The "Diamond Dreams" are what generations of us have shared in our love for the Great National Pastime. The four sided baseball "Diamond" is simply the whole level playing field. Joe and I strived to shape our project that way: an honest narrative on a canvas of music with the spirit and love for the game of baseball.
I first met Joe at an after hours bar in Bally' Casino in Reno Nevada in 1988. I was in to my sixth year of what now has become my twenty-five years playing piano for George Jones. We had just finished playing the" Legends Show" in the showroom which included George, Conway Twitty, and Merle Haggard. Joe was with some of Merle Haggard's band members. Bonnie Owens introduced Joe to me. He was an instantly likeable guy. He was witty and interesting and seemed to have a great love for life. He talked about music, baseball and solving the problems of this world for most of the night.
We stayed in touch through the years. Joe would show up to our performances in Florida or North Carolina. I knew Joe had recorded a country album of originals and covers. One day we were both working in Kansas City, and I told him about the idea I had for a "spoken word" CD from the heart of Joe West, the veteran umpire, about baseball. "So you want me to talk on the CD?" Joe said with a skeptical look in his eye. "Yes, I want you to talk about baseball like you did the night I first met you in Reno and I will put the music behind what you say." I replied, waiting for a reaction from him. A long pause followed. And then he spoke, "What, you don't like my singing?" which was immediately followed by that infectious laugh of his. We still laugh today about that exchange. But the rest of our conversation that day focused on the concept for "Diamond Dreams".
As I look back on how this CD came together, I realize that I am a musician and Joe is an umpire. But his love for music and my love for baseball bonded us in this project. Thanks Joe, for believing in this idea and thanks to all of you who share in our Diamond Dreams!
To hear sound clips and learn more about this CD, please go to www.cowboyjoewest.com
Kent Goodson/ Co-Producer