We love stories. We can read a book or have one read to us. Perhaps a story is online or viewable on the multiplicity of media available. Ultimately, the result of the creation of an authentic story is a treat for us all. Besides entertaining, a story can be informative. In addition, it can promote a business or a product. Whatever the purpose, the process is basically the same. In this post, the focus is on the process.
The Creation of a Story
The process of creating an authentic story requires intensive research and lots of writing. I’ve created several stories containing the required elements. In all four authentic story situations, there was access to primary sources and extensive research. Sometimes having access to primary sources is impossible. So when it does happen, it can be very special for both the writer and the reader.
Four Authentic Stories
The authentic stories here touch upon four different non-fiction topics:
• business-a multi-million dollar corporation that started in a janitor’s closet
• social issues-The Middle Class Poor Crisis, a serious situation that exists today
• creativity-a creative-organizational process called Knolling
• music-some very special musicians
Each of these stories is set up as a series of blog posts. To read each of them, click on their link. That will be the first post of the story. You will be able to read the additional posts from there.
The Story of A Corporation That Started In A Janitor’s Closet
Expressions of Creative Passion: Part Two
HEART & SOUL AS EXEMPLIFIED BY CLARENCE COLLINS AND
The reason I have put these two artists in one post is because they embody something very special. Together, they art ‘Heart and Soul’.
Clarence Collins is the heart of any musical project he is involved in. That is his nature. He was both the founder and the heart of ‘Little Anthony & The Imperials. Many people do not even know that it was he and not Jerome “Little Anthony” Gourdine who was their founder. When it came time for him to end his years of touring with the group, he settled down in Las Vegas. This is where his path crossed the serendipitous path of Keith Galliher, Jr. and how Keith came to know about Teddy Randazzo’s prolific songwriting genius.
I have written about Clarence at greater length in several of my earlier posts. Suffice to say, Clarence shared his love of Teddy’s songs with Keith. They are all a musical match made in heaven. Today Clarence and Keith are co-owners of Imperials Plus Records. As they say, the rest is history.
Aretha Franklin’s singing is like a fine wine that matures and tastes better with age. It was always superior. But now it is sublime. That is the comparison that must be made to Aretha Franklin who ‘brought down the house’ at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony on December 29, 2015. The President was moved to tears and the audience jumped to their feet cheering. Compare this with an earlier performance of the same song, both below. There is no comparison. But then, I think that Aretha has never done a song badly.
Expressions of Creative Passion is a study of five musical artists. I have chosen them not for their ‘fame and fortune’. In fact, I have chosen them because at times in their careers, they had to wrestle with challenges to those most sought after goals. Instead, I chose them because, to me, they embody riches far greater than ‘fame and fortune’. I chose them for their extraordinary embodiments of creative passion.
Three are male and two are female. One was born in the 1910’s, one in the 1930’s and three are alive today. In fact, one only started singing within the last decade. One is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Another is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Expressions of Creative Passion: Part One
AS EXEMPLIFIED BY
SISTER ROSETTA THARPE
Sister Rosetta has come to be known as the ‘Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll. She invented styles of singing and guitar pickin’ that were adopted by later, greater artists who got the credit. She was never inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame despite fervent attempts. She is remembered only by the most erudite of Rock ‘n’ Roll students.
Expressions of Creative Passion: Part Two
HEART & SOUL
AS EXEMPLIFIED BY CLARENCE COLLINS AND
Clarence Collins was the founder and a member of ‘Little Anthony & The Imperials’. The guys met and became famous as teenagers from Boys High School in Brooklyn, NY.
Expressions of Creative Passion: Part Three
AS EXEMPLIFIED BY TEDDY RANDAZZO
Teddy Randazzo, like Sister Rosetta Tharpe showed musical prowess as a child. He played the accordion so well that even his ‘hard to please’ father agreed he had talent. His songs were big successes with Little Anthony & The Imperials and sung by cross generational stars.
Expressions of Creative Passion: Part Four
AS EXEMPLIFIED BY KEITH GALLIHER JR. MUSIC
Thanks to Keith Galliher, Jr. Teddy’s music is experiencing a long overdue revival and recognition. It is a great joy and will become so for many people.
WHAT IS CREATIVE PASSION? How can one define or describe it? I am writing my fourth blog post attempting to answer these questions. This clearly indicates two things. The first is my fascination with the topic CREATIVE PASSION and the second is the proliferation of information aka creative passion in American Music History between the 1920’s and the 1970’s.
EXPRESSIONS OF CREATIVE PASSION: PART FOUR
SERENDIPITY OR FOLLOWING A SERENDIPITOUS PATH
AS EXEMPLIFIED BY KEITH GALLIHER JR. MUSIC
Keith Galliher Jr. has been a Las Vegas based litigation attorney for over forty years. About five years ago, he decided to record an Eric Clapton song, ‘Wonderful Tonight’ as a gift for his lovely wife Linda. He surprised her with it. She was moved to tears when she found out that he was singing it. That is the second element of serendipity in this post. The first serendipitous piece to this path began some years ago when Clarence Collins, founder and former member of Little Anthony & The Imperials became a client of The Galliher Law Firm. So when Keith starting singing, Clarence was the logical person to seek out to help him on his new path.
Clarence brought several crucial elements to their musical union. The first was Clarence’s own immense talent and musical history. The second was the relationships and connection he had in the music industry. Important questions had to be asked and answered.
What kind of music would suit Keith’s voice best? What songwriters did he feel passionate about singing? What ideas did Clarence have? The answer to these questions led to the next step on the serendipitous path, making a connection with the right music.
In the midst of this, Keith created a two-part radio show, Two Paths. One week featured some aspect of the legal profession. Alternate weeks featured his music. The show is one of many on the streaming audio network, America Matters Media. One of the owners is Eddie Floyd. He is also a host on Two Paths which can be heard on Fridays at 10am PST. As a correspondent on another show, A.M. News, I heard about Two Paths and started listening to it. I was fascinated by both features. I called in several times and soon became a familiar voice on it as well. I introduced myself to Clarence. As they got to know me, they realized I had a keen eye for research. I became their #AceDetective, commissioned with two Music Mystery Challenges. The second one had to do with the Randazzo family. In solving the mystery, I got to know Teddy Randazzo, Jr. rather well.
Although Teddy, Sr. had died several years before Keith started singing, Teddy Randazzo was someone Clarence knew well. He was intimately familiar with his music. Teddy had written some of the songs that were ‘Little Anthony & The Imperials’ biggest hits as well as hits for other artists. For example, Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop, Tears on My Pillow, Hurts So Bad, It’s Gonna’ Take a Miracle, I’m on The Outside Looking In, Song Without An End. Keith was a natural for these types of songs and so Imperials Plus Records was born.
By 2015, Keith had completed two full CDs of songs featuring various artists, ‘Love Songs For Linda’ and ‘Two Paths’. Some of them were written by Teddy. Some were not. Anyone who hears Teddy’s music falls in love with it. He wrote over 650 songs, was a singer in his own right and a teen movie idol as well.
Keith Galliher Jr. wanted to work with the music of this brilliantly talented man. He had started adapting some of Teddy’s music to his style. He has created an entire CD of only Teddy’s music calling it, ‘Teddy’s Songs’. That CD has just been released by Imperials Plus Records, the company belonging to Keith and Clarence. The final song, ‘Destiny’ was recorded with special technology to include Teddy’s voice. The name says it all. It has been and is the destiny of everyone accompanying Keith on this journey to experience the magic, the passion and the ‘evergreen’ or timeless quality that Teddy’s music has. It is truly due to Keith’s passion to follow a serendipitous path.
WHAT IS CREATIVE PASSION? How can one define or describe it? I am writing this blog post, and others to come, in an attempt to answer these questions. There are many types of expression of creative passion. For the sake of manageability, I am focusing on the art of music in this series. In addition to this discipline, I am narrowing my exploration to American Music History from the 1920’s to the 1970’s.
You are welcome to visit the above page, American Music History from the 1920’s through the 1970’s. There are obviously many other great periods and countries where creative passion lived within the soul of an artist and blossomed. But this is meant to be an introductory blog post to whet a reader’s appetite. Maybe one day there will be a book composed of chapters of these kinds of artists. But for now, we have a small feast of five. Let’s go to:
Expressions of Creative Passion: Part One
AS EXEMPLIFIED BY SISTER ROSETTA THARPE
A great example is one of my favorite singers who spanned many of the decades of this study. Her name was Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Click on her name for the link to Wikipedia about her. She is considered the ‘Godmother of Rock ‘n Roll. But if I were to ask most Rock ‘n Roll enthusiasts who she was, they would have no clue.
The above video is of Sister Rosetta singing, ‘Didn’t It Rain’ in her UK appearance as part of the American Folk Blues Festival that took place between 1963-1966. Click on the link for more information about this event. Suffice to say, a collection of the greatest living American musicians came to Europe to tour and introduce European audiences to American music. The European response was the British Invasion which to a great extend ‘copied’ the American music they had been introduced to.
Sister Tharpe is credited with inventing the guitar picking style of Elvis Presley and the music styles of many other musicians. But one can see how obscurely she is mentioned on the poster promoting this several year tour event.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s name is barely legible in the bottom right hand corner of the poster
“Born in Arkansas in 1915, Sister Rosetta Tharpe began performing as a child with her mother. One of the first gospel artists to perform in both churches and secular clubs, she is credited with bringing gospel music into the mainstream in the 1930s and 1940s. She toured until her death in 1973.” Quoted from biography.com. She was recognized by the USPS, with a stamp that was issued in 1988 as part of the ‘Gospel’ series.
It is posted on the facebook page of Sister Rosetta & the Rosettes at the beginning of this post. The page exists primarily in memory to both Sister and the Rosettes. It is maintained by Jacquelyn (Jacki) Harris, the niece of one of the Rosettes, Erma Fitzgerald (later Patterson) who was a very talented singer, igniting the church going community with her passion. I would love to see it get many more ‘LIKES’
Essentially, Rosetta had faded away into obscurity. But the American Masters:PBS Special about her helped to revive interest and awareness. One wonders if she will ever get full, public credit for being the ‘Godmother of Rock ‘n Roll? I don’t think she has ever been inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. Was there a glass ceiling in the musical world when she was at her best? In any event, to those who know her music, she is unforgettable and undeniable as a creative genius. Thanks to author and biographer of Sister Rosetta, Gayle Ward, we know as much as we do about the ‘Godmother of Rock ‘n Roll.
Unfortunately, she died in poverty without the money for a gravestone. A memorial concert was held to raise the money for this beautiful stone she now has. January 11th has also been declared Rosetta Tharpe Day. That’s okay with me. I will listen to her music and watch her documentaries all day. Creative genius is no guarantee of eternal worldly riches or even a gravestone. But the love and respect for the creative geniuses can.