Larry Carlton is my favorite jazz guitarist, not only for the way he plays – for his amazing story also. A studio musician in the 70’s (Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell) he faced a choice – stay with the steady and lucrative role of session player, or pursue his dream of going solo and making a name for himself.

He chose his dream and fulfilled his dream in the 80’s. You might have heard him and not known it – Theme for “Hill Street Blues.”

While working on his next album – On Solid Ground – in the late 80’s he was shot in the throat by 2 teens outside of Room 335 his music studio. The shot shattered his vocal cords and caused huge nerve trauma.

Through intensive therapy and a great attitude, he finished the album and has gone on to shine for the last 20 years, living his dream all over the world in concerts and albums. He formed HIP – Helping Innocent People – helping victims of random gun violence.

One of the greatest guitar players ever, he turned tragedy into triumph and continues to live his dream. Watch his face as he plays – he just looks like someone who has overcome great adversity and loves what he is doing.

He is definitely On Solid Ground…

And he better come to the Atlanta area soon…

About The Author

Jeff Herring

Discover 5 simple steps for 6 figure success online with content marketing.


  • Jeff Herring

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    Do you think unexpected obstacles make us weaker or stronger…?

  • Jeff Herring

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    Mike – Yep, it’s not what happens, it’s how you respond…

    ~ Jeff

  • Jeff Herring

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    Gary ~ You make an excellent point. It’s easy to think, and wrongly so, that all successful people never have doubts or struggles or defeats. Everyone has these – we get to be successful when we handle them differently…

    ~ Jeff

  • …it’s all in how we react and handle them! If we take it in stride we can make it through much smoother than if we get all bunched up about it 🙂

    Mike Saunders, MBA

  • Jeff,

    Amazing selection once again for Sunday Inspiration!

    Unexpected obstacles have the potential to make us weaker or incredibly stronger. It is not the obstacle, it is our action and resolve in dealing with the obstacle. I can imagine he had doubts and fears along the way, but his action and resolve overcame those. Larry Carlton’s triumph helps show how to use obstacles to make us stronger.

    Have a wonderful rest of your day.

  • Jeff Herring

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    Janet ~ You caught me and my little secret! You are absolutely right, searching for what to share on Sunday morning has turned into an inspiring process all by itself…

    And thank you so much for your kind words…

    I appreciate you!

    ~ Jeff

  • Great music and great story, Jeff — again! I sure enjoy these Sunday morning inspirations. I was thinking of all the great stuff you must run across making your choice for what you’re going to post.

    As for those unexpected obstacles, it absolutely comes down to choice of reacting. A lot of emotional juice is generated when we come up against them, and we get to choose what shape that energy takes — being angry, getting motivated by it, smashing it down into depression, or using it to propel us into new territory.

    Ain’t it great to have options? Sure love what Larry chose! You chose that same route yourself. Thanks again for always being a great inspiration, Jeff.

  • Loved the jam session. It brought me back to the days when I used to go to a lot of concerts. Good times.

    As for unexpected obstacles, to be successful they need to make you stronger. Getting my mindset where I want it to be is a work in progress and I still don’t see unexpected obstacles in a positive light right away yet. Eventually when I think about a situation that at first seemed all negative I realize the good that came out of it. I’m working towards making that mindset switch happen quicker. It will happen.

    Love the Sunday morning inspiration.



  • Jeff Herring

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    Doug – Keep moving forward with the right actions and it will happen – thanks for your comment!

    ~ Jef

  • Great video Jeff! I didn’t know this story… it always amazes me to see the human spirit rise up and overcome the odds… very inspiring!

    Doug, I think you’re right, very few can see terrible obstacles in a positive light at first, there is work involved nurturing it and taking the physical, mindset & spiritual actions that will help it happen!

    Jeff, thank you for being the first to do a sunday morning inspiration feature & being so consistent with it to help people start the week with a great boost!

  • Mellow tunes and an inspirational story.

    Each one of us has overcome our own personal tragedies – some larger and more traumatic than others – evidenced simply by our willingness to get out of bed every morning. As Gilda Radner used to say, “It’s always somethin’.” And everybody’s got “somethin’.”

    How we view the tragedy or obstacle ultimately determines our level of happiness. Choosing optimism and choosing to live life to our fullest capacity is always the right choice — that then signals the universe to align the stars to help you in every way.

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