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I am a humble man of humble means, but I have been fortunate enough to play a small part in some historical events. With a last name of a€?Tune,a€? it is appropriate that music has always been a large part of my life.
The ASVAB test told me I could be an engineer, so when it came time to pick a college, my future roommate John, also an aspiring engineer, decided that UT Austin would be the best place for us. On New Year's Day, 1969, I was flipping channels on the TV and happened onto the Cotton Bowl in Dallas where UT was playing UT! As arrogant over-zealous college kids, we took great joy in chanting, a€?We're Number One!a€? - especially when by all measures it was literally true!
As a lowly freshman, I had little knowledge of the plans and preparation for taking a 200-piece band to a game in a€?enemya€? territory. As I recall, we left Austin Friday on a fleet of charter buses and headed for a hotel in a city in eastern Oklahoma, not far from Fayetteville, AK where the game was to be played. When we got to the stadium we were surprised at how small it was - about half the size of the Memorial Stadium in Austin.
We had just won what would soon be called a€?The Game of the Century,a€? but the band's jubilation quickly turned to confusion and concern. Lest you be overly impressed with my memory for details of the game, I must confess to having help. We had no idea at the time that one of our junior safeties was playing through the pain of bone cancer. I first saw them perform at the 2009 Tribes Hill Annual Meeting and Hootenanny at the historic Hammond House headquarters in Valhalla, NY. Much of their work carries the style and emotional power of musical theater, something Ia€™m very fond of. After they found out that they were all into music, they'd go over to Paul's house and play just for fun doing covers of Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt and others.
Outside of her positive chorus experiences, there were two stumbling blocks, one of them having a lasting negative effect.
The next step she took was to enroll as a Theater major at SUNY (State University of New York), Fredonia, near Buffalo NY.
Around 1996, the three had been getting together to play at Paul's house for some time, eventually playing a few shows as The YaYas, but never took any of it too seriously. In 2003, they self-produced their first 10-song CD, Everything, co-produced and mixed by Ben Wisch whoa€™d produced the Grammy-winning album Walking in Memphis by Mark Cohn and additionally, other notable performers (Patty Larkin, Lucy Kaplansky, Jonatha Brooke, Red Molly).
While Catherine is the lyricist for the band, she readily acknowledges the integral part that Jay and Paul play, sometimes helping her complete the songs, pushing her past hurdles in the narratives.
Paper Boats was just completed in September, and I was able to listen to the album before its release. The band moved to Mohegan Lake, near Peekskill, NY in 2005, and has become a part of the Tribes Hill community. The YaYas will appear in Acoustic Live showcases at NERFA and wea€™ll be at the Postcrypt Coffeehouse for their October 1st show. I thought Jay, wry humorist, was the joker in the 3-card hand until Paul started to tell his story. Jones’s family started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for medical costs and hope her horrific attack won’t happen to anyone else. The sad part is that when she first met this guy, you know she was thinking "this is a bad idea".
Whether by accident or destiny, to this day it continues to shape many of my most meaningful experiences.
I was a total band geek and, due to a close association between band and FOOTBALL, a huge football fan.
The University of Texas beat The University of Tennessee for its 9th straight win, and I got my first glimpse of the University of Texas Longhorn Band! In addition to broadening my horizons, meeting my future wife, and an amazing trip to Peru, LHB was also following and supporting a pretty amazing football team. Darrell Royal and Emory Bellard had installed a new-fangled offense called the a€?wishbonea€? in '68 and after a couple of stumbles in September, James Street took over as quarterback and with a bevy of running backs, UT rattled off nine consecutive wins including the Southwest Conference championship and a Cotton Bowl victory over Tennessee.
When a rivalry reaches this level of competition between flagship schools of two states, battle lines are clearly drawn. On Saturday we crossed the Arkansas border and drove to the UA campus and unloaded our equipment. As was (and still is) our tradition, we began playing a€?The Eyesa€? at the end of the game, but instead of a smiling and jubilant Vincent R.
One of the books written about this event is entitled, a€?Horns, Hogs, & Nixon Cominga€? by i??Terry Frei.
The '69 team went on to beat Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl to claim an undisputed National Championship and extend their winning streak to 20 games. One of the books written about this event is entitled, a€?Horns, Hogs, & Nixon Cominga€? by Terry Frei. The band in which she sings lead vocals, The YaYas, has just released a new album, Paper Boats. With her husband, Jay Mafale on guitar and old friend Paul Silverman on piano, she forms the point at which the lineup, in tandem, pushes its way into the listenera€™s heart.
Neither of his parents had musical ability, but his father played Sinatra records all the time. Her teachers were serious about teaching everything from folk singing, to sight reading and ear training.
The company would rearrange the space differently, according to need, sometimes in-the-round, often with the audience in close proximity to the actors.


He didn't pursue any type of musical performance during his 4 years at college, but his drive to play was persistent. He did some acting for fun and enjoyed the camaraderie of the other actors, continuing with the theater group after graduation. During this period, Jay and Catherine fell in love and in October of 1997, they got married. On their honeymoon, Catherine was thrown from a horse and two of her vertebrae were crushed. Reaching back to their first CD, Everything, it was evident that they had something special. Catherine continues to do what she does best, writing songs that touch upon her personal experiences, but contain universal appeal, then express them with refined, passionate vocals. Reaching back to their first CD, Everything, it was evident thatA  they had something special.
But her years upon years of relentless feel good liberal kumbaya training she got in school, movies, music etc told her to completely disregard her instincts. I enthusiastically cheered the Mustangs on to a four-year record of 20-20, with trombone in hand. As seniors in high school, John and I thought we should start following UT's football team, but in the Fall of 1968 after a loss and a tie in September we lost interest and started focusing on the Mustang's eventual 5-5 season. TV executives decided before the season began to move the UT-Arkansas game to the first week in December thinking that it might be a significant matchup at the end of the season. While I know most people from Arkansas are generous, hospitable people, the a€?football fana€? mindset can make people do crazy things. Once in formation we marched to the stadium to drum cadence chanting, a€?We're Number One, You're Number Two, We're gonna beat the Whoopie Outta You!a€? (or something equally clever).
The game proved to be a defensive struggle, as is often the case when two great teams meet. My former roommate John was able to acquire a copy for me AND have James Street autograph it!
They won all 10 regular season games of 1970 to extend the streak to 30, but then lost to Notre Dame in a Cotton Bowl rematch. The song, a€?All these Gifts,a€? is from that album, and epitomizes her command of the songwriting craft and her vocal abilities. Once they found out about their mutual interest in making music, in small increments, their path revealed itself. When she was around 14 years old, as a Christmas gift, her mother purchased private lessons for her with a voice teacher. Finding that she liked it, she performed through the rest of high school in some dramas and a couple of musicals. It gave Catherine a new, heightened confidence, having the audience right next to her at times. She'd lost the grandmother she sang with at age 14 and her maternal grandmother the year before her mom died. I got my hands on Everything at the 2009 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference. Although no one else in her family had musical talent, her grandmother, who loved to sing, lived next door. I got my hands on EverythingA  at the 2009 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference. In fact, the piano I still play daily is the one my Dad purchased in 1955 (I think) for our family. Arkansas began as the #2 team; defending National Champion (and pre-season #1) Ohio State was the overwhelming favorite to repeat.
The band back then had nearly 400 members, but due to expenses only about 200 people got to travel to out-of-town games. I heard stories of people who had difficulty getting gasoline (and other services) if their cars bore Texas plates. As he started pointing to the stands behind us we realized that projectiles were being hurled at the band from the angry crowd. If I remember correctly, the Longhorn Band was invited to the UT Football Banquet as special guests a few weeks later.
We've had our ups and downs since then, but lately we've become one of those a€?wait until next yeara€? teams.
If I remember correctly, the Longhorn Band was invited to the UT Football Banquet as special guests a few weeks later.A  Freddie desperately wanted to be there in spite of his recent surgery, and sure enough, when he made his way across the stage on his crutches and single leg, there was not a dry eye in the house. The lead singer begins, her voice with that little catch in it which always works its way past my defenses.
During a 90-minute conference-call interview, amidst many laughter-filled moments, we learned about each membera€™s individual path and what brought them together.
Given that there wasn't much money available for such things, it was for just one lesson per month and, to her, it was a special gift. However, during her senior year, her English teacher told her that the subject matter in her poems was immature and not worth writing about. Rehearsals were held mostly on Long Island and toward the end also in Manhattan, where Jay was living. She was confined, with a brace, to bed rest for three months, allowed to take a few steps once a day. In my December NERFA CD reviews, I wrote: a€?While Jay on guitar and Paul on keyboard are terrific, Catherinea€™s voice is the jewel in the setting. In addition to co-bills with Freda€™s band, Hope Machine and the YaYas, Fred and Catherine will be touring together this fall.


One of my friends had a sister attending Texas Tech, and his family took me to a Tech-Arkansas game in Lubbock.
To add to this excitement, College Football was celebrating the 100th year of its existence. Fortunately for me, brass players got priority when the numbers were cut, so as a freshman, I marched in every game except for the game at UCLA which was the only game the band did not attend. Thanks to a late season upset of Michigan over Ohio State, UT was #1 in the polls and Arkansas was #2. UT got off to a shaky start with multiple turnovers and by the end of the 3rd quarter we were staring at an inconceivable 14-0 deficit. As more and more of us turned to dodge bottles and cups filled with questionable liquids, fewer and fewer continued playing until the song faded to a whimper at the end. Also, one of my Facebook friends, and former coworker at Caldwell ISD, is also a big fan of the game. I'm still waiting, but that waiting is made much easier with the wonderful memories I have of those years. Hearing them again, on a number of occasions, their brilliance reinforced my initial impression. When he was 12, his parents took him to a Sinatra concert and he was thrilled to watch Buddy Rich drumming. During the third lesson, Catherine asked the teacher if she had a chance to become a singer. I am still sobered by the thought that the family piano that graced my parents' homes for 22 years has now been a part of my household for 38+ years. The misery of our plight was captured on camera in the downcast face of one of our clarinets, Marilyn Edwards. During her recuperation period, she had time to reflect, and she realized that singing was the most important thing in her life and she wanted to make a serious attempt to work at it full-time. On the first play of the 4th quarter, quarterback James Street ran 42 yards on a broken pass play to score UT's first points. Fortunately, no one in our band suffered injury but I was told later that a bottle intended for our group over shot and hit a girl in the Arkansas band.
He alerted me to the fact that the game was being rebroadcast on LHN (the 46th anniversary of the game) so I taped it. I have not seen the movie yet.A  I don't even know who they got to play me - maybe Zac Ephron?
She worked 30 hours a week her first two years and didn't audition for anything the first year. She spoke to Jay and Paul about pushing for more gigs, so in 1998, they surveyed the musical landscape and began their serious run as a band. Coach Royal opted to go for two points and Street scored again on a keeper to close the score to 14-8. We quietly and inconspicuously lined up on the track to leave - as inconspicuous as 200 people dressed in orange and wearing cowboy hats can, that is.
Watching the game still evokes a lot of emotion, especially recognizing people I know in the shots of the band. Coach Royal opted to go for two points and Street scored again on a keeper to close the score to 14-8.A  Our defense continued to keep the Arkansas offense in check and with just over 3 minutes left in the game, Texas was faced with a 4th down and 3 yards to go near mid-field. After re-acclimating herself as a student, in her sophomore year, she started performing in plays again.
He worked with rehearsals for shows, so there wasn't time to practice the material a€” he just had to pick it up quickly. A line of official looking people temporarily blocked our exit and that's when I saw it: the top of Richard Nixon's head!!
I don't know why the trombones were split up, but one group was on the front row and my group was up several rows from the bottom.
In addition, she took a writing course, and in Carolyn Sobel, her professor, found a believer.
He was on his way to the winning locker room to congratulate Royal and the team on their amazing come-from-behind victory.
Randy Peschel was covered by two Arkansas defenders but still managed to catch Street's long pass at the 13 yard line to set up the eventual tying touchdown by Jim Bertlesen.A  Happy Feller kicked the extra point to give the Longhorns the lead. Ita€™s dreamlike, with Paula€™s keyboard ringing like chimes and Jaya€™s solemn guitar strum conducting a stately march. Catherinea€™s voice floats, ethereally high over them: Please let him keep looking toward this horizona€¦When Ia€™m thinking of him, ita€™s twilight. Arkansas moved the ball to within field goal range, but an interception by Tom Campbell sealed the win for UT. Tom's twin brother Mike also played for the Longhorns and their Dad was one of Royal's top assistants. Safely back at the hotel, we were finally able to relax, celebrate, and savor the highlights of the amazing game we had witnessed. They were still cleaning up Guadalupe street by the campus when we returned home on Sunday.



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