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Free seminar at Libby Library could lead to success in music industry

by Brad FuquaWestern News
| August 4, 2009 12:00 AM

Escaping occupied Hungary with his family as an infant during the tail end of World War II, Gabriel Farago could easily be characterized as someone who has lived “the American dream.”

But from those days when the family’s next meal was sometimes in doubt, Farago and his parents landed on their feet in the United States. As a teen, he developed an interest in music and years later while working on his doctorate, he decided to pursue a career in music.

“It was quite a long way around the barn to Nashville so to speak,” Farago said. “It’s one of those things where the good Lord has a plan and we fell into it as well as anyone else. It sure wasn’t without its moments.”

Farago, author of “Secrets to Success in Country Music,” he touring the nation presenting seminars on the subject for people with an interest in breaking into the business. At 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4, he will appear at the Libby Library to present his free seminar.

Farago worked his way up and found success as a singer, songwriter and producer, including a Christmas song that became a hit around the world. He toured with major country stars of the day, including Tammy Wynette and Lee Greenwood. By the 1990s, he expanded into producing records and hosted his own radio show.

Farago said he nearly moved to Montana after playing at the state fair and several county fairs. As far as the seminar tour goes, he did the presentation late last year in Billings. He wanted to return to Montana and called the Libby Library to see if it would be interested in hosting the event.

“Country music is all about the small towns, that’s what it emanates from,” Farago said. “Country stars are all from small towns, not one is from the big city.”

Although becoming a big star like Garth Brooks or Carrie Underwood is definitely a longshot, it’s not impossible. At the very least, Farago said it’s possible to make your living as a musician even if on a smaller stage.

“It’s not so much that I’m trying to tell people they’re all going to become stars, I’m a realist about that,” he said. “More than anything else, it’s about taking the talent that they’ve got and make it work for them to be able to aspire to their dream.”

Farago said there are many opportunities for a person to make a “tremendous living” with music as a full-time job.

“Some will become stars, some will become big fish in a small pond,” he said. “It’s about if they can really get that opportunity to spread their wings and get their shot.”

Farago goes over seven main components to finding success, including the development of a strong degree of motivation. In addition, he said, “you’ve got to have a high level of confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself, that will come across like a flashing strobe to anyone else in the industry and that’s not good.”

Even if the singing voice isn’t perfect, it’s possible to find the path into the music industry.

“Talent has nothing to do with how well you sing,” he said. “Real talent is about how successful a company thinks you’re going to be to invest in you and put you on a record label.”