recorded May 1973.
The recording quality is poor. I had previously only done some recording on a friends machine in late '60s which are all lost.
Tend to think my best music sharings and harp playing was in the years 1970-71, when music often saved me, and I felt uninhibited, and one with it.
That's My Baby, happened again after work, when I looked up a saw a picture of someone I loved above my bed. Some tall grass was placed under the frame, hence "on the grass". She was not a baby, nor "mine", nor would I ever see her again. She was far away in Paris, but you know, it was the joy of sensing one's connectedness.
This is my first recorded tune still in possession.
This new recording device allowed me to play over myself once .... hence the harmonica, and a few guitar notes come in over the song. You can hear the audio clicks, as I punch in and out... not yet knowing how it all worked.
I was living, working hard in a shipping company in the U.S. Virgin Islands , Caribbean Sea Roads, sometimes 7 days a week, sometimes through the night, for $ 98 salary a week, no overtime. But, I loved the work, the responsibility, and the crews I worked with at the time. I left college to work.
One day a soul brother who worked in the only music store there said, "You look like a musician, would you want this reel to reel tape recorder?" I told him that music was a past life, but I thanked him and took it.
I had nothing planned to record. I didn't really know songs. I used instruments to meditate, to express feelings, to soothe or get out the emotion, never wrote things down nor thought of structure, nor words. Before this, and since, very rarely recorded.
I came home after work, picked up the one and only guitar i've ever owned, given to me by Mrs. Vegas, bless her, and hit a button that said "play." So, I did.
That's My Baby was not "written". It was just what came out, I love playing harp to a guitar. Wonderful at that moment to be able to play with someone.... myself!
The day after, I recorded "Back in My Arms Again". Yes, safe to say they are both "originals".
The recording device had a delay on it, so it gives a bit of an echo.... I did nothing to add reverb, did nothing at all to it.
Both these songs I would not discover or listen to till long after. I didn't know how to on this machine.
Did not record much else. But I hope they relay a helpful human emotion you recognize. This one of joy.
Being often alone, traveling, working, living for these years, I would, from 1970, make sounds with my voice for accompaniment, imagining different voices or instruments. I've very little ever recorded of this type of sound making, But in this tune, you get a taste.
I'm very blessed to have lived long enough to get through, to have had love to be joyous about, even if unrequited much of the time.
And in my heart, to know the love that is forever. I wish that for you.
(the photo is of my gift of a dog, Cosmic, living with me at this time. He will forever remain in my heart.)
Anthony Donovan, nyc