The Adventures of the 'Louisville Slugger

A Fictitious Musiclude

Edited by Paul Turner

Louisville has produced many talented artists over the years who have become "heavy hitters" in the entertainment industry. Louisville Music News is fortunate to have one such artist agree to share some of his experiences with his hometown, provided we withhold his name. For this reason he chooses to be known as the Louisville Slugger, not to be confused with the real one.

It was one of those overcast days in March that we all have become accustomed to. I looked down reminiscently from my room at the Brown Hotel on a city that holds many memories for me.

My stay at the Brown was exceptional as always. It was just too short. The bittersweet feeling of this morning was settling into my head. I had wanted to see more friends than time allowed. I was due in Digital Studios in Nashville at 3 to help on a new Garth Brooks project as per the prompting of my Day Planner. I wish I could lose that thing.

As the plane took off from Standiford in the early aftemoon I remember one thought, "This Cardinal boy has done just fine and l have so many people here at home to thank . . . Next visit, I promised myself.

Well, it' s now mid-March and I'm finally finishing this for LMN. The session went well in spite of a bass player who had to take serious doses (more than prescribed) of Kaopectate! It certainly wasn't a "walking" bass part. (Sorry.) Talk about guitar runs!

(That's two.) Anyway, I was at the Grammy Awards recently and I wanted to share something with you I think y'all would like to know about. In talking with various writers, performers, producers and so on, I ran into many whose songs and works were inspired right here in River City!

In the rap category, according to L.L. Cool J, the idea for the song "Mama Said Knock You Out" came from a childhood fascination with you guessed it Muhammad Ali.

Lisa Fischer related an incident in an emergency room in Norton Hospital complete with the blue-eyed doctor she said treated her ankle which she thought to be broken. On a Norton scratch pad which she has framed at home in the bathroom is the first draft of the R&B hit "How Can I Ease the Pain the original concept was "How Can He Ease the Pain."

I was at one of those "Get Ready for the Grammy" parties a couple of days prior to the night of the awards when I overheard a conversation between Patti LaBelle and someone I don'tknow. My ears perked up as I heard them talk about Mike Best's Meats and Seafood. turns out that we owe thanks to him for the song "Burnin'." (It was actually the red beans and rice.)

Likewise, Buddy Guy owes us one, or, more specifically, owes Jeffrey Crowder one, for the title of his "Damn Right I've Got the Blues." To make a long story short (because if I don't, the editor might) when Buddy passed through town a while back he called different venues in town to find "his kind of music." When he called the Cherokee Blues Club those were Jeff's exact words. The rest is history.

By the way, an honorable mention for a tune that didn't take a Grammy but nevertheless has a Louisville root is C&C MusicFactory's "Gonna Make You Sweat." For that we have Howard Schnellenberger to thank. (And he says he's not musically inclined!)

A couple of days ago I was telling someone about this whole "Louisville Inspiration Situation" and learned that CeCe Winans makes it to Louisville frequently. On one such visit she was taken to a performance at Artswatch. I'm not sure whether she liked it hopefully she did. but, regardless, many people obviously like the Winans' "Different Lifestyles."

A couple in closing that I didn't get a real handle on the whole scoop: Steven Curtis Chapman's "For the Sake of the Call" came from South Central Bell. And the collaboration called the New Nashville Cats (what smokin' musicians and what great guys all in all) has "Restless" attributed to the Barney Bright Derby Clock.

Just a side personal note: I don't know how the song derived, but "Pray for Me" makes me think of the staff of Louisville Music News around their deadline.

Just goes to show a great city is a great inspiration. (Call the Brown, I wanna come home).

Well, in my case, if it's not a great place to live, at least it's a great place to be from!

Friends and family: I'll try to be back soon for more than a day and a half.

Hopefully before next issue.

Keep on hittin'.

The Slugger