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Sitting At The Kitchen Table

Related thread:
BS: Kitchen Table Reducks (19)


Jerry Rasmussen 10 Mar 06 - 09:14 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 Mar 06 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,mg 10 Mar 06 - 02:48 PM
Ron Davies 10 Mar 06 - 11:49 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Mar 06 - 07:51 AM
billybob 11 Mar 06 - 11:13 AM
Ron Davies 12 Mar 06 - 07:31 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Mar 06 - 09:23 AM
Ron Davies 12 Mar 06 - 09:50 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Mar 06 - 02:06 PM
Naemanson 12 Mar 06 - 03:06 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Mar 06 - 06:21 PM
Naemanson 12 Mar 06 - 08:07 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Mar 06 - 08:51 PM
Ebbie 12 Mar 06 - 10:07 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Mar 06 - 10:35 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Mar 06 - 10:37 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Mar 06 - 10:46 PM
Phot 13 Mar 06 - 04:05 AM
Naemanson 13 Mar 06 - 04:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Mar 06 - 05:31 AM
David C. Carter 13 Mar 06 - 06:29 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Mar 06 - 06:39 AM
David C. Carter 13 Mar 06 - 06:52 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Mar 06 - 07:08 AM
David C. Carter 13 Mar 06 - 07:26 AM
ranger1 13 Mar 06 - 09:43 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Mar 06 - 10:12 AM
Leadfingers 13 Mar 06 - 12:47 PM
Charley Noble 13 Mar 06 - 04:01 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Mar 06 - 04:19 PM
Charley Noble 13 Mar 06 - 05:32 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Mar 06 - 05:39 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Mar 06 - 10:18 PM
Naemanson 14 Mar 06 - 04:48 AM
Charley Noble 14 Mar 06 - 08:51 AM
billybob 14 Mar 06 - 03:31 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Mar 06 - 05:53 PM
Charley Noble 14 Mar 06 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,Jim 15 Mar 06 - 12:28 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Mar 06 - 01:19 PM
Naemanson 15 Mar 06 - 07:01 PM
Col K 15 Mar 06 - 07:13 PM
Ebbie 15 Mar 06 - 07:44 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 16 Mar 06 - 07:15 PM
Ron Davies 16 Mar 06 - 11:31 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Mar 06 - 09:41 AM
Naemanson 17 Mar 06 - 06:11 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Mar 06 - 10:47 PM
Ron Davies 17 Mar 06 - 11:04 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 09:14 AM

And in the movie Avalon, the family slowly disintegrates through time as they move from having dinner and conversation at the kitchen table, to watching television while they are eating, to moving into the living room to watch television while they eat.

And how can I ever forget that classic howl of disbelief.. "You CUT the TOIKEY!"

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 11:56 AM

And Modest But Proud: Hearing is a terrible thing to lose. So, good on you! My Aunt was almost completely deaf the last few months of her life (she died when she was 97) and it was heartbreaking not only for her, but for my Mother. They were the two remaining siblings from 8, and were living in the same retirement complex. What initially was a beautiful situation, where my Mother could visit her sister every day became an enormous frustration. My Aunt could no longer hear my Mother, and I'm not sure who was most frustrated. Even though they lived in the same complex, they weren't able to communicate. For many years, they'd spoken to each other over the phone every day. What a loss it was. My Aunt would have required surgery to regain her hearing, and she was just killing time until her kidneys finally gave out on her and she was gone.

I've noticed as I get older that people speak more softly. It's an irritation and a bother. Why don't people speak up like they did when I was younger?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 02:48 PM

Hey modest..I worked with Ben Clopton and Joe Miller at U.Washington in the cochlear implant lab. Late 70s. I am always amazed to hear the stories. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 11:49 PM

Jerry-- sorry I didn't answer before--sure, I'd love to be a Messenger. I sure try to get into the swing of it when my group (about 180) does gospel. We mostly do pretty heavy stuff--Mozart Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Bach St. Matthew Passion etc. And I love that--my all-time favorite piece of any genre is the Brahms Requiem, partly because Brahms made it an inclusive as possible (not specifically Christian), and emphasizes the consoling aspects, no Hell and damnation--- and also because it's just wonderful music. And since I speak German, I can understand what we're singing.

But when we do gospel, I try to get out of the printed score as fast as I can--so you get into the spirit of the music. My group does a good job on Deep River--with a huge dynamic range, and bringing out the melody while letting the other parts just stay in the background. But in livelier pieces the group just finds it agony to swing--Jan says she's embarrassed at watching all the stiff choral singers. And some just never get into it at all--they're fish out of water and stand there frowning while they sing-- and waiting for it to be over. But I sing and sway and grin--I love it--especially songs like Witness, Elijah Rock, and Ain'a That Good News?--the really lively ones. Of course I also get into it physically when we sing the classical pieces too.   But it's a shame to be narrow in music--among other things you deny yourself so much pleasure.

When we sing for the Martin Luther King celebration every year, we always sing with black groups and under black conductors. Gospel singing is sure totally different from what we're used to-- last time the conductor had a whole repertoire of gestures which told the singers where to go back to in the music--lots of repeats of phrases from various parts of the music--just until the director felt moved to go on, regardless of what was in the printed music--building the excitement.   You had to keep your eyes glued on the conductor, not the music at all--you had to have the music virtually memorized, even though we only had 2 rehearsals on it. Fantastic experience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Mar 06 - 07:51 AM

Hi,Ron:

An anecdote:

When I first joined the Men's Chorus at the church where my wife and I are members, I was very excited about the prospect of singing with the guys. They sang with great power and freedom, not singing from sheet music. I'd never had any desire to sing in a choir, because I am not musically trained and am barely, barely adequate reading music. Our Chorus Director teaches us new songs, starting with the second tenors who sing the melody, then teaching the baritones, first tenors and bass their harmonies by ear. When it was time for the baritones to learn their harmony, we all stood up and I was quickly into the rhythm of the music. It just felt great to be able to move freely while we were singing. When the baritones had practiced their part, it was time for the first tenors to learn their harmony. I remained standing and was very much into moving with the music, even though we weren't singing yet. Bill, (the only person I knew by name) said to me, "You can stop moving now, we're not singing," and I answered "I waited all my life to be able to move to the music while I'm singing, and I'm not going to stop now!"

I told this story to a group of 1st to 3rd grade girls in a private school where we were singing, and one of the kids raised her hand and asked "Why did it take you so long?" My wife and I and all the teachers really cracked up at the question. It was a logical question, and I wasn't really sure of the answer.

Back in the early 60's when I first started performing regularly, I performed sitting down. It was the way a lof of singers did it. I took lessons from Dave Van Ronk, and he performed sitting down, so it seemed logical to me to do the same thing. But Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Peter LaFarge and many others performed standing up. As time went by, I started performing standing up, and discovered that I liked it a lot because I could move more freely with the music. When I've performed folk music in recent years, I've gone back to performing sitting down. Most of the performers I booked over the years performed that way. Bluegrass bands always perform standing up... as much as anything, because they move back and forth from the mic to do harmonies. And, it would be awkward playing stand-up bass, sitting down. Choirs always perform standing up, and I can't imagine singing black gospel music sitting down. I can sing the old white southern gospel sitting down just fine, but not black gospel.
I suppose I could start a thread (there probably already is one) on whether people perform sitting or standing and why, but those threads always seem to turn out to be one or two sentence responses, without a lot of coversation. This is a kitchen table thread, so we can talk about anything, and have a conversation not just do a survey.

But if it's black gospel, I gotta mooooovvvvveeeee.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 11 Mar 06 - 11:13 AM

I love this thread, I have been listening in and enjoying.Made me remember our kitchen table at Grandma's when we were little. My cousin and I would sit under the table and listen to the grown ups talk.We used to love to hear the stories of Gran and her sisters.Grandma was apprenticed to a court dressmaker in London, for the first few years she had to unstich the ruffles at the hem of the dresses and replace with new ones, imagine the filth where the dresses dragged in the mud!She had to walk miles to and fro to work, her sisters all went into "service" as maids.Aunt Lillioe never married as her young man died in France in the first world war, how I wish we had had tape recorders then as I am sure I have forgotten more than I remember. Sometimes the chat became "not suitable for the children" and we would be sent out to the garden for fresh air, but often we were lucky and they would forget we were there.
There was always wonderful smells from the stove, cakes, bread and Lamb stew.We were taught to sew and cross stitch. Lovely memories.I guess that is where I heard my first folk songs as the sisters would sing together in front of the fire in the afternoons.
Years later when I first met my sisters in law in Pennsauken N J we would sit round mother's table in her kitchen, drinking coffee and eating danish pastries.So the kitchen table is the heart of the home where ever we are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 07:31 AM

Billybob-

Those are great stories about your Grandma and later your sisters in law. I grew up (first 13 years) in NJ--mostly in Moorestown, but also in Pennsauken (so I know exactly where that is.) New Jersey gets a bad rap from people who only see the NJ Turnpike, or associate it with the Mob (thanks to Atlantic City, I suppose). Most people, it seems, have never heard of the Pine Barrens--where in one of the most, if not the most, densely populated states in the Union it is possible to get lost in the wilderness.

I've also read that another reason NJ gets to be the butt of jokes all the time is that for a very long time there was no TV station based in NJ--so both the New York and Philadelphia TV comedians had a field day ridiculing NJ. (Of course, what we used to call Chemical Alley (in north NJ) didn't help--it really did reek up there.) But that was not the whole state by a long shot.


When I was growing up in Moorestown-- ( which, recently, according to, I believe it's Money magazine, was rated by their staff the best town in the whole country)--there was an author of books for early adoloscents named Stephen W Meader. I absolutely loved his books--and devoured them (and others) ferociously and voraciously. The book I most still remember was called Shadow In the Pines. It had to do with an amazing assortment of characters in the Pine Barrens, including a ring of Nazi spies and some birders. I used to take books with me to Sunday school class and read them while everybody else was talking about the assigned (religious) readings. (I had read the books we were suppposed to read for Sunday school long since--usually read the assigned book in the first week--while it was supposed to last the whole year.

Anyway, Shadow in the Pines had to do with a boy who stumbled across a cabin in the Pine Barrens where he found both the Nazis and a copy of Audubon's Elephant Folio--which I'm sure you know was a very valuable and stunningly beautiful huge book of Audubon paintings of US birds. But what really struck me was the graves and especially the diary the boy also found--which documented how the family who ran the iron foundry which used to be there died out. The diary talked about how competition from Pennsylvania foundries was ruining the business and later how each one of the family was dying of (smallpox, I think it was) there in the wilderness until even the diary writer himself--in mid passage-- succumbed. The boy also found graves with gravestones with language like "Sayfe from this sadd Worlde's alarms/ Resteth in his Mayker's Arms. As an 11-year old, I was stunned.

For me, at least, NJ will always be far more about Moorestown and the Pine Barrens than about the NJ Turnpike.


Jerry-- that's a great story about your being moved by music.   I'm with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 09:23 AM

Hey Ron: Is there really a Moorestown, and a Morristown too? I served one year's apprenticeship at the Newark Museum in the early 60's, and spent several months developing an exhibit on Thomas Edison. That gave me an opportunity to travel around the state, collecting objects and photographs for the exhibition. New Jersey is a very beautiful state (forget the Jersey Turnpike, i'ts really part of New York City.) I must admit that one time when I had my sons in the car heading down the Jersey Turnpike when a sudden gusty rainstorm blew up. It put all that fine red clay swirling into the air, where it mixed with the rain, and it was actually raining red mud. My sons thought that it was the most hilarious thing they'd ever witnessed. That aside, I really loved the countryside in New Jersey.

When I finished by year at the Newark Museum, I was offered a job at three Museums. One was the museum in Morristown, New Jersey. It was tempting, because the town is very beautiful. I was also offered a job at the Boston Children's Museum, which would have given me the opportunity to work for Mike Spock, but the position wouldn't be opening up for a couple of months and I was out of work and had gotten into the habit of eating. I ended up taking a position at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center in Connecticut, and as it turned out, I believe I made the right decision.

Occasionally, I get things right.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 09:50 AM

Yup, Jerry, both a Morristown and a Moorestown in NJ. People always assume I mean Morristown--where Washington slept--but we only had Hessians. One of the town's few claims to fame was the house on Main St. with the plaque "Hessians wintered here 1777-78". Moorestown was founded by Quakers, including Mr, Moore. I lived close to the water towers, which you could see from far away.

A wonderful place to grow up--I even had the chance to hear the Philadelphia Orchestra and visit the Franklin Institute, including wandering through the pumping heart-- since we were relatively close to Philadelphia. But Moorestown was still a small town where a kid coin collector could exchange 5 rolls of nickels for 2 rolls of dimes, you could go see the ducks on Strawbridge Lake, get fresh corn at Flying Feather Farm after church, go back in the tall grass and watch birds--and as I said we had that famous author of adolescents' books. I was not at all happy to move at age 13--and to Maryland, a state named after a girl! When we moved I was determined to be miserably unhappy--and was gloriously successful in that endeavor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 02:06 PM

Hey, Ron:

Sounds a lot like my experience growing up in a small town in Wisconsin. Except we didn't have the Philadelphia Orchestra within driving distance. Not that it mattered, as we didn't own a car. The biggest thing we had nearby was in Milwaukee, where Whoopee John Willfahrt was king of the polka. Honest. You can look it up.

Every small town has its claims to fame... small though they may be. Mine had Carrie Jacobs Bond who wrote I Love You Truly... for many years the most commonly sung song at weddings. The Gideon Society got it's start in my hometown, too. I didn't discover that until many years after I left home when I wrote a song that mentioned the grandest hotel in town and in reading about its history found out that the first meeting of the Gideon Society was held there.

And then, Kerwin Matthews, who starred in The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad and Gulliver's Travels was a classmate of my older sister... or at least was in High School when she was.

The nice thing about small towns is that there is that tall grass and open country within walking distance. If you walk down to the railroad tracks,

"All you have to do is to walk those tracks
And they're bound to lead you to the country
Lie on your back in the tall, sweet grass
Or you can take your dog and go hunting:

Milwaukee/St. Paul

I wasn't much into hunting.. and had a bad accident when I first started hunting with my Father... accidently shot my dog. I never liked fishing either.. turned out I was a naturalist, and didn't know it yet. I preferred watching to killing.

Been talking to my wife Ruth, and she's enthusiastic about coming down to the Getaway this year on the way to visit my son, his wife and their two kids in North Carolina. If we make it, I may just decide to strap our kitchen table to the top of our car and bring it with me..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 03:06 PM

I wish I had time to read down through this whole thread. I think you've struck a chord with the kitchen table. It certainly was that way in my parents' home and still is. The living room is for TV, the den is for reading, the music room... well, you get the idea. But all my memories of talk, from common gossip to world philosophy, center around the table in that kitchen. Dining rooms are a waste of space. Just set a table in the kitchen and solve all the problems in the world.

I had a friend I met at the break up of a relationship. She had just had her heart broken too. We became very close friends and spent many hours drinking tea and talking at kitchen tables, hers and mine, for many years. I married in December 04 and am very happy now. She is marrying this coming June and is also very happy. I hope to see her marry and see her as happy as we dreamed of around those tables.

Hey Jerry, aren't you in Connecticut? Can I swing by and visit in June?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 06:21 PM

Yes, Naemanson: I live in Derby... just west of New Haven on Rte. 34. We'd be glad to have you stop by... we'll be in Wisconsin (hopefully) for my Mother's 99th birthday in early June... her birthday is on the 5th, and we usually go out for 7 or 8 days with her birthday somewhere in the middle.

I'll PM our telephone number to you...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 08:07 PM

Excellant, I have friend in Easton I plan to visit also. I'm looking forward to it. We'll consolidate plans as the date draws near.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 08:51 PM

We should be done finishing the floors by then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 10:07 PM

Jerry, I was listening in - did I hear you say that you and Ruth might come to the Getaway this year?? Hip Hip!! Come primed to sing- I want to hear you.

Speaking again of kitchen tables, mine was utilized today. There was a really sad incident early this morning: a historic church and attendant community hall down the hill burnt to rubble. This is where our new (7 months old) folk club was born and nurtured and also where I went to work as secretary a few months ago- and now it's gone. Practically everybody in town has a history with the community hall- we've played for dances there, we gathered for concerts and slide shows and live theatre and dinners and breakfasts and just about everything- and now it's gone. There's a lot of sadness in town.

Anyway, later this morning one of our folk club co-founders who is a member of the church that burnt came to my door and we sat at the kitchen table and drank tea and commiserated. No one knows what will happen next. Except that I know I won't be going to work tomorrow!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 10:35 PM

Yes, Ebbie:

As things stand, Ruth and I are planning to catch at least one day of the Getaway in the fall. It would be a real pleasure to see so many friends I've never met before. You included. I imagine I could sing a song or two..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 10:37 PM

... and I am really sorry to hear about the loss of the church and community center. I know how devastating that can be to a town. It's not just the building that's lost... it's all the good memories. They will live on, but it's different when the place where people lived them is taken away.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 10:46 PM

Oh, and Naemanson: I had several conversations with a woman-friend I came to know many years ago on the same topics... lost love, and the wonder if love was ever to be in our individual futures. She had never been more than a friend. At the time, it seemed very distant and unattainable. But then, nine years ago I met Ruth and we've had almost 8 years of the most beautiful life imagineable together. My woman-friend? I heard from her a few months ago, out of the clear blue. She was doing an album of songs of faith and wanted to record a song I'd written many years ago. She met a wonderful man and after talking with the two of them, they sound as happy (almost) as my wife and me. She recorded the song and did a wonderful job on it... made it completely new for me.

A few years ago, she recorded another song I'd written that was kicking around on a tape I'd shared with her about the Screen Porch Door that graced our front porch when I was growing up. But that's another story. Screen Porch Doors aren't the heart of the house. Perhaps they are the eyes, because they've seen the history of our lives.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Phot
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 04:05 AM

Hi guys, just passing by, and thought I'd stick my head round the door. Judging by the description, you guys seem to live in one of the nicest bits of the US. When I get home, Pixie and I are going down to Devon to visit my Mum and Dad, they have a 300 year old thatched cottage with a lovley garden, and a stream running at the side of it, its beautiful in the summer, and a great place to relax, sing and play. Ask Cllr about the time we made the valley ring, literally! Well time to get back to work, have fun.

Wassail!! Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 04:25 AM

Well, THEY live in a nice part of the country. I have to live in a tropical paradise on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The trade winds rattle the palm trees making it too noisy to sleep and the waves pound incessantly on the reef outside the lagoon. Nice sunsets, though.

Snow is more of a concept here, not a reality, and a cold day is when you roll down the windows and turn off the AC.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 05:31 AM

I wonder if you're right about every town having a claim to fame. I think, all my life, I have dwelled in places of total obscurity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 06:29 AM

Hi there Jerri and everybody,missed the Kitchen Table Sunday.Had a late night Saturday,or more like an early Sunday morning, before we got home.Nice to see this "Kitchen Table" still going strong.The Lady and I are off to Germany end of this month,a 7hr drive from here.Talking of moving around,if any of you guys are my way sometime,we don't have much room, but you're very welcome to come and share it.
Take care

David


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 06:39 AM

Hey, Phot: When you're in Devon, swing up this way to Derby and stop in for a cuppa. We're about a fifteen minute drive from Devon. Devon, Connecticut. :-)

As long as people enjoy stopping in and shooting the breeze on this thread, I'll keep it going. When times are quiet, I'll just sit here for a minute, myself.

I'll keep the kettle on.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 06:52 AM

Jerry: Spelled your name Wrong.I Prostrate myself before you.How Can I get some of your music?

Divad


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 07:08 AM

Thas awright, David: There is a Jerri in here who is a female type, and I always find it humorous how much alike we think on so many things.

I'll send you a PM about my music.... I have two CDs out on Folk-Legacy and am just finalizing a re-issue of Handful of Songs on CD. I have two other CDs I'm just finalizing... one made from cassettes of my own (and traditional stuff) and one of my black gospel quartet.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: David C. Carter
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 07:26 AM

Thanks:I don't think I could find Folk-Legacy, along with a lot of other music which is hard to find here.Wish I could,because I like to trawl the out of the way record stores,you never know what you might find.OK,I'll look out for your PM.
Cheers
David


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: ranger1
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 09:43 AM

Hey Jerry! It'd be great if you came to the Getaway! It would be wonderful to meet you and Ruth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 10:12 AM

Unless something comes up, we intend to be there for at least one day. Ruth and I are both enthusiastic about coming...

Jerry and Ruth


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 12:47 PM

Jerry - IF you and Ruth are Gettawaying , thats another good reason to risk personal bankruptcy to get over again !


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 04:01 PM

We had an old black walnut round table with a couple of leaves inserted that stretched it out into an oval, back when I was growing up on the farm in Maine.

The kitchen itself was farm command central, with seven doors, each providing access to a different domain. There was the door to the living room, the door up the back-stairs, the door down to the cellar depths, the backyard door, the pantry door, the backroom door and the door out into the front barnyard. There were times when things got quite busy in the kitchen with all the possible comings and goings of people, pets and vermin.

The door frames were interesting as well. Either the center of the house was moving up or the walls were sinking down, or maybe both were happening silultaneously. There used to be an old coal stove on one side of the room that the dogs slept behind, and a dry sink with a hand pump at one end against the back wall. There was also a mural of "Sweet Betsy from Pike" on the back wall, including the shanghai rooster and the spotted hog. No wall was safe from Mother! She also had painted a pair of small oval murals on the wall above the kitchen table between the windows, one of Molly Malone wheeling her famous cart and another with a shapely mermaid a-sitting on a buoy.

When my brother and I were younger there was no electricity. There were oil lamps for lighting, a real icebox that my parents cut ice for, and a battery operated radio that we loved to listen to for country music and radio drama. My parents also had some good friends who would come over for singing folk songs, and who would also consume huge quantities of food, hard liquor and beer. Some of the more interesting songs we only learned late at night by listening carefully from the head of the stairs. The acoustics were quite good up the stair well!

The farm kitchen is still a comfortable place where Mother in her late 80's is still holding court. The doorframes look even more weird but she's had the ceiling recently re-painted and is planning to resurface the floor. I stop by there once or twice a week to do some chores and swap gossip about various projects. She still enjoys the old songs.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 04:19 PM

WOnderful remembrances, Charley:

I have many rememberances of my Uncle Ross and Aunt Ruth's farm house. And my Uncle Jim and Aunt Glady's, also. When we went to visit my Uncle Ross and Aunt Ruth, the highpoint would be coming into that kitchen in the evening after all the chores were done. The kitchen was blindingly bright, with just a bare light bulb exposed in the center of the ceiling. I loved the light in there and tried unsuccessfuly to get my Mother to agree to have a bare light bulb in each ceiling in our house. Aunt Ruth always seemed to have a batch of freshly made mollasses cookies and home-made ice cream waiting for us.

I ended up putting many of those memories into a song titled Uncle Jim. It was a composite of memories of both of my Uncles, and even some of my Dad.

"Old Uncle Jim he sits, sits in his chair he sits
Reading Reader's Digest for the 14th time
Puffing on a bowl of old Prince Albert
And sipping on some elderberry wine"

Later when I grew up, I made my own elderberry wine, and smoked Prince Albert for a long time...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 05:32 PM

Jerry-

Yes, even Prince Albert in his can! Father smoked a pipe for years and when he finally gave it up at the age of 60 my brother and I were pissed because we no longer knew what to get him for a birthday present.

Well, it was good that he gave up smoking the pipe – in the long-run it meant having him around for another 48 years.

We always had a patch of elderberries growing out back. Since the backyard door been converted into more kitchen shelving, it's been a little more difficult to interact with them.

We also made dandylion wine!

I don't suppose you have a story about how someone set the pressure cooker going on the stove, left the room to do an errand, only to hear a tremendous explosion from the kitchen. Not a good thing when one is processing canned tomatoes. The murals never looked quite the same. Maybe that helps explain why Mother finally painted over them.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 05:39 PM

Yeah, Charlie: We had elderberry bushes growing all down the length of our driveway. I enjoyed just picking them and eating them. Back in the days when I made about every imagineable kind of wine, elderberry was my favorite. I made danedlion wine too... din't like it much thought. Maybe it was looking at the occasional ant that I missed when I was sorting out the dandelions. What a way to go... drowned in alcohol.

Pressure cookers were dangerous. We had the top blow off ours once, but at least the pot wasn't filled with tomatoes..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 10:18 PM

Late this afternoon when we were done staining and painting for the day, I spent some time diligently cleaning paint brushes. Not the most exciting thing to start a thread about, mind you. But as I was cleaning them, I realized that is was my Father who taught me the importance of taking care of brushes and tools.

When I was a kid, my Father and I were at loggerheads most of the time. I didn't turn out at all like he wanted me to, and we seemed to disagree on everything. I seemed to spend most of my days trying to be the exact opposite of my Father. For a long time, I couldn't see that he had taught me anything. (And puhleeeesssss, can we not have anymore stupid books titled "Everything I Needed To Know I Learned from Our Garbage Disposal.") It's only been in recent years that I've come to realize how much my Father taught me, despite my deepest conviction that he didn't know anything worth learning. Kinda like the old saying, "The older I get, the smarter my parents are." It makes me wonder what my sons have learned from me. Maybe not all of the stuff that I harped on all the time. One thing that makes me laugh is that my oldest son Gideon learned the value of the phrase "We'll see." When his kids ask him if they can do something, he answers, "We'll see." They hate it as much as he did when I'd say it to him when he was a kid. Kids hold you to promises, not matter how impossible they turn out to be. Promise that you're going to take them to a movie and if you're in a car accident and have both arms and legs broken and don't take them, they'll cry, "But Dad, you PROMISED!" The trick is to say "well see." Now that my Grandkids know that their Father learned that from me, I've been diminished somewhat in their eyes... :-)

You never know what your kids are going to learn from you. Sometimes it's hard to realize how much you absorbed from your parents. Even if you tried your hardest not to listen to them.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 04:48 AM

My earliest memories of the kitchen table actually take place in the other room. As a child I sat in there, bored, while the adults talked long into the night. As I sat there the talk would slowly fade and become muffled, the noises getting farther and farter away until, to my complete surprise my parents would wake me to put on my coat and go home. It usually disgusted me that getting out the door seemed to take forever and more than once I groused that they could have let me sleep for another hour.

My children have learned from me. I know I was a disappointment to my father but he seems to have gotten over it now. I learned a lot from him, some of which I had to unlearn to live happily in this modern age. My father could give lessons to Luddites.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 08:51 AM

The other kitchen table I fondly remember is an extended octagon-shaped one that I put together for Rivendell Housing Co-op back in the mid-1970's when I was living in Lansing, Michigan. There were seven of us who had formed this co-op, we actually purchased the building with a joint downpayment and some incorporation documents, all friends who played folk music or at least loved the songs. The existing utilitarian Formica table just didn't cut it.

I wasn't skilled enough at that point to make an oval-shaped table and not experienced enough to realize how difficult an octagon table would be. However, it was easy to draw up the plans. And it was totally nomadic! Although I don't think anyone has ever moved it. The legs were attached to the top rails with dove-tailed joints, and the rails attached to the table top (a box-like structure underneath) with large dowels. The top surface was oak veneer, with solid maple routed molding, and the legs were solid maple. With this type of carpentry you get one chance to do it right, and I lucked out.

The damn thing actually got put together and has worked perfectly for over 30 years. However, I doubt if the present generation of Rivendwellers has a clue about the table's origin. The housing co-op still functions, remarkably after several complete turnovers, with some of its members still working at Elderly Instruments. Every year they send me a Thanksmas card (our reunion special event between Thanksgiving and Christmas) and I occasionally send them tidbits about the early house history.

One of our "house rules" was having at least dinner together and much of the stress of sharing a house with 6 other creative people was eased by our dinner conversations, far better than our more structured monthly house meetings. We were also very good about sharing the cooking and clean-up responsibilities with regard to the kitchen. That kitchen was cleaner than any place I ever lived in prior or since! Maybe that had to do with the large chore matrix taped to the nearby refrigerator door. The kitchen table was also a safe place to hang out with a few housemates late at night, although one did have to take care not to disturb the occupants of the three adjacent bedrooms; that kitchen had only 6 doors, unlike our old farm kitchen!

Some of my fondest memories were lazy breakfasts with performers who stayed at our house after their gigs at the 10-Pound Fiddle. We would load them up with strong coffee, omelets and toast, or homemade granola, and send them back out on the road to fame and fortune. If there had been a late-night after-the-concert party, and there were many of those, the breakfast was more likely to be a brunch. But, you're right, one learns a lot more about performers (and other folks) by sharing food and conversation around such a table.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 03:31 PM

Hi Ron, been away from this table for a few days, Billy and I have just watched a wonderful TV programme with kathryn Tickell and Alistair Anderson, we do not often get folk music on English TV, but this was great,then I thought I would come back to the table and catch up. Billy was brought up in Pennsauken and came to the UK in the 60s with the US airforce.He remembers the Pine Barrens, broke down there in his car with sister Connie en route to the Jersey shore. He also remembers the pumping heart on a 5th grade school trip.
My favourite part of NJ has to be Cape May and an early breakfast at the Mad Batter. Later that day we watched the World Clam Throwing Championship.returning to the Essex coast in England and to the annual Folk Festival we were running we held the world Whelk Throwing Championship but it did not live up to Cape May( great fun though)
We are trying to trace our family trees, I have got back to 1723, wish I had paid more attention to Grandma at her table as it has been hard work and I have missed out on all the anecdotes that I listened too but did not retain. We do not have much information about Billy's family. their name is French in origin but we do not know when they emigrated to the USA.His aunt, now 87, tells us her grandfather was Frederick Simon the Pennsauken iceman, he delivered ice by horse and cart in the summer and in the winter by Horse and sleigh.( he also did weddings taking brides to and fro from church in the sleigh)He was approached by Fridgeadair to go into a partnership but did not think it would take off!! Oh well!
I love this thread it has brought back many memories and quite a few phonecalls to my cousins to see what they remember of our grandma.One cousin recalled that Grandma's house was hit by a V2 during World War 2 and the rescuers dug her out of the ruins, she had been hiding under the kitchen table!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 05:53 PM

Maybe everyone was born at the end of an era. The pre-me era.

Reading some of these threads, I hear the last rumblings of an age now gone. I was born at the end of a lot of things that were commonplace when I was a kid... ice boxes and ice wagons, milk delivery, mail delivered twice a day, the circus coming to town on the train and parading down Main Street, barefoot summers with no television... All of that is so familiar to me, and yet it sounds like something out of an old movie to my sons. I guess my life is an old movie.

A friend of mine, Eric Garrison has slowly evolved as a songwriter. Eric is probably about 15 years younger than me. At first his songs were about love (found, lost, misplaced..) But through time, he started writing songs about when he was growing up. I found it very interesting to see his perspective and hear his life through his songs because even though he talked about hearing the Beatles as a little kid, his experiences sounded much like my own, growing up. We just had a different soundtrack. He can talk about the first time he heard I Want To Hold Your Hand. I can remember the first time I heard Earth Angel. Small town life is small town life is small town life. Admittedly, most small towns are dealing with drug dealing and occasional violent crime. But I look at the kids in our neighborhood here in Derby and their life doesn't look that different than mine was. I walked the neighborhood in the winter asking people if I could shovel their sidewalk, and kids are still doing that around here. They go sledding over by the reservoir and shoot baskets in their driveways. Their language may be saltier than mine was, but not all kids talk like the most foul-mouthed rappers and hip-hoppers. Life hasn't gone to Hell in a handbasket yet. Even if nobody knows what a handbasket is, any more...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 08:51 PM

Jerry-

We usually used a couple of big wash baskets, rather than a handbasket, when we were getting serious about working at the kitchen table. The washbaskets were full of peapods, or some such vegetable, and those assembled were responsible for shelling them pods and extracting the peas, generally for freezing but a few were popped into mouths. This was always a good time to sing sings as well, everything from the latest country western hit to old music halls songs, teerjerkers from the 1890's, calypso songs, and a few old ballads. We never came up with a shelling shanty, or created our own songs. But we sure did a lot of singing while we worked. The wash baskets were made out of woven wood, not plastic, and they're still in use for Mother's laundry.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 12:28 PM

Great thread!

Al Kirby and I (Kirby & Yates) released a CD last year called SITTIN' IN THE KITCHEN. The cover photo was taken in a pioneer kitchen at Lang Pioneer Village, near Keene Ontario where we play a regular gig. The title song was written by one of my favourite Canadian singer/songwriters, Bob Snider. I don't think it's been mentioned in this thread yet, but it should be:

SITTION' IN THE KITCHEN       by Bob Snider

Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite thing to do
I said, Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite thing to do
Well you can dine at the ritz
you can lie on the beach
but I like everything right in reach
I said, Sittin in the kitchen thats what I like to do

Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite place to be
lookin out the window, admiring the scenery
you got a smoke stack here, ventlator there
television areals every where else
Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite where I like to be

my little kitchen has every thing I re-quire
its got a pot and a stove, and a light bulb hangin on a wire
I got meat balls simmerin, the lights on low
cause I got myself a dimmer and an even glow
I said, Sittin in the kitchen, you canıt beat that for nothin

I usta have a room full of chickens come home to roost
I never have to go far to cook my goose
Well Iıd stay there till the cows come too
but if they look in the refridgerator theyıll beat me black an blue
I said, Sittin in the kitchen thats what I like to do

I thought of going out once but I threw a party instead
we had dancing in the livin room , coats all on the bed
well the radio played the music and I played the host
long as I didnıt have to leave the place like most
Sittin in the kitchen thats where I was all night long

there was a time when I roamed this land
it was pillar to post,Paul to Peter and hand to hand
it was rain, sleet & snow in ferenheight & celcius
I didn't have a kitchen so I used sombody else-cious
Well, Sittin in the kitchen I never get tired of that

Well I was sittin in the kitchen wailin' on the old guitar
Iım thinkin of becoming the worlds most famous rock n roll star
well I 'd give it a shot, draw lose or win
but I dont think I can fit everybody in
cause sittin in the kitchenm is the only place I'd want to do somethin like that

Well Sittin in the kitchen all I want on my plate is chow
I 'm wishin I was Sittin in my kitchen right about now
I'll pick up a pizza from a joint up the street
cause I hate to cook but I love to eat
Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite thing
I can even hear the telephone ring ..sometimes
Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite thing to do
Sittin in the kitchen is my favorite thing to do

mrtom@bigfoot.com

I just googled the words to save myself the bother of typing them out again, so they're not exactly how I (or Bob Snider) sings 'em, but you get the idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 01:19 PM

Thanks for contributing that song, Jim:

It captures the special feeling of a kitchen real well. Whatever the view is out the kitchen window, it works fine. I particularly enjoy looking out onto trees, shrubs and flowes just to watch the wildlife... but city scapes work, too. Somehow, even a brick wall four feet away seems "right."

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 07:01 PM

Speaking of views out of kitchen windows... Our table (here in Guam) sits next to the window looking at the back yard. There is a high bank about twenty feet out. The jungle stops at the top of the bank. My wife once dedicated herself to cutting back that jungle and was pretty successful for a time. Now the wild chickens, or should I say feral chickens, spend a lot of time up there. We have a family flock that hangs out, scratching for food and squabbling over things, in that area. There is one huge white rooster that is definitely in charge. He keeps the others in line and makes sure the other two roosters don't fertilize any of his hens.

The trees out there are mostly mango, coconut palm, and tagentangen. There are no houses out there because the ground slopes very steeply up to the top of the mountain. Wehn the mangoes ripen we sit at the table enjoying mango in our meals and blessing the day we deicded to rent this place. We often dream of buying it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Col K
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 07:13 PM

Thanks Jerry for starting this wonderful thread ,and thanks to all those who have contributed so far.
I have very happy memories of sitting at Jerry and Ruth's kitchen table and singing with the Messengers the first time and just generally chatting one my second visit. I also remember with great pleasure going with you and Leadfingers to your last rehearsal with Derrick before he left for Florida. That evening was also very special because of the love for each other that was there that night.

What is it about kitchen tables----- all the best parties happen around them, never in the room that the hosts expect you to use.
I hope that one day I will be able to share your kitchen table again Jerry and also have the chance to share kitchen tables with many others, both here on the cat and with many other friends all over the world.
All the best,
Colin


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 07:44 PM

Gads. Naemanson, you make heat and humidity sound postively idyllic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 07:15 PM

I've been enjoying this thread, just sitting in my chair at a corner of the table, cradling my cup of tea, listening in on conversations as I work my way through a nasty cold.
Kitchen tables haven't featured much in my life for many years- as a child, it was where I sat among beloved grownups and just listened and learned, not comprehending everything but enjoying the company (much as I've been doing in this thread).
In later years, it's been the couch that's the center of the house- where I (still) cuddle my kids (even though they're both taller than me!), where my closest friends and I share a woolly throw over our toes as we confide and shoot the breeze. My kitchen/living room is all one big room, which might be why it's so.
When I was young, my mom's best friend had a couch in her old Vermont kitchen - it's still there, or was the last time I visited a few years ago. It was the spot for shelling peas, taking the weight off the feet after kneading the bread, sharing a cup of tea after a meal- I've always loved having the couch in the kitchen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 11:31 PM

Billy Bob--

You were talking earlier about Cape May. I really like it too--associate it with great birding and with charming Victorian houses (charming--not in the realtor's translation, meaning "needs a lot of work" but actually full of charm.) Really have to get back there. But admittedly Sidmouth in festival week has more to offer than Cape May, to say the least, especially to a music addict --so Sidmouth is where we try to go every year. Hate to miss it ever. And there's only so much time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 09:41 AM

Had an interesting kitchen-table conversation yesterday. Except it was over the phone. I was talking with Jonathan, the director of the Greater New Haven Male Fellowship Chorus that I sing in. I've been looking for a tenor for my gospel quartet now for well over half a year, with no success. I probably know, or have contact with at least a couple hundred singers in various groups and choruses, and I can't come up with one tenor. My friend Jonathan is very enthusiastic about my three man quartet and called to book us to do a concert at his church. I'd talked to him before about finding a tenor, and brought the subject up again. He said that I was going to have a hard time finding someone, and couldn't recommend anyone from his male chorus, or any of the other choirs and churches where he plays. He saw the difficulty in finding someone who has a natural ear for harmony, and can stick with it. Before I started singing in a male chorus ten years ago, I assumed that all singers could hear harmony. Man, was I wrong! Hearing harmony is a gift. Almost all of the singers in male choruses I've been involved in have to be taught their harmony part, and if they don't read music, they have a terrible time retaining it. Most of the baritones sing the melody, because that's what they hear. In the baritone sections in the two male choruses I sing in, half the time there are more baritones singing the melody than the baritone harmony. That's a puzzlement to me.

As long as we're just sitting around the table, I thought I'd find out what your experiences are in singing harmony (if you're a singer.) I might add that some of the greatest singers I know can't sing harmony.

Some of the greatest singers I know can't hear the key that the song is in.

Some of the greatest singers I know have no sense of timing.

That makes me greatful that I'm not one of the greatest singers, because I have always been able to hear harmony, can tell if I'm singing in a different key than the accompniment, and know when to come in on the next line. I don't take any credit for it. I did nothing to acquire the ability. I just have it, through no great effort on my part. It amazes me to hear singers confidently singing in a different key than the accompaniment, or thinking that they are singing harmony, when they're singing the melody. And can't hear the difference.

Any thoughts on this?

Have another cup of coffee.

Got cold beer in the fridge..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Naemanson
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 06:11 PM

Just coffee, thanks. Yes, cream and sugar.

I can make up a harmony if the tune is simple enough. But I cannot do it easily. Usually I need to be taught a harmony and then I find I slip into unison singing if I'm not careful. I think it drove my fellow singers in Roll & Go crazy, at least those who could easily do their harmonies.

I even had trouble singing the melody line of one song a fifth higher than the lead. I kept wanting to drop down to his range. I've always attributed it to years spent singing with the radio on recordings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 10:47 PM

That's interesting, Naemanson... Being a baritone, when most lead singers of popular music were tenors, I found myself singing harmony a lot. I couldn't hit the high notes on some of the songs. I think that I really got a feel for singing harmony by learning harmonies to Christmas carols as a kid. My Mother, my two older sisters and a handful of neighbors would go out Christmas caroling when I was a kid. (Now there's a lost tradition for you.) Byt the time rhythm and blues came out, I found myself singing harmony as often as I sang lead when I was listening to the radio.

One thing I've realized is that people who sing tenor (2nd tenor in a choir) almost always are singing the melody. They can be great singers, but have experience singing harmony. The first two tenors we had in our group had no ear for harmony at all... they were fine singers, but hadn't sung harmony most of their life.

I notice, by the way, that most of the baritones in the male chorus I sing in learn the baritone harmony by heart at a practice, but when the next practice rolls around, they've slipped back down to singing the melody.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 11:04 PM

Jerry-

I've already said a bit about harmony but I can always find more to say--it's a passion with me. Luckily I've always found it pretty easy to make up harmonies--or, perhaps just as significant, to realize when I'd best listen a bit more before trying to do it. Suppose it's the old nature/nurture split. I was lucky enough to get it from both. A lot of musical exposure early--and I gravitated to harmony pretty quick. Having some piano, I'm sure, helps, since you frequently hear harmonies in what you play with the left hand, and eventually, with the right hand too. I've been playing the viola for quite a while (though not seriously for a long time--haven't been in any orchestra since college.) You better believe with the viola you have to get used to playing harmonies--about the only melody I can recall for viola in classical music (aside from Berlioz' Harold In Italy, where the viola is the solo instrument)--(take that, you viola denigrators!)--is in the second movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony. But I just love being part of the musical texture.

I've also had a bit of theory--not enough to understand all the threads about theory I've seen on Mudcat--but enough to be dangerous. A bit of theory sure does help in choral groups--you can tell from the accidentals--now Bach's in D major, now in G minor, now in F major. That way it's not just note, note, note--you can see how the harmonic progressions go--and it makes the music much easier to learn.


Then on top of that, I've been singing in groups for over 25 years--all different sorts of groups, and different sorts of music--madrigals, Sacred Harp, doo-wop, classical, Gershwin, Irving Berlin etc., bluegrass, sea chanteys, lots of church music--and I love lots of other types of vocal music--including Bulgarian women's groups, 30s and 40s calypso, lots of country duets, early jazz, Western swing, lots of black gospel, Sephardic--the list goes on. I think, though I have no evidence for this, that the more types of music you like, sing, and listen to, the more you understand how harmonies work in various types of music --and it helps you put them together quickly--and change super-quick when you realize you guessed wrong.

But you also need a good ear--and I lucked out there also.

What do you think--do you think people can be trained to learn to make up harmonies? I don't see how you'd go about doing it. Somehow you have to hear them--how could you instruct somebody in that?

Hope we get more comments.


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