Explorers

For more than 7 years he’s spent every Friday night at the Ritz-Carlton

On Fridays nights, the sound of Greg Cagle’s guitar resonates through the Ritz-Carlton in uptown Charlotte.

Cagle and vocalist Robyn Springer have been performing together at the hotel every Friday night for seven and a half years.

“From my perspective it’s like he has another job,” said Mary Lou Cagle, Greg’s wife. “It’s a different kind of a job. And I like to hear him. I like going to his performances.”

Greg Cagle has been drawn to music ever since he was a teenager. From the moment he heard his first The Beatles album, he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life.

Cagle taught himself to play a wide variety of instruments. He started out with the guitar but over time became adept with the bass, keyboard, fiddle and saxophone. He spent countless hours in his room, teaching himself the notes and the melodies of songs. Now he is 65 and still practices his music.

Cagle performs in the Ritz-Carlton’s lobby every Friday. Before he began playing at the Ritz, he spent some time playing in a dance band before playing solo. Eventually, he met up with Robyn Springer, his musical partner, and the two also play private parties.

When Cagle is not writing or performing his music, he works at Bank of America. He plans on retiring this August; but he has no plans to stop creating his music.

The genre that Cagle typically plays is what he calls R&B and soul, and he has also written and performed several country and pop songs. But his favorite style of music is folk rock.

“I like more of the Lumineers kind of songs,” said Greg. “But I haven't written anything like that yet. So, that's the goal of mine.”

Cagle has also recorded six CDs. The majority of the songs he’s recorded are ones he composed himself, with some cover songs mixed in. Currently he is working on two CDs, and is nearly finished withboth.

Cagle turned the second floor of his house into a music studio, filled with guitars, microphones, and computers to help him with the editing progress.

Cagle’s favorite song to perform is an original called “December,” which he performs with Springer. Their rendition of “Baby Come Back” by Player is one of the duo’s most popular songs with more than 21,000 views on YouTube.

You can hear many of his songs on YouTube or see him at the Ritz. Cagle’s CDs are also all for sale.

“He's an amazing musician,” said Stacey McNulty, Greg Cagle’s neighbor.

Music has always been a big part of Cagle’s life. He proposed to his wife, Mary Lou, with a song in 1989. Greg Cagle had sent a request to the radio DJ to play his song, “Marry Me, Mary Lou,” and the two were in the car when it came on.

“He remembered that from 25 years ago,” said Mary Lou, smiling. “Being able to know, in your a head, a thousand songs. I don’t know how he does it.”

This story was written as a part of the Charlotte Observer’s high school journalism Explorer Post. Questions? Email Corey Inscoe at cinscoe@charlotteobserver.com.

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