by Victoria De Souza
For Cary Banks, music has been an important part of his life. Now he is sharing his story with others in his new book, “Almost a Professional.”
Banks, who was born in Big Spring, Texas, says that he was inspired to become a musician at an early age.
“I was inspired to become a professional musician when I saw The Beatles for the first time in 1964,” remembers Banks.
After graduating from high school, Banks moved to Lubbock, Texas, to enroll at Lubbock Christian College, now known as Lubbock Christian University.
After spending a few semesters in college, Banks decided to follow his dream and hit the road as a musician.
“After leaving LCC, I enrolled in the ‘University of Hard Knocks,’ which means that I went on the road to try to make a life playing music,” Banks said, “and there I was off and on for 25 years, traveling around the world.”
During the early 1980s, Banks joined The Maines Brothers Band, which included brothers Lloyd, Donnie, Kenny, and Steven Maines, along with their sister LaTronda Maines, Jerry Brownlow, Randy Brownlow and Banks. The band plays Americana music, now known as Texas Country.
In the early 1990s, when the band slowed down, Banks became part of the faculty at South Plains College as a music professor in the Creative Arts Department.
Bringing his real-life experiences to the classroom, Banks worked for 23 years as a professor at SPC, including nine spent as the chairperson of the Creative Arts Department.
“Everything I learned in the world about being a professional musician and the music business prepared me to be a teacher,” said Banks.
While working at SPC, Banks was responsible for the establishment of the “Thursday Nite Live” show and was in charge of the event for 15 years.
Since retiring, he has spent time performing music and writing his book. He said that the idea for writing a book came about from the interest of many students and friends who wanted to know about his life on the road.
“People have always asked about how it is being a professional musician and being on stage with many talented artists,” explained Banks.
The book shares many stories of an artist focusing on his music, his faith in God and, by default, a bit of West Texas music and musicians.
“A lot in the book is my early years in the Church of Christ, playing football, baseball, and picking up music,” said Banks.
After a three-year process of putting stories together, Banks said that he hopes sharing his stories will inspire people with all the angles of his experiences as an entertainer.
“The book shows the good, the bad and the ugly of being an entertainer and what actually happens out in the industry,” mentioned Banks.
“Almost a Professional” will be available for purchase on Amazon starting on Oct. 1. Also, it will be available to purchase on Oct. 17 at a book signing event at Caprock Winery in Lubbock, Texas.
Banks also will be having a book signing event at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24 in Tom T Hall in the Creative Arts Building on the Levelland campus.
“I have a story to tell, and this is my story,” said Banks.