Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jerry Burgan - Outsight Interview

I was asked to do a radio interview that We Five fans might find interesting. It was podcast live to San Francisco and to England this week by Tom Schulte for Outsight.

It began with a discussion of the We Five single, "There Stands The Door" that was released in 1965 and then goes on to cover an array of topics. If you'd like to check it out, the We Five segment starts about 50 minutes in with
There Stands The Door followed by several cuts from my solo CD Jerry Burgan - Reflections, Songs & Stories (available from the Global Recording Artists website at GRAgroup.com). The 30 minute discussion with Tom begins at about 60 minutes. The URL for the interview is http://outsight.podomatic.com

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Parting words for a friend

You may have seen the obituary last month when actor Tim Robbins’ father, Gil Robbins, passed away. He was an old friend of our family who had a profound affect on me in the late 1950s. Gil directed my parents in their church choir in Pomona. He also gave me clarinet lessons, taught music at our school, and directed the boys’ choir where Michael Stewart and I first sang together. Gil was a talented musician who found delight in music as a key element of life. I loved his quirkiness and that he didn’t simply ‘teach’ music. He would seek the unusual--sometimes reading to us from Beethoven’s biography exposing us to the human side of the musical genius. I recall one occasion where he brought a portable pump organ to class, set it up in the class room and proceeded to play-sing-alongs as he huffed and puffed and pumped the pedals. Not everyone was impressed, but I loved it.

His work with the Glee Club at Pomona Catholic High School led to meeting John Stewart and eventually playing bass with him in a folk trio called The Cumberland Three. They signed with Roulette and moved to New York where he remained until retiring. His departure left a void in my musical life until I met John Stewart a few months later. I followed Gil’s career when John left the Cumberland Three to join the Kingston Trio and in the mid-60s would occasionally see him when We Five was in the Big Apple.

Gil went on to play with Harry Belafonte and The Highwaymen and though he was not ‘man on the street’ famous in the classic sense, he was definitely a player. Along with his wife Mary, who was active in children’s theater the last time I saw her, they taught countless of kids like me to embrace music and the performing arts (and Mary died only weeks after he did).

We communicated for while by email when it first appeared, but only enough to regret not really getting to know him as an adult. He will always hold a special place in my heart, and with thanks I say, “Farewell.”

Monday, April 11, 2011

Phil in Idaho

Do you by any chance remember doing a concert in a stadium in Caldwell, Idaho in the mid-sixties. If you do , I was there. Infact I worked with a fellow named Denny Smith who was the Mayors son and I helped him put the concert together. I also remember a party at his house after the show. You were great and I still love your music. Phil

I remember it well!
We were on a bill with the Four Freshmen, and a (short) train went behind the stage while we were playing. The Four Freshmen saw what happened and were prepared with some one liners -- but they got a slow freight that took several minutes to pass!

I don't recall the party, but I do recall an airline strike beginning at midnite stranding us in Boise until our agent sent a Lear jet to pick us up. It was an awesome experience.

Thanks for writing.
Be well.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Was Lance Masters ever in your group We Five

The name sounds vaguely familiar but I cannot say why.
We have only had a few drummers over the years that actually played live with We Five. None of them were short term and I know all their names except …
There was a fellow who auditioned with us after our 3rd album but I don't recall his name. I do recall that his tenure was brief because he got hospitalized with meningitis and had to drop out for extended rehab right after spending a day with us at A&M and shooting some pix. We were quarantined but came up clean and I never heard from him again.

Still ringing...

To: jerry@officialwefive.com
Sent: Mon, January 17, 2011 8:24:45 PM
Subject: (no subject)

I must say that your music is still the best ever, even without Beverly.

I remember where I was when I first heard " You were on my Mind".

I was in 6th grade at Lucy elementary school in Millington, Tn.

That song still rings in my mind and have enjoyed all the videos of your group
with the lovely Beverly out front.

Thanks for your wonderful music.

Mike Sparks
I'm glad that we have made some music that brought joy into your life -- and that it's still working!

Dutchman discussion

Jim Moran, has a blog where he features and disseminates videos of various songs - mostly Kingston Trio-related.

He often throws his postings up against the Kingston Crossroads message board for discussion, and this past week, he'd featured "The Dutchman."

A friend chimed in with We Five's version on YouTube.

There are now several versions of the tune posted at his blog if you are interested check it out.