Frederick Vail

Profile Updated: May 23, 2013
Tell us about your life since HS graduation

Entered Sac State in the fall, was a member of their A Cappella choir and concerts chairman on the Activities Board, worked on the air at KJML-FM in the evenings, studying for exams while playing Broadway shows--would play one side, study, do a spot, give the time, then flip the album over, play the "B" side and get back to my books. Was supplimenting my meager $2 an hour wage by booking grad parties and teen clubs--that all changed on May 24, 1963 when I promoted a concert at the Sac Memorial Aud headining "The Beach Boys." As it turned out, it was their first major appearance. It was a fund raiser for the Class of 63--who had asked me to book their grad party in June. Problem was, they had a total of $750 for the whole affair. That would not have gotten them much more than a venue and food. I suggested 'rolling the dice,' taking their $750 and booking a band as a fundraiser. It was a huge success--the class and I split $4,000 that night (unfortunately, not 50/50. I got $600 which was a lot of money for a kid in 1963!) The "boys" made $50 or $60 a piece, which was a lot for them. Believe it or not, they were making $350 to $500 a night at the time. I'd paid them $750 on behalf of the class, but that included an allowance for six round trip airline tickets from LAX:) They simply couldn't believe the class and I had made 4 grand! I said they should start producing their own shows, not relying on agents and promoters to make all the money. But they didn't have the time. Mike was going through his first divorce, Carl and Dave were in high school, Brian was busy writing songs, and Denny spent his days on the beach, 'surfing.' In fact, he was the ONLY Beach Boy who actually surfed! Alan was trying to decide whether he should go back to pre-dentistry or stay in the BB's. I think AJ made the right decision, don't you? Murry Wilson, the father of Brian, Dennis and Carl, hired me that night as their first advance man--and marketing manager. I became their personal manager in June 1969. Ran their label, traveled the world, joined Capitol Records, then RCA, as a promotion and marketing exec. Got to work with many of my heroes..Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, John Denver and numerous others. Moved to Nashville in '74, founded Treasure Isle Recorders in 1980. Been here 33 years--we're the oldest indie studio in Music City, USA that is still under it's original ownership. Again, got to work with even more heroes: Dolly, Alabama, James Taylor, The Byrds, Charlie Pride, Michael W. Smith, Emmylou Harris, and the late Johnny Cash, Isaac Hayes, Billy Preston. Recorded the debut albums of Travis Tritt, Highway 101, Desert Rose Band, Pam Tillis, Foster and Lloyd, and Jason Aldean, who's been recording with me for over ten years. Jason had the top selling country album of 2011--"My Kinda Party," which had a record setting five #1 singles and went Triple Platinum. His latest is "Night Train," already certified Platinum and has already had two #1 singles as of this writing (Feb 12, 2013). But as I pointed out to Joe who thankfully runs this site, keep in mind I don't get a 'royalty,' only 'bragging rights!' I've been truly blessed to have found a career I would have been glad to do for 'free' and have managed to make a living at it for the past 50 years. We're all 'survivors,' friends and classmates. I was amazed at the number of classmates that didn't make it 50 years. We really are blessed to be survivors. If any of you who may happen to visit Nashville down the road, please look me up. I love showing off "Music City, USA." Call me at 615.297.0700.

Where do you live now, and what are your favorite activities at present?

Keeping up with my 14 year old daughter, Taylor, who just was 'promoted' from Middle School to high school on Monday, May 13. She made the honor roll all three years. She plays clarinet and oboe--is a Blue Ribbon model and has won multiple sewing competitions in the Williamson county 4-H, a Senior Girl Scout and--get this--a rapper to boot:) She wants to attend Vanderbilt University here--where my wife, Debbie, is Business Manager in the Office Of Undergraduate Admissions. As to me, I enjoy photography, travel, SCUBA diving, collecting movie and music memorabilia and my '55 Bel Air Chevy, which I hope to sell this year so I can do some work on our home:)

Any favorite memories from High School?

The great teachers, the fellowship, the Friday night games at Abbott Field, the concerts I put on in the "Boy's Gym" as Commissioner of Entertainment. You were witness to the early careers of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, who had just had their first #1 record, "Shop Around," Jan & Dean, a year or more before "Surf City," star of "The Rifleman," and television icon--and the Justin Beiber of his era--Johnny Crawford, also Bobby Freeman, The Diamonds and a few others. We were all fortunate to attend EC when it was considered one of the top high schools in California. I was blessed to have had a lifelong friendship with my favorite teacher, Paul Moser, and was honored to speak at his Memorial Service. Paul was a mentor and hero for well over 30 years. At a reception after his service I spent some time with Jackie Kelly, John Otter, Coach Ernst, and a few other ECHS staff. I understand that Jackie has since passed.

Can you share any remembrances of favorite teachers/coaches/administrators at ECHS?

Some of you know of my lifelong (until he passed away) friendship with Paul Moser. Paul was the chairman of the Social Science Department during our four years at EC. I went to summer school one year just to take another class from him. In our senior year I was his teacher assistant. I was truly honored to be asked by his wife, Berniece, to speak at his funeral. I hope that all of you had at least one ''Paul Moser'' in the course of your education. Paul was a role model and inspiration. RIP, ''PV.'' I also enjoyed Mr. Studley, journalism advisor, Mr. Teal (drama), Tom Armstrong (Cadets).

Tell us about your family--children, grandchildren?

Taylor, 14 (see above) and wife Debbie. No grandkids....I just put two shotguns on lay-a-way to avoid that!!!! :)

Frederick's Latest Interactions

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Frederick Vail has a birthday today.
Mar 24, 2024 at 4:33 AM
Frederick Vail has a birthday today.
Mar 24, 2023 at 4:33 AM
Frederick Vail has a birthday today.
Mar 24, 2022 at 4:33 AM
Frederick Vail added a comment on Profile.
Aug 05, 2021 at 11:53 AM
Frederick Vail has a birthday today.
Mar 24, 2021 at 4:33 AM
Frederick Vail has left an In Memory comment for David MacMurdo Jr.
Aug 15, 2020 at 4:59 PM

So sorry to learn of another ECHS classmate who has passed on. Dave's father was Pastor of St. Mark's United Methodist Church, next to the former Orville Wright Elementary School. It was our family's home Church for a number of years. Both of my parent's Memorial Services were held there. Dave and I sang in the Youth Choir and in our 'unofficial' Madrigal group at ECHS. We've learned of three of our former classmates who have passed on this year and it certainly makes us re-evaluate our lives, look back with fondness of our younger days, when there was no Covid-19 to deal with (I guess Polio was the Covid-19 of ours, and our parent's generation. I remember taking the sugar cube vacine in the cafeteria/assembly room at Orville Wright. Mr. Foreman was the Principal and many who went to Orville Wright moved on to Thomas Starr King when it opened). Even though Dave and I did not keep in touch following our graduation from ECHS, the bond we formed while classmates was--and is--a lasting one. RIP, Dave. You were a great guy, a good friend, and will be missed by your classmates, family, extended family, and all who knew you. 

Frederick Vail has left an In Memory comment for Jerry Shanks.
Jul 27, 2020 at 12:14 PM

Sorry to hear another ECHS classmate has passed. I did not know Jerry well but that does not diminish the sadness of learning of another passing. I hope all my fellow ECHS classmates are safe and well during these crazy 'new normal' times. I for one cannot wait for the return to the 'old normal.'  Stay safe, one and all.   Fred

Frederick Vail posted a message.
Jul 22, 2020 at 6:17 PM

Hope all of you are safe from the Covid-19 pandemic. Wow. The 'old normal' would be very welcome now, indeed. Still going out to eat frequently....always sitting out doors when possible. Miss the large screen movies....too many re-runs on the tele. I know I've posted this before but if any of you have any of the El Caminians from our years at ECHS, I'd love to get hold of some of the features I wrote--particularly the one with me and Pat Boone, from our junior year, if I recall It was one of the issues that was printed on green paper. Also if any of you have pix of our all-night grad party. Love to see them. Take care, stay safe, and visit us if you're ever in "Music City, USA" 615-297-0700. Still at Treasure isle 40 years and counting. Jason Aldean is starting his 10th album with us. The great James Taylor just recorded with us for the second time. Nice guy. On the personal side--and I know many of you have grand-kids, but our daughter, Taylor, 21, is entering her senior year at Cornell. She's home this summer, like most college students, and is studying for her M-cat exam. Yes, she's pre-med. Stay safe one and all.

Frederick Vail has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Jun 11, 2020 at 5:22 PM

Wow. Just read Gay's post tellling us about Carole's passing. RIP, Gaylyn. 

Frederick Vail has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Jun 11, 2020 at 5:13 PM

I just left a comment on Randy's page. As I said in that rememberance, I remember them the way we were in ECHS so many years ago. Full of life and youthful optimism. I remember Carole's smale and the fun times we shared in various school drama productions. Mr. Teal's classes and plays are still vivid in my mind. I'm glad that Carole contributed so much via her work for MADD and thereafter. A great life well lived. RIP

Frederick Vail has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Jun 11, 2020 at 4:52 PM

Greetings classmates, near and far. Like so many of the posts I've read regarding the passing of Randy and Carole--and the impact they had on our lives before, during or after ECHS, their greatest--and last--gift is that we all remember them with such fondness. We remember the indelible  mark they left on us. We cherish those memories and we now pray for them and their families and extended families. Oddly, when I think of Randy, I think of him the way he was back iwhen we ran into each other in the hallways or when I saw him on the basketball court in the Boy's Gym. It was always Randy's sportsmanship that I remember most. I had no idea he was such an accomplished student. I certainly did not know he graduated from Stanford. My family has gone there since 1899--four generations, including my Father and Uncle. I was NEVER Stanford material. I knew that early on:) As to Carole, it was ithe connection we had to Mr. Teal and Drama--class plays and other such endeavors. I've said it before: "It's not the aches and pains of growing old--not the dimished eyesight or hearing--that hurt me the most. It's saying "good-bye" to all those who we grew up with, Who nurtured us--be it parents, family, teachers or friends. Our lives are all richer because of Randy and Carole. RIP.

Frederick Vail posted a message.
Jun 11, 2020 at 4:29 PM

Hi, Susan...sorry for the trouble trying to hook up. Ken told me you had wanted to get a message to me (not sure whether phone, e-mail, or through the ECHS62 site. Either way, here's all the info: phone (615) 297.0700, e-mail or via this site. I should check it out more frequently than I do, but wanted to get this off to you before I add my thoughts regarding Randy and Carole. So sad. Stay safe. Fred Franklin, TN 15 miles south of Music City, USA!

Frederick Vail added a comment on Profile.
Apr 04, 2020 at 12:48 PM
Frederick Vail posted a message.
Apr 04, 2020 at 12:39 PM

Hope you and your families are doing well during these tragic and uncertain times. Keep in mind our families are survivors and our parents weathered the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1917-1918 just fine! Fondly remember our years at Orville Wright, Starr King and ECHS! A very “Happy Birthday” birthday ?? to you. Stay healthy and ditto to your sister and Jim and his family.

Frederick Vail posted a message. New comment added.
Jun 11, 2020 at 5:06 PM

Posted on: Mar 25, 2020 at 5:27 PM

Great reading about your life leaving ECHS. I’m in the midst of a project and will add to this in the next day or two—but one quick question: was the history teacher you refer to “Mr. Moser,” as opposed to “Mosby?” Await your reply. “Safe at home” in Franklin, TN. Fred

Frederick Vail has a birthday today. New comment added.
Jun 11, 2020 at 5:54 PM

Posted on: Mar 24, 2020 at 4:35 AM

Frederick Vail posted a message. New comment added.
Jun 24, 2019 at 10:12 AM

Posted on: Jun 23, 2019 at 8:09 PM

Happy Birthday to my Orville Wright, Starr King, ECHS, A Cappella, Arden Oaks friend! Hope you're doing great and music is still keeping you YOUNG and ACTIVE. Have a great summer and year and continue to share your truly God-given gift with others! Fred

Frederick Vail posted a message.
Jun 02, 2019 at 6:15 PM

Greetings from 20 miles south of "Music City, USA," Jim....saw your recent pix on your Scotland/London/UK trip. Some great photos and captions. I am a huge fan of the UK, especially London, with all it's history. Actually, my Father's side of the Vail/Dodd clan is from Scotland and Ireland. The Dodd farm is still in the family as far as I know and that is well over 150 years. My folks visited it, along with an Aunt and Uncle, and at least one cousin, but It's on my "Bucket List" to do someday soon, perhaps, next year. As to London, I've been fortunate to visit there at least four times, spoke at an International Beach Boys event there in '03. In 2010, Debbie, Taylor and I visited London, Liverpool, Manchester, Chelmsford, and stayed at the Marriott County Hall, our room window was literally next to "the Eye" That city is loaded with history, which is one of my passions, and 10 Downing Street, Parliament, the 'war rooms,' the Royal Military Museum, the changing of the guard are all great memories. Of course, visiting Abby Road, the studio were all those great George Martin/Beatles records were made, was another highlight of my visits there. Who can resist getting a photo of the famous street crossing outside the studio, or the iconic Cavern Club in Liverpool where the Beatles thing really got off the ground. Speaking of the London/UK experience, just saw "Rocketman" this weekend...enjoyed the film and it certainly showed the complex life of Sir Elton, whom I had the pleasure of visiting with (he was a special 'surprise' walk-on guest at a Beach Boys/Chicago concert at Colorado State University on July 6, 1975. ) And, yes, unlike his 'on stage' persona, he is quite introverted in a one on one scenario. Always enjoy your pix and observations, Jim. Say 'hi' to Karen.

Frederick Vail posted a message. New comment added.
Apr 02, 2019 at 4:10 PM

Posted on: Apr 02, 2019 at 2:33 PM

Great to read about your accomplishments in public service. We certainly had a number of 'leaders' among our classmates at ECHS. Your lucky to live in the Puget Sound wife, Debbie, grew up in Seattle and the Tri-Cities, which was were I met her in 1995. We have looked at the Oregon and Washington coast as a possible retirement destination. but I have no intention of retiring:) Love Middle TN and the music biz to much and still have my studio which I started 40 years ago. We're now the 3rd oldest studio in Nashville still under it's original ownership and management. As to public service, while most know me as a former manager of The Beach Boys and a studio owner, in my 'other life' I ran for the US House of Representatives twice. losing in the primary in '84 and as the Reagan Republican nominee in '86, losing to the incumbent Democrat. That span of four years were among the happiest times of my life. My platform included term limits, a flat tax, strong defense, and a self directed IRA type of system to provide an additional safety net for a failing Social Seurity System. 35 years later nothing has been done in the majority of these cases. Term limits would dramatically help the system and problems we are seeing today. Have a great remainder of the year!

Frederick Vail posted a message.
Mar 28, 2019 at 3:29 PM

As I just wrote your lovely sister, I'll send my birthday greetings a bit early this year, as opposed to late, as it was last year:) Spring has finally come to Middle TN and it's sunny and mid-70's today. It was a pretty cold winter, but, fortunately, no much snow. Remembering, fondly, our childhood escapades and travels--and those fab years at Orville Wright, Starr King and ECHS. So glad our families were so close and our dear mother's great friendship and bond. Have a great birthday, and a great remainder of 2019! Fred (and Debbie)

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Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:28 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:28 AM
Fred with President Reagan