Sing Like Nobody’s Listening

Jeannie C. Riley

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about dusting off the ukulele I asked Santa for three years ago and learning to play it. Three years ago I attended an Austin Ukulele Society meeting and it was so much fun. It was Valentine’s Day so everyone learned “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. I can’t remember the last time I felt so completely lost in what was going on and enjoying every moment, without a hint of self-consciousness.

My lack of skill and the fact that my ukulele was not properly tuned (or at all) were of no bother to the two kind souls who sat on either side of me. The man on my left suggested I could always just strum in on the first beat if the fingering was too hard for me. I felt like a 3 year-old who’d been handed a toy steering wheel so I felt I was driving too. Whatever, I felt part of, and I guess that was the point. He must be a kindergarten teacher. 

So there I was, singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love” like nobody was listening with 139 strangers. It was amazing.

Also, the woman on my right with the blue ukulele and a rose tucked behind her ear sang like an angel.

Austin Ukulele Society

Holy guacamole this podcast is pure gold. I sure do hope there is a second season on the horizon. Host Tyler Mahan Coe’s stories about the truth behind some of country music’s tallest tales make each episode a wild ride.

You may ask yourself, “Why are there three entire episodes about “The Harper Valley PTA”? I can tell you now that it’s not the story you thought you’d hear. Not even close.

I come by my affinity for 1970’s country when my family ran called the Golden Spike Inn, a kinda sorta truck stop in Byers, Colorado in the mid seventies. I’d spend the weekend pumping stolen quarters from the cash register into the jukebox to hear Charlie Pride, Dolly Parton, and The Kendalls until it was time to head back to our real life. Stop what you’re doing now and listen to this gem. Heaven’s Just a Sin Away

Oh, be sure to listen to these in order. After the first episode, you’ll see Ernest Tubb in another light, and also be back for more.

I should mention these stories are often violent and of an adult nature so probably not appropriate for a family road trip, unless your family is like my family. In that case, roll down the windows and enjoy.

Cocaine & Rhinestones

Friday Favorites: Glenda Jackson, a fun Spotify game, and those mittens!

Glenda Jackson is simply fierce in the new PBS Masterpiece Theatre presentation of “Elizabeth is Missing“.


Those Mittens! I mean who could resist creating a meme out of Bernie Sanders photo from the inauguration? Even better is the story of those mittens and the woman who knit them.


One of my favorite things to do is to choose a song on my Sonos (or insert favorite subscription music service here) and listen to all the different versions. Two of my favorites are “Here Comes the Sun” and “This Must be the Place (Naive Melody)”

I think Nina Simone’s “Here Comes the Sun” my be favorite. Listen here


I saw this tea cozy on Instagram and immediately downloaded the Simply Crochet app for the pattern.

To get your copy of issue 106, Order your copy today in our online store or download our app to get a digital issue.

While searching for the pattern info I discovered that If you subscribe to Apple News+ (and you should) be sure to subscribe to follow Gathered to read issues of Mollie Makes and other craft magazines.


The return of compassionate leadership.

Whistle and Go Fishing in the Heavens

My sister and I landed in sunny Southern California on Memorial Day weekend 1981 (I was 16, Kelly was 13) to live with our father and his family in an idyllic town in nestled in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Our father was a musician and introduced me to the music of Emmylou Harris, Townes Van Zandt, Bill Monroe… and John Prine.

John Prine was revered by my father and his musician friends. “Fish and Whistle” and “Hello in There” were two songs that made their set list on a regular basis.

John Prine’s Bruised Orange was a constant on our turntable. I don’t know this for a fact, but I think I may have been the only 16-year-old in Riverside county blasting Court & Spark, Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town, and of course, Bruised Orange when I was home by myself.

I have a hunch I won’t be the only one blasting these songs today.

And bet I won’t be the only in my family thinking about our father.

RIP John Prine