Sunday, January 6, 2019

A Piece of Music That Has Wings

Song 441: The week on the playlist you can hear Bird Song by Jerry Garcia, written by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia. Clicking on the title will open up a YouTube video of it which features some amusing footage of bird behavior that might trigger a smile or two. In the fall of 1969, I began hearing a lot of RnR that I had missed, thanks to Hank Neuberger, who lived in the dorm room across the hall from mine and who had both a state-of-the-art stereo and an amazingly-extensive LP collection. Greatly expanding my regard for artists like The Rolling Stones, he also introduced me to groups like The Grateful Dead who didn't impress me that much initially. However, by the time Garcia's first solo album appeared a couple of years later, I had developed a much greater appreciation for Jerry's band, and his eponymous release vastly amplified that admiration, particularly after I added it to my stack. When I lived in Berkeley, CA, in the 1980s, I had a musical housemate who included this piece in his performing repertoire, and I respected him for doing so. Of course, anyone who sings a tune so sweet is passin' by, so If you hear that same sweet song again, will you know why? Sadly, Jerry died well over two decades ago, but he left behind a treasure trove of lively recordings, some of which might make us cry in the dark, while others might make us Laugh in the sunshine, and the totality of his creative work can lift our spirits to help us fly through the night.

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