Jeff Cook collaborated with long time writing partner the late Tommy Bolin to write songs for Deep Purple, James Gang and Tommy Bolin solo projects. His songs have been covered by Motley Crue, Warren Haynes, Peter Frampton, John Scofield and others. He now heads his own company Coherent Music which promotes artists to AAA and Non Com radio.
Being a musician who has also done time as a promotion person for various labels, music was ever present in our home from the very moment my youngest daughter, Alexis, was born.
My first and most lingering memory is of singing her Hank Williams “Hey Good Lookin” while she drooled at me from her car seat. I got the greatest smile from her every time I did it. She seemed to get Hank from the very beginning.
As she grew up and learned to talk, the song became “OUR” go-to duet. By the time she was 5, it had become her solo performance piece when friends dropped by.
One day I brought the Hank Williams Box Set home and more than a few times I caught her playing the song and singing along.
What I love is most of all is…even now at the ripe old age of 15, if I start to sing the song she is right there with me belting it out! This one simple song I sang her has created a connection between us, opened up a dialog about music and…she recently returned the favor to me.
We had been invited, as a family, to join Delbert Mc Clinton for his 20th Anniv. Cruise and we gratefully agreed to board the good ship ”Rootsy and Bluesy” for a week of good music and sun.
I expected my daughter to be somewhat underwhelmed with the mostly “mature” artists on the ship. (No Imagine Dragons here!) However, I was delighted to watch her as she tapped her foot and swayed to Delbert’s exceptional set and she made a point of catching as many of the artists as she could each day. He attention was laser focused on each performance from a vast array of artists.
On about the third day she came up to me and said “Dad, you’ve got to come see this girl I saw play last night. Her name is Jill Sobule and she is really great! “ I was a little embarrassed to admit I was unaware of this artist. So, I agreed to go and catch her performance that evening without knowing at all what she was about.
As the lights dimmed and Ms. Sobule stepped up to the mike, I couldn’t help but feel the excitement coming from my daughter who stood beside me. The first song “Palm Springs” was about trying to order up creativity “on demand” and was so witty and on the money I was hooked. She then followed with her hysterical space age love song “Jet Pack”.
I looked at my daughter and she looked back at me…. then… she smiled that smile, the very same smile she gave me when I used to sing her “Hey Good Lookin” and we were connected by music once again. Only this time it came from the other direction….from daughter to father. What a gift!