It isn't often that a young person in any industry can find a true friend and mentor, someone that is successful and who wants to see you reach those same heights of success in your chosen vocation.
In my case, I have been blessed to have a few mentors that have filled this roll with honor, paying forward the assistance they once so desperately needed - I try to do the same whenever possible.
One of those chosen few individuals in my life has been Hamp Swain, The original King Bee.
Hamp is a Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee and so much more. He was very much part of so many Macon legends breaking in to the wider world.
As one of the most prominent DJ's in the south, Hamp had a voice like no other. If I had to compare him to someone I guess it would be James Earl Jones, a truly unique talent!
Hamp was so helpful to me when I first got my start promoting independent music on terrestrial radio. He even lended his voice to the intros of 2 of my first shows, "Home Grown" on 96.5 The Shack and later the "I-Q" and then still later to the "Georgia Jazz and Blues Hour" on WNEX 107.5.
Hamp was always offering advice and guidance. I'll never forget that he thought I should bill myself as an entertainer as "Sir Joey". I never did, but perhaps I will yet.
Here is a great picture of my dear friend and mentor.
I got the news today, 5/9, also my sweet wife, Jennifer's, birthday that Hamp had passed.
I will miss him and with a grateful heart remember his kindness and talent!
Rest well my friend, until we meet again, Sir Joey!