LETTERS FROM PORT CHICAGO
(A MUSICAL PLAY)

Background

Selected Songs

(All written between 2005 and 2012 with voices and instruments mainly, in electronic form.)

When is Henry 'Gonna get Here?

Flamboyant narcissist and family clown Uncle Henry has agreed to drive Richard to the train station.  As usual, he's late, most likely trying to draw attention to himself, as family and friends nervously await his "grand entrance."
 

Uncle Dwight's Prayer

An a cappella choral work. In the play, Richard's uncle, Dwight Ware, a highly respected Methodist Minister in North Carolina, wrote this prayer for family and friends to read as Richard is sent off to war  The prayer itself was actually written by the Rev. Nancy Allison.
 

Use Your Head

Sung by Richard and his commanding officer, Frank Sorver. When Richard reported for duty at Port Chicago, he told Sorver that he knew nothing about loading ammunition onto ships.  Apparently Sorver told him just to "use your head." 

At the Dock

An entire scene, with music and spoken dialogue, depicting the chaotic and dangerous conditions at the Port Chicago ammunition loading dock, including officers taking bets on whose division could load the most ammunition, Much of the material for this scene (song) was taken from my father's unfinished novel, Port Chicago Story.
 

This Ain't Missouri

Perhaps my all-time best melody. A love song, sung by Bob White and his wife, Inez. Bob, tragically, was killed during the Port Chicago explosion.


Gone to the Moon

Sung by Richard after learning his best friend, Bob White, had died in the Port Chicago explosion. Also one of my best melodies.

Into Your Hands

An a cappella choral work. A slightly modified version of "Into Your Hands," composed originally as part of "Two Sacred Songs." Sung by all at Bob White's gravesite.  The original version was sung at several churches, including National Cathedral, and Piccolo Spoleto, and was also sung at my father's funeral.