January 19, 2017

I started this blog a year ago and, after two entries, decided that my venting was of no particular interest to anyone but me. Consequently, I decided that the time to write could be used more productively. I have found, however, that there were a few folks who took the time to read it and commented that they would like to see it continued. First of all, that is very flattering and, secondly, it doesn’t take much encouragement to get me to talk. (as you all know).

I think I said this before but, just in case I didn’t, here it is again. A very wise man (Thomas Jefferson, I think) once said that “If one proceeds everything he says with “In My Opinion” they can never be wrong. I truly subscribe to that way of thinking. We all have opinions, some more than others, but we all do to different extents.

It used to be that if someone stated something, it was assumed that they had taken the time to research that something and could be taken at their word to be a truthful statement. Today, however, it is seeming more and more to be difficult to take someone at their word. Especially in the area of things like religion, politics, birth control, and the so very popular “he said, she said” Today, it seems to me, folks just say what they want and, if you can’t prove it wrong, they must be correct. Most folks just want you to change your thinking to agree with their stance. The fact that they might be wrong doesn’t seem to enter the equation. Unfortunately, this pattern of behavior is ruining our social media. I know that I used to go onto Facebook to read all the happy stories as well as to keep up with friends’ activities, illnesses, children, etc. Those things are still there if you don’t mind wading through all the political, gun control, healthcare,, taxes, etc. BS. I notice that no one ever precedes their comments with “in my opinion” because, in my opinion, they want everyone to believe as they do and actually get belligerent when you don’t.

Just a couple of months ago, I put out a message on Facebook requesting that anyone who posted anything on my wall to make it of a positive nature. I was tired of all the confrontation messages and, since it is my wall, I felt it was a reasonable request. One, whom I have known for many years, posted something very negative and confrontational with the caveat of : this is who I am, take it or delete me. Regrettably, I did as asked but have felt bad that it had to come to that over “OPINIONS”. Opinions are like pets ; most people have one or more and they are normally different from everyone else’s. I know you love your pet but, just perhaps, I don’t. Should we end a friendship over that?

Unfortunately, everyone has what they believe to be the solution and really get upset if everyone else doesn’t agree with them. It’s kind of like “Road Rage” without the vehicle. It’s sad when one must vent these feeling through a private outlet instead of just a conversation with friends. What have we become. …………………………..W

January 25, 2016

Yesterday was a fun day: Football and music. In the morning I did the arrangements for three new tunes and, in the afternoon and evening, watch NFL football. The wife slept – she says it isn’t really football.

On the music thing, it was an interesting process. One tune is an old Eagles number from Urban Cowboy. Ironically enough, I started the arrangement the day before Glen Frey’s passing and finished the day after. He will be missed.

One of the primary rules that I have tried to follow for 40 plus years is to try to never slow down an original tune in order to produce it for square dancing. I am finding, however, that it is becoming more and more difficult to do that. Our modern square dance tempo has slowed significantly over the past 30 years from a standard of 130 – 132 bpm to where it is currently 120 – 126 bpm. I, personally, do not attribute all of that to the rising age of our dance, although it is a major contributor. But, also, the style and type of popular music today lends itself to a more frenetic but slower tempo. I think the disco era began that change.

I know that the Eagles tune that we are doing was originally cut on two different labels but was arranged quite differently from what I have decided to do. The earlier cuts were a decided 2/4 rhythm and, while the tempo of the dance steps were slower, the music was actually faster. I have decided to actually slow the original piece from 134 bpm to 126 bpm and keep the song as original as possible. The problem I face is that, at that tempo and original style rhythm, it is as boring as watching grass grow. What I have decided to do is change the bass and kick drum to an every step lick and keep the rest of the song original. I have no idea if it will work but the piece in my head sounds great. I guess we’ll find out when we ship it in April.

The other two tunes required speeding up which is normally a good thing if the lyric doesn’t move to quickly. One is a love song by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton and, at all costs, I must avoid making it too busy or it loses the intimate feel. The other is an old R&B tune by Stevie Wonder that we must be careful not to lose the “funk” or it will lose its appeal.

I am excited about these three and, hopefully, our subscribers will as well. Speaking of subscribers, in my next post I hope to talk about the pros and cons of subscription services and single song sales. That should get some interest comments.

January 24, 2016

This is my first Blog  and I really am feeling my way along.  I have no idea whether what I have to say will be of interest to anyone but at least I can vent.  Whether or not anyone else agrees is really irrelevant.  If, however, some of my ideas and thoughts are found useful, then it is doubly worthwhile.

I am a professional square dance caller and music producer.  I have been in the calling business for more than 58 years and producing music for more than 40. If there is  way to get it wrong, I have found it, although, I feel confidant that there are still many mistakes yet to be made.

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