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Issue: December 1994

Newsical Notes
By Jean Metcalfe

When the students from Waller School sing Christmas carols at the Seelbach Hotel on Dec. 8, their audience will be treated to a couple of Earl Meyers' originals.

Under the direction of Cheryl Lawrence, the chorus will perform Earl's "Snowflakes" and "Santa's Little Workshop." The concert will begin at 10:30 a.m. near the lobby stairs.

Last year I was fortunate to catch a performance at that same location by carolers from St. Francis of Assisi School, and it was a real joy. Sure gave me the Christmas spirit.

Contemporary Christian artist Dayna Brewer has cut a song written by former LASC member (and a founding member of the co-op) Dave Evans. The song, "Giving," is part of a project produced by J.D. Miller for Ms. Brewer to shop to labels.

Good luck, Dayna and Dave!

Speaking of Dave Evans, I was delighted with the fine vocals he provided for "Ticket on the Wind," a song Prez Paul Moffett wrote quite a few years ago and which I recently helped rewrite. On the demo, Dave sounds something like Jerry Jeff Walker and maybe a bit like Neil Diamond and perhaps a tad like Kris Kristofferson. Whatever, it sounds good. Vince Emmett produced and recorded the demo at his Melody Hill studio in Jeffersontown.

I'm hoping for a cut by Dwight Yoakam or maybe Willie Nelson, but in the meantime we'd be interested in having an active local/regional group/artist record it and make it a part of their repertoire.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Co-oper Sharon Beavers likewise did an excellent job on "Steal This Heart," another Prez Paul et al song recorded at Melody Hill. Sharon stays really busy performing around the area; one recent gig was opening for country artist Ricky Van Shelton. Not bad, Sharon.

Ralph Murphy, left, and James Dean Hicks prepare to deliver an insightful and succinct critique of a song at Hit Makers '94. Photo by Jean Metcalfe

Gardner Barger, Earl Meyers and Wally Stewart headed south on I-65 in late October, with Nashville as their destination. Their goal? A good time. While there, they looked up songwriters Karen Le Van, Bev Sumner, Sally Mudd McLaughlin and Lisa Palas. They also brought back a copy of a video they made at Gilley's. Granted, their version of "Elvira" may not make the Oaks pale by comparison (perhaps merely pale?), but they had a ball doing it. At least Gardner did.

Charter member Karen Le Van came from Nashville for the Nov. 12 Hit Makers '94 event and moderated one of the critique sessions paneled by James Dean Hicks (from good old Bardstown, Ky., where my parents were born) and Ralph Murphy. Sorry she was ill and couldn't stick around for the banquet.

Doc Dockery furnished and manned the sound system in that critique room, despite the fact he hadn't had any sleep from his gig the night before. Plus, he was looking at another gig that evening, and hoping he might get a brief nap sandwiched in between. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Sleepy Doc -- sorta reminds me of the story of Snow White and her guys.

Sure enjoyed the musical talents of LASC members Another Colour (Grace Delligatti and Paul Dell Aquila) and Dave Cole (with his bass player Dave Brucher) at the awards banquet. Short and sweet, certainly, but I understand they continued the entertainment at Another Colour's Phoenix Hill Taproom gig later that evening. (Hope they performed those originals that did so well in the contest.)

Paul and Grace are from Long Island, so one evening after a member meeting I casually mentioned that my new daughter-in-law was also from Long Island. In one of those "it's a small-world" coincidences, it turned out that Paul had attended the same college as Michele Duffy. While furthering her education, Michele met my son Eric at Purdue University and married on April 30 of this year.

As Jay Leno would have said, "What are the chances of that?"

Dot Elpers Patterson recently dropped by to pick up a video of her song (co-written with Debbi Knight) "I Can't Put Your Memory to Bed," starring Brent Maveric. (We apologize for misspelling Brent's last name an issue or two ago.)

As we mentioned back then, the song has been getting airplay in some of the areas out in the state.

Dot stays very busy these days managing the office for her husband, a painting contractor. It's a very hectic business, as Joann and Wayne Hatcher can attest; Wayne is also a painting contractor.

Good luck, Dot, and we're hoping the song and the artist are both big hits.

The Co-op received a couple of nice letters in connection with our contest and seminar.

From Jeanette Kays, for Walker & Kays, who won the jazz category and the $100 prize:

Doug Smith of Sound Call answers a songwriter's question at the November 12 songwriting seminar, held at the Holiday Inn Downtown. Photo by Jean Metcalfe

Thank you!! What a thrill. Greg (Walker) and I entered the contest on a total lark. After all, there are some very talented songwriters around and I figured they would all be there with their best efforts. Well, some of them must have stayed home.

I am very honored and pleased. Please pass along my sincere appreciation to all those involved. Now you must realize that you may have created a monster. All of those other songs that have been floating around in my head MUST be released!

Excerpts from a letter from Linda Hardy, of Austin, Texas, to Prez Paul:

I want to tell you that all your hard work paid off -- it was a very well-run seminar and fun, too!

... Please give my regards to the other LASC members who were at the seminar and banquet and who helped make it such a pleasant experience.

If I can be of any help down here, let me know.

Also received a nice note from Susan Tomes, a former LASC member and school teacher who moved to Berea, Ky., to be closer to her Renfro Valley gig. Susan has a wonderful voice and I cherish the excellent demo she once did for me down at Charlie Walls' Springfield studio. She also performed, along with Charlie, on a half-hour TV show produced by students at EKU in Richmond. Additionally, a couple of Christmases ago she brought a fellow Renfro Valley performer to our meeting at The Rud and provided the entertainment for our Christmas party.

I had hoped to cover the Tammy Wynette concert at Renfro Valley, thinking that perhaps I'd get to see Susan, but it conflicted with our awards banquet. Turns out that Susan, who has been singing in the Old Barn there for a dozen or so years, would be performing opposite Ms. Wynette anyway.

But, maybe I'll be able to have dinner with her and our old friend (and former Board member) Joyce Trammell when Susan comes home for Christmas. Hope so.

Sheila Price celebrated Thanksgiving a little early this year. Her family jumped the gun on turkey day and marked both the holiday and her son's birthday in preparation for Sheila's entering the hospital for knee replacement surgery on Thanksgiving eve. Sheila cooked the dinner. Ain't that just like a woman?

That brings back fond memories of a long-ago Thanksgiving when I unexpectedly found myself in the hospital at Thanksgiving time. My folks delayed their annual observance until I could be with them. Ain't that just like a family?

Sheila sent along her wishes for a Happy Holiday season. We all wish her a speedy recovery, a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Sheila will have to miss the Dec. 5 LASC meeting and, because of the proximity to Christmas, we won't be having a meeting on Dec. 19.

(The Dec. 5 meeting will be Board election night, and we'll also have light refreshments to mark the holiday season.)

As I write this on Thanksgiving eve, I am confident that by the time you read it I will certainly have had a great Thanksgiving. I have a bunch of things to be thankful for. Looking forward to being with most or all of my six brothers and sisters. We have great gatherings with excellent food; hope Sis brings dressing made from my mother's recipe. (Of course, it'll be back to newspapering on Friday and continuing until the wee hours of Tuesday.)

Forgive me for waxing nostalgic in this lengthy column; I suppose it's just the season of the year.

Happy Holidays to you all. And a special greeting to our old buddy Papa Gene Adams. (Remember our little chorus singing your Christmas song at The Rud?)

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