Knee Deep in a Little John Bigum Music
John Bigum I started playing the five-string banjo for something to do when I was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in the early 1970s; although playing the banjo was for my own amusement, I wound up playing in folk, gospel, and bluegrass groups for the last 35 years. I have performed in just about every corner of the great state of South Carolina - from Chimney Rock to Little River - either as a solo act playing weekend for campfire programs for campers at South Carolina State Parks. It was while "touring" the parks that I began writing cute little tunes to augment the usual campfire sing-alongs. Most of the ditties you'll hear here were recorded back in the late 1980s on two cassette projects, and I've taken the most requested of those, added some new ones, and recorded a regular digital masterpiece of mostly fun tunes, the type I was attracted to while growing up during the 1950s and 60s in the wonderful town of Barrington, New Jersey. "Alley Oop," "The Little Nash-Rambler" and the songs of David Seville and the Chipmunks were the lyrics that caught my ear, and I've used these songs as inspiration to write about my own life as a rural mailman with lots of friends and family who are volunteer firefighters, farmers, and just plain old moms and dads who are thankful for their lives and families every single day. Here are a preview of the tunes included in this CD, which appeal to both adults and children because they reflect the situations of all folks and bring smiles and nostalgic feelings to everyone who appreciates everyday heroes and the simple joys and tribulations of getting through each day: 1. "The Fly Song" - When I play this song in public, I always say that it's about a situation that every man in the Western world has experienced at one time or another. Getting caught with your pants unzipped is always embarrassing and always funny. From kindergarten to retirement homes, everyone will smile and sing along with this lively tune. 2. "Stupid to Cupid" - When the neighborhood mailman delivers the wrong mail to the wrong mailbox, the results are initially annoying but eventually serendipitous. Long after the Christmas cookies have been forgotten, your mailman will smile as he/she listens to this CD! 3. "A Common Man's Thanksgiving" - One of my favorites, this tune stems from my inability to give a proper grace on the spot at Thanksgiving dinners. I think the world needs a song of genuine gratitude, and this is my contribution! It took years to "write right." If you also have a hard time expressing your gratitude with friends and family, just send them this CD. 4. "Fire Ants" - Everyone who lives in the Southeast and almost everyone who has visited here has a fire ant story. Enjoy my story of "fire ant-ics." 5. "Volunteer Fireman" - My dad was a volunteer fireman back in Barrington, New Jersey. So were all his friends; now their sons are volunteer firemen. This is my tribute to the sacrifices and commitment of these folks. It has been well-received at firemen's banquets and has become an annual tradition. Let your fire brigade know how much you appreciate their efforts by sharing this tune with them. 6. "The Tractor Song" - I actually wrote this one while commuting from Dalzell to Sumter. If you've ever been stuck behind a tractor pulling a wagon load of cotton, you'll identify with this song. Singing this song while driving is a happy alternative to impatience with slow drivers. 7. "The Mailman on Christmas Eve" - December 24, 1992, was a cold, rainy Christmas Eve. I was making an unauthorized re-delivery of packages that had not been picked when this song struck my mind. The deliveries are all true; they may not have occurred on that day, but the song did. This song is a perfect "thank you" for the delivery person you know who has gone the extra mile. 8. "Da Bugs" - There are a lot of nostalgic songs about the South and it's history good or bad. There are not, however, many songs about "da bugs" - a feature of the South noticed by native Southerners and visitors alike. 9. "I Like Beer" - (And I do!) Give this tune to folks who prefer good old beer to other beverages. Soon they will be singing the new drinking song of the 21st century (and, hopefully, paying royalties!) 10. "Potato Chips" - I thought I had the snack-food folks when I wrote this one. I found out from watching the History Channel that they say that the reason potato chip bags are half full is that they are half-filled with nitrogen to preserve freshness. Whatever the reason, learn this wry lament to sing the next time you open up a bag that's gone before the second half of the ball game. Note: The picture on my CD cover is a photograph of me circa 1955. I know Grandmom bought the suit, and the little guitar was probably a prop - or maybe she knew something! John has been performing for the last fifteen years across South Carolina as the banjo player and lead singer for THE MAXIE BRANCH BOYS BLUEGRASS BAND. Their tight harmonies and good time feeling that they they project have delighed audiences throughout the palmetto state.