Sweetlips Put-Down

For a change of pace I’m fleshing out this post via Postach.io–a beta blogging platform that works off of Evernote.

Since Evernote is where I create and curate my blog posts and related links (as many others do as well), makes sense that this might someday become a fleshed-out blogging medium.

So here’s a little snippet of trivia, if you’re so inclined, for a drizzly Sunday:

Sweetlips don’t take no crap from the likes of Jim Reeves (1960 country hit) and she did NOT after all, tell the man there with her he’d have to go.

Jeanne Black sings “He’ll Have to Stay” after Jim Reeves sings the contrary point of view.

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The Glue That Holds Us Together


In light of the most recent evidence that we are a species capable of destruction and profound hatred, it seems more important than ever to reassert our potential to create and to love.

In the end, the power of love and trust and the good will win. It’s going to be a long, hard struggle. And maybe not in this lifetime.

And one force against the darkness is to hold up our better nature and the creations that come from it: creations in clay and stone,  melody and light, words and pixels. This is who we are–the part that will not yield to terror or tyranny.

So consider joining us Thursday night in Floyd to hold that candle to the night with music that has endured across world wars and wars of words and the acts of a few soulless, twisted wraiths that once were men.

[click the image to enlarge for detail, the order tickets online or get them from the Jacksonville Center or buy them at the door.]

Musical Floyd: No, Not Just THAT Music!

No doubt, when it comes to an insider collective identity and an outsider cultural “brand” for Floyd, it is the music within the county and town boundaries that are at the top of the list of “what Floyd’s about.”

When most people think of “music in Floyd” they have tended to call up either the Friday night Jamboree or other music at the Floyd Country Store (or DogTown, or Hotel Floyd Amphitheater, or other around-town venues) OR (especially for those from “off mountain”) they think of the world-music phenomenon of FloydFest.

Expanding our musical identity got a start a few years ago, but hopes to broaden Floyd’s musical reach faded when the not-from-around-here organizers left at the end of the first season. You can read the details as Doug Thompson told the story.

But the very good news is this: classical music, as well as pop and other permutations, will be heard widely in Floyd County this summer at the Virginia’s Blue Ridge Music Festival that runs May 31 to June 9, 2013.

The program schedule will be posted soon. The web site, Facebook page, Twitter stream and other resources are in early preparation. And since I’m now involved with the marketing and promotion of this worthwhile effort, I’ll also be blogging about music in general, classical in particular, and the festival’s characters and back story here on Fragments from Floyd.

Meanwhile, LIKE and FRIEND and HUG and POKE and all those social-networky things you will do for this endeavor, please and thank you. It’s gonna take a village,  folks.

And to begin our multi-media Floyd-based celebration of the summer festivities, go here: (Pink) Floyd: The Wall. Classical style. Crank it up, enjoy, and expect no less creative entertainment this summer- in Floyd!

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Rhythm, Harmony, Melody: The Musical Score of Life

Deutsch: Plektrum an Gitarre English: Plectrum...
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Over the weekend, I had a reunion with the me of long ago. Having my room mate from 1966-68 bring his guitar to Goose Creek last week end, I realized how music had been the air we breathed back then. It came so naturally.

And so it was both sad to realize how much we’d forgotten and encouraging to discover we could still find the right key eventually, know when a certain cord of “Here, There, and Everywhere” wasn’t exactly right, and ultimately get it right. Ah, the feeling of finding the lost chord!

Even though I’d recovered my ability to use my left hand for guitar playing after last year’s surgery, I frankly had not really picked the guitar up much to take advantage of skills and pleasures I might use again. It had been so many years since I last played that I had put the strings on the wrong pegs on my 40 year old classical. Mike had put his guitar aside too for the past 25 years, and only recently poured his energies back into music with much enthusiasm and joy.

So after a few days filled with music, I think about the bitter and the sweet of struggling my way up the learning curve.  I never learned guitar beyond playing by ear and with a flat pick. My hands are pretty lousy at best, and then I probably have right hand surgery coming up this fall that would wipe clean for months any skills my ear or fingers might gain before then. And I really ought to get a steel string standard guitar, and case, and tuner, and….

We played some music here at the house Saturday night with a small group of folks. It certainly was not a performance–just a chance to have fun in a forgiving atmosphere with verse fragments of a lot of songs we half remembered. “Country Roads!” somebody would call out, and from deep memory would arise the chords, the lyrics, the melodies and the memories of gathered lives lived across the planet, brought together by the music of our youth.

Here are a couple of bookmarks my roomie shared with me I’ll be coming back to, and that you might enjoy and use in your own musical renaissance. It’s NOT too late! So should I spring for the iPhone Ultimate Guitar Tool now?

Ultimate Guitar Tabs: let’s you change the key, the tempo, etc. Pretty nifty.


Tommy Immanuel Beatles Medley: OMG. How is it possible to get so much music out of two hands and five strings!

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Lipstick On Your Collar: Connie Francis

I often listen to 181FM Classic Hits (from Waynesville NC) on TuneIn Radio (streaming via Droid in the car and iPad at home.) They play a nice and not-often-repeated slate of songs from the 50s and 60s, but one I’ve heard there several times lately is a plaintive melody and lyrics in counterpart to Oh My Papa is one I do not remember from when it was current in 1959 (when I was 11.) It is a song called “Mama” by Connie Francis. Her fluent Italian in that song made me consider the possibility that maybe her birth name was NOT Connie Francis.

I hate to admit this but I pulled over (on a Floyd County backroad in the middle of the boonies) and checked DuckDuckGo to find her real name, and followed up when I got home. Here are some excerpts from the extensive Wikipedia entry about her. Apparently, she is still with us.  And I, frankly, am glad for music’s sake that she did not go to medical school. But I am sorry she dropped the accordion.

And you can listen to a number of her tunes at Grooveshark should you care to.

  • Connie Francis (born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero; December 12, 1938
  • Following her appearance on the Arthur Godfrey show (singing “Daddy’s Little Girl”), Connie was advised to change her name from Franconero to something more easily pronounceable and to drop the accordion that was part of her act.
  • Francis’ first single, “Freddy,” (1955) and her next nine singles were commercial failures.
  • When her father learned that Bobby Darin had suggested the two lovers elope after one of her shows, he ran Darin out of the building at gunpoint.
  • After the failure of her first nine demos, MGM was about to drop her. She considered a career in medicine and was about to accept a four-year scholarship offered at New York University
  • Although Connie Francis had had a string of hits by mid-1959, the official turning point of her career was when she made an appearance on The Perry Como Show. She sang the song “Mama”, in both Italian and English.
  • In 1960, Francis became the first female singer to have two consecutive No. 1 singles, both on the top for two weeks: “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” and “My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own.”
  • Francis was one of the first American artists to regularly record in other languages. As a result, she enjoyed her greatest successes outside of the United States. During the 1960s, her songs not only topped the charts in numerous countries around the world, but she was also voted the #1 singer in over ten countries. In 1960, she was named the most popular artist in Europe, the first time a non-European received this honor.
  • Francis took a hiatus in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a result of cosmetic surgery. The result made it impossible for her to perform in air-conditioned venues
  • While appearing at the Westbury Music Fair in New York, on November 8, 1974, Francis was raped at the Jericho Turnpike Howard Johnson’s Lodge.
  • In 1977, Francis underwent nasal surgery and completely lost her voice.
  • Francis returned to the stage in 1982, even appearing in the town where she had been raped. However, her success was short-lived as she was diagnosed with mental illness and depression and she was committed to a total of seventeen hospitals.
  • In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan appointed her as head of his task force on violent crime.
  • Francis has been married four times.