Serendipity Can Happen At Any Time

“You might want to shelve that manuscript…or song…or artwork.”

Many of us have heard that advice from well-meaning parents, teachers, and mentors. While it is often given with the best of intentions, sometimes that advice should be ignored, and if it has been followed, it should be revisited.

Serendipity can happen at any time.

In The Click Moment, author Frans Johansson argues that behind every success story is a fortuitous meeting or an unexpected insight. He stresses the fact that success is random and we must be prepared to place many bets and roll the dice frequently.

One of my favorite serendipitous events…

In 1971, British-Kenyan folk singer Roger Whittaker hosted a radio program in Great Britain. To increase ratings, he invited listeners to send their best poems or lyrics. Of the over one million entries received, Whittaker selected twenty-six. With the help of orchestra conductor Zack Lawrence, he recorded the songs and played them on the radio over a six-month period.

One of those poems was written by Ron A. Webster, a silversmith from Birmingham, England. Bittersweet and poignant, the lyrics became even more compelling when Lawrence added a French horn solo to the opening. The song was also featured on Whittaker’s 1971 album, “New World in the Morning,” but failed to reach the music charts.

Fast forward four years…

While traveling in Canada, the wife of a program director for a radio station in Atlanta, Georgia heard the four-year-old recording. Moved by the haunting lyrics describing a young British soldier’s anguish about going to war, she couldn’t get that song out of her head. When she returned to Atlanta, she asked her husband to play the song on the radio.

Listeners began calling the station for more information about the song and the recording artist. Soon after, “The Last Farewell,” made its way onto the charts. It became a Top 20 hit in 1975 and sold an estimated 11 million copies worldwide.

More interesting facts…

In 1976, Elvis Presley included the song on his album, From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee. When this version was released posthumously in 1984, it reached #48 in the United Kingdom.

Chet Atkins recorded an instrumental version on his 1986 album, Sweet Dreams.

AIK, a Swedish sports club, adopted the music together with alternate lyrics as their official anthem.

And most impressive of all, “The Last Farewell” became known as Roger Whittaker’s signature song and helped launch his career in the United States.

Any more serendipitous events to share?

 

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Linda Tillis says:

    Awesome information! I’d forgotten that I even like Roger Whittaker. Now I can revisit his music and learn to love him all over again. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Linda, He’s also one of my favorite artists. During the 1970s and 1980s, I bought all his albums and attended one of his concerts. His music has always spoken to me. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember my parents having a Roger Whittaker album that I enjoyed listening to. One of my favorites was Mammy Blue.
    This is a great post, Joanne, thanks for sharing!

    Like

    1. Good to see you here, Jacquie. “New World in the Morning” is my favorite. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reblogging, Neva 🙂

      Like

  3. Kathryn Jane says:

    Great post. I had all the Roger Whittaker “Cassettes” back in the day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had many of his albums and now have one CD of his Greatest Hits. Love those oldie-goldies!! Thanks for dropping by, Kathryn. 🙂

      Like

  4. Ilona Fridl says:

    I do remember that song. Thanks for reminding me how great it was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome, Ilona. Lately, I’ve been revisiting many favorites from the 1970s and 1980s. 🙂

      Like

  5. This is beautiful. I don’t know where I was in 1975 but this is the first time I’ve heard. Thank you so much for sharing, Joanne.

    Like

    1. Good to see you here, Marian. 🙂

      Like

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