I got a lovely comment today from a reader who enjoys my musical offerings. Thanks for the validation, gentle reader.
(I suppose that I should also thank YouTube. I'm just the agent, they are the principal.)
This sharing of music is almost a missionary activity with me. I love this music with an almost religious intensity.
I actually had a radio show one time, for about a year. It was in Thailand, I was in the Peace Corps at the time. The show was "English by Songs." I picked songs that told straightforward stories in clear English, and I introduced the songs very . . . slowly . . . and . . . clearly. I only played songs that I thought were great songs. I never played songs just because they were popular at the time, although I got a lot of pressure to do so. It was a challenge for the listeners, but they rose to it.
I played stuff that, like Sara Lee cheesecake, everybody has to like. Like "Higher and Higher" by Jackie Wilson. I played stuff that required a little more effort, like Ray Charles, "Unchain My Heart," for instance. It's a straightforward story in plain English, plus I explained to them what it's like for a black man in America to use the term "chains." I also played personal favorites just because they were so much fun, like "Sick and Tired," by Chris Kenner.
At first I got a lot of "I don't understand the music," or even "I don't like the music." I got requests for Brittany Spears, which I greeted with a smile and an insincere "maybe!" By the end of the year most of the comments were more like, "at first I thought the music was terrible, but now I like it."
So for me, with this blog, I almost see it as a part-time, back-door "Radio Fritz." A chance to share some music that I value highly, but that some people may not be familiar with. I'm sure that the big problem with music today is not that it sucks, although a lot of it sucks big time. The problem is that there's too much out there. Too much new stuff, on top of all of recorded history. I want to be something like a museum tour guide, helping people find the good stuff.
The stuff that I think is good anyway. Thanks, everybody, for your patience.