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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


James Earl Jones

National Medal of Arts

James Earl Jones: When I left the Army -- when I left my training in Fort Benning, I bought a little used car that broke down in Akron, Ohio. In that little used car was all my poems, you know. So I put it in storage, and then when I went back to collect it later on after the Army, it was missing. And I'm grateful that the poem about grapefruit was missing, cause -- although it was it had all the poetic values and had all the meter and all that, it was basically -- just as Longfellow imitated the Finnish author of Kalevalaa, I imitated Longfellow's 'Hiawatha," and it had all that. But it was really about the beauty -- I don't know if anybody else can appreciate it. I wouldn't expect them to. In the wintertime, in the snow country, citrus fruit was so rare, and if you got one, it was better than ambrosia. It was better than a peach, it was better than anything you can imagine from exotic worlds, you know. And, I just poured my heart out to the wonders of grapefruit.
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James Earl Jones

National Medal of Arts

James Earl Jones: It wasn't acting. It was language. It was speech. It was the thing that I'd been denied all those years and had denied myself all those years. I now had a great -- an abnormal -- appreciation for it, you know. And it was the idea that you can do a play -- like a Shakespeare play, or any well-written play, Arthur Miller, whatever -- and say things you could never imagine saying, never imagine thinking in your own life. You could say these things! That's what it's still about, whether it's the movies or TV or what. That what it's still about.
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Quincy Jones

Music Impresario

My grades in music were terrible before that, but then the love, this passion came forth, and that's when somebody lit a flame, a candle inside, and that candle still burns, you know, it never went out. I'd stay up all night sometimes until my eyes bled to write the music. I was writing a suite, a Concerto in Blue for something at the school, for concert band, and I was fearless!
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Quincy Jones

Music Impresario

I guess what's so strong about it is that -- outside of you growing as an arranger, or a composer, or an orchestrator -- it's the idea that when you conduct a symphony orchestra, 110 people plus the conductor are thinking about exactly the same thing, at exactly the same time, down to the microscopic proportions -- the 32nd and 64th notes. That's a lot of energy because minds aren't trailing off, thinking about the news, or what's on the stock market or anything today, or what you have to get for groceries, or what's for dinner. It's exactly on what that thought is, the thought of the composer, whoever composed it, and the orchestrator, and performing it, reproducing it. It's a very powerful experience. It's a very rewarding, enriching experience, and it hits you in your soul. It goes through the ear, but it hits the soul. You can't touch it, you can't taste it, you can't smell it, you can't see it, and it's just so powerful for the soul.
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Naomi Judd

Country Music Artist and Social Advocate

Naomi Judd: You know, when I was a little girl, I could not tolerate human suffering. It wasn't even in the equation. Whether it was taking Barbie Henton her books from school because she had the mumps, I would have to go in and make sure she was okay for myself, and even risk getting it. Something happens, like this little switch gets flipped in my brain when I see someone in pain, whether it is physical or psychic. I have to do something. I have to react, and it's almost like a knee-jerk reaction. I just have to do something. I remember when we signed with RCA Records in 1983 in Nashville, and we were in show business. I was very clear to our manager and the heads of the label and to Wynonna and everyone, and I said, "Okay. I'm going to try this. If it turns out to be phony baloney, I'm out of here. I'm going to go back and catch babies in the woods. I'm going to do home visitation. I'm going to get my M.D."
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Naomi Judd

Country Music Artist and Social Advocate

But the strangest thing happened. I finally got to be on stage for the first time, and I looked out at the sea of smiling faces in this steel and concrete sterile coliseum, and we were just levitating the building. I could feel that music was this transmitter between our souls. It gave us direct access to the seat of our souls. And when I would join in harmony with Wynonna, we just get zapped, and I thought, "Music is the language of the spirit. It's a healer. It expresses emotions that my words can't adequately define," and I went, "Yes!"
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Naomi Judd

Country Music Artist and Social Advocate

Naomi Judd: I'd say if a person who wanted to get into music was sitting right here with me right now, just the two of us alone in a room, I would say, "First, check your heart." And what I mean by that is really look in that mirror of truth at yourself and say, "Okay. Do I want to be rich and famous? Do I want to have the checks? Do I want to ride in limos and be on the cover of magazines, or do I feel that this is what I was born to do, this is me consciously cooperating with my destiny? Am I doing this because I get so psyched doing it that I can't not do it? Do I realize that this comes from God, that this is a talent, that this is a gift from the supreme ruler of the universe?" And if you're real clear and honest with yourself about why you want to do it, then you're going to be happy.
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