Bruce Dalzell: Waltz For Kelee (YouTube)

Bruce Dalzell: Waltz For Kelee(YouTube)

A truly great instrumental piece.

Song for sale at 0.99 on Amazon

Album My “Athens Past” for sale at $8.91 pm on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/My-Athens-Past-Bruce-Dalzell/dp/B004IXI62O

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davidbrucehaiku: find your happiness

 

cap-4482708_1280

https://pixabay.com/photos/cap-earrings-mada-makeup-stylist-4482708/

***

FIND YOUR HAPPINESS

***

Nurture the good parts

Set aside the ugly parts

Find your happiness

***

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David Bruce: 250 Music Anecdotes — Work

Work

• For a while, Michael Sembello, although he preferred jazz, played guitar for Stevie Wonder. A friend got Mr. Sembello to audition by pretending that they were going to a place to jam, but he did mention that Stevie Wonder would be present. When Mr. Sembello found out that it was an audition, he was ready to leave immediately. For one thing, about 200 people were there to audition, and the wait would be very long to play. His friend, however, waited until no one was looking and erased the first five names on the audition list and put his name and Mr. Sembello’s name first. Mr. Wonder was going in a different, more jazzy direction at this time, and so Mr. Sembello had an advantage on the other guitarists although they knew the Stevie Wonder catalog of hits. Mr. Sembello remembered, “It was kind of like a game show for guitar players: if you hang in there you got to stay, but if you screw up you were eliminated.” Mr. Sembello got to stay. At one point, Mr. Wonder played some songs from an album that had not yet been released, but Mr. Sembello “copped the changes immediately.” When Mr. Wonder asked him how he was able to do that, Mr. Sembello replied that he had a good ear. Mr. Wonder asked if he had heard the new album, and Mr. Sembello replied that he had not. Mr. Wonder asked an assistant, “Is the album out yet?” No, it was not. Next question: “How the hell do you know these tunes?” “I don’t know the tunes. I’m just guessing where you’re gonna go.” “You’ve got the gig.” “I didn’t come here for no gig — I just came here to jam.” Mr. Sembello ended up taking the job. He said about the experience of working for Mr. Wonder, “I had all the technical ability in the world and could play like the fastest guitar player in the West, but he was the one who taught me the most about feel.”

• Arthur Whittemore and Jack Lowe became a two-piano team by accident. In 1935, when Arthur was 19 years old and Jack was 18 years old, Arthur’s aunt invited him to visit her in Puerto Rico. Arthur wanted his friend Jack to come with him, so he told his aunt that he and Jack were a two-piano team and so Jack had to come, too, so they could continue to practice together. His aunt invited Jack to visit, and she arranged a two-piano concert for Arthur and Jack to play in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As soon as they found out that Arthur’s aunt expected them to play a two-piano concert, the two young men immediately began to practice together. They had no music for two pianos, so they transcribed famous musical classics. The concert was so successful that they decided to continue working as a team. This is fortunate for music history because they were so good, and because both were so gregarious that they probably would not have worked as solo piano virtuoso pianists because they would have hated being lonely while traveling on tour. One of their prized possessions was a letter from twentieth-century French composer Francis Poulenc, to whom they had sent a copy of their recording of his Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra— the orchestra was the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Mr. Poulenc wrote, “Your performance of the Concerto, like that of [Vladimir] Horowitz of my Toccata, is the one for posterity.”

• Mariah Careyworked hard to become the major musical success she is. When she was a teenager, she got very little sleep. During the day, she worked in a restaurant, and at night she went to a music studio, writing and recording songs until 7 a.m. Then she slept for “a couple of hours,” she says, and woke up and did the same thing again. Some of her older musician friends were amazed at what she was doing. They would ask her, “Why are you working so hard?” Ms. Carey says that she knew that they were “loafing about in the middle of the day,” and she would think, “Because I don’t want to be like you.” Her first five singles all reached No. 1 in the United States. She has a bit of a reputation for being a diva, but she says, “I try not to be a jerk. I really do.” She also says that rumors about her are just that: rumors. For example, she says, “They said I wouldn’t come into a hotel unless there were petals on the floor. I’m like, do you really think at 3 a.m. I give a s**t what I’m walking on?”

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

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David Bruce: 250 Music Anecdotes — Songwriters, Television, Travel

Songwriters

• Some people know what they want. Carole King met fellow songwriter Graham Nash and asked, “So when are we going to write together?” He replied, “I’m not the guy.” She then said, “Oh, fine. I’ll be at your house at one o’clock.” He asked, “What?” She replied, “I’ll be at your house at one o’clock and we’ll write.” He said, “Didn’t I just get through telling you?” She replied, “I don’t care what you just said. I’m coming to your house at one o’clock. We can do this.” She came to his house at one o’clock, and they wrote a song together.

• Songwriter Steve Earle is not shy when it comes to expressing his opinions. Wearing his cowboy boots, he once stood on songwriter Bob Dylan’s coffee table and proclaimed, “Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the world.” He later met Mr. Van Zandt, writer of “If I Needed You,” who told him, “That’s a really nice quote, but I’ve met Bob Dylan’s bodyguards, and I don’t think [what you did] is a really good idea.”

Television

• On 12 June 1936, Ella Fitzgerald recorded her first song, “Love and Kisses,” which she made with the Chick Webb Orchestra. The record was in a jukebox at a nightclub, but Ella was not allowed in the nightclub because she was underage. She remembered, “So I had some fellow who was over 21 go in and put a nickel in while I stood outside and listened to my own voice coming out.” The turning point in Ella’s life came in 1934 on an amateur night at the Harlem Opera House in New York City. She and two friends drew straws to see who would perform on stage, and Ella drew the short straw. She had intended to dance, but performing immediately before her were two sisters who danced much better than she did, so instead of dancing, she sang “Judy,” a song made famous by the Boswell Sisters. Ella was a hit with the audience and won $25. She called this “the hardest money I ever earned,” but added, “Once up there [on stage], I felt the acceptance and love from the audience — I knew I wanted to sing before people the rest of my life.” In her later years, Ella made a commercial for Memorex recording tapes. In the commercial, she hit a high note and broke a glass. Then a Memorex recording of Ella’s high note was played, and it broke a glass. The commercial then asked, “Is it Ella, or is it Memorex?” A boy once attended one of Ella’s concerts and afterward said, “I liked her singing all right, but she didn’t break no glass.”

• While doing research for The Drew Carey Show, Mr. Carey and his producer, Bruce Helford, stopped at a local pub in Lakewood, Ohio, where they heard some musicians play “Moon Over Parma,” a song that one of them, Bob “Mad Dog” McGuire, had written. The song is about a man who gives his girlfriend a bouquet of radishes. At best, Mr. McGuire thought that the song would be popular locally, so he was surprised when Mr. Carey and Mr. Helford said that they wanted to use as it the theme song to The Drew Carey Show. He ended up getting $750 to $1,000 each time the song opened the show. Mr. McGuire says, “It’s kind of like having another job but not having to go to work.”

Travel

• World-famous accompanist Gerald Moore detests background music, of which he writes, “I find it difficult to indulge in the process of thinking even at the best of times, but when this slime is being poured into my ears, thought or study or reading are quite impossible.” He once asked an American stewardess to turn off the background music during a flight. She did, but remarked, “Not musical, eh?” Of course, as an in-demand international accompanist, Mr. Moore frequently traveled. He once undertook a sea voyage to Dublin, Ireland, from Holyhead, Wales. He boarded in the evening, drank two large whiskeys, and slept soundly. The next morning, he told a steward, “That is the way to cross the Irish Sea. I slept undisturbed the whole night, unaware of any tossing and pitching, rock ’n’ roll.” The steward replied, “No, sir, you wouldn’t have felt much movement. You see, we haven’t cast off yet. It’s been too rough.”

• According to Michael Sellers, the son of British comic Peter Sellers, Henry Mancini, the composer of “Moon River,” liked to smoke weed, and he carried it with him when he traveled. Peter Sellers once asked him, “But what about Customs?” Mr. Mancini replied, “Who’s going to bust the man who wrote ‘Moon River’?”

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

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103

elleguyence

On summer days, I’d dream of flowers
wildly tamed in a tweed bouquet
delicate daisies, soft touches
I feel the wind in my fingertips

Often I dread how
summer passes in the blink of an eye
in the heat of the moment
I hope it slows down
I hope the cool will calm me

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David Bruce: 250 Music Anecdotes — Riot Grrrl, Somewriters

Riot Grrrl

• Both punk and riot grrrl music believe in Do-It-Yourself (DIY) when it comes to creating music and other art. In 1994, a drunk and enthusiastic 16-year-old girl named Lauren Goften approached Rachel Holborow, who worked for the English record label Slampt. Lauren told Rachel about her riot grrrl band Kenickie, which she said she had formed with some schoolmates. Rachel was so intrigued by what she heard that she asked for a demo tape. Actually, the band existed only in Lauren’s head. Also, Lauren and her schoolmate Marie du Santiago did not know how to play musical instruments. No problem. They learned how to play two chords and started writing songs and recorded their first tape: Uglification. They then learned to play a third chord and started playing in public. Lauren, whose band name was Lauren Laverne, remembers that she forgot how to play her guitar solo while on stage, so she sang it instead. Basically, the band learned how to play by playing on stage and they learned how to write songs by writing them. So what happened? Alan McGee, head of Creation Records, took a plane to see them. He liked what he heard and offered to sign them to a record deal. They turned him down. Kenickie was active from 1994 to 1998, recorded for Fierce Panda and EMI, and when they broke up, lots of female fans mourning the breakup sent letters for months to the music magazines NME(New Musical Express) and Melody Maker.

• Frequently, the question “Stones or Beatles?” comes up in discussions about music. Someone asked that question to record producer Guy Picciotto. He replied, “The Smiths.” Beth Ditto, lead singer of Gossip and a supporter of riot grrrl music, has two good answers to the question “Ramones or Sex Pistols?” One answer is this: “The Slits.” Another answer is to ask this question in reply: “Heavens to Betsy or Bratmobile?”

Songwriters

• Country songwriter Harlan Howard knew that the young Hal Ketchum was planning to come to Nashville, Tennessee, and so he invited him to stay at his house: “I know you’re coming up. You’re trying to get a publishing deal or a record deal. So just stay at my house.” Staying at Mr. Howard’s house had some major benefits, such as hearing people such as Mr. Howard, Waylon Jennings, Allen Reynolds, and Jim Rooney talk and play music. Mr. Howard told the young Mr. Ketchum, “Listen twice and talk once; maybe you’ll learn something.” Mr. Ketchum played a couple of songs that were clever rather than honest, and then he played a folk song titled “Someplace Far Away.” Mr. Howard listened to the song and then told Mr. Ketchum, “That’s it — that’s where you need to go.” He added, “One thing you need to bear in mind as a songwriter is that it’s all been said before. If you can just learn to say it from your own perspective in some kind of honest fashion, people will gravitate toward it. […] we’re all telling the same story, but if you do it from your own heart and your own perspective, people will get it.”

• So where did the title of John Lee Hooker’s song “Boom Boom” come from? He got the title from a bartender named Luilla at the Apex Bar in Detroit. Mr. Hooker was playing with a band, and he always arrived late. Whenever that happened, and it always happened, Luilla pointed at him and said, “Boom boom, you’re late again.” Mr. Hooker recognized a good song title when he heard it, so he created a song, and it was a hit first for him and later for the Animals. What about Luilla? Mr. Hooker says, “She went around telling everyone ‘I got John Lee to write that song.’ I gave her some bread for it, too, so she was pretty happy.”

• Steven Tyler of Aerosmith is a hard-working man. For a while, he and the band spent so much time on the road that even when he was home he would wake up and automatically telephone for room service. By the way, he wrote all the lyrics to the songs on the AerosmithROCKSalbum, but accidentally left them in a manila envelope in a taxi. Mr. Tyler says, “I lost the whole thing — all the words to the songs. I had to go back to the Ramada Inn on 8thAvenue and sit with the headphones and bring it all back. I got about 50 percent of it. Can you imagine what was in that cab that went into the wastebasket?”

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

250 Music Anecdotes (Kindle eBook: $1.99):

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Modern necromancy

t r e f o l o g y

The restless spirit of the

Spanish ventriloquist, Senor Wences

has begun communicating through me,

using my hand as a vehicle, just

as he once did his famous characters.

ii.

I say this to you, confidentially, &

only because, Senor Wences, has intimated 

that he has something very important

to tell you …

about the future!

iii.

So, pull up a chair, as I

don’t want you miss

a single word.

iv.

But before you do,

let me first apply some lip-stick to

my thumb and forefinger.

v.

Because, friend,

there is something else I should tell you,

Senor Wences —

wants to kiss you!

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A Six-Word Story

HappymessHappiness

Bravely fight for what you desire.

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