Windows on the Past – The Good Buddy Band

Phases, by their nature, come and go. I can tell you that even though my sojourn in the Good Buddy Band was ‘just’ a phase, it was one of the happiest times in my life.

The Good Buddy Band members
The Good Buddy Band, ca. 1983
Back row l-r: Murray, Mavis, Harvey
Front l-r: yours truly, Mike

The Good Buddy Band of 1981-1983 had its genesis in a rather silly novelty song I wrote in ’81 and sang with my friend Mavis (pictured above), called “Jap Sisters.” It was a jocular ribbing of a stereotype all too common at the time, known (affectionately) as Jewish American Princesses. Now as we all know, it’s sort of okay to make fun of your own, and since Mavis and I were Jewish, our brethren (sistren??) were fair game.

Our little duo grew with the addition of more songs and more musicians, namely Mike Gilman on bass, Harvey Levinson on banjo and Murray Kreisman on lead guitar. Me? Rhythm guitar… when the song didn’t demand more than, say, four chords. (My spirit was willing, but my playing was rudimentary!)

Over many laugh-filled practice sessions, we developed a repertoire of a few dozen songs, mostly folk-oriented or roots-y rock (think Bad Moon Rising, Honky Tonk Woman, Proud Mary), and performed them wherever fellow singles gathered. Money, we didn’t make. But oh, the fun we had!!

The Good Buddy Band with our red T-shirts
The Good Buddy Band posing proudly in our spiffy t-shirts
Clockwise from left: Harvey Levinson, Mike Gilman, Murray Kreisman, Ellie Presner (me), and Mavis Engel-Keinan

6 thoughts on “Windows on the Past – The Good Buddy Band

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