As most of you here know, mrW was launched three years ago on Labor Day. I’m told by one of my loyal staff members that Labor Day at mrW is a bit like Christmas. With no presents and no decorations on hand, I’m not so sure the comparison holds up, but who am I to argue? So, in the spirit of the season, I’ve tried over the last few years to put up a podcast commemorating our inception – a present of sorts. Something relevant or personal for the occasion. This year is no different.
This story is one that I wrote few years ago. It was in fact a personal eulogy for a man named Fred King, that wound up getting published two years ago in a magazine called The Harmonizer. Fred was my high school music teacher, and a legend in the world of accapela harmony. He died on September 1st, 2008. That year, the first of September just happened to be Labor Day, and as best I can figure, my old friend and mentor died about the same time I was posting the video that first launched this site.
Because the funeral was later that week, and mrW was little more than a single video and a few links, the coincidence of his passing didn’t occur to me until much later. In fact, I didn’t connect the dots until people who read the story began urging me to bring it to life with some of the music Fred created over the course of his remarkable career. I thought that was a good idea, and bringing it to life was nothing short of a headlong sprint down memory lane. Aside from my Dad, no one impacted my life like Fred King. Hopefully, if you give this a listen, it’ll remind you of someone in your past. Someone that made a difference.
My friends John McGlennan and Matt Cohen over at One Union Recording helped put this together in a way that I believe will make Garrison Keillor jealous. You may listen and decide for yourself. Everything in the story is precisely how I remember it, and most of what I remember is probably true. I have not changed any names to protect the innocent because, let’s face it, none of us are innocent. And besides, the people I mention were all affected by Fred in the same way I was.
I hope you like it. It’s nearly a half hour, so pour a beverage and get comfortable. Put on headphones. Turn it up. And have a happy Labor Day.
HQ here – in case y’all want to talk more, here’s the thread in the Water Cooler: HERE