Just Sing: The Speers, “City of Gold”

This clip showed up in my Facebook thread over night (h/t, SS) and was a lovely way to start the morning. This formation of the Speers is Mom, Dad, Brock, and Ginger Smith carrying the lead. Ben Speer is at the piano.

We live thoroughly in the post-melisma period of popular music, in which the overwhelming majority of singers and audiences alike assume good singing always must involve highly ornamented vocal styles that have, at their worst, about the same the relationship to the melody as a gnat to the ear: buzzing all around it and occasionally making contact but mostly just being annoying, as singers over-extend what I long ago dubbed their inner angry girl. Not all singers who self-indulgently rely overmuch on these sorts of highly filigreed lines are incapable of the kind of exquisitely well-placed and unornamented tones that Smith lays down here, but it’s rare enough to be captivating in retrospect.

And one more thing: I don’t see a date associated with the youtube clip. Anybody wanna take a stab at suggesting an approximate year on this recording?

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Comments

  1. Eugene McCammon wrote:

    It is remarkable how singing the right notes at the right time creates a sound that has its own superb acoustic properties without any artificial enhancement. The Speers did this. This is the way they were taught. They remained true to their style as long as they were a professional group. Great!! Thanks for bringing back great memories of how traditional southern music can be sung.

  2. Eugene McCammon wrote:

    My guess on the date is very early 1960’s, perhaps the late 1950’s. Harold Lane joined the Speers around 1966 so this video was filmed before then.

  3. cdguy wrote:

    From the Grand Old Gospel Reunion website, I’ve just gleaned that Joyce Black left the Speers in about 1958. There are pictures there of Ginger with the Speer Family in 1958 and 1962. So, I’d guess this clip was from that era. I can’t find anything that tells when she left to marry Wally, but it probably wasn’t much after that.

  4. Shawn Degenhart wrote:

    Ginger joined the group in 1958 and sang until 1963 when Ann (Sanders) Downing joined the group.

  5. NG wrote:

    The song is on a 1961 Skylite recording entitled “All Night Singing — Speer Family Style.”

  6. weber wrote:

    The Speers were some of the worst singers to ever hit the stage. Just because one can sing on pitch and hit the note, does not necessarily equate to talent, with regard to pleasant tones and quality singing. Im sure they are and were fine people, but vocally they didnt have it at all.

  7. John Crenshaw wrote:

    NG is correct about “City of Gold” being on a 1961 Skylite release, “All Night Singing - Speer Family Style”. However, it was first released to radio stations in 1958 on a SESAC recording.

    That being said, I believe this video is from the Wally Fowler TV Show and from the time frame mentioned by several other posters.

  8. Jim wrote:

    #6–I beg to differ. Being able to ’sing on pitch and hit the note’ is a good start. Yet the Speers took it much further with a successful stretch of over 75 years. How did they do it? Talent–yes, they had MANY talented singers over the years (Jeanne Johnson, Sue Dodge, Ginger Smith Laxton and Ann Downing to name ONLY a few); good songs;consistency;and the ability to overcome adversity, especially with the deaths of Mom and Dad Speer so close together in the 1960’s. They absolutely did ‘have it’ vocally, and their musical legacy will last for many years.

  9. cdguy wrote:

    #7 - John - Was SESAC in the record business? I thought they were strictly a performing rights organization, like BMI and ASCAP.

  10. nb'er wrote:

    #8 Maybe weber didn’t like them because they didn’t have a high tenor or a real low bass. They didn’t move around a lot on stage either. But as singers, they were very good. Sue Dodge and Jane Greene, two of the best sopranos ever. Faye was a solid alto. Diane Mayes gave them a sound that help set them apart in the ’70’s. Ben was a good lead singer. I don’t why someone would say they were terrible singers.

  11. Trevor Haley wrote:

    The Speer family were pioneers in many ways. I miss the days when pleasant tones and quality singing were valued.

    Having spent years listening to no- name trios and quartets (and admittedly, also singing in a few) - where you are likely to have two or more members singing off-key, and the bass singing the melody an octave lower, the Speer family is not even in the ballpark of “some of the worst singers ever to hit the stage”!

  12. John Crenshaw wrote:

    #9 . . . SESAC released records that were intended for radio play only. Thanks for asking!

  13. cdguy wrote:

    And Ben may or may not have had the best voice in the business, but he could SELL a song better than anyone else of the day.

  14. irishlad wrote:

    Have to agree with Weber. The Speers techincally were ok but sounded crap. Lets face it,a forgettable alto, a non-descript lead, a baritone/lead who sang through his nose a below average bass, the only good singers were the non-family ones and that speaks for itself. People in the South in those days obviously took geat stock in the integrity of ‘mon’ and ‘dad’ and the wholesomeness of having the kids along to make it all American dream family a bit like The Collingsworth of today except the latter really are undeniably talented..just imagine the Collingsworths juxaposed with the Speers in 1965, the resulting spectacle would have been truly embarrassing…ouch.Nevertheless their popularity goes down in GM history as unquestionable. Looking at it, there are plenty of ‘artists’ out there who are extremely popular yet frankly at best, mediocre singers..a certain Mr Daniel O’Donnell comes to mind.

  15. Wade wrote:

    CVH… I thought of you when I saw this… Suzan was not even BORN here or was VERY YOUNG!!!

  16. Alan wrote:

    If the Speers were hitting their heyday right now, with today’s digital technology, and still had Harold Lane arranging/ orchestrating for them, they would still be in the top-3 of mixed groups. By the time they hit the mid-70’s until they retired, they were incredible live, and had chart-topping songs one after another. Every one of the Speer children learned how to sing properly and well, which might be why some of the “worst singers to ever hit the stage” carried on a legacy for 75 years. Sheesh.

  17. weber wrote:

    The Speer family had nothing more than a local group sound no matter who they hired to help them. They could not compete in todays industry. The only thing they had working for them was a brand name, much like the Blackwoods of today.

  18. irishlad wrote:

    Exactly Weber,what’s the point of being able to sing “correctly” if you don’t sound pleasing? It was only outside influence of Harold Lane,Jeanne,Ginger,Shaun et al that made them sound good.The Speers had the coin, the standing and the fan base(made up of people who relished in the mediocre)to employ only the very best of the GM field of the day.Who in the whole wild world could’ve sat through 90 mins of Mom, Dad, Ben, Brock and the two sistas caterwalling in the background…’strewth :-/

  19. Wade wrote:

    Never got in to the Speers much but can say I saw them live 3-4 times and they Always BROUGHT it!!!

    Yes they did learn to sing properly. Heard that Brock would travel to see Lee Roy as long as his health allowed!!!

    If Le Roy taught ya you LEARNED Properly!!!

  20. irishlad wrote:

    I listened to that clip again just now. Come all you nice people out there,take those rose tinted glasses off and look and listen to it in the cold light day. Take away the Mom,Dad nostalgia, take away the fact they were RCA/Skylight recording artists, take away the fact that Brock &Ben were backing Elvis a few years before that clip, take away the fact they were already icons in the GM field of the day and put them on say the Arthur Godfrey Talent Show against any of the good Quartets of the time.Who in all honesty would win? Outside that insular little world of GM in the 50’s/60’s South, New York would’ve been rollin’ & rockin’ in their seats…..with laughter. Ouch again.

  21. CG wrote:

    No one loved ‘em except the fans, huh ?

  22. cynical one wrote:

    irishlad — Arthur Godfrey loved nasal, throaty James Blackwood, but wouldn’t love the Speer Family? Really?

    Come on!

  23. Knows Nothing wrote:

    Great post Alan#16…….I bet some of the expert’s on here think they couldn’t write songs either!!!!!!

  24. Ode wrote:

    16, “”…carried on for 75 years”"

    So is the McDonald’s hamburger chain. As well as enjoying the devoted love of their fans (@ CG ;). Being popular or long lasting doesn’t mean quality yet.

    Teaching one’s kids how to sing well was a great idea, pushing them onstage wasn’t. You cant teach talent,its on loan from God, and Almighty often rests when it comes to next generations . Based on videos I saw noone in the family were great singers, but they could write some Absolutely Timeless Songs.

    I hear Avery’s point…Some pieces are so beautiful in their musical and vocal simplicity,they are like jewelry,where less is more. This Speers song reminds me of Shalom Secunda’s 80 year old classic. No fancy version ever are as attractive as plain, church pianist + trio

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8–9-LCJ14&feature=related

  25. Ode wrote:

    which reminds me..CVH had an interesting quiz in one of recent open threads, wish it was discussed more. Among the questions was: Pianos or Tracks?

    IMHO:There are some songs with musical beauty,depth,or historical significance that only benefit from limiting them to piano version. Just like pencil drawings or black-n-white photography, they have superb artistic merit, but relying on those alone is not a scalable business model.

    Most songs gain value and marketability by using quality modern production technology and multilayered tracks, the sound that in the good ol days went by the names “orchestra” and “choir”.

    Generating sustainable revenue demands treating SG as business,as you CVH yourself said before. Everybody except the recipients of proverbial cheese,that exists in mousetrap only, even nonprofits ,got to respect the laws of marketing. To those SG bands that naively believe an artform will be magically paying for itself just on a prayer, without ruthless, gutwrenching effort, coldheaded calculations, market research and MUCH BETTER MUSIC than is being currently manufactured and put out, may I suggest re-checking the second law of thermodynamics

  26. irishlad wrote:

    22 I was under the impression that it was the public vote that won the BB’s the talent contest,not AG’s likes or dislikes.

  27. Alan wrote:

    Thanks, #23. It seems obvious to me that on blogs like this, people will comment who have come lately to this genre. Like Wade said, every time I heard the Speers live, it was a textbook lesson on singing. This clip from a Gaither DVD starts with the original Speer “kids” when they were in their 70’s and 80’s, and later, Jeannie, Ann, and Sue join in on a great old Dad Speer song. I think they can still bring it with white hair, and it makes me remember what they were like when they were young!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8ynLPb-c00

  28. quartet-man wrote:

    I was not a Speer Fan per se, but years ago I got mom a Speers 70th. Anniversary VHS. I have to admit, they brought it on some of the songs on there and I enjoyed them (even though there are better vocalists and groups out there). I might try to link some favorites later.

    Anyhow, I was searching to see if they had a website up (maybe with Ben selling stuff). So far, I have had no luck. I went to the Stamps school and poked around. I saw something there that amused me. Now, although this should be obvious, I feel the need for a disclaimer. This IS NOT an attack on the school, the person involved, the act of marriage, the state of their marriage etc. and is not meant to imply he would do or condone what it sounds like, just the choice of words and how they could be interpreted.

    “Jack Clark, virtuoso pianist, author, songwriter, arranger, producer, teacher, grandfather, husband of one wife, ” LOL I am glad that he isn’t a bigamist. ;-)

    It is obvious that they meant he only married once and they are still married, but it struck this exhausted man’s funny bone a little. Surely people can see how that sounds.

  29. irishlad wrote:

    Re: 27, I know Alan wasn’t refering to me :), but for the record… although I was born and have lived all my life in N.Ireland my late dad in 1965(I was the ripe old age of 5) brought in a RCA Victor Lp of the BB’s ft JD on ‘Peace like a River’ and I was totally and utterly HOOKED! and have been since.

  30. irishlad wrote:

    Oh aye and….i have two Speers Lps I could readily put my hand on now and which I have owned from new and thoroughly enjoyed then as now and they are ‘The Speers live w/Doug Oldham’ & ‘The Speers Cornerstone ft Diane Mays’ (h/t CVH) both from the early/mid 70’s. SO I’m not a total hater PTL.

  31. Wade wrote:

    Q_ Man… Jack Clark is one of the FEW piano players it is fun to play a duet with if you are playing drums… his left hand with out a bass player is BETTER than most bass players. He has taught MANY SGM piano players and MANY more in Country Music!!! I’m lucky to have been able to play with him!!!! He wrote a Great Little book about SGM Definitions that is FUNNY!!!

    irishdude… well what got ya hooked on all your other bad habits… wow you are younger than I thought… You picz make you look older!!! ;-) :-) lol

    Thanks for the clip Alan!!!

  32. Alan wrote:

    Lad - No, I never even thought of you when I wrote that, and really meant it as a very general comment based on this: Today’s recording technology is light-years better than it was on so many older YouTube videos of the vets. When I watch/listen to old Blackwood Bros., Statesmen, etc., videos, I can cringe compared with most of the music today. Yet, my main point was that I’m old enough :-) to have been honored to see them live, which memories are simply fantastic. Some of the groups of then who seem so stilted and amateurish today on old b&w videos were amazing live. This was my point re: the Speers video that Doug had posted. Relative newcomers to this music may not remember the magic that was to be had when these singers were in their heyday. Mr. Gaither did a great thing when he gave so many of the veterans a platform in their older age, and a chance to make more money in their last few years than they had in 50 years of grueling road travel. But, even as I would view them, there would be a sadness, as their voices at 70-80 were shadows of the grandeur they had once brought. But no, I-Lad, I did not mean you. It’s actually pretty amazing, as you became a diehard fan in a country that (as you know) I know well…you were one of the few, to be honest. Only Gaither transformed the sg music scene in your glorious island, but you had a huge head start. I honor it, too. Finally, for what it’s worth, you referred to Daniel O’Donnell earlier. I love his music! Great band/orchestra, and he stays firmly within his strengths. Shows you how very easily I can be impressed. LOL

  33. rr wrote:

    You have to realize this recording was done without modern technology. The sound, the blend, the chords, and particularly Ginger’s beautiful voice thrill me every time I hear this. The Speers were awesome on stage, and very respected by their peers.

  34. Deron wrote:

    When I watch this clip, I can’t help but think about all of the insufferable crap I had to endure from some of the supposed top-tier groups on Friday night of NQC.

    God help, when I juxtapose all of the out-of-tune, sloppy, amateur-hour, no-technique trash that has so pervaded the SG world with performances like this like this, I actually long for groups like the Speers, no matter how pleasant or unpleasant their individual voices were.

    I guess it makes sense that in an industry where most group members, unaided by modern technology or a studio setting, couldn’t find the center of the pitch with a search party, that some supporters of the industry would say that singing on pitch and in tune doesn’t matter. Perhaps that’s why the industry is dying…

    I’d take someone singing plainly in tune any day of the week–and twice on Sunday–before I would listen to the people who vocally “have it.”

  35. Jonathan Sawrie wrote:

    Deron wrote:

    “I guess it makes sense that in an industry where most group members, unaided by modern technology or a studio setting, couldn’t find the center of the pitch with a search party, that some supporters of the industry would say that singing on pitch and in tune doesn’t matter. Perhaps that’s why the industry is dying…”

    That an’ the preachin’….

  36. Ode wrote:

    28,
    You haven’t seen that before? :D It’s currently fashionable phraseologism, commonly seen in everything from resumes for church positions to obituaries. Biblical reference, borrowed from Titus and Timothy and misapplied without a rhyme or reason, due to general emptyheadedness of religios (in a bad sense ),selfpious people. One of the parody sites,Christwire,I think, had a satirical article on this, have no time to search.

    “Just because you see something advertised in writing, don’t believe it quite yet ”, as one sergeant told my giggling brother and other boys when they followed his order to gather by some building and saw large words “boobs” graffiti-ed on it’s wall “inside is just a warehouse filled with old junk and scrapmetal you’ll be cleaning up all day”

    So only God knows about that pianist,good or bad, but the school can advertise what they want.

  37. NG wrote:

    #35 Jonathan: Amen re the preachin’ issue. Add in the fans who think bad singing is annointed and it’s easy to see why SGM is in trouble.

  38. quartet-man wrote:

    #36, I don’t think I have seen it. I understand what they meant, but the way it was worded sounded like other people in the school had more than one wife. :)

  39. CVH wrote:

    Wade (#15) - if the clip is from, say, 1960, Suzan would have been 4 or 5. The first record she appeared on was ‘The King Is Coming’ (Heartwarming, 1970). The first time I saw her was in 1971 and while she wasn’t featured as a vocalist, she had a captivating stage presence. But her talent was beyond singing and her aspirations weren’t limited to gospel music.

    Ode (#25) - I think you’re absolutely right that some songs are best presented with just solo piano. One example that stands out to me is “God’s Been Good” on one of Legacy Five’s records a few years ago. I was talking recently with Sue Smith who co-wrote the song and she was thrilled that they let Scott do it as a solo with just piano under the vocal. Simple can be very powerful when it’s done well.

    As far as The Speers themselves, they found their niche early on; when Dad and Mom passed away and Brock and Ben took over, the group was already highly regarded. Still, with any successful group there are points in their career at which they are partly real (writing and recording good material, doing great shows, selling product, etc.) and partly myth (reputation, promotion, marketing, etc.). The groups that maintain the closest distance between the two are often the most highly regarded and most lucrative.

    Alan (#16) is right; if there was a current generation of Speers performing they’d probably be at the top of the market. One of the keys to their success was they had the ability to adjust to the times without compromising their standards. Through the ’70s and ’80s, whether they were working with Bob MacKenzie or Lari Goss, they maintained their identity while breaking new ground in song selection, vocal arranging and orchestration. Arguments about their singing aside, they held a unique place in the evolution of the genre.

    And Wade - Suzan’s still hot.

  40. irishlad wrote:

    31 Wade :)

  41. John Crenshaw wrote:

    I have enjoyed the Speer Family since the first time I saw them in the mid 1960s. That being said . . .

    No matter how much logic and persuasion I use, I can’t make you like something. I can tell you that a group sings on pitch, they have great vocal placement, and their song selection is wonderful but if you just don’t like them, I can’t make you like them.

    I don’t like sloppy endings, mis-pronounced words, improper breathing technique, parallel fifths, self-righteousness, patriotic songs to garner a standing ovatation, and preaching instead of singing. No matter what you say, you can’t make me enjoy this because it just won’t happen.

    I can’t convince you otherwise, nor can you convince me.

    It’s like an ole Deacon once said to me when I first was ordained: “We can’t all like the same thing, and that’s OK. Otherwise, you’d all want to be married to my wife Alma!”

  42. Papa Dave wrote:

    1959

  43. quartet-man wrote:

    There are various things when singing. Some I am able to overlook and still enjoy the music. There are also some that are important, but alone aren’t always enough. For instance, a group can have all of the things John mentioned and still fall flat. They may not have good voices, they might not be exciting, they might not be into what they are doing etc. You could get robots to do those things, but that might not make them enjoyable to listen to. :D That in no way means that those things aren’t important or even directed at the Speers at all. I am just talking in general.

    George’s endings weren’t always perfect, but I loved listening to the Cats. Michael English doesn’t always pronounce words well or takes some liberties to get the note or sound, but I love listening to him anyhow. I can think of no one else who can put as much into a song. Now even on favorite groups (some of my most) it is hard to get past some major pitch issues (some are easier than others) on early recordings, but if a group has an overabundance of the other things, one can easier overlook shortages elsewhere.

    I often prefer live versions of songs because they have a passion and energy that are often not found on studio recordings. Studio recordings are often more precise, but sometimes can be too sanitized.

    I started recording music via Midi in the late eighties. One can easily make the performance so perfect (which is helpful in notating the music properly), but to the effect of making it mechanical and without life. Now, this isn’t to say we should condone sloppy singing, but it goes to show that one can be real technical, and not be as enjoyable either due to lack elsewhere or other reasons.

  44. j-mo wrote:

    Thank you so much Papa Dave.

    Sure, some may complain that you did not provide an explanation or any data to back up your simple statement of “1959″. They do not understand that you are Papa Dave and therefore are to be trusted 100%. The word of Papa Dave is certainly good enough for me. I say close the comments section down. Papa Dave has spoken. All hail Papa Dave.

  45. Gayla wrote:

    #35 and #41 - Amen and Amen!

  46. irishlad wrote:

    Q-Man, that thing you said about live recordings rings true(just to leave the Speers alone for a minute)there was hardly ever a studio album that the Kingsmen did that i enjoyed but hey live they were captivating,they could light up a stage like nobody could.

  47. weber wrote:

    Lots of good comments but the fact remains the Speer family cant sing.
    Maybe its the foghorn tones, not sure but
    like i stated before they are and were good people but had limited vocal ability…

  48. BackwoodsPhilosopher wrote:

    Thank you Doug for a wonderful clip of genuine, soundtrack-LESS, on-pitch, pure Southern Gospel singing.

    It is so nice to hear the vocals and the piano with out all of the muffled, noisy, overbearing tracks that drown out any resemblance of musical ability.

    I’m gonna sound old-fashioned, as though I just parked my horse and wagon, but it’s also nice to see a non-screaming female perform without five layers of makeup, bleached out hair and a photo-shopped CD cover worthy of an Entertainment Tonight appearance with Ryan Seacrest.

    I’m honestly starting to think that many SG singers are actually Country Music wannabes who couldn’t make it in Nashville. Even if that’s not true, that’s how many of them make it feel today. The whole SG persona has become so Hollywoodish and plastic.

    The groups of yesteryear definitely had a purer performance in terms of vocal ability, musicianship and even appearance. I’ll take listening to old clips like these any day over listening to a bunch of pop-sounding copycat CD performances.

  49. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    My guess on this clip would have been 2009, however since 1959 seems to have been proclaimed the winner, I take some comfort in the fact that we can at least pinpoint when southern gospel stalled out.

  50. j-mo wrote:

    Ryan Seacrest isn’t on Entertainment Tonight.

  51. ode wrote:

    38- correct, we can say with statistical certainty there are people in that school that had more –or less- then one wife or husband. Which makes their description of the pianist’s lucky virtues sound even more like cocky, selfish bragging. As if they don’t realize that being widowed, single or divorced is often not your own fault or choice.

    ***
    Does anyone knows by chance who is that CVH’s mysterious muse, Suzan? Presume she a singer? I am curious :D

  52. cjalmgren wrote:

    Have been reading with interest the opinions on the Speer Family. I am perplexed; if they “can’t sing”, how does one explain the multiple Dove/Grammy awards/nominations the group received over the years… from the gospel & secular music industry. The group’s successful sound was never entirely the result of hiring great non-family singers. The foundation for that unmistakable sound was always the unique & recognizable vocals of Ben & Brock. In the days when gospel music was dominated by male quartets, this mixed group acheived the status of “top-tier” and they were consistently booked with the Blackwood Bros. & Statesmen…not bad, if they “can’t sing”. I’m perplexed; if the group “can’t sing”, how did they ever record AND perform on stage the great Harold Lane 5-part ACAPELLA arrangement of “I Sure Do Love the Lord”…no trax, no piano. And lastly…if they “can’t sing”, how did they ever maintain a successful professional singing career spanning seven decades. Guess their audiences just kept buying tickets, buying product & giving in the offering plate. Just think what might have been if they “COULD SING”!

  53. Alan Kendall wrote:

    The Speer Family were tremendous. Were they my favorites? No, I lean more towards Statesmen, Cathedrals, and Oak Ridge Quartets, but I always enjoy and appreciate their music.

    There are a lot of styles that I do not necessarily listen to much that I still appreciate, because of the technical perfection of the music, and the talent it took to put it together.

    Having said that, we hear so little of the technical perfection anymore in southern gospel. We have obviously gotten so used to bad singing and/or cumbersome singing, that I guess a lot of our listeners just don’t know how to appreciate something that is done correctly, as so done by the Speers.

  54. j-mo wrote:

    52,

    Listing accollades and popularity is a convenient thing to do when you like a group, but how would that same argument work on you if I were trying to convince you of the greatness of -insert secular group you hate here-?

  55. Alan wrote:

    #52 - Is that really you, CJ? Great post. Are you still playing these days? If so, who are you touring with? Haven’t seen you since your days with the Stamps!

  56. John Crenshaw wrote:

    Great posts from Alan and CJ. I always appreciate those who sign their names to their comments.

    And, just in case somebody misses comment #51, Suzan is Brock and Faye Speer’s lovely daughter.

  57. irishlad wrote:

    yes Ode, she’s the blonde bombshell daugher of Brock & Faye Speer who sang with the group in the 70’s she’d be around CVH’s age… Not my type really…I much prefer dark haired, dark-eyed, olive-skin sultry types ;)

  58. cjalmgren wrote:

    #55 - Alan; Yes, it’s me…I’m on the west coast now & play for a group here in California…still love Nashville but it’s warmer here!

  59. Wade wrote:

    #56 — John Crenshaw… yes it is interesting ppl with such critical uncouth comments fail to have the guts to put their real name on their post. CJ Almgren was literally the glue that helped hold the Stamps together in the Rick Ed s & JD Days I know I heard them ALOT!!!

    Think he is way more qualified than some one making a boorish review who has to hide behind some bs called j-mo!!!

    I wanted to post that yesterday but did not want to be negative on Christmas!!!

    Hope you all had a Merry Christmas, Happy Happy Hanukkah, Yule, Saturnalia
    Birthday of Horus…whatever YOU say… I say Merry Christmas and proud of it!!! Cheerz…. even you ygg

  60. Alan wrote:

    Totally agree with your comments about CJ being the glue, Wade. He also played some great piano for The Speers. CJ - can’t blame you at all for liking the CA weather, and it’s great that you’re still at it. Wade - you did miss Happy Festivus. Made me sad. :-)

  61. Ode wrote:

    Thank you, comment #56 ;) and Ilad on enlightening me about the singing siren, pretty girl and partial owner of CVH’s heart Suzan. I noticed you both commented on just her appearance, and enchanted CVH on mysterious talent that was “beyond singing, and aspirations not limited to SG” oh, you gentiles! No wonder God turned to you after failed experiment with us. You can make anyone’s description sound beautiful.

    I’d have just said “ hot girl, ok singer” and, as always, cause trouble somewhere.

  62. Ode wrote:

    48,Money, dear. Moolah. Dead presidents. An eccentric girl like you probably doesn’t bother herself with such earthy, unromantic matters,but groups need to maintain sustainable income, unless they can sing to gas station attendants instead of paying em. Great Songs that require nothing more than solo piano accompaniment are so few and far in between, they can’t rely on them alone.

  63. irishlad wrote:

    Re: Suzan; i must say she was looking great in that spoof video the Speers made in the early 80’s about a mixed up booking in a honky- tonk,she sure played the part of the femme fatale very well,rather too well if you ask me. lol

  64. CVH wrote:

    Ode, too funny! “hot girl, ok singer” also works…

  65. Ode wrote:

    54, Good point.Yes, according to his logic, Lady Gaga is the greatest singer! And they say old people can’t get modern music ;)

    56,

    there is no special valor in attaching one’s full name to e-posts. People openly express their opinions daily on all kinds of online outlets and blogs thru 800 mill Facebook accounts, most are personal and real.So what? Whats in a name? We don’t know who you are. Ok, let’s google “John Crenshaw”– so are you #1 Elvis Drummer with a bad mullet?

    I let Melvin Klaudt get away with bragging about it,our good bud Melv is so old he rode dinosaurs, he doesn know any better,but you sound younger….

    What IS TRULY honorable and brave is to stand by your opinions and be humble and honest enough to say “sorry, my mistake” when required. So even if he is one of the best pianists (I take your word for it and gladly believe it!)
    CJAlmgren is a coward and not man enough to explain or admit his blatant logical idiocy that j-mo pointed out. So far cjalmgren – as a poster- deserves no respect.

  66. irishlad wrote:

    Ah,Ode i’ve just fell in love w/you all over again…if your granny had balls she’d be your granda.

  67. Ode wrote:

    ah, motek… :D maybe God saves you from much trouble this way, ilad

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