If you're reading this, it means you've bought my Dad's second album!
Thank You. We hope you like it!
During Lockdown 2020 I was organising some of the many files that I had accumulated over the Songaminute years - when I found the recordings that I had made of Dad from around 2018 to 2019.
During that time Dad would still be singing at full power around the house whenever I played any of his music - but being able to record him was a different matter. He hated wearing headphones, couldn't understand why he had to wear them and was increasingly confused. Not to mention the difficulty in setting up the microphone and computer to record his voice as quick as I could. Obviously I didn't want to push him, so if it happened it happened.
I managed to record a selection of various songs - some stopped half way through and some Dad got the words mixed up. And then there were these - which he recorded mostly in one take, You'll Never Walk Alone being a highlight.
I always wanted to record a second album but life came in the way, Dad declined much, much more and my priority was making sure he (and Mum) were OK.
After spending time listening to the recordings again, I decided to send a couple of the vocal tracks across to producer and sound engineer Chris Traves who worked on the first album. "Give me a few weeks and I'll put something together." Initially he worked on It Had To Be You and The More I See You. He gathered together a handful of musicians that he knew from the West End (who were also out of work due to Covid closures) to work on the tracks remotely. I was blown away when I listened to the first takes - they far exceeded my expectations. The intro to It Had To Be You was exactly the sound I was hoping for ie. full big band.
So from then on, every couple of months I'd send over a new set of vocals and Chris would build tracks around them and we slowly pieced together the album over the next year.
Why space? "Fly Me To The Moon and let me play amongst the stars, let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars". The idea came from that really. Why don't we go to Mars....
Dad's dementia was making him more and more confused - it's been upsetting to see over the last couple of years how it has affected him and how fragile and reliant on us he has become. In a way, I imagined us up there in space, away from the dementia and the upset. Dad travelling around from planet to planet doing his shows, much like he did in the clubs - but this time on an intergalactic scale. We'd set off on a journey to the stars and these would be the songs to accompany that journey.
One of the most important songs on the album for me is You'll Never Walk Alone recorded by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Dad along with some of my uncles would always sing this at the end of a family party or wedding. The whole family (Dad was the eldest of 14 so you can imagine how many were there) would gather together in a circle singing along, arms entwined. It's an anthem for anyone going through difficult times. And if this is you, I hope it gives you hope.
But that's enough mush.
We wanted to end on a high, which is back to where it all began - me and Dad singing Volare together in a car - except this time it's a space craft and we're leaving for another planet somewhere, deep in outer space.
Thank You. For buying this album and for joining us on the Songaminute journey. We'll probably never meet - but whoever you are, you helped take a man with dementia up to the stars.
Look at the night sky sometimes. We'll be there.
Simon & Teddy Mac
PS - If you liked the album, please help spread the word and leave a review on our Facebook page.