Vancouver Ukulele Circle Meeting – Tuesday January 19, 2016

We had songs tonight that celebrated 2 great humans who passed away
recently. They are the world famous David Bowie and the Uke-Circle famous
Russ Mackay. Although there was a bit of sadness there it didn’t spoil the
fun and laughter of another splendid night that Russ would have been tickled
pink to enjoy had he been there.

I took some chances tonight in getting a few unexpected people to lead some
songs. It’s always bothered me a little that the male voices tend to
predominate in leading songs and I was pleased to coerce Vanessa, Carol and
Nicole to do some song leading. And boy did that pay off! I’m making it my
new year’s resolution to invite the women among us to come up and sing more
on stage. They’re not quite so pushy like the guys so I’m going to keep
inviting, cajoling and even begging if necessary. We’ve got some fine women
singers and I want to hear more!!

Performance time tonight began with Vivian (her 1st time on stage) who sang
Java (a song that got to about 129 in the charts in the mid-’60s!) She was
followed by a stage full of harmony in the form of: Tomi, Vanessa, Bonita,
Magda, Erin, Karen and Boaz, who all did a heart-warming rendition of Graham
Nash’s Teach Your Children Well. It was a hard act to follow but Derryl
stepped up to the plate to sing Georgie Fame’s The Ballad of Bonnie and
Clyde. How could you not love the part where he mimed being gunned down
while making the rat-a-tat sound effect on his banjo-uke. Splendid!

Another 1st-timer, Michael, did a nice version of Sea of Love that is
different to the one in our songbook and I think I like his better. Nice one
Michael! Johnny sang Bowie’s Space Oddity – a gesture that was much
appreciated by the crowd. Boaz played an instrumental tribute to Russ called
Standard Candles. Geoff sang Waimanalo Blues, a Hawaiian song by Liko Martin
and Thor Wold.

Ed sang Robert Johnson’s Crossroads and was backed up by Boaz and Ronin
(btw. Ron was also backing this song plus several others on bass, I don’t
mention his contributions nearly enough!) They played similar to the Clapton
version and what can I say…it kicked @$$!!! A well-deserved standing
ovation even though there were no first timers involved, ha ha.

Tom Moody rewrote the song Alfie as, you guessed it, Ralphie!! A lovely and
endearing tribute to ME!!! Thanks Tom. As well as the kind and funny
sentiments in the song he even made and brought (on transit) a huge bowtie
made of colourful paper that measured about 4 feet across. At the moment
that he sang, “Sure as there’s a bowtie up above Ralphie” it was my proud
duty to dangle the bowtie over his head (suspended from a long stick.) It
was a ridiculous amount of effort for one cheap gag in a song; and it was
hugely appreciated! The bow tie made a reappearance at the end of the night
when walked round the room flying it above everybody’s head. Tom wants you
to notice that if you take the ‘t’ out of Bowtie you get Bowie….now if
that isn’t just a little spooky…

Ronin ended the session with the Beatles’ Golden Slumbers (again for Russ.)

I look forward to seeing you next time which is February 16 – mark your
calendar now. It’s Valentines so there’ll be some serious uke-lovin’ going
on and we’re anticipating an official announcement of what is to become of
our lovely venue the st. James Hall.
See you there!!!

Keep Strumming and smiling!!!

Ralph Shaw