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The best kept secret in music


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Lady, You Bring Me Up (Commodores) Dura sang background vocals on this particular song.


Feeling a bit camera shy


At the early age of six (6) was when Dura's interest in music began. He played various instruments; the tonet, cornet, and then trumpet. He played Christmas carols on the trumpet and was so short that he played the songs reading the sheet music from the floor because there was no stand to hold the music. Dura's interest in music grew stronger, but he didn't realize it because he was so young. However, his parents were aware of his interest, because of how he would sing along with songs on the radio while riding in the car. They were convinced of Dura's singing ability because they noticed the rich quality of his voice at a very young age. At age eleven (11), Dura's mother had him to sing at a school assembly program. He sang "Sweet Little Jesus Boy." An experience Dura will never forget. His teacher, Mrs. Lowery was pouring in tears, came on stage, hugged him and said, "That's the most beautiful song I ever heard." From that point on Dura was singing in the church and school choirs, assemblies, talent shows and weddings. When Dura was thirteen (13) he joined a group, known as the Symphonics, for which she thank his sister, Jacquenetta because she knew the leader, Andre' Willis. She told Andre', "I have a brother who sound so much like Michael Jackson of the Jackson Five." Subsequently, Andre's father was the high school choir director. Because of Dura's age and size, he stood out among the other choir members. The criteria was in order to become a member of the high school you have to either be a sophomore, junior, or senior. In Dura's case, he was asked to join the choir when he was only in the eighth grade. Andre' noticed Dura's remarkable talent. Therefore, he asked Dura to join his group. Considering Dura came from an educational background (mother-teacher, college professor/father-teacher, principal, college professor), his parents initially disapproved of Dura joining the group, but once they saw the Jackson Five on the Ed Sullivan Show they took into consideration Dura's interest, but with restrictions. Rehearsals and performances could only be on weekends; his parents chaperoned if the group performed at nightclubs and homework a priority. Dura's first stage show with the Symphonics were two (2) performances in one night at the Tuskegee Institute High School Auditorium where he sang, "I'll Be There" by the Jackson 5. The audience went wild!!! Since then, Dura has been affiliated with a number of other groups, as well as the Symphonics, The Family, The Images, The Ultimate Force, and The Commodores. Dura is the kind of individual who felt that there is always room for growth and development, so he wanted to learn as much as possible from all aspects of music. At this point in Dura's music career, he was limited in touring and extensive traveling because he was in college and wanted to pursue his education. In one particular group, Dura was the only member in college. Even though he tried to make accomodations with rehearsals, it still became a burden. It had gotten to the point where Dura was "triple-fined" on a weekly basis because he went to his classes instead of rehearsals. So a result, he left the group to complete his college education. However, Dura's devotion to music did not come to a halt. Throughout his music career (even at an early age) Dura began writing and composing songs. He developed a love and talent for the "Baby Grand Piano." He gives special recognition to his piano teacher, Mrs. Lexine Weeks, who also taught Lionel Richie. Betweeen classes, Dura will spend time at the Tuskegee Institute Chapel, lock himself in one of the small piano rooms and write his music. He knew one day would come for the world to hear his music. Another experience Dura had was when he purchased an upright (used) piano on credit. Considering he was still in school and had no source of income, he was delinquent making his payments. One day when Dura came home from school, there were two men waiting at his parents' home to repossess his piano. He rushed to his manager's house, Walter "Clyde" Orange of the Commodores and told him of his dilemma. Clyde gave Dura enough money to pay the entire balance owed on the piano. During this time, the Commodores were recording their new album entitled, "In the Pocket" at Webb IV Recording Studio in Atlanta, GA. Dura sang background vocals on "Lady, You Bring Me Up." His experience was like taking music seminars. Dura learned by watching, listening, and conversing with Cal Harris and Richard Wells (Commodores Engineers) from an engineering standpoint and James Carmichael (Commodores Producer) from a production standpoint as well as from the Commodores. After writing hundreds of songs, Dura felt it was time for him to go into the studio record and produce a quality product of his own. Initially, Dura was apprehensive, but he realized he had a wealth of knowledge and experience under his belt. As a result, Dura recently record