Roland Digh ramblings

Retirement Blog Two

When I was young my mother said, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work another day in your life”. I naturally quit school and became a musician. To this day mother, now 95, has never forgiven me for that, but I have always been grateful to her for her wise direction.

My voice broke early as a kid and went deep, and one of my first jobs out on my own as a teenager was as a late night disc jockey on CKRD in central Alberta with Hal Weaver and Bob Ireland and the like. It was fun, and did a lot to train me on how to develop and use my voice, but I didn’t last long as a D.J. Apparently ‘Pardon My Bloopers’ and Stan Freberg were NOT on the playlist, regardless of how big a following we were gathering at the time. I went off to try folk singing.

I learned some great lessons during those year that stood the test of time throughout my career. Audiences can and must be manipulated. It wasn’t enough to have good music, or even to be able to present it well. You must play to the audiences’ emotions and moods, and guide them through the musical journey they are taking. What songs go together, what tempos, what genres are all very important. At least this always worked for me.

We now have this digital world of compressed music. For us old timers the difference is notable, but this is what we are left with. Even I ended up with an iPod and a playlist, but I rarely got to use it. It actually ended up at the office downtown and all the staff and the customers apparently have been constantly commenting on how they love the music and the mix.

Now my playlist is not just ‘oldies’. Oh yes, there are splatters of the fifties and large doses of the sixties and the seventies when music seemed to be at its best for us. I felt that era of great solid music ended in the eighties and nineties. Sure there were many good songs and writers and groups, but the creativity of the early years was gone and it seemed everyone was just trying to find something new.

Country had lost its soul, at least part of it I felt, and it was trying to attract the rock and roll market. Enough said about Rap Crap and Hip Hop and Pop. Don’t know why they called it Pop music. Could have called it Poof music, but just a personal observation.

In the new Millennium the Indie scene emerged, and some music started to get good again. Mixing the fifties with the rock era of the sixties and seventies, and sprinkling in the indie rock and indie folk of the current era, creates a playlist full of surprises and pleasures.

Many people have been asking the office which radio station they were listening to, but of course it is just a playlist. So now a bunch of “we can do this” people have got together and want me to design a senior radio show. I agreed as long as no one ever bothers me with any of the business end. Apparently there are quite a few interested folks who are intending to make this happen. My playlist is about eighteen hundred songs so it is becoming my job to mix and flow the playlist and do inserts to make this end of it work. And of course it will all be done here in the studio, which I can now call home.

There will be a lot of things different than other radio shows, so it will be fun to do something unique again. Apparently there will be a new iMac, as mine is ten or eleven years old but it will stay here alongside the new one. Should keep me busy and seated here for some time to come.

| Thu 30 Mar 2017, 10:28am

Retirement Blog One

Retirement Blog One

I remember years ago my sister wrote and said “Retirement; is that like being tired all over again?” It is a subject that has been eluding me for many years, or at least I seem to have been eluding it. Have always been around people much younger than myself, to the tune of decades younger, and people my own age have always seemed to be ‘older people’.

So here it is spring of ‘17 and it is time to begin a whole new life. The world has drastically shrunk around me, and this realization is something of my own design. It all happened so quickly. Less than a year ago there was just Bandit and me and all the miscellaneous animals around, but there was a quiet serenity that we shared during the days. That is gone now, as is dear old Bandit.

Now there is Emma and Gandy and Wally and their new nanny, Ally. Then there is the horticulturist and the maintenance guy and the lawn and garden guy and the visitors, and I am exhausted already. These newcomers are all constantly here all day, but at least they occupy each other now, there seems to be enough of them, and leave me be. My plan was to leave the house and the acreage and find a nice room of my own elsewhere. After realizing that I really couldn’t physically do that any more, I sought an alternative, and an excellent solution presented itself.

Seeking a little peace and quiet, and a haven where the nanny or the cleaning lady would not move things around, I retreated to my old pre-production studio which was in a small room in the lower back part of the house, just to think things over. I know, silly me. Took me about five minutes to discover that I was home.

The room was hardly used any more, except for some computer work although the laptop in the main room was getting more and more use. But the atmosphere is perfect, no one comes in here or bothers this room, and except for the aquarium, which seems to have followed me around since I was a child, I have my peace and tranquility. Because this is now becoming my home, I don’t walk around too much. This is important because not only am I supposed to stop walking around, but I am almost unable to any more.

Tried signing up on one of the senior networking things, but I think I made a couple of mistakes my first day, so I should retreat for awhile before I venture out of my room onto the web on my own again. I’m comfortable here in my own room, surrounded basically by mementos of special times on my journey here these past several decades. Maybe even starting a new chapter, but that could become another story. Never really used the 'blog' portion of my 'page' just for venting before. Would just post things because I thought one should. Now I realize it is just a place for myself.

| Tue 28 Feb 2017, 14:50pm

October 2016

Here we are again, and I realize I haven’t been here for a while. I am not really a digital type of guy for sure. Happy Halloween, which also marks the sixth anniversary of ‘the poet forgotten’ project, and we are actually a year ahead of schedule on our ten year plan. It also marks the end of the second year since we put the two videos on line.

I get to bow out of the project now, as my part is finished. YouTube has now picked up both videos on respective compilations, and they seem to have a life of their own. Time for me to pull the Facebook and Twitter accounts and clean up the sites, as both ‘children’ have left home and can make it on their own. It should be a wonderful journey to follow them on.

I am currently working on the next video, but it will be totally different, as it should be. Trust everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and thanks to all those who supported the project over the first six years.

| Mon 31 Oct 2016, 11:04am


A very hectic winter, but now we can settle down for spring. The two videos took up a great deal of time over the past few months, but we have over 290,000 views already and we have only been on YouTube for about 14 months. Finally some rewards after years of hard work.

We are working on our third video now, hopefully we can post that next year. The first was a slide show, the second an animation, and the third will be a film, albeit on a very small camera. This project I am doing nearly entirely by myself, including the filming, as hopefully I have learned enough from doing the last two videos to handle all the different aspects. think we have a cute little tune and if we can find some magic in the lyrics it should be enjoyable.

| Thu 31 Mar 2016, 11:58am

November 2015

Had another great month with our 'Where Poppies Blow' video, now having been out there for its second year. We went over ninety thousand views, and had a lot of contacts about the song this year. Although we are doing very little promotion on it (because we have no idea how) it is still getting a lot of positive attention. Now we will get ready for the Christmas video, which for some reason has already had a lot of views this year, and it is not even time, nor have we posted it anywhere. Such a different feeling this year than last, as we have to do little and it is running itself. Still have no idea how to do the promotion from here, but it looks as though both videos are creating their own interest. Trust everyone has a very Merry Christmas.

| Mon 30 Nov 2015, 11:14am