SONG #70

  • Doug Koempel: piano (Young Chang Grand); synth strings and bass (Roland Juno-60)
  • Kevin Conner: acoustic guitar (Martin D-35)
  • drums sequenced by Doug on E-mu Systems Drumulator
  • recorded in 1983 at: Bird-On-Fire Recording Studio / West Union, Iowa

Doug Koempel © 2016

IT WAS 1979, AND KEVIN AND I WERE PLAYING the Cedar Cabin Club in Ashton, Iowa when my good friend Jodene "Beany" Kruse asked if I'd ever heard the piano instrumental "Music Box Dancer."

I didn't get to see her often; but when we played in the NW Iowa area, Beany was my pool buddy, my golf buddy, my chess buddy - and just the best friend a person could ever want. She was (and is) a very competitive gal, and I rarely beat her in any of the aforementioned activities. Today nearly 40 years later she remains one of my dearest friends.

Anyway, I remember being at her mother's house in Sibley, Iowa when Beany handed me the sheet music for "Music Box Dancer." It's a very simple piece, and it actually didn't take very long to work it up. Soon Kevin and I were performing it at the Cabin.

It's one of those pieces that as the last notes are dying out, someone will invariably run up to the stage to inquire: "What was the name of that song?" The melody is very familiar, but the title escapes most people.

It's a wonderful instrumental, and I must thank Beany for giving me the sheet music those many years ago. Now if I brush up on my chess game, I just might be able to beat her the next time our paths cross!

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play "Music Box Dancer"