Tuttle Creek State Park - Manhattan Kansas




Ken Matthiesen

I started writing song lyrics in grade school but didn’t know it. It was in the mid Sixties and real records, called 45’s, were the target of every kid each Monday after school. That’s when the new Top 40 was released and record stores would rearrange the record rack into its new order, based on physical records sold. The store where I walked four miles each way to purchase my new pride and joy was actually a Singer Sewing Machine store. They sold records for 69 cents….precisely 69 percent of my weekly allowance. By the way, that’s $88.32 in today’s money…anybody see the problem with that picture?

Attached to the side of the records fixture was a plastic holder that held a long narrow list of the Top 40 printed on a different colored paper each week. My first glance was to see how many Beatle’s songs were still in the Top 10. On the back of the list were the printed lyrics to that week’s number one song. I would translate by hand (no computers, old school here) these lyrics onto a litho-graph master sheet for page 2 of the school newspaper I started. So I got real used to writing down number one hit lyrics at age 11. Okay, they weren’t mine, but the seed was sewn.

My wife and I now reside in Nashville. At the time we called it early retirement, but really I tell everyone I just quit, that there were better things to do. And man was I write…yes write. I have been blessed to have met so many wonderfully talented people here and had the opportunity to work with them. We are absolutely having the time of our lives, everyday is a vacation day for us. Honestly, if you have an ounce of songwriter blood in you don’t use my name for a job reference on any job resume you fill out, because my recommendation is to give this a shot…the sooner the better!