Saturday, December 06, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: Treasures for a winter's eve

You ever wonder from whence all this fine music on 3 Chords & the Truth comes?

You do? I'm glad you axed. Sorry, "asked." You can take the boy out of south Louisiana. . . .

Well, much of the music on the Big Show, I've been collecting since I was a kid. Some was my parents, particularly some especially tasty 78 RPM records. Other stuff was other people's tuneful treasures that ended up in antique stores, the used-record bins at various music stores . . . and on sale for 99 cents at the local Goodwill.

One treasure featured on this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth was in the collection of the parents of a dear friend since our days at Baton Rouge High School, taken from a real album -- an album of several 78s, which is why we call multitrack records or CDs "albums" even today. The song is "Embraceable You" from the "Strictly From Dixie" album released in 1942 by Henry Levine's Strictly From Dixie Jazz Band, featured on a regular program on NBC radio, The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street.

It's also an album that never was later released on an LP, much less a CD.

The popularity of the radio show on the NBC Blue Network might be why my friend Doug LeBlanc's mother, Janice, had the album. She still had it when she died earlier this year at age 87, which is how I came to possess it and how you're hearing some of it on the Big Show this week -- Doug sent it and another 78 album to me when he and his brother cleaned out Janice's house.

MUSIC IS special on its own accord, but it also is special because of the love people have for it. The feelings, thoughts and memories it evokes in us. In honoring music, we acknowledge that we matter -- matter apart from what we do, how much we earn or what status we have attained.

By honoring vintage music, of which we play our share on 3 Chords & the Truth, I think we also honor those upon whose shoulders we stand -- those who lived and struggled and loved before us. We Catholics refer to those souls as "the communion of saints," who are not gone but are with us still.

They may have passed from this world to the next, but the best parts of them live on here in blessed memory and in our hearts. And what they knew . . . what they loved also can be part of what we know and what we love.

Christmas is coming upon us fast, a time of the year when our thoughts turn to those we love and times gone by. I think this show -- indeed, most episodes of the Big Show -- are right nice listening for a cold winter's night, "when all through the house not a creature (is) stirring, not even a mouse."

It is then when we cab be alone with our thoughts, with our memories, and with our dreams. And we can be alone with the music, the music of our lives . . . and that of the communion of saints.

THAT'S WHY I do this show, and that's why no decent "radio" program is just a radio program, even if it's on the Internet and not the airwaves.  I guess I could have said this on the show this week, but then it would have run a even longer than it already has, which would be a wee bit longer than  normal. But I didn't, so I'm saying it now.

Because it's worth saying.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there.  Alo-ho-ho-ho-ha.

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