Before my TEDx “Elderhood Rising” talk (if you didn’t make it to San Francisco to see it live, you can watch the video HERE) I promised to take ChangingAging readers through the new CD that Jude and just finished. Each Tuesday for the next 12 week I will be posting a song from the CD along with commentary about the song and the process we used to arrange the tune for our voices and instruments.
As you read these posts keep these things in mind.
- Jude and I are amateur musicians in the true sense of that word. We are amateurs because we make music for the love of it. We find that sharing the act of making music together strengthens our minds and deepens our relationship. If you expect us to provide the stunning technical expertise of professionals, you will be disappointed.
- We attempt to compensate for our lack of skill by imbuing the music we make with a sense of emotion and intimacy. As a result, Hot Koko’s music feels, small and personal.
- We are learning and growing and we continue to struggle to overcome what is comfortable. That is the hardest thing. We can see— we can HEAR— how easily we fall into musical ruts. Music demands a certain kind of discomfort from its makers. So does life.
Here is the final cover for the CD….
The CD opens with “Stagger Lee” this is a traditional tune that really has a strong pulse.
“Stag O Lee” songs probably predate the 1895 murder of William “Billy” Lyons by Stagger Lee Shelton. In fact, Shelton may have gotten his nickname from earlier folk songs. Folklorist John Lomax first published this song in 1910. Before World War II, the song was commonly referred to as “Stack O Lee.”
In 1959, Dick Clark invited Lloyd Price to perform his version of the song on American Bandstand but insisted that the lyrics be changed to eliminate the murder of “Billy” Lyons. Our version is instrumental but the song brings the story to mind…
“Stagger Lee threw seven, Billy swore that he threw eight.”
Here is Hot Koko’s version of “Stagger Lee”