Thursday, September 24, 2020

Case for Low Expectations Now Closed: The Greatness of Kenny G

When you hear the name "Kenny G," what comes to mind? Smooth Jazz? Is an image of his Christmas CD that has been left in the faculty room for the past 12 years? Maybe it is his questionable hair style. Yay or Nay ladies? For me, Kenneth Gorelick, known to most people as "Kenny G" is the third and final example of embracing my philosophy of low to no expectations. Here's the scoop.

Feherty is one of my favorite shows on television. I am partial to non-fiction and take to a good biography. Feherty offers both, and yet so much more. As written on NBC Golf

David Feherty has been with Golf Channel since 2011, as host of his popular, Emmy-nominated self-titled talk show Feherty. The show originally debuted in June 2011 as the most-watched original series in Golf Channel history. Feherty received an Emmy nomination in 2014 for “Outstanding Sports Personality.” In 2015, Feherty signed an extension of his award-winning Golf Channel series, joining NBC Sports Group and NBCUniversal exclusively, as well as Golf Channel on NBC’s PGA TOUR tournament production team as an on-course and tower analyst, a role he has held in the industry since retiring from professional golf in 1996.

Feherty has gone one-on-one with celebrities across golf, sports, entertainment, politics and business, including: U.S presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump; basketball superstars Bill Russell, Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry; Hollywood icons Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaughey and Larry David; coaches Nick Saban and Bob Knight, as well a list of golfing greats spanning Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Annika Sorenstam, and many others.

I have anticipated the interview of certain guests with tremendous excitement. With others, I try to watch at least 10 minutes before I decide whether or not to move on. When I saw Kenny G as the latest episode, I was not totally surprised. I had heard he is a scratch golfer. I was familiar with the fact he plays in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am from time to time. Never in a million years did I expect to enjoy this show as much as I did. Never. My expectations were at a bare minimum, but Kenny's story can't spoke for itself....and fast.

  1. Did you know Kenny G is one of the best selling recording artists of all time? Once you consider the question, the truth of it makes sense. He has sold 75 million albums! He also has tw0 Grammys, 12 Platinum records and a trophy from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. Oh and that Christmas album either I or someone you work with dissed? It's the highest selling holiday record of all time.

  2. Did you know he practices the sax everyday? Yes. everyday.  He said, "I wake up and practice every morning and you know what? I'm just starting to see some results. I don't know if I need to, but I do because of my my quest to always get better." No wonder Feherty said "his work ethic makes Tiger Woods look like a slacker."

    He added, "there are notes that some of the great jazz players can play and I can't yet play those." This insight astounded me. I had never considered there to be notes that a great musician cannot play—yet. 

  3. He learned to play golf, ski and he picked up a saxophone at 10 years old. He is excellent in all three. Not a bad life.

  4. At 17, he got his first paid gig to play for Barry White. Kenny's soulful sound resonated with this band and it went from there....!

  5. "Smooth Jazz"  is a term he doesn't care for, but he is the face of it. 

  6. Kenny G spoke generously of the internal work he has done. He was kind, gentle and loving. At one point, he did something that David and I have never seen: Kenny moved the spotlight on the host. 

    He asked Feherty what he would try to teach someone about the game of golf. This moment was made even more special because of Feherty's response. He wants to help people get comfortable playing golf. I will be taking his explanation for how and why with me to the course this weekend.

I loved the intersection on golf, music, self improvement, hard work and the quest for excellence that this interview brought to light. One of Kenny G's most popular songs is entitled "Songbird." The video is terrible; the man—the musician behind it is incredible. Please don't take my word for it. Go in expecting the'll be delighted from the first minute on.

Photo Credits
David and Kenny
Tiger and Kenny

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