Posts Tagged ‘The Tonight Show’
Ah! This brought back some memories…
I was searching around for a YouTube of John Denver singing “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” one of my favorite Singable Picture Books,
Sunshine on My Shoulders
Words and Music by John Denver
Illustrated by Christopher Canyon
…and ran across this YouTube of Mr. Denver performing the song on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show in 1974,
Thanks for the memory, John and Johnny. My mother took in Johnny Carson every night like most people take in food and water. She couldn’t sleep without watching Johnny first!
And, 1974! I was 6 then and just becoming aware of myself as a music lover. There’s no doubt my love for John Denver’s voice started ’round then, too, as his records frequently spun on my parent’s turntable.
John Denver has some wonderful things to say about singing at the end of this video clip. He’s talking to Johnny Carson and George Segal, referring to a performance Mr. Segal must have done earlier in the show. Johnny Carson had just ribbed George Segal about playing guitar, and John Denver chimes in saying,
“Listen, I love the way George sings. I mean, you were, you were really right what you said [George], singing is…wonderful. You can get high on singing. And, man, everybody can sing. You know even whales can sing? That’s the truth…And regardless of whether anyone sings good or not, to get that kind of feeling and that kind of enthusiasm that you [George] have in your music, everybody can do that.”
This is a lovely, generous thought from one performer to another. And especially from John Denver, who had a beautiful voice, to George Segal, in praise of George’s efforts sharing humor in song. He’s saying the voice isn’t so much what matters, it’s the SHARING and the HUMOR and the EXPRESSION that matters. And that singing is part our NATURE…and not just our own, but singing is in the nature of most living creatures…including whales.
This is a message that I hope to convey through “Sing Books with Emily,” that music is a wonderful way to share a moment with a loved one. And that music awakens our souls like nothing else can. I take Mr. Denver’s use of the word “high” (in both his quote and in the lyrics of “Sunshine on my Shoulders“) to mean “Spiritually Uplifting.” Singing is Spiritually Uplifting!
And, A child will not usually judge you on your voice. A child will just be glad to have you there, sharing a magical, spiritually uplifting, moment in song.