Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Rickey Minor – Our American Idol
By Brandon I. Brooks (Entertainment Editor)
Published January 8, 2009

Legendary Music Director, Rickey Minor releases long-awaited book

There’s No Traffic on the Extra Mile: Lessons on the Road from Dreams to Destiny, is a bible for anyone trying to make it in the music business.  Not only is it essential for entertainment lovers but it is a great read for anyone seeking inspiration and motivation.

Mostly known for being the musical director of American Idol, Rickey Minor has served as the musical director for nearly every major American awards show, including the Grammys, the Emmys and the Super Bowl.

Minor has worked with major recording artist, including Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Ray Charles, Beyonce’ Knowles and many more.

As we speak Minor is preparing to co-produce the Image awards later this year and he is also in the process of producing the national anthem for the Super Bowl XLIII, held in Tampa Bay, Florida.  He is working closely with Jennifer Hudson as she is locked-in to sing the anthem.

For Minor, growing up in South Central Los Angeles was never a limitation.  He decided early on that he was not going to be defined by his circumstances and his limitations would not become an excuse for his choices.

His success in life has all been the results of his decision to achieve his personal best in every situation he has been presented with.  Using his personal story as the background, Minor imparts lessons he has learned the hard way.

“I’ve seen a lot over the past three decades on the front lines of this dream factory called the entertainment business,” writes Minor.  Behind each story are little clues to the puzzle, some very serious and others moiré lighthearted.  But every one of these elements I describe has the power to thrust you forward in the pursuit of your dreams or stop you dead into the tracks.”

I asked Minor what he meant when referring to the word “destiny” in his book.   Minor replied that “It’s not your destiny until you claim it”.

The more I thought about that statement, the more it made me think about how I got to where I am at.

I am very fortunate and proud to say that I have worked personally with Rickey Minor on a couple of different occasions, and I can tell you first hand that he is a wonder to be around and watch operate.

Back in 2007, I landed a great gig as a talent coordinator for an annual concert in Trinidad & Tobago called the Plymouth Jazz Festival, an annual concert event weekend that is considered to be one of the premiere concert events in the world.

The 2007 Plymouth Jazz Festival concert was the first time I encountered Rickey Minor and too be honest I didn’t really know who he was.

I can joke about it now but back then I felt like a fool.  All I knew was what my job was at being a talent coordinator, “take care of him and make sure he gets whatever he needed.”  That’s a quote from Bill Hammond who was the lead production coordinator on the show.

The night I first encountered Rickey Minor, my job as a talent coordinator was to drive Minor and his line producer Robert Boyd, back and forth from their hotel to the concert site.

By the time I picked Rickey Minor up to take him to the concert site, I had made a couple of calls (Google), and found out specifically who Rickey Minor was.  Lets just say when I said hello, I could barely think straight.

When I met him I can remember being so nervous I couldn’t stand or sit still.  I was fidgeting the entire time.  I tried to play it cool but my cover was blown when I had to actually drive Minor around Tobago.

Being overseas, Tobago drivers, drive opposite of how we drive here in America.  The steering wheel is positioned on the right hand side of the car so I was having difficulty getting accustomed to the road.  Minor and Boyd made fun of my driving so it helped break the ice and start conversation.

I remember Rickey Minor being so cool and nonchalant.  Minor didn’t know at the time but he made a lasting impression on me that will hold with me forever.  Not just as a musician but as a genuine individual who showed he genuinely cared.

Still to this day he doesn’t know that I was literally praying that I didn’t kill everyone in the car that night.  I’m just thankful my prayers were answered.

In There’s No Traffic on the Extra Mile: Lessons on the Road for Dreams to Destiny, Rickey Minor will inspire readers to find the potential within themselves.

Many critics compare Minor to legendary music director and producer Quincy Jones.  That’s a big feat being as though Quincy Jones set the bar, not for African Americans, but for all producers and music directors.

“Rickey demonstrates true character onstage and off.  As you are about to see, he stands as a shinning example of how to put your heart and soul into everything you do”, writes Jones in the foreword to the book.

“Rickey Minor has been lighting up rooms wherever he goes, and he’s done it by gong the extra mile.  That’s how Rickey turned his dreams into his destiny, and that’s how you can too.”

Minor also includes behind-the-scenes anecdotes about Idol contestants, and the keys to their success.  He sees the show as condensed version of life itself.  The setbacks the performers face, and their triumphs, mirror our own.  But Minor’s bottom line, no matter which field interests you, is this: “If you drive hard enough, sooner or later you will be the only one left on the road.”

For more information visit www.RickeyMinor.com



Lessons on the Road from Dreams to Destiny

Gotham Books

January 20009

ISBN: 978-1-592-40418-6


E-Book available from Penguin



Categories: Entertainment

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