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Veteran's Day

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In America, we celebrate a day for veterans of the armed forces. It is devoid of politics. But simply a thank you to people who have served in the military in the defense of our country and freedom. Peace time, war time, doesn't matter. Serving your fellow countrymen is a high calling and deserves some gratitude.

This song, when I perform it live, I make a special dedication.

So, this is for my 1st step-father, Gerald French, boiler tech second class USS Ogden (he was staying in, hoping to become chief petty officer.)

And my friend, Blake, Norris Lee (we always called him Lee), (RIP, 10-11-47 to 02-17-05), US Navy, second class petty officer, SEAL, Da Nang, Viet Nam, 1964 - 69.

It's a song about sailing men.

"Brandy" by Looking Glass


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An important occasion for those people who give of themselves so the rest of us can be safe. Sounds really good Ron. Your rhythm and phrasing is done well in this performance. It is in a lower tessatura than I usually hear you. Your voice sounds deep and full. Nice job.

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An important occasion for those people who give of themselves so the rest of us can be safe. Sounds really good Ron. Your rhythm and phrasing is done well in this performance. It is in a lower tessatura than I usually hear you. Your voice sounds deep and full. Nice job.

Thanks, Geno. I recorded this sometime in January, 2011, not long after getting my condenser mic and usb interface from Thanos. I mixed it myself. Columbia pre-set eq, which is bass heavy. Some echo with .25 decay.

Vocally, I am just about speaking the verses, where as the chorus feels more like "singing." Near the end of the song, where you hear the lyric "yes, it is," I am speaking, rather than singing. This is at the very bottom of my range. So, no, not everything I do has to have "strat" notes in it. :lol:

I try to sing in the original key, whenever possible, regardless of what it is. I can't always do that. Another song I like to do I had to raise one whole step to fit my voice.

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Good post Ron. ;)

I know you posted the song as a dedication and not for critique but I have to say something. I know you like to break champagne glasses with your high notes and that seems to what others look for in your vocals also. But I have told you this before and I get the impression you don't like to hear it....but...

Although you can hit the notes I personally (and this is just me) think "this" is your singing voice. I told you once before that I like your lower range better than your higher but you got insulted. That's not my intent. I seriously think that this is you brother Ron.

Any way, nice sentiment bro. :)

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:D That was awesome! I'm not sure what I expected but like Geno said Full, Rich, Smooth very satisfying.

And by the way to all of you Veterans out there... THANK YOU!!!

Ron, Thank you also.

Tommy also has a good point. Don't forsake your lower range for the love of shattering glass. Let us hear more from you in this stratosphere also.

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Wow, Tommy, I don't remember that conversation, whether in the forum or in email, but okay.

Actually, I was hoping others could contribute musical salutes to our veterans, whatever countries they originate from. For example, Veteran's Day in the US coincides with Rememberance Day in Canada. Our well-behaved neighbors to the north.

Funny thing, more often than not, this is the song I am singing at karaoke situations. Not because it's in an easy range but because it seems to fit the crowd, at the time. I like doing the song not because it works the basement bottom of my range but because of what the song means to me. When I hear it, when I sing it, I still see the naval shipyards at the Port of San Diego, the USS Ogden moored to the pilings. I had regulation dungarees cut for a short man (I was a tall child.) The smell of Pacific Ocean. The wiry build and strength of my 1st step-father. He was not a big man but he was strong as an ox. His tour of duty in Viet Nam still fresh in my mind. Bringing back neat stuff during his r & r in Tokyo, Japan.

Then, there was my friend, Lee. His specialty was C4 demolitions, remote detonation of VC encampments, though he also had 9 confirmed sniper kills. He volunteered for three active combat tours when he could have spent his entire enlistment as a driver for an upper rank (his first job out of boot camp and just before he enrolled in bud/S.) He was literally death on two feet, with any weapon or with hands and feet. And after his DD-214, he was able to absorb back into society, mostly. He had some wild days, riding his bike whereever it took him. I have 2 patches on my jean jacket from him. An american flag from his favorite ball cap. And the eagle patch that he had on his rags when he rode as a gypsy, though he was friends with a member of the Hell's Angels, but he was not the club-joining type. Rags are the vest or outer coat that bikers wear that have all their insignia on it. My jacket is mainly a product endorsement of Harley-Davidson and my patriotism.

One of the prize things on my jacket is a pin from my father-in-law. 9th USAF 410 Light Bomber Group, stationed in France, WWII. He was in the mess division. Because he spoke german, he was caretaker for german POWs, giving them their work assignments and seeing that they were cared for. Another is a patch with a drop of blood that says "freedom isn't free."

Another patch is from the Blue Bell Ice Creamery. A number of my wife's relatives have worked or still work for the creamery, which you can see from the in-law's house.

2nd step-father, Richard Cockrell, USMC Recon. And a local hero in the late 70's. He was driving a truck and stopped at a rest stop. A woman and her two small children were being car-jacked. He punched one guy so hard that the guy flew across the roof of the car. The other guy sliced him with a knife and he returned the favor by knocking him out with a single punch.

Step-grandfather, Robert Hennings, US Army.

Maternal grandfather, Serge Cook, originally from Germany, naturalized american citizen, US Army.

Friend, Robert Jacobus IV, US Air Force, Wiesbaden, Germany.

3 step-father, Tom Hall, sargeant US Air Force.

Mom's friend, James Hardy Reeves, Master Flight Sgt, Air Force, Viet Nam, shot down in action. Receive injuries from Viet Cong but survived and finished his tour. Later, while being a computer programmer (how he met my mom) master sargeant in the Alabama Air National Guard as a drill instructor.

Another friend, Paul, US Navy SEAL.

Another friend, Ken West, Sgt, US Army, Honor Guard, having stood guard at the White House during the terms of pres. Ronald Reagan ( he was a door guard in dress blues) and served rotation at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, considered the most prestiguous posting. In fact, when a hurricane is blowing up the eastern seaboard, the Tomb guard is giving the option of staying indoors until the storm passes. Not one Tomb guard has abandoned post, ever. It is harder to get into Honor Guard than into the SEAL training program.

Another friend, Robert, a sargeant in the Air Force, AFSOC (Air Force Special Operations Command (commandos)), Air Force Intelligence.

My assistant scout master in the Boy Scouts was an Army Ranger LRRP and he brought in his teacher to teach us how to live off the land.

Our scoutmaster had been a pilot in the Army, a 747 Jumbo pilot in civilian life. He was a 5th degree black belt in Kenpo Karate and taught us scouts for free.

Another friend of my mom, Lt. Lamar Masterson, US Navy, fighter pilot.

One of my regrets is that I could not serve. I was a 4F (medical disqualification, because of my asthma.)

Let me out my brother, fellow member, Slstone. He tried to get in the Navy and they medically disqaulified him for falling arches, even with a doctor's waiver if he wore his shoe inserts.

When 9-11 happened, I was too old to enlist, which I thought was unfair. Though I prefer a .308, just give me what the Army uses, the M-24, which still uses the 7.62 mm, with a scope. Though, again, I would prefer the Warlock .308. You don't have to dial in too much before 300 yards. I think 600 yards only takes 2 clicks. I would have taken care of bin Laden way before now. Just point out which cave.

Even though I could not serve, I can salute those who have, whether peacetime fixing radios in Sherman Tanks, or deep in the jungle, waiting a click out from a VC tunnel before pressing the remote detonator. And all points in between.

Some guys came back. Some came back in pieces. Some did not come back, at all. Sgt. West, the the guy in the Honor Guard, his older brother served and died at Khe Sang.

Master Sgt Reeves had a nasty time with PTSD. Parts of him were still back in the jungle and a set of firecrackers on 4th of July could cause a flashback.

Sgt West always compared himself unfairly to the ghost of his brother, the "hero."

A college friend, Russell, was in the Army in Viet Nam and lost 60 percent of his hearing, over there. But he was the sweetest guy of all.

Lee came back with stainless steel pins in his left hip, ankles, and a stainless steel teflon coated knee cap He passed away in 2005. Normally, one earns the right, by surviving bud/S to say the phrase but I think Lee would let me get away with it for the purposes of saluting all those who have served.

hooyah ....

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I was thinking, I must have seemed like an ungracious twerp. Many thanks to those who appreciated my performance of this song and parts of my voice they may have not heard before. As I said, this is an old recording. Minimal mixing strategy. Usually, I stink at mixing but I rolled the dice and came up 7 on this.

And, to answer that question of why I don't sing lower ranged stuff, I do. I have put up a number of songs that were not scraping the edge of the atmosphere. On some of them, never a comment, good or bad. Or, like the one country song I did, I got one comment ( a good review) from the only other member at the time who would admit to listening to country, now and then.

No hurt feelings, mind you. But as many of you may note, everyone here is chasing range and the high range songs get more comments.

As for me saying that I lack depth and brilliance to produce legit baritone notes, that is not just me saying that to justify singing tenor, though I happen to be a tenor. Steven Fraser had noted on a song that I did where I thought I was being baritonic, that I wasn't, really. It helps to have someone else hear you. So, my stating something like that really does come from someone with an excellent ear outside of myself giving an educated opinion.

Sorry to derail but I thought the comments of you guys deserved more than a brush off while I went off in my admiration of veterans, etcetera.

edited to add:

I just realized I was making an assumption. I said I was a tenor but I am not training for opera and am not singing opera so, maybe, range classification doesn't mean anything. Though I did consult a classical coach (not Steven Fraser) who, at first listen, described me as a light tenor. But I can't really claim that or any other fach unless I am in an opera training program. Right?

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