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McLachlan - Highland Warrior

McLachlan - Highland Warrior

I just got a letter from a lovely woman in Houston. She mentioned that she’d been born in Edinburgh, which may account for manner in which she at first spelled my name — McLaughlan — undoubtedly more common that the version which I inherited.

I once looked up the matter on the internet and found an article claiming there are over four hundred variants of MacLachlan. Here’s a link for anyone who might not have enough to do: http://www.maclachlans.org/question.html.

That same search produced a splendid jpg.

Looking at the figure of a Highland warrior brings back the memory of a time when I was returning to the mainland from the Isle of Skye. (I’d been on the road for a month and a half with the St. Louis Symphony and entourage, all two hundred of them, and a week on remote islands with more sheep than people seemed a good change of pace.) I stopped into a little shop by the ferry terminal and the shopkeeper became very animated. He pointed a finger and said, “Don’t move, I’ve got something to show you.”

He returned a minute later with book on the Highlands open to a page showing a warrior in full regalia. “It’s yourself, don’t you see? From your clothes you might be Canadian or American, but your people are from here.”

The print he showed me is remarkably like the jpg above. My brothers and sister would agree that we’ve become less warlike over the years.

In any case, here’s my correspondence with Kathleen Anderson:

([email protected]) on Monday, December 01, 2008 at 11:20:36
Name: Kathleen Anderson
Your Home Station & City: KUHF Houston, Tx

Question or Comment: I sent a message to one website and got a reply to check this one.  I had checked this one and was unable to find the info. I was seeking.  I wanted to know the name of the singer who sang a song on Bill McLaughlan’s show (I think in Sept.) The name of the song was “That Day”.  The singer is apparently Bill’s sweetie so I assume he had the info. I need.  I loved the song and would like to know if there is a CD with that song on it.  I would appreciate if you could give me the info I need.  I did not find it on any of the playlists.

Thanks Kathleen Anderson

From: William McGlaughlin Date: December 1, 2008 1:41:31 PM EST

Hi Ms. Kathleen, (my daughter’s name, by the way)

Sorry if we’re late getting back to you. We’ve got a very small staff and sometimes things get past us.

“That Day” was indeed sung by my inamorata, Karrin Allyson. It comes from a Concord Jazz Album called “From Paris to Rio”, a collection of French and Brazilian material. Except for the last piece, which is Italian. Don’t ask. It just seemed to fit.

The melody is composed by Ennio Morricone for the movie “Cinema Paradiso”, a real heartbreaker. Or at least it seemed to work that way on Stan Dunn. Mr. Dunn, a celebrated Bay Area jazz disc jockey (KJAZ for many years), wrote beautiful lyrics to Morricone’s tune and gave them to Karrin, who loved them. Me too. When it came time to record the album, I added a string quartet arrangement.

I just looked the album up on Amazon — It’s Audio CD 1999. Thanks for taking the time to write and I’m delighted you enjoyed the recording,

Bill McGlaughlin

Date: December 2, 2008 11:24:25 AM EST

Dear Bill, thank you so much for this wonderful reply.  I will certainly get the CD. I listen to your show as often as I can.  I love it and think you are doing a terrific job. You mentioned Autumn in the reply and I did love that series and was so delighted that you  played  “Autumn in New York” a great favorite of my late husband and myself.  I also enjoyed the Brubeck number – an other favorite.  I was fortunate to hear him in person in New York in 1956 –  we were both so young.  I got his autograph on a business card which I kept for years but gave it to my son just recently as he was going to a concert given by Mr. B in Santa Fe.  He got his autograph on the same card more than forty years later.

You are a great host.  When I first heard you I thought you sounded like Martin Scorcese – you still do.  I loved the weeks you dedicated to Mahler .  That was easy to like as he is a  favorite of mine.  In some shows you present music I normally would not be interested in but you are so enthusiastic about the works and while  I may not fall in love with them I do develop an appreciation for them.  Keep up the great work.  (I wonder if you plan to make CD’s of the shows as it would be a wonderful musical education for everyone.)

By the way we have another degree of connection – besides the name Kathleen – I am a Scot – born and bred in Edinburgh.  I came to this country as a lass and met my husband here – in Texas no less. Again thank you for the information re the song and Ms Allyson – she has a lovely voice.  I look forward to many more hours of listening to your show, Kathleen

Entry No. 2

Thursday November 27, 2008 – NYC – 2:38pm

I’m starting to feel more optimistic about the blog. Some good omens have appeared.

Yesterday I opened the file I’d written at the restaurant in Chelsea on Tuesday and wondered if it would do. I also realize that I’d have to quote some of the NYRB article for the piece to make sense. But that’s copyrighted material. I looked at the NYRB web site, found the permissions page and wrote a request.

When I got home from Dizzies’ at Lincoln Center last night there was a reply.

On Nov 26, 2008, at 10:55 PM, The New York Review of Books wrote:

Dear Mr. McGlaughlin,

Thanks for your message. You are welcome to quote from the piece. I’m a cellist and a big fan of your program and of St Paul Sunday Morning. I’m delighted to learn that you read the NYRB. Please let me know if we can be of any further help.

Best regards,

Matthew Howard Director of Electronic Publishing The New York Review of Books

At 8:35 PM +0000 11/26/08, Bill McGlaughlin wrote:

Dear NYRB,

I am the host of Exploring Music, a classical music radio show that plays across the country (WQXR in NYC, WFMT in Chicago, etc.). I was enjoying Tim Flannery’s wonderful piece on Richard Fortey’s Dry Store Room No. 1 and was struck by the parallel between the lives of paleontologists (say) and classical musicians.

We’re instituting a blog for in which I’d love to be able to quote from Mr. Flannery’s piece, starting with the passage on p. 40, column 3 which begins “Accountability was the tool….” and continuing with a little editing through the line on the top of column four, “London’s Natural History Museum being an exception….”

Could you please let me know if this would be possible. If not, I can paraphrase the passage and point readers to your web site.

Thank you for your consideration,

Bill McGlaughlin

Leonard Bernstein


I’ve been enjoying one of Bill’s recent literary excursions celebrating Leonard Bernstein, that most gifted of American conductors and composers:

Leonard Bernstein - Exploring Music - Classical Music Radio

Leonard Bernstein: American Original

Other contributors include Tim Page and Joseph Horowitz, whom we featured on our Critics week, composer John Adams, and other writers intimately familiar with the Bernstein legacy.  Barbara Haws, archivist for the New York Philharmonic, and Burton Bernstein, Leonard’s brother, oversaw this compilation of essays focusing on Bernstein’s years in New York.

Bill’s chapter is titled “On the Podium: Intellect and Ecstasy,” and Barbara Haws describes it in the introduction: “Bernstein’s passion on the podium is perhaps the most indelible image he has left us.  By evaluating Bernstein’s marked conducting scores in the Philharmonic Archives and analyzing his televised performances, conductor, composer, and radio personality Bill McGlaughlin brings together the ephemeral with the workaday to understand better Bernstein’s hold over the popular imagination and his remarkable rapport with musicians.  Melding the flamboyant public display with the private meticulousness seen in the scores provides new insights, and confirms long-held assumptions about what Bernstein was hoping to achieve.”

Not bad, Bill!  Sounds like it was a fun project, and the end result is a fascinating and fitting tribute.

Jesse McQuarters, Producer, Exploring Music

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