“STORIES IN SONG – SERIES 2019.”ELVIS IS ALIVE” – BY Des Kelly
HE DIED SO VERY YOUNG, SO MANY YEARS AGO, BUT TO MILLIONS OF HIS “FANS” ELVIS IS ALIVE. THEY STILL CELEBRATE HIS MUSIC, HIS FILMS, HIS CHARISMA, THEY STILL VISIT HIS HOME, GRACELAND, EVERY CHANCE THEY GET, MY ELDEST SON, MICHAEL, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, HAS EVERY SINGLE ELVIS RECORDING EVER MADE.THE KING OF ROCK N ROLL STILL LIVES IN THE MINDS OF COUNTLESS PEOPLE, AND DESERVEDLY SO, BECAUSE, WHEN “DOING HIS THING” IN HIS HEYDAY, NO-ONE COULD TOUCH ELVIS PRESLEY, ON STAGE OR ON SCREEN.
SINCE HE PASSED AWAY, IN HIS EARLY “FORTIES”, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A LACK OF IMPERSONATORS WHO HAVE TRIED TO EMULATE ELVIS, ALL AROUND THE WORLD. THERE HAVE BEEN VERY GOOD ONES, THERE HAVE BEEN MANY BAD ONES, BUT I WILL SAY THIS FOR ALL OF THEM. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM HAS TRIED TO EMULATE THEIR ICON, SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY LOVED HIM FOR THE ENTERTAINER THAT HE WAS.
I HAVE WATCHED MANY “ELVISES” IN ACTION, OVER THE YEARS, BUT ANDY KAUFMAN, INTRODUCED BY NONE OTHER THAN JOHNNY CASH, HAS TO BE THE BEST THAT I’VE SEEN. LADIES & GENTLEMEN, BOYS & GIRLS, & ALL MY READERS EVERYWHERE, ESPECIALLY OUR E’LANKA MEMBERS, HERE HE IS, “ELVIS LIVES AGAIN”
STORIES IN SONG” SERIES 2019. “San Antonio Baby” – By Des Kelly
I always “connected” Vocalist Raul Malo with a fabulous group called the Mavericks. Ever since a lady-friend presented me with a Cassette tape (remember them ?), of this group of Musicians Extraordinaire, somewhere, during the 70’s, I have always been a “fan”, enjoying everything they did on stage, on records & DVD’s.
Lead Singer Raul, did temporarily leave the Mavericks, to “do his own thing”, which he did well, being the fine, versatile singer that he was, but I am certain that Raul Malo himself felt that he was “missing the Mavericks” (and they missed him, as well), so back he went, to the Band whom I consider to be one of the best “Groups” in America.
Being a Musician/Entertainer, myself, for nigh on 78 years, (I was lucky enough to start at the tender age of 6),
and, although I know next to nothing about the theory of Music, I do know that MOST of the Maverick-Songs only contain 3 or 4 chords, musically speaking, yet, it is the way in which they play these chords, that makes any song they attempt, sound superb. Raul has composed many songs himself in the same manner, and, on behalf of “eLanka”, a website for all Lankan/Aussies, now, also considered to be the very BEST of it’s kind, I proudly present Mr.Malo, with two of his superb songs, which I hope all my readers will enjoy. Here he is, Ladies &;Gentlemen, Boys & Girls, with “San Antonio Baby” followed by “Amsterdam Moon”, two of my very own favourites. Thank you for listening, so please enjoy what I consider to be simple, yet unforgettable Music.
“STORIES IN SONG” SERIES 2019 – “ARE THE GOOD TIMES REALLY OVER”? – BY Des Kelly
With everything that has happened in Sri Lanka,
“My Lovely Island Home” recently, the last thing I wanted to do, was to bring my “Stories in Song” back into focus, for the many thousands of on-line readers of eLanka, the main website for Lankan/Aussies, plus Lankan/Patriots everywhere. However, what has happened, is now in the past, and, what now, needs to happen, in the future, is to try to ensure that it DOES NOT happen again. Like a lot of my readers, I would concur that this is easier said, than done, but folks, where there is Faith, there is always Hope, and I certainly hope that this tiny Island will now take the necessary steps to make doubly sure, that what occurred on Easter Sunday of 2019, NEVER happens again.
The late, great Merle Haggard felt the same way about America, and this is why he wrote the music & the lyrics of the song I am featuring today. Just goes to show, what good Country Music is all about. This great song has Merle wishing for the “good old days” in America, in EXACTLY the same way that I feel, for Ceylon, of the 40s & 50s, the beautiful Country in which I was born. For me, and for my readers, those early years really WERE “the good old days”
Please listen to, and enjoy this Merle Haggard Song, folks, may sound a trifle negative, but is VERY TRUE!!!.
“STORIES IN SONG” SERIES 2019 – “CARROLL COUNTY, IN SAGINAW MICHIGAN” – By Des Kelly
Talk of “Stories in Song”, here are two beauties.
Walter Browning’s son, Porter discovers the old man’s wedding ring in a little matchbox (circled by a rubber band), in the glove-box of Mary-Ellen’s car which was smashed up in an accident, which killed Walter & almost killed Mary-Ellen as well. Both were highly respected in Carroll County & both were married (but not to each other), so what they were doing together was anybody’s guess. Mary-Ellen testified that he’d flagged him down, saying he was sick & could she drive him into town, and she verified this. Porter, however did a bit of thinking and realizing what might have been going on, threw the little matchbox containing his dad’s wedding ring into a deep well, and the finale’ of this story is that the County ordered an imposing monument of marble for Porter’s dad. What a story in song for all my eLanka readers. Please, no disrespect for Walter Browning.
You shouldn’t throw stones, while living in a glass house.
The next “story” is about a son of a—-oops, Saginaw fisherman. His tale is much simpler, still, very interesting.
This guy, Lefty, did not have very much to offer his girl-friend whose dad was not only influential, but was not short of a buck or three. He didn’t want a bar of Lefty and refused to give his daughter’s hand to this son of a Saginaw fisherman
who, then migrated over to Alaska to do a bit of gold-digging. After some time, Lefty wrote to his girlfriend saying that he had made a “big strike” in Klondike and that he was coming back home to marry her, was met back in Saginaw by his father-in-law, who now gave Lefty a big party and, at the same time, persuaded his son-in-law to-be to sell him a parcel of land where gold was abundant. Lefty did, and this greedy man left the happily married couple to migrate to Alaska to dig (in vain), for the gold that Lefty, son-in- law of a Saginaw fisherman never actually found.
Served the son-of-a ¿~`>•▪! right, I’d say. Two great Stories-in-Song for all our eLanka readers. Please enjoy.
“STORIES IN SONG” SERIES 2019 – “ANOTHER DON” – By Des Kelly
In Australia, the name Don immediately brings to mind, the greatest Cricketer (Batsman/Captain) in the World, Sir Donald Bradman, the head of the Italian Mafia was always known as “Don”, no matter what his original name was.
Then, there was the late Don Knotts (Actor), the late Don Rickles (Comedian), & the not so late Don Hinds, only 25 years old & already an “You-tube” Star. Congratulations to the final Don. May you go onto greater things on You-Tube.
Stop digressing Des, & go on with your “Stories in Song”, featuring, this time, the late, great Don Ho, a Hawaiian “great” who started very small, really. His first “hit” in fact, was “Tiny Bubbles”, born Donald Tai Loy Ho on August 13th
1930, died of a heart-attack on April 14th 2007. Don Ho has the distinction of being, in just two words, “Mr. Hawaii”.
He was a natural Entertainer, an example for all easy-going Island “Musos”. He was a vocalist, piano & ukelele player, originating from Honolulu in 1959, he started his recording career with Reprise Records and naturally, his first album was titled “Tiny Bubbles”, a copy of which became one of my favourites, and also of my youngest son, Warren, who obviously loved this song, so we “recorded” Warren’s version of the song, which became a favourite with my family.
Hawaiian Music, a happy carefree example of what good music can be, when performed not only by Don or Warren, but by anyone who loves “Island Music”. Anyone who prefers spending their spare time by the seaside (anywhere), and, apart from Ceylon, or Serendib, as it was originally known, I cannot think of a better place to enjoy Hawaiian Music than Hawaii, itself. For the members of eLanka, plus anybody else who reads this, I would love to present 3 Don Ho songs, so folks, please get your leis and grass skirts (ladies), ready.?, HERE WE GO WITH DON HO !!.
“STORIES IN SONG” SERIES 2019 – “RHONDA & GENE—-GONE FOR GOOD”!!
Only joking, folks. This is Rhonda Vincent & Gene Watson
I am talking about. Rhonda would have to be one of the finest female Country Singers, I have had the pleasure of listening to, recently. As for Gene, well, there isn’t a single song,recorded by this man, that I have not enjoyed.
As everyone knows, there are hundreds of very good Country Singers, most of them, from America, but then, the very best Country Musicians also hail from the U.S.A., and their “backing” of people such as Rhonda & Gene only help them to sound even better (if this is possible).
As I have said (& written), many times, my taste in Music
is catholic. I live for the love of good music, but as all my eLanka readers will already know, Country Music is my forte’. Still, good music abounds in this World of ours and we are lucky indeed to have such a variety of it.
Because my “Series of Song” 2019 is all about Music, we, at elanka have decided to make our “Introductions” brief, & to the point, providing our readers with only the very best “Music-Clips” via You-Tube (& there are thousands of them),
that 75 plus years of experience gives me the honour of presenting to our Members (& there are 1000s of them too),
the “pick of the bunch”. I promise you folks, you will NOT be disappointed.
Besides “Gone for good” by Rhonda Vincent and Gene Watson, I would like to present Rhonda, together with mum, Carolyn & brother Darrin singing “Teardrops over you”.
They also say that “good things run in the family” and this is ample proof of that. Ladies & Gentlemen, please enjoy Rhonda Vincent & Gene Watson, plus,,the Vincent family.
“STORIES IN SONG” SERIES 2019 – “Going to Pot” – By Des Kelly
They have sung around the World as individuals, entertaining millions of fans, making lots of money, writing superb songs (both of them), true Icons of Country Music, now teaming up to tell us that the World is “going to pot”, and, how true it is. Merle Haggard, who passed away on the 6th of April, 2016, & his buddy Willie Nelson, happily, still with us, tell us, in no uncertain terms, the state of the World, as it was, when they were recording the song. Well, it hasn’t got any better friends, as a matter of fact, it steadily got worse.
Our Universe has certainly “gone to pot”, our Politicians have all gone “potty”, and that is the understatement of the year 2019. The only consolation is the fact is that ordinary folk everywhere are beginning to realize this and are now taking steps to remedy the situation.
Back to the Music scene again, and when you see (and hear) these two “old troupers” sing and play those instruments together, firstly on their “diagnosis”, and finally on “Ramblin’ Fever”, regardless of which music genre’ you prefer, everyone must realize the true, stupendous talent of Professionals as they combine, to entertain you.
Merle Haggard, in addition to being a superb vocalist, was also a Songwriter of distinction, PLUS a multi- instrumentalist, playing both rhythm and lead guitar and the “fiddle” (violin, in the higher echelons of musicality), and Willie Nelson, singing in his own style, playing his old battered acoustic guitar that he named “Trigger”, an instrument that looks as though it would only cost a few dollars in a second-hand shop, but actually worth more than a few thousand, only because it belongs to this legend of Country Music. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you, the late, very great Merle Haggard (in his prime), rest in peace, Merle, and Willie Hugh Nelson, with two songs that THEY do so well.
“An elephant never forgets”, an amazing but true saying as regards this huge, still gentle animal, used for various manual labours, especially in Asia. While on the subject, I must make mention about the Pinnawella Animal Sanctuary in Sri Lanka, which tourists from all over the World, never fail to visit primarily to see many adult and baby elephants looked-after, with love, by the “mahouts”(elephant carers’) over there. This is exactly how it should be. Animals are also God’s creatures and must be looked after, because, as time goes by, their living areas keep getting smaller, forests are being stripped of trees mainly for the wood they produce, and robbing the homelands of fauna, in general.
“What has this got to do with “Stories in Song”?, you ask.
Well, let me tell you. We are in Thailand now. Paul Barton, an Englishman decided to take a trip there in 1996, met his wife, a Thai lass by the name of Khwan, who was an animal activist over there, so Paul, who was also a pianist got involved with his wife’s business and began to “care” for his animal friends with Music, which, as all my readers must know, causes some amazing reactions even with animals and/or plants as well. Flora seems to “bloom” more readily if soft music is within their earshot, Cows provide more milk if their “milkers” play them some music. Prince Charles, future King of England readily admits to “talking” to the plants in his garden and quite possibly plays them some music as well, to watch them grow faster & stronger.
It depends, of course, on the Music that is played. What you have already heard is a piece of beautiful music, played on piano by Richard Clayderman, born in beautiful Paris, on the 28th December1953. He is a superb pianist and “Claire de Lune” (light of the moon), by Debussy, is a “work” that I have loved (as I love ALL good Music), ever since I heard it played by Richard, many years ago.
Paul Barton comes into the picture once again when he moves a piano outside his home and coaxed an 80 year old, half blind Elephant named Amphan who has had a really hard life, lost one eye in the process, as close to the instrument as possible, sits down at the piano and plays Claire de Lune, for his old friend, who stands there, barely moving, listening to this same tune, with a tear clearly showing in it’s one eye. This Elephant was enjoying the music and obviously remembering better times. As I said, an Elephant never forgets, and I have to thank “You-tube, on behalf of eLanka for one of the most moving & beautiful Music Clips I have ever seen. Judge for yourselves, folks. Please enjoy the beautiful Music that made an Elephant cry.
I wouldn’t call him a great singer, especially as he was surrounded by some of the greatest “voices” in history, during this genre’ of Country Music, but Kris Kristofferson made up for this by being one of the greatest Country Music Songwriters of all time. Born on the 22nd of June 1936, into a military family (his father was once an Air Force General), and Kristoffer (naturally), also served as a helicopter pilot, after graduating as an Oxford Scholar, he decided that songwriting was his “calling”, came to Nashville and the rest is history.
Tall, ruggedly good-looking, with what is known as a gravelly voice, Kris was also an “Actor” in great demand
(It seems, that even in America, one needs more than a single string to their bow), or, in a word, “multi-talented”, and Kris Kristofferson was surely one who was. He “acted”, sang, played a good guitar, wrote World famous songs like “Me & Bobbie McGee” “For the good times”, “Help me make it thru the night”, many others that were grabbed by various other Country Artistes, as recording material, and the you-tube “clip” that introduces this story, “Sunday morning coming down”, which I chose especially as I would swear that the “Bass-player” in his backing group here, is a Sri Lankan (& good luck to him. He is one fortunate guy).
Kris Kristofferson (83, this year), has not been making ONLY Music. He has been making babies too. He married three times, has eight fine children (all, now adults, of course) & the finishing “clip” features one of his beautiful wives, Rita Coolidge, who sings the way she feels about her famous husband, the “Outlaw” Kris Kristofferson. She tells us that she is “The jealous kind” , which she quite probably was, and believe me folks, this writer knows all about them, too. Ladies & Gentlemen, I am proud to present both Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge on Stories in Song.
Because of the fact that I love music in general, all types of music, but certainly music that “tells a story”, while browsing through the many CD’s I have recorded, I suddenly came across one with the “title” of the above article, containing songs that do exactly what I am talking about. They tell stories. Reminiscing on just one such personal experience, I decided to share this with all my readers of eLanka, numbering over 20.000, to date.
This happened in Melbourne, Australia in the mid 70’s. I was well into my 2’nd part-time job, as an “entertainer” & “floorshow artiste”, Venue being “The Rising-Sun” Pub., in Richmond. It was a Saturday evening, my 2nd appearance in as many weeks, at the pub, a large popular one, with a “dining room” adjacent to the massive “men-only” bar, as was the custom at the time. Ladies, with or without partners were always welcome to the dining room only.…