Origin of Pajamas Music The context of what follows goes accordingly, I was/am an occasional poster to an acoustic guitar internet forum, one feature of which enables members to sometimes post vides of original material or cover songs for others to critique. Below is one member’s response to my cover of the Mindy Smith tune “Come to Jesus” which in hindsight, was an overly ambitious undertaking. For the record, I was attired in the video in flannel jams and a band t-shirt, perfectly suitable for an outing to Walmart, but I always remembered thinking ‘pajamas’ had a nice vibe so when the time came, I figured out a way to use it
I am a Louisville native from the South End, having grown up in Cloverleaf and graduated from Doss High (Class of ’79). My Dad held graduate degrees from SBTS in Sacred Music and from UofL in Education, so I grew up with Bach, Brahms and Buryl Red. I took oboe and piano lessons as a kid, along the way picking up drums, guitar and electric bass, and playing in various bands and ensembles, both organized and disorganized.
I went for a stint in the Navy instead of taking advantage of partial scholarship in Music Ed at UofL. I subsequently married and raised a family, went into pizza, data processing and direct mail, and finally pulled together enough credit hours and practical experience to earn my bachelors in general studies from IUS at the tender age of 47.
Around 2015 or so, I bought my first guitar in over 35 years (a 2005 Epiphone Masterbilt Orchestra Model) and learned to play again. I also started writing songs and teaching myself to play and sing them reasonably well. This led to joining a couple of songwriters groups, endless open mics, and playing at farmers markets, charity events and neighborhood festivals.
When the ‘Rona hit in 2020, I (along with many others) went home and stayed there for the better part of a year during which I fell into a little bit of a funk, wrote more songs, practiced, and picked up well over 150 cover tunes, most of them from the early decades of rock, folk and pop music.
Also during this hiatus, I decided to focus my hard work and effort on this activity that I really enjoyed, while happily and a little surprisingly coming to the realization that this was something I was reasonably good at doing.
Since the Spring of 2021, I’ve been playing in retirement settings as a way to connect with people, for personal fulfillment and to supplement my own modest retirement. Since then, I have built up a sizable base of clients in different locations and settings around town (independent and assisted living, rehab, memory care, etc). I’m also still frequently asked to play at local outdoor markets and some casual dining places, and I am so happy to be returning in the Spring of 2023 to the Douglass Loop Farmers Market for my 6th consecutive year, as it, along with the people who frequent it, has always been very near and dear to me.
The breadth and depth of my “repertoire” aligns itself more closely with a coffee shop crowd as opposed to a biker bar, and I probably won’t be covering KC and the Sunshine Band or Wild Cherry in this lifetime, but that’s just fine. I do what I do and folks of a certain age and families seem to enjoy the kind of music I am able to provide.
And along the way, a couple of things have become clear to me, especially over the last few years, and they are as follows:
1) I believe we are put here to connect with one other and to perhaps become better acquainted with our own selves in the process, and;
2) Music has a unique and extraordinary way of creating and facilitating those personal connections in a manner very few other endeavors can. There is nothing comparable to, or more personally rewarding than watching an elder, perhaps one deep in the debilitating process of Alzheimers or dementia, ‘awaken’ and start to nod their head, tap their feet and perhaps even sing along to the I, IV, V 7th chords of a classic rock ‘n’ roll Elvis or Johnny Cash tune!
Thanks for reading about me and please consider hiring me for your next event!