Bill's Bountiful Blog
May I keep you posted on my thoughts, ideas, observations, and silliness?. Am I serious? Is it relevant?. Does anyone care? Probably not much.
But in today's age of everyone has something to say, why not me? And who can blame me for jumping into to the pool? For speaking up For laying it out?
"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." - Thomas Wiley, Journalist
By Wm. May
Published: 04/11/23 Topics: Aberdeen Washington, Education, Music, People, Self Improvement Comments: 0
Even after taking band for years, when new students entered Weatherwax High School’s band room for the first time, they still had much to learn. Mr. Hampton Wines was the man to teach them.
The sheet music was on the stands, the older students already seated stiffly, instruments out at the ready and the room was quiet. 80 musicians waited. Then the bell rang starting class.
Instantly, Mr. Wines stepped to his stand, raised his baton, gave the beat, and the music raced forward until, when it ended, his review began.
The third chair trumpets were a bit out of tune, the clarinets were entering each stanza a bit early, and the drums – well the drums – were far too loud as usual.
The critique was never personal, then he said “Again, from the top.” The rehearsal went forward all hour, then for days, weeks and months until – every player had learned every tune flawlessly.
Quickly new students became better musicians. But only years later did they realize how much else they had learned.
And it had nothing to do with music.
Students were required to attend “Sectionals” where each type of instrument practices together, sometimes there were evening sessions, and for the marching band, time on the field traipsing to and fro in the rain until the marching and the playing was perfect.
Personal instrument practice was required if a student was to avoid being reprimanded during rehearsal.
Being a trumpet player himself, Mr. Wines (who students and parents would never have dared to call Hampton) challenged every player to complete the dreaded “37 Weeks to Double High C” program of drills, repetition and even calisthenics. For some it took years instead of weeks.
Born in Wisconsin, Hampton spent three years in the Air Force during World War II, and while stationed in Fresno, California met and married his lovely wife Ruth. Together they had 3 children – John, Terry and Candy, all musicians.
After the war, Hampton graduated from the renowned Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 3 years with degrees in Piano and Music Education. He then spent 4 years teaching band in the mid-west, and 7 years as band leader at the Kennewick, Washington high school.
There he devised a 7-foot tall bass drum, pulled along on a cart, while the band marched during parades. During a Portland Rose Parade his superb musicians, along with the giant drum, caught the eye of a school superintendent who recruited Mr. Wines to come to Aberdeen to “Build the best band ever.”
For the next 22 years, Mr. Wines oversaw band programs at 8 grade schools, and 2 junior high schools while leading the Weather High School Concert Band, Marching Band, Stage Band, Pep Band and other ensembles. They marched at every football game and played non-stop tunes at every basketball game. His bands won contest after contest, delivering perfect score after perfect score.
Mr. Wines invited nationally known professional musicians – such as Bill Page, George Roberts and Sergio Mendez to travel to Aberdeen to play concerts with the high school band.
In the 1960's, he arranged to have the bands record an album, at a time when doing so was new and expensive. Doc Severinson, the nationally admired leader of the Tonight Show TV band, was the guest soloist. When asked, why Aberdeen? Wines said, “Because our kids were that good.”
On four occasions, Mr. Wines arranged to take the entire band, along with chaperones on month-long international concerts tours including to Europe, Mexico and Scotland. They were trips no student will ever forget.
When the Bobcat basketball team made it to the state high school final-four championships one year, Hampton and his 24-person pep band arrived early, and almost marched to the North end of the Seattle Coliseum’s basketball court. There was no clowning around, no chit chat. They were there to do business.
They watched as their rivals the 100 person Renton Washington High School band sauntered in, slapping backs, laughing and lounging haphazardly to the South of the court, 100 feet way. Finally, their instructor coaxed and corralled his players into their seats, where they sat sloppily.
With his back to the court, Mr. Wines faced his band, grinned and whispered, “We'll wait and play after they do.”
The Renton played a song haphazardly, producing a clatter that was out of tune, out of time and barely decipherable. When the music petered out, a few basketball fans clapped politely.
Immediately, Hampton leapt to the front of his Pep Band, the musicians jumped to their feet instruments ready. He brought down his hand (no baton here) to start the music, and then walked away (as was his custom). The Pep Band burst into a fight song that rattled the rafters.
He risked nothing by sauntering away, having drilled his students well, some for 8 years. For every concert, he also started early, stayed late and doubled practices before big appearances.
The entire crowd, including Renton fans, jumped to their feet to clap along. All cheered when the Bobcat song ended and the band bowed. At the end, the play-by-play arena announcer exclaimed, “And that was a Pep Band.”
Mr. Wines stood behind the band unnoticed but beaming. The Renton band leader stared at his shoes, his band members slumped in their seats.
Thousands of students were lucky enough to go through the Weatherwax band program taught by this fellow Mr. Hampton Wines. All of them still love music, many still play, while others went on to great success in other fields.
And all because those young musicians, were lucky enough to have met a man name Hampton Wines who taught them more than music. He showed them how to work diligently and what it felt like to do something great. And to be recognized for it.- - - - -
The Hampton Wines scholarship is awarded to a student who has or wants to learn how to do something great. It is preferred you love music and already have a start on being a superior player, but being a superior person is more important. Apply today for this scholarship.
Author: Wm. May
Blog #: 0831 – 04/11/23
By Wm. May
Published: 04/01/22 Topics: Hi-Tide Resort, Moclips Beach WA, Music, Ocean Shores WA, Radio Comments: 1
Thinking of the beach brings up memories of the surf, sand, wildlife and, of course, the summer sun that bathes Moonstone Beach at Hi-Tide Resort in Moclips, Washington State. State.
Guests have been visiting our "directly on the beach" condos for many years, most returning year after year. Of course, we could tell you all about our comfy furniture, fully outfitted kitchens, private decks and views North, South and West (far west).
But maybe if we conjure up a few songs, you'll get the idea. The songs we play over and over again during all the fun times we have here.(Click on any song to listen.)
This tune was all over the radio in 1963 and ranked as the top song in Billboard rankings. It is the most recognized recording ever written by Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, although band member Mike Love says he co-wrote it.
Fifteen surfing hot spots are mentioned, most in California, with a nod to Australia's Narrabeen and, of course, to the grand daddy of them all - Hawaii's Waimea Bay.
Our Moonstone Beach at Moclips is not known for surfing, but that's OK because we get to keep the place to ourselves.
In 1934, Gershwin wrote this steamy song for his American opera, Porgy and Bess, with lyrics help from Dubose Heyward, the author of the novel on which the opera was based.
First recorded by Billie Holiday, who was to become an icon in musical history, Summertime has been recorded over 68,591 times, then a world record for cover tunes.
We don't suffer from the stifling 100 degree heat and 100 percent humidity that this song evokes, but we do find the living easy all summer at Hi-Tide. Warm breezes, warm sun, warm sand make it a comfortable place to hang out in the summer.
Written by John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian and Steve Boone, this summer at Hi-Tide you may be glad you are enjoying the pleasant hot sunshine on Moclips Beach and not the sizzling city. The waves are friendly as you sit back and watch the sun sink into the ocean directly west from our condos
You might even seen the famous, green flash, just as the last bit of the sun disappears over the horizon.
If you have never heard this "Iz" song, you are one of the few. Where have you been? With over one BILLION views/listens on YouTube, this medley of Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World make Bruddah Iz the top selling artist of all times on the world music charts.
Nothing could be better as you drift off to sleep in one of our Hi-Tide condos than to listen to the gentle ukulele strum and the stunning voice of Bruddah Iz, the hero of Hawaii.
And why Hawaii, when we are here on the coast of Washington State? Every ocean brings the same enchantment, the same relaxation and the same love of the world, including here on Moonstone Beach.
When you visit this summer, you just might hear other guests humming contently one of these songs as they settle into beach life. But don't wait long or we'll be full and then you would have to sing a sad song. And, of course, we wouldn't want that.
Author: Wm. May – Summer Song Singer, Hi-Tide Resort
Blog #: 0866 – 04/01/22
Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com
By Wm. May
Published: 05/18/20 Topics: Hawaii, Music, Self Improvement Comments: 0
This blog is not about me. But a bit of background might help. I grew up playing all kinds of music from a young age, not necessarily playing well but playing none the less.
It started with a concert level pianist mother and a father with a soaring tenor voice. I picked up a trumpet in fourth grade, met the high school band instructor and play with him for 8 years through high school.
But first there were piano and trumpet lessons and concerts with the concert band, marching band, stage band, pep band, concert orchestra and even our own little school sponsored "Tijuana Brass" imitation band called - unbelievably in 1969- the Marijuana Brass.
A the age of 13 I happened to hear some new English group called the Beatles on the radio of our tiny neighborhood store Perini's. I was hooked and started a band, then another, playing with many great musicians while we all wanted to become famous and play on the Ed Sullivan TV show.
Or at least we wanted to be swooned over by girls in the way they swooned when watching the Beatles. In 1964, at the age of 13, somehow I talked some parent into driving my bandmates and I the 100 miles to attend a Beatles concerts at the Seattle Center Coliseum.
The Beatles played in the round and the stage slowly revolved so everyone could see them. The sound equipment quality was terrible. The girls screamed so loud we could not hear the music. But we could see the magic.
I played guitar and bass in numerous rock bands and made a living at it for some years, a small living. I partnered in a sound studio, a jingle company and an advertising agency. But eventually moved on to being a fan and not a performer. It was a good run.
In the Charles Cross's biography of Seattle's rock band "Heart", Ann and Nancy Wilson revealed they too attended one of the two times the Beatles played in Seattle.
As they walked out of the concert Nancy, the younger sister, asked , "Why are they all the girls screaming?"
To which Ann said, "They all want to marry the Beatles."
Said Nancy, "We don't want to marry the Beatles, we want to be the Beatles?
And the rest is Heart rock and roll history. They became famous. I did not.
As I said, this blog isn't about me, it is only to imply that I know a little about music and I know that I achieved journeyman status at best.. Years later I stumbled upon a musician who proved it.
Hearing Uncle Willie K music on the radio in Hawaii and then seeing him perform left me flabbergasted by his talent. His skill was astounding and his versatility beyond believing. You can love music and respect the musician at the same time.
Better than all of that, he had a kind of charisma I had never seen - sheer confidence and humor. He knew he could take an audience anywhere he wanted them to go. Including his rendition of "We are the world" completed with uncanny imitations of Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Tina Turner. No body else can do that
Eric Gilliom, a versatile TV actor and Hawaiian music master, formed a "Hawaiian Super group" with Willie called Barefoot Natives. Before one show willie asked him what was the most money he had ever made doing a concert. When Eric said something like $10,000 willie sat down and said, "Let me see your $10,000 show tonight."
willie and Eric' sister the superlative Amy Hanaialii Gilliom became a couple and willie produce four award winning albums of their own brand of Hawaiian and other music. I loved the music before I knew who they were. As did every Hawaiian.
William Awihilima Kahaiali'I - willie K - grew up playing young at the knee of his father the nationally known and admired Manu Kahaiali'i. Willie was just one of 13 children, so his Dad played music 7 days a week to pay the bills, everything from jazz, blues and Hawaiian of course.
Maybe that is why he branched in so many musical directions. He idolized Jimi Hendricks and prince. That lead him to just about every other kind of music. He was famous for Christmas Carols, but also Salsa, Jazz and Reggae.
He was sought out and accompanied Mick Fleetwood of Fleet Mac, his solo chagrined Billy Idol of ZZ top, Prince praised him, Willy Nelson sang duets with him, but so did Alice Cooper. BB king invited him on stage, he sang with the Commodores and he laughed with comedian Jim Cary. Barack Obama played willie K loud during workouts. willie and Steven Tyler became best buddies.
Maybe they loved they guy because they felt a little like me - unworthy.
He was known through out the world for guitar and ukulele skills but 10 years ago at a local Hawaiian concert he baffled the audience when he dismissed the other musicians from stage, stood silent a long while and finally said, very somberly,
"I am very sad. Last week Pavarotti died. I think he and I were brothers. Tonight I will sing Nessum Dorma"
Afterward, 800 people sat silent and then jumped to their feet screaming "Hanna Hou" (encore). It was the start of many appearances with symphony's singing opera music. On a trip to Israel he brought Jewish congregations to tears by mastering the Israeli national nation.
In 2018, willie K announced that he had contracted a very aggressive cancer, but promised to keep performing as he always had, at every opportunity. His Maui Bluest fest continued each year. He took aggressive treatment but in the end he died quietly at his home May 18, 2020 surround by Ohana.
I didn’t know William Awihilima Kahaiali'I personally, and yet everyone who saw him perform knew him personally. The way it is with all great musicians and performers, they leave themselves, their skills, their personalities and souls on stage with all to see.
Upon hearing of willie's passing, Alice Cooper said it best, "Heaven will be in for one hell of a surprise. I can almost hear the thunderous applause."
There are so many links because of the variety. Couldn't stop myself.
Author: Wm. May – Music Fan
Blog #: 0757 – 05/18/20
By Wm. May
Published: 10/14/19 Topics: Aberdeen Washington, Education, Music, People, Self Improvement Comments: 0
I had some amazing music teachers in my life as a student.
A year ago, while searching for a high school teacher to attend our 9th reunion (which sounds so much better than our 50th year reunion) I found that my high school band instructor, Mr. Hampton Wines, was still alive at 94.
Online, I concluded he lived at the same address. After telephoning his number repeatedly with no answer, I finally knocked on his door and was delighted to find him there and robust as ever.
We spent two hours reliving the past. He had memories of me that I did not remember, which made me feel special and appreciated, but in further stories, he remembered every student I could name and many I no longer remembered. He knew who was a good musician, who played flat, and those who were late to rehearsals.
For 50 years, I had waited to ask a question. I thought I remembered that the junior high band instructor visited our grade school in an attempt to teach 4th graders to play instruments, such as the heavy brass trumpet I was assigned and was so proud of.
But did I remember correctly that there was another mysterious man who occasionally attended rehearsal (such as it was) and stood at the back listening intently? "Was that you by any chance?" I ventured.
"Of course, it was me, looking for talent to groom." he insisted. "If football coaches can recruit, so can I. I lost many kids to football, but I got most of the good ones."
It must have paid off. Under my relentless questioning, he admitted that in 42 years of annual high school band competitions, his bands always achieved a "Superior" rating, and in fact, he admitted to never receiving anything less than a perfect score.
"Is that true? How is that possible?" I asked. He answered with a laugh and the old cliché, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
"Practice. Practice. Practice."
Very distinctly, I remember sitting in the rehearsal room, as he taught, picking apart every error and begrudgingly giving compliments for every well-done passage. I can hear it now as he picked me out of the 60-member band, stopped the tune, and said:
"Mr. May, that is a B and not a B flat. Ok, everyone, go again everyone, third page, top line."
It seems Mr. Wines followed the Henry Ford method of "No blame. No shame. Just fix it."
My memory of the band's quality has proof. As a sophomore, the band recorded an entire album when having tape recording technology was rare. Band, stage band, orchestra, and all with guest soloist Doc Severinson, then the longstanding band leader for the NBC TV network's Tonight Show. A very big deal.
"How did you get him to come to our little out of the way town?" I asked.
"I made telephone calls until, eventually, I got him on the phone and invited him to come. He came. And he was very impressed with your musician classmates."
In addition to the Beatles and other rock and roll bands we loved in high school, a novelty group called the "Tijuana Brass" had hit after hit on the radio.
To show how naïve the world was in my sophomore year of 1967, the name of our school-sanctioned, seven-piece band was "The Marijuana Brass." By my junior year, the principal had caught on and changed it to "The MJB's."
In my senior year, I dropped out of band to spend full time playing guitar and bass in a rock and roll band that traveled every weekend.
"It hurt me when anyone quit band, such a waste," he said. In 42 years, he must have taught thousands of kids. How could he remember me?
Like so many teachers, his example, his influence have never left me. I haven't played music in a very long time, although I now own all the guitars I could not afford as a kid. Music is central to my soul, to how I think, to what I consider beautiful.
And, in other endeavors, I am never sure if I have ever achieved anything, but I am sure I always practice, practice, practice to know the music precisely, play on key, and perform as you mean it. Damn him.
"Practice. Practice. Practice."
And at age 94, he still gets up early to practice the trumpet for an hour before he plays the piano for an hour and then drives himself to church. He misses his wife, who died a few years ago. His son and daughter are successes in life, as are his grandchildren. But, of course, they are.
On the day of the reunion, Mr. Wines was not feeling well enough to attend, but he did arrange to have the current high school marching band attend in full uniform. Although he has not been the band instructor for many years, his legacy remains. They were fabulous.
The band knew the music precisely, played on key, and performed as they meant it, as expected.
You can support teachers like Mr. Wines and students by contributing to the "Hampton Wines Scholarship." at https://www.gh-cf.org/hr-wines-scholarship/
Author: Wm. May – Lapsed Musician
Blog #: 0789 – 10/14/19
By Wm. May
Published: 03/28/18 Topics: Behavior, Cooking, Music, People, Self Improvement Comments: 0
It is too easy to believe that the world has changed, that it has become less predictable and that human beings have become less considerate, more harsh, more uncaring. Although I surely hope that is not true, remembering a warning from long ago, tells me things don't really change.
He was a friend, we played in a band together. He was the guitar player, the singer, and he was brilliant. I don't mean run-of-the-mill smart, but intelligent in a happy, smiling way that just says, "I know what I know." And more importantly, that he believed it. So we did, too.
The drummer in the band had gone to school with him since kindergarten. Both were 4.0 students in college. When queried the drummer said, "Yes, we are both straight A students, but I am fully aware that he has never gotten anything other than a perfect score."
Math and science, of course. 4.0. English and Chemistry A+. But also band, gym, student newspaper, and everything else. And of course, he was an Eagle Scout.
We actually made good money in the band, but the guitar player went off most summers to unknown small towns, where he was given a bicycle to ride around town selling encyclopedias. The sales pitch he learned bled over into his personality as truly a compassionate, truly caring and casual approach. His language was always friendly and non-threatening.
As we ate dinner in a local café, another band member mentioned their hamburger tasted like leather and he had decided to send it back to the kitchen. The guitarist laughed and said, "That's OK to send it back, but never be an ass about it."
Karl had also made money by working as fry cook in a local diner. He said, "You do know that if a customer is rude, the cooks will spit in the food before they return it back."
I laughed and said, "No, don't tell me that. Tell me it's not true." The guitar player smiled that smile that we'd come to recognize when he is absolutely sure he knows the facts and we don't.
"Oh yes, they will."
"Because cooks, dishwashers and wait staff aren't paid much, and certainly not enough to put up with bad people."
"But they could lose their jobs."
"Doesn’t matter, you can only push people so hard, before they fight back"
This conversation happened many years ago, Over years of dealing with customers, clients and people certainly more powerful than cooks, some have caused me to think of the guitarist.
People who get paid highly, such as maybe your doctor, dentist, accountant or lawyer, might listen and not react to bad manners. Your family may ignore your behavior. Your neighbors can avoid you.
But when dealing with everyone else, especially those who serve us all in restaurants, hotels, and even governmental offices, remember this. Be nice, or they will (in some way) spit in your food. And they'll laugh, because you'll never know.
Although he has continued to play music for years, the guitarist became a big success in his chosen profession, built wealth, raised a family and - I can imagine - he was loved by his customers, staff and partners.
I regret that we have not kept in close contact over the years, but I don’t have to imagine this, because I am absolutely sure. He has remained a pleasant, considerate person. He was far too smart to act in any other way.
Author: Wm. May
Blog #: 0596 – 03/28/18
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