Bluejay: Getting to know the mind of a child prodigy

"60 Minutes" Executive Editor Bill Owens looks back at a favorite story about an extraordinary boy.

A special post from Bill Owens:

Child prodigies have always been a favorite story target for 60 Minutes but as a producer who covered "harder" stories, I wasn't looking for one. In fact, I had just about wrapped up my first "soft" story, a profile of opera star Placido Domingo, when I found out about a little 12-year-old boy who was making a big splash up the street from our offices at The Julliard School, a world famous music conservancy in Manhattan.

Jay Greenberg signed his compositions "Bluejay" because that particular bird was small and made a lot of noise -- just like him. Jay told me that music came to him, fully composed all the time. He couldn't turn it off. His professors told me they had never seen anything like it before, and in terms of historical context, nothing like his talent had been seen or heard since the likes of Mozart, Mendelssohn or Saint-Saens.

As talented as Jay was, the story of how his family discovered his gifts and how they tried to manage them made for a classic "60 Minutes" story (if I don't say so). I couldn't have pulled it off without my excellent associate producer Catherine Herrick and terrific editor Elizabeth Sweetnam. So without further ado, turn up the volume and listen to the most sophisticated notes you'll ever hear a Bluejay produce.

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