ORLANDO, Fla. – Will Covington’s music career started early.
“I have to go all the way back to when I was 5-years-old beating on my Aunt’s pots and pans in the kitchen,” Covington said.
It was 10 years later when he was 15, Covington said things really picked up. He said a popular group called “The Ink Spots” took him under their wing and let him play drums for them occasionally.
After a little bit of research, Covington said he realized there were only a few major African-American record labels, so at 19-years-old he told himself he would eventually start his own label.
But, he still had a lot to learn.
In 1969, his music group released a song. But, he said they actually ended up losing money on it. Flash forward to 1972, the group was offered a record deal. They became very popular and Convington said it put the group on the map.
“Played with James Brown, Gladys Knight, Al Green, I mean so many different groups,” Covington said.
It was his work with B.B. King that earned him a Grammy.
He said the opportunity actually came as a surprise to him. It started when Covington said he let some friends record in his studio for free.
They told him they would pay him.
Two years later they came back.
They didn’t give him money but set him up with the opportunity to play drums on B.B. King’s album.
“When I went over there to the studio, sure enough, B.B. King was sitting on the sofa and he was waiting on me and I was like woah," Covington said.
Covington said he played the drums for B.B. King and from there, things escalated quickly.
“When I played the first song he said ’well play the next one', I played the next one, he said, ‘well I want you to play on the whole album’, so I played on the entire album. And, this is how God works, God set it up so that that album won a Grammy.”
He said winning the Grammy catapulted his career, giving him opportunities like doing entertainment at the 1995 Super Bowl in Miami and working with other artists to create a variety of music.
These days Convington said he is focused on inspiring the next generation. He currently serves on different boards and runs a summer camp geared towards helping young artists get a feel for the music industry.
“The youth are the future,” Covington said.