I grew up in California in the mid-1950s. My musical influences were many, both from radio and recordings and, of course, my father - William Doran. With thumbpick in hand and the help of an excellent guitar teacher, Robert Bennett, I began to study the guitar techniques of Merle Travis as I perceived them from recordings. It wasn't until I was 21 that I met the man himself after a concert at the Hollywood Palladium. Merle was standing next to his powder-blue Cadillac convertible when my father urged me forward. I think he was impressed that I would ask questions about the guitar rather than his movies. My friendship with Merle lasted several years and included frequent Sunday afternoon conversations, mainly guitar talk, either at his home or on the phone. In my late 30s I attended classes in music composition and lyric writing at the UCLA Music Department; that's where I learned to write melodies so I could compose my own songs. Later, I met French fingerstyle virtuoso, Marcel Dadi who introduced me to Chet Atkins and invited me, along with five other American guitarists, to perform and teach guitar workshops at the Atkins/Dadi Guitar Festival held each year in historic Issoudun, France. Then in 1995, Marcel Dadi, Dr. Mark Pritcher, and Chet Atkins invited me to teach Merle Travis picking techniques and perform in a mainstage concert at the annual Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. I have been teaching and performing at CAAS ever since. In 1997 Stephen Rekas and William Bay of Mel Bay Publications asked me to write a book about the fingerstyle techniques of Merle Travis. It's my great pleasure to share my music with you in this third solo effort for the company.