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This is a story of my growth from a teenager to the present in the Recording Industry. As in many stories there were triumphs and tragedies. In my story however, there were many lessons as well. My tragedies did not start nor stop once I was immersed in the business. But I found out along the way that there were a lot of wasted efforts and opportunities.

This was not the case in the Jefferson, Hawes and Simmons writing team office and many other offices. But yes, there was one team who saw their chance at success pass them by. You see, this group took the casting couch approach. The only things they produced were a lot of moans, groans and unfulfilled promises of stardom.

With hindsight always being 20-20,  I look back now and see the loss of the one true love of my life, Barbara Ingram, as having a life changing effect upon me. Barbara was not only my life partner, but also my one woman cheering squad. No matter where I had to go, for what ever reason, I could close my eyes and see her smile of encouragement. To this day I can still  hear her infectious giggle saying, "Wait until the world hears what you can do!"

The first tragedy I experienced,  was when I came home from New York with Rena Sinakin, my life long friend and Co-Producer of Gladys Knight and the Pips, to find that my step daughter, Barbara's daughter "Denine," had died that day at the tender age 11 from a ruptured appendix. Barbara had a nervous breakdown and so did our relationship over the next ten years.

But as fate would have it, our paths brought us together again, only to be separated by two separate acts of violence. I was attacked in my home. I jumped from a loft area and shattered both feet. The doctors incorrectly predicted that I would never walk again. Through great determination I proved them wrong. My dearest Barbara didn't fare as well. She had been hit over the head by a mugger and died from a hemorrhage to the brain. A part of me died with her. Through the grace and strength of will inspired by Barbara and my faith in God, like the Phoenix I rose from the ashes that my life had disintegrated into.

I have had my share of triumphs and tragedies but all in all, I truly grew up in The Sound Of Philadelphia.

- Bruce Hawes

Read more:

The intro and the conclusion of the forthcoming book

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