The Day MMS Was Born…

By: Rosemary Richards

I can’t remember a time in my life without music. My mom, Crystal McDaniel, is a professional opera singer, so my life has basically been a musical from the womb until now. No joke. There have been times my entire family has burst into song in the middle of a restaurant and even ordered our food that way. The best part was this one time when the waiter started singing back our orders and even brought out his guitar that he just so happened to have stored in the back. I thought back-up dancers were about to appear. We got a free meal at IHOP that day. It was epic.

Music didn’t start in my family. It actually goes back further than that. On my mom’s side, it started with my grandparents, Jim and Barbara Daniel (Or, as I call them, Papa D and Mama D). My grandparents were traveling evangelists and would bring their two children, David and Crystal, along with them. They sang as a family in churches all across the country. They were basically the southern version of “The Family von Trapp,” only minus the nuns.

On my Dad’s (Bob Richards) side, there isn’t much music except for my great-grandmother. She was an amazing pianist. My Dad and Grampa love telling the story of how my great-grandmother once accompanied Alan Jones back in the day. If you just asked yourself, “Who the heck is Alan Jones,” he was in a few Marx Brothers movies. If you are one of the blessed few who have seen A Night at the Opera, Alan Jones played Ricardo, the super attractive tenor.

Basically, music is a legacy in my family.

McDaniel Music Studios was officially born in 1996, a year after my sister and I were born. Well, sort of. Fun fact, the studio wasn’t originally named McDaniel Music Studios. The studio was originally christened...wait for it...Encore! That’s right. Exclamation point and everything. It’s pretty fantastic. It wasn’t changed to McDaniel Music Studios until 2000 when my mom married Nelson McDaniel, aka the best Nelson in the entire world.

The reason the studio came to be is fairly simple: my mom loves her children. My parents separated amicably early on in Encore!’s development, causing my mom to move to the charming town of Boiling Springs, NC. Along with being a single mom, she had three children who all had some kind of medical issue. By the time I was five years old, all three of us were extremely well acquainted with the doctor’s office and local hospital. The nurses and doctors knew us all by name. I am fairly certain they even sent us birthday cards at one point.

Because of this, my siblings and I couldn’t exactly go to any kind of day-care or public school. So, my mom decided to become a work-from-home-mom and create her own business from scratch.

And thus, the studio was born, and my life continues to be a musical.