Shannon McMahon

Wishing On Planes

Farewell John Stewart

I was trolling the internet and just found out that John Stewart has died. A brilliant musician, singer and songwriter, (he wrote Daydream Believer, Gold, Lost it in the Sun, among many others) he was a major force in The Kingston Trio and had a solo career as well. Gold was the first song of his I had heard, since it was on Top 40 radio back in 1979. I was introduced to his earlier music when I was in high school. I played and sang in a church folk group, and we would get together on Wednesday nights to rehearse at someone's house. These rehearsal nights were so much fun and made me feel so alive and grown-up -- the music and friendship were a beautiful chemistry. One night, we congregated at Phil DiGennaro's house, and had been playing some Kingston Trio songs like Greenback Dollar and Weave Me the Sunshine. Phil put on a record and played July, You're a Woman, which I instantly loved, not just because my first name is actually in the song (there are very few of those, the least of which is about a dog getting lost), but because the melody and John's rich, textured voice captured me. Phil made me a cassette of that song and a few others, and I taught myself to play it. I never have performed it -- it probably sounds odd with a woman's voice behind it, since it is so clearly meant to be a man's point of view. I just played it for the first time in many, many years. It was neat how it all came back to me. Maybe I will perform it one day, if I ever get another gig...

Thank you John, for your music, and thank you Phil, for introducing me, and for all those fun nights we had playing guitars and laughing. I hope you are playing and singing together in heaven.

© 2016 Shannon McMahon Music