Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Their Memory Lives On In Their Songs

One of the wonderful things about today's technology is how it has saved some of the most wonderful performances in the history of music. The iTunes playing softly in the background set on shuffle mode. The whole team just stopped what they were doing and gathered around the computer and just listened.

The computer is now our best sound system. Gone are the days when you needed 4 foot by 4 foot booming speakers to recreate the true sound of the performers. The clarity is amazing. I've got boxes full of vinyl records and cassette tapes in the basement just sitting. I thought they might have future value like old master's paintings. (In fact I no longer have this collection and just got rid of it when I sold my townhouse)

Oh sorry, this is Matt the Music Lover talking. The guys on the team forget about me because I'm so often just in the background setting the mood. I like almost every kind of music but pretty much revert back to my favourite—old classic R&B, aka Soul music.

The guys were listening to a more recent version of an old Ray Charles classic Here We Go Again, a wonderful duet with Norah Jones, from the CD, Genius Loves Company. A most unusual blend of significant talents.

The guys stopped because they heard the unmistakable lilting tones of the Hammond B3 organ softly caressing the notes in perfect balance with the rest of the song. I knew that could only be one person performing that way. Sure enough it was. Ray, as he always did, properly introduced Billy Preston when it was his time to perform his solo. Billy had a way with the keyboards like Clapton & B.B. King do with the guitar. They all know how to make their individual instruments beg, plead, shout, scream and cry.

Sadly, Ray and Billy are no longer with us. Brings tears to my eyes writing this. But there's good news. The digital music file has saved for all time, the magic they created. No hisses or pops. No crackles. No skips. Just the sound. You can actually "hear" the silence in these recordings.

How's it hangin' Ray. How's it hangin', Billy. Rock and Roll Heaven truly has a wonderful band.

Thank you. That's right. Bobby's there, too.


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