My musical history: I grew up in Lubbock, Texas– a town which has certainly produced more than its share of singer/songwriters, including Buddy Holly, Mac Davis, and Waylon Jennings, to name some of the best-known ones, as well as Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Angela Strehli– I actually knew her when we were in high school together– and some who just spent some of their formative years there, like John Denver and Glen Campbell. But like most of the rest of them, Lubbock was a place I wanted to leave (Mac Davis’s Happiness is Lubbock, Texas in the Rear-View Mirror being possibly the best example of that feeling), so I’ve lived a lot of other places since high school. My musical experience began when I started playing the violin in the sixth grade, and I kept that up through college. I decided I wanted to learn the guitar when I was a senior in high school, and went out and bought one for $17 from a pawnshop. I’ve moved up a little in the guitar world since then (my current mainstay is a Martin D-1R), but the guitar has been my main instrument ever since. I first started writing my own songs after I moved to Hawai’i in 1976– it was an inspiring place to live, and I’ve found California to be even more so since I moved here in 1984. Lots of impressive scenery, and I’ve really taken advantage of it. The back country is a good place to come up with ideas for songs– sometimes on nature subjects (under “My Songs”, you’ll see that I’ve written some songs about our hiking (mis)adventures, one about John Muir, and one about Yosemite), but more often on other things– just getting away from traffic, phones, and people gives me more of a chance to think about things to write.
Later developments: I had been writing songs for about 15 years before I started getting “serious” about it, and started working on getting my songs out to a wider audience, as well as getting to know other songwriters and learning from them. This Web site, of course, is part of that effort. Other parts of it have included joining songwriting associations, especially the Northern California Songwriters Association, which later became the West Coast Songwriters. When I was living in the Bay Area, I participated in a lot of their activities, and learned a lot from the contacts with other songwriters. Since I retired and moved to the mountains, there’s been a lot less personal contact, and I’ve had to rely more on e-mail and Web sites to stay in touch, which is possible, but a lot harder — and I’d welcome contacts from any other songwriters who’d like to establish them.
The songs on this site: Under “My Songs” , you’ll find complete lyrics to a lot of the songs that I’ve written over the years, and audio files for the ones I’ve been able to record (I’m hoping to get more of those posted as I can get them recorded). Besides my own original songs, I’ve also modified some by other songwriters, and those usually have the original title with a “++” added, to indicate that I’ve made some changes or additions (as you might have guessed, I’m a computer programmer, and I’ve used C++ a lot). I would appreciate any opinions (good, bad, or ugly) that you can offer about any of the songs– especially if you’ve got an idea about how to make it a better song (and improvements are almost always possible, even in the best of songs– you’ll see some of my attempts at that, as I’ve mentioned). Any suggestions that I like well enough to use will be given due credit on these pages; and for all of them, you’ll have my sincere gratitude. So let me hear from you.