Registered: 1183757173 Posts: 1
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I live in New York State and yesterday turned 67. I was in a nostalgic mood today and logged onto the Internet to reconnect with soundtracks of my childhood and early adulthood guitar heroes, from a time when I once played acoustic guitar. Those heroes were George Van Epps, Johnny Smith and Wes Montgomery. I say once played acoustic guitar because in my early 20's I switched to classical guitar, giving in to an unanswered and insistent inner voice from when I was a child of four years old, when I fell hopelessly in love with classical guitar. I then followed and fulfilled that childhood voice for the rest of my life, and in the process effectively dropped out of the acoustic guitar world.
Today, in rummaging through the soundtracks of my early acoustic guitar heroes on the Amazon web site, I stumbled upon a solitary CD and soundtracks by a man whom I never knew existed, Ted Greene. I almost ignored them but again that insistent inner voice said "Don't be stupid and listen to it!" I did, and WOW was I mesmerized! To me, Ted Greene was one of the very few guitarist that I ever heard, who fused his soul with his music and gave it a rarely matched purity, eloquence and integrity. I was so smitten by his playing that I even called my wife at work and played some of the soundtracks over the phone to her. She too was blown away by his beautiful playing and we both said we were going to immediately get his CD. I then decided to look Ted Greene up on the Internet to see what other CD's he had out.
To my dismay I quickly learned that my just newly discovered giant of the guitar had died two years ago, long before his time, and that the web site was a memorial to him. I felt saddened at the seeming unfairness of Life As I continued on that web site, I read several of the loving tributes to Ted Greene. It was clear that he deeply touched so many, many people from all walks of life, as a human being, first, and then as a guitarist extraordinare. Sadly, he was a Shooting Star whom God chose to grace this world with a special talent, but for too limited a time.
Especially touching were the poignant remembrances of his 14 year companion, Barbara Franklin, who clearly lost a soul and a soul mate. I emailed one of them to my wife, the one that contained that beautiful poem, by Emily Dickinson, symbolizing Ted and Barbara's feelings. I also felt compelled to add my voice to the tributes.
I would have loved to and am sorry that I never knew Ted Greene until today, two years after his death. He was my kind of human being and musician and I will treasure my CD of my newly found hero of the guitar for the rest of my life. For me, in just a few fleeting minutes, Ted Greene's musical sensitivity and touch shouted volumes about his kind and gentle spirit and soul. I can only imagine their profound meaning to his Barbara. It is my deepest hope that her loving memories of him will continue to sustain and comfort her on her journey of healing.
Registered: 1141416921 Posts: 940
Reply with quote #2
Your letter touched me deeply. One of my sincerest wishes for this website is to genuinely express Ted's spirit and music so others may feel a strong connection to both Ted as a person and as a musician. Responses such as yours acknowledge that I am truly accomplishing that which is so important. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your kind sentiments. Barbara __________________ Barbara Franklin
Registered: 1151469014 Posts: 27
Reply with quote #3
Mark, don't miss the videos posted here, they're awe-inspiring!
Registered: 1148692726 Posts: 145
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You mentioned your love of George Van Eps' work and I wondered if you'd found this wonderful tribute to George on classicjazzguitar.com http://classicjazzguitar.com/articles/article.jsp?article=34 __________________ Bob Holt
Registered: 1140281532 Posts: 431
Reply with quote #5
Mark, you write beautifully - I'm so glad you found the site. There is a treasure trove of anecdotes, humor, humility, and Ted here. I hope you take the time to see it all. And thanks for your post.