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Gary Swindell

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Where I come from:

Mrs. Mable A. Swindell (Mamma) was my primary vocal model. She loved hymns & memorized  (I believe) the entire Gospel Pearls hymnal.Today I can open a hymnal to any page and remember hearing the song beautifully & soulfully sung.To me her  singing voice was amazing! She had a smooth 2 octave range and perfect expressive vibrato that she called upon for effect whenever she wanted. I believe that the foundation of my songwriting structure today is the hymn. Mom's musical taste was very broad. She loved Ella Fitzgerald every bit as much as she loved Mahalia Jackson, and sang a mean "Straighten up & fly right". She also had a habit of reciting poetry by Langston Hughes just out of nowhere.
My Father's, purpose musically in my life much like in all other aspects was to supply grounding, strength & stability, in that he was the ultimate musical minimalist. He loved & had us listening to aaaaallll kiiiinds of music from as long as I can remember ( & before ) but I don't ever remember hearing him sing or even hum a complete phrase. But what he would do was hum a single note or 2, 3 at most with his deep comforting melodious voice and have a whole song going on in his head riding on that note I suppose.
The youngest of 7. My brothers and I used to "doo wop" on the front porch and on the staircase in the hallway of our building where the acoustics were so very cool Monday through Saturday, and "Nearer My God to Thee" all day Sundays. If it was noisy we dug it! If it had a groove, we dug it more! If it had a groove &  could be harmonized, we dug it more than Mamma's lemonade with lots of ice on a hot summer's day!!  I'm sure we had to be the most musically eclectic poor kids in Savannah, Ga. We  listened to & tried to emulate everything from John Coltrane- "A love Supreme", to Three Dog Night - "Mamma told me not to come" ! We constantly channeled the Eagles, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes & Stevie Wonder (sometimes all at the same time). Then one day we got a Guitar and the place went wild!!!! Then we got a piano & that was all she wrote!!!!! Creative pandemonium ensued!!!! The music was on!!!!!!

G.S.SongWorks- "Great music is our business !"