Candidate Profile

Provided by

Larry Hess has a Bachelors in Music Education and a Masters in Music Performance. Mr. Hess has been a percussionist with the Wichita Symphony, the Midland-Odessa Symphony, and the Lubbock Symphony orchestras for over 35 years. He has also been a pit musician in over 27 musical theater productions. Mr. Hess has served as a studio musician, a church musician, and has been in multiple jazz and classical ensembles.

As a symphonic and jazz musician Larry has played with such notable names as Arthur Fiedler, Roger Williams, Itzhak Perlman, Bob Hope, Rita Moreno, the Fifth Dimension, Robert Shaw, the Moody Blues, the Crickets, Glen Campbell, Mark O’Connor, Lou Marini, Doc Severinsen, Michael Martin Murphy, Tony Bennett, and many others.

He is in demand as a popular speaker on musical topics, and has presented programs around the state of Texas.

1. Pop Music of World War II — Music for a Nation at War
In just one day, Pearl Harbor changed everything in America, including popular music Now, musical tastes would include stirring, uplifting songs of confidence (Remember Pearl Harbor) and songs of longing for relationships separated by great distances (I’ll Be Home for Christmas.) Experience the big bands, the vocalists, and the unique songs associated with these years; and the stories behind the music.

2. Pop Music of the 1950’s — the Birth of Rock & Roll
The “Baby Boomer” children born of returning GI’s came of age in the mid-fifties. They were interested in a new sort of music different than their parents! Artists like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Buddy Holly were there to deliver this new music. Experience the decade from Mona Lisa to Mack the Knife, from Blue Suede Shoes to Peggy Sue.

3. Pop Music of the 1960’s — The Times, They Are A’ Changin’
The 1960’s were a time of civil and global unrest… the Cold War, Civil Rights, and Viet Nam all filled the headlines with news of changing times. The music popular during this decade reflected, perhaps even influenced, the headlines of the day. From How Much is That Doggie in the Window, all the way to Magic Carpet Ride,…America, and America’s pop music, changes! And let’s not forget the British Invasion.

4. Pop Music of the 1970’s — A Diversity of Sounds
Has there ever been a more diverse pop music decade than the 1970’s? Hard rock and soft rock. Country rock and Arena rock. New Wave and Soul Music, Southern Music and Funk. Psychedelic and Ballads. And let’s not forget… Disco! Put on your “boogie shoes” and “hustle” on down for a musical trip through the 1970’s.

5. Pop Music of the 1980’s — "I Want My MTV!"l
Pop music in the 1980’s was as rich and diverse as previous decades, but technology would change how the music was made and recorded. Digital recording techniques and music videos (and MTV!) would forever change how the music was made, heard… and seen!

6. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year — The Stories Behind the Christmas Songs We All Love to Sing
Christmas music may be the first music you recall hearing and learning. But, how did these songs originate? Silent Night, Carol of the Bells, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, Jingle Bells… you know the songs… come hear the stories behind the songs!

7. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Widely regarded as one of rock's greatest albums, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is found on many of our "desert island" albums lists. Let's look at the making of the album and how The Beatles conceived of and created such a landmark album. Perhaps more interesting... what did The Beatles themselves think of their creation?

8. The Power of Influence
Elvis. Buddy. The Beatles. All musical artists stand on the shoulders of the musicians that came before them, that they drew inspiration and direction from. We'll explore some of these surprising stories... connect the dots... "if not for X then Y would have never have happened, and we wouldn't have Z today!"

9. Pop Music in the Hawaiian Islands
From early island musical influences to Don Ho (Tiny Bubbles) to slack-key guitar, the Hawaiian Islands has been a melting pot of musical influences reflecting its rich, diverse history. You will be in the "Aloha" mood after enjoying this musical treat!

10. The Wrecking Crew -- the Studio Musicians who REALLY played on Your Favorite 60's and 70's Songs
You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, This Diamond Ring, California Dreamin', I Got You Babe, Good Vibrations, Strangers in the Night, Up, Up and Away... just a few of the classic hits from the 1960's and 1970's that came out of the recording studios of Los Angeles. But did you know the same handful of (largely unknown) studio musicians played on ALL of these hits, and many, many more? Learn about the musicians who really played on your favorite albums!

11. The Musicals That Changed Broadway Forever
Do you love Broadway Musicals? Do you have favorites from all the performances you have enjoyed or cast recordings you have collected? Broadway's history is rich with stories of innovation, new directions, and of trailblazers. We will explore some musicals that literally changed the direction of all the musicals that followed!

12. Buddy Holly's Hometown... Then and Now
Larry Hess was born in and has lived most of his life in Lubbock, Texas... birthplace to Lubbock's favorite son, Buddy Holly. Mr. Hess has had many opportunities to meet and visit with Buddy's classmates, see Buddy's schools and other performance venues, and even have a few conversations with the late Peggy Sue! Come see the way Lubbock looked like when Buddy was young, the places and people that shaped his early life, and experience a "virtual tour" of those same sites as they look today!
While I am an experienced cruise ship guest, and an experienced presenter to many audiences throughout Texas, I am seeking my first opportunity to serve as a Cruise Ship Enrichment speaker.