Monday, August 23, 2010

Mark Twain?

We just returned from a fun trip to Galena, Illinois.  There are many photos and stories to post.  Needing to catch up on so many things, I’m not sure when I will possibly get that post put together!

Galena’s biggest claim to fame is President Ulysses S. Grant lived there.  There second claim to fame is that they took a dying river town and breathed life back into it, saving the many beautiful historic homes from demolition.  It is a gem.

We spent one enjoyable evening, watching a one man show performed by Jim Post.  His show is inspired by the little-known fact that Mark Twain sang tenor and played banjo, guitar and piano, and loved to show off at parties.  Building on that knowledge, Post, who bears a remarkable resemblance to Twain, developed a one man show of song and monologue that had us tapping our feet, sometimes nodding with an understanding of the story, and other times laughing without reserve.  The guy is brilliant!

In the 60’s he wrote the hit song “Reach Out of the Darkness”.  He and his wife recorded the song as Friend and Lover. He told us the story of how it was a sleeper type song going nowhere, and then a DJ in San Francisco picked it up during the demonstrations of the 60’s, and it just slowly got picked up by one radio station after another until it became a hit.  A bit of what I researched on the internet suggests that some of the song’s original lyrics were LSD induced.  That wouldn’t surprise me a bit, since that was the case with much of the music of my generation.

There were only 18 of us at his performance Friday night.  Apparently the Galena season is slow in the summer but goes great guns in the Fall.  Post visited with us before, during, and after the show.  I got a huge hug from him when I guessed this 71 year old to be 62.  Jim and I visited with him for a bit during intermission and he told his that his new venture is a show about Sam Houston, with original songs and dialogue.  He then proceeded to softly sing us one of the songs he had already written for the show.  Beautiful.

Here is a bit of Jim Post:

More on Galena tomorrow!

13 comments:

jewelzmomof4 said...

You guys go to the neatest places and meet the neatest people!!!! Glad you are home and you had fun!!!!

Missouri Gal Nicole said...

Sounds like a cool place to visit! Cant wait to see the photos.

Vicki Lane said...

Sounds fun! Mark Twain is one of my favorites!

Our Obsessions said...

Hi, I was born and raised in Galena, and Jim Post is an old friend. I never knew he wrote that song! thanks for sharing!

AliceKay said...

Yeah, you do go to the nicest places. :) Sounds like you and Jim had a great time. That guy sure looked like Mark Twain.

(i remember that song)

The Farmer's Daughter said...

Looks like you had a fun evening! Can't wait to see your photos and read the stories.

Have a good day!
Cheryl

Snappy Di said...

How fun! Had no idea Mark Twain sang or played an instrument. I love it when other bloggers inform us. Thanks!

Di

That corgi :) said...

sounds like a fun place to visit and an interesting show! I think I would have enjoyed Mr. Post's rendition of Mark Twain; glad you guys had a chance to get away for a bit :)

betty

Rural Rambler said...

Well! How fun!! CH and I may have to take a trip to Galena. Never been there. Looking forward to your pictures and I do remember that song!

Lynn said...

OMG I can see why that would be LSD induced that was a strange video lol Post sounds really young singing up there on that stage :o) I think it is great that you got to spend some chatting time with him and that he sang to yall, great little history lesson thanks HUGS

Intense Guy said...

Wow you were really up close and personal huh? Great seats and a great story.

So... did you ummm... err... write any songs "back in the day?"

:)

Rita said...

Wow! The video was really, really strange, but I loved that song! Came out the year I graduated from high school. Yes--that song fit right in with the flower children! :):) So cool that you met him! And he does look like Mark Twain and he still sounds really good. I would have taken him for younger, too, even with the white hair. ;) What a great little trip for you guys and a short trip down memory lane for me--ROFL! Reach out in the darkness......I'll have that song in my head today. :):)

Toriz said...

Sounds like a great place to visit, and a great show!