My father loved music – classical, jazz, show tunes – that’s where I get my aptitude and ear. Tho I know he’d be proud that my work, COWBOY POET, a C&W musical, premiered at Los Alamos Little Theatre, it’s sure as shootin’ he’d be a bit embarrassed by the genre.
I remember listening to the great Jo Stafford with my dad, to Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme (the Velvet Frog, Dad called him, but it was affectionate, he greatly respected not only Torme’s vocal technique, but also his skills as composer and arranger). When Roy Rogers came on the radio, or Gene Autry or Loretta Lynn, and despite his omnivorous, ecumenical acceptance of any and all music as long as it was well-played, he took apart their pitch, their lyrics, and so, of course, did I.
And then I moved to New Mexico and learned to dance. Two-step, that is. I was exposed to live bands that played with a proficiency that rivalled my conservatory-trained colleagues. And it was fun!
These years later, I find myself the composer, lyricist, and playwright of a C&W musical.
Do we surpass our influences, or synthesize them?
©2012 all rights reserved