Sing, sing, sing as we swing into spring

Our latest displays of community passion sure seem to evidence a renewed spirit. Not unlike the energy of spring.

If folks are not talking about the what-ifs and where-to’s of principals and principles or the SWHS girls’ basketball coach or the peace sign on clothing or The Smilin’ Dog being chased by the 3 Cats, they seem to be whining baseball, basketball or the improprieties of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl Flush.

Like the Roshi said once at Bayview Hall “It is not a truth unless it applies to all, to everyone.”

Or at least that’s what my notes say.

What do I know?

I was writing notes on my version of a laptop, a 3-by-5 card balanced on my knee. Hardly a wide-screen monitor, but wide enough for short thoughts.

I am but a human being, surrounded by stacks of relevant and irrelevant information, some truthful, some not.

First, the not so truthful.

Despite recent holiday rumors, I do not have a trust fund, but I do frequently fund trust.

Secondly, the so truthful — Although I am not yet into my sixth decade of procrastination, I continue to reveal to my self that older is often lovelier, wiser and more rhythmic.

Right now, I am listening to a likely threesome of legendary; Keely, Frank and Willie. You may also know them by their nicknames — The Queen of Swing, Keely Smith; the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra; and Willie.

Willie needs no nickname, but in Memphis he’s called the Elvis of Austin.

Keely’s latest recording is spinning now — “Vegas-’58-Today.” Keely was 21 when she married Louis Prima, July 13, 1953. Today, Keely is a year older than Willie.

Keely’s latest live recording features an all-star band including Rosemary Clooney’s drummer Joe Cucozzo. This live lounge sound from Feinstein’s at the Regency Hotel at 61st Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan (not Kansas) is the closest we may ever get to Louis and Keely at the Sahara Lounge 50 years ago.

This is a must for you Keely Smith fans like Nancy and Alan Bixby who rubbed elbows with Keely and Sam Butera at the Las Vegas Desert Inn a few years back.

For you that watch Court TV, no litigation was pursued by the foursome for rubbing elbows. Keely did, however, settle in the lobby for Alan’s incredible imitation of Gabby Hayes doing Louis Prima’s “Zooma Zooma Buckaroo.”

Last Sunday on KIXI-880AM, I heard the newly re-mastered version of Sinatra’s “On The Sunny Side of the Street” from his third and final collaboration with Billy May, “Come Swing with Me.” This is a must for any of you who like a big band with Frank. There are five other songs that were not on the original 1961 Capitol Records vinyl.

Coincidentally, three of the bonus songs were arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle. I’d like to pipe Frank’s “On the Sunny Side of the Street” through the Doug firs and big leaf maples around here, but I might scare the nettles.

Have you noticed that the nettles seem to be growing inch-by-inch, minute-by-minute? Just like grandkids.

My third addition to recent auditory stimulation in the Loose Caboose is Willie Nelson’s Lost Highway recording, “You Don’t Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker.” Leave it to Willie to jam-pack 13 songs that we do know into 39 minutes and 37 seconds. Savvy Willie knows his fans use 90-minute tapes to violate the copyright; 45 minutes on each side. That way we can tape all 13 songs, 39 minutes and 37 seconds worth, on each of the two sides! Voila! We never have to rewind Willie!

Willie and Friends’ rendition of “Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Age,” co-written by Cindy Walker and Bob Wills, is a toe-tapper’s delight. It will likely be the first song played on the midway during the Senior Recognition Awards at the Island County Fair. You can bet your bingo that Buzz and Margie Strout will cut a slice of asphalt on this one. Johnny Gimble on fiddle, Charlie McCoy on harmonica, Buddy Emmons on steel; Willie’s deliberately delicious dance music for any family.

Two step this second verse:

“Don’t mind the gray in your hair

Just think of all the fun you had putting

it there

And as for that old book of time, boy

You’ve never skipped a page

So, don’t be ashamed of your age,


Don’t be ashamed of your age.”

Speaking of lines, do not be waiting in one. Get your tickets pronto for the provocative and engrossing “Seduced,” presented in three-dimensional, surround-sound live theatre at the every-seat’s-a-great-seat Whidbey Island Center for the Arts from April 14 (opening night reception hosted by The Beachfire Grill) until the 2 p.m. closing matinee on April 30th, Willie Nelson’s 73rd birthday.

See how this all ties in?

Plus, I’m now listening to Willie as I type, realizing that neither Howard Hughes, who allegedly inspired the story line of “Seduced,” nor Willie Nelson shave.

Nor does director/actor/producer/grandpa, Richard Evans who brings his interpretation of this Sam Shepard play to WICA for six evening and two matinee shows. Go to www.wicaonline.com for tickets or call the box office at 360-221-8268 or 800-638-7631.

This concludes the written portion of my contractual agreement. See you next week for another version of this new interactive game: Read or No Read.

Jim’s column is archived and available through the Opinion link at


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