Friday, October 29, 2010

Tim and Bob + Elf Louise = Big News

People who don’t believe that magic can happen any day of the week have not met Louise Locker. People who don’t believe that miracles can happen at Christmas have not met Louise Locker.

Louise, known here in San Antonio as “Elf Louise,” is a member of Tim and Bob Nation. She comes to our gigs, sits as close to the band as she can, and enjoys every note that is played. Once you get to know Louise, you begin to understand that she enjoys every minute of every day. She was introduced to us by our friend Steven O. Sellers who thought our particular blend of music and fun might be what she needed to get over some pretty extreme radiation therapy. Louise is a cancer survivor, and during the time we’ve known her has been undergoing either radiation or chemotherapy. We’re proud that our music makes things easier for her, and we are all thrilled to be her friends.

For those who don’t know Louise’s story, let me do a brief introduction here. While a freshman at a local university, Louise was struck by the idea that some of her childhood toys might make some local children happy. Armed with her charm and an amazing positive attitude, she convinced some local postal employees to let her read some “letters to Santa.” By the time Christmas came around, she had begun what has become known as the Elf Louise Project. Thanks to her, thirteen local children had their first ever Christmas presents. That was over 40 years ago, and in the time since, the Elf Louise Project has become a registered charitable organization that has made hundreds of thousands of children happy through the generosity of the larger San Antonio community. All this has been possible because it is impossible to say no to Louise Locker. We know.

After we had become friends, Louise contacted me through Facebook and we discussed the possibility of getting some musicians together to just “appear” and play Christmas music for people who needed cheering up. There’d be no fanfare, just a bunch of folks trying to make other folks happy. At some point, I said that maybe my Tim and Bob Show partner Steve and I could write a new song for the holidays.

It was in early September that Louise contacted me and asked if we could have a song ready in about ten days. [Ten DAYS!!!] She said that if we could, we could debut it at a news conference, but she couldn’t tell me any more because it was all a big secret. Suddenly pressed into action, I contacted Steve [who writes our melodies] and said that I’d have some ideas after doing some research. After combing over Louise’s website, it seemed to me that the whole point of the Elf Louise Project is that everyone deserves a Christmas. After Steve and I exchanged several phone calls and email conversations, we settled on the concept of our new song, “Everyone Deserves a Christmas.”

On Wednesday morning, September 15, the four of us joined several other people in the lobby of the Drury Plaza Hotel in downtown San Antonio. We were there to watch the Paseo del Rio Association announce that the Grand Marshal of San Antonio’s 2010 Holiday River Parade would be “Elf” Louise Locker. As part of the ceremonies, we performed the song for the very first time. Steve did most of the singing because he was the one most familiar with the tune. The rest of us came in on the chorus. As Louise was being interviewed by a television news reporter, we chatted with the director of the Association. During the conversation we found out that all barges, including the Grand Marshal’s float, will have bands. We wondered if The Tim and Bob Show could perform on Louise’s barge. Within 24 hours we had our answer – Louise wanted us to play on the Grand Marshal’s float in the River Parade on November 26. We were happy to accept.

Since that time, a small ad hoc organization has developed around the song. In addition to Louise and the four band members, Steven O. Sellers, photographer/fundraiser Jim Johnston, and media personality/fundraiser Sonny Melendrez have formed the “Everyone Deserves a Christmas Project.” In the weeks that followed, the band recorded a four-part version of the song at Ken Branca’s Dreamland Studios. Ken will continue to blend in the efforts of other San Antonio musicians until the song is “ready for release.” Our idea is to license the recording to The Elf Louise Project so that any proceeds from its sale will help to continue her dream of bringing Christmas to everyone. In very short order, we hope to have an mp3 that can be downloaded from her website and where contributions can be made.

We are also assisting in planning web-site upgrades, music videos, and personal appearances throughout the Christmas season with Elf Louise. Rest assured that we’ll be letting everyone know when the song can be downloaded, when the video is on You Tube, and also just before the River Parade. We understand that the parade is carried in 40 different markets with a potential viewership of 20 million people! So, you might get a chance to see and hear us far away from South Texas.

There are more wonderful things to come. It isn’t even November yet, and it was in the 90s earlier this week. But The Tim and Bob Show is here to tell you that there is indeed magic and there are indeed Christmas miracles in San Antonio. We know it’s true, because we know Elf Louise.

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