After I retired from the workforce I became ill with COPD, a creeping, degenerative condition, that has a direct effect on one’s breathing process.
It is not curable but one can learn to live with it and maintain optimism.
I decided I wanted to put some of my musical “bon mots” on YouTube so after I board the “Freedom Train” people can perhaps share them and say, “Oh yeah…I remember him. He could play some and he sounded like this…”
So I put up a bunch of tunes.
I used a free recording program called Audacity that was easy to use and edit and commenced recording.
Polished CD quality they are not. They are more like what they used to call “demos”… one time through runs of a given song. But they served their purpose in that they show I was able to play guitar and Dobro as Chet Atkins would say, “slightly above below average.”
Elsewhere on this Blog is a write-up called “Poppa Played The Dobro” which is my history on playing the Dobro and, woven through it, is reference to a certain song actually called, “Poppa Played The Dobro”
This song kinda became my trademark back in the day when I played in public a lot. I gave it my own spin and it consistently delighted people.
When I finally decided to record this song I had an immediate problem.
I no longer had the capacity of just singing the song. I ran out of air too quickly. Too many years of Pall Malls had done in my ability to sing any song all the way through.
But how could I not include Poppa Played The Dobro in my collection?
I sent an email to a friend asking him if he would do the vocal for me but he wasn’t that familiar with the song and may never had heard me sing it. That, and he was a blues singer.
He was encouraging, though, and promised that I would find a way. I thought it interesting that he could make such a promise since it was my vocal shortcoming I was dealing with but he knew me better than I knew myself.
I took up my acoustic guitar for foundation and sang the whole song recording it as I went along.
One line at a time.
Thanks to the multi-track ability of my recording program I was able to cobble a melody line that worked and blended all the single lines into a continuous sequence that has little trace of my affliction.
I added my Uncle Josh style Dobro licks and even managed to insert a particularly tricky lick in the song and ended up with one of my more victorious musical efforts.
Could it have been done better? Perhaps…probably… but the process I just described was intense and tedious and doing it all again really didn’t seem necessary.
I wasn’t out to sell it.
I just wanted people like you to hear it and perhaps have a smile for a while afterwards…
Some of you will remember hearing it.
Here’s the link if you haven’t heard it…