Mathews' Monthly Musing
September 2018

All the songs from this meeting can be downloaded on the Songs & Music page. (Thanks Jim Donovan)


The Ukesters assembled in Ken Kelly Hall at St Pius X Parish in Mission , Kansas on September 10, 2018. Holly Soptick was the leader. Weather was the theme.

Holly had everyone introduce themselves and where they resided and name their favorite season. Fall seemed to be the favorite.

Holly started things off with that old weatherman's favorite, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown from 1929. Many folks associate Gene Kelly as the primary singer , but Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards made it to Number 1 on the charts in 1929. About a fellow so happily in love that the rain can't keep him down.

Holly then led Kimberley Rew's WALKING ON SUNSHINE made popular by Katrina and the Waves in 1983. An upbeat song that shows one can be as happy in the sunshine as they are in the rain.

Steve was up next with the Beatles RAIN by Lennon/McCartney which puts forth the message that rain or shine, some folks are never satisfied.

Rick Sullivan brought GIMME SOME LOVIN' by Stevie Winwood, Muff Winwood and Spencer Davis.. Most importantly, the song introduced the world to Stevie Winwood and his powerful, soulful voice. Muff Winwood recalls that the song was written arranged and rehearsed in 30 minutes.

Holly led BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY by Daniel Boone and Rod McQueen and sung by Daniel Boone. It tells of a fellow out for a pleasant Sunday drive with the woman he loves

Chuck Wood brought Bob Dylan's SHELTER FROM THE STORM about what most critics believe to be the history of a marriage that ultimately fails. A haunting song and one Dylan's most popular offerings.

Holly was back with BUS STOP by Graham Gouldman and performed by the Hollies (actually named for Buddy Holly)in 1966. About a man who falls in love in a rainstorm with a girl whom he shields with his umbrella. Gouldman, who worked in a mens clothing store wrote the song going back and forth to work on the bus. Gouldman also wrote FOR YOUR LOVE for the Yardbirds and LOOK THROUGH ANY WINDOW for the Hollies. He eventually became a member of the group, 10CC.

Steve was up with I'VE GOT MY LOVE TO KEEP ME WARM by Irving Berlin (the guru of all songwriters). Similar to BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE, the singer extols the joy of warming up with his girl on a snowy night.

Holly took us to break with YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell. Despite the "sunshine" the song ends on a sad note. A very popular song recorded by just about everyone. Jimmie Davis served as governor in the state of Louisiana which is probably why it became one of the state songs.

Holly declared a break and the Ukesters concurred.

Steve previewed three ukulele books after the break.

HINTS AND TIPS FOR ADVANCE UKULELE PLAYERS (Kimura) $15,88 new $7.44 used

UKULELE CHORD FINDER (Hal Leonard) $6.99 new  $2.18 used

UKULELE AEROBICS (Hal Leonard) $16.68 new $11.61 used

All prices are AMAZONs and $3.99 shipping charge per book not included

Chuck Wilson announced that the 5th Annual Ukulele Slam would be held October 13, 2018 from 11am to 3pm at H J’s Youth and Community Center located at 6425 Wornall in KCMO. Chuck has done a great job building this event and people literally come from all over the state and some from out of state to participate. Open mike, jamming and vendors. It’s a great time!

Holly Soptick tendered the idea of setting up jam sessions in Lenexa. There seemed to be an enthusiatic response. More later. Any ideas contact Holly.

Ken Kelly is back and bad! Wielding the famous HARMONICA OF DESTINY, Ken called for a rendition of BUFFALO GALS with all the trimmings and what a version the Ukesters turned out. They probably heard it up in Buffalo!

Rick Sullivan brought the Woody Guthrie song DEPORTEES (PLANE WRECK AT LOS GATOS). Guthrie was reading a newspaper article about a plane taking a number of migrant farm workers back to Mexico that crashed in Los Gatos Canyon killing all on board. The article listed the names of the 4 American crew members on the plane but simply identified the 28 Mexican workers as "deportees" inspiring Guthrie to write the poem that Martin Hoffman set to music and Pete Seeger made famous.

Chuck Wood led KENTUCKY RAIN by Eddie Rabbit and Dick Heard and made popular by Elvis Presley about a man whose lady love forsakes him and he journeys out into the rain to look for her. Classic Elvis!

Holly was up with the Hal David/Burt Bacharach blockbuster, RAINDROPS KEEP FALLING ON MY HEAD sung by B J THomas in the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" where it took the Oscar for Best Song. Things haven't gone well for the singer, but not even the rain will bring him down. A lot of great songs by this duo! (Bacharach and David, not Butch and Sundance)

Rick led the first of the "blue eyed soul" hits, GROOVIN by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati of the Young Rascals for the Young Rascals. It became Number 1 quickly and is The Rascals signature song. A fellow sings joyously out for a Sunday drive with his girlfriend!

Holly brought WINDY by Ruthann Friedman and performed by The Association. Is it a gust of wind or a lively, young girl? You be the judge. There's no doubt about the fact that it's a great song!

Jim Dickason brought BACK IN THE USSR by Lennon/McCartney from the Beatles White Album. A nice bouncy tune reminiscent (melody wise, anyway) of an old 1950's rocker. Definitely one of the high points on the uneven White Album.

Holly closed the meeting with Carly Simon's ANTICIPATION. A song about waiting. Simon was a talented song writer whose father was Richard Simon, co-founder of Simon and Schuster  Publishers. She became a very important voice for women to freely express themselves.

Holly Soptick did a tremendous job of leading the meeting, navigating the Ukesters through 17 songs over the course of the evening. A new Ukesters record!  Great job, Holly!

David Firman provided his rock steady bass acrobatics to provide texture and verve to the evening. Thanks, David!

There was $74.26 in the donation box. Thank you, contributors and St Pius Parish !

The next meeting will be on October 8th, 2018 same time, same place. Steve Mathews will lead. The theme will be, SONGS THAT FEATURE SINGING!

REMEMBER: MUSIC SELF-PLAYED is HAPPINESS SELF-MADE!

Until October, I remain, re-entrantly yours,
Steve