Archive for April, 2016

In the late 1980’s – early 1990’s I took four “semesters” of songwriting classes when we lived in the San Fernando Valley area in Los Angeles. I took 2 “semesters” with Jack Segal and 2 with Jason Blume. The one thing both recommended is to “write what you know”! In other words, if you know nothing about being a sailor, writing a song about that would be a struggle if not impossible.
I had also been given this advice by some very kind music publishers from Nashville when I was pitching songs to them in the early 1980’s. So around 1980 I wrote a song called “Out My Window” – a story about a person lay up in a hospital bed unable to walk. Because of my hemophilia, I had spent many weeks and months in such a bed in Decatur and Macon County Hospital in Decatur, IL.
davejudyhosp This photo is me and my sister, Judy in 1972 when I spent many weeks in the hospital because of a swollen left knee that wouldn’t heal.

Another such incident is chronicled in this excerpt from my upcoming auto-biography:
“Second grade, fall of 1962, was life changing. Again, we started the year walking to school. Nine days into the school year I was swinging on our home swing set. In hind sight, after having grown some in height, , the chains to the swings should have been adjusted to raise the seat higher off the ground.

            I used to love to swing as high as I could – each time trying to see over the top of the swing set as I rose on the back side. I would often swing very high and then on the down swoop – jump straight ahead into the grass. It felt as if I was flying!

This particular day, as I pumped my leg on the up swing to increase my speed, my right leg somehow caught on the ground underneath me and my right knee twisted horribly. This is kind of hard to write about as I can still feel the excruciating pain in my mind. Mom used to say she heard me cry out and immediately her heart seemed to stop.

I limped from the swing set into the house crying. My right knee had already started to swell. It wasn’t broken, but it didn’t need to be. With hemophilia, strains of any sort can cause bleeding into the joint, whether in an elbow, knee, hip or ankle.

Mom and Dad rushed me to the hospital where I would spend the rest of the year in and out of – sometimes for 30 days at a time. I can still remember the doctor saying I might never walk again. Well, he didn’t know me! I would show him!”

In all my years of writing songs before 1980 and since, the song, “Out My Window” is the only song that speaks on the subject of my bleeding disorder – though I do not refer to it by name. Another rule of lyric writing is to make the lyric as universal as possible – so I only refer to being in a bed and not being able to walk. Hopefully that will resonate with folks that have had a similar experience or know someone who has been bed ridden – only being able to look out the window hoping to one day return to walking!

A recent music video with lyric of OUT MY WINDOW (click link) is posted on Youtube!

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Living On CoverI  have been writing songs for 50 years! I have been pitching my songs to other artists, labels, publishers etc. for about 40 years! Now,  one of my songs that I wrote by myself, has been recorded by a professional recording artist!

Norwegian Artist – Nina Flaaseth’s CD,“Living On” is now available to download on most digital distribution sites! It includes my 1st solo-written cut “You Are Living On”! (Track 9) Excited for this wonderful traditional Country musician/singer and thankful to Nina for adding my song to her CD! Nina even titled her CD, “Living On”, inspired by the song!

You can download the CD below or just the song on Amazon here: Nina Flaaseth: “You Are Living On” it is also available on iTunes ! To buy the CD, pm Nina on her Facebook page !

I think if there is a picture in the dictionary by the word “persistent” it just might be my picture! Ha! Actually, it is more that I LOVE music and just kept trying and trying!

To have my first solo write get cut be my song, “You Are Living On”, holds special meaning to me. Written after the death of my father-in-law in 2008 – just under 3 years after the passing of both of my parents, I needed to express my feelings! Then, my brother passed in January of this year – so this song means a lot to me – totally written from the heart! All those songwriting classes teach you to “write what you know” – it is such good advice!

Never give up any dream you may have! Please feel free to share this post! Thanks!
Dave