Tampa Bay’s Fox 13 News Segment on Big3 Entertainment
See the news segment on Fox 13's website.
ST. PETERSBURG - Good singers with stars in their eyes may not have to depend on the X-Factor or American Idol to make them famous. They may want to send their work to Bill Edwards, the St. Petersburg mortgage company mogul who also heads an entertainment company called Big 3.
"There are tons of people out there," says Edwards. "Everybody wants to be in the business, they just don't understand it yet."
Edwards turned the ground floor of his Mortgage Investors Corporation into a state-of-the-art recording studio. He opened his checkbook to an experienced studio engineer he plucked from a recording studio in Orlando.
"I said you have an unlimited budget. Go out and get everything you need to build a first-class, a number one studio," he says.
Edwards has promoted many live performances with famous names like Cheap Trick and Ben Vareen. But, he has yet to record a big nationwide hit at his studio.
"We're always trying to create a hit or write a hit, or find the right artist for the right song," he explains.
Edwards says his goal is to win a Grammy.
"Bill is a visionary and an extremely outgoing personality," says Ferras, a 22-year-old singer and songwriter who came from Los Angeles to record here. Edwards is 66 years old, but he says it doesn't mean much.
"It's just a number on a paper. It could be 12 or 16 or 17," he says. Edwards' new baby is 7 months old. He says he's enjoying being a new father. His children from a previous marriage are grown.
Edwards says he's always liked all kinds of music. But what happened in the Vietnam War opened a new chapter in his musical awareness. He was a young Marine who was wounded by a mine explosion and sniper fire that followed. He found himself alone in a hospital room.
"So, I grabbed a guitar and started playing it. That's what I spent most of my time doing when I wasn't being operated on or treated."
Later, Edwards found his fortune in the mortgage business. His company, Mortgage Investors Corporation, made more than $4 billon in Veterans Administration loans last year.
Edwards remembers a big guy named Mike Lynche who worked for his mortgage company. At the time, Edwards didn't know that Lynche could sing. Then, he saw "Big Mike" perform on American Idol. "I went wow, we missed that one."
Edwards says he won't miss "Mike" again. The Idol runner-up and St. Pete native is now recording a new album at Edwards' Big 3 studios.
"And the fact that we can come home to record and not have to be in New York is a dream come true," Lynche said.
Edwards recently agreed to purchase St. Pete's troubled Baywalk shopping and entertainment complex for a reported $5.2 million dollars. He already owns The Club at Treasure Island, hosting big-name entertainers for live performances.
Story Published on 9/28/11 on http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/entertainment/music/st.-petes-music-mogul-09282011