I started playing guitar when I was teaching elementary school in Pacifica, CA in 1968 so I could help my students enjoy music.  The first song we learned was Old Stew Ball, by Peter Paul and Mary.  I was rather surprised at how much they loved it and how much I loved playing and singing with them.  It was a treat.  And from there we sang songs out of the school music book and had a blast.  The children were very disappointed when an unforeseen life change came up, after 4 years of teaching, and I left the teaching field.
But I did not stop playing the guitar or singing.  Instead I continued and started to write my own music.  

After moving to Hawaii (unexpectedly) I found the environment super conducive to writing more music, and I soon found myself playing at the Dolphin Restaurant in Hanalei for $25.00 a night on weekends.  The owner loved my voice (which was totally unexpected) and set me up in two different areas, so the whole clientele could hear me. It was such a treat for me, even though I used to get SO nervous. Once I started though, I would relax and sing even better.  I also played in another small restaurant up near Kappa for awhile.

In 1972 I came back to California for a short time and met a film maker in Linda Mar Camera Shop.  He asked me to write a song about the Heather fields in Montara and the freeway that was coming through Montara Hills. I wrote and recorded the Day of the Heather at Rainbow Recording Studios in SF and the film maker took the film to Sacramento for review etc.  I remember being so excited accompanying the film maker for different showings on the Coastside.  I also later took this very song to a planning meeting at Farallone View School to help prevent another road cutting through devil’s slide.  This song was a political plus and moved some people to action.  I was very proud of the endeavor.  I have no idea where the film is now, or the film maker, but it was so nice to re-record it recently along with my son Abe, and musician Dave Kaufman. Now I can listen to it any time I want. 

© 2020 Judi Beeson Engel Productions All Rights Reserved

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