Most times, good things happen in strange ways. Years ago, LA-based CD Baby artist James McKenna had placed one of his albums in CD Baby’s $5 Sales Bin. Australian football commentator Dennis Cometti discovered the music online and purchased James’ CD. Here is what followed, in Dennis’ words:

“I really liked it, and after a couple of months of listening I emailed and told him so. About 6 months later I was in LA with my family and gave him a ring. We caught up, one thing led to another and I agreed to finance an album for him. The album was called ‘I Am’.

Last September, to promote the album, I invited James and his guitarist to Melbourne. September happens to be the time of Australia’s equivalent of the Super Bowl (the AFL Grand Final). It’s a game that attracts a crowd of about 100,000 and the highest television ratings of the year. The week before the game the boys and I collaborated on a song with a football flavor called “Last Ones Standing” (I provided some cliched lyrics), which the AFL has since asked them to perform live at the game this season. It’s probably the biggest gig in Australia.”

Check out this television news story about Cometti and McKenna and the unlikely making of their football anthem.

Ah, the power of music. From the $5 Sales Bin to performing at the AFL Grand Final, all because of a single relationship formed between a fan who could open the right doors and a performer who believed in himself.

Stories like this remind us why every fan, every new listener, every booking agent, every relationship you forge in your music career should be treated with care and respect. When you’re playing at a dive bar in front of 4 people, give those 4 people the show of your life! If someone emails you expressing some interest in your music, write them back! You never know what kind of opportunities could unfold because of those people. And besides, even if they don’t hold the keys to the kingdom, it’s just plain good manners to reciprocate appreciation for those who are appreciating you.

-Chris R. at CD Baby

To check out the latest release from James McKenna, click HERE.

And here is the AFL video for “Last Ones Standing”: