"My first visceral memory of music is listening to 'Rhapsody in Blue' by
Parker's passion for music took him around the country, from
When Parker landed a day job as a real estate broker, he continued to play.
"I never stopped creating. Music is my rescue. It's my therapy. It's my everything," the 71-year-old Madison resident said.
Parker currently hosts a songwriter series in a style reminiscent of
"As I matured, my lyrics became a little bit more defined and important to an individual's life studies as opposed to their action studies," Parker said. "I play to the baby boomers. They like to sit and listen to the words and relate to the lyrics. Their music is from the waist up. Music of the younger folks is from the waist down."
Parker will take the stage with hit songwriters Wood Newton and
"I like to put teams together who interact well together, know each other's banter somewhat and can play off each other," Parker said. "We will make you cry and we will make you laugh. It will be a party."
Tickets to the event cost
Plugged-In with Parker
When did you start playing?
How did you know Jimmy?
Jimmy dated my sister.
When did you consider pursuing music professionally?
When I was playing and someone forced me to sing. I played and sang and they clapped. I thought, "They have no clue what talent is. I think this could be easy." I was so wrong. Failure is a part of success. You have to fail in order to succeed and if you're lucky and keep at it, you may fall forward.
What do you love most about what you do?
Writing is my greatest joy and the hardest job. Being simple and not being simple minded is difficult. You overanalyze things. You want to write something that's important. What you need to do is write down what's in your heart. Sit down, shut up and put it down. But no, we feel like we need to have a message.
Do you have a favorite song you've written?
The latest is the greatest. Now, the song that's made me the most money is "Chicken Truck" and that's certainly not the most intellectual song I've written. "He'll Find Peace" is a song about veterans killing themselves. It looks at the issue with understanding and love.
What inspires your songs?
I like to write stuff that's not in the mainstream. That's not what songwriting is about. It's not to try to write songs for
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