Published Jan 28, 2015Kenny G is best known as a purveyor of smooth sax jams, but he may actually have an even more famous legacy: according to the horn player born Kenneth Gorelick, he gave Starbucks the idea for its Frappuccino.
The sax man made this claim in a recent interview with Bloomberg:
At the beginning, Starbucks didn't have anything but coffee. And there was another company, Coffee Bean, that had something called 'blended' that was a sweet drink and people were lined up around the block. And I would always call Howard and say, "Howard, there's this thing that they do there that's like a milkshake or whatever." And so I think that part of the reason that they did Frappuccino was people like me giving them that kind of feedback. So I'd like to think that I was partially responsible for that.
This claim might not actually be as far-fetched as it initially seems. Kenny G was one of Starbucks' earliest investors, and he is friends with with CEO Howard Schultz. So while we don't know if Kenny really did give Schultz the idea, it's entirely possible that he advised him about the company.
The Frap was introduced in 1995, which was right at the height of Kenny G's commercial success. His massively successful album Breathless came out in 1992, which lends credibility to the notion that he would have had the ear of a corporate CEO.
Meanwhile, Kenny G's album Brazilian Nights came out yesterday (January 27). Something tells us that he's going to sell fewer CDs this week than Starbucks will sell Frappuccinos.