Lance's Journal: The Melodies of the Mellow D's, Feb. 4

Larry Doran was just 7 years old when he fell in love with music.
A neighbor invited him to come over and listen to a friend sing and play guitar in Wichita, Kansas.

Young Larry was captivated instantly and the singer realized that Larry had been bitten by the music bug. The singer told Larry that he would give him his guitar if he promised to learn to play it. Larry has been making music for the past 50 years.

Larry exclaims, "The thing was, I loved to sing, I really wasn't out to be a guitar picker, I was out to be a singer, I love singing."

Larry says he had been married to his wife Karen for 40 years before he knew she could sing, "The tape was playin' in the front room, I went into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, left the tape playin'. She was thinking I was still out there and she was washing dishes and harmonizing with me beautifully and I said you dry your hands and get out here, you gotta sing, you can't hide that light under a bushel."

Larry's solo act was about to turn into a duet, "I said why'd you hide it from me? She said, 'Because I knew if you ever found out I could sing you'd drag me out in front of people and make me do it and she's right, I did. And I'm proud of it. I'm not sorry."

The Mellow D's were formed 9 years ago and they now perform at least 60 shows a year. Togetherness is was Karen enjoys the most about the duo, "We get to do it together, he's retired now and we spend a lot of time together practicing."

Larry proudly proclaims that he's gotten a rejection letter from nearly every music publisher, producer and recording company in the United States. But, he never gave up, and at 71 years of age, he recently received his very first recording contract from a company in Hollywood, California. It's an original gospel arrangement entitled "John 3:16" and Larry says the message is clear, never, ever leave your dreams in a drawer.