A Dream Come True – Misty Blue

When Arnold passed, Betty was down. Maybe adrift is a better word. Arnold was a solid character – someone you could count on. Of course she missed him – and still does but she is adjusting her life. We took her traveling – Paris was the first place – my mother came too. But Betty was just not quite in the mood to have a great time. You see, she and Arnold traveled a lot and maybe these new shoes just did not feel right.

One day, we heard Betty say that she wished she could be remembered for her music. At this point she was 78 and had never published anything. However, she had jotted down music for more than 250 tunes that came out of her love for playing piano. She had won some awards, too. The melodies just seemed to find her. We were not sure how her dream could come true but encouraged her to keep taking baby steps in that direction.

Betty looked for and found a piano teacher – Jim. She talked with him about her dream. Little did Betty know that Jim is a “Dream Maker!” He arranged Betty’s tunes so a local jazz band could play a couple of her songs in a downtown Lincoln bar. A Southeast Lincoln high school Swing Choir played her songs at a local retirement home. Word was getting out.

Betty’s cousin Jerrine sings with a Big Band in Colorado and knew how to get Betty’s music recorded. She encouraged Jim and Betty to find music professor Eric from the University who prepared her music for a 12 piece orchestra. Soon, a 5-song CD filled with Big Band music was born.

Jim also teaches dozens of vocal students and holds a recital each year. While talking to his senior students, he asked Austin what songs he would like to sing. Austin looked at Jim and said, “You probably can’t find the music but there was a song that I was supposed to sing last year for Swing Choir but I had to go to San Antonio. I think it was written by a lady from Lincoln and it was called ‘Misty Blue.’ It is a beautiful song and I would love to sing it.”

You can imagine Jim’s thoughts as he told Austin that he just might be able to help “find” the music – because Betty was his student, too.

Now imagine how Betty felt when this good looking, talented, young man sang his heart out at the recital. Betty was in tears because ‘Misty Blue’ is a song about missing a loved one. Not only did Austin sing Misty Blue with great passion, he chose it as the song he most wanted to sing. Betty’s music has already been remembered – her dream come true!

Betty’s CD release party was held at the Lincoln Country Club on August 31st and it was packed – standing room only. Cathy Blythe was the MC and the musical perfomances were outstanding. Fortunatley for us all, NETV was on hand to film the evening and will be aired on Nebraska Stories –  http://www.netnebraska.org/extras/nebraskastories/

Arnold is Arnold Nieveen,  Betty is Betty Nieveen
Dream maker – Jim is Jim Koudelka,
Singer Austin is Austin Blankenau – Performance of Misty Blue on 8-20-11
Singer Jerrine is Jerrine Racek
Words for Misty Blue by Les Wallace
Arrangement for 12 piece Orchestra by – Eric Richard
NETV produce is Kay Hall

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