Friday, August 14, 2009

Listen To The Music

Brother Kirt, Sister Jeanne and I began singing together when we were kids, usually while going on vacation with our parents. Both Mom and Dad sang well and I guess most of our musical ability came from them.

In the 1950's, Brother Kirt and I would sing songs that we learned from the radio. Since neither of us could play guitar, we would grab the old straw broom and strum to it, pretending it was the guitar. Our parents bought us hard plastic four stringed guitars that could be played by strapping a gismo on the neck and pressing different buttons which would play the chords.

Later, in the sixth grade, I took my plastic guitar to school and performed two songs for my class. My teacher, Mr. Hall, took me aside and said that he played the guitar and would show me how to play. I was elated and every lesson that Mr. Hall taught me, I would later show to Brother Kirt.

The rest is history as Brother Kirt and I later formed a band and played many venues through our teenage and young adult years. We were even asked to perform on a local television music show at ages eleven and twelve, but we chickened out. The Draft and subsequent Vietnam era caused the eventual end to our musical plans. Brother Kirt moved and got married. I continued playing solo and in groups in various nightclubs but as a young man, I spent as much time chasing skirts as I did practicing my music.

I did return to music as I got older and learned to play the piano and keyboards, as well. I still perform at different places now and then and I enjoy performing at many of the karaoke venues. My current project is singing and recording some of my favorite songs with my new home studio program.

One of the musical influences in my life was the great Les Paul.....

Guitar great Les Paul died Thursday of complications from pneumonia in White Plains Hospital, New York. Paul was married to Mary Ford and the two singer-guitarists fascinated the music world with a barrage of top ten hits including five top ten hits within nine months. Their memorable recordings include "Tennessee Waltz", "Mockin' Bird Hill", "How High the Moon" ( #1 for nine weeks) and "Vaya Con Dios" (#1 for 11 weeks).

Les Paul was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which made the sound of rock and roll possible. His many recording innovations included overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects, and multitrack recording. His innovative talents extended into his unique playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many of the guitarists of the present day.

Les Paul and Mary Ford had their own radio show and later moved to television with "The Les Paul and Mary Ford Show." In 1978, Les Paul and Mary Ford were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. A two time Grammy Award winner, Paul was inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of Fame in 1988.

Les Paul was still performing in clubs prior to his illness and subsequent death. Les Paul was 94 years old. Here's a clip form Les Paul and Mary Ford that I hope you enjoy (remember to turn off the music from my playlist on the left sidebar).

I always admired the talents of Les Paul and have played many of the guitars that he designed. I'm sure he'll be playing guitar for the angels. Rest In Peace, Les.

This Date In History: 1880; Construction of Cologne Cathedral is completed, 632 years after it began, making it for 4 years the tallest building in the world. 1834; Britain passes the Poor Law Amendment Act, thus abandoning the centuries-old system of outdoor relief by which parishes looked after their poor and replacing it with the workhouse.

1941; Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt sign the Atlantic Charter, a joint declaration of common principles in Anglo-American policies to be followed in the post-war period. 1945; Japan announces its surrender, ending World War II.

1951; American publisher and political figure William Randolph Hearst dies at the age of 88 in Beverley Hills, California. 1969; At the start of The Troubles, British troops are sent to Northern Ireland in to restore law and order and support the government.

Picture Of The Day: Most of my pictures of my earlier teenage and young adult years are hiding in a secret place that I have not yet been able to locate. The top picture was taken by Sister Jean while Kirt and I were performing at a party at the Holiday Inn Hotel. The second picture was taken by a lady friend when I performed at Skywalkers Penthouse Restaurant and Lounge.

Above, that's Brother kirt, myself and our dog Beannie rehearsing at home. Finally, below right is Sister Jean and I aboard a Carnival Cruise Line ship that was used to host the Carnival employee Christmas party. I ended up performing several songs with the piano player in one of the lounges on board the ship.

Birthdays: Pius VII, pope 1742, Hans Christian Oersted, Danish physicist and chemist 1777, John Galsworthy, English novelist and playwright, who was one of the most popular English novelists and dramatists of the early 20th century 1856, Gary Larson, American cartoonist 1950.

Printable Things I Never Told You: 1) I've often wondered why psychics have to ask you for your name. 2) My friend, Paula in Texas defines laughing stock as cattle with a sense of humor. 3) Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? 4) I remember being amused at all the weird and funny noises my father made when he first woke up from a nap. I no longer find it amusing as I now make the same weird and funny noises. 5) If you're going to choose between the lesser of two evils, chose the one you haven't tried before....and that's five !

The AREA 51 Retirement Home Bar and Grill: I wrote and mailed a check last week and it arrived today. The only minor problem is that I mailed it to myself. I hope you call or visit me when they put me in the new AREA 51 home.

The Hits Just Keep On Coming: My thanks to Brother Kirt and my pal, Jerry, for their contributions to today's stories.

Two young boys walked into a pharmacy one day, picked out a box of tampons and proceeded to the checkout counter. The man at the counter asked the older boy, "Son, how old are you?" The boy replied, "Eight."

The man continued, "Do you know what these are used for?" The boy replied, "Not exactly, but they aren't for me. They're for him. He's my brother. He's four. We saw on TV that if you use these you would be able to swim and ride a bike. Right now, he can't do either."

One morning little Johnny woke up and went down stairs for breakfast. His mother told him that he would have to feed the chickens, pigs, and cows before she gave him anything. Stomping and mumbling he headed to the barn. First, he began to feed the chickens and as they came close he kicked as many as he could. Then he went over to the pigs and fed them.

As they were finishing, Johnny getting even hungrier, kicked as many pigs as he could. Finally, Johnny got to the cows. Fed them and out of anger once again kicked them. When Johnny got back inside there was a bowl of dry cereal waiting for him.

Johnny asked his Mom, "Why only dry cereal!" His mother said, "I saw you kick the chickens, so no eggs for a week. I also saw you kick the pigs, so no bacon for a week. I saw you kick the cows so, no milk for a week".

As she was finishing, Johnny's Dad came in apparently frustrated, slammed the door and kicked the cat which was in his way. Johnny looked up and said, "Mom, do want to tell Dad or do you want me to tell him"

That's it for today my fruit loops. Remember that while swimming in the ocean, most people discover that they scream the same way whether they are about to be devoured by a Great White shark or if a piece of seaweed touches their foot.

Thank God it's Friday! I'm going to AREA 51 to follow the president's wishes that we socialize. Have a great weekend and more on Monday,

Stay Tuned !


Brother Kirt said...

Brother Kirt sure is a handsome guy!! By the way, do I get any royalties from the pictures you're showing off? Just asking!! You know Jimmy, Mom always liked me best................

garnett109 said...

Lmao about what kirt said

Linda's World said...

Great entry my friend. I love looking at old fun that music tied your family together. My brother and I have always loved music, I took accordian, he played the trumpet in the high school band, I took choir in high school and we both sang in the church choir. My poor mom loved music too but she admitted she couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. My dad loved to whistle & he played a mean harmonica. Linda in WA

Dawn said...

He was talented... love the pics!

be well...

Paula said...

Wow you were all good lookers and still are. Like the joke about Little Johnny, the pigs, and the cows, and the chickens.

Coelha :B said...

:) I didn't know you had a brother! Lol... Cute pictures, and great story about you growing up..very sweet. Have you and Kirt ever preformed since? :) Julie

Martha said...

Thanks for sharing all the great photos. Love Brother Kirt's comment, LOL! The dad kicking the cat joke cracked me up too! Hope you had a wonderful trek to Area 51 last night - are you home yet? ;-)

Julie said...

Both good looking men there Jimmy. You can sing pretty good too,

Heli gunner Tom said...

Great Story, and thanks for sharing some of your life with us!
My dad taught me to play guitar, and then latter I taught him.. lol. I will send you a pic of me playing for my grand kids this past week.

Tom S

Rose said...

You and Kirt are both cool Dudes!

Love the photos.....keep them coming.

Hugs, Rose

krissy knox said...

Okay, so i found your blog, jimmy. if you haven't already put it in the from jland to blogger directory, please do! the URL is I created the directory myself so that we could all stay in touch with each other, be able to find one another, when we got over to blogger.

so i haven't talked to you in awhile. hope you are doing well. i've been very busy with john going back and forth to the hospital almost every few days. but i'm home right now, and as a matter of fact, i am very tired right now, so i need to get some sleep, but hopefully we'll be chatting again soon. take care of yourself!

krissy knox :)
my main blog:
Sometimes I Think
follow me on twitter:

Anonymous said...

hey jimbo, its' me your oldest.
I finally found a few mins to check out my emails. great journal
my # is 407-860-5752 call me I would love to chit chat. I am not much of a computer kid. I'd love to hear your voice.
love & miss u much,
PS " Humm a few bars
and I'll try to fake it." ha ha