A cappella birthday silliness — much of it composed by me

Back in high school, I was not only a band geek, but a choir geek as well!  But I did far more than just sing your standard choral music :-D.  I loved composing, arranging and teaching, and often performing short songs in vocal quartets, and I founded my very own singing telegram business (“The Birthday Brigade”) to support this habit.

For $3, students could hire us to sing a special birthday song to one of the friends—in class, no less!  We even had teachers and administrators hiring us to sing for other non-students.  And by the end of our two year run, we earned enough money to purchase a sizable first-ever music CD collection for our school library (and back in the 80s, this was a big deal!).  Oh, and we also sang the national anthem at various school sporting events; one of the trios even got to sing at Dodger Stadium!

Anyway, in the middle of our second year, we decided to sit down at my place and record a bunch of our songs.  We didn’t do many takes, we didn’t use a fancy studio (just my dad’s old tape recorder!), and the results were certainly not perfect, but I think we did manage to capture a lot of the fun and also show off our love-of-singing :-D.

And alas, the “album” below (from 1989!) is missing some of my favorites, including “Mr. Roger’s [Neighborhood] Birthday” and “A Muppet Birthday” and no doubt others I’ve forgotten about.  But I hope you enjoy the songs nonetheless. [and feel free to see more detailed notes below the player widget]

(I’m singing on all of these except “Love Me Tender”; I think tenor on all tracks)

1) “And Why Not!” – music and lyrics composed by me.
2) “Ole!” – lyrics (as they are) composed by me, and music arranged by me (original melody from “Mexican Hat Dance”)
3) “Love Me Tender” – not sure who composed/arranged this one; the girls might have arranged this one themselves
4) “Star Spangled Banner” – composed by Francis Scott Key, not sure who did this arrangement
5) “Beethoven Birthday” – all composed by me, with deep apologies to Mr. Beethoven
6) “Celebrate!” – music by me, and I think (but am not sure) that I wrote the lyrics, too
7) “Merry Christmas” – sung to the tune of “We Wish you a Merry Christmas” with a tiny bit of lyrical substitution. I think I did the arrangement for this one.
8) “See ya!” – composed, um, on the spot 😉

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Edited on December 20, 2008 to add:
I’ve gotten in touch with most of the people in this recording, which I previously didn’t list because I wanted to make sure my memory wasn’t failing me!  My fine co-singers were Robin (bass), Jen aka “Moose” (alto), Stacey (soprano) and Cathy (soprano).  Oh, and Robin insists that it was *his* tape recorder.  I’m still not convinced of that 😀 [and, yeah, I should ask ‘em if they’re comfortable having their last names here, and if so, I’ll add ‘em so they really get their fair notoriety :-P)



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5 responses to “A cappella birthday silliness — much of it composed by me”

  1. Johan Brugge Avatar

    How can I build such a flash musicplayer myself?

  2. Alex Avatar

    Johan Brugge, you can hire people on websites like Getafreelancer, who will do it.

  3. Adam Avatar

    Many of the online music services make it very simple, so you can do it yourself in 2 minutes and for free. The one above was done with Grooveshark.

  4. Afif Avatar

    You sure have a weird music taste Adam. If I got caught listening to those songs my ‘friends’ won’t let me forget about it.
    @Johan – You can create Flash MP3 players with XML Playlist. I used to use Pimp My Profile’s Flash MP3 player for my Friendster’s page. Worth a try 🙂

    p/s-hey, where’s the smiley option :p

  5. Adam Avatar

    Weird music taste, okay, possibly :D.  And yep, I have heard of XML playlist… should check it out.  Thanks for the idea.  re: smiley option… there’s a link right above where you typed in your comment labeled “Pop-up smiley chooser.”  It’s slightly broken, but mostly works 😀

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