It may be costly at first, but generally doing the right thing sooner or later pays off.
I have a cd that I often play, especially on Sunday mornings as my wife and I make our way to church services. The cd is of old hymns done by one of my favorite female singers, Emmylou Harris. What really caught my attention the first time I heard the cd was the great harmony created by the other person singing with her. There was no other name with vocal credits other than hers on the cd, but I knew that voice, it was familiar.
A few months ago I had the good fortune to be on a tour bus traveling to a basketball game in Evansville, Indiana. A game between Evansville and Belmont University. I was sitting with the owner of that bus, and he and I had the opportunity to just sit and talk. I brought up the question of that cd and said to him, “That sure sounds like you singing and playing with Emmylou.” He smiled, “Interesting you should bring that up, no one has ever asked or noted that before. There’s quite a story behind that cd.”
He told me he had not been in Nashville very long when Emmylou Harris called to ask him if he would sing with her on an upcoming project she wanted to do. She told him she could not pay him as it was a trial project and the label had not even committed to the purchase of the material when done.
“At that time I was really down and out, I had no money and things were not going really well for me,” he said. Now this is where the story really gets interesting; he told her he would do the project with her. “I needed anything I could get, if nothing more than for exposure.” Two or three days before his session with Emmylou, his agent called and told him to be at another studio on this same day he was to be with her. Since the dates conflicted he told his agent he could not, as he had told Emmylou he would sing with her. His agent said, “You don’t want to miss this project take my word for it, be there, call Emmylou and bail out. This is a paying gig and I think maybe a pretty good one." I told my agent I would not do that, I was new in town and I was not going to get the reputation of telling someone I would do something and not show up. His agent said, “You’ll be sorry.” He kept the Emmylou date which paid nothing.
The next few days passed and his agent called, “You missed the date of your life.” This session was for a commercial and it paid the person who did it $75,000 on the spot. He said "you can imagine my feelings, nothing paid compared to $75,000." “But later I came to realize I was blessed, I have come to believe generally if you do the right thing and keep your word that in the end you will come out all right.”
I think my friend said it well.