History of Friends of the Bay…
“Friends of the Bay” was recorded originally in the 1980's, "live" at the round House Bar on Put-in-Bay, using some equipment that barely captured the moment. It was the first song I ever wrote that people didn't get really bored with and they actually sang along. So, I made a cassette tape of it and the whole box of 250 copies sold out the first night. That told me to make a CD which included an actual "studio" recording of the song. For several years I thought the song was not right for the loud Calabash show and we didn't play it until Teri Winchester, the manager of the bar, said I should play it as the last song of each night's performance. So we did. The very first night, I saw people line up arm-in-arm and sing along. Good idea, Teri, good idea. We have done it that way ever since.
Through the years, many people from all walks of life requested the song and I have seen it bring people together in a variety of situations. It gets played at parties and weddings when I'm not even there! When we lost a good friend a few years ago it was decided to include the songs lyrics on his gravestone. That one really hit home. Once, I saw a married couple that had been separated meet, by happenstance, in the line of friends that were swaying to the song. They then got back together and brought a child into the world. The song has meaning to me beyond all my other works and I must say that outside of the love of my wife, family and friends, it is the one thing I hold most dear.
Now, many years later, “Friends of the Bay” has been designated by the village council as the official song where I live. I had mixed feelings about this, as I will explain shortly, but also makes me swell with pride beyond words. It was, therefore, proper to re-record the song in a modern facility and I present that recording to you now with my humble gratitude for your support.
Some Thank You’s…
I am sure I will add to the list as the days go by, and forgive me if I have excluded your name, but regarding this song I would like to thank first, Teri Winchester and the Round House crew, for giving me a place to sing this song which would eventually become my home.
Thanks goes out to Pat Dailey. He was the first call I made when I heard of the village council's decision. I told him I was not even a footnote to the legend of Pat Dailey and I would refuse the designation if he thought I should. In his magnanimous fashion he said I absolutely deserved it and to make the very most of it that I can. And so I shall, Pat. There are so many stories about how he has helped me through the years and I will say he has been very instrumental in my bringing you this song.
So, Pat Dailey's music, like many other artists' songs about our island, are important parts of our local culture and home. By promoting this song as I feel I must, I am not trying to detract from other people's work, or say mine is better or more deserving of some title than anyone else's. I am just going to try and promote this place I call home to the best of my ability.
Thanks to my wife Andrea, Tom and Rick from Nashville, Kevin, Nick, Katy, Ray, Brad, Duane, Jeremy, Allie, Steve, Mayor Ruth, Mayor Judy, The Village Council, our police department, the old car parade, and of course, you, the Friends of the Bay... I don't know where to stop and it is time to release this record, so I must go for now...
Hello Friends of the Bay, thank you for coming today. Hello water so blue, I’ll always remember you.
12-26-14 PUT-IN-BAY, OHIO
Bob Gatewood and Calabash P.O. Box 926 Put-in-Bay, Ohio 43456
info @ bobgatewood.com
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