So what have I been doing for the past 41 years?
1974- My band, "Whizz", opened for Styx in concert 8/27. I started promoting rock concerts in Fort Smith. Started as apprentice engineer at Ben Jack Studio, Van Buren, Arkansas, under engineer Mickey Moody. Recorded the drum track for Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" after a studio staff thanksgiving party, when Mickey, full of dinner and Chivas Regal and under a cloud of smoke, suggested that we all go to the studio and "cut some tracks". The regular session drummer, Darrell Norris, couldn't make the trek from Dallas for the party, so I was elected to fill his spot in the session. I got standard session wages (which at the time was $46.00 per man). The bass player on that session was none other than Dave Hungate, later of "Toto" fame.
1975- I began doing recording sessions in an old office space I was renting at 1620 N. "A" St., Fort Smith. I bought a TEAC 3340S 4-track RTR and 2 Teac M-120 condenser mics. Meanwhile I began 2nd engineering and playing on 16-track sessions at Ben Jack Studio. I worked with the Cate Brothers for the first time, on their "Come Back Home" and "Wanted" albums for Metromedia Records.I learned a great deal about mic placement and the manipulation of sound (Remember, this was before any type of electronic effects). All we had then was an EMT plate reverb, a "talk box" made by Vox that looked like a paisley-covered wine bag, and a lot of imagination. For some amusing stories of "the old days" check out the "Sessions From Hell".
1976- I joined on as a staff engineer for local 8-track studio, which just bought a "brand new" TASCAM Model 1 mixer and an original TEAC 8-track recorder. It made a Mackie look like an SSL. "Effects" consisted of a spring reverb. I worked as a DJ at KISR-FM in Ft. Smith. "Whizz" opened for "Black Oak Arkansas" at University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. On March 30, I returned to Mountain Home to live and start my 4-track studio operation in a small concrete block building sitting in the middle of a red clay field. It looked very much like a WWII gun emplacement "pillbox". I bought some processing equipment (DBX 160's, BGW amp, MXR DDL, MXR EQ) and 4 Sennheiser MD-421 mics. I recorded my first record album for a gospel group. We had 100 copies pressed. I wonder how many are left today.......... Probably 90 or so.
1977- Four friends and I formed "Goldrush". We wrote and rehearsed original material for pre-production sessions, culminating 6 months later with a full blown 24-track album session at American Artists Studios in Springfield, Missouri. It was at least a move up, with a Harrison console and MCI 2-inch 24-track, and they were most proud of their "new" Kepex Gain Brains. The also had an EMT plate, which I hadn't had my hands on since my Ben Jack's Studio experiences. I started producing radio commercials for local radio and did demo session work for artists and songwriters. I also gave drum lessons during slack time, which there was a lot of. I was a little ahead of my time as far as operating a recording studio in this region, but wanted to get established before someone else moved into "my territory". To say that the local businessmen thought I was weird trying to make a go of a recording studio in Mountain Home would be an understatement. Only Mom believed me. Thank God for Mothers!
1978- Early in the year I produced an album for "Royal Oak Band". Continued to pursue a record contract for "Goldrush" by sending copies of the proposed album to many record companies and personal management firms on the coast. For extra income I DJ "disco" dances under the name HIGH ENERGY SOUND around the region. (I'm so proud). I also did public speaking engagements on the recording industry to area fraternal organizations at luncheon meetings, in the hopes of educating business leaders in the area aware of my presence. The recording studio business is still moving at a snail's pace, so there's plenty of spare time for "Goldrush" to rehearse.
1979- "Goldrush" opened for John Mayall for two dates in Oklahoma. 1/12 in Norman at Ol' Lady Brady's Theater, and 1/13 at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa. In 4/26 the band opened for the "Guess Who" at the Ft. Smith Municipal Auditorium, then the band dissolved in June after a long (and futile) struggle trying to get the attention of the record business. I had received enough rejection slips to wallpaper the studio. I released the first 45 RPM record under the studio's HYPE label, by artist David Cohee, called "My Mountain Town". Doing discos now under the VIBS logo. Co-formed the Memphis-based trio "Mover", in September. Started the video operation for the studio and began legal video deposition work, using a Sony Betamax and a single-tube camera.
1980- Expanded the video business by purchasing a 3/4" portable VCR and a JVC G-71 single-tube camera and started producing promotional real estate videos and boat manufacturing videos, shot a few weddings, and begin producing all radio and TV spots for the Hubert's chain of entertainment centers. Did my very first full length promotional video for client Blackburn Real Estate. Played week-at-a-time gigs with "Mover" In Illinois, Mississippi and Arkansas. Produced several more single releases on the HYPE label.
1981- Worked as stringer for regional TV stations. Mixed a live Black Oak Concert recorded in Reading, England on 24-track by the King Biscuit Flower Hour. Mixed the tapes during a session at Parrallax Studios for a K-Tel record release. Produced a multimedia presentation in Chicago for Blackburn & Co. Real estate firm. Recorded the Trinidad Steel Band in concert for the Arkansas Council for the Arts. It was a live-to-stereo mix . Continued to record and release album projects under the HYPE label. Took a job as computer technician for The Baxter Bulletin Newspaper and was sent to Melborne, Florida for a training session by the Harris Corporation on Computer Typesetting Applications. I Oversaw the installation and implementation of a 12-terminal system with a whopping THREE MEGABYTES of processors (in 3 stacked boxes, each roughly the size of a footlocker). Also began writing columns on the state of modern technology, called "System Update", which appeared weekly in the entertainment section of the paper.
1982- Began doing video projects for Baxter Healthcare Corporation (then called Travenol). I Investigated and formulated plans with 2 business partners for application of a local LPTV (Low Power Television) television broadcasting license. Started working for Swiss-rockers "Krokus" with rehearsals and album pre-production sessions for the "Headhunter" album for Arista, and also shot video of selected concert appearances of Krokus for Butch Stone Management. I played drums and guitar in local band, "Motion". In November I purchased a TEAC 80-8 8-track recorder with dbx NR, and added two TEAC Model 5 mixers and some processing gear, including a TAPCO spring reverb, which was state-of-the-art at the time.
1983- Began operation as the manager of the Hubert's/ Mountain Home store. It is built in a two-story commercial property, with the bottom floor being dedicated to the recording studio. Recording sessions increased dramatically. "Motion" restructures itself under the name "Thrilz". LPTV station "TV-43" goes on the air locally, but I'm not a part of it even though the owners use most of my ideas and equipment list I researched to get it started. I start writing the "News From The Woods" column which makes it's debut in Peter Read's Nightflying Magazine. I receive an RIAA Gold Record Award for pre-production on the "Headhunter" album.
1984- I met the 3-piece band "Paperkid" for the first time at a gig at Oldtown Grain & Feed in Ft. Smith. They are a great new band and need a manager. I offer them personal management and invite them to record for the HYPE label and with a full music publishing contract with Dime-A-Dozen Music, BMI. We begin recording original material and capturing live video of most performances for a master library. In June, I take Paperkid into Mach I's 24-track facility in Fayetteville. I also started producing Jess McIntyre and "Cadillac Wheels" and release the first album by "Whiplash Gumbo" (Dalte Kizer). "Krokus" returns to Cedar Crest in January for 3 months of rehearsal and pre-production on the "Blitz" album for Arista. I produce 30-second national TV spot for Blackburn & Co. Real Estate
1985- I Continue to build the "Paperkid" music catalog and PR, and produce three live music videos on them in a year. I start doing location videos for area bands, and produce three music videos for Randy Keck aka. "Whiplash Gumbo". I played guitar in the "Full Throttle Band". Produced independent albums for "Amber Henry", "Average Citizen", "The Skeptics", "Victim", and "Kamakazi". Shot field video footage for several cable companies TV commercial productions. I received my second RIAA Gold Record Award for working with Krokus, this time for "The Blitz" album.
1986- The studio gets so busy that I have to leave Hubert's and go full-time with the audio and video business. "Paperkid" opened for The "Fabulous Thunderbirds" in Ft. Smith in April. Also in April I got the rare opportunity to produce a session in the old Sam Phillips recording studio in Memphis for songwriter John Dice. More "Paperkid" 24-track sessions in Fayetteville at Mach I. More album sessions for "Ocean", "Kidd Juan" , "Whiplash Gumbo", and "Fletch". "Krokus" again returns for a month of studio work and rehearsal in July.
1987- More videos. More weddings. More sessions for "Paperkid", "Chip Goodwin", "Mountain Magic", "Cadillac Wheels", "Hamilton/Lambert", Grammy-winner Bob House, and "Whiplash Gumbo". TV-43 dies a horribly slow and painful (to watch) death due to mismanagement. I buy all the TV studio gear with a little help from a bank, and increase video production which now includes switching, editing, and (limited) graphics capabilities. I begin video production for Eureka Log Homes, and started producing public safety messages for the Arkansas State Police. The studio also assists in the production of a live music program for AETN.
1988- We started producing an hourly TV program called "Designs For You", for a Nashville, Tennessee cable television station. I formed local band "Big Deluxe" which opened for Black Oak in concert in April. I arranged to purchase all of the equipment from a nearby recording studio who's partners wanted to get out of the recording business, including a Tascam M-520 console and MS-16 multitrack recorder, racks of processing gear, and mic collection. Sessions become a lot easier to produce. We have over 20 original songs in the "Paperkid" catalog by the end of the year. Produced albums on HYPE for "Denise Summy", "Cold Sweat", and "Club Atomic". Began doing a two-man personality radio show with longtime broadcasting buddy Ray Miller on KKTZ-FM (100kw) which is broadcast live every week on a Thursday, and featured a "regular" cast of characters and voices. The show really gets popular and soon everyone in town is in on the act. Phone lines are usually tied up for the entire 3-hour broadcast and businesses have to wait in line to get sponsorship on the show, which lasts for a solid year before Ray and I call it quits. I also produced a 6-hour video (edited from over 200 hours of footage) which was buried in a time capsule on 12/1 for the Centennial Celebration of Baxter County, Arkansas.
1989- "Paperkid" breaks up under it's own momentum and the lack of realizing a record contract. I decide to NEVER manage a band again. Session work includes artists like "Judge Parker", "Total Access", "Smokey Road", "Shark Avenue", "Randy Burden", "Naked Zoo", "The Freds", "Axxit", and country artist "Kendra Lee", as well as act as the audio support for a music video for "Trout Fishing In America". We begin producing a local weekly television show called "Inside Angle" which features interviews and video segments highlighting area interests and interviews with interesting personalities. We initiate a yearly child ID video and fingerprint program on behalf of the VFW and local police department. We had our first major out-of-state video job and traveled to Miami, Florida to produce a program for the Currie, Schneider and Associates Architectural firm. The studio is awarded the entire television and radio contract for Eureka Log Homes.
1990- The studio started specializing in video settlement brochures for legal firms. We produced 13 programs for the second season of "Inside Angle". Audio sessions for Dime-A-Dozen Music included "Whiplash Gumbo" , "Jess McEntyre", and "Hamilton/Lambert". In April we started producing a weekly television church program called "God Is For You" for the local Church of Christ. We developed and produced our first Senior Class Video Yearbook for the Dardanelle High School. More corporate/industrial videos. More TV commercials. More weddings. We got the video contract to shoot and produce the Annual Arkansas River Blues Festival in Little Rock on July 27/28/29. The Cate Brothers visit Cedar Crest Studio in September, November, and December for recording. I produced other album projects for "The Pranks", "Doin' Daze", and "Axxit".
1991- The Cate Brothers returned in January. "Inside Angle's" 3rd season production got underway. Mixing sessions for "Axxit", "The Pranks", and "Fixation" were slated. Session work included "Ruby Starr", "Playground", "Angel Michaels", "David McKnight", "G.T. Hood", and "Great Southern Railroad". Longtime friend "Rain Equine" came in for more original recordings on behalf of Dime-A-Dozen Music. We produced a television commercial for Anita Bryant's personal appearances. We released the "Letters From The Earth" CD by "Hamilton/Lambert" on HYPE Records and hold an album release party in Little Rock. We also produced the 1991 video for the Arkansas River Blues Fest. Produced a series of short, specially-priced promotional video packages for over 50 area resorts for the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce. I got to sit in on guitar for several Whiplash Gumbo live shows in the state. You don't know fear until you are playing guitar situated between Earl Cate on your right and Coco Montoya on your left. I arranged a "Vipers Reunion" party at the studio in November, bringing together the original band members for the first time in 23 years.
1992- Tom Bryant started recording the "Bryant" project. More Rain Equine sessions. More TV spots. Released the "Dirty Trix" album on HYPE Records. I played the drums for the entire project. Video deposition work continues to grow. Produced percussion video with/for Jurgen Lottmann, which was distributed (and still is, as far as I know) for Backstage Pass Video Productions. More "Whiplash Gumbo" sessions for an upcoming release. I did 4 major video projects for Baxter Healthcare Corporation this year, and did sessions for the "Steppin' Catdaddy's", singers "Allen Edwards" and "Ron Lee". Did a brief stint hosting an early morning oldies show on KKTZ-FM. But it was just too early and I bailed after 4 months. Produced a trout fishing video on the White River for Top Guide Productions. Did week-long recording sessions with "Spiders & Snakes" from California and "Cold Ethyl" from Texas. How do these people find me? I recorded Rich Jones' "Eureka Street Buskers" album. Also formed the band "Big Deluxe". Chris Patton joins the studio as apprentice engineer.
1993- Recorded new material for Joe Hamilton. Flew to California to "make it big" in February. Returned two weeks later a sadder but wiser man. I did, however, spend a most enjoyable week with my old friend Dan Kramer in San Fransisco, who is very big on Pinball and owns a dozen or so vintage games. I spent many hours just "slammin' the balls around". I started the "Midnight Rodeo" album project in March. Attended Crossroads '93 and represented 3 of the performing artists scheduled to appear. Produced a promotional video for the Mountain Home High School District. Did recording sessions for "Pitch", "Midnight Rodeo", "Ruff Justice", "Cuttin' Heads", "Tantrum", "Midnight Hour" and song-writer Walter Ramsey. Released another Whiplash Gumbo album. Got serious with the video operation and bought a NewTek Video Toaster video production computer system with LightWave 3D modeling and broadcast-quality CG graphics.
1994- The video business is starting to overtake the recording business. I had sessions for "Tantrum", "Guilt Tripp", "Whiplash Gumbo", and singer/song-writer "John Lee Robertson". I produced two more trout fishing videos for Top Guide Productions. Built a new addition to the family residence ("Castlerock") located on Lake Norfork, and began to move the studio equipment in. I produced a 2-hour video program for the Arkansas Special Olympics. Formed the band "Bad Manners". Went to Pensacola, Florida in September to attend and video document the 3-day Vietnam Veteran's Marine Helicopter Pilot's Reunion. Returned to Florida in October for Admiral Farragut Academy's 30-year class reunion. Saw lots of old classmates (they looked so old) and was elected as unofficial historian for the class of '64.
1995- I did audio session work for "Crossroads", "Sol", "Bloodshot i", "Scarecrow's Bride", "Brother Jimmy", songwriters Rain Equine, Joe Hamilton, and Danny White. I produced my first Senior Class Photo Session promotional video for Stover Photography in Iowa. Several other photographers follow suit and contract for my services. Judged a battle of the bands at the U of A in Fayetteville. The winners, "Screaming Mimes", received an 8-hour recording session at the studio. Attended and videotaped a three-day Handwriting Seminar for Law Enforcement purposes, and even received a diploma for attending and completing the course. Remember that next time you write me a hand-written letter! In April, I expanded the video operation by investing in a Video Flyer Non-linear digital editing suite, eliminating the need for a tape-based analog editing system, along with giving us the ability to back up any video projects digitally to DAT for archiving. NOW, We're really Flying!"
1996- This year I did session work for "Misery's Smile", the "Blues Cruisers", and singer/song-writer Kimberly Dahme. Released yet another "Whiplash Gumbo" album. I travelled to Chicago for Baxter Healthcare and produced a video presentation for a multi-million dollar hi-tech manufacturing machine to be assembled and used in Ireland. Produced a series of exercise videos for a local yoga instructor. Edited and produced a video from a Civil War re-enactment staged nearby. Produced promotional videos for AirPro Air Services, Lakeland Industries, Hospice of the Ozarks, and Compass Systems, Inc. Chris Patton is elevated to Second Engineer. Took my first vacation in years, put the top down on my new convertible, and headed out for two glorious weeks in sunny Florida.
1997-This year I began website design and HTML scripting. My first client was ME! Produced a promotional video for Blackburn Real Estate, who was my very first video client back in 1980. Began doing specialty video projects for several chains of convenience store operators. The first job covered two states, 21 "c-stores", and took a month to shoot and edit. Hosted the Chamber of Commerce's "Business After Hours" in April in order to show off the brand new facelift for the studio. I produced a live multimedia event for the US FIRST program in April, with a three-camera setup and two big screens on location. Did session work for "The Muddles", "Sourdough", "The Blusers", the "Pitch Pipe Quartet", and song-writer Tim Green. I was a panelist at the annual Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association CLE Meeting, and gave a presentation to all on "How to produce a video settlement brochure in catastrophic injury cases for less than $10,000". In August I produced a national TV spot for "Livewell Larry" which aired on ESPN for two months during football season. Still more "Whiplash Gumbo" session work!! This guy never quits writing. I played drums with the "Amazon Love Gods" for several various live gigs.
1998- Reached an agreement with Mountain Home High Schools to produce several video projects of concerts and special events held during the school year. In February we upgraded the audio operation with the addition of a Soundcraft console fitted with FAME automated mixing capabilities, and a TASCAM MS-24 multitrack, which, when SMPTE-locked to the MS-16 gives us a whopping 38-track analog recording capacity. Other additions include a Lexicon "Alex" processor, Sony DAT recorder, and extensive patching abilities between the console and the outboard racks. Meanwhile, the video operation forges onward with more depositions, weddings, TV commercials, and promotional video projects. I started playing gigs with "What About Bob?" (which pretty much speaks for itself) In August, we again updated the audio operation with the additional purchase of a CD recorder and printer, another computer for audio/video/graphics work, an ART MPA tube mic preamp, and a MPX-1 Lexicon processor. I finally "bit the bullet" and bought a real studio microphone, a RODE NT "Classic" mic, which was hand-engineered in Australia to the specs of the vintage old Neumann tube mics of the 50's. Session work included an album project for "Fusion" from Florida, and I finally decided (after all these years) to produce and release my own album, which at this point is still untitled and due to be released sometime after the first of the year.
1999- I began working on finally finishing my album. Many of the tracks were brought out of the tape storage closet after years of neglect and "spiffed up" to make it all current. On February 17th, my grandson Jacob Seth Warren was brought into this world. My daughter Missy and husband Jody live in Florida. The studio has been getting more and more legal video work. Demand has increased for our services in producing Video Settlement Brochures as well. In March we produced a "Water Shuttle" video for the Rural Fire Department which will be distributed throughout the state of Arkansas. Joe Hamilton and "Big Big Freak" came in for a weekend of recording in April. In May my band "Spilt Milk" played a private party for SLM, Inc. (St. Louis Music), which resulted in a general free-for-all international jam session. In June we traveled to Ft. Smith to shoot video at Riverfest of "Big Big Freak" for a band promo. July 3rd marked my ninth year to play on the old Highway Department ferry barge for the annual Independence Eve celebration. Playing with the guys in Spilt Milk made it just about the best year yet. Also in July we produced the latest QSR video project for Baxter Healthcare Corporation, called "BaxTrek: The Dilithium Incident". In August I finally finished the album "New Tricks For An Old Dog". Cox Cable Systems, Inc. recently purchased the CableTime Marketing properties and has contracted us to shoot and produce all of their cable TV spots in two locals markets. In October 24th, I attended my 35 year High School Reunion at Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida. M.R. Keck has been recording on a regular basis for his next CD release for "Whiplash Gumbo". In December I was invited to join Whiplash Gumbo at Chester's Club in Fayetteville. It was a very late and very wet gig. We encountered a tornado on the way back home at 4AM. I got some video footage of the brightest full moon in 133 years on December 22.
2000- We produced a series of live country music shows called the "Cotton Jamboree" for regional syndication. On June 12, 2000, I was appointed as a Member of the Board of Advisors of the American Guild of Court Reporters. This appointment is the highest honor awarded by the AGCV to extremely qualified court videographers who have a minimum of 15 years experience in the field of legal videography. My band "Spilt Milk" played in June for "Bushwhacker Days" at Nevada, Missouri, and opened for The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Our "middle" son Lucas got married in June. The ceremony was held here in the back yard. We played the annual Independence Eve gig on the Lake Norfork Ferry boat. A good time was had by all. In August, I produced a mini-movie which was a family affair. We made the trek to Florida again this fall. This time it was to videotape a friend's wedding, but we managed to take Robert to Disneyworld for a one-day getaway! September marked the third production in six years for Hospice of the Ozarks. We held a "Vipers" Reunion at the house in November. The last reunion was held in 1992. We have decided that the next time we get together we may actually attempt to play some of our old songs. Also in November, we produced the yearly Baxter Healthcare Corporation's training video: "Baxtrek: The Wrath of QSIT". We wrapped up December with an album session for "Jaw", a new band with some great songs who have recently signed to HYPE Records. And last but not least, I lost two of my best friends this year, Charlie Blackburn and Porky Hill.
2001- Randy Keck continues to return to the studio to record yet another album! This project marks the last material released with Porky Hill on drums. Video deposition work and Video Settlement Brochures continue to build momentum. Old "Paperkid" pal Randy Burden also returns to the fold and begins recording for a solo album. This year marks the first year that we get the entire video contract for ALL school functions like band concerts, class plays, and holiday specials for the entire school system. AFA Alumni and former roommates Bill Seibel and Larry Schneider bring their wives and visit the hillbillies in the Ozarks. More video editing and production for Baxter Healthcare.... this year we do a spoof on "Mr. Bill" ("Oh, Nooooo........") I record an album project for Mojo Factory and we release the album on HYPE Records. "Spilt Milk" plays again in Nevada, Missouri at "Bushwhacker Days", only this year we headline the event. In June the band drops three members and we become a trio. Mark Rex handles all the guitar chores and the bassist is none other than "3-Finger" Larry MacFarland, who shared the stage with me years ago in "Big Deluxe". As a trio we have the opportunity to play more often and average a couple of gigs a month culminating in an Extravagonzo New Year's Eve Party at the CLub Windjammer. My writing chores have been increased as a NEW magazine called "Newtekpro" rises from the ashes of "Newtekniques". My illustrious editors feel I can handle more so I am assigned an interview with Walter Williams, the creator of (are you ready for this?) "Mr. Bill". I also get some great software review assignments for Sonic Foundry's ACID PRO 3.0 software, and yet another review for Soundprobe, my audio editing software of choice. September 11th will of course go down in infamy as "the day that shouldn't have happened". I recorded a live CD for the Christmas Program presented by the Community Choir and in December recorded a piano solo CD for Margie Householder, titled "Rainy Winter Day". And finally, plans have been made for me to begin teaching a course in basic videography at the Mountain Home branch of Arkansas Staue University, which will start in the first quarter of 2002.
2002- Legal video deposition work has continued to grow here at the studio. New clients and referrals are on the rise. We also had more wedding video projects than in previous years. In January I was featured in the Entertainment section of the Baxter Bulletin, with a large picture of me on the front page. It was a fine article written by Thomas Garrett. The publication sent their photographer, Kevin Pieper, to take some "mug shots". The one they used is sort of a: "Bob - the serious side" shot. I was very pleased. You can see a reprint of the article HERE. In March I received a notification that "Valentine Blues" from my album "New Tricks From An Old Dog" has reached NUMBER ONE in the Blues Category, and is in the overall Top 10 Standings for ALL music genres! Also, the song was also in the Top 10 Overall Category in the Central US. Not only that but "Valentine Blues" is also listed as #24 in the Blues Category at Garageband.com. You can see these and other reviews on the album's review page, located HERE. In April we were commissioned to produce a video of a re-enactment of an auto accident scene. The program, titled "The Last Dance" was conducted for the benefit of high school kids of driving age in the district. It was a huge event, with participants including ambulance and hearse services, the AirEvac team (complete with chopper), area fire department personnel, and law enforcement teams from all branches of the region…. City, county & state troopers. The event was staged in a large lot behind the Cotter High School grounds. Students from all corners of the county were bused in for the highly publicized event. As the crowd gathered around the "event arena", huge tarps were pulled from the wrecked vehicles which had previously been stationed by wreckers the day before. Selected students were excused from school that morning in order to dress up and don heavy makeup (broken arms, lots of blood, etc.). An off-duty police officer volunteered to play the part of the "Grim Reaper", who visited the classrooms of the participants and read the injuries "sustained" from a horrible wreck which had just occurred. There were several "dead" students and other "injured" kids strewn all over the scene. Dry ice was used to simulated smoke rising from under the hoods of the vehicles. Windshield glass was broken and a girl was lying over the hood with her legs still back in the driver's position. All this was covered right up until the very last minute. When all were gathered the entire crown gasped in unison as the tarps were pulled off the wrecks. For the next thirty minutes fire, police & rescue vehicles, including a fly in by the AirEvac team, arrived at the scene and worked in unison on the survivors. A hearse arrived to collect the bodies, with the Grim Reaper solemnly walking behind the vehicle as it slowly pulled up to the scene. A grieving mother (actually on of the real mothers of one of the students participating) was carried away from the scene by a sympathetic county officer as they zipped up her daughter in a body bag. As I was shooting the program I couldn't help but look over at the crowd and noticed many kids and adults crying. It was that real. Needless to say, there were fewer drunken students arrested during Prom week in the area, so the program certainly did its job. The video has been made available to any school in the state requesting it. I was proud to have been a part of such a worthy program. In May we finished up the latest CD release for Randy Burden, called "Lil' Piece Of Me", it is a fine collection of original blues songs. Jai Lambert came up from Little Rock and we did the entire album in just two days as a three-piece rhythm section. Later, we added a few extra fill tracks and some keyboards, but the album is very honest in its approach. In June my band "Spilt Milk" played an outdoor gig in Hornersville, Missouri. The promoter was hoping for a thousand partying people but the event wasn't adequately promoted and few actually showed. It was held on a levy and we experienced more mosquitoes than people. About the only good thing to come from that gig was that I got to meet another band, called "Starrroy", from Northeast Arkansas. They shared the stage with us, and then decided to cut their album here at the studio. By the end of June we completed the album. The music is fresh and original and has a kind of "Spin Doctors" feel to it. The band released the CD on the HYPE label, and their website is up and running on the HYPE page. Well, I'm a Grandfather.... AGAIN!!! Our daughter Missy (with a little help from husband Jody Warren) who live near Orlando, Florida have presented us with a Granddaughter. Morgan Elaine Warren entered the world on July 12, 2002. She weighed 7 lbs 15 oz, and was 20 inches long. I noticed a few more gray hairs on top.. [sigh] I guess it goes with the territory. The latest "Whiplash Gumbo" album, titled "Survival in Meantime" is now shipping. This album marks the fifth album artist M.R. Keck and I have collaborated on. Our working relationship has spanned over fifteen years, and in my opinion I believe this is the best one yet! It is also a tribute to Porky Hill and represents the last recorded drum tracks of Porky. Fall was one of the busiest seasons for video production in the history of our video department. Besides videotaping various commencement programs, TV commercials, and several dance recitals and concerts, I had weddings videos to produce every weekend (a first!). The Memorial Tribute Video Service ensures a steady stream of work, to such a point that we have decided to add another video editing system to our growing arsenal of computers. This NLE is a "twin" to our original Toaster/Flyer system. We are placing it upstream which will enable us to produce even more special effects and enhanced video than ever before. Not to mention it will serve as a back up computer so that we will not have any down time if a crash occurs or maintenance needs to be performed. The biggest problem we have is where we will actually put it. Our tabletop space is limited as it is, so something will have to be relocated. R. V. Armstrong brought in his band "The Broken Spokes", to record an original single called "Just An Ordinary Day In The Ozarks", which has been getting heavy airplay on all the local radio stations. In September I composed a song I call "Twin Towers". The song, an instrumental, is pretty self-explanatory. It sort of wrote itself during the dark days following the September 11th terrorist attacks on the US. I suppose in a way it was a means for me to attain some kind of closure for my own private feelings about this tragedy. You can listen to it here. (Be patient. This 6 minute RealAudio file will take about 8 minutes to download using a 56K modem.) Also in September, "Spilt Milk" had our best gig ever. We recently got reacquainted with an old friend, Jerry Bone, who consented to play bass with us. Mark Rex and I had been auditioning bass players all summer long to no avail, so when Jerry came on board we were excited to say the least. I was asked by Gary & Lisa Kingrey, owners of the Back 40 in Mountain Home, to inaugurate the grand opening of their newly constructed outdoor stage and beer garden. The evening was cool, the moon was full, and we sold out. An additional 50 people were lined up out front in the hopes of getting in. The crowd stayed all night and as they say "a good time was had by all". In October I was hired to shoot video of a rock concert held at Dunbar Auditorium on the Mountain Home High School campus. The band, "Firefal" is a Christian Rock band. They had lights, sound, and smoke machines. It was a nice turnout and an appreciative audience. We had just produced their album in June, so I knew their songs pretty well for the video. Video projects this year were for Baxter Healthcare (the latest in the "BaxTrek Series"), Hospice of Calico Rock, and Gilbert Realty.
2003- The Memorial Tribute Video business has continued to grow in 2003. Legal vdeo work is still a large portion of our video business as well. Another area of growth for the video studio this year has been creating Photo Montage Videos for irthdays, anniversaries, and the like. Who would have thought after spending so many years learning video technique that a large portion of my business now would be making videos of still images? I also produced video projects for Arkansas State University, Mountain Home branch and a fund raising video project for Baxter Regional Hospital. On the musical front, "Spilt Milk" has enjoyed our biggest and best year yet. The band played more in 2003 than in the previous three years put together. We were even chosen to play at the Baxter County Fair this September. The studio has been fairly busy, although in general sessions were down as compared to 2001. Part of that is due to my decision to be more selective in choosing recording sessions. Back when music recording weas all I did I had to take whatever walked through the door. Now that the video business is a major source of income for the studio, I can be a bit more picky about which recording sessions to accept. Recording music has become fun again and not so much of a "job". In April I was commissioned to produce another "Last Dance" Video project. This time it was held at Mountain Home High School, where hundreds of students saw "up close" what it was like to be involved in a tragic automobile accident, as a result of a drunk driver. Students from the drama department at the high school spent hours creating a very realistic performance. The video is being distributed to many schools across the state of Arkansas. If we only save one life it will have been worth it all tenfold. We had a really good single session in December with "Dude" from Kansas City. They came in with a good idea for a single and we spent an entire day on it. They all left with big smiles so I gather they got more out of the session than they expected. Since the session the band expressed a desire to be represented by our indy label HYPE. Plans are for the band to return in the second quarter of 2004 for another session.
2004- I suppose the biggest event of the year was getting hired on as editor for a feature length movie, called "The Best Medal Is A Live Man's Smile". The screenplay was adapted from the book "1369", which is one man's account of his experiences as a Marine helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. What makes this movie truly unique is that it is not your typical shoot 'em up war hero picture. This story is told from the point of view of how the pilots learned how they had to deal with the real horrors of what they witnessed during those times. There's obviously a lot of bar scenes and partying (think "Air America")and pilot pranks thrown in with the pathos and sad truths about losing your comrades on a daily basis. It was shot entirely in the Philippines and on a shoe string (make that BOOT string) budget but the opportunity to edit a complete movie offsets the meager pay for the job, which basically amounts to a new computer for the studio when it's all said and done. It will take almost two years to shoot, edit, and score the project, which I will work on between "regular paying" jobs. Other than a couple of wedding projects, January was a pretty calm start for the new year. Also, I did the usual amount of depositions, video settlement brochures, and single song demo sessions during the year. I produced an album for emerging country singer Joel Bolinger and did another quickie weekend session with "Dude" from Kansas City in March. This year's "Last Dance" video project was staged at the Norfork High School campus. once again I called the shoot for a group of talented young video students in the school media class. May was a busy month, with video projects for the Mountain Home High School Commencement, the Keith Hamm Memorial Concert, and Montesorri Graduation. I shot and produced "The Battle of Yellville", a civil war reenactment staged in Yellville, Arkansas. After adding some authemtic fife & drums music from the times and making the video look more like an old-time film project (taking out the color and adding scratches and dirt to the footage) we aired the 30 minute two-day shoot on local television stations to a good response from viewers. I managed to work in a location audio session for a local string quartet, which was released later on CD. In June I recorded the latest CD offering by the Ozark Choral Society and did a large video project for a local school of dance. My old pal from Baxter Healthcare days Mike Rotenberry hired the studio to produce an in-house safety video for Ranger Boats. He introduced a new character, "Ranger Steve" who demonstrates all the ways NOT to run a manufacturing plant. The character, loosely based on the Crocodile Hunter, gets caught is some hilarious situations while educating and instructing workers in manufacturing safety. "Spilt Milk" kept pretty busy playing various gigs throughout the summer. We even managed to shoot and produce two live music DVD's from some great performances. On July 3rd I shot and produced a video of the Independence Eve 2004 fireworks show over Lake Norfork, for local TV station Channel 26. Throughout the year Randy Keck made several treks to the studio to make a music video for his track "Double Yellow", by Whiplash Gumbo. It was our first big splash into using blue screen technology. In September I made an informational video for the Rehab Center at Baxter Regional Hospital. In October I took the family to Florida for my 40th year HS reunion at Admiral farragut Academy, my old Alma Mater. I saw guys I haven't seen since 1964. To say a great time was had by all would be an understatement. Unfortunately, my detailed account of the experience in a "News From The Woods" article was destroyed when our server crashed last winter, and I have never attempted to re-write the article.
2005- This was a big year for "restorations". The studio has made the complete transition to digital for all our audio work. We still have the TASCAM MSR16 recording deck to use for analog multitrack recording if the client wishes, as well as the TASCAM Model 52 analog stereo mastering machine. All other audio functions such as tracking, sweetening, mixing, and mastering can now be done within the digital realm. This year I converted many of the studio's old analog multitrack masters over to digital, including the original 24 track Goldrush masters and all the original 8 track Paperkid masters. I have also restored many of my own original masters to digital. Another large project which took me over six months to finish was the restoration of a 16mm B&W film entitled "This Is Your Town" which was thought to be lost for many years. M.R.(Randy) Keck spent a great deal of time here doing his "Double Yellow" music video project. March was a busy month. We had another Whizz reunion. I produced an album by Joel Bolinger and Ozark Country entitled "21 Today". Also in March I directed and produced another "Last Dance" project - this time at the Baxter County Fairgrounds. Starting in April, I began a gigantic album project on the behalf of Russian composer/singer Janya Sable. This was a huge project that took several months to do. My longtime associate and guitarist Mark Rex and I played all the instruments on the album. Several of his songs were also covered by Ms. Sable. The album was finished and released on the HYPE label by fall. The National T-Bucket Alliance held their yearly rally in Mountain Home this year at the county fairgrounds. I got to shoot and produce my first video in Hi-Def 16:9 format. It was a blast and the cars looked so real on the screen you could almost reach out and touch the chrome. I also got to include an interview with my old friend Norm Grabowski for that video project. I continued to work all year long on the film "The Best Medal" until the production closed down in Arkansas in November. Video Depositions, Video Memorial Tributes, and other independent production work continue to come in.
2006- This was a rough year for me, both in my work and my health. I spent a lot of time in my attorney's office as the production company doing the "Best Medal" movie pulled the plug on our agreement and negotiations broke doown on a settlement. This goes to show you that the best intentions and best laid plans often go awry in the movie business. A single little piece of paper in the form of a production agreement would have saved me from a world of pain, mental anguish, confusion, dissappointment and dissillusionment. Not to mention the hundreds of hours of work that I put into the film just to have the producer change his mind mid-stream. Life goes on........... I continued to work on assisting Janya Sable in the publicity of her "My Way" CD, arranging for her to appear on radio, television, and putting together her media packet to send to management companies and major labels. In February I designed a web site for Tom's Auto, a local garage that does classic car restorations. I was a judge in the annual Kiwanis Club Talent Show in March. The winners of two divisions received recording sessions here at the studio. I videotaped several weddings through the year, and also directed another shoot of "The Last Dance", this time held in Yellville. Starting in April I began production of a new television program hosted by Renee and Oksana Pavilionis. Oksana is a Russian violinist trained in classical music. Her and her husband Renee relocated here in the Ozarks. Renee is trying to put together a 13-episode TV show that centers around Oksana's talents. They also plan to feature interview segments with local musicians and artists as well as a regular segment on how to play the violin. They hope to use these shows to break Oksana in to the Branson market. Our son Robert joined the local swim team, the "Hurricanes" in May. The team, which went on to win the state championsip, is looking for a way to get adequate pool facilities as they currently have to vie for pool time at the local swimming pool during their off hours. To that end I took hours of footage which I took of the team during the season and produced a fund-raising video package. We used the opportunity to work in my friend Joe Atkins' underwater camcorder system. The video was a smash hit with the "Hurricanes" fund raising committee. The underwater shots of the team swimming was the highlight of the video. In July I got the opportunity to edit and produce a hunting video for a local sportsman who went to Zimbabwe and got the privledge of assisting the locals there in bringing down a "killer cat". He bagged a rogue leopard in the dark of night at 50 yards with noting more than a compound bow! Even the local guides were very impressed! The footage he shot with a night vision Sony camcorder was absolutely outstanding. I put it all together from over 4 hours of raw footage, and contributed some soundtrack music for the project as well. It was a most thrilling project. Another fun project for me was to produce a PR video for our local Little League Baseball team, who were slated to play in the finals. The video was to be played by ESPN. Unfortunately the team was eliminated before the big finish so it never got air time, but it was still fun to do and the team can use it much in the same way the swim team will use theirs. On September 30th my friend Gary Gazaway ("ElBuho") hired me to come over to the Pocahontas Sesquicetennial Music Heritage Concert. Gary had put together a killer Big Band to perform. He was also featured in a Jazz Quartet and his wife Lisa also sang, fronting the big band. It was such a great concert that doing the video was more like play than work. Another benefit performance I shot which was nice was the benefit for the Christian Clinic here in Mountain Home. It featured "First Day" and "Vocal Union", two immensely popular christian vocal groups. These acts both incorporated modern technology into their set. The new addition of a "sub bass" singer was fantastic, and the house PA utilized a sub harmonic processor to enhance the sub bass. Another innovative technique was having a singer play "mouth drums". I've seen this on a lot of rapper sets, but never on a Christian a capella vocal group. It was a real eye-opener. At the end of November I was tapped to videotape the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association "Trial Skills CLE". Several of the attorneys making presentations were clients of mine and I got to do a little catching up in a more casual setting than usual.
2007- Business this year really slowed down. There are several reasons for this, the first being the state of this nation's economy. In other words, the "trickle down" effect has finally hit Arkansas. Anyone who still does not think we are in a recession is wearing blinders. Also a major contributing factor is technology. Lately when people ask how things are going I tell them "Technology is putting me out of business". They stare back blankly so I have to explain to them: Concerning the video business, anyone these days with a camcorder and a computer is calling themselves "videographers". No one seems to take experience into account. Blame that on today's throw-away society. Experience and quality has fallen behind and cheap services has taken the lead. Again- I blame this partly on the nation's economy. Folks have fewer dollars to spend so they buy services on the cheap and turn a blind eye to quality content. In the music recording business it's a bit different but the end result is the same. If you give an artist a choice between spending his hard-earned $500 on a daily block of recording time or investing that $500 in a computer and some cheap software and it's a no-brainer. Besides, we all know how musicians like to be in control, especially when it comes to thier own music. Of course they aren't thinking about how many years of experience it will take them to learn how to use all that gear, and that the probability is that by the time they have learned the art of engineering they no longer have the time to be musicians and songwriters because they constantly have to find money to get thier "gear fixes". I still continue to do legal video work, weddings, and the occasional commercial production, but now I have more time to devote to philanthropic pursuits like producing videos of local historic significance. The "This Is Your Town" video is still selling well, and I have just released a "Volume Two" from my archives. I have already started two more series of programs called "Through The Looking Glass" and "A Slice Of Life in Baxter County". This past year I produced two "Last Dance" video projects with Judy Fagan. The first one was staged in March at Flippin. The second one was held in Calico Rock on Halloween. That makes seven of these dramatazations we have produced since 2001. We are already scheduled to do two more in 2008. In February I attended and shot the "Night Of Honors" dinner and awards ceremony held annualy by the mountain Home Education Foundation. I judged yet another Kiwanis Talent Show in March. Summer was busy with video depositions and several weddings. I managed to slip away with the family to St. Louis and was fortunate enough to have friends in the right places who treated us to a front-row seat at a Cardinals game. Watching my sons at their first major league baseball game was a real thrill for me. The Cards beat the Brewers 10-2 at that game, and it just doesn't get any better than that. As usual, I shot and produced a DVD of the Mountain Home High School Graduation exercises in May. I lost track on how many years I have been there, but it surely is over 20 years. It was my fifth year to produce Graduation DVD's for the Montessorri School, which I always enjoy doing. In September I had the honor of producing a music project which was for the benefit of a close friend's autistic son. I will be writing a News From The Woods article on that project soon. In the meantime, if you are interested, you can visit the MySpace page here. For that matter this year I also constructed my own MySpace page and YouTube pages. During the Labor Day Weekend in September I had the most fun I'd had in years. I made a long overdue trek to my old homestead in Ft. Smith to attend Randy Burden's 50th Birthday Party. From there I went on to Tulsa for another WHIZZ reunion and recording session. You can read all about it here.
2008- This wasn't a good year for me healthwise, but despite colon surgery, hand problems attributed to carpal tunnel syndrome, and discovering I was a Type II diabetic I kept my spirits up and threw myself into recording projects. The most noteworthy project of the year was a project which my pal Mark Rex and I had been working on for several months. We called the project the "OMC" project, which stands for "Ozark Music Coalition". The sessions took several months to wrap up, as all the players were from all over the state. Mark wrote the compositions, and I produced and engineered the project. Hundreds of hours were spent diong overdubs and constant re-writes to certain arrangements. Players who aided in the prject included Gary "El Buho" Gazaway, Ron Miller, Jerry Bone, David Renko, Thomas Roady, and Oksana Pavilionis. The styles of the songs range from a Spanish feel to Chicago Blues; from easy listening to new age. On September 16, 2008, Jane and I took Robert to Little Rock for his very first concert to see The Eagles. It was a real eye opener for him and he was spellbound by the spectacle of lights, sound, and such a huge and appreciative audience. On October 11th we had to put down our most loved dog "Bear". He had lived a good life. Indeed, many friends often joked that when they passed on they'd like to return as Bear. He lived to 14 but toward the end we could tell his quality of life was such that he was ready to go. The year ended with an offer to score an Independent movie filmed in California. And.... after writing for a year I finally finished my memoirs, called "Face The Music". After proofreading it I intend to try and find a publisher bold enough to publish the book, which is over 700 pages long.
2009- Six months after finishing and proofing "Face The Music", I still have not found a literary agent willing to promote a memoir that is in excess of 800 pages. Can I help it if I've had a full life? I shall keep looking. The year 2009 started off on the wrong foot when the Ozarks experienced the big ice storm of 2009. This year also marks my official entry into the "old fogies club" when I began getting Social Secutiry checks every month. THAT was a weird feeling. This year I have been asked to head up a continuing education class at Arkansas State university - Mountain Home branch and teach a course in "Facebook 101". The course was offered in the fall semester but since not enough people signed up we decided to hold the class back until we had more people sign up. Maybe 2010 will be a better year for my involvement. Video deposition jobs continue to stream in even though the legal video market is slowly being assimilated by large court reporting firms across the US. The individual legal videographer who is just starting a career may be in for trouble over the next few months. This year's "Last Dance" program was staged in Flippin, and we shot the event with four camcorders. In July I had my second surgery (this time it was the right hand) for carpal tunnel. It was a complete success and after just a month I was picking up the drumsticks again. In September I attended and shot a Paperkid reunion in Ft. Smith. The proceeds of the concert and video went towards autistic children. I made a quick road trip to Florida in October to attend the 45th reunion of my high school senior class in military school. Session work at the studio continues with recording sessions for Dick Bee, Boots Walker, Campaign, and several sessions for a new rap artist in the area.2010- I spent New Years snowed in at Siloam Springs after a big party featuring Whiplash Gumbo. Session work this year included Boots Walker, Gwenn Marie, Palmer Foley, Paul Martineau, Whiplash Gumbo, Ron Miller and OMC. I archived video for the annual Night of Honors banquet held by the Mountain Home Education Foundation in February. On February 8th I did my very first Internet Radio Show on Arkansas Internet Radio. I call the show the "HiTek Redneck Radio Show", and play only original music recorded here at Cedar Crest Studio. In March I held my first class at Arkansas State University in Mountain Home. The CED course, titled "Basic Social Networking" could have been called "Facebook 101". In April, professional angler Dave Whitlock was inducted into the trout Hall of Fame and I was on hand to document the occasion on video for the Trout Nature Center Project. Once again I videotaped the Ozark Choral Society's annual concert held April 24th at Dunbar Auditorium. At the end of the month I travelled first to little Rock to video "For The Day" performing live at a Battle of the Bands held at Vinos. Then I went to Ft. Smith the very next day to tape a fantastic concert held by "Blue Fiddle" at Second Street Live. On May 18th I shot the Montessori School Commencement program and my son Robert's band concert at Dunbar. It was a busy night. In July I began doing video projects for local hot rod manufacturer Spirit Industries. We started an Internet blog for friends and fans of Spirit Cars. The entire week of the 12th featured daily cruises, dinners, and special events. The week culminated in a giant car show, exhibition and sock hop held at the Baxter County Fairgrounds. I videotaped a Bluegrass Festival held b y the Norfork Lake Chamber of Commerce in August. On September 9th I was on hand to videotape and document the grand opening ceremonies of the Vada Sheid Community Development Center on the ASU/MH campus. On the 14th I documented the dedication ceremonies of the new Hackler Middle School. At the end of September I released my "STRESS" music video. On October 9th I documentd the Reynolds Library Dedication ceremonies. A video I directed was the featured media segment at the festivities. I also produced a short promotional video for the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce in November, which is featured on the Chamber website. To finish out the year I was invited by the promoters to attend a Willie Nelson concert held at the new Vada Sheid CDC. It was really strange seeing Willie perform in my little hometown. The venue is first rate except for the back half of the hall where visibility to the stage is marginal. ASU got a lot of flack for the SNAFU and future concerts are on hold until the situation is remedied. 2011- I continued producing and broadcasting my "HiTek Redneck Radio Show" on the internet. These one hour commercial-free broadcasts feature recordings and sessions made by me through the years. It is the only internet radio show that plays Arkansas-based talent. In February of 2012 I will be hosting my 100th show. That will be ONE HUNDRED HOURS of free music available for streaming or downloading from my website. In February I attended and shot video of the Mountain Home Education Foundations Night of Honors Program. I started attending diabetes classes in March at the local Repell Diabetes Center in my effort to come to grips with my Type II diabetes and get a handle on this disease. My course in Social Networking at ASA/MH campus continue to draw interest n the community. I produced a video of the Jonathan Story piano concert at the new Vada Sheid Community Development Center on the ASU/MH campus in April. Also in April, we experienced a massive electrical storm which destroyed our main workstation (and all of it's data), along with my beloved hot tub, the HVAC system for the house, all of the wireless phones, a laptop, DSL modem, and a printer. This effectively shut down my operation for several weeks, and it was months before I got totally back on line. In May I began archiving all of my audio/video assets as part of a plan to donate them to the state and community. The Reynolds Library will be the repository of all of my video media files (historic films and videos). Plans are to set up a dedicated computer kiosk at the library which will allow the public to access and view any one of the five hundred programs and clips that I am archiving. It is an enormous task to collate, restore, and render the content but it is my way of giving back to the community that raised me. The studio's library of original music that I have recorded over the past 45+ years is being donated to the Butler Center for Arkansas Music Heritage in Little Rock. Most of this music has never been heard and represents literally years of origal recorded music in all genres and styles, all stemming from Arkansas artists, bands, and composers. I am gratified to know that even though this music has never seen the light of day nationally, at least the archives will be available to the public in the future, so folks will know how much great music has been made here in the Ozarks. As far as studio business….. Technology is not-so-slowly forcing me into retirement. Recording sessions have slacked off due to cheap computer-based recording systems, and the economy has caused my video business to also fall off. Corporations simply do not have the funds to produce videos and instead have pressed their own employees into making Power Point presentations instead. The legal video business continues, but national court reporting firms are beginning to soak up regional work. The video landscape is changing as the country's falling economy forces people into exploring new territories of revenue. While this may look bad on the surface, as I am now 65 years old, it's about time I started doing what I want to do in life (hence all the archiving of my database, etc.). On the positive side, my book "Face The Music", which took three years to write and edit, has evolved into a multimedia eBook. Within it's 800+ pages are 55 chapters, 500 images, and I even included almost 100 MP3 audio files to accompany the book. It is all on a single CD-ROM data disk. The book is in Adobe PDF format, so anyone with a computer or iPad can read it. I am thrilled because when I was originally writing it, none of this technology was freely available and I was sad because I wanted so badly to include images, which greatly enhance the stories. So now, instead of merely including a section of pictures, each chapter has dozens of images inserted right into the body of the story. Plus, the reader can access the music files and hear the very music the storyline follows. I also included my entire "New tricks From An Old Dog" album as well as a bonus. Lynn Wasson, managing editor of the Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine wrote a story on me called "Facing The Music", about my years in Fort Smith in the 70's, which appeared in their Christmas issue. 2012- This was not a good year from a health standpoint. My wife Jane had surgery around Christmastime 2011 and contracted a dreaded MRSA infection which took an entire year to combat and defeat, but not after losing her job of 11 years because she missed too much work during the ordeal. Over the course of a few months my right hip finally bit the dust. It was either the jeep wreck or the shooting incident of my youth that finally caught up with me. After hobbling around for 6 months I had the hip replaced. As for the business, both audio and video work has continued its slowdown. Technology is the culprit. Anyone with a camcorder calls themselves a "videographer", and today a laptop is called a "recording studio". Smart people know different however, and experience STILL counts with those who understand this. Legal deposition work continues, and my "regular" clients still come here to work. It has actually given me more time to devote myself to personal projects, like cataloging all of my audio and video assets and storing them all on hard drives. I am donating all of my video archives to the Reynolds Library in 2013, and there is a lot of video and film in the archives. The studio's music library contains over 800 original songs by various artists, groups, and composers, who have passed through the studio doors since the 70's, and even earlier from previous sessions and location recording I have made through the years. The Butler Center of the Central Arkansas Library System in Little Rock has expressed a desire to be the repository of all my music and wants to add my collection to the Arkansas Music Heritage Museum. I was thrilled and honored to be considered. The collection also includes all of my HiTek Redneck Radio Shows, which should prove valuable in the future as I discuss many of the projects I have recorded during each program. Another project near and dear to my heart is the "Waveform LLC" album that I have recorded with Ron Miller. It all started as a simple jam session with Ron and I, and within days it blossomed into a 2-song project. One thing led to another and within 6 months we had recorded an entire album. The songs are very special to me as they seemed to write themselves. Sometimes the lyrics came to me faster than I could scribble them down. The most exciting part was that we did not follow the prescribed method of obsessing over details. We kept first take vocals, warts and all. We kept mistakes and wrote arrangements around them. The result is that the album sounds very relaxed and…… "real". We don't need no steekin' AUTOTUNE! : - And like all of our other projects, these songs will probably never see the light of day because of where I live - in the middle of nowhere. But that's all right, because in the future you can always go to the Butler Center and listen to some of the greatest songs you've never heard! 2013- I have started working on the concept of downsizing the studio. There is a lot of vintage analog gear that I have not been using, but I cannot force myself to part with my beloved gear on eBay for pennies on the dollar. My earliest sessions this year have been for Boots Walker and Gwenn Marie. I have started a new recording project with my former partner in the studio, Mark Cheney. Back when we first got the studio started. Mark told me that the main reason he was investing in the studio was because he wanted to record his own solo album. Unfortunately, fate intervened and that never happened. But I never forgot it, and this year I offered to make good on that promise. He eagerly accepted, and we started working on the album. We're taking it slow as it is more a labor of love than a "job". I want Mark to be satisfied and happy with his album when we are finally done with it. I owe him that at the very least. In March, Cutthroat Trout came into the studio for a session. I am continuing to teach a class in Social Networking at ASU/MH. Also in March, I videotaped a concert by "Blue Fiddle" at The Shied on the ASU/MH campus. I shot and produced another "Last Dance" program in April for sponsors Baxter Regional Medical Center. It was held at the North Central Arkansas Speedway, between Yellville and Flippin. I was kept busy producing legal videos for the Bailey & Oliver Law Firm of Springdale. On May 25th I made a presentation of the studio's video media assets to the Donald W. Reynolds Library of Mountain Home. I donated over 250 hours of video that I have collected and produced over the past forty years. I also conducted recording sessions this year with Whiplash Gumbo, Daybreak, The Natural State Band, and of course my writing partner Ron Miller.
Now, did you get all that?
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