So far, we have 32 contestants, and 1 URL submittal (we're happy that our website is working as planned!). The deadline for URL submittals remains Dec. 31st. There's no need to submit URLs before Dec. 31st. We won't be viewing any recordings until Jan. 1st. If this happens to be our last blog before then, we wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Regardless of what is written in other parts of this website (we will update those parts eventually), all contestants who post a recording for this contest now have our permission to include "His Words" in any future album or CD that they release, with no requirement to pay us royalties of any kind, as long as we are given credit for the song's composition. This permission applies to all contestants, whether or not they win one of the prizes. This is our way of thanking all of you for entering the contest. If you feel that you need to get this in writing from us, please let us know and we'll provide it. Also, please let us know how to purchase a copy of your CD!
Lucy Ann Polk (May 16, 1927 – October 10, 2011) was an American jazz singer who performed with Les Brown's orchestra in the 1950s. She also sang and recorded with Bob Crosby, Kay Kyser, Tommy Dorsey, and Dave Pell. From 1952–1954, she was named Best Girl Singer with Band by Down Beat magazine.
Lucy Ann began her music career in Los Angeles with her sister and brothers in a quartet named the Four Polks, which was eventually changed to the Town Criers. They performed with big bands led by Les Brown, Lionel Hampton, and Kay Kyser until they disbanded in 1948.
I've just purchased three of Lucy Ann's CD albums (formerly vinyls) for a Christmas gift for my mother.
Why, you ask?
Well, I've just learned that Lucy Ann was one of my relatives. I wish I had known this much earlier, as I could have visited her in LA on many occasions if I'd have only known. Lucy Ann's mother was a sister of my paternal grandfather.
I vaguely remember visiting one of Lucy Ann's siblings with my parents when my Dad was in a six-week stint with the Naval Reserves in Long Beach, CA in the summer of 1963. I was almost six years old at the time, and don't remember much else.
I'm glad that Lucy Ann has left some recordings of her music, as a legacy of her artistry. I hope to do the same with my music.
As for the contest, we're into the final stages. We have 30 wonderful contestents now. The "deadline" for registering is Nov. 30th, but it's not that important if anyone's late. The "deadline" for posting your video is Dec. 31st, and there could be a grace period if anyone's late, but not too late, if you know what I mean. We don't need to see your recordings before Dec. 31st, so there's no need to send me your links way earlier than that.
Blessings on you as you prepare your recordings!
You may have noticed that our countdown has shifted from registrations to recording postings (Dec. 31st). In September we've received no new registrations, so it looks like all of the registrants are busy working on their recordings, which is good. There are 28 registrants at this time. From what I've seen of the registrants, there aren't any that have stood out as a sure winner, so you all have a very good chance of winning! As for myself, I'm getting ready for my third annual Tacoma Dome appearance one week from Thursday ...
We've received this question, and the answer is yes! There is no restriction on the number of performers who may participate in the contest.
When I was an engineer, I was continually required to provide to my bosses some metrics or status on this or that. Therefore, for this contest I submit to you the number of registrants by the month in which they registered. I don't know if we'll see another spike in the October-November time frame, but we'll see...
We've received a question, "does the recording have to be all parts live or can the different parts be recorded and then mixed together?"
Answer: it is permissible to record the parts separately and then mix them together afterward. It isn't required, however. The goal is to produce the most convincing rendition of the song, however you can best do that. The judging process will take into account the different recording processes used, so if you do produce a recording of a live performance where there is no post-production (mixing, etc.), you won't necessarily be given negative scoring points if there are a few minor glitches here and there.
At least that's what my 10-year-old ears thought they heard in the lyrics of the 1967 hit, "I'm a Soul Man". The phrase is repeated 12 or more times in the song, and it certainly sounded to me like the singer was angry about something. It wasn't until a movie came out many years later that I was set straight on the lyrics. I'm not sure if "His Words" has lyrics that could be so woefully misunderstood, but we'll see.
I enjoy parodies of famous songs, but do so secretly so as to not offend those who cherish the non-parodied originals. So I shant list any examples.
Pop music vocal styles don't place as much emphasis on enunciation as does classical vocal training, and sometimes it opens pop songs up for humorous parody-making.
This year, July 29th is the 40th anniversary of an incident in a mountainous wilderness (Pratt Lake, Cascade Mountains, Washington State, USA) that nearly ended my life.
I just thought that someone should commemorate this day, and it looks like its gotta be me.
In 1979 I'm 21 years old and leading a church youth outing (as their youth director), and while hiking around a lake at 10:30am on a pleasant summer morning, a giant glacial boulder, after being precariously balanced for centuries if not millenia, decides to tumble down the hill and roll over my right foot from behind. Maybe it's because I'd just hopped off of it, giving it a bit of a nudge.
The boulder and I merrily hop down the hill together, as the boulder is plowing my foot into the ground as if it were a plowshare.
We finally stop after about 10 seconds, and I repeatedly chant at the top of my lungs (I'm a quiet person, so this is probably the first and only time this had ever happened), "get it off me!"
My hiking mates do heroically roll away the stone, and I'm thinking that my foot was left behind somewhere up the hill, since I couldn't feel anything down there. But it was still there, minus its tennis shoe, smashed and swelling beyond recognition.
I found out later that in the crushing, the boulder had snapped my heel bone, as well as a few metatarsal bones for good measure. The broken heel bone was protruding out of the back of my foot.
We all found a flat rock that I could lie on, and everyone did what they could to apply tourniquets, stop the bleeding, etc. Some had to use their own T-shirts to accomplish this. A horseman across the lake rode over after hearing the commotion, and offered some whiskey to ease the pain, but I declined his gracious offer. We were 6 miles from the trailhead, so they couldn't carry me out. We had no cell phones, as they weren't invented yet. One of my hiking mates had to run 6 miles to the trailhead, then drive several miles to a ranger station to summon for help. This action saved my life.
I lay in the hot sun for 6 hours bleeding, until the blessed sound of an helicopter was heard. Fortunately, they found a place to land and, a half hour later, my rescuers appeared with a stretcher to haul me to the chopper. (Eventually, I would need to have two blood transfusions to replace the blood that I'd lost.)
They asked me which hospital to take me to, giving me two choices, so I selected Harborview in Seattle, not really knowing anything about it. I would eventually stay there for five weeks, until September 5th.
After the chopper ride, an ambulance delivered me the remaining 3000 feet to the ER. My insurance was charged more for the ambulance ride than for the chopper ride. I was covered by worker's comp, so it didn't matter to me.
The ER docs did some stuff to my foot, and put me on a cart in a hallway next to a telephone, where I could call my then-girlfriend (now my wife of 39 years).
Then they took me into surgery around 8:30pm, and gave me a spinal block, to my great relief. I was unconscious until the next morning. They had put a bolt into my heel bone to put it together, and in doing so, had to cut a long incision along my swollen foot, kind of like cutting a large tomato. They could not close the incision due to swelling, and it was to remain open for over a month.
I awoke the next morning in a large room with 2 other patients, which had a majestic, sweeping view of the harbor (hence the name, "Harborview" Hospital). I wasn't in any condition to enjoy the view, though. Having an intense urge to use the restroom, with much pain I got out of my bed and hopped on my left foot to do so. When I returned, a nurse was waiting for me, as one of the other patients had ratted on me for my unauthorized act.
The next week I became very ill because of the staph infection to my foot, but I recovered in about a week. Many people came to visit me, which was a great blessing. My girlfriend visited me almost every day during my five-week stay, contributing to my later decision to marry her. One of those days, she fainted while watching a doctor snip away the yellow infected flesh from my foot. When I was released from the hospital, they gave me some sterile cloths and surgical scissors so that I could snip away the yellow flesh myself, until it was clean enough perform a final skin graft to close the wound once and for all.
I had had about six surgeries in all, and several follow-up visits to Harborview. They also had to snip the tendons under the toes of my right foot, for some reason, so they're incapable of wiggling. One plastic surgeon offered to perform a surgery to make my foot more attractive, but I declined, wanting it to retain its grotesque appearance as positive proof that this all did happen.
After the second skin graft (performed here in the Port Angeles OMC, the hospital where John Elway was born almost 20 years prior), I had to keep my right foot elevated at all times, so I was given a wheelchair to accomplish that. I still needed to take a couple more classes at the UW to finish my electrical engineering degree, and took one in the fall quarter and another in winter quarter. The first month of fall quarter, I was still rolling around the campus in the wheelchair, and the UW let me use a special private room in the dormatory. But they made me move to another room after I was able to get around on crutches, saying that they had another person who needed it. A few weeks later, I was able to start putting weight on my right foot, and was walking without too much need of crutches not too long afterward, which was a great blessing. This was about the time I applied for a job at Boeing, and was accepted, to my surprise. On March 26th, 1980, I began my 34 1/2 year career there. It was the first and only full-time job I've ever had. I'm glad it's over with, though.