Recently I got out my old Fender 12 string guitar,
dusted it off, put on some new strings, and it sounded pretty good. By
chance I happened to see a show about Peter, Paul, and Mary, and they
talked about this song, one of the most beautiful songs for 12 string
guitar ever. Paul wrote it for Peter's wedding, and it came to him so fast
he thought it was a gift from God. So Paul donated all the publishing
royalties to charity. It has since become one of the most widely published
songs in history, appearing in countless wedding song books.
Glen Campbell was a great guitarist and singer back in the sixties, and
he had a weekly TV variety show that my brother and I watched religiously.
His show was great, because he always brought on some of the best
guitarists of the time, like John Hartford, Mason Williams, Chet Atkins,
Roy Clark, and many others. I recently went to see him play a show in Reno
and he can still crank out the tunes.
The Smothers Brothers was another great show I liked back in the 60's.
They would have a lot of great musical guests, and Tommy would always play
a nice Gibson Hummingbird guitar. Here is one of their classic comedy
songs. Imagine Dick and Tom dressed in Cowboy suits.
Jimmy Buffett came up with a great sing along party song when he wrote this
one. This song was requested by Rich and Jan Martinez, who sang this with
me hundreds of times on The Patio, our famous hang out in California in
front of our neighboring apartments. We kept Carlo Rossi in business while
singing this song.
This was one of the few songs that the Beatles allowed Ringo to sing lead. He
didn't want to, and he pleaded with Paul to leave him alone. But Paul
cajoled him into giving it a try, and a great singer was born. Ringo later
said that belting out that last high note on this song was one of his
favorite Beatles memories.
Neil Young has always been an inspiring artist to me since I first
heard him when he played with Crosby Still and Nash in the '70s. He has a
totally unique guitar playing and singing style, and has written tons of
great songs. This is one of my favorites.
Neil Young. One day in high school we had tryouts for choir or
something. My friend Marc Cornelius brought his 12 string in and sang a
good tune. On impulse I asked him if I could borrow it, and I did my
audition in front of the whole music department singing this song. I was
surprised when everyone stopped chatting and listened to me, and broke out
in applause at the end.
Steven Stills is one of the great rock guitarists, and he has mastered
acoustic too. This is one of his good acoustic tunes. I recently saw
him play his Suite Judy Blue Eyes flawlessly live in concert. That is as
good as it gets in guitar playing.
Written by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg from the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. Some things were much simpler
when I was growing up. For example, we only had 3 TV channels and no VCRs
or DVDs, so when a favorite movie came on TV it was a big deal. The most
popular for us kids was the once a year replay of The Wizard of Oz. My Mom
was a big fan of the movie ever since she saw it in the theater as a
little girl. Like many other families, we would gather around the TV with
popcorn and watch every minute of it, until we had memorized every song
and every line. As soon as it was over, we were already looking forward to
next year. Those were good days, and I still remember the songs.
This is another song for my wife Maria. It is our love song. Shakin'
Stevens is a popular rocker in the UK, but has never caught on in the
States. This song was a big hit for him in Asia, and everyone was singing
it when I lived there, and it got to be one of my favorite songs. When I
heard my future wife start to sing it as she rode on the back of my
scooter in Taipei, I knew she was the one for me.
John Denver said he had an old guitar that he lost, but then found
again many years later. This is the song he wrote about it. Guitar players
do get very attached to our guitars, and we like to keep playing our
favorites. And if you take care of them, guitars sound better as they age