Music and Friends

Our local winery, Marks Ridge, has musical events every Friday evening during July and August. Sit on the lawn chairs, eat snacks, and listen to good music. This year's sessions started this last Friday night, the 3rd, with the group, Dinna Fash, which means "Don't Fret or Worry". We, met our friends the Gentinos, Gene and Liz, at the event and had a wonderful evening. It was a perfect evening, not too hot or too cold. We need more of this to heal our souls.


Off Road Music

Bob found a webpage that offered some playlists of music when driving around Prince Edward Island. Now that is what I call an interesting and fun bit to explore here.

Phantom of the Opera Version

One of my favorite musicals is Phantom of the Opera. The songs are spectacular and soaring. I came across this version with Josh Groban and Kelly Clarkson, both who are wonderful singers. Enjoy!

Most Addictive Songs

In a scientific study, the most addictive song is "We will rock you" by Queen. The second one is more recent which is "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. See the rest of the list which I would agree with a number of them.

Music Preferences

I like music, especially certain types of music. There are a few types I don't enjoy much. My children like a whole different form of music over my choices. Now why is that. One can find out here.

Pet Sounds

The Beach Boys I know. I grew up with their music. I did not know the album, Pet Sounds, though based on this article it is a shame I did not. This is a wonderful tribute to music and especially to this album considered one of the best ever produced.

Manhattan Transfer

One music group Bob and I love to listen to the music is Manhattan Transfer. We have seen them perform several times while we lived in the Bay Area. The lead singer has passed away but the group is still going strong. Great Doo-Wop music. Here is a description of their current status and a show they put on in Minneapolis.

Freddy Mercury

If you like music and love to listen to Queen, you will understand why you do and what makes the lead singer Freddy Mercury so special. Check it out here.

Music and The Bridge

I am totally weak about understanding music.I love to listen to it but I know little about the notes and basis of it. I did find this article quite fascinating about how music is coming lately to dropping "the bridge" from writing of songs. I have heard of the bridge while watching American Idol and as they show mentors helping the young artists learn the craft. The article describes what a bridge is and why it is going away in many ways. The other cool thing is that there are a number of videos in the article of music I love to listen to.

Sunny Saturday

I have been away from my blog for over a month due to travel and tragedy. I have tried to take this weekend to do more for myself and allow some stress healing from too much work. It wasn't the best start since dinner from last was not the best for me.

I am starting to catch up. I have the fans on, the outside door open and the sun is shining. I downloaded the new Runrig album yesterday and am listening to some celtic rock while I sit here and type. Yay!


Runaround Sue

I had a blast coming across an article that described Dion's creating of the Number One hit song, Runaround Sue. Dion was almost lost to music legend the "day the music died" when Buddy Holly, Richey Valens, and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash. He ended up missing the flight, I believe due to illness. Back to Sue. I loved the story about how he found his back up group and it is spectacular to click the link and listen to Dion singing "Runaround Sue".

Frank Sinatra

In the past few days, the world was recognizing the 100th anniversary of Frank Sinatra's birth. Definitely an interesting man when you read his story. May or maybe not someone I would have liked personally. He was a great singer or storyteller with song and a very good actor. I have a number of CDs of his music, 2 where they did duets with him singing with others (blended in studio and not sung together in person). I also snagged a couple of old vinyl records of his as momentos one time. Read some more about his life story. Another great expose of his work can be found on Powerline.

The Beauty of Editing

I like music and I love to see when people can artistically edit film and music to make something new. This has been going around Facebook recently. Someone has taken old films with dance scenes and fit portions of the steps to synch with a current song from 2015.

Tawt I Saw a Puddy Tat

Mark Steyn is a writer who Bob and I enjoy reading. He is has a needle sharp wit that he uses in his writing and TV discussions. It appears he got a cat a year ago and quite enjoys having him. The cat is named Marvin. Mark Steyn did a Halloween video and he is a cat album coming out. More about it here.

Best Movie Soundtracks

It looks like AMC did a list of the 100 Best Movie Soundtracks, or I guess it is from Entertainment Weekly. I would have to say after watching the movie the other night the soundtrack from "The Last of the Mohicans" is right up there for me. Also, "Rob Roy". Just because of the type of music I like. There 3rd on the list would be tops too for me as "Saturday Night Fever". Here is the list. My two mentions are not on the list and neither is Footloose. Are you kidding me?


If you want to learn more about Paganini and also why the violin was considered the Devil's instrument, read here.

"At the height of his fame and fortune, Niccolò Paganini, arguably the greatest violinist ever to live, was both the toast, and the bane, of Europe. Considered by most a musical genius, by some a musical god and by others, the Devil’s minion, Paganini’s virtuosity, appearance and bearing had some believing his skill could only come after he had made a pact with the Devil."

Civil War Songs at the New

Recently a vocal ensemble presented a collection of songs, hymns, and fiddle tunes at the Cooper Union in New York City. The hall was where Abraham Lincoln made his famous Cooper Union speech in February 1860 as he ran for the Presidency. Read more about it here.

Celtic Music

Bob and I love to listen to Celtic Music. This is why we had a good time listening to this trio at the Scottish Festival. Their name is Golden Bough. They are funny and have lively music and ballads. We got one of their albums.

Singing and Brenda Lee

Brenda Lee was discovered around the age of 10. Her one biggest hit was "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree". She even sang with Elvis in her early career days. The song mentioned was a flop in early stages yet now has gone on to sell well over 25 million copies. Interesting story.

Andy Kauffman Equals Elvis

I came across this link to old video of a sketch on the Tonight Show of early Andy Kauffman. About 2 1/2 minutes in he switches to doing Elvis Presley. Or is it Elvis becomes Andy? Funny and great memories. Nicely done by Andy who died too early. "Tank you veddy much!"

1927 Bristol Sessions

I bet most people have not heard of the 1927 Bristol Sessions. Not being a music student, I had not until recently. On our trip to Nashville recently, I wandered through the music store associated with the Country Music Hall of Fame. While I was contemplating purchasing an album of Emmy Lou Harris’ (fine voice), I decided on a CD compilation called the 1927 Recordings of the Bristol Sessions done in Bristol, TN. The artists feature were Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. I got the inkling that this was a defining moment for country music and what I understand is called “root music’. These individuals were pioneers in bringing the music that traveled from the Scots/Irish areas to the Appalachian region into our awareness. A beautiful film that shows what this might mean is worth viewing, “Songcatcher”, starring Janet McAteer and Aidan Quinn. The 1927 Bristol Sessions is the first recording done of “root” music in the United States and it is interesting to listen to.
Now I see today that I was up with this interest since there is a New York Times Book Review on two books covering this phenomenon in American Music history.


Country Music Awards

Country Music Awards are on tonight. We were in Nashville just a few days before they had the big event there. Where Bob and I sat in the Patron Club last Saturday night looked right down on the MVPs tent for the awards. About as close as we are ever to get. Happy

Halloween In Nashville

Not much of a spooky Halloween. I spent the day in lectures about feline medicine and Bob went sight seeing around Nashville. The city seems safer and has a lot more to enjoy than the last visit. Bob went to see the Johnny Cash museum today and felt it was a must see. I will have to save it for another time. We spent the evening at dinner with veterinarian friends. I had to take it slower since I had one of my molars break last night and it is painful to eat sometimes.
Here is a picture Bob got of the Tennessee capital. It was a great place to visit I remember from last time.

Music City Here We Are

We took off yesterday afternoon to fly to Nashville for the ABVP meeting. We are staying at the Omni Hotel which is fairly new and quite nice. It is across the street from the Music Center and attached to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Nashville seems to have changed from when I was there 15 years ago and we are more on the eastern edge about 4-5 blocks from where the meeting was last time.

Al Jolson

I enjoy reading about different facts in life. It gives a person some perspective about the truth and not the myth. Al Jolson was a singer who was well known for the movie, “The Jazz Singer”. He also did a song in blackface referring to “Mammy”. Not what would be acceptable today as a performance thought there are often ones worse that are not acceptable. One can find out more about Al Jolson and his career here.

Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin is considered the epitome of song writers. He has written so many of our well known iconic tunes. One of the best known and often sung is “God Bless America”. He learned to appreciate the value of America and what it means to those who live here. Besides his super political columns, Mark Steyn is well-versed in musical history. Enjoy his column on Irving Berlin.

“Irving Berlin was a Jew and he endured slights: When he married a society girl, Ellin Mackay, she was dropped from the Social Register; when Ellin's sister took up with a Nazi diplomat in New York and went around sporting a diamond swastika, she suffered no such social disapproval. Throughout his life, fate seemed determined to test to the limit Berlin's faith in both America and the simple certainties of popular song. But he never forgot being a child in Temun, Siberia, when the Cossacks rode in and razed his village, sending his parents scuttling west. About his adopted land, he had no doubts, and his were the words Americans turned to in the wake of September 11th.”

God Bless America Land that I love.

Stand beside her And guide her Through the night With a light from above…

God Bless America My home, sweet home.


To get a sense of the mystique and superb nature of Elvis Presley as an artist and at the height of his artistry, this article will give some insight about a recent packaging of his work from 1970. A restoration, per se. ‘That’s the way it is’.

Fiddler on the Roof

Fascinating story today from the son of Joseph Stein. Stein was the playwright who put together Fiddler on the Roof. It has been around 50 years since it was brought to Broadway and became a success. A success well-deserved since I am a big fan of Fiddler and its music. I doubt I would have been a favorite of Mr. Stein’s being he was a fan of Communism and Stalinism. He did put together some great comedy, plays, and music though. Read about it here.

Congrats to Cat Video Festival

It looks like my good friend Karen and her sidekick “cats” got good publicity and recognition from the local media. May the New Orleans cat video festival live on for a number of years. Check out the nice article.

Johnny Cash Lost Decade

Johnny Cash was a truly great Country Western singer. His music is a joy to listen to and watching some of his older TV specials are relaxing and great fun. I’m glad I have some of his music in compilation albums. For one look at his career and music, this article gives some insight into a period where his music did not catch the public’s attention and why. Plus what came before and after this decade.

Shirley Temple's Music

I am a huge fan of Mark Steyn’s writing. He ranges from current affairs, demography to film and music. He did a wonderful exposition on the music of Shirley Temple. These are such songs as “On the Good Ship Lollipop” and “Animal Crackers In My Soup”. Enjoy Mark’s take on the what Shirley Temple offered us as a talented individual.

Rosanne Cash

I have been coming across different articles about Rosanne Cash, the singer and daughter of Johnny Cash. I believe the articles relate to her recent album release, “The River and The Thread”. The lyrics and music were a collaboration with Cash and her ex-husband and in addition, her current husband. This particular article describes her interest in the stories behind ballads. She in particular talks about an Irish singer who she particularly appreciates, Paul Brady.


Last evening was our third show in Eugene where we saw Natalie MacMaster. The last time was about 4 years ago. Natalie is a world renowned celtic fiddle player with “Close to the Floor” dancing abilities as she fiddles. She is a 5-time mom with the newest child being almost 3 months old. As one audience member said as we were leaving, “She does not disappoint”.
She had her oldest child, 6-year-old Mary Frances Leahy, on stage. The genes and environment showed through since Mary Frances danced up a storm and played the fiddle to a lively tune. A Star is Born and a proud Mom too.


Night Out in Eugene

A rainy, blustery day led to a night out at The Shedd Institute in Eugene to see Natalie MacMaster perform. She is from the small community of Troy on Cape Breton Island. I will cover more about her tomorrow.
The sky was a mix of odd colors, dark and light orange last night as we took the freeway. This is probably not the best picture depiction though will give some idea of the hills and sky.


Music of Evangeline

I have been sorting and trying to put together an I DVD of our trip. That usually means a mix of photos, video, music and text/labels. In this situation, it takes a bit of organization, concentration, and time.
As I have mentioned, one of the trip highlights was watching a young Acadian girl rehearse her music for an upcoming festival near St. Bernard in Nova Scotia. She was lovely in her Evangeline costume and her play was spectacular to me. Please enjoy!
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