Phil Keat and Steve Wofford recorded their LP Road To Home with the help of producer Irv Peninsky, who hoped that a major artist would one day cover one of Phil’s song, giving the duo some much deserved exposure.
Irv’s hope came true—The Kingston Trio recorded their version for a recent CD, Born At The Right Time. Granted, their CD came out in 2012, about 35 years after Road To Home debuted. The Kingston Trio’s version sounds more campfire kumbayah than what I like—Phil Keat’s original version is a nostalgic love song that transports me to a paradise high above the clouds, where Cheri and her silver bird glide gracefully.
According to Phil, “Cheri” has been arranged and performed by a number of musicians. Locally, The Peter Moon Band did an excellent version of “Cheri”, which Phil uploaded to his YouTube channel in 2011.
The greatest gift of an artist covering your song is that more people have the chance to hear your song. Some fans fall in love with the music and insist on finding the original version, with the composer’s name as their only reference. On the new Kingston Trio CD, many people were introduced to “Cheri” for the very first time. One YouTube commenter said this:
“First heard this song on the new Kingston Trio CD. Immediately fell in love with it. Just had to track down the author. Thanks for a terrific song. Well played, too.” — Edd Carney
No matter who performs a new version of a song, the original always deserves to be heard. Thank you for listening to Wofford-Keat’s “Cheri”, and mahalo to Phil for sharing his story about Road To Home in our interview.