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Music was around in my family in two ways. My mother would occasionally sing to me, but I was mostly stimulated by the classical music my father had left behind. I had an ear for music, I suppose, so that's what began my interest in music.
Most performers don't admit this, because it sounds negative and performers are not supposed to be negative, but when I was on the road, I was lonely.
Just this morning, out of a large memory for songs, and having been obsessed by them since childhood, suddenly, at the age of 84, I thought of a song I hadn't thought of in over 50 years. It came into my head unbidden.
I'm afraid I talk a lot, too much, perhaps. I should have been a lawyer or a college professor or a windy politician, though I'm glad I am not any of these.
I wrote the Brotherhood song for no money out of my deep feelings about humanity, and because I was flattered that whatever talents I had, had been recognized.
I was asked by a group to write a song on the theme of brotherhood. This was before women's liberation, when brotherhood meant men and women both, so I wrote the song. Since I had always been very fond of the Passion Chorale, I wrote words to that great piece.
I taught myself to drive. I hope that the child in me never dies.
I started my career at the top and have been working my way downwards ever since.
I published, privately, a collection of my serious poetry I had written over the years. I only published 50 copies, which I gave to friends, in a special deluxe edition. It was ridiculously expensive but I'm glad that I did it.
I obtained a job at the Library of Congress. I loved books, so I felt at home. I was going to end up, I thought, majoring in English and teach at the college level.
I met my wife in Washington, D.C. I was a senior in college. WW II was about to descend upon us. Jobs were starting to open up after a prolonged depression.
I have a great interest in a number of things, perhaps too many. I admire people who seem to concentrate on only one fixed discipline to the exclusion of almost everything else.
I ended up performing on a full time basis and I never got to Julliard at all.
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