A story of heartbreak to happiness...
This is the frank memoir written by songwriter Roger Lee Hall about the first twenty-five years of his life,
from his first remembrance of songs on the radio in the 1940s to writing his own songs in the 1960s.
He went from the heartbreak of a dysfunctional family and a painful separation to the happiness of songwriting, though with years of bitter struggle.
Among the items Roger writes about are:
* His ealy happy childhood years listening to songs on the radio, but then a painful family separation and his survival with songs for healing and comfort. (Chapter 1)
* Roger's favorite cowboy movie stars: Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, and especially Hopalong Cassidy (played by William Boyd), who he met as a young Hoppy fan in 1950. Roger later wrote a song in tribute to Hoppy and Mrs. Hoppy (Grace Bradley Boyd). (Chapter 3)
* Attending a military academy as a cadet at OHEKA Castle on Long Island, the former home of Otto Kahn, the second largest residence built in the U.S. This castle is shown in the ealry scenes of the classic film, CITIZEN KANE. Roger began his singing while in the glee club at the military academy. (Chapter 4)
* First national appearances of Elvis Presley introduced on TV by disc jockey Bill Randle, who Roger later worked for, and the first Elvis movie with songs by Ken Darby. (Chapter 6)
* Learning the songs that were popular on Alan Freed's popular radio show in New York City in the 1950s. (Chapter 7)
* Roger writing his first songs as a member of Jake and The Potpourris while in the Army stationed in Germany. (Chapter 9)
* One of his songs was inspired by The Beatles and was titled, "The Soho Serenade," after he heard their records of "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me." (Chapter 10)
* How he wrote the title song after walking around New York City in a state of musical exhilaration, feeling "Free As The Breeze"!
Part One: 1942 - 1952
1. “As Time Goes By ” – Growing up in Bloomfield
2. “Cruising Down the River” – Along the Morris Canal
3. “Back in the Saddle Again” – Riding with Gene, Roy, Tex and Hoppy
Part Two: 1952 - 1956
4. “Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning” -
Memories of a Cadet at Eastern Military Academy
5. “Sh-Boom” – Movies, TV and Radio
6. “Love Me Tender” - Electric Elvis and Ken Darby
Part Three: 1957 - 1960
7. “ Lovers Never Say Goodbye” – Alan Freed and the R & B Groups
8. “Sleep Walk” - High School Heartbreak
Part Four: 1961-1967
9. “Dream World” - First song and singing trio
10. “The Soho Serenade” – Memories of The Beatles*
11. “Lovely One” – Looking for Love
12. “Free As The Breeze” – Night Walking in New York City
Chapters 9-12 are based on Roger's songs.
* = read an excerpt from this chapter about the Roger's memories of early Beatles songs in the 1960s -- click here
This memoir on a CD-ROM is playable on any computer and is a combination book with over 100 illustrations and a music album from the 1940s to 1960s, including 10 early songs by Roger:
"Sleep Walk" (lyrics)
"Let's Do The Swag" (lyrics)
"Dream World" (music & lyrics - A side of a record)
"Frauleins From Frankfurt" (music & lyrics - B side of a record)
"The Soho Serenade" (music & lyrics - A side of a record)
"So Far Away" (lyrics)(B side of a record)
"Lovely One" (lyrics)
"Peace-Lovin' Blues" (music & lyrics - B side of record)
"Free As The Breeze" (music & lyrics - A side of record)
© 1964 - "The Soho Serenade"
Hear this song sung by Ethel Regan
Free As The Breeze:
Confessions of a Struggling Songwriter
(PineTree Press, 2012)
available on one CD-ROM
readable on your computer
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Free As The Breeze Multimedia CD
Other multimedia collections
by the same author
Songs, Poems and Stories by Roger Hall
"Following the Stars"
Music & Memories of Hopalong Cassidy
"Shake, Rattle and Roll"
Electric Elvis and Bill Randle
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