Monday, November 03, 2014

Bring Together Some Stuff This Week...

So I saw a couple of news stories this week that seemed connected to a song I heard. The song, which I heard first was by Kevin Gordon and it's called "Colfax." it's on his latest album Gloryland. One of the news stories was that the Lufkin High School Band of which I was once a member won first place the state military marching contest. The other news story was that the Klu Klux Klan, of which I have never been a member would march in Nacogdoches sometime this month. 

  Kevin Gordon is a songwriter from West Monroe, Louisiana. That's close by so it's easy to identify with his material.  I have lately been doing one of his songs "Down to the Well" as it resonates with some feelings and I have noticed other songwriter types are often covering this tune also. Nice we are all in the same boat. Gordon's songs are ballads, story songs and  this one begins with his recall of high school band days which seemed to mirror some of my own high school band remembrances. It's about much more than that so be sure to listen all the way to the end. Seems like many of his songs are like this one in that they start out going one way but then grab you and take you back another. 

Here's another video. It's the Lufkin High School Band's award winning drill. Occasionally you hear the some oldster saying "It's not like it was when we were in band." They are right. It's better and the kids play better. 


As for the Klu Klux Klan they look pretty silly these days. But attitudes were different back in the days that Gordon sings about, the days when I was in band the Lufkin schools were only recently desegregated. If you remember there was a U.S. Justice Department court order in 1970 that declared school districts in Lufkin, Kilgore, Jefferson, Carthage, Elysian Fields and Sulfur Springs had not complied with the desegregation case of Brown vs Board of Education of 16 years earlier that the rest of the nation complied with. The order for Lufkin was finely removed in 1999. 

I remember the marching, the tunes we played, that my band director smoked Pall Malls instead of Camels. I guess band directors might have had to smoke back in those days to keep a cool head like my director and Mr. Mennifield could and although I never liked Ted Nugent then and dislike him more now if that be possible we pulled many a hi-jink in the old band hall. I also wish I was more informed of the politics going on around me back then. I wish I could have done more. As long as we are alive it's not too late. Let's show what right in songs, in excellence, in working together, in living. 




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