Dr. Maurice “Bugs” Bower — a former record company assistant, U.S. Army sergeant, composer/arranger, producer, publisher and recipient of two Grammy Awards — is a 95-year-old Ponte Vedra resident and author whose musical journey began at the Juilliard School. His book, “Nice Stories About Nice People,” is a memoir of his experiences working with famous artists such as Bing Crosby and Kool & The Gang, and now it’s being distributed around the U.S.
Bower authored the book five years ago and printed it with Xlibris. The company offered to sell the book, Bower said, and it eventually showed up on Amazon and at Walmart stores across the nation.
“Just last month we have a neighbor, he came in with the book in a hard cover,” Bower recanted. “I look at it and I'm like, ‘How can this be?’”
Bower said his neighbor then informed him that “Nice Stories About Nice People” is available on Amazon for $30. Before he knew it, the book was selling online and at major stores such as Walmart – and Bower didn’t see it coming.
Having worked with an eclectic group of famous musicians and bands, Bower's self-published book is a collection of stories about his time in the music industry. Highlights include spending time with Bing Crosby in his limo, where he asked the driver to pull over and pick up two nuns who were walking in the pouring rain on New York City streets. Other stories include lunch with Steve Allen and a seemingly random phone call from Joe Pesci who inquired about striking a money deal with Bower to use one of his songs, “Caterina,” for an upcoming television show.
Bouwer said he wrote the book primarily for his children to remember his accomplishments.
“I wrote it to give to them and say, ‘This is what I did,’” Bower said. “And so they can look back at my life and see what things were like.”