This week's freebie features a shoutout to a long-gone friend, Shirley Davis.
But first some background: Earlier this summer, Charlie’s wife, Pamela, had surgery. It all went well, but it required a period of recuperation, and they decided to use some of that extended downtime creatively. Pamela, who also is the manager of The Flood, for a long time has shot home videos of friends and visitors who have sat in and jammed with the band over the years, so they decided to pull all that work together into a feature film called Flood & Friends. The finished product is now available for watching on YouTube, and we’re pleased at how folks have enjoyed the film’s celebration of the music and the dozens of stellar visiting musicians performing in the videos.
But we’re also pleasantly surprised at some of the movie’s unintended consequences. For instance, as our old buddy Tom Pressman recently commented, the film also celebrates the regulars who come, not to play, but to listen at the weekly Flood gatherings, and prominent in the videos is the sparkling face of Shirley Broh Davis.
Shirley — whom fiddler Joe Dobbs used to call our oldest groupie — was brought to her first jam session with her husband Norman in 2009, invited by another dear friend, Flood regular Rose Riter, and from that winter’s evening on, the Davises became regulars. So all through the movie, you’ll see Shirley listening, laughing, singing along and applauding from her favorite blue chair smack dap in the middle things. We lost Shirley a few years ago — she died at 96 — but honestly, she’s still with us, especially whenever we do one of her favorite songs. Many times at the end of an evening of music, we’d say, “So, Shirley, whaddaya want to hear?” and more often than not, her request was for this one from the Great American Songbook. So, these days, whenever we do “My Blue Heaven,” as we did at a recent rehearsal, it comes with a sweet shoutout to Shirley.
Click to hear the tune.