I’ve Been Thinking

I’ve been thinking…and that can be a dangerous thing…about all the songs I’ve written, sung, recorded on tape (as well as my Chestnut Record hit) and how to preserve them and my other writings for posterity.  Only a few of my kids ever heard me sing and only three ever saw the Kountry Kings.  I’ve got lots of poems and stories on my computer and I’d like to put them together in a form that they can access if they so desire.

I’ve been dabbling in videos for YouTube.  I started with church and school events and found there was an audience in old friends, some family, people who have come to El Refugio as missionaries, and expatriates living abroad.  I have videoed family events such as Margarita’s and my wedding and holidays.  Recently I put up a few boring music videos with me sitting in front of the webcam.  Then I created videos with better music (I hope) and photos to go with it.  All along the way I have been learning to use the computer tools that make videos interesting.

I dug out some cassettes and pumped the music into my laptop via a program called Audacity.  It makes your computer screen look like a real studio mixer and you can add as many tracks as you wish.  I practiced with “Silent Night” and sang the melody and two parts of harmony.  Not the best quality sound but neither is my voice as I approach my 76th birthday.  I produced a couple of videos from my U.S. church which were sung with others and the church band.  I liked how they came out.

Today, I recorded a cassette from 1965.  Roger Brown and The Kountry Kings Live at the Dog House Bar where we got our start.  It’s got a lot of chatter and some sound gaps, so I’ll need to do a lot of editing.  I also want to separate the individual songs from the almost two hours of tape.

As I listened to this 46-year old relic I found myself appreciating the musicianship of my band mates.  We always had a good time and made the people laugh.  We were comfortable with each other on stage and each man’s music just seemed to blend perfectly with the other’s.

I’ve been thinking of different formats for making videos.  We have no live video of the band.  I’ve only got a few photos of any of us.  I’ll check with Jeannie Smith, our lead guitar and harmony singer’s wife, to see if she’s got some that she can send over the Internet.  But I’ve got 40 songs to cover.  That’s making me think it’s about time I split my 124 videos into separate categories, church, family, and music.  Maybe have three separate channels.  It’s going to be a lot of work and take a lot of patience to make the best videos I can.

One thing I want to do is put together Frankie Kay’s steel guitar numbers as a tribute to our late brother.  He was a good friend and comedy partner as well as a solid musician.  He and Smitty did some beautiful twin work and I want the world to hear it.

Frankie Kay, Steel Guitar Man


August 13, 1965                      Roger William Brown

He played a crying steel guitar in a country and western band.      His style of country pickin’ was known all over the land.                   It had ten pedals and a double neck,                                                    And when he’d had a couple he could play like heck.                      Talk about your steel-men, he knew every trick.                             This country crying steel guitar man.

But cry steel guitar, weep and moan.                                                    For the one who played upon you now is gone.                                   Let your echo fill the room so dark and bare.                                Maybe somewhere he can still hear                                                       And know that you care.                                                                      

They were playing one night at a club on an interstate road.         The room was hot and crowded and he’d taken on quite a load.  When the show was over he got into his car,                                    Sped along the highway but he didn’t get far.                                   They found his finger picks, a few strings and his bar.                      The country crying steel guitar man.

So cry steel guitar, weep and moan.                                                        For the one who played upon you now is gone.                                   Let your echo fill the room so dark and bare.                                Maybe somewhere he can still hear                                                      And know that you care.


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