Friday, July 15, 2016

Privileged Witnesses

The Ellison High School Wind Ensemble,
Mr. Smith conducting. Photo courtesy Mr. Raul Munoz
Some experiences leave a lasting impression. Sometimes they are grand in scale, and sometimes not, but they are significant enough to become etched in your mind and your heart. Music has such power, especially live performance. People playing musical instruments can move your soul; they can astonish and electrify, they can transfix and captivate. Sometimes, when everything is just right, you feel privileged to have witnessed it.
A high school band, including my son Brendan, and a piccolo player provided such a memorable experience on a rainy May night.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

King of the Texas Troubadours

I was a passenger in a car on Interstate 35 just entering Austin, Texas, when I read the news on my phone. It was Tuesday, May 17, and Texas singer, songwriter, and luthier Guy Clark had died earlier that day. After reading the news, I looked up and the first thing I saw was an American flag at half-staff.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


He was one of those one-name guys – someone whose first name alone left no doubt who you were talking about. Like Waylon, Willie, Jerry Jeff, and maybe even Elvis, all you had to say was one name, and everyone knew.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Glenn Frey: A Unique and Memorable Talent

Glen Frey spent the past 40 plus years writing and performing some of the best music many of us have ever heard. As frontman for the Eagles and a solo artist, his music captured and held our imaginations and our interest as we grew from teenagers into adulthood, through middle age, and beyond.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cory Wells - Three Dog Night

We lost one of the premier singers of the rock era when Cory Wells died on October 21, 2015 at age 74. 

Wells, one of three lead singers in the band Three Dog Night, along with co-lead vocalists Chuck Negron, and Danny Hutton, recorded many hit songs in the 1960's and '70's, establishing the band as one of the most popular of the era.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Hotel Full of High School Kids

The Kentucky All-State Choir put on a spectacular show in a Louisville, KY hotel in 2013. It doesn't get any better than this.

Larry Manch is an author, teacher, guitar player, freelance writer, and columnist. His books include: 'The Toughest Hundred Dollars & Other Rock & Roll Stories', 'A Sports Junkie', 'The Avery Appointment', 'Between the Fuzzy Parts'.

He also writes about baseball for Climbing Tal's Hill, food and travel on Miles & Meals, and music/guitars on The Backbeat.

He lives in Central Texas with his wife and family.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Toughest Hundred Dollars & Other Rock & Roll Stories

I was nearly electrocuted when a torrent of water flooded the stage right in the middle of playing Led Zeppelin's Rock and Roll. How we survived grisly death that night is a mystery. One night, we battled through a snowstorm to get to a gig, only to find a hostile crowd that hated every song we did. We were drowned out by a jukebox, choked by noxious clouds of cigarette smoke, dodged flying chairs and bottles at least once, and heckled by bar patrons. We slogged through heavy snow, sleet, mud, and rain to get to gigs where we made less than we paid for the gas money to get there.

And we loved every single second of it.

Larry's latest book, 'The Toughest Hundred Dollars & Other Rock & Roll Stories', available on