Sunday, June 7, 2009
A Tribute To Sony and Jerry Holland
It was a warm morning in February 2003. I was working at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. The plaza was empty and I was sitting in the store reading a book. All of a sudden I hear this jazzy tune playing on the Fountain Plaza. I did not recognize the tune but I loved the melody. A few seconds later I was stunned by what I can only describe as the voice of an angel. The pure, smooth vocals were so engaging that I had to get out there and see who this was filling the square with such beautiful music. I went out, stood by the door and saw this elegantly dressed beautiful blonde in a long black gown and heels singing her heart out in this quiet bare plaza. I was completely mesmerized by her voice and stood there for her entire set without even moving.
When I heard "This City Is Mine" which was written and composed by Jerry Holland I fell in love with the song. I waited until her set was done and went out and bought two CD's. I remember telling her that it was so nice to actually have someone with such wonderful talent to be out there performing at the square. What really made an impression on me was after her performance that day this talented singer came into the store to thank me for buying her CD's. We chatted a bit and I thought to myself how sweet to take the time out to thank me. Then again that is Sony.
From then on when she would play at the square I would sit outside and watch her during my breaks and time off. One day in particular she was in the middle of a song when tourists surrounded her table wanting information on her CD. She only had one at the time. I thought to myself I better go see if I can help them and walked up to the table and sold a few CD's. After, I retreated back to the bench to watch the rest of her performance when she motioned to me to go back to her CD table and simply said "I want you here." The rest is history.
I went on to work for her selling her CD's in the early days of busking on the streets of Fisherman's Wharf and at various gigs around the bay area. I have to say that those early days at the Pier and Ghirardelli Square hold special memories. We would hang out during the break and just relax and enjoy. There were times when Nancy, our friend, would come out and we'd do little "skits" at the CD table in order to draw people over to us though we really didn't have to work too hard. Sony's music always attracted so many tourists and locals alike. Those days though gone, hold a special place in my heart.
Click Here to watch their youtube video of "When I Find You" which is an original tune written and composed by Jerry Holland with vocals by Sony Holland. This song moves me in a way I cannot even describe in words.
Before I had met Sony and Jerry, I never really listened to jazz. For me it was just a mish mash of notes strewn all over the place. Once I started listening to their songs I fell in love with jazz. With Sony's vocals perfectly blending with Jerry's songs it was a no brainer. You just cannot get any better than that.
The video above is a photo montage I created of the early years right on up through today and includes their song "On A San Francisco High." Through these past six and a half years there have been so many gigs, so many good memories and so many fans and friends. It was a whirlwind of music, fun, laughter and towards the end, a few tears. Though I am sad they have moved, I know that being in LA is a stepping stone towards their dreams coming true and that is what is important.
I have fond memories that will last a lifetime and beyond :) As was said last night at their final concert "this is not goodbye but only until next time." They will be gigging up here in the Bay Area whenever possible including a date in August for the San Jose Jazz Festival.
For those of you who are fans, I invite you to post a comment on this blog sharing your memories, first times etc... with Sony and Jerry.
For those who are not yet fans and my regular readers, I invite you to view the video tribute montage yours truly created and leave your thoughts and comments with me.
There is also more information on the sidebar of this blog with a link to her website, her lyric and melody blog, and her Sony Holland Shop collectibles.
Be sure to visit her website at www.sonyholland.com