Musician fulfills dream, playing on world stage

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — Walking into his old alma mater, the nostaglia sets in, and the “humor” — when John Blackwell, Junior sees familiar faces from former teachers, and even an old classmate.

Blackwell exclaims, “I had a crush on her in the first grade, but Brian Lyles won, nooo! What’s up, Brian?”

The halls of W. G. Sanders Middle School are very familiar because it was actually named W. J. Keenan High School when John was in the class of 1991, and after seeing the new keenan, he was a bit taken back.

“The first thing I thought when I walked in was ‘Wow, it wasn’t like this for us. I love my old school now, but this is amazing.'”

Trophies and awards showcase the accomplishments at Keenan High School.

John recalls all the hard work that went into winning some of those, and the years of practice, which a lot of times meant missing out on other fun, but, john says he was always encouraged from a young age — great things were ahead.

“One of my friends said, ‘Man,’ and this was 8 years old, ‘One day you are going to play for Michael Jackson or Prince, I swear to ya,’ and they said, ‘If you had a choice who would you play for? And I said — no lie — I said, ‘Prince.'”

“Prince was know for playing everything, and I loved his music more than anything.”

“29 years later, here I am.”

To see more of Alicia Barnes’ interview with John Blackwell, click on the video player above this story.