RIFF ON THE IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC IN RIVER BEND CHRONICLE

Back then, it often seemed like I kept myself going–kept myself alive even–simply by putting another scratched record on the old machine, hearing a voice emerge intact and vibrant from the crackle of what sounded like flames–old discs like those I’ll be playing tonight at Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City, and tomorrow at New Bo Books in Cedar Rapids–“Signing the Blues” and “Ostrich Walk” (Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra, featuring Bix Beiderbecke), “Me and the Blues” (Mildred Bailey), “Buddy Bolden’s Blues” (Jelly Roll Morton), “I Want a Little Girl” (Count Basie and his Nonet), “Autumn in New York” (Billie Holiday), “Tears! Tears! Tears!” (Otis Blackwell), “Blue Monday” (Fats Domino), “Mockin’ Bird Hill” (Les Paul), “My Baby’s Coming Home,” (Les Paul and Mary Ford), “What Is This Thing Called Love?” (Leslie Hutchinson), “Nightmare” (Artie Shaw and His Orchestra)…