Tuesday, March 8, 2016

“When?”- A Song of Peace by Dodie Stevens

“I wrote this song the day after the terrorist attacks in Paris, and unfortunately, there have been more since then...when will it end?
  Who knows, maybe the right person will hear my song of peace, and it can reach the masses to, hopefully, stop all this madness!  Writing is my way of expressing my feelings, and my heart was heavy when I wrote it.”  —Dodie Stevens

Dodie Stevens (Geraldine Ann Pasquale) is an American singer. She is best known for her recording of "Pink Shoe Laces," which became a bit hit for her in 1959, when she was 13 years old.  

Listen to the song, “When?”, with video:  https://youtu.be/UCi6hx-zL8k

Sheet music is also available for this song, if your church group or other group would like to use it.  Contact Iowa Peace Network if you are interested.

Terror in Paris
On the evening of November 13, 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris and its northern suburb, Saint-Denis. Beginning at 9:20 CET (Central European Time), three suicide bombers struck near the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, followed by suicide bombings and mass shootings at cafés, restaurants and a music venue in central Paris.

The attackers killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan theatre, where they took hostages before engaging in a stand-off with police.

On Tuesday night, the Eagles of Death Metal finished the concert they began in Paris on Nov. 13, when terrorists interrupted their performance at the Bataclan theater in a brutal attack that killed 90 concert-goers. In total, 130 people died across the city, and many more were injured.

368 people were injured, 80–99 seriously. Seven of the attackers also died, while the authorities continued to search for accomplices. 

About Dodie Stevens
Raised primarily in California's San Gabriel Valley, “Geri” took singing and dancing lessons and at age eight in 1954, issued her debut single “Merry-Go-Merry-Go-Round,” released on the Gold Star label and credited to Geri Pace. That same year, as Geri Thorr, she appeared four times on the Frankie Laine Show—also starring singer Connie Haines.

In the years to follow, she appeared regularly on local television programs, and while performing on the show Strictly Informal was spotted by Crystalette Records president Carl Burns, who rechristened the 12-year-old Dodie Stevens. Her first single for the label, “Pink Shoe Laces,” reached number three on the Billboard charts in March of 1959; the record made Stevens a star, garnering her a gold record. That same year, she issued her self-titled debut LP on Dot Records and co-starred in the Don Siegel film Hound-Dog Man with Fabian. Two more LPs—Over the Rainbow in 1960 and Pink Shoe Laces in 1961—followed, as did an appearance in the 1961 film feature Convicts Four, also starring Ben Gazzara,
She has had five hits on the Billboard charts.

She returned to music in 1966, later singing with Sergio Mendes & Brasil ‘77 and touring as a backing vocalist with such artists as Loretta Lynn, Harry Belafonte, Frankie Avalon, Boz Scaggs, and for 12 years with Mac Davis.

In the 1990s, Dodie co-produced and starred in her own ‘50s &‘60s revue, “Bop” and toured for several years with that show.

Currently, she performs with her daughter, Stephanie, and appears in oldies concerts across the country. She also teaches singing and stage performance out of her studio in San Diego County.  The top picture below is of Dodie as “Geri Thorr,” singing with Frankie Laine in 1954. The bottom picture shows Dodie with Dick Clark and Fabian in 1959.

Written by Craig Cronbaugh

Craig Cronbaugh is the director of a state office in Des Moines, Iowa. He is also an author, former professional musician (drummer), and former newspaper editor.

Craig was a 22-year friend of famed late singer Frankie Laine. Therefore, for many years, his devotion to all things Laine has led to an avocation that includes amassing a vast collection of Laine’s career works and annually presenting Remembering Frankie Laine, a class-like setting in which he shares Laine’s songs, film and video clips, and memorabilia with seniors and baby-boomers.

A decades-long quandary was finally solved when Craig’s friend, Tony Cooper, from England, discovered that little girl singer Geri Thorr from the Frankie Laine Show, indeed, was Dodie Stevens. Thus, it was now possible to get in contact with Dodie.

Dodie asked Craig to assist her in finding an audience for her peace-promoting song “When?” After doing research concerning Iowa peace organizations, Craig contacted the Iowa Peace Network.

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