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Musical mistakes?

Mike Byers 18 May 01 - 07:46 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 May 01 - 08:36 AM
Rick Fielding 18 May 01 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,GUEST, sed 18 May 01 - 12:30 PM
KingBrilliant 18 May 01 - 12:35 PM
Night Owl 18 May 01 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,djh 18 May 01 - 12:56 PM
Kim C 18 May 01 - 01:08 PM
Jim Dixon 18 May 01 - 02:39 PM
Liz the Squeak 18 May 01 - 02:48 PM
Don Firth 18 May 01 - 03:07 PM
gnu 18 May 01 - 07:25 PM
GUEST 18 May 01 - 07:51 PM
Charcloth 19 May 01 - 12:14 AM
Boab 19 May 01 - 12:55 AM
vectis 21 May 01 - 05:19 PM
Mountain Dog 21 May 01 - 05:50 PM
Maryrrf 22 May 01 - 09:37 AM
LR Mole 22 May 01 - 11:50 AM
Melani 22 May 01 - 04:25 PM
Roughyed 22 May 01 - 06:05 PM
ddw 22 May 01 - 11:07 PM
clansfolk 23 May 01 - 11:26 AM
GUEST 19 May 05 - 04:16 PM
mandoleer 19 May 05 - 04:32 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 May 05 - 06:58 PM
Mark Cohen 19 May 05 - 11:43 PM
Ebbie 19 May 05 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,Allen 20 May 05 - 04:45 AM
JulieF 20 May 05 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,Bainbo 20 May 05 - 08:31 AM
Cool Beans 20 May 05 - 09:57 AM
Leadfingers 20 May 05 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,cromdubh 20 May 05 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,CDarklock 20 May 05 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Sarah 20 May 05 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,An Englishman Abroad 20 May 05 - 05:31 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 May 05 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Jacinto in San Antonio 20 May 05 - 11:06 PM
Manitas_at_home 21 May 05 - 01:57 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 21 May 05 - 09:15 AM
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Subject: Musical mistakes?
From: Mike Byers
Date: 18 May 01 - 07:46 AM

A few years ago my friend M was invited to play for a large group of women in Atlanta, Georgia. She's an accomplished fiddler but not, unfortunately, a student of musical history. Wanting to play something with a local reference, she found a tune and yes, you guessed it, she picked "Marching Through Georgia." At the end of her performance she couldn't understand why nobody expressed any appreciation whatsoever. In fact, the audience seemed downright hostile. As she was leaving, the woman who had been her host said, "Honey, some people around here don't much care for that tune."

Similar stories, anyone?


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 May 01 - 08:36 AM

I introduced a song as a Gary and Vera Aspey song with the real writer, Ian Woods, sitting in the audience. I had learned it from an album and not read the sleeve notes. Good job he took it so well!

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 May 01 - 12:23 PM

I introduced Scottish-born songwriter Murray MacLaughlin as "IRISH" songwriter...." He was livid.

To show that sometimes we never learn... I mistakenly introduced Steve Goodman as PAUL SIMON to an audience after he kindly agreed to join me for some jamming! I knew I was fucking up as the words were eminating from my lips but couldn't stop myself in time!

At the Bond Place Hotel in Toronto, I spoke to a customer at the bar and we got talking about "political" Irish songs. I explained that I no longer sang a number of those "Clancy Bros. IRA songs", 'cause they really disturbed some people'...and I had thousands more to choose from, so it was no problem to drop a few. He asked me to sing one as an example, and pointed out that the room was empty anyway. I sang Kevin Barry for him. When I finished, the only two other customers in the room (who hadn't been paying attention anyway) stomped over and angrily said "We just got of the plane from Belfast, and didn't think we'd have to put up with that shite in CANADA!" Oi VAY!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: GUEST,GUEST, sed
Date: 18 May 01 - 12:30 PM

not believing all the people who warned me not to try and make a living as folksinger.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 18 May 01 - 12:35 PM

The other week I sang The Parting Glass at a friend's birthday barbecue - quite forgetting that he had just informed us that he and his Mrs were splitting up.
Ouch

Kris


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Night Owl
Date: 18 May 01 - 12:48 PM

A long time ago...playing with a string band at a local Audobon Society luncheon.......we used the set list we had developed for contradances. We didn't connect a problem until a couple measures into the tune...."Shoot the Turkey Buzzard". We were able to contain giggles and move quickly into the next tune.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: GUEST,djh
Date: 18 May 01 - 12:56 PM

I used to work with a fiddle player who always came up with crazy reasons not to play a particular song at a particular time. One time we were playing a party, for her friends, I decided to play "the Cocaine Blues" , she looked at me horrified "WE CAN'T Play THAT!!!!" . "Why Not?" I asked. She whispered "They are Columbian". I laughed until tears streamed from my eyes. I didn't play the song, I couldn't have gotten through a verse without falling off my chair after that.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Kim C
Date: 18 May 01 - 01:08 PM

I haven't yet personally done that, that I know of... I try to plan ahead for these things! But it reminds me of a scene in the movie Ishtar (yes, I know everyone hated this, but all musicians & songwriters should see it because trust me, You Know These People!). Dustin Hoffman was a terrible singer/songwriter who had a gig at a supper club, where a very adorable eldery couple were regular patrons. He wrote them a special song for their 50th anniversary: "I'm Leaving Some Love in My Will."


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 May 01 - 02:39 PM

Well, I once wore a bright orange shirt to a St. Patrick's day party at the Knights of Columbus Hall where my wife was playing music. It was totally innocent on my part. Once I realized my mistake, I decided to keep my coat on, and that solved the problem.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 18 May 01 - 02:48 PM

Our organist once played the hymn 'Blessed city, heavenly Salem' to the tune of 'Austria' for a British Legion Veterans service... they were not amused..... they cheered up when he played them out with the Dambuster's march though....

This is the same organist who has played 'I'm just a girl who can't say no' for a friend's wedding, 'There is nothing like a dame' for a service of a Women's voluntary organisation, attended by P D James the writer, and 'Massechussets' (the Bee Gees number) for a service to commemorate the founding of that state by the Rev'd White from our church...... attended by denizens of said state, they either didn't notice or were too polite to react!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 May 01 - 03:07 PM

Oh, yeah! I've never done it myself -- that I know of. But I do recall a major social "Oops!" that occurred one evening in summer of 1962.

One of the most popular happenings at the Seattle World's Fair was the Spanish Village, which featured several dancers and three Flamenco guitarists (a few of us took some Flamenco guitar lessons from these guys -- they charged some pretty outrageous money for lessons, but since it was a rare opportunity, we paid it). One evening, when the whole troupe had the evening off, they were invited to a party. Now, as far as I know, these folks were all pretty apolitical -- just dedicated dancers and musicians -- but Franco was still in power, of course, and if any of them had spoken ill of him (even if they hated his guts) they wouldn't have been able to get passports.

The hostess, wanting them to feel right at home (only a couple of them could speak English), put some music on the phonograph. But the only record she had that was in Spanish was from her collection of folk records. Songs of the Lincoln Brigade, by the Almanac Singers, containing such goodies as Los Cuatros Generales, Viva La Quince Brigada, Si Me Quieres Escribir, and Venga Jaleo. The political implications had never occurred to her.

Suddenly, all conversation stopped and the temperature in the room went down about fifteen degrees. Someone else stepped very quickly to the phonograph, took the record off, and put something bland and innocuous on. Political discussions and discussions of recent Spanish history would have been very interesting, but this wasn't the time for it. The room soon thawed out and the party got festive again.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: gnu
Date: 18 May 01 - 07:25 PM

At a family reunion, my cousins and I performed Mick McGuire - don't recall if that's the actual title - and the last bit goes "... and never ya dare, to give old McGuire, the chair." Well, we always sang, "...the ****in' chair." VERY LOUDLY in kitchen sessions.

We nodded and winked at each other that we would, seeing as how it was late at night and most present had been imbibing, give our traditional version of the last line. Of course, only one of the four of us sang the last few words. And the buggers made faces of amazement at my faux pas. Dead silence from over a hundred relatives, and a rather disconcerted look from my mother. Funny how something like that can shrink 250 pounds to just two inches tall.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 01 - 07:51 PM

OK, it's thread drift, but to get back to "Marching thru Georgia." I have been there & done that too, in my callow youth. There is a real life story that I now use to intro the song, & it goes like this: After the Civil War, "Uncle Billy" Sherman stayed in uniform and when Grant was elected Pres., Sherman moved up to what was then called Commander in Chief. As such he did a lot of travelling, visiting remote posts constantly. An impatient man, he got very tired of old geezers coming up and telling him they were with him on the March to the Sea. Once he got off the train in Arizona to inspect a small fort there. A local shook his hand and said, "I'm Commissioner so-&-so, welcome." Sherman said, "I suppose you were with me in Georgia." The Comish said politely, "No sir, I had the honor of wearing gray." That night at the obligatory banquet, the obligatory band played MtG. The Comish leaned over to Sherman and said, "We marched to that many times." Sherman said, "I thought you told me you were on the other side." Commissioner: "I was, and we were a mile ahead of you, but we were marching to it just the same."

CC


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Charcloth
Date: 19 May 01 - 12:14 AM

My former partner & I were hired to play at a local VAW hall. We were hired because they wanted something different than a country band. Now I am a claw hammer banjo player who does alot of Clancy Brothers & Corries material. When I looked out at the crowd I saw alot of gray haired folks & Thought "This is great! All the grey haired folks I ever played for loved the banjo" Boy was I wrong They hated the banjo They even asked me if the only thing I played was bluegrass! This was after we did "The Rising of the Moon" And a few other Irish Numbers with no bluegrass songs what so ever! Afterwords when we spoke to them they said we were pretty good but said next time they wanted us to do some Vince Gill & other modern country. We told them "if you want a country band hire a country band don't call us cause we aren't going that direction". We haven't been back


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Boab
Date: 19 May 01 - 12:55 AM

Oh, aye---a couple o' bloomers spring to mind. I once introduced Alec Atterson, the Norwich-Scot performer, as Alec "Attersley". Quick as a flash--"Thank you Mr Bob Rogersley!" I got my nose on a plate from that sparky wee Aberdonian, Janice Clark, one night too, when I commented on her voice, saying that she reminded me a bit of Barbara Dixon. Janice was quite indignant. Two weeks later the talented Barbara hit the number one spot. Next time Janice guested I had a gentle dig about my past remark. The lady gave a wee wry grin; "Oh, aye" she says"I hae mind weel!" And our keyboard player, normally the epitome of rectitude [big words!] can usually be depended upon to go belting into "The Holy Ground" after I have announced to all and sundry that we were about to play "The Leaving of Liverpool".


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: vectis
Date: 21 May 01 - 05:19 PM

I once managed to introduce Sean Burke and Jim Coughlan as Jim Burke and Sean Caughlan. Unfortunately they saw the funny side and I was stranded on the stage until they had got over their hysterics. Funny how a few minutes can seem like an eternity when you don't know where to put yourself.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 21 May 01 - 05:50 PM

A friend of mine played guitar in a C & W band, the leader of which was notorious for putting his large foot in his mouth on stage with hideous regularity.

The leader's favorite impersonation was of Elvis (with whom he shared little in common except a gargantuan midriff) and one night he received a request for a romantic ballad al a the King from a sweet couple happily celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

After hushing the crowd, our hero launched into his best Elvis cover ever, a soulful and heartfelt rendition of "Release Me". About halfway through the second verse, he realized the sentiments in the song were somewhat at odds with the tenor of the occasion and he halted the band in mid-measure - and spent the next 10 minutes in profuse apologies!


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 22 May 01 - 09:37 AM

I spent some time in early May in Glastonbury and it turned out fabulous. I made friends with a local musician who plays every Wednesday at the King Arthur Pub. We had a jam session at his house and he thought my repertoire of Irish (not rebel, of course) and traditional American/English/Scottish ballads would go over great. Well, they didn't. I did "Mattie Groves" and "House Carpenter" and a few Irish numbers like "Mick Maguire" which were tolerated. I started getting catcalls from the audience and figured I'd have to change pretty quick or I'd start getting pelted with eggs. (It looked like a pretty rough crowd). My friend said - "do some country, they'll love it". I really don't do very much country but with his help I managed to bumble through "Ghost Riders in the Sky", "Folsom Prison" etc. The audience loved it. I thought it was surreal - I figured an English audience would like traditional ballads but boy was I wrong. And I would have thought you'd have been kicked out for doing crap like "Ghost Riders". When somebody actually seriously demanded the theme to "Rawhide" I thought it was the weirdest gig I'd ever done. I never imagined that I'd be in England singing "Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'...keep them doggies rollin....RAWHIDE... Is that strange or what?


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: LR Mole
Date: 22 May 01 - 11:50 AM

A friend was singing at a wedding--in the church, now-- and had been told the bride loved "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from JCSS.After a typical, rushed rehearsal (yeah, yeah, then I'll sing that one) she was well into the number when she realized that the next lines were, "And I've had so many men before/In very many ways, he's just one more..." Generally, if someone can find something to take offense at, they will, unless you've thought of it, and then no one but you will notice. I once led the Fish Cheer in an Episcopal Church coffeehouse. Didn't spell "fish", either.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Melani
Date: 22 May 01 - 04:25 PM

Re: "Marching Through Georgia"-- native Georgian Julliette Lowe (founder of U.S. Girl Scouts) was traveling with her sister in India. The hotel band, hearing there were Southern Americans in the audience, decided to honor them with the infamous tune. "Daisy" and her sister were so offended--they actually saw Sherman march into Savannah as children--that they insisted the band play "Dixie" to apologize. The band didn't know "Dixie," but the two women sang and whistled it until they picked it up and were able to garble out a version.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Roughyed
Date: 22 May 01 - 06:05 PM

While playing with a band called 'Gurtie's Frolics' we were introduced as 'Dirty Bo**ocks'.

I once introduced the Irish Rover as a very strange song about a very strange boat with a very strange crew that met a very strange fate and realised just too late that the news that night had been of a major ferry disaster.

I sang a line of MacShane that went "I went in to a woman and asked for a lodging" as " I went into a lodging and asked for a woman". On national television.

But the best one I ever heard (don't know if it is true) is that a local radio DJ heard from a friend calling from abroad that Bing Crosby had died ahead of anyone else in England. He immediately sent down for the first Bing Crosby album his assistant could lay their hands on, made the solemn announcement, put on the first track without looking at it and the first words he heard were "Heaven, I'm in heaven...."


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: ddw
Date: 22 May 01 - 11:07 PM

About 14 months ago I had a musical pot-luck dinner at my house for friends in our folk society and during the course of the evening I had a tape running and microphones set up around the room where everybody was playing.

A few months ago my musical partner died and at the funeral home a couple of members of his family said they were really sorry they had never heard Ernie play blues harp. I thought of the tapes from the party, on which Ernie's harp was clearly audible, and promised to compile a tape of his playing.

It was only when I started running off duplicates for his wife and each of his five kids that I realized one of the numbers was a rousing rendition of "Bloody Well Dead." I left it out of the copies I handed out.

David


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: clansfolk
Date: 23 May 01 - 11:26 AM

A new lad at the Falcon (new not young!!!) sat down and sang Old Pendle - on finishing he was some what confused when we all called for the author - Brian Osborne was sat behind him! I not sure who was the most embarrassed him or Brian.....

Pete


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 May 05 - 04:16 PM


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: mandoleer
Date: 19 May 05 - 04:32 PM

Not one I did, but I was rather amused hearing the carrillon (how many r's and l's in that?) playing Plaisir d'Amour for a wedding in Bootle
The joys of love are but a moment long.....


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 May 05 - 06:58 PM

At the Gallopoli celebratio/remembrance ceremony in Turkey this year, after the previous fuss about the NZ PM not wanting John Farnham (a great supporter of the Vietnam Vets) to play, they played a BeeGees Tape.

The Song "Stayin' Alive" will now not be played in future years there....


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 May 05 - 11:43 PM

I'm always amazed when couples say "their song" is "I Honestly Love You" by Olivia Newton-John. Evidently they haven't been listening very carefully to the last verse:

If we'd both been born in another place and time
This moment might be ending with a kiss
But there you are with yours and here I am with mine
So I guess we'll just be leaving it at this...


Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 May 05 - 11:53 PM

Mark, I always think the same thing about 'You Are My Sunshine'. People tend to think of it as a happy, love-affirming song. Have they listened to the last verse?


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 20 May 05 - 04:45 AM

Or sing Jerusalem at Anglican services and WI meets.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: JulieF
Date: 20 May 05 - 07:47 AM

I sang at the Irish Elder's lunch club a year or so on St Pats.   So I thought I would sing them Danny Boy as they would all know it.

Opened my eyes when I had finished ( I'm getting slightly better at not singing with my eyes shut now) and there has been a bit of an emotional response.   No body told me that that is the song that is sung within the group when one of them dies.   I was totally mortified.

J


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: GUEST,Bainbo
Date: 20 May 05 - 08:31 AM

A friend once introduced the Elliotts of Birtley - who, like most of us who are getting on, no longer had the trim, lithe figures of yore - with: "Please welcome the Elephants of Birtley."


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 20 May 05 - 09:57 AM

John McCutcheon tells the story of performing at an event in the south in his early days. In introducing one of his songs he paid tribute to its source, "the late Bascom Lamar Lunsford" who, Mccutcheon pointed out proudly, was from that very town.
There was an old man on the stage who appeared none too thrilled with the introduction. Yup.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 May 05 - 10:31 AM

The best musical mistake I know happened when friend of mine was doing a gig at a folk club some distance from home and had three of his songs performed by a local who claimed to have written them ! The
moral is NEVER steal songs from bootleg tapes and claim them as your own ! The singer was somewhat put out when he realised that the tape he had been given was actually of that nights guest singer . How BIG did he think the UK folk scene was ??


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: GUEST,cromdubh
Date: 20 May 05 - 03:17 PM

I was producing a program on Local radio. During the news break, the main story was rescue crews were still unable to recover a body from the feet of the Cliffs of Moher. Not thinking, We return from the news with a nice instrumental "Stranger on the shore".

Realising the mistake we simply back credited Acker Bilk without the name of the tune.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: GUEST,CDarklock
Date: 20 May 05 - 04:53 PM

As an amusing little variation for the normally irreverent crowd at a pub in Virginia, I sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" as Bob Dylan. Well... not JUST as Bob Dylan... but as a drunken, stumbling, belching Bob Dylan who had a lot of the words "wrong". ("And the pocket's dead there... the wrong bird's in my hair...")

As luck would have it, the crowd that night was *not* normal, but was largely comprised of off-duty Secret Service members who came down from D.C. to relax and unwind after a particularly tense Presidential function.

My performance didn't help.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 20 May 05 - 05:06 PM

Love this thread...

My favorite moment was at a Baptist Pastor's 25th year anniversary service, they had a "Special" singer, who promptly got up and sang "Wasted Years". No Joke.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: GUEST,An Englishman Abroad
Date: 20 May 05 - 05:31 PM

I think my worst was introducing a floor singer who was missing one hand.

"Can we have a big hand for Dan please"   cringe

all the best John


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 May 05 - 06:55 PM

CDarklock

the words PLEASE!


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: GUEST,Jacinto in San Antonio
Date: 20 May 05 - 11:06 PM

Musical mistakes? Sure, I try to maintain an eclectic mix of at least forty minutes of canciones, polkas, redovas, marchas and valses with tasteful, original licks on button accordion in the tejano "Conjunto" tradition, twenty 1920's pop songs on banjo ukulele, four or five andean songs/instrumentals on quena and a couple of chinese tunes I do on new years eve. Believe me that's a mistake if like most musicians you just want to make a couple of bucks, get stoned, or get laid! That's really all I ever REALLY wanted-on a higher, purer level, but the same thing.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 21 May 05 - 01:57 AM

Jacinto,

What is a redova? In England we have a tune called the Redowa Polka which I believe is orginally Polish.


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Subject: RE: Musical mistakes?
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 21 May 05 - 09:15 AM

H. L. Mencken, in his reminiscence of the Democratic convention of 1920 in San Francisco, says: "There was an excellent band in the hall, and its leader had been instructed to dress in every speaker with appropriate music. If a gentleman from Kentucky arose, then the band played `My Old Kentucky Home'; if he was followed by one from Indiana, then it played `On the Banks of the Wabash.' Only once during the memorable day did the leader make a slip, and that was when he greeted a Georgia delegate with `Marching Through Georgia,' but even then he quickly recovered himself and slid into `At a Georgia Campmeeting.'" At a time when Sherman's march was still within living memory!

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Frightened people tend to the kinds of stupidity that are helpful in being mean. :||


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