The emotional significance of making this album may be summed up in the story of a pair of shoes. In 1994, Wayne Messmer was shot in the throat in a random act of violence in his hometown of Chicago, an incident that nearly took his life as well as his voice, a powerful story that is told in his book, The Voice of Victory. During the long recovery, he drew strength from the dream was born during the darkest hours of doubt, that he would one day, walk into the studio and record a set of very personally chosen love songs… to life.
This recording session is the culmination of what may have seemed to many to be an improbable, if not impossible dream. The emotion of the performance of these amazing songs speaks to the joyful realization of that moment in time when Wayne first set his sights on the album So Lucky To Be Loving You that you now hold in your hands.
As for the story of the shoes… On the fateful night when he was shot, the shoes he was wearing were put away on the shelf. In the true sense of completion, the very same pair of shoes were dusted off and shined so that they could be worn at this studio session with Judy Roberts. The irony was not lost on that special day at Studio Media in Evanston, Illinois when Wayne walked in wearing “those shoes.” He brought a spiritual and very personal moment full circle being able to share the gift of his voice that had once before been stolen and miraculously restored so that this album could be made and this dream could be realized.
The musical collaboration of Wayne Messmer and Judy Roberts in a recording studio was long overdue. After all these years, the moment in time was finally realized when the opportunity to be in the same place at the same time came about and the So Lucky to Be Loving You album is the result of what proved to be an unforgettable meeting of a couple of Chicago veteran musicians and dear friends who truly love what they do.
So Lucky To Be Loving You is an album of so much more than just a couple of musicians in a studio making music… although, it is certainly that. These recordings blend the gentle and tender side of the voice of Wayne Messmer, coupled with the brilliant talent of Judy Roberts as an accompanist, capturing a delicate and romantic mood with a collection of songs whose lush melodies and sensitive lyrics are intended to set the mood for lovers.
This studio session carries with it, a deep personal meaning. It is an expression of the pure joy of life, as set to words and music… capturing the rarity of being in the moment when what you have been gifted to do and what you truly love to do, become one in the same.
Paying tribute to the great Johnny Hartman with The More I See You and You Are Too Beautiful, this album also salutes the influences of Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Dick Haymes, Buddy Clark, and Bing Crosby that served to inspire Wayne Messmer’s vocal stylization of these wonderful songs whose poetic lyrics blend with the luscious melodies to create a musical experience to be enjoyed with someone you love. Pour a glass of wine, light the candles, relax and enjoy So Lucky To Be Loving You.
For those of you who share the music in a live performance or on the radio, always remember that you know the “shoe story” and we have walked in those shoes together.