Friday, July 3, 2015


It's Friday. I usually post on Friday, but I was't thinking of it for today. Then I remembered the piece below - all about my Carolina Dream concert. I wrote this for our community magazine's series on Southern Writers and Musicians, but they didn't use it because "it's fiction and we don't print fiction." Yes it is, so the heck with those guys, I do have a forum of my own. I'll add a picture or two and voila! - a post for a Friday. 

The Time: early on a warm summer evening in June.
The Place: a great meadow in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 
       Bring along a blanket and an elegant evening’s picnic, and
       be sure to find a good spot for dreaming and listening to
The Performers: great music makers of the Carolinas.


Many will say that the concert should have taken place sometime in the mid-Sixties, when all the performers were still with us, but this is all in our minds, a Dream Concert, backed by a dream band or two. The year is any year, and they are all there in their prime:

We’ll start off our Dream Concert alphabetically with a composer and master jazz saxophone artist, The Hamlet, North Carolina-born John Coltrane. Though he did a lot of experimental jazz toward the end of his life, we’ll keep the program ‘classical’ with Lazy Bird and Moment’s Notice, two of his best known compositions. During his short lifetime, Coltrane played and recorded with our next two artists, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk.

Dig those crazy cheeks!

Cheraw, South Carolina-born Dizzy Gillespie, jazz trumpeter and influential teacher, band leader and composer, is next on the bill. Perhaps this night we’ll hear him play his Night in Tunisia or Two Bass Hit, then he might segue into 52nd Street Theme, written by our next great musician:

Thelonius Monk. Rocky Mount, North Carolina-born and New York City-raised, Thelonious Monk was a composer and jazz pianist. He wrote many of the tunes you hum but didn’t know the name of like Straight, No Chaser, or Green Chimneys, or Epistrophy. He may entertain us with one of his remarkable improvisations, perhaps on his In Walked Bud.

Who are these young guys?

A switch of moods brings out Charlie Daniels and the Charlie Daniels Band. With over fifty albums to his credit, the Leland, North Carolina born and raised, Nashville, Tennessee-affiliated Daniels will bring a taste of country, rock, and maybe a bit of bluegrass to the program. We may be in the Carolinas, but we all know The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

As the evening hours lengthen and the mood mellows, we’ll welcome the soulful Roberta Flack, from Black Mountain, North Carolina. Known for her hits in many modes of music, singer, song writer, and pianist Roberta Cleopatra Flack is in a class by herself. We know her for songs like The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, and Killing Me Softly with His Song, written by others, but she’s sure to sing some of her own work like Mood, or Only Heaven Can Wait, or And So It Goes.

We’ll ease on out and conclude our Dream Concert with the Chapel Hill, North Carolina-raised, Massachusetts-born musician, singer, and songwriter, James Taylor. Of all those on our concert lineup, he is almost automatically associated with our area because of his nostalgic Carolina In My Mind. “Can’t you just see the sunshine? Can’t you just feel the moonshine?” We’ll hear that, and perhaps this uncle of Sweet Baby James’s will sing You’ve Got a Friend, or Fire and Rain. And finally: Shower the People. What better way to end the dream evening in the meadow than to “Shower the people you love with love.”

I want to hear "Jellyman Kelly"!!

 Drive home safely!

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