Tiptoe through the ukulele group

One Tuesday morning recently I tiptoed into an auditorium and onto the stage, threading my way through the U3A ukulele group to take the one vacant seat.  I arrived at the Senior Citizens rooms at 10am but we were supposed to be there at 9.30am. The group was up to song three (Maggie) by then. So I calmly set up my music stand, took the baritone uke out of the bag and joined in at…

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Canned muzak takes away listener choice

Today I’m keen to vent my displeasure at the seemingly inescapable intrusion of canned music – known as muzak. Background music in public places was once described by violinist Yehudi Menuhin as ‘pollution of the mind’. Menuhin, the consummate classical soloist, led a campaign in the late 1960s to have muzak banned from shopping malls and other public spaces. Muzak is a company set up in the 1950s which produced pre-recorded background music and sold…

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Misheard lyrics and a sentimental playlist

Last Sunday, as we performed my only country song, Crossroads of Love, I allowed myself a sly inward chuckle at the misheard lyric (well, I mishear it): “So I look for directions in the stars high above’’. It’s the kind of misheard line you’d expect of a 70-year-old bloke, but I’m not about to elaborate. This is a family show. My songwriter friend Kelly Cork likes the song; he thinks it is a sin of…

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Is vinyl just a fad?

The first reference that came up when I searched ‘vinyl fad’ was an advertisement for high waist stretch vinyl leggings (only $15.60 from boo-hoo Aus.). That’s not a plug, you understand, just an observation on the randomness of internet searches. Vinyl records, or LPs as they were known in my youth, have indeed made a comeback, after being superseded by compact discs (CDs) some 30 years ago. In the US, where such trends usually start…

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