The Music Man

Soap Opera Digest How does it feel to be Y&R’s resident songmeister?

Thad Luckinbill (laughs): I’ve never been called that before.

Digest How did this all come about?

Luckinbill: It was a random situation. The writers and producers felt like it might be a good idea. They wanted me to sing a song by Alison Krauss called, “When You Say Nothing at All.” I liked it, was sitting at home one night working on that song and this new song just came about. Digest That would be “Feel,” which J.T. sang to Colleen for Valentine’s Day?

Luckinbill: That’s right. I was thinking of the character’s viewpoint, from J.T. to Colleen. If he were going to write her a song, what would he write? And these words came out. I ended up writing a song that night, which I took to our producers and said, “I know you want me to sing this song, but how do you feel about this one? It’s character driven.” They loved it. [Co-Executive Producer/Co-Head Writer] Jack Smith said, “Okay, you’re going to do both of them.” That’s when he wrote me playing the guitar for Colleen at the Valentine’s Day dance.Digest So, you actually wrote the song in character as J.T.?

Luckinbill: That’s really what happened. It was dark, and I just tried to lose myself in the idea. The whole thing is loaded with meaningful words from the character.Digest: How excited were you to sing your own song on television?

Luckinbill: Music has always been a passion of mine, but I never thought I’d be sitting here recording a song, listening to it and watching it all come together. I take my hat off to Jack Allocco, our music director, because he did a great job with the song.Digest You come from a musical background, correct?

Luckinbill: I grew up with music. Some of my first memories are when my mom recorded a record. I was just a kid, but I remember running around this recording studio she was in. My mom has the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard. It’s angelic. She’s a trained singer, and my two older sisters took after her. Growing up, that’s what we did — we sat around the baby grand, sang and listened to her play. My mom’s parents were musicians and singers.Digest When did you start playing guitar?

Luckinbill: I took piano lessons as a kid, but then I got into sports, so I didn’t pick up the guitar until I was 17 or 18. But I’ve played ever since. My brother-in-law taught me how. He’s a great guitarist, and a singer to boot.Digest How did you feel when they played one of your songs during the Y&R montage at the Emmy Awards?

Luckinbill: It was a real surprise. It was more shocking than cool. I had no idea they were going to do that. I was just sitting there in the chair turning red, going, “I can’t believe it!” It was great for me and neat for my mom to see, too. My parents were thrilled.

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