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Magical Musical Moments

Deckman 28 Oct 01 - 06:05 PM
Gypsy 28 Oct 01 - 06:11 PM
Deckman 28 Oct 01 - 06:24 PM
kendall 28 Oct 01 - 06:31 PM
Snuffy 28 Oct 01 - 06:42 PM
Deckman 28 Oct 01 - 06:47 PM
Ebbie 28 Oct 01 - 08:24 PM
SINSULL 28 Oct 01 - 08:30 PM
kendall 28 Oct 01 - 08:30 PM
Deckman 28 Oct 01 - 10:32 PM
Benjamin 28 Oct 01 - 11:08 PM
Phil Cooper 28 Oct 01 - 11:10 PM
DougR 29 Oct 01 - 12:16 AM
Seamus Kennedy 29 Oct 01 - 01:28 AM
pinkfiddle 29 Oct 01 - 05:25 AM
Deckman 29 Oct 01 - 09:44 AM
MMario 29 Oct 01 - 10:27 AM
Trevor 29 Oct 01 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 29 Oct 01 - 11:23 AM
Don Firth 29 Oct 01 - 03:47 PM
Liz the Squeak 29 Oct 01 - 04:29 PM
Liz the Squeak 29 Oct 01 - 04:35 PM
Don Firth 29 Oct 01 - 05:34 PM
Paul from Hull 29 Oct 01 - 05:41 PM
kendall 29 Oct 01 - 08:12 PM
Bill D 29 Oct 01 - 09:34 PM
Deckman 29 Oct 01 - 09:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Oct 01 - 11:46 PM
Liz the Squeak 30 Oct 01 - 03:20 PM
Don Firth 30 Oct 01 - 03:24 PM
kendall 30 Oct 01 - 03:33 PM
Deckman 30 Oct 01 - 03:42 PM
Deckman 30 Oct 01 - 05:02 PM
Paul from Hull 30 Oct 01 - 05:14 PM
Deckman 30 Oct 01 - 11:03 PM
Sourdough 31 Oct 01 - 08:45 PM
Deckman 31 Oct 01 - 09:02 PM
Deckman 31 Oct 01 - 09:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Nov 01 - 12:05 AM
53 01 Nov 01 - 12:34 AM
cyder_drinker 01 Nov 01 - 05:34 AM
Bill D 01 Nov 01 - 08:18 AM
Don Firth 02 Nov 01 - 03:09 AM
Deckman 02 Nov 01 - 06:21 AM
Jeremiah McCaw 02 Nov 01 - 10:45 AM
Deckman 02 Nov 01 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 02 Nov 01 - 05:43 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Nov 01 - 11:51 PM
Deckman 03 Nov 01 - 12:23 AM
lady penelope 03 Nov 01 - 06:03 AM
Helen 03 Nov 01 - 10:37 PM
Deckman 03 Nov 01 - 10:45 PM
Sourdough 04 Nov 01 - 05:28 AM
Giac 04 Nov 01 - 07:53 AM
Matthew Edwards 04 Nov 01 - 08:50 AM
kendall 04 Nov 01 - 09:25 AM
Don Firth 04 Nov 01 - 02:18 PM
Susan from California 04 Nov 01 - 02:51 PM
GUEST 05 Nov 01 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,katlaughing 05 Nov 01 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Norton1 05 Nov 01 - 03:32 PM
Deckman 05 Nov 01 - 07:51 PM
Big Mick 05 Nov 01 - 11:59 PM
Helen 06 Nov 01 - 04:05 AM
Don Firth 06 Nov 01 - 02:31 PM
Deckman 06 Nov 01 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,katlaughing 06 Nov 01 - 06:20 PM
Deckman 06 Nov 01 - 07:14 PM
Deckman 07 Nov 01 - 05:04 PM
Art Thieme 07 Nov 01 - 09:38 PM
Deckman 07 Nov 01 - 09:55 PM
Robin2 07 Nov 01 - 10:20 PM
Deckman 07 Nov 01 - 10:38 PM
katlaughing 07 Nov 01 - 10:47 PM
Robin2 07 Nov 01 - 11:07 PM
Deckman 08 Nov 01 - 12:09 AM
Art Thieme 08 Nov 01 - 07:49 PM
Robin2 08 Nov 01 - 07:58 PM
Deckman 08 Nov 01 - 09:28 PM
Deckman 08 Nov 01 - 09:38 PM
Art Thieme 09 Nov 01 - 01:47 AM
Deckman 09 Nov 01 - 09:44 AM
Helen 09 Nov 01 - 05:04 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Nov 01 - 03:52 PM
Deckman 27 Nov 01 - 12:43 PM
Gervase 28 Nov 01 - 08:02 AM
Don Firth 28 Nov 01 - 02:59 PM
SINSULL 28 Nov 01 - 05:08 PM
Lonesome EJ 28 Nov 01 - 05:56 PM
Kaleea 29 Nov 01 - 04:49 AM
JudeL 29 Nov 01 - 05:32 AM
Deckman 29 Nov 01 - 05:51 AM
Deckman 29 Nov 01 - 05:54 AM
JudeL 29 Nov 01 - 07:18 AM
JudeL 29 Nov 01 - 07:26 AM
KingBrilliant 29 Nov 01 - 08:50 AM
Deckman 30 Nov 01 - 06:17 AM
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Subject: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 06:05 PM

For some time now, I've been thinking about opening this subject. Over the years I've spent thousands of hours sharing music with my friends at hoots. I probably attended my first hoot when I was 16, and that's 48 years of wonderful moments of folkmusic, companionship, laughs, tears, hugs, chicken skin and memories. I've seen good hoots go bad, I've seen bad hoots get good. I've hosted many hoots and I've learned that the best laid plans usually don't happen. For the last fifteen years or so, my approach has been ... "let's invite everyone and let them fight it out for themselves!" The 'fight' I refer to is the predicable struggle for dominance at a hoot. Sometime it's tussle between a newcomer and a regular. Sometimes it's a struggle between a very young brash 'wanna' be who doesn't know the etiquette and those who prefer manners. Oftimes it's a competition between rival singers, usually with a lady somewhere in the mix. And I have witnessed the opposite ... two gorgeous woman singers fighting over the same guy ... that was a night! It's somewhat amusing to me that at my safe and sane age of 64, and being safely married, I still see these contests happen ... Oh well! Most of the times I've just felt a sweet coming together of old friends sharing our mutual love and respect for each other and out mutual love for our wonderful music. Having said all that, I want to set the stage and invite you to describe, and share with us ... that SPECIAL MAGICAL moment that you experienced and will never forget. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Gypsy
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 06:11 PM

Well, Bob, this is timely. After caregiving for the past four and a half years, the handsome mando player and i could go OUT of town, and stay at a late night session. The magick really started around midnight (what a surprise, eh?) and the crowd thinned down to the group we usually have at our own house, someone we didn't know, and the hosts. Got in a few solid hours of REALLY good music. And, will be having the weekly session here, tonight. Just doesn't get better than a full weekend of music. Unless, it is a full WEEK of sessions.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 06:24 PM

GOOD GRIEF GYPSY ... talk about timely! I posted my thread at 6:05 and you jumped in at 6:11. Is there some kind of a land speed world record possible here? I suspect that you will win! It must have been wonderful to get out after such a time. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: kendall
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 06:31 PM

Probably my most recent magic moment was the little group at the getaway by the fireplace in the dining hall. Another was meeting Rick Fielding at the Patons, and, being able to pick with him. He is so good, I expected him to bury me, but, it worked well. Bob, how do you get them to fight over you? Are you taking notes Doug?


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Snuffy
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 06:42 PM

A couple of weeks ago at the UK Catters Llanstock 2 gathering, after the ceilidh and the singaround had ended, we just met upstairs and there was an hour or so of truly magical singing with wonderful harmonies. I hope I may be fortunate enough to have another equally memorable experience at least once in my life.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 06:47 PM

Kendall ... Come on guy, you remember the rules don't you ... "a gentleman never tells." Actually, you gave me a much needed belly laugh because I WAS NOT the singer pursued. In fact, several months after the incident, I was terribly relieved to realize that had I been the chosen "prize", I would have seriously regretted it. (isn't that how we all learn to sing love ballads with such feeling?) CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 08:24 PM

There are 8 to 12 people in our weekly core group usually with the odd visitor or two. Sometimes- and there doesn't seem to be a surefire formula for it- it's a magic night where the richness of sound and the atmosphere of cherishing acceptance (I'm fumbling here) is so all-pervasive you don't want to ever have it end. Where you wish you could sing all the songs right over again, or that there were more verses or that time could hold still...Where nothing can go wrong. Where there is an epiphany of sorts in recognizing the unique connection of everybody to everybody and everything. How's it go? I believe in music.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: SINSULL
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 08:30 PM

Most recent? Obviously at the Getaway. The same session Kendall mentioned. He and Sandy Paton started alternating hobo songs. Kendall sang one about a tramp coming home to his mother after ten years and I teared up - just put my baby boy on the road again and it hit awfully close to home.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: kendall
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 08:30 PM

That was the editorial "You" Bob.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 10:32 PM

One of the more memorable "hoot happenings" occurred in the Fall of 1958, at Almar Lanczos's home in North Seattle. For those who were'nt privy, every Saturday night was 'hoot' night at Almars, wether he was home or not! (some of the best hoots happened when he was out of town, but that's another tale). This story tells a lot about my friend Don Firth ... I really should call him and tell him that I started this post! Anyway, for about four months straight, there was this one beautiful girl that used to show up for every hoot. Almar's house was only about a mile from the U. of W. campus, so there was always a bevy of beauties about. For the life of me, I can't remember her name, but I can still picture her, sitting in the corner, leaning against the wall, always requesting that Don sing "Greensleeves." She must have been in her romantic period, because that's all she requested. Finally Don, who always did the best performance of Greensleves, complete with full classical guitar accompaniment, had had enough. This particuliar night, with NO WARNING, he launched into "GREENSLEEVES." The talking blues version, full bass runs on the guitar ala the talking union blues style.
Alas my love you do me wrong,br> to treat me so discourtesly
(try it, it really works well). After this shocker, the poor girl stood up, tossed her hair, and without a 'fair thee well', left. We never saw her again. Now THAT was a magical moment. Later that evening I talked with Don about it. He simply said, "I was tired of the song." CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Benjamin
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 11:08 PM

I'd say the first honors recital I played at my school. I felt that I'd played poorly in the jury, but was appearently alone on that. I then played for the Seattle Musical Arts Society (another performance offered for the reward). Dispite a poor performance, the society had a lot of great stuff to say about me (they even called the organizer of the recital and told her some nice things). I had discussions about performance with some of them. When the honors recital finally came, I had a lot of adrenolim when I went on stage. I can remember how it felt walking out, sitting down, hitting the first chord, and everything that followed. I then forgot about the ending, but quickly wrote a new one (maybe the only thing I can't remember, but it did work quite well). It turned out to be the best I had played up to that point, and it was on stage! People had some very flattering things to say afterwards. Since, I've improved a lot (and still have a lot to improve) and feel much calmer on stage and over all, I feel that I give a better performance. But the excitement before, during, and after that performance will always stand out as a favorte moment.

As an audience member, I'd have to say seeing David Russell for the first time. I had just started studing classical the previous year. My teacher had been telling me that I had to go see him as he was one of the best in the world. I remember walking into the room wondering if he'd live up to all the hype. He turned out to be every bit as amazing, and more than he had been made out to be. I'm excited about the opportunity I have to see him again in April.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 11:10 PM

A magical musical moment occurred one year at the Kentucky Music Weekend. Sparky Rucker invited me to sit in on his blues workshop. I told him I only had two blues songs fit for company. He said come any way. Half way through the workshop I had already done my two songs and my singing partner, Margaret walked up. I knew she knew Dink's song, though it wasn't part of our repertoire. We started playing it, Sparky came in on harmonica and Karen, from the Real World String band added a lovely, swooping fiddle part. The song just took wings. I've thought you could get all of us involved in that in a studio with fancy equipment and never duplicate that one moment. Best music is out in the air and gone. But what great memories you've all shared in this thread.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: DougR
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 12:16 AM

Kendall: my pen is poised!

DougR


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 01:28 AM

1. Sitting in Kedall's front room swapping songs and bits of songs over a couple of beers, with the other Seamus lying on the floor between us.

2. At the Longs Peak Highland Games and Irish Festival in Estes Park, CO a few years ago. The festival was over and a group of performers, Alastair Fraser, Alex Beaton, Natalie McMaster, Dave McIsaac and myself, decided to have a session in the bar. The one rule was: no Irish or Scottish music since we'd been playing it on stage all weekend. Well, Alastair Fraser does a fine Stephane Grapelli (and just about everything else), Natalie does some fine Don Messer fiddlin', Alex did some Kenny Rogers, Dave McIsaac picked some great Doc Watson tunes, and I threw in a little Edith Piaf and Ernest Tubb. We had ball!

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: pinkfiddle
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 05:25 AM

Oh, my goodness there have been so many...

For listening to others play I would say.

Danu's encore at this year's Sidmouth festival where they sang Jock Stewart and the whole audience (packed with people who had escaped from disastrous Incredible String Band gig) joined in the chorus. An incredibly warm and neck hair raising experience and their arrangement of the song and the voice of their singer totally reinvented the song for me.

Martin Hayes anytime

My teacher, Kevin O Reilly, at the Willie Clancy Summer School playing the most beautiful and sad slow air I've ever heard with such feeling in each note that it made me want to cry.

Sorry if this is getting cheesy but you did ask..

For playing myself...

Playing the bones with my Dad Len Davies at the New Tavern in Sidmouth at the age of 12. The first gig I did on a big stage with a big PA - with Adrian Lever and Laura Cannell at the University of East Anglia in 1997. Any of the Monday night sessions I've been to at The Herschel Arms in Slough, but particularly the last time.

That's probably enough

See ya pf


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 09:44 AM

It was the Fall of 1959, in Sausalito California. Don and Patti and I were at "The Anchor Steam House, on the bridgeway as you enter town from San Francisco. This was a very large gathering place and tonight's performers were Bob Gibson and his partner. As usual, Bob held the audience in the palm of his hands. He gave a sterling performance and everyone was wired for more music after the concert. Patti decided that she could add to the festivities. We were all crowded close together on the floor, everyone just milling around, too many people and too little space. I grabbed a chair, set it on the floor in front of Patti, and handed her Martin to her. She looked at me, took the dare, and gave one of the most amazing performances I've ever witnessed. She plunked her foot on the chair, struck one loud chord, and starting quietly singing:
Come a landsman, a pinsman>br>a tinker or a tailor
a gentlman or a poor man, a poor boy or a tailor

The effect was like a bomb went off! The entire room became silent and people froze and turned to watch this little slip of blond beauty sing.When she finished the final chorus:
Don't you let me die an old maid
But take me out of pity

the place went crazy. It took us some time get her out of there. As I left, carrying her guitar, I couldn't help but notice the envious stares form all the guys! That was a magical moment! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: MMario
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 10:27 AM

One time that will probably stick in my mind for many more years (it's been there a while already) - late at night, after a wedding reception for my youngest sister - the rest of the siblings and a few in-laws; went down to the board walk over the salt marsh in our home town - and there in the moonlight lay on our backs, relaxed, reminisced and sang "the oldies". We paused at one point - and were amazed to have cheers and honkings come from the parking lot - where about a dozen cars had parked and were listening to our impromptu "concert"


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Trevor
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 11:03 AM

25 years ago I rented a cottage near where I was working, opposite Bird Rock in the Dysenni valley, mid-Wales. Some people came round, just with a fiddle, a flute and a guitar. I went for a walk in the field with a bright moon over the mountain and a frost in the air, and the music floating out from the house. It was a defining moment in my life, for various, boring, reasons, and one of those times when you almost want to die while things are so perfect. Pass the tissues.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 11:23 AM

1. I met Mister at a guitar pull, 12 years ago.

2. Playing in the dance orchestra at Mansker's Station with Dean Shostak, who I was so afraid of, who turned out to be a really swell guy. At this same event, another fiddler invited us into the house to play, and we had a really good little private jam session.

3. Last weekend, at Mansker's Station again, we were playing for the fall encampment, and I wasn't really in the mood... we were playing for the kids that afternoon, and sometimes kids are not all that interested in what you have to say... we played a fiddle tune, I don't remember which, and as we finished, one little boy, about 4 years old, hollered, "Again!" :-)


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:47 PM

Robert, m' boy, you do have a knack for starting some good ones. Sometimes I think it's all magical, but, racking my brain, a couple of moments in particular spring to mind.

1963, a warm Wednesday evening in midsummer at one of the Seattle Center Hootenannies: when the weather was good, they were held outdoors in front of the Horiuchi Mural, overlooking a large grassy area that formed a natural amphitheater, and on this particular evening I was on the program. Police estimates said that the crowd numbered about 6000. 6000 people applauding and cheering sounds a bit like surf. That's pretty heady stuff.

I was there the following Wednesday evening also, but this time I wasn't scheduled to perform. On the program was a recently formed bluegrass group who called themselves the "Turkey Pluckers." I don't remember who all was in the group now, but the nucleus was Phil and Vivian Williams. Phil played 5-string banjo and Vivian played fiddle. In fact, Vivian had just returned from a national fiddlers' contest were she had won the competition -- the first woman to have ever done so. This evening the Turkey Pluckers finished their portion of the program with their signature piece, The Orange Blossom Special (new to most people's ears at the time). And Vivian, as usual, gave a bravura performance, starting at a moderate speed, slowly building in tempo, and toward the end, her fiddle strings were smokin'! Just as the last notes died away, the crowd (police estimate, 15,000) went insane! The ovation was deafening and it must of lasted for good five minutes.

For me, one of the quieter magical moments occurred at the end of an evening when I sang at the Corroboree (a coffeehouse run by Stan James, an Australophile). It had been a good, mellow evening all the way, and at the end of the late last set, there were only about a dozen people left in the place. The next to last song I sang was a quiet love song, and as I reach the end of the set, it seemed almost too quiet to sing anything more, so I ended with a classic guitar piece, Romance de Amor. It's a fairly simple but lovely piece of music in which a romantic melody floats on top of a flowing arpeggio pattern. At the and, I brushed my thumb lightly across the strings for the final E minor chord and let it quietly die away. Silence followed. A few moments later everybody got up and left, quietly thanking me for the music as they filed out.

Applause is great. But sometimes no applause can be just as great.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 04:29 PM

Milton Abbey Music festival, 1989. I'd just got over 2 black eyes and some internal damage given me by a definately EX partner, and was feeling a bit fragile still, but went to the festival anyway because he wouldn't be able to find me there, in what is a boys boarding school.

Saturday morning, a sung mass in the abbey. The setting was Mozart, "Coronation", the anthem, Holst, "Let all mortal flesh keep silence".

The Mozart was stupendous, something about that Credo that just rips the soul out, but the Holst, with the need for a 36' pipe and a descant that goes up to Bb nearly 2 octaves over middle C (on a bad day I have around 2 & 1/2 octaves from G under C, and this was a good day.....) just took that soul, smoothed it out, patched up the rips and gently put it back in.....

The setting was a perfect mediaeval abbey (it isn't but the style is) and the weather was gorgeous. The people I was with were all friends, the school had been that of my first love and his picture was on the wall of our dorm room. The organist was one of the best in the country, the conductor a man of deep sympathy with the music and the ability to make us sing parts we didn't know we could.

At the end of the anthem he stood there, his face a seraphic smile, he applauded us with a gentle tapping of two fingers on two, and there was this total and utter silence, so deep, even the birds outside were still. All was completely still for about 30 seconds, and then was this great gust of wind as everyone let out their breath where they'd been holding it.

It took me 9 days to come down from that euphoria... not even the shit who cracked my skull could spoil that, even though he tried to. It's my one perfect moment and it will be with me till I die.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 04:35 PM

Then there was singing the Harp Song of the Dane Women, with Lady P at Llanstock, never having sung together before, not really knowing all the words, and not knowing which harmony I was going to do, if any.....

And yes, sometimes, no applause is more than an ovation....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 05:34 PM

Great, Liz. That's beautiful.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 05:41 PM

Wow.... I can imagine. Who set a tune to it though? Pete Bellamy?


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: kendall
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 08:12 PM

I have to agree, Seamus. Although it isn't really recent, it certainly was a pleasure to have you here, and, it did please me when you said you didn't like 12 guitars, but, changed your mind after playing mine! Drop by anytime Mate!


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 09:34 PM

oh, my...so many things I could write, poignant, funny, inspiring...old, new..

but, though I think I've posted this before, I remember fondly, the night that Jon Eberhart tuned Roy BookBinder's guitar for him while Roy was playing without Roy ever knowing. We were sitting on a low wall outside a little coffee house, and Roy was warming up. Jon, at Roy's left kept wrinkling his nose and looking uncomfortable....finally he reached up (the tuning pegs were right by Jon's right arm) and tweaked one of the lower tuners a bit and brought the offending string into pitch...then let out an audible sigh of relief. I'm not sure anyone but me saw it...

now, I'll think on other memories..


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 09:38 PM

For those of you have never been blessed by the opportunity to witness Mr. Don Firth perform in person, let me elaborate. Don has an aura! He is very striking in appearance. A very dramatic face, complete with highly arched eyebrows, which he uses with great skill. I suppose that it is his demeaner, or attitude, that you first notice. The moment you see that he has decided that the moment is worthy, he will pick uo his guitar ... and pause. Those of us who have been blessed by his presence and friendship know what's coming. We just smile at each other and set our instruments down and wait with anticipation ... and we are NEVER dissapointed. Don Firth, to me, has always been the consummate folk singer. A performer who chooses and researches his material very, very carefully. He and I have been friends for years and I am truly blessed by that. Would that each of you should have the opportunity to constantly learn from such a person. CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 11:46 PM

Bob,

I agree--Don Firth *is* in a class by himself.

An early magical music moment for me was a trip to the Seattle Opera House to hear Richard Dyer-Bennet in concert. This was the early 1960's, around the time of the World's Fair. We had four tickets, but in sets of two, so during the first half of the concert I sat way up in the back with my mother. For the second half of the concert I sat with Dad, about three rows back from the front, to the right of the center aisle. At one point Dyer-Bennet encouraged the group to sing along, and I was evidently enthusiastic, leaning forward and singing lustily, having learned all of the words to all of his recorded songs. After the song was over he looked my way and made a remark that had the audience grinning along with him. Since I was probably 8 or 9 at the time I don't remember what he said, only the kindly temperament of it.

I'd have to say that the hoot/wake/whatever that was after Dad (John Dwyer) died was pretty magical. I realize that for some the event was a sort of neutral territory, many of them hadn't been together for years, but they were all a part of my childhood and everyone was wonderful. I felt like Dad was nearby, just to hear so many friends tell stories and sing favorite songs. A few people tried sweet, beautiful songs, in a respectful tone, but others let rip some of the funniest, dirtiest songs I'd heard in years. I was pleased to realize that I remembered the words to many of the evening's songs. One, in particular, was "Amphioxcis" (have I spelled it right?) that I think Sam Hinton wrote. The friend who led it sang it out of a book and everyone joined in on the chorus while the Dwyer clan just sang along for the whole song. And just before that Don Firth sang (anything he sings sounds good!) and Stan James sang the funniest song I'd heard in years; I can't for the life of me remember what it was now, but it was exactly the kind of song that Dad loved, dissolute, with puns and double entendres galore.

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 03:20 PM

The Harp song of the Dane Women is one of the few Kiplings that Bellemy never got his filthy hands on. It was written especially for a female trio who have recorded it under the name of Steel Bunny, but also perform under the name of Capriole, doing mostly mediaeval or just plain evil... they also do '16 stone' and 'Hoorah for Toy Boys'.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 03:24 PM

Aw, shucks, folks. Thank you for the kind words. But I can't let Bob get away with that without revealing the truth about him! ("Enquiring minds want to know!")

I first met Bob in 1953 when he was 16 years old. He was avidly interested in folk music and had been singing for about three years. He had a good, clean guitar style, and a mature-sounding baritone voice. Most impressive. Six years later, Bob and I started singing together, and we sang three evenings a week for about eighteen weeks at Seattle's nicest coffeehouse, did several concerts together around western Washington, then took off to the San Francisco Bay Area to make our fortunes. Turns out we were too "ethnic" for San Francisco and too "commercial" for Berkeley (whatever "ethnic" and "commercial" mean). So we hung out in Sausalito where we met a bunch of wonderful people and where if you sang, that was all that mattered. So we sang our little lungs out an many parties and gatherings, got stiffed on several gigs (not in Sausalito -- in some of San Francisco's better-known joints!), and when we ran out of money, we returned to Seattle. We let the duo go as a regular thing because we both had time-consuming obligations (e.g., Bob got married), but we remained fast friends and continued to sing together from time to time over the past four decades.

Bob's baritone voice started out good and just got better over the years. An especially notable thing about his singing came from one of his early mentors. Bill ("Willawaw Willie") Higley taught Bob his first songs, and Higley was a taskmaster when it came to clear diction. Although you're not especially aware of Bob's diction when he sings, you always understand the words! I've often seen Bob hold an audience in the palm of his hand, from a huge crowd at the United Nations Pavilion at the Seattle World's Fair in 1962 to an intimate group of a dozen or so people at his house about a month ago. This gathering at Bob's and Judy's was another magical moment for me. Due to an accident I had last year, this was the first time in many months that I've been able to get together with friends and swap songs.

You know, there are a lot of really fine singers out there (such as Bob) who have never made recordings or CDs and, as good as they are, they're not all that well known outside of their own vicinity. Others really ought to have an opportunity to hear them. Hmm. . . .

Don Firth

(P.S.: If it looks like my grammar has gone to blazes in my first post [as in ". . . it must of lasted for good five minutes," which should read ". . . it must have lasted for a good five minutes."], it's because I'm fiddling with a voice recognition program and, although it's pretty good, it has trouble distinguishing between words like "have" and "of," and it sometimes misses articles. Whenever I use it, I'll have to be sure to proof-read scrupulously.)


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: kendall
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 03:33 PM

Singing a song for Sandy Paton that he had never heard was quite a treat!


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 03:42 PM

I thought that I'd add something to the posting by Stilly River Sage ... the late John Dwyers' daughter. I too was at that memorial gathering for John. It was a wondrus night, held in a very large community hall in West Seattle. And indeed there were people gathered together that hadn't been together for many years. They came from many states and also from Canada. The room was filled with people and I was a bit taken aback to realize just how many of them I knew, and from where, and from when. The associations with John spanned 40 years. And the mood in the air was electric. And it was glorious to realize that EVERYONE came for one purpose... to sing a final song, or share a wonderful story ... in honor of a great friend and folksinger. Seattle was attempting to snow that night, so we arrived a bit late. As we walked in, I saw the room was already set up and mostly filled. A very large circle of chairs was arranged, with folks sitting with their instruments, ready to go. There was fire in the fireplace, it looked like this was going to be fun. As one person finished singing a song, or telling a story about John, the focus turned to the next person in the circle. This was the way it went until the circle came to an empty chair. Sitting upright in this chair, was John beloved guitar! Whenever the circle came to John's chair, there was a pause, I KNOW tears dropped, and then the circle continued ... It still does. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 05:02 PM

Thanks Don ... Bob (actually, if I was a writer, which I'm not, I would say something like ... "aw gee, shucky darn ... (Bob kicking the gravel and stuffing his hands into his jeans, 'kinda shuffeling around, looking embarrased ... but I'm NOT a writer, so I won't even mention it!) CHEERS Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 05:14 PM

*G* Thanks Liz...I shall have to look out for them!


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 11:03 PM

"Bride Judy" asked me post this for her. (she has been caught up by this thread. From Judy (Thompson) Barberie Nelson ... "I was introduced to the Seattle hoot scene by my Art instructor at Grays harbor College, Dick Landberg. I met Don Firth, Lloyd Remmen (aka Randy @ Van Dekkers), and Mike Lieb in 1961. What a trio! My most memorable moment, among many, was at the home of Judy Flenniken (sp?) on Magnolia Bluff, Seattle. It was a small gathering ... Don Firth and about ten others. Jean Redpath was the guest. She told her story of walking on the beach in Scotland, being surrounded by seals and scared to death. She started to sing, in gaelic, the "Silkie," and they surrounded her. When she stopped singing, they returned to the sea. We were hypnotized, as were the seals. Makes a person wonder." ... Bob says ... I would like to add a side note to this posting. I was also invited to this gathering, but for some stupid reason, I didn't make it. If I had, that might have been the first opportunity I'd had to meet my future bride! CHEERS, Bob Nelson


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Sourdough
Date: 31 Oct 01 - 08:45 PM

The magic of the moment that the momentum of the circle, made up of love and vitality. reached the empty chair filled by John Dwyer's guitar, paused for a moment to refresh itself with the reason that it had come together and then reignited, is a wonderful description of how magic musical moments, under the right condition, can even be silence.

This is a wonderful idea for a thread. I would have been "here" sooner but I have been down in Los Angeles working. I finished at midnight on Monday-Tuesday and during the night drove the 400+ miles home just because I love being on the road at night. I guess I always have. This time, I was driving a truck and had a tray full of CDs. It was eight or nine hours of my favorite music.

It may have been twenty years ago that I left Fruita, CO, about an hour or two before a summer morning dawn heading west to Green River, Utah. That time, though, I was on a motorcycle and the reason I was riding in the night was that I wanted to complete the trip before the sun got up too high and the road across the high desert landscape started to bake. It's 110 miles from Fruita to to Green River and at that time there were no services available along that entire stretch even though it is an Interstate. It is a very lonely stretch of real estate.

When I started the bike, I tuned the CB to Channel 19. Since there was no traffic on the road, I didn't expect to hear anything. It was more force of habit than anything else. I set the radio's squelch so that I didn't pick up any static that would destroy the quiet of the fading night and I headed west.

As the sky behind me turned to cobalt blue, the color in the rocky landscape was just starting to become visible. Black silhouettes were being filled in with grays, then purple, and then reds and greens. It was like watching creation. I could see six or eight miles ahead and there wasn't anything else moving on the road or I would have seen their headlights. I didn't know it but there was an eighteen wheeler heading towards me, still out of sight, and I am guessing that the driver must have been at the wheel all night.

When he did come up over a rise a half dozen miles or so ahead of me, I didn't pay any attention and I don't think he paid me any particular notice. At a closing speed of somewwhere between 130 to 150 miles per hour, it didn't take long until we had flashed by each other. I'll bet that if he saw me at all, he certainly didn't see the small CB antenna jutting up from my luggage rack.

That driver must have been so overcome at that pre-dawn moment by the expanse of desert and the length of the road ahead and behind that he felt he had to express it somehow. He picked up his CB mike and began singing a song that he obviously believed expressed the emotions he was feeling. He emptied his heart into his CB microiphone and poured his feelings out into what he must have believed to be an empty landscape. When he got to the line, "The moon has gone behind a cloud / I'm so lonesome I could cry", I was as moved by the unselfconscious performance of that unknown trucker as I have ever been listening to any performance of any kind.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 31 Oct 01 - 09:02 PM

Simply beautiful ... thank you ... Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 31 Oct 01 - 09:20 PM

Sourdough ... you have just reminded me of another magical moment that happened to me probably 45 years ago. I was a teenager (Iwas once ... really) and I was in my little 12 foot wooden row boat, fishing off the beach of Alki Point. This is a famous area in Seattle now, but back then I only knew it as a place where the Blackmouths (read that young King Salmon) would school at certain times. It was very foggy, I was only about 50 feet off shore, rowing very quietly, I couldn't even see the shore for the fog. Just as dawn started to burn through the fog, high on the bluff, I heard a bagpiper start playing. I don't recall the melody, but it was totally mesmerizing. Today, I can still hear that haunting sound, drifting over the water. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 12:05 AM

Bob,

When music comes from unexpected places it is magical. One of the things I loved about living in New York City was that when you would see street musicians setting up, there was a wonderful feeling of anticipation, waiting to see what *kind* of music they would play. Stereotypes were regularly dashed and pleasure almost certain.

The road trip mentioned above reminds me of a drive I took in Arizona many years ago, from Payson, at the top of the Mogollon Rim, to Phoenix. It was late May or early June, and I had just pulled out of a small restaurant on the edge of town when I stuck a 45-minute tape of R.K.'s ballet Scheherezade (sp?) in the cassette player. Had I been going uphill, I'd have crept along behind trucks and the effect would have been wasted, but I was coasting downhill. I would round a corner to see a world of blooming saguaro's before me, and at the next cresendo in the music, another corner, this time with bright yellow blooming palo verde. The drive couldn't have been choreographed better if someone had intentionally tried.

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: 53
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 12:34 AM

watching the beatles on the ed sullivan show in february of 1964, that was magic for me and 70 million other people who watched also. BOB


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: cyder_drinker
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 05:34 AM

After many years of open, no-holds-barred warfare with my sister, we sat and played a flute duet last Friday night.
The pub went quiet - they wouldn't let us stop!

What a magical thread - some of these stories make the ol' cold shivers go up and down my spine as I read them. Thanks all!


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 08:18 AM

There is a song "I Know Moonlight" ...very powerful, and there is a recording by Helen Scheyner (the midi in the database cannot do justice to what Helen does! besides, there is a '2nd' part and mid-verse variations...get the record/CD from Folk-Legacy)

I have heard Helen do this in person a number of times, but there was one time in particular, at a semi-darkened vegitarian coffeehouse in Bethesda MD, with a lot of her friends doing 'vocalized enhancments'..harmonies and humming, etc,...that stood up the hair on the back of my neck! She just hit it 'right'...and Helen knew how to draw out, and slow a song like this down....just enough so it did not drag. I'm not sure the recorded version lives up to what I have heard her do with it...it is merely tremendous!


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 03:09 AM

Wow!! Music on the road! Great story, Sourdough, and beautifully written. I really got into it. And Maggie, I'm very familiar with Sheherazade, and as I was reading your description I could hear it playing in my head. That was a magical moment right there! Thank you!

(A thread-drifty aside:-- The story is told of a world-famous conductor [Toscanini, I think] who was great with classical, but not all that comfortable conducting modern music. On this occasion, a music student dropped in on a rehearsal to take advantage of an opportunity to hear the Great Master in action. They were rehearsing a modern piece, and both the orchestra and the conductor were having difficulty with a section in 5/4 time. After several false starts, suddenly both the conductor and the orchestra got it together and the piece went smoothly. The music student noticed that the conductor was muttering to himself, so he snuck up behind him to see if he could hear what he was saying. When he got close enough, he heard the great man muttering "Rim-sky-Kor-sa-kov, Rim-sky-Kor-sa-kov. . . ." Yup. Five beats.)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 06:21 AM

That reminds me of that great Judy Cannova (sp?)line ... she was telling a friend that she was going to a concert that evening to watch some man "rip his corset off!"


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 10:45 AM

The first part of this has been posted before, but seems pretty relevant to the topic.

Last month brought me an unusual and profound privilege. Late last year, my Uncle Jim (from the relatively new-found Kingston branch of my family) passed away, and it was not until last month that there was a memorial service and internment of his ashes. I'd been asked to sing a couple of his favourite songs for the occasion. One was a lovely Gaelic melody called "Bheir Me O", also called "The Eriskay Love Lilt". A September Saturday morning saw me singing this beautiful song in a cemetery that sloped down to the wooded shores of the Napanee River. The scene was wonderfully serene and peaceful, and it was a very moving experience for me. The memory will be with me for a long, long time.


A couple of weeks thereafter, I decided to do the song at the White Oak Folk Club (Oakville, Ontario, Canada). After sharing the above story with the audience, they took the trouble to learn the Gaelic chorus and sing it with me. Special. I do believe Uncle Jim might have been listening.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 04:01 PM

I was reminded today of a wonderful incident that happened at a hoot in the home of the late Kenneth Harms, in 1958. Ken, for those that weran't privileged to know him, was an incredible man ... artist, mason, the first ecologist I ever knew, lover of tradtional folk music, strong friend and hoster of many hoots. About 1953, or so, he started building his home North of seattle in a heavily wooded ravine. Money was tight, so he scavenged many useable items from old homes being removed: stained glass windows, incredible doors, etc. As his wonderful house grew, he started having hoots. One evening, we were all scattered about in him multi-layer home, singing and having a great time. Suddenly, we heard a scratching at the window. Ken said, "Oh, it must be midnight. Everyone please sit quietly, it's time to feed my family." He went to the window and opened it. In paraded a whole family of racoons. We sat enthralled while he very patiently fed each one on crackers and peanut butter. As they left, barely giving us a glance, he appologized for the interruption. We went back to singing. (If anyone out there knew Ken, and would like a wonderful update on his family, please feel free to contact me). CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 05:43 PM

Speaking of animals, I used to have a kitty that LOVED the pennywhistle. I'd start to play and no matter where he was in the house, he'd come running. He'd jump right up in my lap, and put his face in my face, all purring and such. He was a head-butter - you cat people will know all about that.

I also had a budgie who liked to sing along. He was especially fond of Michael Martin Murphey's "Cowboy Songs" album, but he also sang along with me quite a bit.

Oddly, the kitty and the budgie both died on the same day. I say that not to be a downer, but just to point out that... well... that there's sometimes strange and magical things about animals.

My two dogs? They don't care less about music, unless there's biscuits involved.

I think I posted this one to another thread a long time ago, but here goes again. I am sometimes funny about singing my own songs for people I know personally. For me it's not unlike getting naked. (I know y'all understand this.) Anyway, I had written this tune, "The Black Flower," after I read the novel, yaddayaddayadda. Well, a friend of mine, a fellow reenactor, has known Howard Bahr, the novel's author, for many years. Knowing this, I avoided playing the song for Patrick, because I just didn't know what he would think.

One evening, we had a living history camp going on at Carnton Plantation, the real-life house where the action of The Black Flower takes place. There was a bunch of us having a hootenanny on the back porch, in our period clothes & stuff, singing (mostly) period music. I don't remember why - I guess I had a little whiskey and was feeling brave - I did the song.

Patrick came up to me afterwards and I thought, oh crap... I said, Do you think Howard would be okay with it? (I mean, I love that book, I certainly wouldn't want to offend the author) Pat turned just a little and I could see the tears running down his face. He loved it.

Now, it's not that I'm into making people cry or anything, but it meant a lot to me that he liked the song. You know what I mean. We all want our friends to think our children are beautiful, after all.

Cheers----- KFC


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 11:51 PM

I mentioned my time in New York City earlier in this thread, and I hesitate to mention this one, not being sure what the attitude to this group is toward Barbershop Quartets, but here goes:

I worked at Ellis Island (the old immigrant processing station in New York Harbor) for a couple of years. This was in the time when it was first opened after 25 years, but hadn't had any restoration work done on it yet. All visitors were met at the boat, and all had to stay with rangers for the one-hour tour.

One of my rangers out there was a social worker by training (don't ask how he ended up as a park ranger) and his avocation was singer. I know no one else on this list has that original employment vs music arrangement, right? Anyway, one of his several musical outlets was with a barbershop quartet, and one day the group came out to the island. It was a very quiet fall day, few tourists on the island, and we had Joe and his three friends take a position up on the west balcony in the Great Hall and sing for us. It sent chills up my spine, to hear their voices in that way in that incredible room.

Joe, who is Italian, also sang with a Norwegian Male Choir in Brooklyn--another story, for another post.

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 12:23 AM

Maggie ... you've just reminded me of another magical musical moment that happened to me about 8 years ago. Often these moments just "happen" to us, there is no way we could plan them ... life happens that way. Being single at the time, and a Friday night, I was tired from work, hungry, and no energy or ideas for supper. I drove to my local Safeway, and on the spur of the moment, walked into a strip mall Oriental restaurant, next to Safeway. I was the only patron, 4 tables, and I ordered. Soon, in came a party of four ... all of them were obviously Arabian. Out from the back room (kitchen) came the Japanese owner and greeted them as old friends. My dinner was served, and I was eating, the owner served their supper, then he brought out his Italian accordian, and started to play and sing to entertain them with dinner music. The song he played and sang was Stephan Fosters "Old Black Joe." So ... here I was, in an oriental restaurant, listening to Japanesse (sp?) owner, playing an Italian accordian, entertaining Arabian diners, singing "Old Black Joe!" (true story) Let's hear it for diversity in America! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: lady penelope
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 06:03 AM

I've sung in rock bands, choirs and at folk do's. And I do it because, when it works, it's seems to be the most perfect expression of my spirit I can find. A kind of magic.

But I must say, I had always dreamed of just starting to sing and having someone join their voice with me and for it to take flight.

That dream came true in Llanfair.

Thanks Liz.

Penny.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Helen
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 10:37 PM

I know I have posted this once before at Mudcat, within the last few years, but here it is again.

I had been driving for about half an hour, after conducting two very frustrating meetings at a local council where I had been working intermittently on a project. My hands were gripping the wheel, no matter how many times I told myself to relax.

All I wanted was to be at home, not to be driving for the next two hours just to get there. I had left home at 6am to drive up for these two meetings, and now it was 1.30pm. As I drove I listened half consciously to the tape that was playing in the car. It was Sileas, a Scottish duo, two women harpers who play, and sometimes sing, some very good pieces of Scottish music. It all sounds deceptively simple, but I can hear the complexity of their arrangements, I imagine the care that they have put into making it sound so easy. But today I am only half listening as they sing a song.

Roadworks up ahead. A few cars and trucks pull up in front and wait for the road worker to tell them when they can move off again.

Frustration - all I want to do is just be at home, not to have to get there, but just to BE there. It's another 100 miles to go. I can't make it go any faster, but stopping in the middle of nowhere isn't getting me there any quicker.

Then, the next track starts on the tape. "The Little Cascade". A rippling, fluttering cascade of a solo harp, and from the right, in my field of vision, a little white buttterfly flit-flit, flutter-flutter, moves from right to left, and as my eyes follow its path I see beyond it the yellowed autumn-tall grasses in the fields, stretching way over to blue mountains in the hazy distance.

Another cascade of harp music as the second harp comes in, and a second little white butterfly, flit-flit, flutter flutter, from stage left, moving sweetly in time with the music.

The two harps play around each other joyfully, and look, right there in centre stage, there are the two butterflies, flitting, fluttering around each other in a miniature white cascade, in time to the beautiful music. A pas-de-deux.

I look around at the glorious autumn sunshine, at the silence of the countryside, and realise that time has stopped for a magical instant, and I am very happy to be here, out in the country, in the fresh golden air, with no sounds around me but the falling cascades of gentle harp music.

************ Note: when I read this out to my Mother over the phone she said ..[why do mothers always cut to the heart of things?].. "They were probably cabbage moths. Cabbage moths always go around in threes. There must have been three of them." I said that yes, there were three but it sounds better with a pas-de-deux. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!

Helen


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 10:45 PM

Helen ... It's postings like yours that make me soooo happy that I started this thread. Thank you very much. You have related an image I'll remember well. CHEERS and HUGS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Sourdough
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 05:28 AM

The stories on this thread remonded me of another from a while back, "When you first made music". I've refreshed it. I think those who are enjoying this thread would enjoy this one, too, if they haven't seen it already. Perhaps some kind sould will provide a blickie for it.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Giac
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 07:53 AM

Here ya 'dough, hope it works:

When you first made music


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 08:50 AM

Its lovely to share so many happy memories of those times when the music and the company and the occasion all conspire to produce the magic. I loved Trevor's account of making music in Dysenni at midnight. I was privileged to hear Lady P and LTS sing Harp Song of the Dane Women at Llanstock, and can vouch for the sheer pleasure that moment gave to us all. I can also endorse Snuffy's claim for the wonderfulness of the late night singing at the end of Saturday night at Llanstock.
However for me the greatest magic belongs to a day when as a teenager in 1969 I went to an all day event at the University of Essex and heard Shirley and Dolly Collins, the Young Tradition with Peter Bellamy, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, and ending the day listening to Fairport Convention with Sandy Denny. I was smitten then, and have remained so (with occasional interludes) ever since.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: kendall
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 09:25 AM

When I was 16, I went to a live performance of one of my heros, Wilf Carter, and he let me play his special Martin guitar.I was very impressed with him and his guitar.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 02:18 PM

Still thinking about music on the road. . . .

Back in the First Dark Age (1966-70) when I was working at Boeing (day job), I met some really great people working at Billy Boeing's kite factory: Carlos and Ida Van Wald and their daughter Tedi (Boeing was also Carlos' and Ida's day job and — well, these folks are a great story all by themselves, but that's for another time and another place). Carlos had just bought a Cadillac, a used older model, but it was in good condition and he got it cheap. It was a heavy, bloody-great land yacht, complete with tail-fins — and a very smooth-riding road car. On the first Sunday Carlos had the beast, he wanted to take it out for a drive, and he invited me to come with them. As the four of us drove along a country road through the forest primeval, a local classical music station was playing on the car radio. At one point, the station played an orchestral arrangement of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. Near the end, it flurries around a bit (presumably depicting the Valkyries circling), then it all comes together once more, powerfully restating the main theme — a huge Wagnerian orchestra, lots of brass, going flat-out, at full volume! As we hurtled down that road with the wind ruffling our hair and that music pouring out of the radio's four big speakers, we all felt the distinct sensation that we were flying!

I've heard that in his personal life, Richard Wagner was nasty little twerp, but, MAN, could that sucker write music!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Susan from California
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 02:51 PM

When I was in my twenties, I worked at a chain bookstore in a mall in Sonoma County , California. It was Christmas time, and the line of customers waiting stetched all the way through the store. People were cranky and in a hurry, and the four of us working the two registers were working as fast as we couild, but couldn't keep up. I started humming "O Holy Night" and my theatre major co-worker started singing. So I joined him, and so did some people in line. We ended up singing carols until the line was gone (hopefully not from customers :-) running in terror)As I remember, people were much less grouchy after we started singing than they had been before.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 02:11 PM

WHen I was in second or third grade at the Mt. Pleasant School in Nashua, NH, Miss King, the itinerant music teacher who traveled from school to school teaching singing, introduced us to harmony. Decades later, I still can bring back the excitement of hearing and being a part of harmony for the first time. I could actually feel the vibrations of the harmony as though it were somehow cuddling my eight year old soul as we all sang,

See my kite is sailing,
Sailing high high.
Like an eagle scaling
Yonder sky.

The song was nothing more than a musical exercise but for me it opened up a glorius world. Music seemed to go from monochome to technicolor. I have never learned how to improvise harmony but even so, when I sing with someone who can sing a harmony part, I still feel as though my soul is being caressed by a loving Universal spirit.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: GUEST,katlaughing
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 03:10 PM

Deckman, sorry it has taken me so long to get in here. Wonderful, wonderful stories, everyone!

I have several, too, but I think for now I will tell of the concert we put on in Providence, RI of my brother's classical piano works and songs. Rog and I had supported him, financially, for about 6 years by then, and he had lived with us for 3. We'd heard every note of each piano concerto, symphony, etc. as he wrote it and he is magical when it comes to improvising an entire orchestral sound on a piano, so we had some idea of what it would all sound like, some day.

We had moved before the first premiere of an orchestral piece of his, Ode to the Rockies, so Rog and I had never heard his stuff in concert.

Anyway, I had worked my arse off, promoting him and setting up gigs, etc. for several years, NOT because he was my brother, but because I LOVED the music. This concert, in the Music Mansion at Brown Univeristy, a beautiful, intimate setting, with a magnificent grand piano, was a culmination of the efforts of many, but I was esp. anxious about it and had really worked hard.

This was the first time some of his works would be heard; we had no idea, really, if a two-hour concert of just his works, brand-new stuff most had never heard, would even go across.

The evening came, the singer was ready, my brother was in his rented tux, I had on a brand-new red dress and was ready as page-turner. Rog had a broadcast camera set up and recorded the whole thing. It was Christmas-time, so the place was decoratd with greens and the chandeliers gleamed, twinkling reflections throughout the hall. We had a good crowd, just under 100, some friends, most people we'd never met.

The minute he struck the first chord on the piano, I knew it was going to go well. Each piece was met with vigourous and/gracious applause, depending on the mood of the piece. Some were met with that magical complete silence others of you have mentioned, followed by an awakening of applause.

I turned pages, switched sheet music, none of it published, just written in his hand and stapled to cardboard to make it stand up; he played magnificently, all the hard years of practising and his old German teacher's discipline paying off in Mozartian precision and grace; the singer did a fantastic job and my heart was full. If I hadn't been on stage, I probably would have been crying the whole time, it was so fulfilling and gratifying to share and have the reception be so completely positive. His music came from a sacred place which he connected with and I know we all felt a Oneness that evening with the Source. They gave him an encore and the reception after was wonderful.

The entire evening was magical and I will always be grateful for it. We've had one other close to that, but now that we don't work together, no one hears his music and it is painful to think of it not being heard. Thanks for allowing me to write of this good memory for those are the ones I wish to keep the most.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: GUEST,Norton1
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 03:32 PM

Wow - this brought some memories back!

I think my first would be in the late summer of 1975. Me and a guy named Dick Polley had a little country duo going and often were invited to play at outside street dances. The little town we were living in only had a population of about 6-700. On the weekends it brought lots of tourists from Boise up to get away and see the sights of this historic old town. This night we were playing a benefit for one of the old timers who was having some medical problems. One of the loggers had borrowed a flat bed trailer and pulled his semi and this trailer up by the service station - we added a few straw bales for atmosphere and then got up and began singing our regular repetoire of songs. We received a request from the audience to let a young lady, we didn't know her, sing "Summer Time" with us as back up. I can't say as I'd ever played the song before but as the lead guitarist it was my job to do so. It was around midnight, a full moon was our only lighting, and it must have been around 80 degrees with a light breeze - one of those perfect summer nights. Summertime was written on such a night I believe. Well this little gal comes up on stage - she was quite attractive and when Dick asked her what key she said in "C" - OK - Man could she sing! Made my heart melt on the spot - then she looked at me for the lead. I can't say as I have ever played better (I'd never played the song before). It was magic pure and simple. I couldn't have hit a wrong note if I'd tried - all the time this lovely young lady is looking at me and smiling - then I relinquished the song back to her and as she sang the song I played the lead quietly in the background - Dick (who wouldn't normally stay out of any vocal) played the most sensual rythym backup I'd ever heard. At the close the audience didn't move or say a word - last song of the evening. Then someone in the back started clapping - kind of bowled us all over. Never saw the young lady again and had never seen here before. To this day I still play Summer Time by myself and in private - with my wife once - but mostly just me to me.

I was also somewhat of a rowdy and was hired to be Merle Haggard's bodyguard when he played in Boise in 1976. After he was on stage I got to stand right in front of him while the concert went on. There was a pause and he looked at me so I asked him if he would play "All Around the Water Tank" from his "Same Train - Different Time" album. He looked at the audience and asked them if they knew who Jimmie Rogers was - to thunderous applause he played a couple of those old hobo tunes. I was the envy of my peers that night!

In 1979 I went to a Sons of the Pioneers night club show in Lewiston, Idaho. It wasn't much of a club and there weren't a lot of folks there to hear them. They have been idols of mine from when Roy Rogers was their lead vocalist and I was thrilled - although some of the originals had been replaced by family members. I did get to go on stage during the break and visit with the lead guitarist who told me about growing up in folk/bluegrass music. We had a common thread. He handed me his guitar and I played Arkansas Traveler for him - I guess you could say I'd been on stage and played with these guys - stretch of the truth - but I've never been around lots of professional musicians. We're all back porch musicians and any close encounter with "real" musicians is a note worthy of mention to us!!

I think the two very best moments of music were when I learned "Waltz Across Texas" and sang it to my Mom on the telephone when she was feeling blue one night. That and singing "Whispering Pines" to my dear sweet wife and partner Jan - it is her favorite song - makes her melt when I sing it to her. Puts a lump in my throat to even think abut it.

Then there are all of the songs I sang to my kids, my horse once, my dog always enjoyed anything I did, and - geez - where does one stop?

I think here -

Steve


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 07:51 PM

WOW! You folks are blowing me away! I thought that this subject might get some interest, but I never dreamed it would stike such a harmonious note ... GET IT? ... "harmonious note" ... (Bob with a big grin on his whiskered face) ...it's a little play on words! Oh well, never mind. CHEERS and THANKS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 11:59 PM

Funny, but there have been a number of really neat times, one of which occurred during the week of St. Pat's last year. The lads and I are usually booked very heavily that week, but be always make sure to do 2 to 4 "free" gigs. One of these was at The Welcome Home for the Blind. You want to talk about unnerving? When people are watching you with there eyes and listening with their ears, one can do any number of things visually to enhance the performance. But when your audience is 60 or so folks that watch and hear you with only their ears, ....... well, you know that you had better be on the mark. There were so many little things that were wonderful, like the little gal that sat in front and clapped and sang (even when she didn't know the words which was most of the time....*G*) to the little old fella that sat there with his head down, and the only part of his body that acknowledge that he heard was his pinky finger that tapped the beat to every single song or tune. But the best moment came at the end when the last little old gal that was in the room came up and thanked us for the music. She had a twinkle in those sightless eyes that told you she was a pip. And she had a thick Dutch accent that told you she was from Rotterdam. She talked, and told us about her husband, God Bless him, that had passed away. And she told us about her kids. I asked her if I could sing her a song just for her. So she sits down, and I sing The Dutchman for her. You should have seen her as I sang the verses. "When Amsterdam was golden..." and she nods her head. "I've been there" she says. "....sometimes he thinks he's still in Rotterdam...". "That's my town" she says as she puffs her chest. And a tear rolls down her cheek. "....she makes his bed up, humming some old love song...", more tears, as she turns her face to me. I guess you know, I had a hard time finishing the song. When I get done, she stands up, wipes her face, straightens herself like a proper Dutch woman, shakes my hand and proudly carries herself down the hall. Pretty neat moment for me. I straightened meself up like the proper Irish American lad that I am, put away the old Guild 12, and carry my big, blubbering Irish arse to the car.

A good memory. Thanks, Deckman, for starting this one. And thanks to all for your great memories.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Helen
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 04:05 AM

I just remembered another magical moment, or actually, series of moments.

In high school we had a very highly strung, very creative music teacher. She should have been performing on stage, IMHO. She was brilliant. She had to work as a single mother to raise her son, otherwise I think she would have been a full-time performer.

Anyway, she struggled with teaching because she was so nervy and lots of the girls in the classes bullied her mercilessly. She battled on though trying to turn us into appreciators of music.

She had a choir of a small, select group, and the harmonies that she managed to squeeze out of those singers made my spine tingle every time I heard them perform.

But the real masterpiece was when she pushed each and every class, willing and unwilling, into learning a song called Alleluia in 3 part harmony. Then she had the whole school, of 1000 girls, singing that song in 3 parts. If I got the spine tingles before it was nothing compared with that. What a rush!

Helen


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 02:31 PM

Judy Nelson's mention (way above) of the gathering at Judy Flenniken's place reminded me of another magical musical moment. However, this was sort of "magical" in a weird, Houdini / David Copperfield way. The Strange Case of the Vanishing Folksinger.

Judy Flenniken was one of the biggies around Seattle in the early Sixties, a young woman with a lot of enthusiasm, a large repertoire of songs, and a big, Ronnie Gilbert-size voice. I had the privilege of working with her for a couple of years. We worked out a bunch of duets and sang many engagements together, including several concerts. She graduated from the U. of W. (in Oceanography or Marine Biology, I forget which) and moved to other climes. I've seen her only once since the mid-Sixties, and that was in the late Seventies on a brief return to visit her mother. She'd got married and moved to Florida, not necessarily in that order. She was singing there somewhere (regular gig), and she and her husband were searching for sunken treasure off the Florida coast. Judy mentioned a particular ship they were looking for. If I remember correctly, it was the wreck of the Nuestro Señora de Atocha, one of a fleet of ships laden with treasure plundered from the New World and headed for Spain. Early in September 1622, the treasure fleet set out, only to run into a powerful hurricane, and several ships foundered. Among them was the Atocha, which struck a reef off the Florida Keys and sank. Judy and her husband were hot on the trail, but they were beaten to it by Mel Fisher, who found it in 1985. Lots of TV specials, including one by National Geographic about that. But that's another story. . . .

During the Seattle Worlds Fair in 1962, a whole bunch of Seattle's folksingers sang every Sunday afternoon at the United Nations Pavilion. Some student impresarios at Seattle University arranged a series of concerts at SU's Pigott Auditorium featuring folksingers who were performing at the U. N. Pavilion. The evening after I did my shtick, Judy Flenniken sang. I was in the audience with the rest of the bunch. Now, Judy Flenniken was blonde and fair-skinned. The soundboard of her guitar was sort of cream-colored. And on this particular evening, she was wore a gold lamé cocktail dress. The backdrop curtain was gold. As she sang, the guy in the lighting booth (who was trying to play around with dramatic effects) hit her with a straw-colored spotlight. Judy disappeared! Here was this big voice coming out of nowhere!. The lighting man suddenly realized what he had done, switched spots, and she reappeared again. Weird!!

After her concert, we told her what had happened, but at the time, she couldn't figure out why, during one of her songs, the audience had suddenly gasped and started murmuring to each other. That was really bizarre!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 05:47 PM

Don, I remember those series of concerts ... some very good music happened. Irwin Nash recorded them for us and I've still got the tapes. Bride Judy asked me just last night where Judy Flenniken is now? Maybe we'll be lucky enough to have her read this snd get in touch ... wouldn't that be fun! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: GUEST,katlaughing
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 06:20 PM

Another one, my voice hitting it just right, in a quiet, hushed kind of way, when I sang Prairie Lullaby over the phone for a friend just getting ready to go to sleep. It was a perfect way to end the phone call and pleased me to be asked. It's in those moment when I can almost hear my mom's beautiful, sweet voice in mine.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 07:14 PM

Wow! What an image, Kat. "I can almost hear my Mom's beautiful, sweet voice in mine." This is proving to be a magical thread. The many contributions, from so many diverse persons, all around the globe, are quite wonderful. It speaks, again, to the power of music. Have you ever thought about what a 'binding force' music can be. It will cause bonds between people who do not speak the same language, are quite apart in years, or have very different experiences. I remember a time, about 12 years ago when I was privileged to be invited to an outdoor garden wedding between an American girl (lovely) and a Russian emegrie (read that fugitive). About 25 Russian foreign students attended the wedding in support of their friend. Also, were an equal number of non-Russians, mostly American. It happened that this was the same day the the Soviet Union collapsed. The wedding, and celebration, became interuppted requently by Russian guests (students) who had called to their homes in Russia to see how everyone was doing. As the news hit the gathering that Stalingrad (sp?) had been officially changed back to it's real name of St. Petersburg, everyone was very excited. Then the Russian guests broke into song. I speak almost NO Russian, a little Finn, but we did communicate! ...to borrow a line from that great film, "Cat Ballou" ... "Oh, it was SWELL." CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 05:04 PM

I have written about this most magical of all hoots previously in the Walt Robertson thread, but I never felt I did the story justice. If you've read "Tales of Walt Robertson," you will remember that Walt was an incredible person and a very close personal friend. He was the consummate folksinger, an actor on stage, screen and radio. It was in May of 1994 that he told that he had teminal cancer of the pancreas (smokers cancer). Through out all that Summer, I visited with him several times each week. As the end drew near, we started planning his "farewell hoot."He had many friends in town, the Seattle area, and by now everyone knew what was happening. As he started the list of those he wanted to see, he was very involved. I wasn't surprised to see how long the list grew. Walt had touched the souls of many people. In the couple of weeks before the hoot, I made all the phone calls and invited his list ... and it was SWELL! The gathering happened on a beautiful September afternoon. As was his style, Walt arrived later than most. As I mentioned earlier, he was an actor, and as such, he and his caregivers really staged a grand entrance. His sister Liss, and the beautiful Ellen, had driven him over from Kingston (Washington) to my home in Everett. That trip, including the ferry ride, had already taken two hours. Yet, when they got here, in walked Walt Robertson to my backyard. He wore a red bandanna wrapped around his head to hide his absence of hair from radiation treatments. Both ladies proceeded him, flinging rose petals into the air ... honest to gawd rose petals! I could tell that these wonderful ladies had planned this between themselves as a surprise to him (hisself, as he used to say). As he entered my backyard, complete with many picnic tables and chairs ready, everyone broke into cheers and applause. After a couple of hours of eating and drinking, jokes, kids, tussling, etc., we all moved indoors. We could see that Walt was getting tired, so the music started early. He sat on the best couch in the living room, and we all gathered round. The music started and it was grand. From the first song, you KNEW this was going to be a magical night ... there was an electricity in the air. And boy, did the folks sing, one after the other, without hesitation, song after song. I felt that I was witnessing people singing their farewells to Walt. And he just loved. He sat there on the couch, with his sister on one side, and the beautiful Ellen on the other, just beaming. After an hour or so, I could see that he was tiring. I don't know what possessed me, but I asked him, "Hey guy, what about Don't Lie, Buddy Don't Lie?" He looked at me, hesitated a moment. There was a look between us that I still see. Someone handed him a guitar and he started to play and sing. His voice was weak but right on pitch. And his guitar playing was strong and dynamic, as always. You could see that he was energizing himself (hisself) as the song went on. AND IT WAS MAGICALL! Several more songs happened and then it was time for him to leave. His farewells to everyone, the hugs, kisses, the quiet words, were quite wonderful and will remain quite private. As I think back now about that incredible evening, I'm even more amazed, to realize that Walt died less than three weeks after that hoot.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 09:38 PM

A truly magical moment occurred when I was on stage in Winfield, Kansas and I got a frog in my throat. I felt him or her expanding in my larynx and I correctly surmised that the frog was turning itself into the proverbial handsome prince. Luckily, Art Coats, the head honcho of that festival back in the old pre-Bob Redford days, ran up on stage, gave me the good old Heimlich maneuver, and out popped the prince. We finished the set as a trio -- me, Art Coats and the prince. The applause was deafening. (We sang "Some Day My Prince Will Come.)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 09:55 PM

Art ... you probably know that that song is the theme song of the photo developing industry ... "some day, my prints will come." CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Robin2
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 10:20 PM

I've had a lot of magical moments as a performer in the last 15 years...

But my MOST magical musical moment didn't involve me as a performer at all It was taking my first trip to New York City ever( a city I said I would never go to!), and sitting and watching my son sing in Carnegie Hall

There are no words to discribe the feelings a mother has when watching her son realize a lifelong dream with his music.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 10:38 PM

Robin ... lovely story. I, for one, would like to hear more of the details. Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 10:47 PM

Very punny, Art. You sure it wasn't a Pransome Hince?

Lloyd62 doesn't get here much anymore, but for anyone who hasn't read his "Gig to Remember" threads, I highly recommend them. Lots of incredible stories of music touching lives, told in his simple, elegant style. Just put Gig to Remember in the thread search box and set the time back to a couple of years and they will come up. I esp. recommend #2 about "Lisa."

Lloyd, darlin', if you read this, sure do miss you.

Thanks, Deckman, for this thread.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Robin2
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 11:07 PM

Bob, This has been a great, uplifting thread, thanks for getting it rolling. Made me stop and think a bit about what moments were special.

OK, a little more about my special moment. My son wanted to be a professional singer since he was about seven years old. Lots of lessons, lots of auditions, lots of cringing as I listened to this young voice go through puberty. Through it all, this wonderful guy I call my son said, "Mommy, you're going to see me sing at Carnegie Hall" He said it at 7, said it at 10, said it at 13. I always teased him that I would NOT go to New York, I'm a Kentucky girl born and bred, and NOTHING would make me come to that town. "Not even to hear me sing?" he would say, voice cracking (he was 12 at the time) I told him, "When you sing at Carnegie Hall, I'll come to New York City." To a girl from Kentucky, Carnegie Hall seems like a myth.
At 17 years years old he moved from Kentucky to New Jersey, was accepted to the Westminster Choir (that was hard for a me, he was a long way away) To make a long story short, five years later, at the age of 22, he called me on the phone, and said "mom, you made a promise, and now you're coming to New York"

(To all of you New Yorkers, I apologize for ever thinking ill of your town. My husband had to drag me kicking and screaming onto the train from Jersey to New York, and once there, I had the greatest time of my life! I found out that I loved New York, and can't wait to go back!)

My son performed with The Westminster Choir and The St. John's Orchestra (sort of a New York musicians all star band) I sat through the concert by my husband, and all I could think about was the little seven year old boy saying "Mommy, someday you're going to hear me sing at Carnegie Hall".

A very special moment.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 12:09 AM

thank you very much ... Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 07:49 PM

To those who still do not know know "HOW?!"

The answer is "PRACTICE"---of course. (You'll get there.)

Art


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Robin2
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 07:58 PM

Art,

Oh boy, you shoulda heard practice time at my house
son's in one room singing Opera
daughter's in another room practising trombone for marching band
I'm hiding in the office working on some fingerstyle blues stuff
Hubby's in the living room playing and singing early Buddy Holly
gives new meaning to the word bedlam


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 09:28 PM

Robin2... I hope your home in Kentucky was placed on a large ground, at least five acres! It does sound like it was occasionally like a zoo. Hopefully, your children, in later years, will remember the freedom of expression you allowed and encouraged in them, and that they will have the good sense to carry it on! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 09:38 PM

Art ... I really hope that I'm NOT STEPPING ON YOUR TOES! Let me explain. You just referred to a classic American Joke. I would like to tell that joke (my version) so that our many friends around the world can understand. The classic version goes something like this, please feel free to correct me ... a guy is walking down a sidewalk in New York City. He encounters a stranger. He asks the stranger, "can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?" The stranger answers, "practice, man, practice!" Again, this good story is full of wonderful Americanisms, and perhaps needs to be made clear to our global friends. CHEERS and BEST WISHES, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 01:47 AM

Bob, I never thought about people NOT knowing that joke ! Thank you for making it clearer. It happens quite often that here in Illinois we can't understand humor from Indiana and Wisconsin and Missouri. In Illinois it takes 2 people to eat possum. One has to watch for cars.

Art


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 09:44 AM

Art ... always remember that the duck flies at midnight! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Helen
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 05:04 PM

I just refreshed one of my favourite threads called
Singing in a dome

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=9058&messages=38

because I remembered another magical musical moment which I posted in that thread - angelic choirs re: harp strings & harmonics

Helen


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 03:52 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 12:43 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Gervase
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 08:02 AM

I think I just had one.
A MMM, I mean. Yesterday I was feeling a little low; domestic uncertainty and a small hiccup on the work front had combined to set loose the old black dog.
But, sod it, I thought; I'll pop along to Sharp's regardless and lose myself in a bit of music.
So I turned up shortly before eight only to find the place like the Marie Celeste - none of the usual suspects was there, and there were just three strangers, waiting in a desultory fashion for the bar to open. As the start time came and went it became clear that one of those who wasn't turning up was the MC. Would I mind awfully...
It was one of those heart-sinking moments - three hours to fill with maybe four performers. And then they started coming; the regulars and some new faces. And somehow something extraordinary happened.
Every singer seemed to have moved up a gear - mediocre performers became excellent and the good ones transcended all their usual abilities to become exceptional.
The three strangers from the beginning of the night were a revelation. Two had turned up after slipping away from the Barbican, where they had been performing with the Baltimore Symphony orchestra - violinist Wayne Taylor and bass player Jonathan Jensen. On a borrowed fiddle Wayne launched into a heart-stopping rendition of the Ashokan Farewell, while Jonathan sang a remarkably moving song about his father's experience as a B17 crew member inthe skies over Suffolk in the war.
The third stranger, Terry (and I wish I'd caught his surname), brought the house down with some of the funniest, most stylish and accomplished Music Hall stuff I've ever seen.
Two other couples who turned up as first-timers were the sort that club bookers dream of getting as paid-for performers, and between them were the Sharp's stalwarts - Jim, Mary-Anne, the two Daves, Francis, Paul (who volunteered his fiddle to Wayne), Clive, Stan, Gerry and the others - all of whom went that extra mile. The harmonies were outrageous and brilliant, the accompaniments were perfect and the choice of material hit the spot perfectly.
I ended the evening on cloud nine. Clive even asked me if he could have some of what I'd been drinking, as it had clearly had a strange effect on me. It was, thanks to the magic that sometimes happens when a group of musicians gather, one of the best musical evenings of my life, and I felt somehow blessed and privileged to be the MC.
In short, last night was pure musical Prozac!


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 02:59 PM

Another. . . .

For some years, my wife Barbara was a large-caliber gun (!??) in a nationwide peace organization. She was the local director of the Lutheran Peace Fellowship. Although there is no official affiliation between the two organizations, there is a fair amount of cross-fertilization between the LPF and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Every year, the Western Washington FOR holds a retreat over the Fourth of July weekend at Seabeck. Barbara and I have attended the retreat a number of times.

Seabeck is a conference center located in a beautiful woodland setting on the shores of Hood Canal (Hood Canal is not a man-made canal, it is actually a fjord, an offshoot of Puget Sound). There are several buildings scattered among the trees. Some of them house meeting rooms of various sizes, others contain rooms for lodging those who attend conferences there, and there are a couple of larger buildings. One is a meeting hall / auditorium and the other, formerly an inn, contains more lodging and a large dining area. The setting is perfect for the purpose. When going from workshop to workshop or when just enjoying leisure time, we followed paths through the trees or across wide, rolling green lawns. The waters of Hood Canal were always in view. For three days we met friends there, attended discussions and workshops (Barbara conducted a couple of workshops), ate simple but hearty meals in the dining room, slept soundly in the way one can only in such sylvan surroundings, and in general, relaxed and regenerated. The setting was — well — peaceful.

At various times during the day, but especially in the evenings, there was music. This was provided by singer, songwriter, guitarist, and storyteller, the lovely and inimitable Linda Allen, and singer, storyteller, song-leader, and 5-string banjoist, Tom Rawson. They sang solo, they sang duets, and they led the group in song. At the close of the last full day, the singing went on late into the evening. Finally, as the evening drew a close, Tom Rawson taught us the chorus and got us all singing along on Greg Brown's Rooty Toot Toot for the Moon. Before he led us in the song, though, he said, "It's late, folks, and it's time for us all to go. But as you go, as you leave the building, I want you to keep singing the chorus. And keep singing as you go on your way." Then he led us in song, him singing the verses and the rest of us joining in on the chorus. After singing the last chorus through twice, he stopped playing the banjo and raised his arms while he kept singing. Slowly we all got up and filed out of the building, still singing. Outside, a full moon shone, shimmering on the waters of the nearby fjord and illuminating the night. Several hundred people gradually dispersed through the trees, all singing

Rooty toot toot for the moon,
It's the biggest star I've ever seen,
It's a pearl of wisdom,
A slice of green cheese,
Burnin' just like kerosene,
Burnin' just like kerosene.

Rooty toot toot for the moon,
It's the biggest star I've ever seen. . . .


Magical! Absolutely magical!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: SINSULL
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 05:08 PM

Arlo Guthrie to Kitty West: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Bid! Bid! Bid!"

I have read through this thread twice and gone teary both times. Another treasure, guys.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 05:56 PM

Long ago, on the east side of Louisville, there was a little pizza joint owned by a rag-tag group of New York freaks, and it was called Fun City Pizza. It featured great thick-crust pizza and, though the boys didn't have a liquor license, they would pass around paper cups and a jug of dago red most weekend nights. I happened to be there one night in about 1974 with my girl, and in my pocket I had a Hohner D Blues Harp I'd been fooling with. Two guys walk in with guitars, put a hat on the floor for change, and start playing music. After a few minutes, the girl says "this guy has a harmonica!" so they start an A Blues and I caught my breath and jumped in. It started slow, but pretty soon we had a real groove going, and a woman jumps in and starts to sing, and everybody clapping along, and when we ended the clientele gives us a standing ovation.

First time I ever played harp in front of people.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Kaleea
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 04:49 AM

For those of you who are familiar with the works of J.S. Bach, when I was in music school many moons ago, my lover & I were listening to our favorite Brandenberg Concerto with the Piccolo trumpet solo. He got frisky & I did the figured bass & he did the piccolo trumpet (with much ornamentation & trills a plenty) & it was some kind of magic!


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: JudeL
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 05:32 AM

The MMM I remember best was just over 20 years ago. I went to a competition concert between 3 male voice choirs at the Park & Dare in Treorchy, South Wales. Each of the choirs sang the set piece, followed by their free choice. The singing on stage was lovely but couldn't hold a candle to what happened afterwards, downstairs in the bar. Most of the 3 choirs and a good part of the audience too were packed in there singing. Multipart harmony that you didn't so much hear as vibrate and be swept along by. Absolutely amazing - I'd never encountered anything to match that before or since - although occassionally the middle bar in Sidmouth comes close.

ps Deckman - in your post on 29/nov you mention a song that starts "come a landsman" - do you know what it's title is and do you know if it's in the DT?


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 05:51 AM

I know it as "The Old Maids Lament." I don't know about the DT yet. Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 05:54 AM

I found it listed as "The Old Maids Song." Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: JudeL
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 07:18 AM

Thanks Jude


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: JudeL
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 07:26 AM

Thanks for that, although I think it must be a slightly different version because it doesn't have the bit about "don't let me die an old maid, take me out of pity" that you first quoted.
Jude


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 08:50 AM

I had a magical moment all to myself a few weeks ago. I was singing Ruby Tuesday and giving it my all - I was completely in another universe and having a wonderful time. I did at one point notice that people were looking a bit peculiar, sort of half-laughing and half-apalled. I didn't think I was that bad......
When I stopped singing I found out that I had completely missed a huge drama in the pub whereby the landlord had been accused of over-familiarity with a female punter. She had been arguing loudly and vociferously with him, and at one point was kneeling on the floor being calmed down by a friend.
I had been the only person in the pub having a magical musical moment - everyone else was watching the drama unfold...

Kris


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Nov 01 - 06:17 AM

Thanx folks ... it's been great. I started this post on October 28 and I've enjoyed every single posting. What a neat idea (thanks MAX) and resource ... think of an interesting question and ask the world. CHEERS to all, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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