Friday 21 June 2013

The 25,001st Version

    It is one of the most recorded songs in history,  some 25,000 covers of it have been recorded.  It was written for a musical in 1933 by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Dubose Heyman.  It has been recorded by Sam Cooke, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, most famously, Janis Joplin.
    On October 15, 1960, it was recorded by John, Paul, George, and Ringo.  It was the first recording session that those 4 ever had together.  They had it pressed onto onto 9 acetate discs, but none of them survived.
    Like just about everyone else, I was familiar with the song, but it never took any particularly high place among my musical likes.  Then, about 7 years ago, I started jamming with some acquaintances who played jazz.  I don’t like jazz, but I was really hungry to play music, so in an attempt to find common ground with the others, I started to work up the song.  It is after all, a jazz standard.
    As I was playing it to myself over and over, I fell upon a slow bouncy kind of rhythm and some chord changes with my guitar, that I especially liked.  That inspired me to really learn the song.  When the jazz jam thing stopped, the song stayed in the back of my mind incubating for several years.  With my recent re-emergence to music, I started playing it again, and introduced my version to the musicians who show up for our Tuesday night jam session at the McBride library.
    A couple of days ago, it was raining, and Joan had gone up to Prince George, so I started messing around with GarageBand, Apple’s recording software.  I recorded the rhythm guitar part, thinking I could use that as a background, so I could try to come up with some kind of lead guitar for the song.
    One thing led to another.  I had the rhythm guitar part, I then recorded 3 vocal parts (two in unison and one harmony), I put down a bass line, and finally messed around with my guitar until I figured out some lead riffs.    
    I really like what it became, and even though I hate the sound of my own voice, I am putting it out to you.  The first day of summer seems like the right time to introduce the song’s 25,001st version.

I apologize for the inconvenience, but I can't seem to get the recording on this blog, but if you are interested in hearing it, you will have to go to my website at this link:

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