a person playing a cello

Who's Your Danny?

Solidarity Sunday: Who's Your Danny?

The Rolling Stones headlined a festival in Santa Monica in October 1964, with a relatively unknown artist named James Brown on the undercard. Just before James hit the stage, hype man Danny Ray stepped to the mic.

"This man will make your liver quiver! <<bomp!>>
This man will make your bladder splatter! <<bomp!>>
This man will freeeeeze…your kneeees! <<bomp!>>
Because right now, it is starrr time!!!" Let's all welcome the Godfather of Soul, Jaaaaaames Brown!!"

The crowd went berserk. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards later said that following James Brown onstage that night was the worst decision the band had ever made.

That night James Brown burst onto the national scene, moving from the R&B circuit into a worldwide celebrity known as "The Godfather of Soul" almost overnight, a legendary career that lasted four decades. James and Danny kept up the hype for 46 years.

Danny Ray's hype was not by accident or happenstance. It was strategy.

The Godfather of Soul had Danny Ray... Elvis Presley had Col. Tom Parker.. .the circus has a ringmaster... hyping each act. Professional speakers almost always have someone to introduce and hype them. Influence happens when others testify for you, not when you talk about yourself.

Think about your own life. When someone tells you how great they are, how do you feel about them? It's not something you'd do at a party or a social gathering, so why would you do it when you're organizing and talking to people on the job?

It's Biblical. Jesus himself had John the Baptist to let people know he was coming and what he had to offer.

John 5:31-32 "Jesus said, 'If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.'"

If the son of God himself benefitted from a hype man, chances are your organizers will too. We're not trying to be flippant or get into a religious context here, but merely pointing out the historical truth that it works.

So…who's your Danny?

Are your organizers just showing up on the jobsite unannounced, hoping to tell someone how great your local is? Are they getting the receptive audience they hoped for?

Is anyone hyping you on the job site? Furthermore, who is hyping you and your local on social media? Who's letting people know who you are and what you offer? Do they know about you and what you do before they ever need you? Can they see themselves in your local union story before you ever talk to them?

We're Hyped about the Apprentice of the Year

Speaking of hyping your Local and its members, here is a story we recently did: "The sky is the limit for somebody like Victor. He's going to do amazing things for 613 and the IBEW". New IBEW 613 Journeyman Victor Fremont is an inspiration. A brother who embodies the union principles upon which IBEW 613 was founded. Victor grew up near Normandy in France, with a reverence and appreciation for America that few people still have, hearing stories of D-Day passed down from his grandfather and family about the American soldiers storming of the beaches to liberate his country. Victor's story twists and turns through France and ultimately winds its way to Atlanta, GA to the IBEW. In late 2023, Victor turned out as a Journeyman wireman with the distinct honor of being named Apprentice of the Year. This is his IBEW story.


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