Friday, November 19, 2010

Let the Christmas Giving [and Listening] Begin!

On Wednesday, November 17, Chris Palmer notified us that the video he has been working on for the Elf Louise Christmas Project was available for viewing on his Facebook page. Steve and I had a quick look and were very pleased. Mary Lou came home from shopping and cried throughout the entire 5 minutes. Kathy got an opportunity to check it out during lunch. We all agreed that it was a suitable salute to the absolutely amazing woman known to all of South Texas as Elf Louise, and it was also a pretty cool showcase for our new song, “Everyone Deserves a Christmas.”

The next morning, Steve, Mary Lou, and I drove over to Louise’s house to formally sign the licensing agreement guaranteeing that ALL proceeds from the song will go to charitable organizations – first among which, of course, is the Elf Louise Christmas project. Our good friend Jim Johnston was there to watch the “ceremony.” It’s hard to do anything in a formal mode with Louise. I can’t remember laughing this much before 8:30 in the morning since I was working the midnight to eight shift in the Air Force.

Now, we have just heard that the video is up and available for viewing on YouTube, and that Elf Louise’s site now has a prominent “DONATE” button available for those of you who appreciate the video, approve of what Elf Louise has been doing here in South Texas for over 40 years, and kind of like the song Steve and I wrote. We hope you’ll recommend the video to your friends and help it go “viral.” Click HERE to listen. Click HERE to donate to The Elf Louise Christmas Project, and help ensure that everyone gets a Christmas they deserve.

Next up for the band will be the 2010 Ford Holiday River Parade. We will be performing “Everyone Deserves a Christmas” and other seasonal and fun music on the Grand Marshal’s barge the day after Thanksgiving, November 26. This will be a 2+ hour gig for us, as the barge winds around the world-famous San Antonio River Walk. The Paseo del Rio Association estimates that our audience along the banks may be in excess of 150,000 people. Millions more will be able to watch the parade live in as many as 40 different television markets around the country. Hmmm, 150,000 people. Well, I suppose we can perform for an audience that small!

And then what for The Tim and Bob Show? Well, for the remainder of the holiday season, we’ll be popping up at Elf Louise events, and on local television and radio promoting her good work. And then we’ll be starting 2011 in the best way we know how – at San Antonio’s Olmos Bharmacy for a no-cover-charge performance the evening of January 1.

Things continue to be interesting in Tim and Bob Nation.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

“Everyone Deserves a Christmas”

The Tim and Bob Show took one step closer to finishing our contribution to The Elf Louise Christmas Project on Sunday, November 7. Steve and Kathy, freshly returned from their vacation in Nashville, joined Mary Lou and me at Ken Branca’s Dreamland Studio to “enhance” the recording of our song, “Everyone Deserves a Christmas.” We’d recorded the song earlier, but at one of our planning sessions, Louise agreed with Steve’s suggestion to add children’s voices, saying that “it would be nice to have children singing like angels” on the chorus. Since The Elf Louise Christmas Project is all about children, we readily agreed.

The band’s good friend KONO DJ Steven O. Sellers, suggested that we contact a lady named Susan Larssen. She teaches elementary grades at San Antonio’s Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School. I talked to her, and she seemed enthusiastic about the project. After some missteps, we got a recording of the song to her, and asked if she could select the children and then join us at the studio. She was able to do the former, but was not there for the recording, since she had flown back east to be there the moment she became a grandmother for the first time.

The idea was that the band would be there with Ken to help get the children used to the studio and the process of recording. Thanks to Susan, they were all familiar with the song. The sound check process showed us that they could carry the tune of their portion of the song very well. The first time we heard the children sing their line, all four of us lit up like … well, like Christmas trees. We had six children, and all of them contributed. Because Ken had only four headsets, he worked the kids in and out until each child had sung with every other child, and each child had an opportunity to be the one closest to the microphone. The mixing, of course, was all up to Ken.

While the recording was going on, the four of us had an opportunity to meet and talk to the parents. They were as excited as their children about the project, and there were dozens of photographs being taken. Among the photographers was Christopher Palmer, one of the members of the “Everyone Deserves a Christmas” team in support of the Elf Louise Project. Chris was there to document the recording, both in photographs and in video. He will be using these, along with the song itself, in the production of a video that we hope to have uploaded to Elf Louise’s site, our site and, of course, YouTube before Thanksgiving.

Before the children and their parents left, we asked Chris to take a picture of the 10 singers whose voices you’ll hear on the final recording, and we did. After much hand-shaking and thanks all around, the four of us sat, chatted, and drank our Route 44 Diet Cherry Limeades until Ken had finished doing his magic. The final product sounded brilliant, and I think we’re ready to “publish” the song with all proceeds going to the Elf Louise Christmas Project. All that’s left is for the lawyers to dot the I’s and cross the t’s.

While that’s going on, The Tim and Bob Show have other gigs to get ready for, but none more exciting that the one waiting for us on Friday, November 26, when we participate in the 2010 Holiday River Parade by providing the music for the Grand Marshal’s float. As soon as we find out which markets outside the San Antonio area will be televising the parade, we’ll publish that information.

There definitely IS magic at Christmastime, and that magic’s name is Elf Louise.