His band broke attendance records locally -- but what you might not know is his passion wasn't really to be a rock star.

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CLEVELAND -- He's the man responsible for writing the soundtrack of life in Northeast Ohio.

Anyone growing up in Cleveland in the '70s and '80s knew of Michael Stanley.

His band broke attendance records locally -- but what you might not know is his passion wasn't really to be a rock star.

"I didn't get into this to be the front guy in MSB. I got into it to be a songwriter," he said. "That's what I wanted to do. If I could play in a band -- that's great. I'd have just as good a time playing in a band. But I'd just as soon be the bass player playing in the back, rather than the guy out front. That was just sort of an accident."

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Forty-five years later, he's far from finished.

"I really feel like there are things that are still to be learned as a songwriter at this point," he says.

That's why almost every year he puts out a new album. He's written some 400 songs in four years, and you can still find him performing around town with The Resonators or Midlife Chryslers.

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"We're not curing cancer, we're not solving world peace, but we are doing something positive," he says.

On the walls of his basement, the story of his musical life that is truly part of Cleveland history.

Were there regrets?

"My biggest regret is for a lot of people there is a feeling that -- and this would be in reference to MSB -- that it wasn't a successful band, that we were only a Cleveland band," he says. "We were on the road for seven, eight months a year for 13 years. We had two or three Top 40 hits. We had 10, 11 albums or something like that. You don't do that if you weren't successful. Did we reach the level that we wanted to or the fans wanted us to? No we didn't. We fell real short of that."

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At the same time, he's proud of what he's accomplished, and, at 66, he is still staying true to his musical soul.

"I'm very proud that we've been able to do it this long, this successfully and this well," Stanley says.

But it hasn't been an easy road, which is why he tells young artists to always have a Plan B.

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"It was a real hard job -- it was a real fun job, though, that was the difference," he says. "Most people have a real hard job one way or another. It's a question of do you mind getting up and going to do that? I'm a disc jockey now -- it's not a hard job. I like it, but it's not a hard job. Being a rock band and doing it the right way? It takes its toll. That's why a lot of people fall by the wayside in the process."

To learn more about Michael Stanley and get a copy of his latest release, click HERE.

Watch the Michael Stanley Band in a WKYC interview from 1982:

Michael Stanley 1982 interview

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