My seventy-fifth birthday show at the Freight and Salvage Coffee House was a great success. We raised over $2000 to send solar cookers to Haiti and a good time was had by all. I didn’t get to visit as much as I would have liked, what with last-minute rehearsals and administrative details, so I decided for my eightieth I’m going to have somebody else produce the show. Candy Forest did produce the cabaret portion of the show, which was excellent, and having Billy Philadelphia there to sing “The Hereditary Rag,” which he and I wrote together, was a wonderful surprise.
Judy Fjell and I did several Malvina songs. Considering the state of the economy and the dastardly bankers behind the mess, “The Money Crop” and “The Little Mouse” seemed particularly appropriate.
I was especially glad that the Organic Chorus did so well and got such good response, because it was our first performance outside of house parties (we’re a very new chorus). Plus we had to fit our “Only a Polyp” choreography around a grand piano. The sound crew was adept at getting mikes and cords out of the way, and doing speed-changes between the many acts, so nobody tripped the whole evening. The finale was awesome, with the Organic Chorus, some Threshold Choir members, many of the other performers, and some folks from the audience who happened to know the song, all filling the stage to sing “Trees of the Wild.” People wouldn’t stop clapping, so I got back on stage and said, “I referred earlier to not believing in god, and I don’t have a religion except music, but I do have faith, and the first verse of a song by Magpie is the exact expression of it.” I sang
Give light, and people will find the way,
Give light, and people will find the way, oh,
Give light, and people will find the way,
People will find the way, I do believe,”
several times till everybody joined in, and then the show was over.
Aileen Vance (one of the “Trees of the Wild” singers) reminded me afterwards on Facebook that “...the words [of “Give Light”] are from Ella Baker. Greg added the other zippered-in words and the tune, but Ella B. first said, ‘Give light and people will find a way.’ she also said, ‘We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.’ and my favorite: ‘You can get a WHOLE lot more done if you don't need to be famous for it.’"
We got to do both our Organic Chorus numbers again at Women Making Music camp the following weekend, this time without the grand piano in the way, and wowed that audience as well. We’re getting at least one new member in response (Claudia) and I hope we get some more. Another camper was celebrating her 75th birthday and the cooks produced a couple of carrot cakes that were just as good as mine from Toot Sweets. The other highlights for me were laughing myself breathless at the student show antics, and a bunch of us singing “Trees of the Wild” in the kitchen of the ranch house the first night.
At camp, Judy unveiled her new ukulele teaching method and had books (the Good Dog Ukulele School Beginner Book 1) and ukes for sale at the camp store. In a previous post I said I was going to get a cell phone for my birthday, but I asked for a new uke instead. It’s like this one only bright yellow. Those are pictures of tropical fruit on the face, just right for all my food and gardening songs, and it’s inexpensive enough that I can let kids try it out at school and not worry.
If you’ve been to the new Freight, and like it as much as I do, you can vote for it here for Best Live Music Venue.
©2010 by Nancy Schimmel
I just found this quote on Roy Zimmerman's website:

"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was." - Molly Ivins, 1944-2007
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 09:15 AM
Uke players at WoMaMu. Shauna Joseph and Kathy Olberts, on the left, two-thirds of the Merry Ukuladies, accompanied the Organic Chorus at my birthday show and at WoMaMu. Our chorus director, Marianne Barlow, is the other third.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010