The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #23340   Message #743039
Posted By: Don Firth
05-Jul-02 - 03:56 PM
Thread Name: BS: Why aren't most Mudcatters musicians
Subject: RE: BS: Why aren't most Mudcatters musicians
Following misophist's example, I, too, will assume that this thread poses a serious question. And GUEST Rump, etc., I think you may be making rash assumptions about the contributors to Mudcat. For example, even though misophist may not have achieved professional renown, one need not be a professional to be regarded as a musician.

As for myself:— I began taking singing lessons in 1949 when I was eighteen, with no particular plans to do anything with it other than just have fun. When I was twenty-one, I became intensely interested in folk music and began to learn the guitar. I took several months' lessons in folk guitar from Walt Robertson, then began studying classic guitar in 1955. I took voice lessons and classic guitar lessons off and on for the next dozen years. I had an opportunity to take flamenco guitar lessons from Antonio Zori for six months in 1962. I attended the University of Washington School of Music for three years and the Cornish School of the Arts (Music Program) for two years. I also studied music theory privately. In folk guitar styles, folklore, and ethnomusicology I am essentially self-taught, but I have learned a great deal from others (and not all of them were musicians).

I began teaching classic and folk guitar privately in the mid-Fifties, and started the first folk guitar classes in Seattle in 1960. I taught for a total of twelve years, in class and privately.

Between 1955 and 1966, I sang regularly in coffeehouses and clubs, did about forty concerts in the Pacific Northwest, California, Colorado, British Columbia and Ontario. I had my own television series on public television, and did several other shows on both public and commercial TV. I performed several times a week during the Seattle World's Fair in 1962, was a regular performer at the Seattle Center Hootenannies, and was a member of the Seattle Center Hootenanny Tour Group. I have participated in numerous folk festivals in the Pacific Northwest and in California.

I made my living that way, and although I wasn't getting rich by any means, I was able to eat, pay the rent, and enjoy the simple things of life. In 1966, I grew weary of the sporadic and unpredictable nature of my income, so I took a "day job." I have continued to perform, but since I no longer rely on music for my livelihood, I sing only when and where I want to. I also still give an occasional guitar lesson.

1.— I think I probably qualify as a "musician;"

2.— So I have no intention of shutting up;

3.— And if you can't find enough music threads, you just ain't lookin'.

Don Firth