Official Web Site of Gretchen Christopher, BMI Million Airs Songwriter, Solo Artist, Dancer/Choreographer and The Fleetwoods' Founder

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 http://www.myspace.com/gretchenchristopher

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A Note from Gretchen:

This Calendar reflects some of the fun parts of making my life and living in the Arts, as both a Generative Artist and a Performing Artist, and occasionally 
nourishing my soul as a member of a family or that larger family, the Audience.
In a very few instances, I have listed an event to which I have been invited but may not be present; yet I want to extend the invitation to you, to support the Arts, the Entertainers, and those for whom I am sentimental. This may be as simple as acknowledging, and celebrating in our hearts, the birth dates of some very special people.
 
  With love to share, 
 Gretchen Christopher

"2007 Blog updates courtesy of Darrell French"
Send comments and questions to,
 webmaster@TheFleetwoods.com

2007 is the year of completion for
Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16),
 her premier autobiographical solo CD, years in the making.
And the spectacular
12 Month PHOTO CALENDAR, Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN!

1
NEW YEAR'S DAY 
12 "Legendary Artist Interview Series"  features Gretchen Christopher and songs from her new CD, Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16) on Friday Class Reunion on KRIM FM in Payson, Arizona, Friday from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Mountain Standard Time (Gretchen will be on at 2PM Pacific Standard Time, 3PM MST). Host Kelly Watts  says, "To listen on the web, just go to www.mypayson.com and, on the right, under DAILY DESTINATIONS, click on Watch Channel 4."  (This show is the sound track for the City of Payson channel 4.) 
Click & LISTEN TO INTERVIEW
14 Songwriter friend P. STERLING RADCLIFFE sends Gretchen Christopher a link to video of LUCIANO PAVAROTTI & BARRY WHITE singing his song,  "YOU'RE THE FIRST, THE LAST, MY EVERYTHING".
14 Sterling and Gretchen enjoy an hour's telephone conversation (Olympia/Las Vegas), comparing web sites, BMI vs. ASCAP, and the incredible royalties earned by this hit song written by Sterling Radcliffe & Barry White.
18
Friend, P. STERLING RADCLIFFE dies peacefully in his sleep, at his home in Las Vegas, at age 77 (May 30, 1929 - January 18, 2007), just days after catching up via long telephone conversation, following sending Gretchen and other friends a link to the video of which he was so proud, legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti and Barry White singing Sterling's greatest hit song, "Your the First, the Last, My Everything." Sterling had also written, produced, and recorded several versions of his L.A. Theme Song, "City of The Angels." featuring GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER and other solo artists. Sterling encouraged Gretchen to produce a Christmas album, for private issue. Their mutual friend Thad York helped Sterling to find his birth mother and family. For more information on Sterling Radcliffe and to hear beautiful orchestrations, visit MySpace.com/MusicSterling                                          (See TRIBUTES)
Please Click on photo to enlarge (Photo courtesy Deborah Page, www.myspace.com/emagineeringpage)
25 Happy Birthday, to my First Love, "VOS" from your First Love, Gretchen.  Dinner Party/Jam with fam (and surprise guests)! at The Firs on Budd Inlet. Olympia WA. Musical performances, children dancing, original art work and songs, toy soldiers and,   played upon Vos's request: Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16), the sound track of our lives.  (Vos's response, "This was the best birthday party I ever had.")
28 Birthday Greetings  to an amazing sister! "Survivor" Sonja Christopher!
1-11 Pacific Northwest Ballet Rep III: Swan Lake, February 1 - 11, 2007, 
Marion McCaw Hall, Seatttle, WA.
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreography: Kent Stowell
Pacific Northwest Ballet,  Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle,WA
 14 Happy Valentine's Day to "Heart " and "Clever Bastards"  Co-Founder and Birthday Boy, ROGER FISHER.  www.rogerfisher.com
 16 Happy Birthday, Broadcaster JOHN HENDRICKS
 19
JOSIE WILSON, Founder of BLUE HORIZON RECORDS, Original Producer of THE VENTURES, Mother of Founder/Guitarist Don Wilson, and Grand Matriarch of the Wilson Family, has lived and died, at nearly 92 (April 29, 1915 - February 18, 2007), leaving a worldwide legacy of Ventures music, her own poetry, many friends, and an adoring family who surrounded her as she passed peacefully, at home, in Spanaway, near Tacoma, Washington, February 19.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Franciscan Hospice  P.O. Box 1502, Tacoma, WA  98401.   Services will be held February 26    Please sign the online guest book at www.mountainviewtacoma.com
 20 Pisces Birthday of Original Fleetwood, BARBARA LIANE ELLIS (I phoned, played piano and sang "Happy Birthday" to Barbara on her message machine. She emailed back that they let it record so all could hear and enjoy it.)
 23 Pisces Birthday remembrance of Fleetwood Gretchen's Co-Songwriter, LEE J. JACKSON, 1936-1999
 24 Pisces Birthday of Replacement Fleetwood, GENE HOWARD
 25 NORM N. NITE (author of the book, ROCK ON!) phones from the ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME to wish GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER a Happy Birthday and do a brief, live interview of her, on the air, for Sirius Radio.
 26 Pisces Birthday of Fleetwood Gretchen's Son, CHRISTOPHER MATZENhttp://wacoly.com
Family celebration at home of Chris's father Rich Matzen ("Grandpa") and step-mom Joyce ("Grandma"), with Chris's step-brother Hunter and his son Evan (4), Chris's step-grandma Jean Alvord ("GG"),  step-grandpa Ernie Alvord and his wife Ann, hosted by Chris's wife Gina, attended by her parents, Bud and Gloria Knoke ("PoPo" and"Granny") and nephew John Henry, all flying in from Illinois, Gina's brother Tom, sis-in-law Kathy flying in from Alaska, nephew Eli flying in from Hawaii, Chris's Olympia family, sister Kimari, her children Kamiel (4) and Lillian (2, in 2 days, another Pisces), Chris's children, Tessa Noel (6 on Christmas), Avery (4), Gray (20 months), uncle Bill, Chris's mother ("Grammy") Gretchen Christopher Matzen (another Pisces, 16 :o)- and his grandmother ("Nana") the grand matriarch, Helen Christopher (97). Rich and I enjoyed recalling the day Chris was born, 40 years before. When the nurse told Rich, "It's a boy," Rich let out such a rip-roaring, "Wahoooo!" that nurses and doctors came running! (:o)
 26
Services for JOSIE WILSON, Founder of Blue Horizon Records and The Ventures, 
10AM at the Aspen Chapel, Mountain View Funeral Home at 4100 Steilacoom Blvd., Tacoma, WA  98499.

I was greeted by the happy sound of The Ventures music accompanying a video collection of still pictures of Josie Wilson and her family through her lifetime.  The last showed a very frail but still smiling Josie Wilson, holding the latest model of  The Ventures guitar. Then, Josie's granddaughters read very appropriate poems, very effectively, including one Josie had written, "Grandmother's Favorite" whose surprise ending brought a chuckle

After the minister spoke and invited us to view the briefly-opened casket, I was not sure I wanted to.  I like my memories of the vibrant Josie Wilson I described in her Guest Book, online. They opened the casket and, sitting in the second row, I could see her face in profile, waxen and unfamiliarly gaunt. l let row after row of others pass before me, unsure if I wanted to view, but wondering if the starkness of looking on her lifeless form would somehow jolt and spur me to finish that which was so difficult for me, before I lost other friends or even my own life. All others but the family had gone before me, and the usher gently urged me.  I  was fine until I viewed the open casket.  "Josie," I said to her in my mind, "You're so much more than that lifeless form!"   Now the tears came.  I was surprised; had thought, as I drove up from Olympia, how unmoved I seemed, in the face of losing three friends in a month (two in the last few days).  Now, as I dried my tears, someone spoke to me.  She was a large, friendly woman I didn't know, but we shared our feelings, and it comforted me, and I was able to move on into the Reception. At the entrance, I visited with Josie's daughter Sally and thanked her for her email keeping me in the loop.  "Josie loved and appreciated you so much," she said. I told Sally I hoped it had brought Josie piece of mind when I answered her plea for me to get her the information about Virginia Boles' service, as she wanted to send flowers from herself and the Ventures.  Sally said it did bring her peace of mind, and we hugged.

I had no appetite for the lavish buffet but visited with Josie's son Don Wilson and wife Dory, Venture Bob Bogle, Secretary of State Brad Owen and wife Linda, Venture's Manager Fiona Tayor, Josie's granddaughter Jill and grandson Tim Wilson (his significant other and her daughter and mother, 3 lovely generations) and their mom Karen Wilson (another Pisces). I was happy to see friends to whom I'd extended the invitation, KK. Ryder and Sky Benson.  I missed visiting with you, Buck Ormsby and Kent Morrill; so my greetings to you, now, "Hi, Guys." May we all share more good music, before it's our time to rest in peace. Gretchen Christopher

The family would like to thank the Franciscan Hospice team and all the family and friends who have helped and shown so much love during these difficult times.   In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Franciscan Hospice  P.O. Box 1502, Tacoma, WA  98401.
Please sign the online guest book at www.mountainviewtacoma.com
(See TRIBUTES)

 26
We were notified this evening about the Passing of DONNY  BROOKS in LA on Thursday Night of a heart Attack, Donnys hits included MISSION BELL, DOLL HOUSE MEMPHIS and was part of the 30 years of Rock and Roll Anniversary  and much more Donny participated at many benefits for artists and we will be paying it forward with a benefit for him in Los Angeles CA in the near future Donny will be missed by all of us and our condolences go out to his FAMILY. Services are pending. Donny  recently attended the Benefit for Huggy Boy and early last year at Stevens steak house in LA Donny was also inducted in the ROCKABILLY  HALL OF  FAME.

Sincerely

Mike Copley (scheduled Bob O'Mally's interview of Gretchen Christopher, 8:05PM, Tuesday, March 8) 
 27
Pisces Birthday remembrance of Fleetwood Gretchen's Dance Partner, DANIEL SCHWARTZ (Feb 27, 1922 - Feb 23, 2007) Gretchen's favorite dance partner, Daniel Schwartz, suffered a stroke on the weekend of 2/17/07, in his apartment in North Seattle, was discovered on 2/20 by his older daughter Debbie and rushed to hospital. Paralyzed and unable to speak, Dan had previously requested no heroic lifesaving measures. Dan died peacefully in Northwest Hospital, at 1:25AM, Feb 23, 2007, with his family at his side, just four days before his 85th birthday.  A Dixieland Jazz celebration of his life will be held at 4PM, Friday, September 21, at the Ballard Elks Lodge, north Seattle.
(See TRIBUTES)
 28 Pisces Birthday of Fellow Singer-Songwriter, SANDY ST. JOHN - and -fond remembrances of her husband, Dick St. John (1940 - 2003), singing partner, hit songwriter and (with Dee Phelps) co-founding member of Dick 'n' Dee Dee.
 28 Happy 2nd Birthday, Little Pisces goddess LILLIAN, Grammy Gretchen's 4th "Grammy Award". (:o)
 29 Pisces Leap Year Birthday of TheFleetwoods.com original web site's Designer, RAENELL DAWN,
co-founder of the Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies (where Gretchen is on the List of Famous Leapies!)
 http://leapyearday.com/FamousLeapies.htm
 29 Pisces Leap Year Birthday of JOE GIGLIO, tenor of The Four Aces, and Gretchen's "twin" (fraternal, of course! o:)
 29 Pisces Leap Year Birthday of Founder & Original Fleetwood, GRETCHEN DIANE CHRISTOPHER.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FLEETWOODS, FRIENDS & PISCES!
  2 Pisces Birthday remembrance of Fleetwood Barbara's husband PAUL LORANGER, 1943-2000
  2 Pisces Birthday of Pianist, ANTONIO CASTILLO DE LA GALA
  3 Three generations of Pisces:  Gretchen Christopher, Christopher Matzen, and little Lillian's family celebration!
  4 Pisces Birthday of former Disc Jockey, RALPH KOAL.
  6 BOB MORGAN interviews GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER at 8:05PM on the Bob Morgan Show Live from Las Vegas, broadcast on the web, via Nullsoft Winamp 5.33.  See  www.morganoharalive.com  for details. 
 11 Pisces Birthday of former Seattle Times Columnist, DON DUNCAN
 11 Pisces Birthday remembrance of Fleetwood Founder's Father, IAN W. CHRISTOPHER, 1900-1997
 13 Pisces Birthday of Replacement Fleetwood, Cute Cousin KAREN CONE from Connecticut
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALL YOU FELLOW PISCES!
5-15
PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET details Rep IV: Wheeldon, Duato & Balanchine, March 15 - 25, 2007
Polyphonia (Gyorgy Ligeti/Christopher Wheeldon)
Rassemblement (Toto Bissainthe/Nacho Duato)
La Sonnambula (Vittorio Rieti*/George Balanchine)
*based on themes by Vincenzo Bellini
  12 Actress, Director, Musician, Arts Activist HELEN CHRISTOPHER Honored, four year ago today as Recipient of 2003 Salute to the Arts Award, "for your numerous and outstanding contributions to the Arts in the South Sound Area."

Capital city official for over a quarter century, former Olympia City Manager ELDON MARSHALL wrote on 3/28/03 in a personal note of congratulations to Helen Christopher (who had been the only woman appointed to serve on The Mayor's Committee of the '60's), "I just want to express my thanks for your leadership in achieving the 'Performing Arts Center' for our community. If not for your efforts and persistence I doubt that we would have it today."  Helen Christopher chaired the Auditorium Committee and decades of volunteer work to make a reality the auditorium which would be known as The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, of which Marshall called Christopher 'Mother of the Auditorium.'
 5-15 Pacific Northwest Ballet Rep V: Celebrate Seattle Festival, WEEKS 1 & 2:
April 5–15, 2007, Marion McCaw Hall, Seatttle, WA.
Featuring Northwest choreographers—Three weeks of premiere-filled performances featuring works from choreographers that have lived and worked in the Pacific Northwest.
17-22
Pacific Northwest Ballet Subscribers receive Festival Week 1 or 2 (below) as Rep V of their 
2006-2007 Season.
 
Carmina Burana (Carl Orff/Kent Stowell)
Pacific (Lou Harrison/Mark Morris)
details Celebrate Seattle Festival — Week 3   Add On To Your Season!
April 17–22, 2007
Subscribers get first choice! Three different premiere-filled programs alternate on six consecutive days including works from Robert Joffrey, Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, and Val Caniparoli. 
Special guest artists to be announced.
  25 Going Away Party for EVE & ROGER FISHER, founding Guitarist of Heart (and Clever Bastards), moving to the Czech Republic to be near her family. We're invited to Prague for a concert in June!  Edgewater Hotel, Seattle.
  25

GRETCHEN and GOLDY  (front row center, with KAREN CHOYCE between, just behind) had been introduced by DAVID HARRIS (far right) at EVE & ROGER FISHER'S GOING AWAY PARTY, at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle (above). Though Rog's wife Eva would go on to the Czech Republic next morning, Rog was with us for one more celebration (Goldy's, May 6) before joining Eva and their little 6 year old Rogie to make their new home in Prague. We'll miss you, Eva!
(See fun photo, May 6).
PS If anyone can identify others in the photo, please email webmaster@TheFleetwoods.com. Thanks!
GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER, KAREN CHOYCE, EVA FISHER (behind hubbie's Heart album), and brunette KK RYDER  behind GABI & SLAVKA SOBOTKOVA, all give ROGER FISHER their full support and a great send-off, as he and Eva head for the Czech Republic. 
April 25th, 2007 Going Away Party, at the Edgewater Hotel, Seattle.
  26
Friend JACK VALENTI, Former Special Assistant to US President Lyndon Johnson; Author of books he gifted to Gretchen Christopher; and long-time President of the Motion Picture Association of America (1966-2004), nicknamed 'Czar of the Motion Picture Industry',  the Movie Czar died April 26, 2007, at age 85, from complications following a stroke in March.  (For Gretchen's remembrance and TRIBUTES, CLICK HERE.)
Please Click on photo to enlarge
  26 Happy Birthday, dear brother! JAMES CHRISTOPHER, Great Grand Master Laser Sailracing Champion of the United States, repeatedly since 2001. Congratulations, again and again!
  29 92nd Birthday, remembrance of JOSIE WILSON (April 29, 1915 - January 18, 2007), Blue Horizon Records Label Founder, original Producer of The Ventures' music and Mother of The Ventures' Co-Founder Don Wilson.
(See TRIBUTES)
  30
ZOLA TAYLOR (of THE PLATTERS, with four #1 Hits, numerous Gold Records) passed this morning (4/30/07). She recently was taken into the hospital and had to undergo emergency surgery. After surgery she seemed to have been recovering. Her nephew, Alfie Robinson, received a call from the doctor this morning informing him that her heart had stopped and that they were not able to revive her.
(See TRIBUTES)
Please Click on photo to enlarge
  1 Five days after his death at 85, friends and family members honored Jack Valenti at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle, just a few blocks from the White House where he served as assistant to President Lyndon Johnson. Later, as chief of the Motion Picture Association of America, Valenti was a passionate film industry lobbyist, deflecting criticism of Hollywood, creating the rating system now in use for nearly 40 years, and fiercely combating threats to the industry such as film piracy. 
  2
BIRTHDAY of GOLDY MCJOHN, former keyboard player of Sparrow, Steppenwolf, Humble Pie.
(See May 6.)
  3 Happy Birthday, ELLIE FRONEY (friends since before we were born, sculptor & potter, and ongoing champion and sounding board for Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN)!
  6 Happy Birthday, GOLDY MCJOHN (ex-Steppenwolf keyboard player)! Let's party! SURPRISE! Secretly
arranged by Goldy's wife, Sonja, and everybody's friend David Harris and wife Glenna.
Over a hundred of us turned out to make Goldy's day memorable, filling the Kung Fu Club of Issaquah, WA, with hot music and cool duds (we dressed to evoke the Sixties and Seventies).                             
CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
 

   Which blond has more fun?   Both:  Goldy McJohn & Gretchen Christopher!
Goldy's definitely surprised and touched, says it's a birthday he'll not forget!
Karen Choyce (in great Sixties drag) asks Goldie to sign Steppehwolf album as Gretchen looks on.
First 3 photos, by Michael A. Johnson
(order at
neweraphoto@comcast.net).
All others by Richard Cooper (below)
Hours of earsplitting jamming includes Shelley & The Curves, 
YES drummer Alan White on drum solo (above
), Rog Fisher on guitar, 
as crowd
rocks; takes pics with cell phone cameras.
CLEVER BASTARDS' Guitarist Roger Fisher (formerly of HEART),
rocks Issaquah before leaving for Czech Republic.
Later for a change of pace, and more romantic sound, I sang"Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby (Goldy)" starting a cappella, a rhythm section joining in beautifully.
When, by popular request, I sang "Come Softly To Me", inviting the audience to join in the "dom doms"; Shelley (left) & The Curves jumped onstage to spontaneously back me.
David Harris's YES T-shirt was tie-dyed, and flower child KK Ryder looked like a lovely Indian Princess (yet sang like a blues belter)!
A young fan, aspiring musician, waiting outside, is mesmerized as Goldy generously meets, greets, and shares his wisdom.
Goldy's Surprise Party was documented in photographs by Richard Cooper (right) who also entertained Vos with a tour of the Harley Davidson facility.
Gretchen Christopher and Vos, at the end of a wonderful party,before making the 70 mile tripback to Olympia.
  9 Internment of JACK VALENTI, at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C. I realize, in one of life's moments of perfection, that, as Jack is laid to rest, I am the same age that he was when we first met (67) -- even though I was honestly celebrating my 12th Leap Year birthday, then, and am now in the midst of celebrating only my 16th -- with the album, Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16). Though we shared some of my songs, early on, I'm sorry I didn't get the finished CD to you in time to amuse and sooth you, in your last months and days. May you rest In peace, little giant.  You said, when you first saw me, you thought, "Who is that woman?  I must find out!"  And when I first observed you, I was struck by the thought, "I don't know who that man is, but he carries himself with such a sense of Self!"  Little did I know you would introduce yourself, and I would learn what a legacy you'd leave - both for the world and for me.    (See TRIBUTES)
  10
Happy Birthday, VICTORIA MACDONALD (emerging Screenwriter and ongoing champion of Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN)!
  10 Wedding Anniversary of Concert Producer DAVID HARRIS & GLENNA GIBSON. .(I enjoyed writing and singing special lyrics for your wedding! )
 23 Happy Birthday, adorable ELSA DORIAN, Fleetwoods Replacement,
 30
In memory of the Birthday of P. STERLING RADCLIFFE, May 30, 1929 - January 18, 2007.
CoSongwriter of Barry White's "You're the First, the Last, My Everything".
Songwriter and Producer of "City of the Angels",  recorded by Gretchen Christopher. 
Click on photo to enlarge          
(See TRIBUTES)
(Photo courtesy Deborah Page, www.myspace.com/emagineeringpage)
31-10 PNB~ Pacific Northwest Ballet, Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA

details Rep VI: Stravinsky 125, May 31 - June 10, 2007
Celebrating Igor Stravinsky's 125th Birthday

Circus Polka (Igor Stravinsky/Jerome Robbins)
State of Darkness (Igor Stravinsky—The Rite of Spring/Molissa Fenley)
Rubies (Igor Stravinsky/George Balanchine)
Symphony in Three Movements (Igor Stravinsky/George Balanchine)
= PNB Premiere. Program Subject to Change.
  16 MASTERWORKS CHORALE ENSEMBLE: The Music of Billy Joel. Washington Center for the Performing Arts,
Olympia, WA.
31-10 PNB~Pacific Northwest Ballet, Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA

details Rep VI: Stravinsky 125, May 31 - June 10, 2007
Celebrating Igor Stravinsky's 125th Birthday

Circus Polka (Igor Stravinsky/Jerome Robbins)
State of Darkness (Igor Stravinsky—The Rite of Spring/Molissa Fenley)
Rubies (Igor Stravinsky/George Balanchine)
Symphony in Three Movements (Igor Stravinsky/George Balanchine)
= PNB Premiere. Program Subject to Change.
  23 Happy Birthday, dear brother! WILLIE IAN
  24 Remembering BOB - ROBERT REISDORF - The Fleetwoods' Producer &  Dolphin/Dolton Records President born 85 years ago this day, and who, five years ago, June 15th, passed away. He may be gone, but the beautiful, ground-breaking, now-classic music he produced lives on. We love you Bob!     
(See TRIBUTES)
  27 In remembrance of LENORE O'CONNOR SEVERSON and our final musical celebration of her life,  "Encore for Lenore."
  28 AMERICA'S FESTIVAL, Tribute to the late DAN SCHWARTZ by Greater Olympia Dixieland Jazz Society Chairman Charlotte Dickison, Dan's dance partner Gretchen Christopher, JEAN KITTRELL & THE ST. LOUIS RIVERMEN playing "Didn't He Ramble" at opening festivities of one of Dan's favorite 3-4 day jazz festivals, at Worthington Center, St. Martin's University, Lacey, WA 
4
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA! and Gretchen's "Guardian Angel" CHUCK DREYER! 
 
A visit to Vos's mother, IRENE VOSBURGH in St. Peter's Hospital.  She was frail and thin, the shunt to her heart for dialysis now abandoned, as infection had set in.  I held her hand, stroked her white hair, looked into her eyes and told her, "I want you to know, I think you are very smart woman."  
 
She  tried to respond but there was only a gurgle in her throat.
 
I said, "I know that you are near the end of your life.  I just wanted to say that, if there truly is an after life, I hope you really make the most of it, for I know you are a very, very smart person." And then I added, "And thank you for giving birth to Vos." 
 
Irene's eyes left mine and went to Vos, who had visited her the day before, as well.  He took her other hand, said again, "I've been missing you already. Please remember the good times we had; for there were many of them."  He told her, "Today's the Fourth of July."
 
We said our goodbye and spoke with the nurse outside the room, wondering if his mother had truly heard what we were saying. The nurse said, "I don't know, but we're told that hearing is the last thing to go."  
 
I mentioned that it sounded as if Irene needed her throat cleared.  The nurse said, "At this point we just try to keep her comfortable.  For us to clear her throat would not be comfortable for her."  
 
I understood and thanked her for her care of Mrs. Vosburgh, and tears filled my eyes.
 
From there we stopped to visit my own mother, almost 98, still able to walk (though admonished to use a walker) and speak and read and do crossword puzzles, play Scrabble, and live on her own, with hired caregiver 9 to 5 care, my brother on weekends, and myself Monday/Tuesday. What a blessing to have her. 
 
VOS and his yummy flag cake.

That evening, 
musician friends ELSA DORIAN & EVAN DAVIS joined Vos and me at The Firs on Budd Inlet, for a purposely peaceful Fourth at The Firs, with good conversation, our softly singing to Evan's guitar, Vos's yummy "flag cake", and the beauty of fireworks displays over the bay. We walked down the lighted path to the beach and watched more from the dock.  We said goodnight before midnight, as Evan would leave for France, early next morning, and then Elsa for California.
 5
IRENE VOSBURGH passed away at age 90, apparently peacefully, just after 10AM, at St Peter's Hospital, Olympia, WA, the day after Independence Day. She so wanted to be independentNo more dialysis. Her pain is over. I'm so glad we communicated with her yesterday (see July 4th) and before. To Know is to Understand. And to Understand is to Love. Though, the last week, she couldn't speak, I believe she heard and knows that she was sincerely acknowledged for something that may not have been apparent or recognized in most of her lifetime. One of the gifts she gave us: It was she who brought Vos and me together again, by sending him a newspaper feature about me, after we'd been apart nearly 40 years.  Blessings


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rhythm and blues singer BILL PINKNEY, the last surviving member of the original lineup of THE DRIFTERS, was found dead in his hotel room hours before he was due to perform in a July 4 celebration.

Police spokesman Jimmie Flynt said 81-year-old Pinkney was found dead on Wednesday evening at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort in Florida. There was no evidence of foul play, he said.

Pinkney was scheduled to perform with The Original Drifters that night for U.S. Independence Day festivities.

His manager Maxine Porter said Pinkney had been suffering from heart problems recently but that it was too soon to say if the cause of death was a heart attack.

She said a funeral would be held next week in Sumter in Pinkney's home state of South Carolina.

The Drifters were known for such hits as "Money Honey," "Under the Boardwalk," and the 1954 cover version of "White Christmas."

Pinkney, a World War Two veteran and former pitcher for the New York Blue Sox of the Negro Baseball League, was the only surviving member  of the original lineup of the group that formed in 1953. He left the 
group in 1958 in a dispute over money and set up The Original Drifters.

Seven members of The Drifters, including Pinkney, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

Note:  The Fleetwoods, who performed in concert with various incarnations of The Drifters, send condolences to fans, friends and family of Bill Pinkney, as well as the surviving members of The 
Drifters and The Original Drifters (of whom Bill was the only original still performing).
 
 8

Concert to benefit ROSIE HAMILIN of ROSIE & THE ORIGINALS Rosie's publicist writes, "Perhaps you could contribute to the cause by helping us to get the word out about the benefit concert that we will be holding in Rosie's honor this July 8th at the Pearson Park Amphitheater in Anaheim, California. If you would be so kind to alert your fans to the following website this would be greatly appreciated. http://www.therosieproject.com
 
Gretchen response:  "Yes, all you Fleetwoods' fans; let's rally for Rosie! Wishing Rosie great benefit from the concert, improved health, and happiness!"

Click on photo to enlarge

11 GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16) CD preview and Sensaria Experience.
The Firs on Budd Inlet. Olympia, WA.
14 RECORDING ACADEMY PICNIC, Hamlin Park, Shoreline WA.  Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16) CD preview for members of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of The Recording Academy's Grammy consideration was not allowed; nor was anyone else's.  This was a new ruling handed down from The Recording Academy (NARAS), said Northwest Chapter President Ben England, to whom objections were expressed. How else are we to hear one another's work and be able to vote knowledgeably? Previewing was encouraged last year but not allowed this year!  On the bright side were reunions with folks we met last year:  Jazz organist Steve Hall with his upcoming CD, and Richard Werth of World Meditation Ensemble, now number one seller in its genre (World Music), through Walmart. Congratulations!
17
RECORDING, "Everything I Wanna Be" with ALAN WHITE (Yes) on drums, Gretchen Christopher, Keyboards and Vocal. At the Grammy celebrations, 2 and 3 years ago, Alan and I had talked about his playing on my album. I was humbly grateful when he recently came to my aid, returning from L.A. and joining me for a last minute redo of "Everything I Wanna Be", my newest song for the CD, Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16).  According to Wikipedia, in 1969, White received a call from John Lennon (he thought it was a prankster) asking him to join the Plastic Ono Band for a show that became the hit album, LIVE PEACE IN TORONTO. He also performed with Lennon on the legendary IMAGINE album and the single, "Instant Karma". When Lennon introduced White to fellow Beatle alumnus, George Harrison, he was asked to perform on the ALL THINGS MUST PASS album, including the single, "My Sweet Lord"
Pacific Studios Owner/Engineer Markus Simmons sets up drum kit for Alan White to record with
Gretchen Christopher. (Photos courtesy KK Ryder © 2007 Gold Cup Music)

Gretchen dances to check the tempo and the groove. It's gotta have that good groove for dancing!
Gretchen: "Thank you, Alan!"
Alan White contributed lots of rhythm and a variety of drum licks in 6/8 time, with Gretchen Christopher playing keyboard and singing. Now Mark and Gretchen (seen through studio window) will edit, mix; and overdub her final vocal next week.
20
LAKEFAIR ROYALTY LUNCHEON: personal appearance of first Lakefair Princess, Gretchen Christopher (1958) and mother Helen Christopher, seated with past Lakefair Queens, Jan Pantier (1959);  Dorothy Frisch (1970); Anna Alexander (1984) and her mother Sally Alexander Anacker.  Gretchen acknowledged her mother as the source of whatever poise and talent equipped her for the role of first Lakefair royalty.  Honorary Capitalarian Bob Barnes lead a standing ovation for Helen Christopher; then Capitalarian Master of Ceremonies Dale Hume, acknowledge Helen Christopher as "co-founder of Olympia Little Theater,"  and Gretchen announced that in 10 days, all would be celebrating her mother's 98th birthday!
Little Creek Casino, Shelton,WA.
20 PRESIDENT'S ROSE PLANTING; Schmidt Mansion, Tumwater, WA.
21

ELDON MARSHALL, HONORED CAPITALARIAN (& 28 years City Manager of 
Olympia; see his quote on July 30th) and GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER, 
CAPITAL LAKEFAIR'S 1ST PRINCESS.
Photo by Richard Vosburgh © 2007 Gold Cup Music
From his 28 years experience as City Manager of Olympia, Eldon wrote to Gretchen's mother, Helen Christopher, 1993 Recipient of the Salute to the Arts Award, a personal note of congratulations. "I just want to express my thanks for your leadership in achieving the 'Performing Arts Center' for our community. If not for your efforts and persistence I doubt that we would have it today."  The Washington Center for The Performing Arts, a lovely monument to work toward by many, including decades devoted by Helen Christopher, now celebrating her 98th birthday (see July 30).
Gretchen Christopher, ready to wave in the parade.
Sharon and Jess Crain, ready to ride and drive.
Photo by Richard Vosburgh © 2007 Gold Cup Music

Despite the rain, crowds cheer and line Capitol Way for 20 blocks as "1958 Capital Lakefair
Princess Gretchen" waves from inside the teal1950 Plymouth Convertible provided by The Stitch Works. (The top is up, not to protect Gretchen, but the upholstery! :o)
Viewed from Sylvester Park, 
When rain lets up enough to put the top down,  Princess Gretchen Christopher and car owner/driver Jess Crain with wife Sharon are all smiles (delighted by sight of Gretchen's grandchild Kamiel, almost 5, with Victoria). Ferris wheel in background is at Capital Lake, where parade ends.

Great friends of Gretchen:  Victoria MacDonald (Screenwriter) and Elsa Dorian (Fleetwoods Replacement) at Gina & Chris Matzen's 2nd Annual WIMBLEDON WHITES Lakefair Badminton Championships, Olympia, WA.
Photo by Gretchen Christopher 2007 © Gold Cup Music.
22 Gretchen interviewed on HOLLYWOOD STARLIGHT SHOW, Radio WOLT 103.3, noon Sunday,
July 22.
23 RECORDING VOCAL, MIXING "Everything I Wanna Be". Pacific Studios, Tacoma, WA.
"Everything I Wanna Be, is inside of me....."
26-
30
A series of FAMILY GATHERINGS to CELEBRATE HELEN CHRISTOPHER, completing her 98TH year and beginning her 99th! Happily, she's been "kicked out" of hospice.  Humor intact, she says, "I've been kicked out of better places." (:o)
26 PRIVATE PARTY/CALIFORNIANS. The Firs on Budd Inlet.
Arrivals of  Sonja Christopher, Gail Sexton, Jim & Gina Christopher, all from California (and daughter Sharon Christopher Naranjo from New Mexico, so sorry you couldn't join us, after all).  WELCOME DINNER at The Firs on Budd Inlet, Olympia, WA.
27
Family Brunch on the beach near Linda Christopher Walker's, at Boston Harbor. Helmers host!
50+ ANNIVERSARY of VOS meets Gretchen (Sweet Sixteen!) Boat Ride. Gretchen interviewed by Dave Wood on DADDY DAVE'S HOLLYWOOD DINER, XM RADIO 50s on 5, accessed through AOL radio at 8PM (PDT), one week's delay (Aug. 3)
DINNER PARTY FOR NANA at Chris & Gina Matzen's, Olympia, WA.
28
50+ ANNIVERSARY of VOS & Gretchen's (Sweet Sixteen!) First Date! 
GRETCHEN INTERVIEWED
one hour live, by KELLY WATTS on The Class Reunion "CELEBRITY INTERVIEW SERIES", K-RIM Radio, 3PM (PDT); and by Dave Wood on DADDY DAVE'S HOLLYWOOD DINER, 8PM,
XM RADIO 50s on 5 (one week's delay, to be broadcast Aug. 4).
SOUTH BAY SCHOOL REUNION pot luck picnic, Sunwood Lakes.
SOUTH BAY SCHOOL REUNION:  Gina & Jim Christopher (sunglasses), back  row, left.  Gretchen Christopher, front row, right.
Gina, Jim and Gretchen (Christopher, bro & sis), and Vos
(who  photographed South Bay Grade School Reunion, above).
THEN, THE BIG ONE: Helmers' CELEBRATION of NANA's 98th! Starts at 3PM, Olympia WA.
29
BRUNCH & PRIVATE PARTY at The Firs. Introducing Sensaria (www.mysensaria.com/kimari) and preview Sweet Sixteen CD's "Everything I Wanna Be".   
OLYMPIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (in which Pere/Ian Christopher had played flute and cello for 33 years)
CONCERT on the CAPITOL CAMPUS, Olympia, WA. (Thanks to Gina and Chris Matzen, Nana had front row seats, and family appeared in photo on front page of The Olympian, July 30; nice birthday surprise, next morning!)

"Legendary Artist Interview Series"  features GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER on Friday Class Reunion on KRIM FM in Payson, Arizona, Friday from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Mountain Standard Time (Gretchen will be on at 2PM Pacific Standard Time, 3PM MST). Host Kelly Watts  says, "To listen on the web, just go to www.mypayson.com and, on the right, under DAILY DESTINATIONS, click on Watch Channel 4."
(This show is the sound track for the City of Payson channel 4.) 
Click & LISTEN TO INTERVIEW
30 98th BIRTHDAY of HELEN CHRISTOPHER, acknowledged by Eldon Marshall (28 year Manager of the City of Olympia) as "Mother of the Auditorium" (Washington Center for The Performing Arts), among her myriad cultural contributions over the decades. Celebrated with a private party at Panorama City,
Lacey, WA.
30 Happy 98th Birthday, HELEN CHRISTOPHER, Recipient of the 2003 Salute to the Arts Award -- and Beautiful Matriarch!
 
RICHARD VOSBURGH wrote to HELEN CHRISTOPHER,
"To say that you deserve all the honor that has come to you goes without saying, but I'm happy it's being said. Success and dignity so seldom accompany each other that your dignity masked your success for too great a while. Your contributions to the arts are eclipsed only by the raising of your family. They say an educated woman educates a family. Your children are the living messages you have sent into time.Passed from generation to generation, that message is heard like an echo from an unknown place.
Wherever you sit becomes the head of the table."

31 Happy 2nd Wedding Anniversary to Gretchen's nephew (former Special Effects Artist for George Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic on Twister; Star Wars: Episode 1,The Phantom Menace), DAN SHUMAKER and his bride TONI NAYLOR. Together, they've earned their Master of Theology degrees.  Dan now teaches Graphic Arts full time at the San Francisco Art Institute University in San Francisco.  
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, DAN & TONI, WE'LL MISS YOU IN OLYMPIA!
  1 FINAL RECORDING SESSION, MIX & MASTER "Everything I Wanna Be" and Gretchen's
SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16), Pacific Studios, Tacoma, WA.
Hey, KK, I think we're done. Marcus; job well done!
Photographer KK Ryder; Songwriter-Artist-Producer Gretchen Christopher; Pacific Studios
Owner-Engineer Mark Simmons.  Photos courtesy KK Ryder © 2007 Gold Cup Music.
Read KK Ryder's review of Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16) on our
NEWS & REVIEWS, and check out KK herself
at http://rebelprincess.com
3-4 DADDY DAVE'S HOLLYWOOD DINER broadcasts interview with GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER and her FlEETWOODS recording of "Man In A Raincoat", 8PM Friday & 1PM Saturday (PDT) on XM RADIO (50s on 5).  May be accessed through AOL Radio, or sign up for a XM RADIO (free trial) at http://xmro.xmradio.com/ , also on Direct TV Channel 805.
4-5 Birthday of GINA (daughter-in-law of The Fleetwoods' Founder) and fifth wedding anniversary of GINA and CHRISTOPHER MATZEN, (Gretchen's son), CAMPING TRIP CELEBRATION, Bayview State Park, Anacortes, WA.
  7 Birthday of EVA (Mrs. Roger Fisher, wife of Heart's Founding Guitarist)
 10 SIGN PHOTOS & RECORDS, donate celebrity-owned items for sale, OHS Reunion Fundraiser.
Yetts', Tumwater, WA.
 11 OHS REUNION FUNDRAISER. Autograph Photos, CDs; donate celebrity-owned items for sale
Yetts', Tumwater, WA.
 16 OHS '58 REUNION PICNIC, SILENT AUCTION: co-sign Fleetwoods CDs, LPs, Photos.
Eklund-Phillips, Olympia, WA.
 1
Catch two live broadcast interviews - Kenny Vance (of the Planotones and Jay and the Americans) this Saturday September 1st at 1 PM, and then Philly Cuz at 2 PM on the Wildwood NJ Bill Culp show. Listen Live on your PC at www.943wilw.com , e-mail a question to bill.culp@comcast.net , or request a Kenny Vance or Philly Cuzz song. Hear from two recording artists who are awakening the Neo Doo Wop Giant. Philly Cuzz will be appearing with  "THE FLEETWOODS starring GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER" at the 2nd Annual Cool Bobby B Doo Wop Convention in Las Vegas, November 16-18, 2007. Click here for details. www.doowopstop.com
 5 GRAMMY SUBMISSION DEADLINE, 6PM.  For best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, hear sound clips    http://www.thefleetwoods.com/sweet16CD.html Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16),    
Special thanks to Richard Werth & World Meditation Ensemble
 
http://www.worldmeditationensemble.com/music.htm
- for your support!
 6 Luciano Pavarotti dies.   Oct. 12, 1935 - Sept. 6, 2007   See TRIBUTES for more
  5

SCREENWRITER VICTORIA MACDONALD,
Feature Film Finalist in 2007 International Moon Dance Festival,
flies to Hollywood-Burbank, festival below; returns September 10 (a WINNER! See below).
6-9
2007 INTERNATIONAL MOONDANCE FESTIVAL, Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.
CONGRATULATIONS, SCREENWRITER VICTORIA MACDONALD, recipient of the
SPIRIT OF MOONDANCE AWARD, for Best Feature Animation Screenplay: GYLDAN BIRTHDAY
(alternately titled KEY TO UTOPIA) includes music & lyrics by Gretchen Christopher! 
See www.moondancefilmfestival.com
10-17 Gretchen at Pacific Studio Graphics 10AM to midnight, 9/10 - and again 9/11,  3-8PM.  Upon failure of computer at the graphics studios in Tacoma, we endured seven days of delay, and then graphics person bailed, after learning that the delay has caused Discmakers to charge $500 in additional late fees to expedite the printing, and then they'd do only an 8 page booklet.  That does not give the fans what I promised, a complete concept album, Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN (Suite 16), including 16 page booklet of Album Notes.  For $700 extra they'd do the 16 pages, as ordered, but it would not be ready until October 2nd.  Too late!  All this must be done and delivered for release and sales before September 30th.
18-27 A Canadian company comes to the rescue.  Owner Doug Wong and his staff  work heroically to expedite and meet the deadlines for CD delivery to fans, buyers, and NARAS.  
 20 VOS PICKS UP MASTER CD at PACIFIC STUDIOS, Tacoma, driving 60 miles round trip, while Gretchen works on sending graphics to CANADA DISC & TAPE.
 21 CELEBRATION OF LIFE of DAN SCHWARTZ, featuring Dan's dance partner of a decade GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER and the songs she sang at their Dixieland Jazz Festivals plus, appropriately, "Autumn Gold" from her upcoming album. (This appearance must be forgone as CD Master must be expedited this day to Canada or 4 years' work will be lost).   
Gretchen deeply torn and sends regrets with condolences to Dan's family, "I celebrate him every day." 
Click here to see TRIBUTE.   wells@stephouse.net 

We get the CD off to Canada, then work on phone with Canada from 5PM when designer Sacha is supposed to go on vacation, until 4AM, Sacha, Doug, and Gretchen on conference call in front of computer screens to design CD's new cover, package, and lay out Album Notes.
 23 5th BIRTHDAY OF "TWIN" COUSINS, Kamiel & Avery, born the very same morning -- September 23, 2002 -- to "Grammy" Gretchen's daughter and son (and their spouses : )
 26 GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16) release and shipping date. Copies to NARAS for Grammy consideration.  Extended to 9/30

Doug Wong (owner, Canada Disc & Tape) and I again worked over the phone internationally for 5-1/2 hours, proofing, parsing and vetting 16-page booklet, cover and tray card for CD, from 8PM until 1:30 this morning.  Working with flu-stricken Tona, we'd spent all day doing label design, CD package, etc. Last Friday we'd worked all day and then through the entire night 'til 4AM Saturday (11 hours into designer Sacha Keifer's vacation). 

Since 4AM is when I usually get up, I went  straight through 2 days without sleep. Could not even do the 140 mile round trip drive to sing at celebration of Dan Schwartz's life, but Dan is acknowledged in the Album Notes, and, as I told his daughters, "I celebrate his life every day."  (See TRIBUTES.)

Discs were reproduced yesterday.  After corrections, booklet should be printed today.  International shipping overnight is outrageous, and with no guarantee, because of possible Customs hold-ups  At this point, Customs determines whether or not we succeed in getting it delivered to Grammys on time.

LINDA RONSTADT phoned and said again, "I love your music!" and that we could quote her on the new album, Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN (Suite 16).  She likes my parenthetical title, too.  Linda had considered recording "Come Softly To Me" on her children's album.  Said, she loves it by The Fleetwoods, but it just didn't come off for herself - or for the Trio album, though they considered it.  We discussed a cappella recording, including "Come Softly" on SWEET SIXTEEN. She asked me to send her a copy as soon as it's ready.  Great to hear from her.  It'd been over a year, during which time she had surgery, was down for 8 months, and then immediately back on the road again, as she is now.  Ironically, she looks forward to retiring, while I'm looking forward to going out there again, to celebrate Gretchen's Sweet Sixteen!  Thanks, Linda, for the call and the quote - a beautiful bright spot in my day.  And we love your music, too!  Stay well!

 28 CD RELEASED!!! It was supposed to have arrived by 7:15AM in Olympia.  It arrive before 8AM in California and was delivered to Grammys at 9AM, but still hadn't been delivered in Olympia.  Held up in Memphis, arrived at 7:15AM in Seattle, missed deliver to Olympia, was expected here at Noon.  I showered, dressed and un-stressed.  Worked on some of what had been put on back burner until CDs arrived.  Noon, no delivery!  I tracked it further online, phoned Fed-Ex, finally got it delivered to local Fed Ex at 2:30PM, picked up to deliver and salvaged what's left of the day.  CDs SOLD AND DELIVERED INTO HANDS OF CASH BUYER, and check deposited!   MET NARAS REQUIREMENTS, 2 DAYS EARLY!  Half of all PRE-SALES, SIGNED SEALED AND PRIORITY MAILED to buyers, until Post Office closed.
 29 GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16) and Signed Photos auctioned for IDIPIC benefit at Oak Harbor, WA   2nd half of CDs signed, sealed and delivered by PRIORITY MAIL.
 30 WE MADE IT!!!  NARAS: Final date for Album Release and submission of CDs for Grammy consideration. Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album contender, GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16), available worldwide! 
  PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET, Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
VOCAL COACHING, Individual or Vocal Group, by appointment, call Gold Cup Music (360) 866-7866.
 10 Gretchen Christopher to be interviewed on The Night Prowl Show with Matt The Cat from 5-6pm PST on Wednesday, 10/10/07.  Listen on XM Satellite Radio or on AOL or on DirecTV channel 802.  Listen online at http://listen.xmradio.com.  (The Night Prowl Show airs every weeknight from 4-9pm PST.)
Post Script in Guest Book: 2007/10/17 URL: http://mattthecat.com
Gretchen, Interviewing you on 10/10 was a career highlight for me. Thanks so much for coming on my show and introducing America to your new songs alongside your classic favorites. You are one of a kind. Never stop singing. Soulfully, Matt The Cat The Night Prowl Show XM Satellite Radio 50s on 5
 20
Signed premiere CD, Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN (Suite 16), will be auctioned to benefit this worthy cause:

23 MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY
  2 Happy Birthday to Fleetwoods Replacement John Worsley. Hear his Flute Echos recordings at CDbaby.com
  3 REHEARSAL OF LAS VEGAS SHOW, followed by SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY for JOHN WORSELY, Gretchen's award-winning chili, tossed green salad, and bakery's German Chocolate birthday cake inscribed in blue, " Mr. Blue - 59 - Johnny Echo! " (commemorating John's 59th birthday, his newest Flute Echos albums, and he'll soon sing "Mr. Blue" in Las Vegas with us!)
  7 VIDEOTAPING  of The Fleetwoods and Gretchen Christopher's choreography for Vegas Show.
  8 Senior Action Network CAREGIVER'S RECOGNITION Dinner, honoring JUDY PHILLIPS, former Caregiver of Helen Christopher for 3 years (nominated by Gretchen Christopher with Letters of Recommendation from both Gretchen and Sonja Christopher).  Present to honor Judy will be Helen Christopher (98) and her younger daughter Gretchen (16 :o).  Olympics West, Olympia, WA.
 10 Happy Birthday, shimmery KIMARI, darling daughter of Grammy Gretchen. You are such a blessing! (Kimari would have made this our Record Release Party for GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN, but we sold out of CDs and will get the second shipment the day before Las Vegas.
15- 18 To LAS VEGAS:  Gretchen Christopher & The Fleetwoods.                             Click on photos to enlarge
 

'Cute Cousins'
Christopher & Cone (Fleetwoods)
Photo by Zee Matulonis

Fan "Dr. Marc" and Gretchen Christopher, at sound check, before Grande Finale Concert, Las Vegas, 2nd Annual
Cool Bobby B Doo Wop Convention

(L to R) Dee Dee Phelps [author of autobiographical book
about Dick & Dee Dee, VYNIL HIGHWAY];
Gretchen Christopher [artist, songwriter, producer of
GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16)
and The Fleetwoods starring Gretchen Christopher];
Suzi Robertson & Carol Fisher Morrell [of Murmaids]
Photo by Zee Matulonis

Richard Vosburgh ("Vos"), Gretchen Christopher, John Worsley, breakfast in Las Vegas, before sound check of Grande Finale Concert. Photo by Karen Cone Milosky



 

 16
2nd ANNUAL BOBBY B DOO WOP CONVENTION. Alexis Park Hotel, Las Vegas, NV.
        THE FLEETWOODS starring GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER.
                 6:30pm -9pm Private Artist Reception and Sock Hop
plus CD RELEASE CELEBRATION & SIGNING of GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16)!
15- 18

The Fleetwoods
starring Gretchen Christopher
with the hit songs
“Come Softly To Me”
written and female lead by Christopher
and
“Mr. Blue”

Lewis Lymon
"I'm So Happy"
"Honey Honey"
Chaperones
"Cruise To The Moon"
Jimmy Pipkin Of The Gallahads
"I'm Without A Girl Friend"
"Lonely Guy"

The Capris
“There’s A Moon Out Tonight”
“Morse Code Of Love”

The Elegants
“Little Star”
“Little Boy Blue”

HARVEY FUQUA and the MOONGLOWS
"Sincerely"
"10 Commandments Of Love"

The Olympics
“Big Boy Pete”
“Western Movies”

The Pentagons
“To Be Loved”
“She’s Mine”

Little Caesar And The Romans
“Those Oldies But Goodies”

The EDSELS
Featuring The REYNOLDS BROS.
"Rama Lama Ding Dong"

The Murmaids
“Popsicles And Icicles”

Philly Cuzz
"One Summer Night"

Stevie Dunham And Emerald DreaMS

From Milwaukee
The Doo Wop Daddies

From Texas
The Moonlites!
featuring Mike Paladino
Original Member Of The Bon Aires

***Special Guest Superstar***
Jimmy Castor
“I Promise To Remember"

***EXTRA ADDED ATTRACTION***
The GoodFellas!
Vicky Tafoya And The Redondos
Plus Special Surprise Guests!
15- 18 In LAS VEGAS:  Gretchen Christopher & The Fleetwoods.                             Click on photos to enlarge
 

Gretchen opens with
"Autumn Gold" (after heart attack of audience member)
in Las Vegas,
"The Fleetwoods starring Gretchen Christopher"

The Fleetwoods
in Las Vegas:
John Worsley,
Gretchen Christopher, Karen Cone

 

Singing her lead on
"Come Softly To Me", Gretchen cups hand
toward ear and mouth,
"I speak softly darling;
hear what I say."

The Fleetwoods in Las Vegas: Karen Cone Milosky,
Gretchen Christopher,
John Worsely.
Photo by Vos.
 

"THE FLEETWOODS starring GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER" (center),
w/John Worsley (L), Karen Cone (R)
Photos by Vos

 17
7-11PM FINALE CONCERT: THE FLEETWOODS starring GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER
("Graduation's Here" ***, "Mr. Blue", Gretchen's "Sweet Sixteen" ***, "Come Softly To Me" ***, "Goodnight My Love".  ***From the new CD, Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN).  
Alexis Park Hotel, Las Vegas, NV.
For complete roster of Artists, and COMPLETE DETAILS go to
FLEETWOODS starring GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER headline in Vegas
 19 Direct from Las Vegas, Gretchen Christopher & The Fleetwoods -- and Friends PLAN CD RELEASE PARTY(S) (from Portland, OR, to Olympia & Seattle, WA) to celebrate GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (Suite 16).  WHEN & WHERE DO YOU THINK WOULD BE MOST FUN & APPROPRIATE?  SUGGESTIONS WELCOME!  Email your suggestions to  Gretchen16@earthlink.net
 23 Happy Thanksgiving! So much to be thankful for: including reunions with family, former in-laws, now friends! Love is forever, it just takes different forms!
 28 Happy Birthday, GARY ROBERT TROXEL, an Original Fleetwood. We who are left to carry on appreciate your contribution to the original sound and especially your unforgettable "Umn Dooby Doo, Dom Dom" back-up, which Fleetwoods founder Gretchen arranged in counterpoint to include you in the song, "Come Softly To Me," and musical history!
 30 "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DICK CLARK!"  Hear Gretchen Christopher read her Poem for DICK CLARK  (Click Here)
 30

November 30th! Another year older?
Don't be "Mr. Blue"
Dick Clark, you're loved the whole world over.
These greetings attest it's true.

How many teens might have lost their way
Had Bandstand not been born?
"Lovers By Night, Strangers By Day,"
All of us would mourn.

Another man spinning hits in your place
May help them climb the roster,
But millions of us who know your face
Say, "He's The Great Imposter."

"Outside My Window," you may "Runaround"
Or retreat to your Caribbean pleasures.
Wherever you go, good wishes abound;
You're one of our national treasures.
 

"Goodnight My Love," you're "The Last One To Know"
"You Mean Everything To Me"
Since the first time we Fleetwoods were on your show
And sang "Come Softly To Me."

Some feel each birthday's a "Tragedy"
("Graduation's Here" and gone)
But with you, dear Dick, we're eternally young;
The music plays on and on!
 
 by Gretchen Christopher copyright 1992, All Rights Reserved -
   

5 & 8

CD GIFT SIGNING, PARADE OF LIGHTS PARTY and PARADE OF LIGHTED SHIPS, viewed from The Firs on Budd Inlet. Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN (Suite 16) CD available for personalized gifts, signed by Artist.  By invitation only.
    8

CD RELEASE PARTY

Daughter-in-law GINA surprised and delighted me with her favorite 
Buttermilk Chocolate Sheet Cake decorated with the album cover photo 
of GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16) and the words 
"Congratulations, Gretchen"!  Loved it!!
(Photo by Gina, camera held at arms length :o)

 CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

 

Even the children seemed enchanted as I played and sang, "CHRISTMAS IS (ANYTIME I'M WITH) YOU" -- and they were so WITH ME. Leaning on the piano is my first "Grammy Award", Tessa Noel, a precious gift delivered on Christmas morning, almost 7 years ago. Gazing up into my face is my fourth, Lilli (born February 28, my "birthday" on a non-leap-year) Her early arrival delayed my Dallas recording session by almost two months, but I wouldn't trade her for anything! (Photos: by Gina Knoke Matzen

8

GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER INTERVIEWED BY
JERRY BENSON & DR. DAVID SCRATCHLEY
on KLAY RADIO 1180 AM (at 9PM Saturday, finale of Record Release Party).

20

The autobiographical 16-song concept album, Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN (Suite 16), self-produced by Songwriter-Artist Gretchen Christopher, is named among the Billboard Critics' Picks for 10 BEST ALBUMS of 2007.  The news appears online in the current issue of the music industry bible, at Billboard.com (2007: The Year In Music).
 
Six decades in the writing (by Olympia-born Washingtonian Gretchen Christopher, BMI Million Airs Songwriter, having nearly 3 million U.S. air plays of her first song, "Come Softly To Me", which also appears on the album), four years in the producing (recorded in Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle, Tacoma), now released on Olympia's new Gold Cup Music label, Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN (Suite 16) is a pick of Billboard.com Chart Beat columnist Fred Bronson among the 10 BEST ALBUMS OF 2007. 
 
Author of The Billboard Book of #1 Hits (in which Christopher's first song "Come Softly To Me" appears), Bronson picks Gretchen Christopher, "Sweet Sixteen (Suite 16)" (Gold Cup) among his 10 BEST ALBUMS and writes, "The former Fleetwoods singer, born Feb. 29, celebrates her '16th birthday' by turning her life into a stunning suite of 16 songs."
 
FRED BRONSON
Billboard.com Chart Beat columnist
 
1. Colbie Caillat, "Coco" (Universal Republic)
Break out the "Bubbly" for the year's most engaging album.
2. Rihanna, "Good Girl Gone Bad" (SRP/Def Jam/IDJMG)
The perfect storm of performance, songwriting and production.
3. Kim Richey, "Chinese Boxes" (Vanguard)
Vocals and compositions connect directly to your heart.
4. Ingrid Michaelson, "Girls and Boys" (Cabin 24/Original Signal)
I would have loved this even without help from Old Navy.
5.Mêlée, "Devils & Angels" (Warner Bros.)
This overlooked CD deserved to be a hit; it's worth seeking out.
6.Gretchen Christopher, "Sweet Sixteen (Suite 16)" (Gold Cup)
The former Fleetwoods singer, born Feb. 29, celebrates her "16th birthday" by turning her life into a stunning suite of 16 songs.
7. Cartel, "Cartel" (Epic)
This year's Pure Pop for Now People winner.
8. Nick Lowe, "At My Age" (Yep Roc/Proper)
Speaking of Pure Pop, here's the original, still a Now Person at his age.
9. D'Nash, "Capaz de Todo" (Import: Caes)
This Spanish boy band should get a U.S. release.
10. Rilo Kiley, "Under the Blacklight" (Warner Bros.)
Indie sensation still cooking on major label.

21

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KK RYDER, SINGER, SONGWRITER, CHARACTER ACTRESS, and INTERVIEWER!
(The Gretchen's SWEET SIXTEEN ALBUM and PHOTO CALENDAR
are your birthday presents; enjoy!! : )

22

GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER INTERVIEWED BY
KK RYDER, JERRY BENSON & DR. DAVID SCRATCHLEY
on KLAY INTERVENTION RADIO 1180 AM (at 10:40AM Saturday).
  25  Happy Seventh Birthday, TESSA NOEL ("Grammy" Gretchen's very first Grammy Award! :o)

Wishing EVERYONE Warm & Wonder-filled Holidays blessed with Health & Happiness and a New Year of Working & Playing together in Peace & Harmony, throughout the World!

Subject: Striking images of a wild polar bear playing with sled dogs in the wild...
 
   

The photographer was sure that he was going
to see the end of his huskies when the polar bear
materialized out of the blue, as it were:
 
   

Obviously it was a well-fed Bear...
 
   
   
   
   
   

The Polar Bear returned every night that week to play with the dogs..
 
See? We can have Peace on Earth!
 
With love to share,
Gretchen Christopher
  25

Order autographed SWEET SIXTEEN! (SUITE 16) CD here 

Order autographed "Mr. BLUE" CD here!

 

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Treble clef image courtesy of Lisabeth's Music Images at  http://www.gymell.com/doc/musicimages.shtml



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