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#61387 - 01/26/05 11:55 AM Memories

Hi Folks.
I wonder if anyone is interested in giving their views on people who have had influence on their music.and playing.
What was the first instrument you played?.
How long did you practice?. If you played a long time on your instrument. And In spite of the time you spent learning the instrument, did you let it go and regret it?.
Which musician’s do you really admire?
Which keyboard do you have a soft spot for? not your present one!!
And so on.
It could be interesting and informative.

#61388 - 01/26/05 12:16 PM Re: Memories
Jack Docters Offline

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 127
Loc: Eindhoven Netherlands
Hello Joe,
You have cut the grass from under my feet.
I want to ask, if there are members who making his own music on his Technics keyboard
We all, including me,playing music from well knowned artists and sheet's.
Is there anyone who making his own songs ?


#61389 - 01/26/05 03:11 PM Re: Memories
Chuck Piper Offline

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 403
Loc: United Kingdom
Hello Joe,

Interesting questions. Here is my contribution.

I began studying the trombone at the tender age of 7 (I'm 75 now) and loved the instrument. I practiced about an hour each day. I studied the instrument for about 12 years.

Playing the trombone opened many doors for me. I played in our high school band, a local city marching and concert band, and the Los Angeles Junior Symphony orchestra. I also played in a brass quartet at our church. Our city marching band participated in the annual Tournament of Roses parade and we won our division each of the three years I was with the organization. That enabled us to attend the Rose Bowl game free! For a young kid. it was the next best thing to sliced bread with peanut butter and jelly!

I stopped playing the instrument when I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. I have never regretted it. I simply moved on.

If I were to list all of the musicians I have admired over the years, Nigel would have to expand Synth Zone! A short list would include Oscar Peterson, Henry Mancini, David Rose, Hugo Winterhalter, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, George Shearing, Buddy Rich, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Les Baxter, Norman Luboff, June Christy, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Carlos Joabim, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Harry Connick, Jr., and I haven't mentioned many of the wonderful composers or country musicians I admire. Those reading my list will be acutely aware that Clapton, Rolling Stones, Oasis, Queen, Sting, and indeed all "Rockers" are conspicuous by their absence. That is because in my opinion, their so-called music is rubbish when compared to the music of the artists in my shortlist. Each to their own opinion I guess.

As for a keyboard I have had a soft spot for, I would say it is a top of the range organ. I have neither the space nor the money for one so it will remain a soft spot rather than a reality. Having said that, my KN7000 is a wonderful instrument that gives me all the musical pleasures I could wish for, so I am eminently satisfied with the keyboard I already have.

An interesting thread. Joe. I will follow it to read what others have to say.

Take care my friend.


#61390 - 01/26/05 03:46 PM Re: Memories

Hi Joe,

Had two piano lessons from a spinster at the age of 16, because we had an old piano in the parlor that no one to play it. After the third lesson, I was given the decision. It was.....practice scales.......or chase girls. At that age you know my decision.

Had a lot of fun with the latter but now wish I would have combined the two.

Like Chuck, I also entered the Air Force and it was the best thing I did in my life, with one exception. I found and married a wonderful girl and will be celebrating our 58th this year.

Started out with a Hammond Chord Organ and the Pointer System of chords. Went from many organs to where I am today trying to catch up on the lessons I missed years ago.

Musician's I admire. Many in the Big Band era, but now a great many on this forum.

Luv'd a lot of the organs I have owned, but the 7000 is the top to me. When I find something better, I would change.

Fran in Florida

#61391 - 01/27/05 08:02 AM Re: Memories
tony mads usa Online   cool2
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 12065
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA

My mother LOVED to sing, and had an excellent voice for the 'standards' .. Bill Bailey, Darktown Strutter's Ball, You're Nobody 'Till Sombody Loves You, etc. .. She also loved to sing Italian songs like Mala Femmina ...
My parents loved going out to clubs to hear different bands, and invariably my father, who was her GREATEST fan, would ask the band members if she could sing a song ... She often sang with Lou Monte, early his career ...
Well, at some point, they heard this Country Western group (she obviously loved ALL types of music) and they would go to hear them regularly ... They got real friendly with the band, and one of the guitar players suggested that I start taking guitar lessons ... I was about 13 yrs old at the time... There was also an accordion player in that group who they were friendly with and he convinced them that I should study accordion ... I had two lessons on guitar when it was decided that I would change to accordion ...
After a year or two, while I enjoyed playing, I hated to practice, so I quit taking lessons, to the disappointment of my parents and teacher ... My teacher had become a really close friend of the family by this time, so we saw him often ... When he heard that I still 'playing', he suggested that my parents not allow me to unless I went back to studying ... After a year layoff from 'lessons' I went back and have NEVER regretted it ... The music studio became a focal point of my life, spending hours a day there after school, practicing with others, listening to others play, and also listening to the various instructors as they were giving lessons to others... I even became an instructor myself.
One of the biggest benefits is that I met a girl at the music studio who later became my wife, now of 41 years ...

I went into the US Army Reserves in '62 because we were planning to getting married.
I was in 'boot camp' and I was summoned to the Captain's office. Fearing what I could have done in the two weeks I was in service I reported to him and he asked if I could play the glockenspiel ... my immediate thought was "what the heck is that???" ... When I realized what it was I said "If it looks like a keyboard, I can play it" ... Well, the Captain had played the glock in his University band, so the pressure was on ... We started a Company marching band, and it was GREAT ... NO KP, no guard duty, nothing, because we were 'the band' and had to rehearse ... We ended up with 16 guys and along with the standard marching songs we used to play standard 'jazz' tunes as well ... It was really a blast ... We developed a reputation throughout the Camp (Ft. Dix, NJ) and once the Camp Commander was riding by while we were marching and got out of his car just to listen to us ...

My accordion teacher was THE major influence in my musical life, and actually was a mentor for me in other aspects of life as well ...

Musically, I have appreciated MOST kinds of music, from classical, jazz, pop, standards, big band, and yes, even country ...

I LOVE the piano, and while I've played some acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes, etc. the accordion still has a very special place in my heart ... I often utilize the accordion sounds of the kn6000 while playing bossas, standards, etc. ...

t. cool

#61392 - 01/27/05 08:42 AM Re: Memories
D.Munson Offline

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 397
Loc: UK
Originally posted by Phil Lynch:
Hi Folks.
I wonder if anyone is interested in giving their views on people who have had influence on their music.and playing.
What was the first instrument you played?.
How long did you practice?. If you played a long time on your instrument. And In spite of the time you spent learning the instrument, did you let it go and regret it?.
Which musician’s do you really admire?
Which keyboard do you have a soft spot for? not your present one!!
And so on.
It could be interesting and informative.

My first instrument was the piano when I stared learning at the age of about 10 ( I've still got my first music book (Robin Hood and his Merry Men)
When I was about 13/14 My mother bought me my first of several piano accordions.

Then I went onto EL Organs then keyboards,currently KN7000 which I love.

My second favourite instrument is of course the piano accordion.

Derek Munson

#61393 - 01/27/05 10:34 AM Re: Memories

Hi All.
Alan Haven was the person who prompted me to my first top of the range organ back in about 1975. He designed his own organ and it was made by Crumar (italy). Cost me £1100
(uk) POUNDS. Well since then I have had most of the brands on the market and now have a kn7000. I haven't time to go on at the moment, but it could well go into a lot a pages from the starting point 60 years ago.


#61394 - 01/28/05 07:02 AM Re: Memories
shcox Offline

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 296
Loc: Leesburg, FL USA
I believe I’ve told this story before but I’m happy to do it again.

I was born into a somewhat musical family. My father played a type of Honky-Tonk piano in bars and my oldest brother learned to play piano by ear playing the rhythm and singing the melody to songs like “Whole Lotta Shaken Going On” and “Great Balls Of Fire”. My mother sang well and played a lot of music around the house. My next oldest brother worked for the record industry.

By the time I was about 10 I had learned to play like my brother by watching everything he did. It would drive my mother crazy because first he would sit and play for about an hour then after he left I would sit and play exactly the same think for about 2 hours, over and over and over again. After dinner my dad would play before he left to go to the bars to play.

After the Beatle hit the USA just about every kid in school got a guitar including me and learned to play some basic progressions. Some of the boys I hung with decided to start a band and wanted a keyboard player so I bought (with the help of my dad) a Baldwin Portable Organ. I played chords and a little lead for songs like “Light My Fire” and “The Letter”. We played parties and small gigs until I graduated when I left the band for a “real job” as my parents said.

I kept the organ until I was about 25 when I sold it to a minister for a new church. I got $100 for it. By that time I had bought a Lowery Genie organ and I was playing it but I found it was harder to play and sing that type of organ like I did the piano so I started to play one finger melodies along with the chords. It’s pretty much how I still play today.

Durning the 70s and early 80s I played keyboard in a church group and wrote and co-wrote a few christian songs. I also ran a 16 channel mixer for another semi-pro christian music group.

As for influences beyond the family I like so many kinds of music and in each area I have favorites but my all time favorite is Paul McCartney. I admire him as a musician and as a man. He is a person who has been devoted not only to music but to family as well and to justice in the world.

My dad died in 1972, my oldest brother has not played in years and the other brother is retired from Warner Brothers Music. My mom at 84 would still like to sing but no one would listen. LOL

Heather- Leesburg, FL PR54
Heather- Leesburg, FL PR54

#61395 - 01/28/05 03:01 PM Re: Memories

Hi Folks.
I started playing cornet in a local Brass Band, when Seven years old. I was in love with music from the beginning.
I started work at 14 years of age, and the firm I worked for, had a policy of playing music all day over a Tannoy
System. I soon found out that there was more to music than Brass Bands. At that time Sinatra was making the girls swoon. I also liked him of course.
I soon discovered an inspiration in Harry James, This was when Harry was playing, Flight of the bumble Bee. and
Carnival of Venice because of my Brass Band background
I was fascinated by his dexterity on the trumpet. Other trumpet players I enjoyed were Bunny Berigan Maynard Fergisson – Al Hirt - Kenny Baker – Bobby Pratt. So my first love was/is the trumpet.
When I was 18 years old I Joined the R.A.F. I met a lot of people who like me, loved music, I joined a Big Band Club
And we sat and listened to all the big bands of that era three times a week. I was now well and truly hooked on big band swing. I was twenty years old when I was released from the R.A.F. I returned to the Brass Bands.
I soon yearned for the Big Bands. I bought a trumpet and I practiced as often as I could. I got a spot in a Big Band as a stand in. I was fortunate to play with some really good players, I learned so much from them.
Later I secured a permanent position in the band.
Boy was I made up. I played in the band for nine years.
When the Beatles came on the scene, the Big Bands slowly disappeared. I played in several Seven piece small bands,
But they soon folded in the wake of the Beatles. The majority of punters wanted the Beatles sound and no way, even with some clever arrangements could we compete.
At this time I had a gum disease, and was devastated to find, the only cure was to have my teeth removed. The top ones. The bottom teeth were OK. I had immediate dentures and that night I played. I was in agony, Blood and other things all over the place. Eventually, over a year or so I managed to play again, by using a different embrasure.(mouthpiece on a different part of the lip).
I now found solace with my second choice instrument, The Saxophone, and I put as much work into learning the Sax as I could. Again influenced by the great Sax players.
In 1968 I decided that not a lot of work was available to a solo musician. I was fond of singing, and had been a vocalist in the Big Bands. So I turned to Cabaret. I played trumpet and Saxophone and sang. I auditioned when ever I was allowed to do so by club officials. Not a lot of artists were doing the kind of stuff I did. (Big Band) I was deemed a Multi instrumentalist by the people who accessed cabaret acts. Pretty soon I was booked 12 months in advance. Then I got lucky and began to feature as a support act to the stars of that era. Modesty is getting the better of me at this point, and I cannot say who I played supporting act too.
Twenty years ago I had Bypass surgery. That stopped me performing for 12 months. I went back to Cabaret, and I had to work hard to establish myself again, it is surprising how soon you are forgotten in the show business.
I had now purchased a Lowrey organ, a Heritage, this was the best around (affordable) and I loved it.
I practiced hard, I could already read music of course, but not Bass clef. “Now this I found difficult”. I think a pianist who learns both clefs from the start is best way to learn. Be very familiar with treble clef and learning Bass is Hard. I would always advocate, the best grounding in music is the piano, then a solo instrument of your choice.
I played a gig at a Hotel near to where I live.
The owner of the hotel had a Lowrey Holiday deluxe (Oh the memories). I was tinkering around with it, not a lot of difference to my Lowrey. The owner said he was stuck for an organist the next night and would I play. I explained I was a novice. he said a novice is better than nothing. I agreed.
He asked me again to play. I thought about it, couldn’t sleep at all. The clubs where I was doing Cabaret were really struggling, this, because of the two pints of beer limit the Government had imposed on drivers. Punters were not going to the clubs in the same numbers. Clubs were closing down every week. I said yes to the Hotelier.
That was 12 years ago and I am still 76 years old, I have been doing 3 nights a week. out of season. When the season starts, it will be Six nights, June to November.
“Regrets”. I have not played Trumpet or Sax for the past 12 years. But I still have them.
As for playing at the Hotel this year, I will not be able to.

Please take this as I say it, right from my heart.
My wife of 53 years is very ill. The last rites have been given twice. I am devastated, So sad.

It has taken me three days to write this, a bit at a time.
But talking about the old times and the music memories,
has helped. Because my wife and I share the memories.


#61396 - 01/30/05 02:37 AM Re: Memories
Joan Offline

Registered: 01/30/03
Posts: 550
Loc: Hampshire U.K.
Hi Joe

What a wonderful life of music you have had and obviously enjoyed. How I envy you your background of Brass Band experience. Where I grew up in South Yorkshire I had to walk past one of the large steel companies whose Brass Band used the works canteen to practice in. In the summer when the canteen windows were open I have sat outside and listened to them rehearse. What beautiful wonderful rich sounds they were. It must have been really something to have been a part of it.

I was very sad to hear about your wife. You have obviously had a long and happy marriage. It must be a very distressing time for you at the moment and indeed for some time to come.
We all have to face losing a loved one at some time in our life and I can't possibly imagine the depths of despair you are in at the moment.

It cannot be any consolation to you but I do assure you that I feel for you at this time and hope that you find the strength to go on and that you can find some solace in your music.

As you said, you and your wife share some wonderful memories. These will remain with you always and I hope that they will bring you peace. Joan

[This message has been edited by Joan (edited 01-30-2005).]

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