Since 1982, I have been climbing in and out of local recording studios with some of the finest musicians and vocalists in the Milwaukee, WI metro area.
I had wrote the lyrics to the title song for Carlton Thompson's debut album "As We Walk In His Light." Then we produced and co-wrote the 10 song recording project titled "It's My Time To Shine" that will be introduced to the public on this website. My next venture I co-wrote 3 songs with Gregory Tardy and was the producer of the recording project titled "Let's Go To That Place" featuring Joe Jordan & Friends.
As a result of these experiences, I naturally became an independent recording producer. I felt compelled to do this because none of the song recordings sounded like the ones that I was hearing in my head.
My latest recording production is titled "The Library Hill Project" consisting of 8 original songs and 2 videos for which I wrote the song lyrics, music, arranged the vocals, and produced with Katie O'Toole at www.studiopros.com. The featured song with a video has a backstory about American Patriotism and is titled "For Those Who Answer The Call."
Jeff Taylor, owner of Fresh Coast Studios www.freshcoast.com was able to bake, restore, remix, and remaster the "It's My Time To Shine" recording project from two 1/2 inch 8-track reels. It has been an amazing experience spending quality time with someone who has total grasp of recording production, website design, video production, master musician on multiple instruments and one extraordinarily brilliant teacher.
For over 40 plus years, I have been the creator of rhythmic vignettes, short stories, that are colored, and brought to life by musicians and vocalist who turn them into songs.
Stream music and playlists with SoundCloud and wow your visitors with your tunes.
On April 16, 1969 I Rodney Lamar Washington from Washington, Pennsylvania enlisted in the United States Navy and was sent to the United States Naval Training Center, Great Lakes Illinois for Basic Training. There I was assigned to company 249 under the tutelage and mentoring of the unorthodox leadership from Company Commander T. F. Price ABH1. I became a member of a collective body that depended on each other for group and individual recognition. Competing in class room and physical fitness examinations with other recruits assigned to various numbered Companies for their particular graduating class. After competing nine weeks of gruel some regimentation, challenges, and soul searching I finally realized that I was a member of the Fraternal Order of the United States Military Service. Now living and serving my country under the law of "The Uniform Code Of Military Justice." The day after graduation I was assigned an "Active Duty Station" aboard the USS Basilone (DD/DDE 824) Homeport, Newport, Rhode Island.
The USS Basilone (DD/DDE 824 was a Gear Class Destroyer of the United States Navy, named for a Marine Gunnery Sargent, John Basilone (1916-1945), who was awarded the Medal of Honor for "extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action", in defense of Henderson Field during the 1942 Guadalcanal Campaign.
I went aboard the USS Basilone in early July 1969 during one of her scheduled up keep and inspection periods. From July 22 through August 26, the ship participated in ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare System Exercises) with the 2nd Fleet Unit and then carried out Missile Exercises in the West Indies. Upon her return to Newport, she began a three week tender availability preparation for a 7th Fleet assignment. However, the warship received orders to deploy to the 6th Fleet instead, while another availability to correct boiler problems kept her in port until November 11. The next day, the destroyer steered a familiar course to the Mediterranean Sea and relieved the USS Ault on November 21. Aside from the usual Task Force Operations ports of call were in Spain, Malta, Turkey, Tunisia, Greece, and Italy.
Her return to Newport, was May 22, 1970 afforded the ship and crew a much anticipated two months of rest and replenishment. With the exception of two days of pre-deployment ASW Service provided to Tullibee in July and a four day port visit to New York City in early August. The Basilone remained in Newport hosting sailor's families, Naval College Staff Members, and students acting as a spectator ship for the 1970 America's Yacht Club Race. On September 23, the destroyer was relieved of that assignment and once again set sail for the eastern Mediterranean Sea to participate in Task Force Operations in support of King Hussein of Jordan during the Black Sunday Conflict. During this period, the Basilone changed operational controls to the 6th Fleet in October. Aside from the Task Force Gunnery Operations, she paid visits to Crete, Athens, Naples and Majorca before rejoining the 2nd Fleet on November 2. On November 8, the warship returned to Newport for leave and up keep.
Of the one year and seven months I spent in the Navy, sixteen months and twenty days were spent aboard the Basilone with its crew of three hundred and forty nine men on Foreign and/or Sea Service Active Duty (out Of the country). My primary duties on the ship were as a Ship Serviceman (Laundry), Forward Gun Mount Battle Station, and Ship's Honor Guard. My education and training completed were for Seaman, BRM, Ship Servicemen Class "C" School, and Military/Leadership for E-4.
Early in November I was directed to the USS Puget Sound (AD-38) a Samuel Gompers - Class Destroyer Tender for a Separation Examination. At the time of this examination I was diagnosed with flat feet (also called pes planus or fallen arches) that were not apparent at the time of my Enlistment Physical Examination. I received a Honorable Discharge from the United States Navy under an authorized Early Separation Program on November 16, 1970.
My first visit to the Department Of Veteran Affairs at the Clement J. Zablocki Medical Center 5000 West National Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53296-0001 was in early April 1999. My initial complaint was that I was having problems with my feet, knees, hips, back, and hearing loss. After going through hundreds of combined medical, mental, hearing, physical therapy training, educational sessions and four Compensation and Pension Examinations. In November 2016 I accepted 100% Unemployable Disability (TDIU). Overall I would have to say I have been very well taken care of in my treatment experience with the various providers.
The writing of the song "For Those Who Answer The Call" was inspired by understanding and saluting military service on numerous levels. It is for all of those who have served in any branch during war or peace time. For all of those who returned home physically or mentally disabled who are adrift in various medical centers throughout the country seeking and trying to receive the proper treatment. For those homeless on the streets throughout the country who are unaware of their potential benefits and don't know how to engage the Veterans Affairs Medical System. For those who won't engage the system due to their mistrust for the military and government. Most of all for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
I'm of the opinion before any member of the voting public is permitted to cast a ballot for the President of the United States of America and before any child graduates from high school in this country they are required to visit and spend time at a Veterans Affairs Administrative Medical Facility to fully understand the cost of freedom.
"For Those Who Answer The Call" is every United States Of American Military Veteran's National Anthem.
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Lyricist, Songwriter, Author, Producer