Song Writing


  NCSA Songwriters Conference - Open Mic (managed by Larry Jones)

      The first songs written by Larry Jones were done by working out the notes on the piano and writing them down on manuscript paper. After being taught some scales and chords by Nana Jones—this certainly was a form of encouragement—the songs started flowing off the piano keys. This was the procedure from 1954 until the mid 60s when he aquired his first tape recorder. Now they could all go dawn on tape. By this time the guitar was the first instrument of songwriting. Many years and many songs later came the first formal instruction in songwriting. The melodies became more vibrant and the lyrics more well crafted to the song theme. Associations with many other aspiring songwriters in NCSA (Northern California Songwriters Association), now WCS (West Coast Songwriters), provided much support, education and comparisons of work. There were many song publishers, producers, professional writers and experienced singer/songwriters available for instruction, evaluation, tips and demonstration. Larry became involved.
      Songwriting is like writing a three minute story; the beginning, the middle, the end; the picture and the emotion. The marriage of melody and lyric; all these and more are the basic requirements of a good song.
      There were many great songwriting seminars and workshops within NCSA and in local Colleges. A few that Larry took part in are:

Steve Seskin - Singer/songwriter. Hit songs: Grown Men Don't Cry - Tim McGraw, Wrong - Waylon Jennings.
Jai Josephs - Teacher. Author of: Writing Music for Hit Songs.
Jana Stanfield - Singer/songwriter. Author of: Making and Selling Your Own CDs & Cassettes.
Steve Wilson - Educator/musician/conductor. Faculty of Cabrillo Comunity College.


the Molly Finkle award for NCSA
volunteer work -1995

Click image to enlarge


the Molly Finkle award for NCSA
volunteer work - 1997

      Although, during the ten year membership with NCSA, the songwriting was progressing at about two a week there were no smash hits. At the song screening sessions the comments of the publishers usually seemed to be something like—nicely crafted, but I don't think I can use it. The Jones family liked most of Larry's songs and a few friends performed some of his work at concerts. They went over pretty well at local gigs.
      The rejection part of being an aspiring songwriter was probably, in part, the reason for a slight change in direction. There was a lot of fun in writing and singing but just as much fun was working as a volunteer in the songwriter's projects. Managing song screenings, works in progress, open mics and assisting with the annual conference provided a great satisfaction. In addition to the fulfilment, rewards such as the volunteer of the year award were most gratifying. There may not be a hit song among them but an average of a song a month for fifty years is enough to make quite a collection.


NCSA Best Song Award for "Sailor"


Award for "Granpa Was a Preacher" (Grandad) - 1990

Here are some flyers and notes from times past


Performance flyer for Southern Lights stage Musical Play


An opportunity to perform with renowned musician Nancy Raven


Playing originals with Singer/Songwriter friends


A celebrating 100 years of service for the Watsonville Public Library


The 1880s Settlers Jamboree where they loved the train songs


This was a radio appearance with Uncle Jr. and his dog Zeke in Pacific Grove, CA

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