Dick Flood Interview Part 1 by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show
Lamitschka: Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?
Answer: My name is Dick Flood, I am 88 years old,…. and before I go any further let me explain that I have an alter ego. I invented him the year I turned 41. His name is ‘Okefenokee Joe’. He is a self proclaimed wildlife evangelist. He writes, sings, and records many of his own songs devoted to protecting and preserving nature, wildlife and the sadly sagging environment. Whereas I (Dick Flood) write, sing and record what I call ‘people songs’. In other words; Songs about people, love and life. And as Dick Flood on all of my shows for the public I tell my stories of my early recording and song writing sucesses, and of course my personal association with many of the biggest country music stars of the 60s. The ‘Golden Era of Country Music’. I am an American citizen of German decent. I am six feet two inches tall and I weigh about 250 lbs of what used to be solid muscle. My long what used to be dark brown hair is shiny silvery gray and I have just recently decided to let it keep right on growing until the day I die. Ha ha ha! It’s over my shoulders already! At 88 years old who cares!?. Ha ha ha.
Lamitschka: How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?
Answer: Because of the coronavirus and my own physical problems very little happened in my musical career this past year.. But this past year I was able to finally put the finishing touches on my Dick Flood autobiography of my nineteen years as a Nashville based singer/songwriter/entertainer. Book title; “My Walk among the Stars“…Sub title; “Rubbing Shoulders with Country Giants“. I also produced another CD of ten Dick Flood love songs titled “Loneliness Alone“
Lamitschka: What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?
Answer: My latest Dick Flood CD titled; “Loneliness Alone“ is ready for market but I have no distribution. It is available only on my website ; www.okefenokejoe.com
Lamitschka: How did you choose the title for the CD? Is there a story behind the name?
Answer: Oh yes there are always stories behind my songs. The idea for the title song of my latest CD “Loneliness Alone“came to me after a tremendous word battle between me and my wife. I had checked myself into a motel for a few days to maybe let things cool off a little. After several nights alone in that motel bed I began to realize that although I was feeling lonely in that motel room it was a different loneliness than what I had been feeling at home. It’s mighty hard to take when the person you love ignores your wishes, turns almost everything you say into an arguement or worst case scenario; purposely turns their back on you while in bed. Thus came these lines in my title song;
“Loneliness alone is better than loneliness at home,
With her lying next to me wishing she was free
Loneliness alone it’s easier on my own
At least she’s not around to torture me“
Lamitschka: Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?
Answer: Yes thus far I have been writing all of my songs myself. My love song ideas often come from the personal experiences of a friend of mine, and sometimes from a story in a book or a line in a movie script, but almost always from my own life experiences.
All the songs found in my CDs I write myelf. But I would never dream of turning down someone else’s song if I thought it might be a hit. It is just that as of late I am not in touch with many other song writers and other song writers have not been in touch with me.
Lamitschka: Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).
Answer: I’ll give you a few of the reasons for writing certain songs in my CDs: One time a girlfriend whom I dearly loved left me for another lover. It about broke my heart. All of my friends had been trying to console me and encouraging me to go out with someone new . And after many weeks I finally decided to go out with someone new. My date was lovely very talented young dark haired lady who seemed a little bit in too much of a hurry to marry somebody. And at that point in my life I was most certainly not ready for that. That’s when I got the idea for my song “Don’t Let Me Go to Your Heart“. Here’s some lyrics;
“Don’t let me go to your heart
Slow this thing down before it starts
I’ll be your lover I’ll be your friend
But girl I may never try love again
And if you don’t want your world torn apart
Don’t let me go to your heart
At a party one night I was halfway loaded on Jim Beam when I took a second look at a beautiful young lady seated alone on a couch. My host told me earlier that the lady was just getting over a broken love affair. What attracted me most about her was that look in those emerald green eyes. They looked so sad. And from the redness of her cheeks I could tell that she had been crying just moments before I casually and quietly sat down beside her. Before I could say anything she asked me to please forgive her because she was in no mood to talk and she would not be good company. Then quite suddenly she burst into tears and as she ran to the ladies room she was crying out,“No no no, I must never go back to him again!“. Knowing that the woman was suffering from a broken heart I thought to myself, “Any fool could she’s still hurting and truth be known she is still wishing she had him back again.“ From that true to life experience came my song “Back Then Back Again“. Here’s some of the lyrics;
“In her mind she keeps reliving the life she had back then
Remembering all the reasons she won’t go back again
Yet every time the phone rings she hoping that it’s him
Missing her and wishing that they could try again
But he ain’t calling and she ain’t crawling
Pride grows strong when love goes wrong
This time she just won’t bend
She’s all through trying but not through crying
Any fool could see she’s wishing she
Had back then back again“
From another of my many true life experiences came this idea;
“A One Night Stand“
“I think her name was Martha, it’s hard remembering
But I didn’t really know her, didn’t really give a damn
We had one night of pleasure, I said, “Bye and thank you maam“
That’s the way it goes on a one night stand
Don’t know how many Martha’s I’ve had before your time
But I know they’ve all been worth it, they helped make up my mind
And what I’m gonna’ tell you I hope you understand
Girl I want to take you on a one night stand
A one night stand for the rest of my life
A one nigtht stand with you for my wife
To face the world together hand in hand
And i’ll be yours forever on a one night stand.
Oh there is plenty more from where these few came from. Stay tuned.
Lamitschka: What is the difference between your last CD and your current one?
Answer: Both of my last two CDs were based on love and the many facets of love.
So in that respect there is little difference between the two except of clourse the melodys and the lyrics
Lamitschka: Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to hear it?
Answer: Oh I am so gratful that my music is being played over the radio.Probably what makes people want to hear it is that it is oh so true to life.
Lamitschka: What will your next single be?
Answer: I am no sure at this point what my next single will be,. Probably one of the songs out of my latest “Loneliness Alone“ CD. entitled “Love’s Commin’ My Way“.
Lamitschka: What kind of songs do you like to record the most?
Answer: As Dick Flood I am much more comfortable and I believe a whole lot more effective with slow and moving love songs. As Okefenoke Joe I am more comfortable singing and recording story telling songs and/or songs about our native wild animal neighbors.
Lamitschka: You did a duet with Cherokee Rose. How did that happen to come about?
Answer: All through the 90s and most of the 2020s as my alter ego “Okefenokee Joe“ I was invited to perform my ‘Earth Day Every Day’ presentation at many Native American pow wows. About twenty-five years ago while I was on what the Native American performers affectionately call the ‘Pow Wow Trail’ I met Miss ‘Cherokee Rose’ Wolfe. She is a beautiful lady, has a beautiful country flavoured voice and she sings in a lower register that most female singers. We both knew that our voices would blend perfectly so we sang several duets, and we have been singing duets often, ever since. One of the best songs that we sing together is a song I wrote entitled; “Where Does Love Go When it Dies“. It is a slow moving 60s style country love ballad.