The Ballad Of Casey Deiss

One of my favorite old acoustic numbers. The orchestration adds a beautiful touch. This is a true story of the life and death of one of Shawn’s friends. I was lucky enough to see this live.

Sometimes music and the stories behind the music can change lives. The story below was forwarded by Shawn Phillips’ manager, Arlo Hennings. Wonderful story.

Hello Arlo –

I was hoping that you could get a very short message to Shawn Phillips for me –

 I am no one that he knows, but in a way, he saved my life and the life of my daughter – you see, I was a single parent in 1978 – my daughter was everything – but I had no one – no husband – parents wouldn’t speak to me – no one would hire me, because I was pregnant and would be leaving – and being pretty naive, I had no idea there was this ‘social services’ thing that would help me out –

however, while we were struggling and starving – I read a posting on the side of a building calling for people to attend open stage nights at a place called Studio One.

fortunately – it was *technically* a restaurant, because I had no sitter for my daughter, and took her with me – I was almost ill, because I was so nervous – but if Kelsey and I were going to survive – I had to find something –

that something turned out to be Ballad of Casey Deiss – a capella (I didn’t know how to play a guitar) and I won the open stage – I went back every week – sometimes 2 or 3 times a week if an unexpected expense came up – and although my list of songs got longer and longer – it was still ‘the ballad’ that made the *entire* place quiet down so that there wasn’t even a whisper. I won the open stage so many times with that song, that I could raise my daughter and by the time the place had closed down, a few years down the line – I had been singing enough to pick up gigs with people for backup and such –

that was a lifetime ago – 31 years – but, I am grateful that Mr. Phillips wrote/recorded a song that affected me so strongly, that I could pass that emotion and feeling to others through singing it and they responded to it –

my apologies for taking up your time – and I really do hope that you see fit to pass this along – thank you very much for your consideration – and most especially to Shawn Phillips for an amazing song 🙂




Filed under AMERICANA, Folk Music, History, Music, Vocal Music

6 responses to “The Ballad Of Casey Deiss

  1. thg

    that’s beautiful. thanks for sharing it.

  2. Ann

    Beautiful Sekan. Goosebumps big time !

  3. Julia

    Wow! What a story. It is powerful. Balled of Casey Diess is my most favorite that Shawn does. A powerful and beautiful song. Thanks for sharing that with us. Beautiful….

  4. Cool story Sekan, he is definitely a treasure!

  5. Pingback: My Wish List For 2010 « KANSAS MEDIOCRITY

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