Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Jim Croce - Bad Bad Leroy Brown (Midnight Special - 1973)

I remembe staying up to see this in 1973 on the Midnight Special TV show, which came on Saturday night and into Sunday morning. The song finally came at the very end of the show.  IT was worth the wait.

My maternal grandfather actually heard about this song before I did.  His name was Leon Brown, and he said a guy on the radio was singing a song about him!  My grandfather was a retired Methodist preacher, and I couldn't begin to imagine someone on the radio had written a song about him.

That very day . . . I heard "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" on the radio.  I bought the sheet music and learned the song in less than a week.  And . . . I had to learn how to bar chord on a 12-string guitar.  I had a cramped hand for a long time.  Actually, it still cramps my hand to play this song the way Jim did.

A fun song that people will sing with you . . . even senior adults in nursing homes.  It's fun, and it's lively, and people enjoy the chorus.

What song makes you happy when you sing or play it on your favorite instrument?

Rick ><>

Jim Croce - You Don't Mess Around With Jim (Live) [reMaSter]

Here is another Jim Croce favorite of mine, one that I still can't quite sing like he does.  Especially the "3 piece pool cue" vib toward the end of the song.

Rick ><>

Jim Croce - I Got a Name (1973)

I remember this song from my high school years.  I memorized it back in 1975 and sang it at youth group gatherings and assemblies.

My parents were winding up a divorce in 1975.  Dad moved out, and things got quieter and a bit more stable.  But it was 1975, and friends were telling me that I was from a broken home.  Someone asked how it felt that my life was over.


I knew I had a name, a purpose, a vision, a passion.  College was calling, my first time to leave home.  In college I met the woman who would become my wife to this day (42 years of marriage).  I found that ministry was where I belonged, and I found that I could still get people to sing with me in various places and locals.  Although I mostly "speak" for a living, I have been able to sing for people in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and in my home state of Texas.

Moving ahead so life won't pass me by . . . that's the last line of the chorus of this song.  I've kept ahead . . . it's been hark work.  But fruitful work, because at my last breath, I will be able to clearly say, and believe . . . I know who I am!

Has a song every spoken to you at an important time in your life?  Has a song every provided you with inspiration to keep on moving forward?


Jim Newton and Paul Hill taught me a faster version of this song when I trained with them in therapeutic music entertainment singing for children in hospitals.   I close most of my performances with this song, and enjoy doing so.  I will always be able to relate to this song, and I thank Mac Davis for writing it.  One of his best.

What song means the world to you?  What instrument do you love to play?

God's grace and favorite songs still amaze me . . . ><>

Friday, January 26, 2018

Jeff Daniels, "She Don't Love Me"

A final Jeff Daniels song!  I never knew he was this good.  I believe he has personally written over 400 songs!

God's grace, and musical surprises, still amaze me . . . ><>

Jeff Daniels, "Grandfather's Hat"

How often do the great songs simply focus on the storytelling about a relationship?

Well, almost always!


God's grace and a good song still amaze me . . . ><>

Jeff Daniels, "When My Fingers Find Your Strings"

Jeff sings and plays a song he wrote about his relationship with his guitar.

God's grace and good music still amaze me . . . ><>

One-on-One with Jeff Daniels, Part 2

Here is the 2nd part of the interview of Jeff Daniels with Dick Boak at the Martin Guitar Factory. 

God's grace and a Martin Guitar still amaze me . . . ><>

One-on-One with Jeff Daniels, Part 1

A great video featuring actor and guitarist, Jeff Daniels at the Martin Guitar Museum in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.  Jeff is an accomplished guitarist who plays a very unique Martin Guitar.  Martin historian, Dick Boak, is the interviewer.

Do you have a favorite musical instrument?  What kind of relationship do you have with it?

Learn more about Jeff's music and CD's at

God's grace, and a good guitar, still amaze me . . . ><>

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Latest Update

Recovery from double knee replacement surgery has been slow, but steady.  I'm in my sixth week of home therapy, and yesterday made the change from using my walker to using a cane.  

And not just any cane either.  My cane is a cut-down shepherds crook that I purchased in Eureka Springs, Arkansas many years ago.  It must be at least 20 years old.  I actually cut it to size and began using it several weeks before my surgeries.  I took this cane with me at the hospital.  It was, and still is, a symbol of several goals I've set for myself after my recovery is complete.   

One goal is to have strong enough knees so I can return as one of the summer chaplains at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, perhaps in 2019 or 2020.  The shepherds crook is the symbol of BSA chaplains, and it symbolizes my truest and most honest understanding of what being a servant leader and minister is all about.  Someone who carrys a shepherds crook is someone whose passion is serving, helping, and watching over others. 

My other goal is to again seek out and more fully clarify the ways I am passionate about serving others.  That's where music comes in.

I'm currently on a sort of short-term leave from my church so that I can focus on healing and fully recovering from surgery.  One of the things I "parked" in order to do so was singing and playing the guitar (or any other musical instrument for that matter).  Pain meds were affecting my concentration.  Now that my dosage continues to be reduced, my mind, and focus are back, and I find I miss performing a great deal.  Hopefully in late March I can be well enough to carry, or "roll" my guitar and equipment into the venues where I provide therapeutic music entertainment.  (More to come on a portable rolling cart I'm currently designing using a Rigid brand wheeled tool chest base.)

More posts and pictures coming soon.

God's grace, and the healing of mind and body, still amazes me . . . ><>