Veterans Day and Three Heroes

On this day in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson said, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations,” in his remarks about Armistice Day.  In 1954, the holiday was changed to Veterans Day, to honor all veterans.  With this solemn pride I do thank and salute all veterans of our armed services.

My father was a veteran of The Korean War, having served in the Air Force.  He spoke of his experiences, shared photos and slide shows and tole me how the highest casualties came on the day before the end of the war.  His contriubtion to America’s defense went well beyond these years.  Dad, I thank you and I miss you.

Jonathan Long served in the Vietnam War.  He is another hero, living here in Nashville and singing of love of America and Freedom, what life here represents, the greatness in people, their generosity, their decency.  Jonathan, though, is a brilliant man who uses his First Amendment rights better than just about anyone I’ve known.  Thank you, Jonathan, for giving so much to protect these rights for all of us.

My good, late friend Don Wayne also served in the Korean War in the Army.  Don was one of the greatest Americans I’ve ever met.  He walked quietly and carried the biggest of hearts and songs, a humility, a kindness I will not forget.  Don, I am proud to be able to honor you this evening at the tribute concert your family has planned .  You are deeply missed.

To these three heroes and to all veterans, I do hold this solemn pride and thanks for you, and I always will.

My CMA Awards Invitation

Every day I have checked the mail, feverishly anticipating the arrival of the envelope.  The raised print, the gold-dusted admittance to the prestigious Country Music Association (CMA) Awards.  Still I await.

Is there a problem with the Postal Service?  Has the invitation been intercepted?  It is all possible.  Think of the troubles that have plagued the USPS, budget cuts, manipulation of the cosmos, competition from email and every other form of modern communication.

Maybe there’s a different issue, an elusive or not so elusive one.  Maybe they forgot to send it.  Maybe they ran out of paper and did not have an alternative means of reaching me.

I’d love to go.  The excitement is rampant throughout Nashville and the Nashville music community, both with and without the matrix.  The loop, the belonging, the inclusion all seem elusive.  They appear to be remaining so.

It is seen as a measure of influence, of clout, of presence.  Is there logic in that, paranoia, is there sufficient evidence to lead to the conclusion that if you ain’t there, you’re square?  I’m not sure.  The members are a Who’s Who in country music, they are luminaries, they have the prestige.  How could one not want to be there among the throngs of fans, the artists, the executives, the media?

A friend has been setting up for the event, in a stagehand union.  He made it.

Me, it would help if I had a CMA membership, and if the circles would open up, if the glass and the walls evaporated for a bit.  Oh, I never asked anyone either if I could tag along.  That would help.

I’ll be there in spirit, for sure.  One day in person.  For real, it’s going to be a heck of a party.

Three Sessions, One Day: Today

Pen, paper, MacBook Pro, smartphone and me–all are at the ready to help me get through what is going to be quite a full day here in Nashville.  Three songwriting sessions lie ahead.  Cheley Tackett, Trevor Finlay, and Janell Wheeler–each a great talent and friend.

A book comes to mind:  Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  Within one of the early chapters, Covey discusses Production and Production Capability (P & PC).  It would be great to have both of these in abundance.  All senses open.  Intuition present and accounted for.

Where will the ideas come from?  Notebooks?  The MacBook?  My memory?  This morning’s paper?  Hard to say.  The paper may be out of the question.  I don’t know who sells them anymore.  Oh, we get a local one on the lawn just about every week.  There could be a gem or two in there.

I remain grateful for every day given, to have these opportunities to practice the fine art of songwriting.  And the fine art of life.  To the most of it, to the best of my ability.

A Visit to The Bluebird Cafe

What a terrific time tonight.  Got to head out with my lovely to see my friend Mr. Brian James play at The Bluebird Cafe.  He was the featured writer at the Sunday writer’s night.  What a tremendous job he did!  Great songs like “Georgia”, “Holdin’ On”, and “Angel at the Crossroad”.

It’s easy to see why he’s a highly respected songwriter here in Nashville.  His songs are full of emotion, with strong melodies and lyrics which resonate, carrying tales of small town life, romance, and country sensibilities.

Always a pleasure to see and hear such a wonderful performing artist!

Fan Brian James here!

Sunday in Nashville

It’s a sweet Sunday here in Music City USA. Going to work on some recordings.  Doing some rehearsing of a song written with the late Don Wayne, for a memorial tribute to be held at the Texas Troubadour Theatre on Music Valley Drive.  Some great writers and performers will be out for the show.  I’m honored to be a part of it.

Without a doubt I’m going to get out with my sweetheart and enjoy this beautiful weather.

Hoping your day’s fabulous!