ORLANDO, Fla. – Anthony Wild is the founder of Kids Rock The Nation, a nonprofit with the mission to share the power of music with children by giving aspiring young musicians in need instruments to ignite their passion for music and their passion for life.
Before dedicating all his time to kids, Wild was a full-time musician. His love for music started at a very young age in Wisconsin.
“When I was 5 years old, I got a shiny new drum set for Christmas,” Wild said.
His older brother Andrew, a musician in a band, had a hand in showing Wild how to play his new drum set.
“As time went on, I kind of moved into singing because I realized I was a better singer than I was a drummer,” Wild said laughing.
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Inspired by the sounds of Luther Allison and Jimmy Reed, the blues was calling Wild’s name. By the time Wild was 15, the aspiring singer had met a producer named Mel Barlow in Leesburg while spending the winter here with his parents.
Wild recorded with Barlow, recalling it was a defining moment for him as a teen.
“It gave me an opportunity to really do something where I could kind of express myself because it’s tough being a child,” Wild said. “You’re trying to figure out who you are, what am I going to do with my life.”
Wild ended up making the Sunshine State his home. Here he was able to work alongside the members of The Kingsnake Blues Band, blues/rock singer and guitarist Ace Moreland, journeyman drummer Ronnie Byrd Foster and guitarist Warren King.
“I was able to perform one night with Robbie Krieger from The Doors,” Wild said with a smile. “That was a really big moment, but I was grateful to have worked with all these amazing musicians over the years.”
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One day Wild’s career came to a screeching halt.
“Cancer. I was diagnosed with cancer,” Wild said with tears in his eyes.
Lacking a steady income, and unable to buy costly private insurance, Wild tried finding out other options with a doctor he had been seeing. Wild recalled the moment with the doctor vividly.
“He just looked at me and he said, ‘Well,’ he said, ‘Anthony, you know, you’re a musician, you don’t really have a lot of money per se.’ He said, ‘What is it that you think that anybody’s going to do for you?’”
In fact, there was not one, but two doctors that were willing to help Wild. Hear what the husband and wife doctor duo did for Wild and how their kindness led to starting a nonprofit that gives the gift of music to kids in need all over the nation, on the latest episode of Riff On This!