Author Archives: sixstrstories

The Ballad of “Wayfaring Stranger”

Ballad: “A poem or song narrating a story in short stanzas, or verses.” Verse 1 I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger, a traveling through this world of woe But there’s no sickness toil or danger in that bright land to … Continue reading

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“Are You Awake?”

First things first: Happy New Year!!! Every December since 2011 I’ve put together a personal “Best of…” playlist that I call Discoveries & Resurrections. The list draws from all of the music I’ve read about, written about, discovered, listened to, heard … Continue reading

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A Christmas Jazz Piano Sparkler: “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” by Dave McKenna

I know. My Sparklers category is supposed to feature: “Recordings of outstanding performances by noteworthy guitarists – or outstanding guitarists giving noteworthy performances.” Oh, well! Not today. Dave McKenna’s Christmas Ivory is very high on my list of all-time-favorite Christmas music … Continue reading

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‘Tis The Season…

…to reflect and share. One day a couple of months ago, quite out of the blue, I started singing part of an old song of mine called “Pavement Ends.” I located the complete lyrics of the song, undated, on page … Continue reading

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This Historic Day In Music: Merle Travis

I first learned about Merle Travis in the September 1976 issue of Guitar Player magazine. GP editor Jim Crockett began his introduction to Bob Baxter’s cover-story article/interview with Mr. Travis with this statement: “Countless guitarists, particularly in the country music … Continue reading

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This Historic Day In Music: November 23, 1936, The Gunter Hotel, Rm.414, San Antonio, Texas – Take 2

They had travelled from Mississippi to Texas, the young black man with a guitar and the older, white business man. Years later, people along their route would still remember this unusual sight. The business man was Ernie Oertle, a talent scout … Continue reading

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Sparklers: “Lipstick Sunset” by John Hiatt, featuring Ry Cooder

This is the fifth installment of this category featuring recordings of outstanding performances by noteworthy guitarists – or outstanding guitarists giving noteworthy performances. It is inspired by whatever god oversees the shuffle mode of my iPod classic during my morning walks. … Continue reading

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This Historic Day In Music: Wanda Jackson

Wanda Jackson – the singer, guitarist & songwriter who became known as the “Queen of Rockabilly” – was born in Maud, Oklahoma on this day, October 20, in 1937. In 1956, 19-year-old Wanda signed with Capitol Records and soon saw … Continue reading

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This Historic Day In Music: Chuck Berry

This songbook has been in my music library for many years. Fred Sokolow’s excellent note-for-note transcriptions of 17 Chuck Berry classics have repeatedly proven themselves to be invaluable to me as a guitarist and as a teacher. The Michael Ochs Archives … Continue reading

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The Beginning

The first time I gave a guitar lesson was on Monday, October 13, 1975. My student’s name was Catherine. She was 13 years old. Catherine’s Mom was a classroom teacher at the elementary school where I was the brand new, … Continue reading

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