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Rod and Bruce Pivic at The Riverton Rendezvous, July 2001.
Photograph courtesy Jerry Lonn.
A Thought for Today
Nobody ever works too hard at what they
Those of you lucky enough to
have the long weekend off, I hope you had a good time without going
overboard, figuratively and otherwise. I had dinner with friends on
Saturday night, slept in on Sunday and Monday but later answered mail far
into both nights. Here’s some more of your mail I had a look at.
Rod----Just ordered your CD of " The Sea” had it on a 33-----really
enjoyed that--could not fine "home to the sea"
Can you answer a question that has been debated--What year where you
born-----I say the 30's---am I right------Your wonderful poems will live
forever-----Thank you for them-------Nancy
Dear Nancy, You managed to find a CD that’s supposed to be out of print,
proving nearly anything can be turned up – providing it was printed in the
first place. .
As for my age, you win again. I was born April 29th, 1933.
IT’S NOT EASY BEIN’ JOE RAPOSO
enjoyed your poetry that Frank Sinatra sang on his album long ago. My
favorites are: I HAVE BEEN, A ROVER.......IT'S NOT EASY BEING GREEN......A
MAN ALONE...... How can I get the CD for the album..."A MAN ALONE”, by
Frank Sinatra? Please tell me how. I will Forever Love this album. At 43,
It's unforgettable! It's Not Easy Being Green....is..so.....ME. You know
how to express ones inner most feelings, fears and
openness. Thank you for being you. I hope my request will be answered. M A
H A L O !, Kalua Grace.
Hello Rod, My name is Mel Webb. I am 73 years of age
and live retired in Las Vegas NV. for the past 5 years. My daily pleasure
is composing music with one of my computer music programs, named Band In a
I taught myself how to operate a computer at age 60. At age 62 I taught
myself how to use the computer music program. I am not a professional
musician. I don't play any instrument, nor do I know how to read a music
sheet. I have just loved music all my life.
Many years ago I read a story about you and your poetry in the old Life
Magazine. (I don't remember the year now) I was impressed with your
sensitivity with words and your way of arranging them into something
thoughtful and beautiful. I fell in love with one of your earlier
recordings of one of your poem/tunes, named....IT ISN'T EASY BEING
GREEN...............I think that it is one of the best things you have
done. ( my goodness! they are so many to choose from! )
In the past 2 years now, I have taught myself how to compose my own tunes
with my music program. I have about 200 or more now on file, and some are
posted on my web site for playing. Last year I composed about a dozen
tunes and I grouped them together on my site under the name of 'Colors'.
One of the tunes is named as sort of a salute to you and your tune IT
ISN'T EASY BEING GREEN. I named mine. IT'S EASY BEIN' GREEN. ( you say it
isn't, I say it is ) of course with tongue in cheek ;-)
I love your website, please visit mine if you care to and sign my guest
book.. Thanks, Mel Webb
Dear Kalua and Mel, I’ve written many songs in my life, hundreds in fact,
but I’m sorry to say “Bein’ Green” isn’t one of them. That meaningful gem
was written and composed by the late Joe Raposo. Joe was one of the later
half of this century’s most talented songwriters. His initial fame came
from being the resident composer on “Sesame Street.” My all time favorite
Raposo song is “There Used To Be A Ballpark” as performed by Sinatra.
“Bein’ Green” isn’t on the “A Man Alone" album, but it can be found on
Frank’s 1971 album “Sinatra & Company,” (Reprise 1033). After a very short
retirement FS recorded “There Used To Be A Ball Park” for his 1973 return
to record “Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back, ” (Reprise 2155).
“Someplace Green,” “Pastures Green” and “Blessings in Shades of Green” are
among the songs I did write during my green period.
Congratulations Mel on learning how to write music on a computer, that’s
something I haven’t tried yet. I’m looking forward to checking out your
Web site. For information on where to buy the CD “A Man Alone,” Kalua,
read on. Luv to you both
A MAN ALONE
Rod - I
have loved your raspy voice since 1969. I haven't heard much about you in
many years. I hope you are doing well and will continue to publish music
and books for a L-O-N-G time!
Meanwhile I need to get caught up with more recent recordings. I have
several of your poem books - especially love Stanyan Street. The World I
Used to Know is one of my favorite songs. I am going to try to locate some
of your more recent works.
Is the Sinatra sings McKuen available in CD? All of your music I have is
on LPs! Sincerely, Mary Lou Roark
Dear Mary Lou, Frank Sinatra’s “A Man Alone” CD is technically out of
print in the United States but the last time I checked Collectors Choice
Music has copies of the French pressing you can order. Here is their web
They are a great source of all
kinds of music and being on their catalog mailing list is a must.
The Double Fold LP of “A Man Alone” is still in stock at Stanyan By Mail.
And they also have the 2 CD set “Platinum” that includes “The World I Used
to Know.” All the best, Rod
I've been a fan of yours for over 30 years (giving
away my age, aren't I). I just bought the CD, A Man Alone, with Frank
Sinatra doing your songs. It's absolutely incredible. I've heard all the
songs before, and still think you do them the best, but I've also been a
fan of Franks for years, too, and he runs a high second to you in
performing your work. Also, I love "An Appreciation" on the CD. What a
wonderful tribute to your friend.
Next I plan to get my copy of A Safe Place to Land. Just wanted to say
thanks for your work over the years. It's meant so very much to me, both
when I was up and when I was down. Lots of times, it gave me reason to go
on when I thought I didn't have one. Lana Lee
Dear Lana, Thank you. I miss Frank very much. He was and still is a very
important part of my life. Hard to believe that it’s been over three years
since he left us.
Thanks for being there all these years, Lana. Affectionately,
PAGE FOURTEEN, PARAGRAPH ONE
Many years ago I fell in love with your writing and your songs-and used
them to judge every man that I would meet. Most had no idea who you were,
but I kept looking. One night -- in a bar- a man that I had seen many
times but had never spoken to, came up to me handed me a piece of paper.
On it was written “Stanyan Street and Other Sorrow--Page 14-- Paragraph
Well, to make a long story short-we will be celebrating our 30 Th. Wedding
anniversary in November. I guess I just wanted to thank you and Glen
Yarbrough for giving me one hell of a courtship and a great husband, and
many years of great of reading and listening pleasure. Lucinda
Dear Lucinda, Congratulations to you both and thanks for sharing the story
of your courtship. The next time anyone asks me why I continue to do what
I do, I can point to your letter. Luv and happy anniversary. Rod
been with you for years. I even got a Christmas card.
Any new books? Keep traveling thru life. Later, Stan Delejewski
Dear Stan, Thanks for your company on the journey. It’s been one hell of a
ride and shows no signs of slowing. The newest book, titled after this
website, “A Safe Place to Land” was published in April and is available
from Stanyan by Mail. Happy trails and travels, Rod
and old fan and I'm trying to get the words to the song “Sometimes”, if
you can provide with that I would be most grateful. I'm glad to hear your
still touring. Thanks, Patottie
Dear Patottie, It’s not a song but a set of words to be read aloud that I
asked Mort Garson to write the music for. Here they are courtesy ‘Of all
things McKuen’ guru Jay Hagan. Jay reminded me that it’s never been
included in one of my books, perhaps that’s because it was written to be
spoken not read. Kindest regards, Rod
Sometimes I think
if there’s one more river I have to cross
or one more hill to climb
I’ll give up trying.
when friends die or move away
or leave you... for whatever reason
I wonder what it’s about.
I mean... you try to give everything
and so... something should come back.
And sometimes... when it’s dark
and there’s no one around for miles
who seems to care
or even know about you
or even know that it’s dark
I wonder why we try so hard.
The beating of the heart can stifle anything
jack hammers and jack-in-the-boxes
And sometimes... the heart beats so fast
and nobody hears it
that you find yourself wishing it would stop.
But then... someone new moves down the block
and things are different... sometimes.
-words by Rod McKuen, music
by Mort Garson from the album, “Rod", 1968
What can I say. Thanks for the poetry, the music and expressing what I
never could. Roger Smith
Dear Roger, Thanks to people like you I have a platform to say the things
I care about. All the best to you, Rod
“GLAD YOU’RE STILL ALIVE” - ME TOO
50, I begin to wonder 'whatever happened to you....’. The 'web' is like
the Wizard in Oz and can answer lots of those questions. Nice to hear
you're still here; looking forward to reading you! Nancy Dolan
Dear Nancy, Welcome to “Oz,” I hope you’ll make it a daily visit. I’ve
been away two months myself and it’s a little difficult getting back into
the swing of a daily Flight Plan. Cheers, Rod
THE FINAL WORD
Today it belongs to Nicky
Williams who writes:
Corps General Reinwald was interviewed on the radio the other day and you
have to read his reply to the lady who interviewed him concerning guns and
children. Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you got to love this!"
a portion of a National Public Radio (NPR) interview between a female
broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald who was about to sponsor
a Boy Scout Troop
visiting his military installation.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things are you going to
teach these young boys when they visit your base?
GENERAL REINWALD: We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery,
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?
GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous
activity to be teaching children?
GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle
discipline before they even touch a firearm.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you're equipping them to become violent killers.
GENERAL REINWALD: Well, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not
one, are you?
The radio went silent and the interview ended.
Now that we are back on schedule, Ken Blackie arrives tomorrow in this
space with a brand new “This One Does It For Me". Join me as I join him to
see what’s up his sleeve this week.
On Thursday, I’ll continue
catching up on the around the world e-mail box. Sleep warm.
RM 9/3/2001 Previously
Details of Rod's next
appearance can be obtained by following the link below.
Your Troubles Away" - the music of Jerry Herman