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February 2021: It Starts With A Song

It Starts With A Song
Typography

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all staying safe, we’re still living in hope of a return to the good times that we miss so much. I guess we don’t realize how good times are until we don’t have them. There’s a lady who, most people will know in Chicago, that’s Vera Kelly, who kept her chin up through her fight with cancer. She was a very special lady and I’ll never forget her bravery through her struggle.

I had the great pleasure of meeting her at the airport in Dublin, as we were on the same flight back to Chicago. She had been home to Ireland to see her father, in case she might not get to see him again. It was a couple of years before the pandemic, but she had to wear a mask for fear of catching a cold or flu, as she was going through her treatment at the time. With all her pain (which I noticed in her face) she was cracking jokes and making great conversation. I carried her carry-on bags, then she nudged me and said, “They are going to bring me on in a wheelchair, so you stick with me, and you’ll get on first with me. I’ll tell them you’re my helper”. So, we both got on first and were lucky enough to sit close together. She really made me count my blessings in life with her outlook. Vera will be sorely missed in Chicago, especially for her roles in plays that she often acted in. Vera, I’m sure God opened up his arms to you when you left us in January. And, I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we all send our condolences to her family back at home and her many friends and fans in Chicago. R.I.P. Vera Kelly.

I wasn’t sure what song to put in the paper this month, then I was looking through some of the songs I had co-written with my brother. It’s hard to realize, it’s one year on the 16th of this month, that I lost my dearest friend. I think about him every day, and life is just not the same without him. I thank God for my children, they keep me where I need to be. The song for this month started out as a tribute to a well-known country singer from Liverpool called Kenny Johnson, who was a dear friend of my brother. He was known for years as ‘Kenny Johnson and Northwind’, Kenny was also part of a very successful band called ‘The Hillsiders’. Suddenly, Nick said I will know what the song is about but we’ll take a slightly different approach. So, we got together with our buddy Jordan Mogey and the song was born ’The Northwind Blows No More’.

Before I finish off, I want to wish your friend and mine a very Happy Birthday, Margo O’Donnell, on the 6th of February.

As always till next time, be good to one another, Joe

‘The Northwind Blows No More’

© Nicky James  © Joe McShane © Jordan Mogey
Chorus
The city lights don't shine as bright and the
Northwind blows no more
Just echoes of the past and some pictures from a billboard
Memories to cherish, that shook us to the core
The city lights don't shine as bright and the
Northwind blows no more
V1
In the 50s it was rock and roll that filled the radio
Elvis, Carl, and Jerry Lee stirred the music in our soul
Melodies flowed from the heart and lit the country flame
Johnny Cash came along just like an old freight train
V2
In the 60s came the Beatles who took the world by storm
When the ferry crossed the Mersey a brand new beat
Was born
But the world was fast a changing and no one could ignore
The music shaped the future like never before
V3
Down on Union Avenue in Memphis Tennessee
Rock n Roll and country songs made perfect harmony
And paved the way forever where the rhythm had to go   
Now the microphones are silent at Sun Records Studio
Joe McShane

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