Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Jack Grahm Memorial/Celebration of Life, Colonial House, Shelton 10/28/06

I would like to thank Denise and the rest of Coach Grahm's family and friends, as well as the wonderful staff of the Colonial House for their work in creating this meaningful event. Although I never knew Jack, I learned a lot about his incredible life last Saturday, and please let me here express my condolances to all who were fortunate enough to have known this great man as a coach, father and counsellor. I was given many compliments on my unaccompanied cello solos, which fit this occasion so well largely because Denise knew what to ask for. The large gathering began arriving between 1:00 and 1:30 in the afternoon, when I began playing. A well-planned, hosted lineup of speakers starting just after 2:00 went for a couple of hours, after which I played background music behind many lively conversations lasting until a bit after 5 pm, when people began to disperse.

Among Denise's requests were Turn, Turn, Turn, Amazing Grace, Norwegian Wood, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, What A Wonderful World, In My Life and upbeat music from the 1940s, as well as songs by The Beatles and anything by Woody Guthrie. Several of the pieces were in my repertoire already, and I was able to write arrangements for myself to play for the rest of the requests. Please note that many songs first written in the '20s and '30s were very popular during the war years in the '40s.

My final program included Bach's Allamande; Erroll Garner's Misty (1954); As Time Goes By (Herman Hupfeld 1931, featured in Casablanca, 1942); I've Got A Crush On You (George Gershwin, 1930); Chattanooga Choo-Choo (Harry Warren, 1941); I've Got The World On A String (Harold Arlen 1932); It Had To Be You (Isham Jones, 1924); Route 66 (Bobby Troup 1946); Georgia On My Mind (Hoagy Carmichael 1930); Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Lee Perkins 1955); Isn't It Romantic? (Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers 1932); Tennessee Waltz (Redd Stewart & Pee Wee King, 1948); This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie 1956); Turn! Turn! Turn! (Pete Seeeger); Ain't Misbehavin' (Thomas "Fats" Waller, Harry Brooks, Andy Razaf 1929); Try A Little Tenderness (Harry Woods, Jimmy Campbell, Reg. Connelly 1932); Let It Be (John Lennon & Paul McCartney, 1970); Norwegian Wood (John Lennon & Paul McCartney 1965); Night And Day (Cole Porter, 1932); Over The Rainbow (Harold Arlen 1938); Moon River (from "Breakfast at Tiffany's") (Johhny Mercer, Henry Mancini 1961); Moonlight Bay (Percy Wenrich 1912); Amazing Grace (Traditional); From Me To You (John Lennon & Paul McCartney 1963); Only You (and you alone) (Buck Ram & Ande Rand 1954); Someone To Watch Over Me (George & Ira Gershwin 1926); Danny Boy (Traditional); Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Bob Russell & Duke Ellington 1942); Blue Skies (Irving Berlin 1927); In My Life (John Lennon & Paul McCartney 1966); I Will (John Lennon & Paul McCartney 1968); Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) (Bart Howard 1954); Star Dust (Hoagy Carmichael 1928); Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin 1928); I've Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter 1936); I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire (Sung by The Ink Spots in 1941: Benny Benjamin, Eddie Seiler, Sol Marcus, Eddie Durham); Till There Was You (Meredith Willson 1950); Stand By Me (Ben E King, Mike Stoller & Jerry Leiber 1961); And I Love Her (Beatles) Mona Lisa (Jay Livingston & Ray Evans); Unforgettable (Irving Gordon 1951); My Blue Heaven (George Whiting & Walter Donaldson); A Taste Of Honey (Ric Marlow & Bobby Scott); All My Loving (Beatles); Spinning Wheel (Blood, Sweat & Tears 1967: David Clayton-Thomas); What A Wonderful World (George David Weiss & Bob Thiele 1967); Take The 'A' Train (Billy Strayhorn 1941); Volare (Nel Blue, Dipinto Di Blu) (Domenico Modugno 1958); I Love Paris (Cole Porter); Spanish Eyes (Bert Kaempfert 1965); Courante (Bach); Sarabande (Bach); It Might As Well Be Spring (Richard Rodgers 1945); Mairzy Doats (Sung by Bing Crosby, written by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman & Jerry Livingston 1943); A Whiter Shade of Pale (Keith Reid & Gary Brooker 1967); Forgotten Heart (Dave Pierik 2005).

I would also like to thank Denise and whoever else was responsible for the wonderful food at this event, it was terrific!