Among his many other achievements, Ken Kragen is the legendary organizer behind “We are the World”, with an illustrious career that transcends the music and entertainment industries where he has managed several notable entertainers including Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Olivia Newton-John, The Bee Gees and Burt Reynolds. Ken was a recent guest on my podcast show, All Access Radio, and I thought I’d share some of my favorite parts of our talk. (Listen to the full interview.)
We are the World – how Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie came to be involved and to co-write the song, an interesting side story on Stevie Wonder’s role with the song as well, and an awkward studio moment. And in addition, how they managed to get that many big artists to “leave their egos at the door” (a phrase coined by Quincy Jones during the production of the song) and collaborate on one song!
Ken is now an instructor at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music; he’s developed a course entitled “Start-up Strategies for Musicians” where he teaches insights around cause marketing – making multiple impressions during a very short period of time that will cause people to take action – impressions that will get people’s attention, hold it and get them to act on it. He drives this point home the first day of the course using a very unique method involving the UCLA Marching Band; that would be fun to take!
When you were little, did you want to be an astronaut? Ken did — and he still does! I was surprised to learn of Ken’s passion for astronomy and the secrets of the Universe – including that he actually had an observatory built in his own home in the early 80s – he had some of the top astronomers over as his guests, and calls some of our most famous astronauts his friends!
Use of honesty. In today’s world honesty is becoming increasingly rare whether it be around politics, business, or for some in our personal lives. Find out why Ken does not need a contract with his clients, has never used one, and has rarely experienced a problem as a result. Seriously!
We talked about so much more including who Ken’s mentors are, his number #1 guiding principal that has been key to his happiness and success, as well as a few of his many client success stories. Be sure to listen to the entire interview.
Also, be sure to visit our All Access Radio website for more fun and insightful interviews with luminaries and thought leaders.