OT In The Presence Of Songwriting Royalty

Two nights ago I went to a performance by Christine Lavin at our local public library. She was funny as hell, poignant and read from her recent memoir (subtitled Mem-Wha??). I love her music and, a rarity in today's world, she sounded exactly like her albums.
At the beginning of the show she introduced a guy in the front row, an elderly chap, as a great songwriter - Irv Drake. Actually it's Erv, but I didn't know it at the time, and I didn't recognize the name anyway, but I clapped dutifully.
A bit later in the show she read an excerpt from her book about Erv Drake. A truly amazing story about getting his heartbroken at an early age and writing a song about it, Good Morning Heartache. Say what? The guy sitting three seats away from me was that guy? The guy that wrote Billie Holiday's song, the jazz standard covered by nearly everyone with vocal cords? Wow!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk1IKHd_0fk

She then asked him to get up on the stage and play something. Like I said, he was elderly, 91 as it turns out, and as he sat down and started to play my jaw dropped. It kept dropping until the floor stopped it. He was playing It Was A Very Good Year. Holy crap - this was the guy that wrote one of Sinatra's signature songs! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ervin_Drake
Then he played I Believe, Frankie Laine's #1 hit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qklmcYa1PhM

Like I said, Mr. Drake is songwriting royalty, and he's a really charming guy. Here's an article that tells a little bit more about him: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123862611987180187.html One thing that came out at the show that differs from that article - he didn't withdraw from Edith's life (the girl that broke his heart), she booted him on the spot when he proposed. Read the article for the outcome. (spoiler alert: the outcome at the bottom of the post)
Needless to say, I stuck around afterwards and thanked everyone for everything. It really was a magical evening, and it was at the local library for free.
R
SPOILER: They held hands the entire show. Before I knew who he was I noticed it and it warmed my heart.
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Sounds like a night to remember. I have new found respect for many of the artists I listened to growing up.
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Great story! Thanks for sharing.
--
"Our beer goes through thousands of quality Czechs every day."
(From a Shiner Bock billboard I saw in Austin some years ago)
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On 1/20/2011 10:44 AM, RicodJour wrote:

Great story! Thanks ... came in from the shop for lunch and it made my morning.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 4/15/2010
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That had to be cool....
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Excellent! Truly a night to remember. I have had a few of those nights with Swingman and his lovely and talented wife. She often puts on concerts with people you always heard about but wondered if you would ever see. Some times these concerts end up with the performers, Karl and his wife, my wife and I, other friends and relatives all meeting back at Swingman's house for another private concert with more performers, BONUS!
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Oh nooooooo....bass solo!!!!!! . . . :-)
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On 1/20/2011 5:07 PM, Robatoy wrote:

Never fear ... rare as hens teeth
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 4/15/2010
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RE: Subject
And just think, this music isn't dependant on somebody standing on stage in front of a microphone screaming unintelligible mating shreiks while attempting to destroy a guitar by making repetitive monotonous noises along with a drummer trying to perform a destructive life test on the drum set.
Lew
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On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 17:18:57 -0800, "Lew Hodgett"

I resemble those remarks.
-Zz
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Those sound like really inspired words... And, I've seen that drummer! I don't get it either.
Bill
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Lew Hodgett wrote the following:

The reason I moved to Country Music in the 70s.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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wrote:

And me to jazz in the 80s. I still like real rock and some acid rock (Black Sabbath Forever!) but jazz and blues are my faves now.
-- Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 08:44:40 -0800 (PST), RicodJour

Ah, it reminds me of the great Doonsbury strip featuring Thudpucker and Bob Dylan (who was never directly pictured in the series). The particular strip featured Thudpcuker reading quotes from Bill Clinton (?) re: Bob's amazing insights and lyrical magic. Bob replies, from behind a closed bathroom door (leading the reader to imagime him on the can):
"Wow. I was only trying to make it all rhyme".
-Zz
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Funny you should mention, Dylan. Christine Lavin told a bunch of stories, and one of them was about meeting Dylan when the Rolling Thunder Review was just starting out. She was starstruck and searching for something to say that would interest him to keep the conversation going, and kept striking out, until she asked him if he'd heard the new verse that Pete Seeger was singing in This Land Is Your Land.
Lyrics to This Land Is Your Land : (Woody Guthrie)
[Chorus:] This land is your land, This land is my land, From California to the New York Island, From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters, This land was made for you and me.
As I went walking that ribbon of highway I saw above me that endless skyway, I saw below me that golden valley, This land was made for you and me.
I roamed and I rambled, and I followed my footsteps To the sparking sands of her diamond deserts, All around me a voice was sounding, This land was made for you and me.
When the sun came shining, then I was strolling, And the wheat fields waving, and the dust clouds rolling, A voice was chanting as the fog was lifting, This land was made for you and me.
One bright sunny morning, in the shadow of the steeple, By the relief office I saw my people, As they stood there hungry, I stood there wondering if, This land was made for you and me.
Was a big high wall there that tried to stop me, Was a great big sign that said, "Private Property," But on the other side, it didn't say nothing, That side was made for you and me.
Nobody living can ever stop me, As I go walking my freedom highway, Nobody living can make me turn back, This land was made for you and me.
[Additional verses by Pete Seeger:] Maybe you've been working as hard as you're able, But you've just got crumbs from the rich man's table, And maybe you're thinking, was it truth or fable, That this land was made for you and me.
Woodland and grassland and river shoreline, To everything living, even little microbes, Fin, fur, and feather, we're all here together, This land was made for you and me.
[And a Native American verse:] This land is your land, but it once was my land, Until we sold you Manhattan Island. You pushed our Nations to the reservations; This land was stole by you from me
She also had stories about Rambling Jack Elliot ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramblin%27_Jack_Elliott ), Joe Namath, etc., etc. Her stories were always kind and always hysterical - as in maybe-I-should-have-worn-Depends-tonight hysterical.
I know it's stupid, but I felt like I had cheated somehow by getting all of that for free at the public library.
Anyway, I just wanted to share that wonderful experience with you guys as I know a lot of you appreciate Talent, humor and getting stuff for free. Hmm, come to think of it - this was a gloat! ;)
R
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RicodJour wrote:

It's nice to know that unrequited love can sometimes be requited.
--

dadiOH
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And sometimes, just sometimes, people do get a second chance.
R
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On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 08:44:40 -0800 (PST), RicodJour
If this was Facebook I'd give ya a big "like".. Great story!

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