ST. LOUIS — Years before James Ross got married, he learned to play the bass guitar and hoped YouTube would make him famous, or at least help him get a date.
“So I started playing in the basement and showing off and put it on YouTube and everybody is like ‘Man, you suck,’” said Ross.
Not exactly what Ross was looking for from YouTube. So instead of performing in front of the camera, Ross got behind the lens and attempted to videotape interviews with musicians.
“When I first started I couldn’t get an interview. People wouldn’t let me film, they wouldn’t return anything because didn’t anybody know me,” said Ross. “That was about ten years ago, Art, and now I’m at 6,000 videos and 14.8 million viewers.”
Welcome to www.JRossTV.com, the end result of Ross attending sound check after sound check, concert after concert, talking to music makers.
“The most I’ve ever done in a week probably been eleven,” said Ross. ”Close to 300 a year.”
Ross wasn’t surprised when Tish Haynes-Keys got national attention while competing on “The Voice”. The St. Louis singer had been a fixture on JRossTV for years.
“Over the course of time, Tish gained her confidence,” said Ross. “A lot of people are afraid of success. A lot of people are afraid to be what they want to be because they let the fear kill ‘em. And at some point Tish started believing in Tish.”
Kind of like James Ross believing in JRoss-TV.
“I’m not rich, I do good. But, Art, I’m in the position to know my heroes,” said Ross. “For musicians, that’s a beautiful thing, man. That’s a beautiful thing.”