by W. Kim Heron
Our last concert together was last Sunday, September 26 when we performed our Swingin' the Praise jazz/gospel concert at First Presbyterian Church of Farmington. Just before we played the title-song “Swingin' the Praise,” I read from the Bible — Psalm 150, “The Musician's Psalm," to set up the piece. When I finished, I saw tears in Steve's eyes. I knew these words really meant a lot to him. I whispered, "Are you OK?" He said, "Yeah, let's go." And he proceeded to play the most amazing version of “Swingin' the Praise” ever. I'll never forget the moment, that concert, that special day with Steve.There’ll be plenty of memories like that shared when musicians gather on Nov. 7 at Schoolcraft Community College on Nov. 7 from 4-6 (though looking at the lineup, it sure sounds like it’ll run longer). Richko’s bandmates and others are on board, including Ralph Tope, Pete Siers, Sean Dobbins, Ben Jansson, Johnny Trudell and Mr. B. [UPDATE: This Nov. 7 event has been canceled since the original posting.] There’ll be a later benefit at a date yet to be determined at Cliff Bell’s where Steve played often. In his memory, Paul also wrote a set of lyrics to the standard “There Will Never Be Another You.” And if you need some refreshing on how the melody goes, scroll down a bit and hear it played by Steve’s hero, Oscar Peterson.
Steve Richko at Cliff Bell's with Paul Keller on bass and Sean Dobbins on drums, recorded last July.
There Will Never Be Another Steve
There may be many other nights like this
And I’ll be standing here with someone new
There may be many songs to sing
Another Fall, Another Spring, but
There Will Never Be Another You.
There may be many other licks I’ll dig
But they won’t thrill me like yours used to do
Oh, I may hear a million riffs from
great cats, yes, it’s true;
But there will never, ever be another you.
The future may bring real fine gigs, indeed,
from wedding jobs to shows on New Year’s Eve.
We’ll share the stage with players who will
swing until their face turns blue but
There Will Never Be Another Steve.
He knocked us out with every phrase he weaved
And tho’ we hate it that he had to leave
He plays upon God’s Steinway now
with Oscar at his sleeve. So,
Even as we feel bereaved and
sorrow makes it hard to breathe,
These three things I do believe:
Angels comfort those who grieve, we’ll
celebrate and be relieved that
Joyful living was achieved, and
There will never, ever be ano—ther Steve!Oscar Peterson plays "There Will Never Be Another You"