City of New Orleans

I’ve been looking for a project where I could try a video-on-video effect I like. I had some suitable background video from my 24 Hours of Amtrak Hell and this song is one I like. Ideally I would have waited until I was more proficient with the song but I’ll be 68 in a couple of weeks so we go with what we got. (This was easier than I expected, mostly because I used Screenflow instead of iMovie.)

At the Dark End of the Street

“In the summer of 1966, while a DJ convention was being held in Memphis, Dan Penn and Chips Moman were cheating while playing cards with Florida DJ Don Schroeder,and decided to write the song while on a break. Penn said of the song “We were always wanting to come up with the best cheatin’ song. Ever.” The duo went to the hotel room of Quinton Claunch, another Muscle Shoals alumnus, and founder of Hi Records, to write. Claunch told them, “Boys, you can use my room on one condition, which is that you give me that song for James Carr. They said I had a deal, and they kept their word.” The song, lyrics and all, was written in about thirty minutes.” (Wikipedia)

I first heard this song in the 1991 Alan Parker film The Commitments. It’s been covered by lots and lots of artists (Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello, Gregg Allman, Linda Ronstadt, to name a few) but my favorite versions are by Bobby King & Terry Evans and Veronica Klaus.

Till There Was You

In 1966 I got the part of Professor Harold Hill in our high school spring musical. This song was supposed to be sung in two-part harmony with Marion the Librarian (who also happened to be my girl friend). I couldn’t do the harmony so they cut my part and I stood on the little foot bridge while she did a solo. I still can’t sing harmony.

Wikipedia: “Till There Was You” is a song written by Meredith Willson for his 1957 musical play The Music Man, and which also appeared in the 1962 movie version. The song is sung by librarian Marian Paroo (Barbara Cook on Broadway, Shirley Jones in the film) to Professor Harold Hill (portrayed by Robert Preston) toward the end of Act Two.

It’s Hard to Sing the Blues

It occurred to us recently that we might not get any better on the ukelele. No matter how many hours we practice. And who really wants to hear Five Feet Two one more time? Or the first time? So, with the encouragement of my friends Viretta and Natasia, I decided to write something myself and put it up on YouTube for the world to hear. Like a gay man coming out, just more awkward.

I dedicate this first effort to Professor Peter who’s been coaching me, as well as J-Walk, Bisbo and the Hobbit who encouraged me. Okay, they didn’t discourage me which is sort of the same thing.