Daddy to Daughter
THE HISTORY BEHIND THE 'DADDY TO DAUGHTER' ALBUM The story begins back on election day of the year 2000. At an old music store just outside Etowah, Tennessee, I purchased a Texarkana guitar for $100. The store was to be torn down to allow for new road construction of interstate 411. Everything was reduced in price including the guitar I bought. It felt heavy and sounded good to someone that had not touched one in years. Later in the month of November 2000 I was off work relaxing in the doctors' lounge at one of the hospitals where I had been working. Turning on the TV, I leisurely began flipping through the channels stopping at the Home Shopping Network. They were demonstrating the Casio Keyboard LK-35. This keyboard has keys which will light-up to the music of any of 100 different recorded songs stored on the keyboard. It also contains 100 different tones along with 100 different rhythms. Since Christmas was just around the corner I decided to buy one for my daughter Natasha. That was one of the best buys of my life. I didn't know how to play the piano or write songs but between the guitar and this keyboard things would begin to change. Having moved from San Jose, California to Blue Ridge, Georgia in July of 1998, I had been thinking for some time about writing a song for my little daughter Natasha. In December of the year 2000, I began to focus on the idea for a song that had been swirling around in my head for a long period of time. Natasha's birthplace is Los Gatos, California but she is now growing up in Georgia. From her daddy's eyes, she was born a California golden nugget. Because of the move she is growing up a Georgia peach on the beautiful Blue Ridge Lake in the middle of the Chattahoochee National Forest. That is the basis for the chorus to the song - 'Country Girl'(3). Written on December 14, 2000 the song tells the story of my life starting right after I had finished with my residency training in Internal Medicine in 1986. I was single at the time this story began. My first practice lasted for a little over one year. I worked in primary care medicine at a small hospital in Jellico, Tennessee. One day in my office I received some recruiter mail for work opportunities in the state of Georgia and Florida. I answered this mail with a phone call asking them if by chance there might be a job opening in California since my first state license was in California where I had always dreamed of working. It just so happened that there was an opening in San Jose, California. I flew out with dreams of working in the golden state with new adventures just ahead. The interviews went well. We negotiated a contract which allowed me to move to California in June of 1988. I worked there for 10 years but the medical insurance climate changed drastically during those short years. I met my ex-wife just 3 months after moving to San Jose. We were married on June 24, 1990. Four years later on May 20, 1994 my life changed forever. A beautiful baby girl was born. We named her Natasha Raquel Davidson. She gave me a stability and courage I had never experienced before to deal with the rapidly changing work environment. As she grew she would grab my leg when I would be leaving to go to work. She would hang on and try to keep me from leaving. I would say to her 'Give me energy, Natasha, give me energy and strength for the day,' and even though she was too small to talk I knew she was doing just that. When I first moved to San Jose I lived in a two bedroom apartment. When my ex-wife was expecting with our baby Natasha we decided we needed more space. We moved to a beautiful new five bedroom home in the Evergreen community in August of 1994. At that time there was a large empty field to the left of us. You could see the foothill mountains in the background. Within the space of four years that very large field was filled with houses. The traffic and smog worsened to the point that we decided it was time to make a change for the better. A job opportunity arose in the state of Georgia where I had held an inactive license since 1987. We sold our house, took the dog and cat and moved the 3,000 miles to the mountains of northeastern Georgia. Our new home is a small three bedroom cabin/house, but the forest and lake is in the heart of God's country. You will find all the things I have related in the lyrics to the - 'Country Girl'(3)- song. Well, I picked up my guitar and started playing basic chords the best I knew how at that time. I also used the Casio Keyboard to it's fullest by switching to Casio Chords so that the keyboard would play the instruments and drums as a backup band using the blue grass or country music rhythms offered. This helped me tremendously in developing all of my songs. The keyboard allowed me to get a feel for tempo, which you could change, along with the different styles of rhythms and tones. Even though the Casio LK-35 is basically a simple keyboard, it has been worth every dollar I spent on it. I sang the song - 'Country Girl'(3)- to the first Miss Georgia at my church shortly after I wrote it. She loved it and told me I should record it. My first public performance of this song was for an amateur singing night at my church and then Natasha and I performed it at the Georgia Mountain Fair in Hiawassee, Georgia for the Spring Country Music Festival - 2001. That is how it all began. In the spring of 2001 we had a student from Columbia stay with us for a year so she could learn English. At that time Natasha was ride sharing to her school so at the end of her school day she would be dropped off at our dirt road. She would walk the one mile home with our Columbian student. Many times I would arrive home ahead of her after working a 24 hour shift. I would be working in the yard and when Natasha would see the red Ford truck she would yell out - 'Daddy's home!' I would go to meet her and she would jump into my arms. My second song called - 'Her Voice'(6) - was inspired by these occurrences because I would listen for her voice to call out to me. That song was written on April 11, 2001. On the back of the CD jewelcase is a picture of Natasha and I standing next to the Ford F-150. Two other songs are envolved with this truck as you will read later. In listening to my daughter, she would make statements that were rather cute and nice. One day later in April of 2001 when the dogwood trees were blooming she said to me,'Daddy,you know I spent a quiet time.' I said, 'Really and what did you do?' She replied 'I spent time talking to God and I thanked Him for the budding leaves that gives new life to the dogwood trees.' That statement struck me like a bolt of lightening. I said to her 'Natasha, what else did you thank God for?' She told me and on April 20, 2001, I penned the song - 'Quiet Time' (9). The next day, Natasha asked me to do something that she has enjoyed all of her short sweet life. Her request is one that all children should be able to ask of their parents at any time. Natasha said 'Daddy, carry me.' I thought to myself, Why not write a song about this simple request about my child asking to be carried and held in my arms. Those words formed the basis for the chorus of my next song which I wrote on April 21, 2001. The song is entitled - 'Carry Me'(4) - Natasha sings on this song and gives a stellar performance. Listen to this song first! I began to pay more attention to what Natasha would say or do and when something would inspire me I would write it down on the paper I carried with my guitar in it's case. I would work the lyrics and then later develop the basic music to the songs on the guitar and keyboard. I know God has been good to me in giving me the ability to listen to my child and when I do, inspiration is not far off. The next song called - 'Steed of Blue'(1) - came from Natasha's love for riding our Yamaha Waverunner. It is a three seat motorcycle on water that packs over 900 lbs. Of thrust from a 155 horsepower - 1200 cc Yamaha engine. At the end of the summer season 2000, Natasha at age 6 learned to drive this PWC - personal water craft. I would sit on the back and hang on as she would put it through it's paces. I made sure she followed all the safety rules. She was initially kept away from other lake traffic. She soon developed a need for speed which sparked a desire to look for other people to race on the lake. We would approach some boy, girl or adult riding their PWC. After they would recover from seeing a little girl driving such a big machine some would politely race her, much to her great delight. She would yell 'Go Nelly' with the throttle fully engaged shooting a rooster tail stream of water out the back. Off we would go with me hanging on for dear life. It made a lasting impression on me to say the least. The following spring I wrote the album's lead off song about Natasha riding her waverunner on April 28, 2001. An interesting side story is that later in the year, Labor Day weekend, Natasha, myself along with two of her schoolmates went riding up the Toccoa river to visit a friend that races with Natasha. Natasha was driving with her classmates sitting behind her. I was sitting at the rear overlooking them all making sure Natasha was driving safely. About half way up the river to the friend's dock the DNR police came flying up in their boat with the blue light flashing and pulled Natasha over. They told us to shut down which we did without delay. Natasha had to go sit behind me while I drove on. She now has the notorious distinction of being stopped by the police at the tender age of seven. The song - 'Steed of Blue'(1) - describes Natasha's love for her Yamaha Waverunner. She has demonstrated exceptional control and good judgment for her age. I always ride shotgun with her to keep her safe out on the lake, which the law requires until she is twelve years old. Natasha also expresses a great love for horses so she pretends to be riding a gallant steed out over the water. In her exuberance she is developing a young girl's need for speed as expressed in the lyrics of the song. I want to express my deepest gratitude to my producer Larry Culey who did a great job at taking my lyrics and my wishes for the music and waverunner sounds by producing an outstanding composition. Anyone listening to this song will agree that - 'Steed of Blue'(1) - is unique and could be a show opener. I envision a big screen above the stage showing the video while a blue 2002 Yamaha GP 1,200 cc Waverunner is pulled out onto the stage with Natasha riding on it as the song is being sung. The next song was written on April 29, 2001. That evening Natasha along with a friend were watching videos in the basement. I needed to go to town to pick up a few things from the store. I asked Natasha if she would be all right staying at home with her classmate. She said she would be O.K. but I continued to ask her to make sure she felt comfortable with me leaving her for a little while. Natasha responded by jumping up off of the couch, stuck out her hand and said 'Pinkie promise, Daddy.' She curled her little finger around my little finger in a clasp that I had never seen or heard of before. It was so cute that I said to Natasha, 'That is a song,' so I wrote a song called - 'Pinkie Promise.' This song is not on the - 'Daddy to Daughter' album and still needs work with instrumentation and composition but it is very cute. One of my favorite and best songs came in May of 2001. I was taking my little girl to church in my Ford F-150 that has a bench style front seat. Natasha likes to sit in the middle seat so I keep the armrest folded back. As we drive along she will say to me, 'Daddy, can you drive with one hand?' She will grab my right arm so that she can snuggle up tight to me. She enjoys putting her hand in mine as we drive along. Every time she does this, all my stress and cares fly right out the window allowing my smile and spirit to soar. It was so inspirational I wrote the song - 'One Hand'(10) - on May 19, 2001. You and your kids will really enjoy this one! I didn't write any more songs until December of the year 2001. One wintry late night I was getting ready to go to sleep. I had listened to several country music songs on our local 103.9 FM radio station - WPPL when a tune developed in my head. I immediately got up, went to my Casio keyboard and started playing this tune. As I played, it slowly developed with the first part of the song being played on all the white keys. I then played up one half step onto the black keys because it sounded good. I also developed an interlude that sounded similar to the twinkle twinkle little star song but with a different variation. The music really got to me emotionally so I turned it into a lullaby for Natasha. I hope to sing this song for her at her wedding reception if I can keep from crying while I sing it. I wrote the lyrics to - 'White and Black Key Lullaby'(11) - on December 12, 2001. This song fittingly closes the album. In January of 2002 I attended a week long medical conference in Sarasota, Florida. The day I was to leave turned out to be very cold in the mountains of Georgia. Normally when I leave for work Natasha will come out on the porch and wave goodbye to me. That day was so cold she had to go into the kitchen and lift up the window blinds to look out. As she peered through I could tell she was very sad that her daddy was going to be gone for an extended period of time. When I saw that look and facial expression I could hardly keep from breaking down. I waved goodbye and drove off with that image pounding in my head. It made me cry several times on my way to Sarasota on I - 75. As I drove along I scribbled onto little pieces of paper the thoughts of that memory. At times, after dark, I would pull off the road to turn on the overhead light to see what I was writing. After settling into my Hyatt hotel room in Sarasota, I copied the words from the small pieces of paper onto a regular sheet of paper. Since I had taken my guitar and keyboard with me to play for my prospective producer Larry Culey I was able to work out the music and rhythm on my keyboard in my room while looking out the window. I wrote both the lyrics and the basic music for the song - 'That Look'(7) - on January 13, 2002. It is a real tear jerker. In fact on the day I played my songs for Larry this was the first song I sang for him. I cried the whole time I sang it which rather surprised him and myself that a simple song could have such a profound effect. It's just that Natasha has that effect on me as her father. I hope you will pick that up in all of my songs. While I attended my medical conference I would jog at night for exercise. In Sarasota you will find a park called Sarasota Bayfront. Ringling Boulevard dead ends into it. There you will find a boat marina along with a restaurant. Around the perimeter of the park peninsula is a side walk on which people walk, jog or ride scooters. At the tip is a lovely water fountain with steel dolphins in the middle. Water jets up around them with night spotlights all aglow allowing light to reflect off the dolphins steel skin. It is very pretty at night. You will also see park benches scattered around where families, couples or solitary individuals can sit and talk or just relax and listen to the night sounds. The first night I jogged turned out to be a cool rainy winter night. As I jogged my mind contemplated the scenes. I thought about the song I had just written - 'That Look'(7) - and how all I was experiencing was making memories for me. I asked myself - what constitutes a memory? In medicine we still don't know what a thought or memory is or what makes one but current imaging techniques along with recent molecular research are beginning to help us understand the concept. Memories seem to be created by electromagnetic wave forms like light and sound for example, that interface with our senses. The human possesses the sensory organs of sight, sound, smell, taste, temperature (hot and cold) and motion which is detected as (pressure, vibration or touch and sensed as neutral, pleasure or pain). Action on the sensory organs cause our brain nerves to respond by developing new signaling networks of proteins and receptors at the synaptic connections in the hippocampus where one can later recall the memory. Some researchers feel that memories and thoughts lie outside of us only to be captured at a later date on demand. With our latest imaging tools we can now see your thoughts as you think them. There may also be thought waves generated that can travel for some distances. We still lack the equipment to detect them. Animals seem to be able to know when their masters are leaving work to come back home to them. This was written about in a recent Discover magazine article. Getting back to song writing - I jotted done the things I would see and hear as I jogged each night. The scenes developed into a song called - 'Sarasota Memory'(8). I was well into finishing the lyrics by January 17, 2002. The song is all true. If you visit Sarasota, stop by the Bayfront at night to experience this song for yourself. Later I developed the music trying out new styles of sounds on my guitar. I wanted to write a song using the key of Ab with the capo on the 4th fret, so this is it. It has a good lively rhythm. I can imagine the Georgia Mountain Fair - Sweetheart Cloggers enjoying this song. Attend one of our concerts to learn more about it. The next song I wrote for this album is one that gives me pause for self-correction. As a parent you too may relate. The lyrics will touch your heart and even make you cry. The story behind the song started February 12, 2002. My ex-wife had to attend a real estate conference in South Carolina and I was scheduled to work a 24 hour shift on the 13th. Natasha had to spend two nights at a friend's house. On the way to the home where she was to stay, Natasha told me she didn't want to sleep away from home because there was no one to hold her hand in her loneliness. I told Natasha that I would do all I could to make sure this would be the last time she had to sleep away from home unless she wanted to. On February 13, 2002 I penned the lyrics to - 'Valentine Song'(5). I made sure that on Valentines Day when I picked her up from school to tell Natasha how much I missed her. I told her of my song which I sang to her as a Valentine Day card while we drove home. I hope that as parents you will never have to make your child stay at another home if they don't want to. If you have to do this please listen to this song. The music to this song has a story of it's own. I initially wanted to use a country music adaptation of another song I had heard but found it too difficult to get permission to do this. Larry Culey rewrote the musical composition which has turned out real nice. The last song I wrote that will be on this album is a story in itself. Natasha's school was going to perform a patriotic school play telling the story of Betsy Ross and the making of our nation's flag. The tragedy of September 11, 2001 was still fresh in everyone's mind. Natasha was to sing in several songs. My daughter inquired whether or not I would be working. I told her I was off that day and wouldn't miss her singing for the world. She was very excited that her daddy was going to be there watching her sing. The day of the play was February 19, 2002. I was home all day working on the septic system which needed some repairs. That night I took Natasha to her school play as planned. My wife came in a separate vehicle from her work. During the singing I turned to my ex-wife for no more then one minute. I told her of the work done on the septic system. On the way home in the Ford F-150, Natasha was sitting next to me as she likes to do. Out of the blue she tillted her head and looking up spoke these words that pierced my heart. 'Daddy, why did you look away?' I felt about one inch tall when the full meaning of those words hit home. The next day I penned the words to the chorus that Natasha sings at the end of the song. It goes like this. 'I'm singing my heart out in this school play. I'm singing for you, Daddy, don't look away. You promised not to work and you didn't go, so, Daddy, this is my time and this is my show.' Yes parents, your children are watching you to see if you are watching them! The title to this song is - 'My Show'(2) - and was created from the idea that your children crave and deserve your full attention. It is both true and rather comical but still dead serious to your son or daughter. I learned a very valuable lesson that night. On this song I tried a new guitar configuration called the 'drop D' on the 6th string. You can hear that string played at the beginning and throughout the music. Enjoy the song - especially the ending that Natasha sings. For all you parents and grandparents out there that appreciate and support this type of music, Natasha and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. May God bless you all, Natasha Raquel & Brent W. Davidson, M.D.