Paul Alan Laughlin's

Musical Recordings


Paul
                Studio

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"Tom-Tom's Tunes,"
in Celebration and Honor of Paul's
First Grandson, Thomas Alan Laughlin,

born on November 24, 2014 at 2:00 a.m.
("pink and perfect" and "freakin' adorable" @ 6 lbs. 14 oz)

  
My "Tom-Tom's Tunes" is an ongoing project of recording
lullabies and other child-and-parent friendly tunes in honor of
my  grandson, Thomas Alan Laughlin, born at exactly 2:00 a.m.
 on November 24, 2014, thanks to the fine "work" of Momma
Jess Laughlin and Papa Drew Laughlin.

All of the selections were recorded after September, 2014 in my
home-based piano-organ-keyboard rehearsal and recording studio,
using a Yamaha P105B electric piano as a controller hardwired
to my MacBook Pro laptop and using Apple's GarageBand, a
software program or app that provides a virtual digital
recording studio. Scroll all the way down the page for
a photo of my layout.

Here is an image of the projected CD album based on the
tunes accessible below. We'll be handing this version out to
family members and extremely close friends; but once we have
 the production line up and running, we'll also make a generic
version free of charge for anyone who wants one. Meanwhile you
may enjoy and download the seventeen tunes listed below, and
pass them on your own family members and friends. I'm told by
folks who have previewed these little musical pieces that they are
not only fun to hear, but work as sleep aids to people of all ages!
   
  

TTT-FinalPic

TAL2  TAL2  TAL3  TAL4
 
D&T  TAL5  TAL6

   *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

"An Irish Lullaby"
by J. R. (James Royce) Shannon
  
Background: Since the name Laughlin is
hopelessly Irish, I thought this would be
a good tune for the start of the project.

"Bach's Little Prelude in C Major"
by Johann Sebastian Bach
  
Background: This is perhaps at the same time the simplest and
most difficult to play of all of Bach's many compositions, perhaps
because its repetitive (but not repetitious!) rhythmic pattern
lulls (!) the performer into inattention to precision. Charles
Gounod (pronounced"Goo-NOD," but often mispronounced
"GOO-know"or Goo-KNOW") used Bach's tune as the
harmonic basis of his melodic version of "Ave Maria." I
have remixed it as such
here
, using a synthetic alto flute
to play Gounod's haunting melody. (NOTE: One does not have
be a Roman Catholic, or even Christian or religious, to enjoy
its huge cache of beautiful--and therefore sacred--music.)

 
 
"Beautiful Dreamer"
by Stephen Foster
   
Background: One of the reasons I chose this lovely ballad
was my free association of the words "lullaby," 'sleep," and
"dreams." Another was that it is a rather dreamy tune. Yet a third
was that its composer was that "Father of American Music,"
Stephen Foster, who is probably best known for his "My Old
Kentucky Home," the official song of the state--or commonwealth,
really--and the Kentucky Derby. where I grew up. Imagine my
surprise to learn that Pennsylvania was his birthplace, and
despite the fact that he lived in Cincinnati for a while, there is no
real evidence that he ever bothered to cross the river and visit
even Northern Kentucky!  Still, "Beautiful Dreamer" is
a pretty tune and makes a nice lullaby.

 "Brahms' Lullaby"
by Johannes Brahms
  
Background: This is not only the most familiar and beloved
lullaby in Western culture, but the tune for which the
composer is most remembered. It took me a great deal of
time and thought to get just the feel that I wanted for it.
This version is very close to what passes for perfect for me.
 
"Chuck Mangione's Lullaby"
by Chuck Mangione

Background: Chuck Mangione is a jazz-pop fleugelhornist
and composer who reached the peak of his productivity and
popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. His biggest hit was "Feels
So Good." This "Lullaby" was part of a movie score that he
composed for the filmed-but-never-released "Children of
Sanchez," starring Anthony Quinn. It represents arguably
and ironically, some of Mangione's best work.

 
"Dream"

by Johnny Mercer

Background: This tune is not really a lullaby,
but lullabies remind me of sleep, and sleep
reminds me of dreams, and this is a totally
dreamy ballad.

   "Edelweiss"

by Oscar Hammerstein & Richard Rogers

Background: This song is from the movie
"The Sound of Music." It, too, is not usually
thought of as a lullaby, but can truly serve
as one. It's also my wife Donna's favorite
song, so I just had to include it!

  "Farm Fresh Lullaby"
Traditional Children's Songs

Background: The Farmer in the Dell" meets
"Old  MacDonald." What could go wrong?


  "Grambo's Children's Lullaby"
Traditional Children's Songs

  
Background: This is a medley of familiar children's songs. At just
over seven minutes, it's also the longest recording in this collection.

 
"Good Night, My Someone"
 
by Meredith Wilson 

Background: This tune is from the 20th century musical and
movie, "The Music Man." It is really the same melody as
another song in the same show/movie, "76 Trombones," only
set to a slower-tempo 3/4 waltz time signature, rather
than an up-tempo 4/4 march.
 

  "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo" 
 
by Helen Deutsch & Bronislau Kaper
 

Background: This song was published in 1952, and
featured in the film "Lili," starring Leslie Caron.
 

"Infant Lowly, Infant Holy"
Traditional Polish Christmas Carol
  
Background: This is a Christmas Carol about
Jesus in the manger on his birth day (not his
birthday, the first of which would come a year
later, right?) In my view, all infants are lowly
and holy, so I included it here.


"My Melancholy Baby"
by George A. Norton & Ernie Burnett

Background: This song, one of the most frequently requested bar
songs of the late 20th century, was written in 1912 and first sung
in public by William Frawley, the actor who played Fred Mertz
on the popular 1950s TV show "I Love Lucy" and later "Bub"
on "My Three Sons."

"Pretty Baby"
by Tony Jackson

Background: This song was composed in 1912, the same year that
"My Melancholy Baby" was written and that Paul's father and
Tom-Tom's paternal great grandfather, Franklin Murray Laughlin,
was born. It was recorded ('covered") by nearly every popular singer
of the twentieth century, but one of the earliest versions (1916) was
by a pop singer named Billy Murray, which happens to have been the
childhood nickname of great grandfather Laughlin because to a sricking
resemblance he had to an older cousin, Wiliam Murray. Frank's wife of
more than 50 years and Paul's mother, together with many of Frank's
family members and oldest and dearest friends, called him
"Bill" or "Billy" for as long as they and he lived.

   "Rock-a-Bye Medley"    
by Traditional/Sam M. Lewis & Jean Schwartz

Background: The title of the tune is ambiguous because this
arrangement combines the traditional "Rock-a-Bye Baby"and
"Rock-a-Bye Your Baby (with a Dixie Melody)." Somebody
had to do it, and I live to serve!


  "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling"
by Chauncey Olcott, George Graff, Jr. & Ernest R. Ball

Background: Written for a musical about Ireland, this song was
first published in 1912, the year my father, Franklin Murray
Laughlin, was born. Dad was proud of his Irish roots, and
cried at almost nothing, except at hearing this tune and
"An Irish Lullaby." (See above.)


"When You Wish Upon a Star"
by Leigh Harris & Ned Washington

Background: Written for the 1940 Walt Disney film "Pinocchio,"
it was sung both during the opening credits and at the end of the movie
by popular vocalist Cliff Edwards (aka "Ukelele Ike"), who did the
voice of the character Jiminy Cricket. It later became the signature
song for The Walt Disney company, its TV shows, and its theme parks.

* * * * * * * *

Also recorded in anticipation of Tom-Tom's birth,
but not included on on the CD, is this celebratory song::
   

"Happy Birth Day to You" 
 
Traditional

Background: This is the most recognized and performed
song in the English language. The composers were allegedly
two Kentucky sisters named Hill in the late nineteenth century,
and its copyright has been claimed and disputed for decades.
I agree with those who consider it in the public domain, and
 even take the liberty of retitling it with "Birth Day" rather
than "Birthday," since here it celebrate Tom-Tom's first day
of life, than its first anniversary, which is what "Birthday"
has come to mean. I intended it to be joyous.

 

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PKR
  
This is my home Keyboard Room/Recording Studio. It was
formerly a living room, but on the other side of the conveniently-
located kitchen, there is a huge family room, where the family
actually spends most of its time when we are at home.


Nearly all of the recording is done in the corner at the far
end of the room. You will notice no microphones in this
photo, because digital recording doesn't require them,
though they are always an option for the acoustic
instruments, like the baby grand piano and the Hammond
B-3 organ, which are pictured, and horns, drums, guitars,
and other instruments that may be used from
time to time. Sometimes the room looks like this:


Chistmas Jam 2012

Son Drew Laughlin, stepson Korey Black, and me
-- at least 60 pounds ago. (Weight Watchers rocks!)


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