I Knew I Must Be Crazy
During his early childhood in Burnsville, West Virginia, Mike McCauley ‘s exposure to primitive Appalachian folk music and acoustic blues left an indelible impression. Even a move to the big city at the age of seven and later, an advanced university education could not erase it. After finishing a Ph.D, he headed for Nashville with a guitar and some writer’s demo tapes, “hoping to get the whole academic thing” out of his system. To his surprise, he achieved some early success, but soon decided that the music business was too risky and returned home to pursue a normal life and career path.
After leaving the guitar in the closet for over a quarter of a century, Mike’s interest was re-energized during an Appalachian roots music performance by father and son duo, Frankie and Fred Revell. The three became fast friends, and before long, Frankie was recording Mike and some of his older music in the Revell’s home studio.
Now seventy years old and retired, Mike finally came to realize that he could still play guitar and write songs. He soon wrote and recorded “Diane’s Song” for his wife to celebrate their upcoming wedding anniversary. After watching woman after woman come to tears while listening to this song, he decided that it was time to more fully engage with his music and bring it into the present. Currently, he is in the process of recording an album of old and new songs, playing at gatherings sponsored by the local folk music society, and making occasional public appearances. “This music is like a tattoo,” he said, “It never goes away. I just needed to quit hiding it, or maybe hiding from it. Now, I hope others enjoy my music as much as I enjoy making it.”