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Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Real McCoy. . .


. . . or (in this case) Putman. . .


(from http://www.curlyputman.com/bio.html)

". . .Beginning with the unforgettable "Green Green Grass of Home", Curly Putman has written or co-written an endless stream of smashes, including the million air-play, "My Elusive Dreams", "D-I-V-O-R-C-E", "Blood Red And Going Down", "It Don't Feel Like Sinnin' To Me, "It's A Cheatin' Situation" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today", just to name the #1's.

Curly wasn't born and raised with "great future staring him in the face," like the TV Waltons. Curly was the son of a sawmill man, reared on a mountain that bore that family name. About six or eight families lived on Putman Mountain, mostly descendants of a one-armed Methodist preacher named Jesse Putman, who first brought the holy writ to the mountain. . .

. . . After his discharge (from the service), Curly started picking with a band in Hunstville, AL, and there during one of his gigs, he met his future wife, Bernice. Soon, they started going together and were married in 1956. Thus began a long odyssey of discouragement and frustration remarkably echoed in Curly's "My Elusive Dreams: (You Followed Me To Texas/You Followed Me To Utah/We Didn't Find It There So We Moved On). The places were changed, but the pain was the same. "We moved to Chicago, but I didn't like it there too well, so I moved back to Alabama, working in the sawmill with my dad and going to trade school in Decatur, tried to learn piano tuning…anything to stick to music in some way. "We were barely getting by, so we moved to Huntsville and I went to work for the Thom Mcan Shoe Co. Eventually, Curly had a couple of songs recorded by Marion Worth and Charlie Walker, so he jumped at the chance to sell shoes in Nashville. After a short time in Nashville, however, he was transferred to Memphis. "I was so discouraged about having to leave Nashville," Curly recalls, "that I quit Thom Mcan in Memphis and went back to Huntsville and took a job in a record shop owned by a local radio personality. At night I played steel in a local band.

In the fall of 1963 Curly's luck took an abrupt change for the better. While visiting Nashville, during the annual DJ convention, he ran into Tree Publishing company executive Buddy Killen, whom he had known slightly in earlier days. Buddy casually mentioned that Tree might have a song plugging job open after the first of the year. "I came to talk to Buddy and Jack Stapp (the owner of Tree) and started working for them in January of 1964

"I guess I learned as much about writing by plugging songs for Tree as anything else I've ever done," says Curly. Yet month after month was passing and nothing was happening save a few small, inconsequential records. Was the elusive dream about to become undone altogether?

Then, one day about a year later, a bit of sheer magic struck. "One Sunday afternoon, I came up to Tree's office. No one was around. I just started fooling around and suddenly it fell in place. The surprise ending about dreaming made the song. I guess I worked on it for about two hours. I felt like I really had something, because it touched me very deeply. But, I didn't know how commercial it was because it was such a down-home song." The down-home song was "Green Green Grass of Home.

"I played the song for bunches of people over five or six months before it was ever cut, first Johnny Darrell," said curly. Then things began to happen. Porter Wagoner covered the Darrell record and had a top five country hit. Then, Jerry Lee Lewis had a chart record on the song. Tom Jones heard Jerry Lee's cut and was so impressed that he recorded it. His record became a top five pop smash in the united stated and number one almost everywhere else. The Tom Jones record sold between ten and twelve million copies throughout the world. Since then, over four hundred other artists have recorded the song in most of the world's major languages.

Since "Green Green Grass of Home," Curly's songs have been recorded by multitudes, including Charlie Rich, Tammy Wynette, dean martin, Wayne Newton, George Jones, Charley Pride, Conway Twitty, Dolly Parton, Bobbie Gentry, Glen Campbell, Nancy Sinatra, Roger Miller, T.G. Sheppard, The Kendalls, Andy Williams, Jim Nabors, Issac Hayes and Millie Jackson, Johnny Duncan, Bobby Vinton, John Conlee, Roy Clark, Elvis Presley, George Jones and almost every other country artist of consequence. And still, he continues to write, patiently and well, unable to fill the melancholy hole in his heart that refuses to ever let him rest satisfied and content to rejoice in a job well done. . ."




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Friday, August 30, 2013

Letters . . .


(from Illustrissimi by Albino Luciani [Pope John Paul I])

[from a letter to G. K. Chesterton. . . ]
". . . Progress that involves men who don't recognize a singe Father in God becomes a constant danger: without a parallel moral progress, which is continuous and internal, it develops what is lowest and  cruellest in man, making him a machine possessed by machines, a number manipulated by numbers; he becomes what Papini called 'a raving savage, who, to satisfy his predatory, destructive, and licentious instincts, no longer uses a club, but has the immense forces of nature and mechanical invention to draw upon.'

Yes, I know there are plenty of people who think the opposite of this,  They consider religion a consoling dream, invented by oppressed people who imagine another world, a non-existent  world in which they can later find what is stolen from them today by their oppressors.  These oppressors have arranged the whole thing for their own benefit, to keep the oppressed underfoot and to quieten the instinct towards a class struggle, an instinct that, were it not for religion, would urge them to fight.

It is no good reminding these people that the Christian religion itself favours the revival of proletarian awareness, that is exalts the poor and foresees a just future. . ."






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My latest release, Black & White Then Back,
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Ray Jozwiak: Black & White Then Back

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

One In A Million . . .

 . . . from Ruth Underwood (wikipedia.com)

". . .Oh, I was probably one of those rather stiff people from the suburbs - I think some of us did understand, and we kept coming back for more, and more, and more. I remember being very upset when they finally finished their stint at the Garrick Theatre and went back to LA. I felt as if the real heart had gone out of New York City, and I had to get back on with my conservatory music training life, which seemed very dull after this. . . "

“. . . A couple of years ago, when I heard that Frank was ill, I called him up. For 14 years we had no contact at all. He invited me to the house and we enjoyed some really nice visits with each other. Last June ('93) he called and asked if he could sample some of my stuff. I was shocked because I hadn't touched a pair of mallets since March of '77. I ended up practicing for 14 hours, which was all the time I could get together in the context of my life now. I spent four days at Frank's house sampling. This was really a miracle for me - that I could be reunited with him and still have something to offer. . ."
(btw, Ruth is at 2:54)




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Ray Jozwiak: Black & White Then Back

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Grass. . .

. . . is always greener. . .


(from Wolfgang Mieder)
". . . This proverb certainly belongs to one of the most commonly used proverbs in the English language. This should not be surprising since it expresses the only too human idea of discontent, envy, and jealousy in a metaphor which is easily understood. Interestingly enough, the proverb is also literally true as has been demonstrated by James Pomerantz in a scientific article on "'The Grass is always Greener': An Ecological Analysis of an Old Aphorism" (1983).3 This scholar proves that optical and perceptual laws alone will make the grass at a distance look greener to the human eye than the blades of grass perpendicular to the ground. The "truth" of this metaphorical proverb can, of course, also be observed often enough in the countryside when a cow or a horse is trying to get at that juicy green grass just on the other side of the fence. And since people are equally dissatisfied with their lot in life, it should not surprise anyone that a modern psychologist has spoken of "the 'greener grass' phenomenon"4 by which modern individuals continually evaluate supposedly better alternatives for themselves.

The proverb thus expresses a basic behavioral truth in a rather universal metaphor - after all, grass and fences aren't exactly anything new. This should imply that the proverb belongs to those ancient bits of wisdom that everybody knows, but when one consults the standard paremiographical works, it comes as quite a surprise to see that the earliest recorded reference stems from 1957! This appears absurd, and there are bound to be native American speakers who will instantly claim that they have heard or even used this proverb long before the 1950's. But that claim needs to be proven in light of what Archer Taylor has called the apparent "incompleteness of collections of proverbs". The following remarks will present a few precursors to this proverb as well as some synchronic variants, and it will be established that the "grass is always greener" proverb is at least a bit older than proverb collections would have us believe. In addition to tracing the lexicographical history of the proverb it will also be studied in its traditional and innovative use as the title of novels, plays, and magazine or newspaper articles. Its iconographic depiction in cartoons, caricatures, comic strips, postcards, and photographs will also be analyzed with a special emphasis on modern parodies. . ."





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My latest release, Black & White Then Back,
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Ray Jozwiak: Black & White Then Back

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Some Things . . .

. . . never need be said AGAIN. . .


    At the end of the day
    Back to the drawing board
    Bang for your buck
    Bottom Line
    Close the deal
    Dive deeper
    Drill-down
    End of play
    Game-changing
    Get the ball rolling
    Going forward
    It's on my radar
    Keep your eye on the ball
    Low hanging fruit
    Move the needle
    Move the goal post
    No brainer
    On my plate
    Positive momentum
    Reach out
    Run the numbers
    Shift paradigm
    That Being Said
    Think outside the box
    Touch base
    Touch points
    Value added
    When the rubber hits the road
    Win-win






What do you think?
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My latest release, Black & White Then Back,
can be downloaded digitally at:

Ray Jozwiak: Black & White Then Back

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your browser:  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/rayjozwiak3)

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Monday, August 26, 2013

More Hero. . .

(. . . further refinement of 'A Hero'. . . )



I know you heard some talk today
It wasn't right but now
She won't be gettin' in my way
'Cause she was telling lies they say
It wasn't right but now
I can look the other way
And do as I please
I'm down on my knees
I'm begging you please

Why does a hero run so slow
Like he's got no place to go
And he will never be a hero again
Why does a hero run so slow
Like he's got no place to go
And he will never be a hero again

With thousands of adoring fans
I tripped the light fantastic
Was nothing more than sleight of hand
Don't underestimate my worth
I tripped the light fantastic
I'm just an ordinary man
I worked very hard
For all that I've got
A killer I'm not

Why does a hero run so slow
Like he's got no place to go
And he will never be a hero again
Why does a hero run so slow
Like he's got no place to go
And he will never be a hero again

Heroes run so slow
Just like the tide
Heroes want to take you
They want to take you for a
They want to take you for a
They want to take you for a ride

They're waiting here with baited breath
What is the actual story
They'll love him or they'll give him death
The verdict seems so clear to some
What is the actual story
He's dead before he's lost or won
The worst of his fears
A jury of peers
Can't turn back the years

Why does a hero run so slow
Like he's got no place to go
And he will never be a hero again
Why does a hero run so slow
Like he's got no place to go
And he will never be a hero again


A Hero
©1994 Raymond M. Jozwiak




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My latest release, Black & White Then Back,
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Ray Jozwiak: Black & White Then Back

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tails?. . .


(from the desk of Rod Deacey, Frederick (MD) area impresario, bluesman, singer/songwriter, poet, gentleman and scholar)


". . . The featured singer-songwriter at Brewer’s Alley Songwriters’ Showcase on Monday, August 26, is Maryland resident, frequent Nashville visitor and studio musician JACK BOND, who regularly returns to Music City to record, co-write and to perform at the famous Bluebird Café and other venues. Jack’s songwriting credits include the title cut on Roy Buchanan’s album, “That’s What I'm Here For.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGLL_yzNkZ0

In his Maryland performances, Jack is known for his rich baritone voice and exceptional guitar work, both on his own compositions and his covers of classic rock and country songs. We have seen him many times accompanying other performers here, such as our friend DULCIE TAYLOR (now in California; hi Dulcie!), but it is always a treat to hear Jack on his own! Ron put a video link of Jack playing a Telecaster up on Facebook, but he will be playing an acoustic for us…

The gonzo piano prelude will be played by our favorite piano workout instructor ROCKIN’ RAY JOZWIAK, http://www.rayjozwiak.com/  who keeps the embryonic grand in shape with his rigorous monthly routines – a dose of Oscar Peterson, an infusion of Thelonious Monk and a liberal application of Keith Jarrett and the keys are ready to play themselves out of any corner… Come and hear Ray put them through their paces, including finding them some especially difficult corners from which to escape… Don't be scared off by the jazz references, Ray is also a highly respected classical composer; he has even been known to wear tails to play, and he doesn't smoke funny tobacco…  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPqB_8BDXUk. . . "






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My latest release, Black & White Then Back,
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Ray Jozwiak: Black & White Then Back

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your browser:  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/rayjozwiak3)

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Connection. . .

. . . maybe. . .


In 1996, Peter Gabriel's A&R associate Harvey Schartz presented Gabriel with a demo of (Joseph) Arthur's first EP, Cut and Blind. Gabriel and Schwartz arranged a live audition at The Fez nightclub in New York City, and Arthur flew up from Atlanta. The night was a success; not only was Lou Reed a guest in the audience, but within a few months Arthur was officially signed, making him the first American recording artist signed to Gabriel's label Arthur recorded his debut album at Gabriel's Real World Studios in England with producer Markus Dravs (Björk, Coldplay, Arcade Fire). The debut album Big City Secrets was released worldwide in spring 1997, and Arthur joined Gabriel's WOMAD tour in Europe. Big City Secrets displayed Arthur's often angsty and emotionally-wrought lyrics coupled with diverse instrumentation, which he himself described as "someone struggling to heal over experimental folk-rock", but went virtually unnoticed by the mainstream. Two years later, he recorded an EP called Vacancy, which earned him a Grammy nomination in 2000 for best recording package.






What do you think?
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My latest release, Black & White Then Back,
can be downloaded digitally at:
Ray Jozwiak: Black & White Then Back

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your browser:  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/rayjozwiak3)

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