"I don't know where I'm at sometimes," said trumpet soloist and singer Ron Michaels. "I'm just listening. I'm playing, and I see colors with music."
Michaels has a new gig - the venue is downtown Clarksville. His performances start in the morning and run seven to eight hours a day. For Michaels, that time just flies when he's in his zone.
"I played for Tony Bennett," said Michaels. "I played for Tom Jones, Rosemary Clooney and Patti LaBelle. "
Before a life performing on stages and streets, Michaels served in the Vietnam War, playing with the Army band.
"We were musicians," said Michaels. "We just played where Bob Hope wouldn't go. I was scared, but I never thought I was going to die. I just never had that thought in my head. When I was hitchhiking home, I got spit on. It wasn't too nice when I was hitchhiking home. It was just miserable the way they treated us."
Now living in the Army community of Clarksville, Michaels said things are so different.
"Over here they treat you with respect," he explained. "I'm surprised, and I'm not used to that."
Injuries to his ankle and back haven't slowed his purpose to make music that just moves people.
"I loved it," said Clarksville resident Tara Allen, listening to Michaels play. "You don't really get to see those sort of things here."
Doing something else has never been an option, not for an artist always lost in a song, the trumpet man of Franklin Street.
"As long as I play that and make that music as beautiful as I can, that's what I want music to be," said Michaels.
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