Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Horn Blowing

May 31, 2012

You may or may not know that I have a Minnesota (as opposed to New Orleans) jazz funeral band called Band of Praise. We had the honor of participating in a Memorial Day service here at a 150 year old cemetery (that’s “old” for Minnesota), providing eternal rest to the state’s largest population of Civil War Veterans. The 1st Minnesota Regiment played a prominent and heroic role at Gettysburg and are revered here. In connection  with the press associated with this event, local TV did a nice little promo piece for the band. I thought I’d share it here.

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Too Good to be True

March 13, 2011

I was playing with the band “Touch” on the boardwalk near 7th street in Ocean City during the summer of 1973. The other members in “Touch” were “Bungalow”  Bill Davis on keyboards, Walt Bailey on guitar, and on drums and lead vocals, switching off as needed or desired, were “Raunchy” Rick Peters and Trudy Cooper.

My sister ( Ida) was down at the ocean during this particular week and, as we lay in the sand getting a tan one day, she says to me, “Donna likes somebody in your band.  Guess who”?  Before we go further, I had better introduce you to Donna.  Donna was a beautiful Greek girl wilh hair below her waist and a face and body like a Grecian goddess.  If she wasn’t the most beautiful girl in Ocean City that week, then she was tied for first place with whomever else qualified.

Getting back to my sister’s question, I replied without hesitation, “Well, Ida, you had better tell Donna to get in line behind all of the other women in Ocean City for a shot at Raunchy Rick because EVERY female in this town is head-over-heels in love with him”.  “It’s not Raunch,” Ida told me.  “Well”,  I said, “I’ll let Bungalow Bill know”.  I said this because whichever chicks Raunchy Rich rejected, ALWAYS went with Bungalow.  Walt and I usually ended up unwilling bachelors, or monks so to speak.  “It’s not Bungalow either”, said my sister. I gave her a hard stare.  “OK Ida, lets have it NOW!”  Ida smiled and said, “Yep – it’s you Sam”.

I was stunned!  Donna, the Greek goddess was attracted to me!  I could hardy beelieve my luck, but I wasn’t a fool.  I acted immediately, found Donna and took her to dinner before the gig.  After the gig we went back to my rented room at the Majestic on 7th street  and had an incredibilly romantic night.  Things couldn’t have been better.  The next morning we woke up and went down to breakfast.  Still not beieveing my incredible luck, I found myself staring at her, from the tips of her toes, to the top of her beautiful black hair and down again to her georgeous (uh-oh) YELLOW EYES!!!!!

I told her what I was seeing, she looked in a mirror to confirm what I had told her and we bolted to the Ocean City clinic.  As I suspected, her blood tests revealed Hepatitus B but luckily, mine were clean.  While she was rushed to GMBC in Towson (via ambulance) and quarantined, I had two very painful hemoblobin shots, (one in each butt cheek) as a vaccine and limped around that day.  I never saw her after that and never dated anyone that attractive again, EVER.  Looking back, I guess it was a freak accident of sorts, as if the universe made a mistake, noticed it’s mistake and corrected it immediately!.  One thing is for sure – the whole time, underneath it all, I was feeling that it was too good to be true anyhow!

“Raunchy” Rick aand Trudy Cooper at Woodstock

Raunch, rest in peace

Have A Funky Christmas

December 19, 2010

I introduced this unconventional Christmas tune last year, so for this year I’m linking to the video. The song is a 1989 recording by Groove Thangs, a well-known south Florida funk institution. The video, as much funky fun as the tune, is by Groove Thangs guitarist,  John “Bonefish Johnny” Stacey.

I hope you enjoy the video, and please accept our wish for a warm and joyous Christmas holiday, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

Peace for the New Year.

Thanksgiving Tradition According to Freberg

November 24, 2010

It’s been told and retold, year after year. We’ve all heard it from childhood — how the Pilgrims prepared a feast to honor their survival in the New World and its native inhabitants who helped them survive — but what about the menu? Why was turkey the main dish, a dish that remains the centerpiece of the traditional Thanksgiving feast to this day? In 1961, Stan Freberg gave us the answer.

If you aren’t familiar with “Stan the Man” I strongly recommend it. I was introduced to him and to his great album, “Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America – Volume 1” by Mr. Cool himself — Parkville H.S. band director Ivan Bowser. It made a lasting impression.

Freberg was one of the original Mad Men … an advertising executive of singular creativity and great renown. Baltimoreans in particular (those of a certain age) should remember him for his unique radio and TV ads for Esskay meats. He also did comedy albums, building them on the same humor that fueled his advertising.

But enough of that. It’s Thanksgiving, and here is the story, according to Mr. Freberg, of how turkey became the entree of choice. I hope your turkey is delicious, and that it is accompanied by all of the warmth of family and gratitude that the first Thanksgiving represents.

Merry Christmas

December 23, 2009

Here’s some Christmas music that I’m pretty sure you haven’t heard, which is why I’m posting it. This is a band from South Florida known as Groove Thangs.

 

Have A Funky Christmas

I discovered these guys a few years ago and found them to be funky as hell. Some of the band members also work as the Shack Daddys with the same level of Florida swamp funk. I’m not sure which band and players are which at any given time and which band is the most active, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not complicated, but their brand of easy Florida funk is  infectious. If you’re interested, here’s a sample from a Shack Daddys CD. It’s not a Christmas tune per se, but it does connect to Christmas in one very commercial way … it’s about money. Stacks and stacks of the stuff.

Here’s to a New Year and goodbye to 2009. I’d like to thank each and every one of you who takes the time to visit here. I hope you continue to find it interesting, or at least mildly entertaining, and I hope it’s helped you find ways to connect with your own personal musical history and old friends. As the years roll along that “old friends” label can take on a different meaning. In that regard, I offer a tag coined by an “old” friend of mine, fellow Poker Chip Bill Holland. In lieu of being old friends, he has declared us to be “Friends of Long Duration.” I like that.

I’d also like to give a special thanks to another friend of long duration and fellow Dynamic, Sam Towers, for fearlessly jumping in with both feet and helping breath life into this blog. His support and energy and ideas are most welcome and have been invaluable.

I hope your Christmas 2009 is a most merry one, and your New Year of 2010 one of health, happiness and prosperity. It wouldn’t be right for a Baltimore-oriented blog to offer a Christmas post and not include that most famous Christmas wish from the fat man … so here it is.

Fat Daddy Santa Claus

Music for Toys for Tots

November 28, 2009

Orchestra:

TRUMPETS:

Don Junker  / Scott Holbert  / Mike Davis  / John Williams  / Randy Martell

TROMBONES:

Ken Ebo  / Jen Krupa  / Bob Holladay   / Corey Wallace   / Gabe Osborne  BASS TROMBONE: Bernard Robier  TUBA: Ed Goldstein

SAXOPHONES:

Eric Wetzel  / Rich Burns  / Barry Cauldill  / Whit Williams  / Al Caldwell

FRENCH HORNS:

Ron Friedman  / Lynne Griffith  / Eldridge Parrish  / Lenore Turner  / Chris Dwyer / Cally Messick

RHYTHM:

PIANO: Paul Morawski   BASS: Jason Gano   GUITAR: Jough Loosmore   DRUMS: Marty Knepp  PERCUSSION: Joanna Dabrowska

VOCALS:  Ken Ebo & Tammy Temple     MASTER of CERMONIES:  Ken Jackson WYPR FM Radio

Giving Thanks

November 23, 2009

I’m feeling thankful for great family, great friends and great music. A new friend here in Minneapolis—a young graphic and web designer named Chris Keene—recently turned me on to Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour which ran on XM Satellite Radio. I’ve been culling through the archives and finding gem after gem …. like listening to Dylan’s personal playlist of eclectic music across the board, across the decades, and across all genre. I highly recommend the trip.

Each one-hour show features tunes based on a different theme. There’s not a lot of Thanksgiving music per se, so the Thanksgiving show featured mostly ‘left-overs” (very appropriate). One exception is this 1950 recording by The Robins. I offer it here as a teaser to check out this musical collection, and as my way of saying “thanks” to each and every one of you who have stopped in here to read this. Peace.

"The Turkey Hop"