Saint Patrick’s Day meets Sesame Street meets “Danny Boy”

I tried to find this version of “Danny Boy” (Garrett Morris, SNL, 03/18/78), but it’s behind a paywall at Hulu…

One of the reasons that I love Saint Patrick’s Day is because it gives me an excuse to listen to one of my all-time favorite songs, “Danny Boy“.

If there were ever any doubt about my ancestry (I’ve got some “Kelly” and “Carroll” in my family tree), the way that this tune makes me feel like I’ve “come home” puts that to rest – there is no denying that music from the British Isles is the kind of music that stirs my soul.

In putting this post together, I listened to a LOT of different versions of the song, and I ran across one that surprised me. You see, I’ve only ever known Bob McGrath as a performer on “Sesame Street” – I didn’t have a CLUE that he had such an amazing voice!

When I heard this version, I knew that I had found “the one”:


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Happy Pi Day (03/14)

Yes, I’m a geek – I bought this for Rachel several years ago:

She’s a geek, too – she loved it….
(And yes, I bought myself one as well – couldn’t be letting her have all the fun!)


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Happy 86th Birthday, Dad!

Today is my Dad’s 86th birthday. I can’t tell you how very glad I am that he is still here to celebrate with us – Paul lost his father a few years ago, and it is a loss that he feels every day.

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Happy Texas Independence Day! (2018)

My dad sent me this a while back; since today is Texas Independence Day, I wanted to share them with you:

Due to the popularity of the “Survivor” TV show, Texas is planning to do one entitled: “Survivor – Texas-Style!”

The lucky contestants will all start in Dallas, drive to Waco, Austin, San Antonio, then over to Houston and down to Brownsville.
They will then proceed up to Del Rio, El Paso, Odessa, Midland, Lubbock, and Amarillo.
From there they will go on to Abilene and Fort Worth.
Finally. back to Dallas.

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The Best (Belated) Valentine’s Day Ever (a.k.a. “Boy Meets Girl”)


Just a couple of kids…..

It all started in a lecture hall at Texas A&M University in January, 1979. Yours truly was a freshman who started out in Pre-Med, but after one semester – and a tearful call home – I had decided to change my major to one which involved more math – Civil Engineering.

Well, the powers that be in the Engineering department told me that the Calculus class that I had placed out of as a Science major wasn’t really “the same as” the one they wanted Engineering majors to take, so I had to start all over again. I hadn’t changed my major until the spring semester started, so I missed the first “official” day of that class.

The next time that class met, I was sitting in a seat in the lecture hall, feeling quite lost since I didn’t know the professor’s name, office hours, etc. Some guy came in a little late to the class, looking all harried, and sat down in one of the few empty seats – right next to me.

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Valentine’s Day, 2018 – A Little Romance

Because today is a day of romance, I thought I’d share one of the best renditions of “My Funny Valentine” that I’ve ever heard – Michelle Pfeiffer’s version from the movie “The Fabulous Baker Boys”:


Hope you have a great day with the one you love!

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“Rhapsody in Blue” (2018)

rhapsody in blue 3.

Well, I went playing on YouTube again, and this time I ran across several versions of one of my favorite orchestral pieces, George Gershwin’s quintessentially classic American composition, “Rhapsody in Blue“.

Rhapsody in Blue premiered in an afternoon concert on February 12, 1924, held by Paul Whiteman and his band Palais Royal Orchestra, entitled An Experiment in Modern Music, which took place in Aeolian Hall in New York City. The version that was heard then was for a 24-piece jazz band, not for full orchestra. This was the original arrangement of Gershwin’s masterpiece.

Gershwin had agreed that Ferde Grofé, Whiteman’s pianist and chief arranger, was the key figure in enabling the piece to be successful, and critics have praised the orchestral colour. Grofé confirmed in 1938 that Gershwin did not have sufficient knowledge of orchestration in 1924. After the premiere, Grofé took the score and made new orchestrations in 1926 and 1942, each time for larger orchestras. Up until 1976, when Michael Tilson Thomas recorded the original jazz band version for the very first time, the 1942 version was the arrangement usually performed and recorded.

I, too, had only ever heard the big symphonic version but a few years ago, I ran across an amazing Big Band arrangement that brought a big smile to my face. And a couple of days later, I ran across the “original” jazz band version, which I found I like very, very much.

The complete piece is 16 minutes long, so if you don’t have time, don’t feel that you have to listen to all of them; you might want to sample a bit of each one and come back to them later when you have more time. I think you will probably find that, like me, you end up enjoying all of them on their own merits.

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