Alive People,” recorded under the band name International Grapefruit, received extensive local support and airplay. The joy he experienced from creating and performing music people loved was all the confirmation Greg needed to know music was what he wanted for his future.

A Musical Life

Greg’s next band, Good Seed, started when he met Jeff Tyler, Rick Panyard, and Rich Gootee—three local song writers who also sang and played instruments. Together with Doug, Chris, and Billy, this new band played around the nation for over a decade and produced several albums with great local support. As band members got married and started families, and the demands of life began to change, so did Greg’s music career. He continued to write and record with Rich Gootee, but eventually branched off into other exciting opportunities.

Greg spent several years writing and arranging music for radio and television advertisements and other touring bands and artists including Henry Lee Summer and The Wright Brothers. After taking some time in the early 1980’s to study theology, he joined the country group Branded and appeared as a regular cast member of the television show, “The High Country Caravan,” filmed before a live studio audience at the Grand Ol’ Opry.

In 1989, Greg began a 14-year journey of arranging music for The Wright Brothers band. During this time, he produced three albums with front man Tom Wright under the band name Radio Nights which sold several thousand copies. Other experiences include playing and singing on “The Patriotic” CD with Lee Greenwood including hits from “The American Way” album recorded for A & E and KRB Music; and backing up The Wright Brothers on piano and ukulele in concerts with Terre Haute, Columbus, and Carmel Symphony Orchestras.

Back to Beginnings

Through all the years, Greg never lost a relationship with his childhood band. At times over the years he would get together with Good Seed for a reunion event or a fun weekend gig. Each time Greg experienced the deep joy and satisfaction that comes when playing music with lifelong friends—brothers who have shared the laughter and tears of hundreds of shows and thousands of miles.

It is that treasure—that incredible appreciation for real relationships and lasting passion—that has brought Greg back to a new season of writing and recording with Rich Gootee and the band. They are just as talented, inspired, and ready to go as ever … a reunion Greg wholeheartedly believes was always meant to be.