Thursday, April 9, 2009


YouTube - Donovan - The Mandolin Man and His Secret I remember when I was in 8th grade hearing this Donovan song (click on the You Tube link) while attending one of the weekly youth fellowship meetings of my church in Simsbury, Connecticut. Dan Reilly and his wife Lorna were the head of this group. Dan encouraged us to "think for ourselves" and brought to us interesting ideas and books such as 'Letters from the Earth" by Mark Twain.

In this particular song "The Mandolin Man and His Secret" from the album "A Gift From A Flower To A Garden" it was pointed out that the townspeople laughed at the Mandolin Man when he came to town seeking " all that is pretty and nice". The children of the town however, drawn to the mandolin player told him "pretty and nice things". This album was the third pop double album ever released and featured an infrared photo album jacket.

Scottish music artist Donovan Phillips Leitch was born on May 10, 1946. He was known for his "flower power" folk songs. Among his more popular songs are "Sunshine Superman","There Is A Mountain", "Season Of The Witch", "Mellow Yellow", "Hurdy Gurdy Man", "Atlantis", "Lalena", "Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)" and "Catch The Wind".

Donovan went to India along with The Beatles, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Mia Farrow and her sister Prudence, for a few weeks to commune with transcendental meditation guru Mararishi Mahesh Yogi. Donovan taught Paul McCartney and John Lennon some guitar finger picking styles such as the "clawhammer" according to Wikopedia.

Donovan was the first high profile musician arrested for marijuana in 1966 and although he experimented with LSD he later took the position in 1968 that young people should give up drugs. Donovan was friends with many of the musicians of his time such as Bob Dylan, Jimmy Paige and John Paul Jones of "Led Zepplin", Brian Jones of the "Rolling Stones", and all of "The Beatles".

Donovan is still active and reportedly is working on another album as well as forming a university focusing on transcendental meditation called the "Invincible Donovan University". He will be sixty-three this May.