Chad Bishop was a comedian before anything else.
The 44-year-old Alabama native, who is known around town for his soulful crooning as the frontman of The Master Plan and cover band In Contempt, grew up making his family and friends laugh by doing uncanny impressions of legendary singers. When he was a young boy, he would stay up until midnight with his mother waiting for his father to get home from work. Every night, the two of them watched The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It enthralled him — in particular, an impressionist called Rich Little would do bits that his mother would make his mother laugh. Bishop was hooked.
He wanted to grow up to be a showman. He played trombone from grade school through high school, earning a scholarship to attend Alabama State University. That first semester, his trombone — a graduation gift from his parents — had an accident. His roommates were wresting around and smashed the horn. “My parents weren’t about to buy me a new one, so I put the trombone down and started singing,” Bishop said.
Listening to his father’s old comedy tapes, he discovered a bit in which an impressionist imitated the likes of Elvis Presley, James Brown and Michael Jackson. He memorized the sketch front to back and performed it for his friends. They would find it hilarious yet urged him to take singing more seriously, but it wasn’t until Bishop was in Colorado, fresh out of the military, that he found his footing in pursuing music seriously.