Paul Winter dropped a reminisce about Pete Seeger in my e-mail Inbox the other day. I’d like to share it with you.
Our long-time friend and mentor, Pete Seeger, passed away on Monday. I was privileged to meet Pete at the Newport Folk Festival in 1966, and he then gave me encouragement as I was creating a new ensemble that became the Paul Winter Consort.
In the early 90s, sensing that Pete’s recordings were not being heard by younger generations, I suggested to him that he record an album of his Earth songs. He said, “My voice is shot, but if we can have a chorus to carry the melodies, I could sing along.” My Living Music colleagues and I produced the album Pete in 1996. It won a Grammy, Pete’s first. The final song, “To My Old Brown Earth” (lyrics below), is one Pete had written for a friend’s funeral. It’s the most moving “goodbye song” I’ve ever heard.
We’d like to offer it as a free download for anyone who would like to hear it. And please feel free to pass it along to your friends.
For living music, Paul
TO MY OLD BROWN EARTH
To my old brown earth
And to my old blue sky
I’ll now give these last few molecules
And you who sing
And you who stand nearby
I do charge you not to cry
Guard well our human chain
Watch well you keep it strong
As long as sun will shine
And this our home
Keep pure and sweet and green
For now I’m yours
And you are also
— Words and music by Pete Seeger, 1958
About the song, Pete wrote: “In 1958 I sang at the funeral of John McManus, co-editor of the radical newsweekly, The Guardian, and regretted that I had no song worthy of the occasion. So this got written.”
There is a lot happening with Johnny Winter as he timetables toward his 70th Birthday.
First on the list is the 70th Birthday Celebration Johnny Winter with Special Guests at B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill on 42nd Street in New York City. This event takes place on Sunday February 23rd, Johnny’s actual birthday.
Second on the list is the release of the 4 Disc Box Set ‘True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story’ on February 25th. Pre-sales orders accepted at amazon.com
Third on the list is the documentary, “JOHNNY WINTER: DOWN & DIRTY” which will have it’s world première in the “24 Beats Per Second” category of the South by Southwest Film Festival (March 10-14). Johnny Winter, his band, and film producers Greg Olliver & Jeremy Mack will be present at the screening along with special guests.
I enrolled in my first massive open online course (MOCC) with the Berklee College of Music. I am an educator who is emphatic about online learning. I have a graduate degree in instructional design in online learning with Capella University. I earned my degree by participating in a three-year online learning program. I am now a practitioner of designing and delivering a computer network management curriculum with Canvas by Instructure, an Open Source Learning Management System (LMS). Much of my courses are facilitated directly online along with virtual labs or as a “blended” learning solution of classroom and online learning combined.
When the opportunity presented itself to enroll in edX a non-profit online initiative created by founding partners Harvard and MIT I leapt at the chance to belong to this prestigious community. I realized I could learn more effectively about building, designing and offering MOOC curriculum as a student first, instructional designer second.
The course that appealed to me the most was the Introduction to Music course from a school I have always wanted to attend the Berklee College of Music (part of the edX consortium). I have an undergraduate degree with a major in business and a minor in music. I was missing the music university learning experience in my life.
This free online course will be facilitated online by John P. Kellogg, Esq., Assistant Chair of Music Business Management at Berklee College of Music. Mr. Kellogg is an entertainment lawyer who has represented the late Gerald Levert and the O’Jays. He was also the lead singer for Cameo.
I hope to become better informed about the music business which I write about as a music journalist. I can write from a position of strength with authority about music business matters. This course will serve as a foundation for the research I am conducting about cloud music, artist’s rights and micropayments.
I have read many Web music business and technology articles about the direction that cloud music is floating towards. It’s a fascinating, controversial, evolution of the music industry. John Kellogg’s course and knowledge is helping to shape my understanding of how the music business operates. This will prove valuable in shoring up the foundation of music industry knowledge I must know.
Wish me luck with my online MOOC course experience. I’ll try to write another article about what I learned from John Kellogg and my fellow students six weeks from now 😉
Last night’s Grammy Awards Show from the Staples Center in Los Angeles was stellar. Many fantastic moments, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr performing live together, Pink’s Cirque de Soleil acrobatics, The Highwaymen commanding total respect, Daft Punk, Pharrell, Stevie Wonder and Nile Rodgers tore it up.
The one performance that crossed many boundaries was Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons. Their collective energy had the star studded audience on their feet.
Tonight CBS Television will broadcast the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards from Los Angeles, California. The music of our heart is jumping for joy for this event. I love watching The GRAMMYS every year, you could say I was star struck 😉 I wish that the full GRAMMY awards were broadcast all day long. I would love to see all 70 award categories honored.
Speaking of GRAMMY honors I am pleased to share that Chicago’s first album, Chicago Transit Authority has been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame. It’s also listed as one of the 1001 albums you must hear before you die.
The GRAMMY Hall Of Fame was established by The Recording Academy‘s National Trustees in 1973 to honor recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old.
Chicago will appear with Robin Thicke in a special collaboration during The GRAMMY Award Show this evening.
Janis Ian has always been an important voice of wisdom in the music of our heart. I am enthralled to learn that she has authored a children’s book, The Tiny Mouse.
The Tiny Mouse is Janis Ian’s first children’s book. It is warmly illustrated by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, a husband and wife team that have created many award-winning picture books for children.
What I love about the book is that it is a multidimensional learning experience for children. The first dimension is the art of storytelling. I can visualize reading The Tiny Mouse for my great-niece and great-nephews. Children are enchanted with stories and they learn from being read to and entertained.
The second dimension of learning is via sound in the form of recorded music. Janis Ian has included a CD with the book on which she performs the title song, “The Tiny Mouse”. The Tiny Mouse Web site allows you to listen to Janis singing and playing guitar with a band on this song.
The third learning dimension is to build upon that music experience. Janis Ian supplies the lyrics for singalongs, MP3 files as a foundation for creating a video for YouTube and sheet music for music making.
Perhaps I could learn to play this song on my piano and entertain the children next time they stop by our house :).
Thank you Janis Ian for a well thought out multidimensional experience that supplies fun for the family and the kiddies.
I plan to order this book soon for Caroline, Luke, and the twins Ethan and Blake 🙂