All my songs that have been converted to mp3 and uploaded are directly playable from this blog. Just hit the play button at the bottom of the lyrics on each post.
If you want to listen to some of my songs, check out my most liked songs to see what other visitors to my blog liked. Or, perhaps you might try starting with one of of my favorites: “A Reason“,“Waiting for so Long”, “I’m Just a Lonely Dreamer”,”I Can’t Get Her Out of my Mind“, “The Silly Sunbeam Song“, “That’s the Way it Goes“, “Something is Missing“, “Night Love” or “Oh, I Miss My Love“.
For many years in grade school, I took music lessons to learn to play the guitar, but I never applied myself to it. My teacher, Vic Cook, was very understanding and patient even when it was obvious that I was not practicing very hard. Finally, he suggested that I switch to a group class. That may have been around 1969, when my dad bought me my non-reverse Gibson Firebird, because I remember that I played my Firebird in the group.
In the group class, we played arrangements by Vic of popular music of the day. I was one of two or three lead guitar players for the group. We had a drummer, some rhythm guitars, and some other musical instruments that I forget about now. I think we may have even performed in public once. We certainly could make noise. My main memory of that time was that each of the lead guitarists would keep inching up their volume to outdo the others. Vic had to keep telling us to turn it down. Although group was fun, I still didn’t dedicate myself to music.
So, after years of lessons and after playing guitar in Junior High School String Ensemble, I proceeded to forget how to read music and stopped playing the guitar. Although, there was one Beatles Medley arrangement that Vic did for the group that I was able to play all, or part of, from memory years later. In 1979 when I first left for Purdue University, I took my old beat up Stella Harmony acoustic guitar with me to tinker with. During this time, I taught myself some easy chords using a chord chart from one of my old Mel Bay books. I would go up to the loft in the top of Cary Quad dorm when nobody else was there watching TV and play around just strumming chords when I was bored.
In 1981, I transferred to Indiana State and changed my major to Computer Science. Between 1981 to 1984, I wrote and recorded eight 60 minute cassette tapes of original songs. One tape was accidentally erased years later, the rest were just recently converted to MP3, so that I could upload and share them on this blog. Amazingly only one broke during the conversion process. These were very, very cheap tapes I bought back then. So, just the fact that most of them were still playable was amazing. Most of the composition and recording was done when I was on my co-op job in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Playing with my guitar was one of the ways I passed the time in the evenings.
Admittedly, they are poor quality recordings. I was sitting, usually next to my kitchen table in my apartment, with a cheap little compact recorder sitting on the table. I would pull out booklets of poems that I had written and pick through them, select one and then put the words to music. Once I had the song worked out, I would make a recording. If I messed up badly, I’d either erase and try again or just leave it like that if I didn’t think I could do much better. Most songs were recorded within minutes of composition as a means to capture the song, since I didn’t know how to write music. I guess you could say these recordings are only rough “sketches” of songs. It was just me and my guitar and my tape player having fun. I didn’t have my Firebird with me in Tennessee, so early recordings were with an inexpensive Les Paul electric and later recordings were with my Epiphone acoustic guitar. I don’t know what happened to my Les Paul, but I still have the Epiphone acoustic that you can see my Dad holding in the pictures below.
Between 1984 to 1987, when I wrote one last song, I continued to play my guitar and to play some of these songs, but I stopped composing new material. My evenings were busy thinking of software and my job. I took my guitar to a couple of my friends homes and played a song or two live for them, but gradually stopped playing. I still have some of my guitars, but I haven’t played them for years.