Monday, December 14, 2020

"Countin' on Joe" - An Example of Narrative Arc

Blogger Puggaard Drachmann's recent post, Tune Writing Refine – How to Create Songs, references Countin' on Joe as an example of narrative arc. The author of that article writes,    "Narrative Arc – The keynote of a lot of tunes is a tale. Most tunes begin as a simple story,           however with time, the tale of the tune changes               in songwriting describes the modification from point A to factor B through the growth of the song’s personalities and also story.

The full article can be found at:

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Last Day of Summer 2020 and 10,000 Views

The last day of summer, September 21, 2020, was a beautiful day here in Michigan. The sun shone brightly. I was out in the sun over the lunch hour with one of my daughters and one of her friends. We talked about the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, what the current political scene foreshadowed, how the vegan challah bread I had made (no eggs) and brought over almost tasted like the real thing and numerous other subjects. We had a lovely visit. 

And then I returned home to discover the one novelty song in 2020 The Musical was about to hit the 10,000 view mark on YouTube. Would it happen today or tomorrow? Would it feel really exciting or just like hitting any other mark? 

Yes. Happy Birthday Baby crossed the 10,000 view level today. It did not feel like a fireworks display. But it has been very satisfying over time to receive many positive comments from those who have seen it. It feels like I have made a small difference in the lives of those who have been touched by it.

And now? Now I look forward to the next 10,000 views.

Happy Birthday Baby

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Countin' on Joe Appears on Cable TV


Countin' on Joe, The Joe Biden Campaign Song, is scheduled to premiere on Ann Arbor COMMUNITY TELEVISION NETWORK, CABLE CHANNEL 17 - Sunday, 9/13/20 at 7:00pm.


Additional replay times include: 

Monday, 9/14 at 1:30pm & 10:41pm; 

Tuesday, 9/15 at 3:55pm; 

Wednesday, 9/16 at 5:55pm; 

Thursday, 9/17 at 9:50pm; 

Friday, 9/18 at 1:30pm; 

Saturday, 9/19 at 12:55pm & 7:00pm; 

Sunday, 9/20 at 2:55pm; 

Tuesday, 9/22 at 4:25pm; and 

Wednesday, 9/23 at 8:00pm

To date, Countin' on Joe has received 5046 views on YouTube. Unfortunately, YouTube has not made it searchable, which has stunted viewership.

Check it out on Channel 17 Ann Arbor on the dates listed above. To see it on YouTube, visit this video link:


Friday, September 11, 2020

When YouTube Makes It Impossible...

Countin on Joe has received over 5,000 views. That number would be a lot higher if it appeared in YouTube searches. It does not. For whatever their reason, YouTube has made it almost impossible to find. 

Initial interest was due to extensive emailing and sending out press releases. Now that the surge of response is over, the daily visit count has dwindled dramatically. So short of a miracle, Countin' on Joe appears to be dead in the water. 

I had many wonderful responses from people who have enjoyed the song. As usual, there were a few stray Republicans and Berniecrats who also shared their message. LOL

This was a fun project to work on. And I greatly appreciate everyone who participated from around the country. Thank you. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Talk About Quick Turnaround!

I was interviewed by Chanel Stitt, a business reporter for the Detroit Free Press, late this morning. The article she wrote as a result of the half hour interview was posted at 5:37 PM. When the interview was completed she asked if I could send her a photo of myself as well as a high quality photo of everyone in their spots on the grid. I went into Final Cut Pro X to do this, blew up the grid to fit in the whole screen and took a screen shot. This is what she used to accompany her story.

You can read her story, 'Countin' on Joe,' Metro Detroiter created virtual campaign song for Joe Biden, at: (Sept. 1, 2020)

She told me how much all her colleagues liked the music/video while we were talking which I really appreciated. The most important thing is to know within yourself that you have done a good job. That withstanding, it is always nice to get an 'ataboy' or pat on the back.

* A number of additional articles and posts appeared as a result of the Freep article. They are listed under the pages section, Press Coverage.

Colorado Coverage and more

After posting Countin' on Joe on YouTube, I sent out a press release with "fill in the blank" areas in the hope that singers from the production would use it to alert the media about the video. It was naive of me to expect this response. If one has no experience in PR it is difficult to navigate the process. It takes more than filling in the blanks. You have to understand what publications to approach and which individuals to contact there.

Shannon Winkelman of Bayfield, CO managed to do it. And the one release she sent out resulted in publication in five different places!

Pine River Times
The Durango Herald 
The Journal
progressivepartyusa - top ten political news

I decided to send out press releases for participants who were amenable to having me do this. As a result, I contacted media for well over two-thirds of the singers.

Today I want contacted by a Keith Whitcomb, a reporter for the Rutland Herald. Our singer from Vermont is Christian Doran.  An article will hopefully appear soon in that publication.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Tortoise and the Hare

My video for Happy Birthday Baby was published on YouTube on October 5, 2018. As of this writing it has received 9595 views. And lots of positive comments. Not the response I was hoping for when I posted it, but respectable nonetheless. 

My video for Countin' on Joe, the campaign song for Joe Biden was published on YouTube on August 24, 2020. As of this writing it has received 2474 views. Not lightening fast, but chalking up views pretty darn quickly.

So I'm left wondering which one will get to 10,000 views first. The tortoise? The hare? I'm not a bookie. So I'm not taking bets. But it will be interesting to see how this race plays out.

This just in. When I posted on YouTube, it discouraged adding tags and said they were unnecessary. NOT SO. A friend just let me know it is impossible to do a search for Countin' on Joe! So I've added tags and hope this situation will be resolved in 24 - 48 hours.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Countin' On Joe - The Joe Biden Campaign Song

Countin' on Joe, The Joe Biden Campaign Song, was posted on YouTube two days ago. There was a flurry of excitement with lots of positive feedback from virtual volunteer chorus singers. The video had an initial surge of traffic with over 1,500 views. That's more views from the get-go than any other video I have created. It's a great start. To sustain interest and build awareness it is necessary to contact traditional and social media as well as people who will have an interest. I know that many of the volunteers are sharing with people they know. And I have started to contact media.

Below is the press release I am using.

Countin’ On Joe:  The Joe Biden Campaign Song

Nationwide Volunteer Virtual Chorus Sings


Sixty-nine Americans from across the nation have stepped forward to be part of a volunteer virtual chorus for the Joe Biden campaign song, Countin’ on Joe. They believe their participation will help the Biden/Harris ticket this November.


When Carol Dunitz realized she would not be able to tour with her new twenty song show,, she started producing political parodies that promoted a Democratic viewpoint. In the midst of Things Now Have Gone to Hades, she decided to produce a campaign song for Joe Biden.


Dunitz started to look for volunteers for her Joe Biden campaign song in early July in order to produce the recording. She put together a pitch, posted on Facebook and emailed and called many Democratic organizations. Her goal was to assemble a virtual chorus of singers from across the country to sing Countin’ On Joe. In response, sixty-eight Americans came forward to join her in the grassroots campaign effort, Countin’ on Joe. Singers represent a diverse group of volunteers from thirty-nine states dedicated to a common cause, electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this November.


Having secured participants, Dunitz sent out a sample recording and instructions to move forward. After receiving videos back from all volunteers, Dunitz faced the challenge of mixing all the recordings in Pro Tools and editing the videos on a grid in Final Cut Pro X. Her campaign song, Countin’ on Joe, can now be seen at:

The melody for Countin’ On Joe comes from an old Irish folk tune which was also used for an Abraham Lincoln campaign song. “I generally write my own music, but the appeal of a melody that had previously been used with success in the political arena was too much to resist,” Dunitz shares. She updated the musical arrangement and wrote lyrics that share who Joe Biden is and why he should be our next president.


Carol Dunitz has a doctorate in Speech Communication and Theatre and an Audio Engineering certificate. She has been writing, composing and performing her entire life. To learn more about Countin’ On Joe, go to  To schedule an interview, please call 734.237.6614 or email

Monday, August 24, 2020

Audio Engineering Certificate Awarded with High Honors

If you had asked me five years ago if I would ever pursue an education track in audio engineering I would have laughed. Never in my wildest dreams would I have considered studying audio engineering.

Never say "never." Two years ago I started taking audio engineering classes at Washtenaw Community College. Very few community colleges have a curriculum like this so I was fortunate to be able to participate in a program so close by -- about two miles from where I live! Every semester I signed up for another class in the audio department. This summer I took an introductory music theory class which was a prerequisite to being awarded the Audio Engineering certificate. I have taken music theory and arranging classes in the past so it was a review for me and easy to sail through.

I just spoke with someone at the college and checked my transcript. I won't be walking down the aisle to Pomp and Circumstance but I have been awarded my Audio Engineering certificate with High Honors. There is still al lot for me to learn in this area and I plan to continue my studies to improve my ability to audio engineer well. That being said, I did all the engineering myself for 2020 The Musical as well as Countin' on Joe, the campaign song for Joe Biden which I will release on YouTube today. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2020

A Cameo Appearance on HBO

My new friend, Dushime Gashugi, messaged me that we appear in the new CNN documentary, On the Trail: Inside the 2020 Primaries, which premiered recently on HBO Max. Not only did he give me a heads up, but also shared his HBO password with me so I could watch it! When I watched the whole hour and a half video and didn't see it, I messaged him and asked where we appeared. I guess I blinked and missed it. It was in the first minute and a half! So much for a cameo appearance...

Dushime and I first met in Las Vegas. He was promoting Michael Bloomberg and I was promoting 2020: The Musical. We met up again at a subsequent Democratic debate stop -- much like the Embeds who were following the candidates.

Embed as a noun is my new word for the day. That's how the reporters who follow a particular candidate refer to themselves. The documentary provides an in depth view of what life is like behind the scene for members of the press who exhaustively follow their assigned presidential hopefuls.

For me and Dushime, we were interested in what life is like in front of the scene!

And now it's back to a normal life....if you can call life during a pandemic 'normal.' I'm not touring  in my new musical -- although I was contacted by a country club last week that was interested in having me perform. The only place I am performing is at home for political parodies and campaign songs.

My new Joe Biden campaign song should be out in about a week! Stay tuned.

An update for Countin’ on Joe

Woohoo! Music editing for Countin' on Joe after about 150 hours is done. I never expected that such extensive editing would be necessary. But to paraphrase my friend, David W. Menefee of Texas, "You don't want the song to sound like people singing The Star Spangled Banner at the ball park."  When you work with a chorus in person there is lots of time to get everyone singing the same words at the same time. When you work with singers virtually there is no group practice. You get one take and you need to make it work. 

I am on schedule and will spend this weekend mixing. What will that entail? Getting all the singer tracks at the same level. Choosing which vocals are best. Adding EQ, compression, reverb and other effects where necessary. 

I plan to do sub mixes for sopranos, altos, tenors and bass baritones. Then I will bring those mixes along with the music mix to finalize the sound track for the video. This will make the process more manageable since there are almost seventy vocalists.  I will also do a mix with the best vocals only to use for accent in the music video.  

So now it is time to stop stalling and get to work! I'm off to my studio.


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

A Virtual Chorus in the Making

Seventy participants from California to Connecticut, Oregon to Ohio have provided recordings 
for the Joe Biden campaign song project. Seventy virtual recordings! Can you imagine how much mixing and editing needs to be done to complete this? The amount of time is over the top and I have dived in with great enthusiasm to complete and release Countin' on Joe. Here are shots of some of the participants while recording. They were instructed to sing along with an mp3 I provided of the song with vocal through headphones or ear buds while being recorded by a cellphone, camera or webcam.

Volunteer singers include professional singers, those who sing or have sung in choirs and people who simply like to sing in the shower. Some sing melody in various octaves while others harmonize. What a thrill and challenge to assemble the virtual chorus!

I have watched countless videos on YouTube, consulted with the head of the Audio Engineering department at Washtenaw Community College and explored grids available to construct the video presentation. The YouTube education clears the path to creating the video in Final Cut Pro X. The head of the Audio Engineering department confirmed some steps which I plan to take. And the grids... It is possible to create a grid on one's own. However, there are some apps for sale in the $50 range. There is even a free grid available, which doesn't have all the bells and whistles but appears to be quite serviceable and can be embellished in Final Cut  Pro X (if I decide that makes sense). Sometimes simple but elegant is the best choice.

I plan to include subtitles. No bouncing balls but the lyrics will be there for those who want to sing along and/or learn the song. 

I've also been working on a press release and a list of media to which to send it. Once the song has been posted on YouTube I will send it to all the participants in the project along with a release they can send to local media. But this is at least a couple of weeks away. 

Right now it is nose to the grindstone. I am mixing by vocal range. I will do a mix for sopranos, another for altos, one for tenors and one for bass/baritones. Once these are completed I will mix the four groups along with the instrumental section. Sound like fun? Well, it is work with an element of fun. And when I started this project I knew there would be a lot of work involved.

What else could I do during a pandemic?


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Time for an Update 9000 plus views on YouTube!

It's been more than a month since I have posted. Time for an update with two important announcements. 

First, Happy Birthday Baby will score its 9000th view on YouTube tomorrow. The views consistently roll in and there are a lot of positive comments. They say that slow and steady wins the race. OMG! Where could the finish line be?

The campaign song for Joe Biden has gotten legs. I was very unhappy when I learned that many of my emails to singer volunteers were ending up in their spam folders. When I discovered this I contacted all prospective participants through simple emails with no attachments and Messenger. I experienced dramatic attrition and then had to do more posting to boost the number of singers.

I'll share a little secret with you. I have sent out song packets to volunteers and have received 57 videos from participants so far. I expect to receive more through the weekend. And I will start mixing in Pro Tools on Monday.

When the mixing is complete I will move to Final Cut Pro where I will edit the video. What I am planning is a virtual choir where each participant gets their own square in a large grid. Since I don't really know how many people are participating yet, I have to wait to create the grid. Everything I've read suggests the video editing with an extensive grid is going to be very time consuming. I believe it will be worth it and am anxious to dive in. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2020

SINGERS WANTED for Joe Biden Campaign Song

Carol Dunitz has written a campaign song for Joe Biden and hopes to have at least one person from each state doing vocals for the song. "I am looking for volunteers for this project," Dunitz shares. I will provide an mp3 and lyrics for singers to sing along with." Participants can listen to the song mp3 on their computer with earbuds and videotape themselves with their cellphone as they sing. Dunitz welcomes volunteers to use any other setup that will provide video and a music track that has none of the backup music on it.
Once all the video/recording is done she plans to mix all the vocals with the backing track and do the video work that will include all participants. Everyone who participates will be included in credits at the end of the song.
Contact Carol Dunitz through Facebook or at if you would like to sing. Please include the state you live in and your vocal range (soprano, mezzo soprano, alto, tenor, bass/baritone).

Things Now Have Gone to Hades to Premiere on CTN

Ann Arbor's Community Television Network has scheduled its premiere of Things Now Have Gone to Hades. The first showing on Cable Channel 17 is on Friday, June 26th at 1:10 pm.

Replay times are: 
Saturday, 6/27 at 4:58pm & 9:58pm 
Sunday, 6/28 at 2:55pm & 8:48pm 
Tuesday, 6/30 at 7:00pm & 9:58pm
Wednesday, 7/1 at 8:48pm 
Thursday, 7/2 at 1:00pm 
Saturday, 7/4 at 3:58pm

Can't get to the TV when 
Things Now Have Gone to Hades is being shownYou can see it on YouTube at:

You won't want to miss this parody based on Billy Joel's We DIdn't Start the Fire.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Things Now Have Gone to Hades

Could Things Now Have Gone to Hades be a thinly disguised musical rant about 45? You decide – and if you find it meaningful, please SHARE.

Things Now Have Gone to Hades is a parody of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire. It is a no holds barred representation of what a majority of people in this country feel about how our country is being run into the ground. 

The video for Things Now Have Gone to Hades is posted on YouTube.  It can be viewed at:

Around the world, people are universally shocked by the actions of the United States. It is remarkable how our country which once led the free world can have plummeted into an abyss from which one wonders if it can extricate itself.

On November 3rd, 2020, it is critical that everyone vote. Republicans, Democrats, Independents. We must all exercise our privilege to vote to determine the direction our country will take.

My views are clear from the song. But every individual is entitled to his or her own view. Isn’t it wonderful we still live in a country where we are allowed to voice our opinions?

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Captioning From Now On

Recently a friend who is hard of hearing remarked to me that many videos on YouTube have auto captioning. This is a great feature that I had not been aware of. Today I learned about this feature and how to implement it.

YouTube has an algorithm that takes speech and converts it into text. It is constantly improving this. I'm guessing it works better for speech than it does for the singing voice because I had to spend a great deal of time making everything match up. But I believe the time was well spent. Everyone can now watch the videos and understand all the lyrics.

My last four parodies have been updated with this feature as well as the newest one which will premiere tomorrow morning, Things Now Have Gone to Hades.

If you missed some of the lyrics and want to check them out, here are the URLs.

Six Feet of Social Distance - A Coronavirus Parody

A Modern Icon Federal – The State of the Union
It's So Wonderful to Roam – A Coronavirus Parody
Do The Five - A Coronavirus Parody

Friday, June 5, 2020

Six Feet of Social Distance comes to Ann Arbor CTN

Six Feet of Social Distance is scheduled to premiere on Ann Arbor Community Television Network, Cable Channel 17 on Sunday, 6/17/20 at 9:00pm.

Additional replay times are: 
Monday, 6/8 at 1:05pm
Tuesday, 6/9 at 3:55pm
Wednesday, 6/10 at 10:00pm
Thursday, 6/11 at 11:00am
Saturday, 6/13 at 5:05p 
Sunday, 6/14 at 2:05pm & 6:35pm  
Wednesday, 6/17 at 12:29pm
Saturday, 6/20 at 5:05pm

Six Feet of Social Distance is a parody based on One Singular Sensation from A Chorus Line. The performance is humorous but the message is very serious. Maintaining significant social distance and wearing a mask is critical to stop the spread of COVID -19. 

The video can also be seen on YouTube at:

Monday, June 1, 2020

Brush Up On Twitter

Some people Brush Up on Shakespeare (my dad used to sport a big grin when he would sing that song from Kiss Me Kate). I have caught some Shakespeare during the pandemic. Online. 

Stuck indoors most of the time. No movies. No trips to the Stratford and Shaw Festivals. No jaunts to the Ohio Light Opera. What's one to do? Hats off to many cultural organizations that are streaming wonderful offerings online. Every Thursday the Stratford Festival and the National Theatre stream plays. Shakespeare. Tennessee Williams. And many other great playwrights are represented. The Shaw Festival, Ohio Light Opera, Broadway HD and others too numerous to mention are streaming wonderful offerings. I travel virtually to NYC every evening where the Metropolitan Opera streams a different opera every night! Tonight was Bellini’s I Puritani.

When one is not enjoying these flights into culture, there is a lot of time to pursue work-related tasks and additional interests. This week I have been studying Twitter. I have read many articles and am watching lots of videos online. Am I up to the task of getting followers (33 in the last several days)? What would be good things to tweet about? Will this be an effective way to market?  You don't know until you try. :)

Learning about all the social markets is very involved and time consuming. But at some point one needs to breakout of Facebook and YouTube and explore other possibilities.

Enter Twitter. Stage right.  Or will it be Stage left? I'm going to find out.

8000 YouTube Views for Happy Birthday Baby

Happy Birthday Baby now has over 8000 views on YouTube! I've received so many wonderful responses from people who've seen the video. To use an antiquated expression, "it warms the cockles of my heart." Seriously, there's nothing better than having people let you know how much they enjoy a project in which you've invested a great deal of creativity, time and energy.

I like to think of Happy Birthday Baby as a virtual birthday card. It's on YouTube. Anyone can link to it when they want to send a special birthday greeting to someone they care about. Click link to view. 

Happy Birthday Baby!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

New Music Video, Six Feet of Social Distance, Takes A Bow

Six Feet of Social Distance is now available to view on YouTube. This new video is a parody of One Singular Sensation from A Chorus Line. Six Feet of Social Distance addresses social distancing and mask usage to alleviate the spread of COVID -19, the coronavirus. See the video at:

What will you find when you see the video? A glitzy costume with authentic black top and bow tie. Diamond studded dance shoes. Lots of leg. And even a spill. Haha. I'm going for a little slapstick with this one! I have arranged the music with sounds from my new sound library, Native Instruments' Komplete Ultimate. 'Learning Kontact and have even applied a brass shake to the trombone and trumpet part!

I did all the video with my new green screen and set of five studio lights. This is the second video I have done using a green screen. To be honest, it's working but not as well as I would like. I definitely need to improve my lighting technique to get rid of the telltale green border around me. It's not as prominent as the last video, but it's still there. Isn't it great always to be learning?

Youtube immediately notified me that I was using someone else's music. Yes. It's a parody and is allowed under copyright law. What do they think Randy Rainbow does all the time? If I've missed an appropriate hashtag, please let me know. #socialdistance #masks #covid19 #coronavirus 

Friday, May 22, 2020

A Modern Icon Federal on CTN

A Modern Icon Federal: 
The State of the Union

Community Television Network

This evening I received an email from Craig Kuras at CTN letting me know when A Modern Icon Federal would be played on Ann Arbor's cable TV station. Here's the schedule.

A Modern Icon Federal: The State of the Union is scheduled to premiere on ANN ARBOR COMMUNITY TELEVISION NETWORK, CABLE CHANNEL 17 - Sunday, 5/24/20 at 7:25pm.

Additional replay times are: 
Tuesday, 5/26 at 2:25pm 
Wednesday, 5/27 at 8:55pm 
Thursday, 5/28 at 2:55pm 
Friday, 5/29 at 1:10pm & 6:55pm 
Saturday, 5/30 at 9:55pm 
Sunday, 5/31 at 8:55pm 
Tuesday, 6/2 at 3:35pm 
Wednesday, 6/3 at 8:00pm

Craig Kuras
Public Access Programmer
734.794.6150, ext. 41503

The video is also available on YouTube:

Friday, May 8, 2020

Happy Birthday Baby to Appear on Ann Arbor CTN

Happy Birthday Baby

Ann Arbor Community Television Network


Happy Birthday Baby is scheduled to premiere on ANN ARBOR  COMMUNITY TELEVISION NETWORK, CABLE CHANNEL 17 - Thursday, 5/14/20 at 9:30pm.

Additional replay times include: 
Friday, 5/15 at 2:00pm & 5:47pm
Saturday, 5/16 at 12:55pm 
Sunday, 5/17 at 3:35pm 
Monday, 5/18 at 2:31pm 
Tuesday, 5/19 at 9:00pm 
Wednesday, 5/20 at 3:00pm & 10:31pm 
Saturday, 5/23 at 12:55pm

Craig Kuras
Public Access Programmer
734.794.6150, ext. 41503

Happy Birthday Baby can also be seen on YouTube where it has garnered over 7,500 views at:

Friday, May 1, 2020

My Latest Parody: A Modern Icon Federal

I have always found A Modern Major General from Pirates of Penzance to be a lot of fun. I remember seeing Danny Kaye who was a real expert at patter songs rattle off the lyrics with extraordinary precision.  It’s amazing that a popular song that was first introduced in the 1870s is still with us today.

In recent years when I’ve seen Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance performed, a few lyrics are often switched out in A Modern Major General to key in on politics. When I decided to write a parody about current events in the USA, using A Modern Major General seemed like a great choice. Enter A Modern Icon Federal.

With everyone in lock down due to the spread of COVID-19, I am not able to perform my new show, 2020 The Musical. Here’s an opportunity to sport the Uncle Sam costume I was to wear during that show.

A Modern Icon Federal is set to premiere on YouTube at Noon on Saturday, May 2nd at