Meet the writer:
Stephen R Pell
Writer of Stories and Songs
I have been writing on and off my whole life, at least since I could write at all. Over the years ideas for stories and songs have come to me and I have tried my best to respect them as I write them. I am not a full time writer. I wait on the inspiration. That way I know it is a real, creative idea. In fact, I am officially retired, but please don't tell the song and story ideas that.
I am including songs, some of which have not been released, in this collection that spans 35 or so years. I was honored to work with a gifted singer/musician/composer/arranger named Tim Barrus for many years. Most of these songs were sung by Tim and our equipment ranged from a 4-track tascam cassette unit to an 8-track Fostex reel to reel to a 16-track Fostex reel to reel. Now, with the help of Pro Tools and other computer gear, I have sought to maximize the sonic quality of all the songs, but some are just different than others due to our analog equipment limitations. I am still including them because the song is the thing, not the equipment it was recorded on.
The songs I recorded will demonstrate I am not the greatest singer in the world, but again, the song's the thing. When it's me singing I go by GrandDogdaddy. We worked with others over the years, most notably Mike Gann, the best guitar player I have ever known and Jellyroll Johnson, the best harmonica player in the planet in my humble opinion.
Other songs were recorded by Kevin Wicker in Nashville under the name of The Masked Cowboy Band (now disbanded).
I won't try to BS you and tell you what a great writer I am. I will leave that for you to decide. I do hope you enjoy some of our songs which range from country to jazz to rock to weird.
Elevating Music is a BMI Publisher.
I suppose I should tell you how I came to refer to myself as GrandDogDaddy. When our grandkids grew up and moved away my wife and I decided to get a dog for a companion. I had a couple of good friends who suggested we get two, so they could play with each other and not tear the house up when we were at work.
So we got two golden retrievers, Jean-Luc and Tahoe, brothers and littermates. I called them grand dogs and decided to let them be free spirited, kind of like hippies from the 1960’s. No training, no learning tricks, just companionship. It worked for me. I figured if they were grand dogs then I was grand dog daddy. I even got a hotmail email address as granddogdaddy. They were part of our family for eight years. Both died of cancer within a few months of each other.
About a year later I tried to get two rescue dogs that were at least part golden retriever. I found it is more difficult to adopt dogs (from some places) than to adopt a child from Russia or somewhere far away. So, after a couple of frustrating months we found a golden retriever breeder in our area. We got Samson and Delilah, also littermates, there. They are also hippie dogs living the good life.
I believe having a dog or two in your life improves your quality of life. I turn seventy-two this year so this may be the last of our grand dogs. I am not physically strong enough to restrain these guys if they really want to go to someone passing on the street. Luckily they are both socialized and very friendly so I have not had any issues. But I have had both knees replaced and I cannot afford to fight them for control of the leash when they are excited. I just have to drop the leashes and hope for the best, for them and my knees.
These furry kids are part of the family and we will love them forever. It pains me greatly to know their life spans are much shorter than ours, although at my age who goes first may be a toss-up.
Anyway, that’s the story of how I came to refer to myself as GrandDogDaddy, which will be my stage name if I ever get back on stage. It has been a while and I am really a songwriter and not so much a singer, with little or no desire to live performances. But who knows what the future holds for Samson and Delilah and GrandDogDaddy? Bookmark this page to keep up to date. And if you don’t already have one, consider going out and finding yourself a dog companion.