Friday, January 15, 2010

January 16, 2010

Imagine! Half way through January already. Today, after several days of really cold weather, I looked at the thermometer which is outside my bedroom window and it said "40". I really did not believe it, so I called the local time and temp number and sure enough - she said in her matter-of-fact voice: "2:17 p.m. 42 degrees." A veritable heat wave.

I made a decision this week to change the radio program I have been doing which is Centered on Seniors. It has been a great experience and I have enjoyed all the willing and not so willing people who have found their way to the very remote radio station to discuss their various interests with David and me. But, I've done about 50 programs and I'm ready to be done with it, I think.

I will continue going to the station but my new program will focus on my love of music, particularly Broadway shows and movie musicals. I will do some digging to find the music, the stories behind the composers and the performers, as well as the productions. I hope it will find a niche audience and be good for another year or two. There is plenty of material to work with. My first selection will probably by Joseph's Dream Coat.

I got only one comment on my blog last week and that was on the profile I did. I know ~ it was Elvis' birthday. But EVERYONE knows all about Elvis. I like looking at people who aren't quite so much an open book. I still think Frank Zappa is a very interesting personality. One thing I left out about him is that he didn't smoke joints. He felt people who did were "asses." In a time when so many performers were "using" I find it quite laudable that Zappa was not. So much for him. He is history.

This week we are watching in horror the misery in Haiti. I have only known one Haitian person, at least that I can recall. He used to come to the music hall for organ lessons. At "pot luck" events, Ramses would bring home made apple pie which he made himself. Keep the unfortunate people of Haiti in your prayers. Give a little if you can, but make sure to give to a "safe" benefit.

HELP! I am looking for a lamp. Not just any lamp, but one which is really suitable for the organ. It needs to be flexible enough to bend over the music and tall enough to actually be out of the way when turning pages of music. The lamp which I purchased (supposedly made for pianos) is not tall enough. I purchased a flexible "natural spectrum" floor lamp and got a desk lamp in the deal. The light is wonderful, but the darn thing isn't convenient. And it's pretty unattractive as a piece of decor.
I got a catalog from Verilux with dozens of lamps, the tallest of which is 17". I think my current one is probably about that size and it's really not tall enough. It's sitting sidewise, twisted at an awkward angle, and precariously balanced atop a piece of wood to raise it an extra inch. Very artistic.

I have a Lowrey Prestige organ, which many of you already know. It has been on the "light duty" list for quite a while. It is playable, but shutting it off was hazardous to my well being. It went off with a bang akin to a rifle shot. The repairs are under way. The wheels grind slowly. Repairs to the Michigan bridge were probably completed more quickly. I now have $300 in labor (the warranty for labor is one year) and am looking at probably another $300. The repair man has to earn a living. I do not have a quarrel with him. Hopefully the work will be completed in a couple of weeks. This week all Lowrey employees including the technical crew, will be in California at a national product show, so I don't expect there will be any buisness conducted in Chicago.

Friends will be here tomorrow for the usual Saturday gathering. I am expecting a pretty good turnout and I need to do some housekeeping.
Before I sign off, I will tell you a bit about HARRY OWENS.

Harry Owens wrote mostly Hawaiian music. He was born in Nebraska around 1902 and died in Oregon in 1986 of a heart attack. He played trumpet with several bands in the Los Angeles area and formed his first band in 1926. He went to Honolulu in 1934 to work at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. He found the local musicians in Hawaii did not work well with the music of the mainland and so rescored and rewrote his arrangements and developed the music which became his identity. Some of his compositions are: Linger Awhile, Sweet Leilani (written for his daughter Leilani), Hawaiin Paradise, To You Sweet Aloha, Princess Poo Pooly, Hawaii Calls, Voice of the Tradewinds, and Polynesian Holiday. The tagline for his orchestra was "The Royal Hawaiians".
He had returned to the mainland to do a tour of the states, with a contract to reopen at the Royal Hawaiian in late December of 1941 when the bombing of Pearl Harbor eliminated any possibility of returning to the islands for many years. He performed in movies and on television before retiring to Oregon in 1976 at which time he ceased to have any contact with his former musical affiliations except the operation of his music publishing business. (Information for this salute to Harry Owens was taken from the Big Band Almanac, and the internet.)

"Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest; heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul."

I do not know who said it, but I like it.

Keep a song in your heart and keep the music playing.


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