Sunday, August 27, 2006

August 27, 2006 End of Summer Ghost Story

Erin and Heather joined me in the WCOM studio (, a LP community radio station, out of Carrboro, NC. They had recently returned from overnight summer camp. The camp ended with the telling of a scary ghost story. The girls agreed to share the story with the WCOM listeners. They wrote the story up (see below). Heather narrated the story and Erin provided sound effects.

Play List of Songs on the August 27, 2006 Show of Melva's Musings on Jazz

  • Nina Simone, Anthology CD, I Wish I Knew How it Felt to be Free (Billy Taylor song). Nina is from Tryon, NC and Billy Taylor is from Greenville, NC.
  • Scott Warner, Wild Man Blues CD, Pine Apple Rag. Scott lived in Chapel Hill, NC for ten years, where he taught jazz piano at UNC, and performed throughout the area. He currently resides in the Oakland, CA area where he is working on new jazz compositions and performing.
  • Dizzy Gillespie, Dizzier and Dizzier CD, Oo La La. Dizzy went to high school in Laurinburg, NC.
  • Chuck Brown & Eva Cassidy, The Other Side CD, I'll Go Crazy.
  • Mary Lou Williams, My Mama Pinned a Rose on Me CD, The Blues. Mary Lou spent the last eight years of her life at Duke University in Durham, NC.
  • Vince Gill & Gladys Knight, Rhythm Country & Blues CD, Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing
  • Neville Brothers, Treacherous CD, Cha Dooky Do
  • Billy Taylor Quartet, Where've You Been? CD, I'm in Love With You. Billy is from Greenville, NC.
  • Kevin Van Sant & Mahlon Hoard, On a Whim CD, Blue Monk. Kevin is from Durham, NC and Mahlon lives in Chapel Hill.
  • Brian Horton, The Best of Brian Horton CD, Baby Steps. Brian teaches at NC Central University in Durham.
  • Al Neese, Omen Seeker CD, Blue & Silver. Al lives in Greensboro, NC.
  • Max Roach, 3/4 Time CD, Blue's Waltz. Max grew up in New Land, NC.
  • Jim Beckwith, Step Right - Shake Left CD, Human Nature. Jim lives in Chapel Hill.
  • Brother Yusef Salim, Piano & Vocals CD, A Hymm For Us All. Brother Yusef lives in Durham NC.
  • Paul Tardif, Points of Departure CD, The Fox's Secret. Paul lives in Greenville, NC.
  • Gabe Evens, Mobius, Old Timey Rocker. Gabe lives in Durham, NC.
  • Marian McPartland & Dizzie Gillespie, Piano Jazz CD, In a Mellow Tone. Dizzie went to high school in Laurinburg, NC.
  • Adia Ledbetter, First Take CD, You Don't Know What Love Is. Adia is from Durham, NC.
  • Billy Taylor, Taylor Made at the Kennedy Center CD, I Wish I Knew How it Felt to be Free.

The End of Summer Horror Story as narrated by Heather and sound effects by Erin

Back when Camp Kanata was still a boys’ camp, there were two counselors, Max and Chip, of cabin 8, which was the cabin for the little boys’. Every Sunday night there is a fireball carnival, which is a festival where you play games with fireballs and earn new ones depending how on well you play the game. One night Chip dressed up as a clown for the carnival. Everyone loved it; he would squirt kids with a water gun, and act funny. The nametag read: Binky. Next week he dressed up in it again, except, he was a little harsher, and sprayed water in the kids’ faces. He’s just getting into character, everyone thought. The week after that he wore he wore it again, but that night he didn’t take the outfit off, he’s probably just tired, everyone thought. The next day, though, he didn’t take the costume off. By Wednesday, he was still wearing it. “Uh, Chip,” said Max, “The clown thing is kinda getting old.” Chip glared at Max. “Don’t call me Chip my name’s Binky!”
The next day the director, Hanbone, went up to Chip. “Chip, you’re freaking the kids out. If you don’t stop you’re gonna have to leave.”
“I am Binky!” Chip yelled. “You’ll have to leave then,” replied Hanbone, and Binky left in a huff. The rest of the summer continued, and ended. A year later, camp started up again and was going well. Max had a new counselor with him, and was still in cabin 8. By week 5 everything was fine, and the new counselor had the week off. Tuesday night, Chip was lying in bed, when he heard footsteps from outside the cabin. Max listened, but he didn’t hear anything. He closed his eyes. Was that a bell? It’s probably the other cabins playing a joke, he thought, and got up to get them away from the cabin. Max stepped outside, but saw no one. He heard footsteps from the side of the cabin, so he ran around the side, and saw a big red clown shoe disappear around the side the cabin, and the door slam shut. Max pulled on the doorknob, but it was locked. He pounded on the door, and kicked it until it finally came down. He ran into the room, to see the back door swing shut. He looked around the room, and saw the kids wide-awake playing with black balloons tied to their beds. “A guy came in and gave us balloons,” they said. “Just go to sleep.” Max told the kids, he didn’t want them to be scared. He was crawling back into bed when he saw a note taped to the back of his bed. It was on black paper, with white writing. MAX, it said on the front. Balloons are black. Binky is back, it read. The next morning Max went straight to Hanbone, and showed him the note. Later that day Hanbone called a staff meeting. “I want to know who did this; this is not a funny joke.” No one said a word. “Alright, I do not want to hear of this again.” That night Max was lying in bed; when he heard a bell. He sprang out of bed, and opened the door, to see him disappear around the side of the cabin. I’m not going to leave the front door this time, thought Max. He waited and waited; until he heard the thumping of balloons. He flew into the cabin, only to see the back door slam shut. Black balloons were tied to the end of the beds again. Max saw another note taped to his bed. Look for red, red is dread. The next morning, Max went to Hanbone again, and showed him the note. Hanbone called all the staff together. “This joke has gone too far,” he said. “Would you please tell me who’s doing this?” No one said a word. That night Max was lying in bed; when he heard a ringing. He sprang out of bed, and opened the door; and ran around the side to see Binky run into the cabin. He heard a balloon pop, so he ran in, only to see the back door slam shut again. Max saw another note taped to his bed. This time it said, look for red, red is dead. Max looked at the back door. A red balloon was tied to it. Max counted the kids. 8 kids, but there were 9 in the cabin. One was missing…
The next morning when he woke up he found another note at the end of his bed, this time it read I got one, now I will get the rest of cabin 8. After breakfast he went straight to Hanbone. They decided on a plan. That night all the kids were moved to the dining hall with other counselors protecting them, while the strong counselors and Hanbone waited in the cabin for Binky. Soon, they heard ringing. In walked Binky. “Where are the kids?” asked Binky. “They’re not here.” “Since the kids are not here, I’ll get you!” Binky ran into the woods. He and the missing boy were never seen again.

Monday, August 21, 2006

August 20th Show
My radio show, Melva's Musings on Jazz, features the unique current and past sounds of jazz musicians with roots in North Carolina. The show can be heard every Sunday evening from 7:00 - 9:00 via the internet by going to WCOM's website at and clicking in the upper righthand corner . The show is broadcast from downtown Carrboro, a feisty, arts-loving, politically-active community.

Playlist for August 20, 2006:
  • Nina Simone, Anthology CD, I Wish I knew How it Would Feel to be Free (Billy Taylor). Nina Simone is from Tryon, NC and Billy Taylor is from Greenville, NC.
  • Joao Gilberto, Amoroso/Brasil CD, Besame Mucho. Grady Tate, a native of Durham, NC, plays drums on this CD.
  • Neville Brothers, Treacherous CD, Waiting at the Station.
  • Mary Lou Williams, Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland, Rosa Mae. Mary Lou Williams, considered one of the greatest jazz piano players of all time, spent her final years in Durham, teaching at Duke University.
  • Bus Brown, Story Teller album, It Never Was Always. Bus Brown, a 99-year young native of Baltimore, is a singer, songwriter, arranger, and teacher. He lived for over ten years in Durham. He knew and helped guide Billy Holiday and several Durham vocalists, including Frankie Alexander, Eve Cornelius, and Neena Freelon.
  • Frankie Alexander and Scott Warner, Feeling Like Someone in Love. Frankie is a Durham-based jazz vocalist and Scott Warner lived in Chapel Hill for over ten years. Scott is a jazz piano player, composer, educator and performer. Scott now lives in the Oakland, CA area. Frankie will soon be releasing a new CD.
  • Kevin Van Sant and Mahlon Hoard, On a Whim CD, Desfinado and I'm Getting Sentimental Over You. Kevin Van Sant is a Durham-based guitar player and Mahlon Hoard lives in Chapel Hill and plays the tenor and soprano saxaphone.
  • Dexter Gordon, Panther CD, Panther.
  • Hampton Hawes, Hampton Hawes Trio CD, What is This Thing Called Love.
  • Gabe Evens Quartet, Mobius CD, Old Timey Rocker. Gabe is a Durham-based jazz piano player, composer, and educator. Included in his quartet are other NC jazz musicians - Ray Codrington on trumpet, Don Gladstone on bass and Bobby Cohen on drums.
  • Mary Lou Williams, Mama Pinned a Rose on Me CD, Baby Bear Boogie. See above info.
  • Aaron Neville & Trisha Yearwood, Rhythm, Country & Blues CD, I Fall to Pieces.
  • Count Basie & His Orchestra, This Time By Basie CD, This Could be the Start of Something.
  • Kevin Van Sant & Ben Palmer, Jazz Duo CD, Boplicity. Kevin (see above) plays with Ben Palmer, a jazz bass player also from Durham.
  • Adia Ledbetter, First Take CD, Route 66. Adia is a Durham jazz singer and performs with other Durham jazz musicians, including her father, Freeman Ledbetter on bass, Brother Yusuf Salim on piano, Raymond Codrington on trumpet, and Will Terrell on drums.
  • Scott Warner, Wild Man Blues, Carolina Shout. (see above)
  • Ben Horton, The Best of Ben Horton CD, Freddy D. Ben Horton is a native of NC, and resides in Durham where he teaches jazz in the Music Department at North Carolina Central University. Ben plays saxophone, and composes and teaches.
  • Al Neese Quintet, Omen Seeker CD, Blue & Silver. Al Neese is a native of NC and currently lives in Greensboro, where he plays trumpet, flugel horn, and roto-magnetic horn. He is a composer who lived and performed for many years with jazz giants in NYC.
  • Dizzy Gillespie, Dizzy Gillespie Story CD Set, A Night in Tunisia. Dizzy is from SC, but went to high school in Laurinburg, NC. He missed his graduation but returned several years later with Ella Fitzgerald to pick up his diploma.
  • Max Roach, 3/4 Time CD, I'll Take Romance. Max Roach, jazz drummer and composer, was born in New Land, NC and grew up in the Great Dismal Swamp area.
  • Professor Longhair, Rum & Coke CD, Gone So Long.
  • Eva Cassidy & Chuck Brown, The Other Side CD, Over the Rainbow.
  • Billy Taylor, Taylor Made at the Kennedy Center CD, I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free. Billy Taylor (see above) is from Greenville, NC. I begin and end my show with his song, which remains a favorite of mine no matter how many times I hear it - both as sung by Nina Simone and played by Billy Taylor himself.

Please join me Sunday night from 7:00 - 9:00 on the web at for an exciting and fun evening full of the unique sounds of NC jazz music. ~Melva

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Life is shorter than the flowers
Miles Wipper was a compassionate, caring, non-conformist young man who was loved by many. At the age of twenty, Miles died on August 8, 2006 in Asheville, NC.
Normally my radio show, Melva's Musing on Jazz, focuses on the jazz sound, past and present, of North Carolina jazz musicians. But on Aug. 13, 2006 with major assistance from Aaron Summer, step-brother of Miles, I played the songs that were much loved by Miles. Joining us in the studio were David Summer, Emily Wipper, Ian Putnam, Sam McTavey, Julie Gignoux and Kate.
Miles was a guitar player from a talented musical and artistic family. Family and friends listened to the show and danced to the wonderful music - it was a touching and loving way to celebrate the life of Miles Wipper.
The songs played on my radio show included -
All You Need is Love (Beatles)
Marie (Django Reinhardt)
Opus de Funk (Horace Silver)
Saresta (Bela Fleck & the Flecktones)
Make Me Smile (The Slackers)
Running Down & Dream (Tom Petty)
Stella by Starlight (Miles Davis)
Tunnel of Love (Dire Straight)
Blue in Green (Miles Davis)
It Don't Mean a Thing (Europa Jazz Quartet)
Listening to the Rain (Doc Watson & Merle Watson)
Farther on Down the Road (Taj Mahal)
Dancing on the Ceiling (Charlie Parker)
Gumboots (Paul Simon)
One Love (Bob Marley)
Many Rivers to Cross (Jimmy Cliff)

Earlier in the day of Aug. 13, 2006, over five hundred people filled and overflowed the Century Center in Carrboro (NC) to celebrate the life and joy of Miles Wipper. People came from all over the world to honor his life.

Miles was - a Writer Humorist Philosopher Inquisitive Patient A good listener Active listener Role model Honest Dependable Enthusiastic Kind Compassionate Trusting sole Calm Focused Enriched by friendship Football player at CHHS Musician Music lover Sensitive Open Emotional Expressive An unsung hero Blissfully unaware of how loud he was Own sense of timing Easily cried Big ideas Great sense of wonder Big heart Loved to discover Inquisitive Spiritually involved Clumsy Unbridled generosity Non-conformist Non-compliant Didn’t care if he fit in
"Awesome dude"
One day, when Miles was a child, he asked his dad what he believed in. His dad went on about believing in love, and family, and friends (while naming all the members of the family). When he was done, Miles turned to him and said, "Yeah, Dad, but do you believe in dinosaurs."

Miles – "Don’t take things too seriously, you’ll miss all the fun."

Miles – asked his dad what was in the blackness between the stars. Miles’ philosophy – "there are stars and then there is the space between the stars, and some of the blackness you can’t control, and some of that space you can make it up."

Emily his sister told the story – A week before Miles died she had visited Asheville and spent time with him. She was with friends on Sunday morning at Rosetta’s Kitchen, a vegan restaurant in Asheville. She called Miles on her cell phone to say good-bye and to encourage him to stop by the restaurant if he could before she left. She finished her message and looked up and there was Miles coming out of the Ladies Room at Rosetta’s Kitchen. Emily asked what he was doing there, and he said he had just stopped by to use the restroom.

Favorite Foods – the beige foods, "Beige is Good" including Cheerios, chick peas (obsessed, so concise), tuna, Tootsie Rolls (one penny purchase could make him happy and joyful – "Wow, I can’t believe I got that.")
Miles grew up in a family of cloth napkins – he wore his on his head.

Miles’ letter to Santa written when he was seven years old
This year I’m not asking for any present for I find that less fortunate people need it more than me. Besides, I already have a good life and plenty of friends. What more could a kid ask for?
But I do have one little Christmas wish, which is that for people to make friends and have less fights and for peace on earth. I think that a simple toy is nothing compared to the sharing and giving of Christmas time and that’s what really counts. But if other people would see the point in this letter, they would see the true meaning of Christmas.
That’s all I have to say for now and I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.
Miles Wipper
p.s. tell Rudolf and the others I said ‘hi’.

We will miss Miles but are thankful for the beauty of his life and soul.

Melva's Musings on Jazz can be heard every Sunday night from 7:00-9:00 p.m. (EST) and is accessible via web-broadcast at Please join me - Melva