There is a flurry of music happenings around Culver City these days. My new ukulele CD “Smile, Smile, Smile” is getting mastered and will soon be sent, via internet “tubes,” to the CD plant in New Jersey to be pressed and packaged. Whoo-whoo! Hubby Craig and I are preparing for our mid-July swing through Virginia, Washington D.C. and Baltimore where we will perform and teach ukulele workshops. Details are coming soon. Washington D.C. is my hometown and I haven’t been back in “dem parts” for an embarrassingly long time. We are looking forward to hanging out with family and friends and I want to check out one geographic site in particular. No, not the marble monuments or illustrious museums. I want to see the big red brick apartment building near Macomb Street and Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest D.C. which is the first “home” I remember as a little girl. According to Google satellite maps, it’s still there!
Amidst all the planning and activities, the ukulele becomes an extra joy and respite for me. Meeting with my classes gives me a real booster shot of “feel good.” Twice a week. We just had a big show at the Culver City Senior Center. It was billed prominently in the May Newsletter as the “Ukulele & Dance Showcase.” And what might that be? Let your imaginations run wild for a moment.
So here we are, The CC Strummers, doing a half hour set of sing-a-long-able and dance-along-able songs. Then the ballroom dancers appear, gliding across the floor, all fluffed and fancy, as the audience sways to their pre-recorded music. Soon they are followed by the hula dancers, entering stage right, wearing grassy things, flowers…and a lot of skin. The audience really likes THAT. After their grand finale—a fiery Tahitian dance to the theme from Hawaii 5-0—The CC Strummers launch into “Let’s Twist Again” and suddenly ballroom dancers, hula mamas, even line dancers appear and snatch deliriously happy people from the audience to join the party and shake their booty. It is a very nice Tuesday afternoon.
Unbeknownst to us, one of our strummers, Keith S., entrusts his wife, (thank you Linda!), with the family video camera and she surreptitiously captures us singing and playing the wonderfully irreverent Eric Idle song, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Yes I modify the arrangement a little and replace a popular curse word with a more benign version. Can you say “grit”? We love this song, replete with sound effect mavens and happy whistlers who can toot and play the uke at the same time.
Grab your smile for the day and check out the video! Click Here!