Pickleweedpaul hails from San Francisco & grew up mostly in Marin County, just over the Golden Gate Bridge, with a year & a half sojourn to Los Angeles County. Music was always a big part of life at home; his mother had studied piano at the world renowned Curtis Institute in Philadelphia & she taught him rudiments of time signatures, the treble & bass clefs, etc. She also introduced him to the songs of Stephen Foster, the operettas of Gilbert & Sullivan, and the music of Bach, Beethoven & many others, which have all remained favorites throughout his life.
He was very early perceived to have an especially pleasing singing voice & was privileged to receive a scholarship to the St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral Choir School in Los Angeles where, until his voice “broke”, he was a boy soprano and soloist. His first formal music teacher was choir director and headmaster of the school Frank K. Owen. Singing lessons followed in high school with Mdme. Bella Resek, who had an extraordinary vocal range covering over 3 octaves. She could almost sing bass!
While in high school he discovered both the folk song & the theatre. At the age of 13 he began to learn to play ukulele (from the book by J Mace Wolfe); & then guitar (from books by Hy White & Mel Bay); & then banjo from Pete Seeger’s seminal book. He studied music theory (how music is structured) at College of Marin where his teacher was Charles Meacham, a co-founder of the Marin Symphony, and music history at U C Irvine, where his teacher was Dr. H. Colin Slim. Further vocal improvement came during professional actor training at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.
When the singer-songwriter came into vogue, he responded to the songs of Gordon Lightfoot as to no one else’s; Jacques Brel’s and Roy Orbison’s come the closest. His repertoire still includes many songs by Lightfoot and several by Brel and Orbison.
Though not in direct emulation of one of his early folk influences, singer/actor Theodore Bikel, over the years he has taken several excursions into the world of opera too.
He has also been a semi-professional photographer; the photos on this site are his. He has also worked as a stained glass craftsman, and is a retired licensed contractor. An inveterate eclipse chaser and dreamer, he has traveled the world over on his 18 speed bicycle “Big Blue” for the wonder of it all, always carrying a beat up ukulele. Besides singing, his passions include Shakespeare, Mt. Tamalpais, Yosemite, “early” music, & waterfalls.
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PickleweedPaul will play at your event anywhere in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Please contact me.
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