A 2) Repository Demos & Drafts ORIGINAL STAGE MUSIC written by DC (w/ others)

February 2024: CHAMELEON CHANDLER has many OLD REEL-TO-REEL RAW DEMO TAPES. Daily, I am finding more DRAFTS, too. This website has become a SONG REPOSITORY, of sorts. From tape to computer … another leg of a song’s journey. May it bring us … more EGGHEADS (read: musicians, singers, etc.) Wish me luck … with this tech stuff … it’s tough. Why? Because I am my own teacher. Signed, “Student Liz” … aka “Mrs. Dennis” … aka … Archivist.  

A Heavenly Music Prophecy from ’89 for Cancer Survivor Dennis Chandler

2024 … Memo from … The Department … of …  “Better late Than Never” ….  

The 1989 Prophecy was written by Lou Kassouf, then a neighbor of ours in this community we live in called “North Hill”. She noted that she wrote it … after Dennis had played piano for a neighborhood “Gathering” she hosted. To explain, when we moved here … back in late September of 1986, we hadn’t met any of the many neighbors … (there are 65 houses in this community). We were busy, wanting to be ready for Winter. Soon it was 1987. Spring and Summer saw us busy with playing engagements, etc. Then on November 21, 1987 … Dennis began his battle with Cancer. It was a long first engagement with the enemy … 32 days in Huron Road Hospital. But, on the Night before Christmas Eve … he came home weak but victorious … for he was in remission. He had chemo treatments over ’88, ’89 … including an experimental consolidated one. Then it was decreed that Dennis beat Leukemia -type AML. Thanks goes to the good Lord … and … to Oncologist Dr. Hoon Park. (Sadly, in March 0f 2023 … Dr. Park passed … from Cancer. But, his memory is a Blessing). 

Read in more in detail about “A Heavenly Music Prophecy…” on this Website’s page … Click on the link below …


“Ruling Passion – A Musical Comedy About Richard III”. The book and lyrics were written by Deborah Osment Ryan, now of Blessed Memory. The music by Composer Chandler. Speaking of Deborah, Dennis and BB King being on my mind. There’s more ’bout BB insisting the two eggheads … Dennis and Deborah … become collaborators. They did. This particular project was began during a BLIZZARD of a NOR’ EASTER! We left BB’s large luxurious suite at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan … just in time … to get to Deborah’s tiny domacide on City Island. There while snowed in Dennis and Deborah started doin’ their thing. Their “ruling passion” … writing. 

The REST of the original stage music … resides in reel-to-reel tapes and cds … waiting to be launched. Maybe go VIRAL … via CYBERSPACE? I’m teaching myself how to do that. Any help would be appreciated. To hear more ORIGINAL MUSIC … that I would classify as MISCELLANEOUS MUSIC, DRAFTS & DEMOS … go to … website page … https://dennischandler.com/index.php/original-compositions/


2024: The Back Story Behind the Stage Music Timing.

In 1982, PLAYWRIGHT LARRY BRENNER & COMPOSER DENNIS CHANDLER met. It was at a writing seminar in Cleveland.

It was held under the auspices of the SONGWRITERS GUILD of AMERICA. SGA was headquartered in NYC. Its President … was a  renowned songwriter himself … GEORGE DAVID WEISS. He needed help here in our hometown. We said “Yes!”. (Who would say no to the man who wrote “What a Wonderful World” …  that favorite of mutual friend, the famous Louis “Satchmo” Louis Armstrong). 

The great GDW … that’s how we met … homeboy Brenner. Thus began Brenner & Chandler as collaborators. (Plus Larry’s idea for a MUSICAL titled, “JUST WE TWO”). Then Life placed some big HEALTH HURDLES in the way. Eventually the two of them got through … their respective ordeals. They BOTH OVERCAME CANCER. They continued their collaboration and completed the stage play.

THE PREMISE OF THIS PLAY:  Everyone can relate to having a loved one lying in a bed in a hospital room. The play begins when family comes to visit. They are seen one by one, pondering and reflecting upon their life together with the patient. Emotions come back in flashbacks; emotions come in-the-moment. They lament. They cajole. They sing their hearts out with their respective “SHOUDA-WOULDA-COUDAS”.

Again, everyone will relate to this play. FYI & Bears Repeating … Book & Lyrics were written with humor and pathos … by former syndicated cartoonist-turned-playwright … BRENNER. It is semi-autobiographical … for both … lyricist and composer. First, the lead character … as a writer working with words … wants to be taken seriously. He delivers his dialogue … in short sing-song syllables. He acts out in lyrical laments … singing all his own “SHOULDA-WOULDA-COULDAS”. Then family members take their turn. The music was written by Composer CHANDLER who wanted all 22 songs to be MELODIC. Even the few rock ‘n’ roll songs … are in an older more traditional “MELODIC BROADWAY STYLE”.

In 2011 … it was given its WORLD PREMIERE at the beautiful … then-new … state-of-the-art … “Theatre at Tallmadge High”, here in Ohio. Both nights drew STANDING OVATIONS and SOARING HOPES … to take the show to BROADWAY (in NYC). But without the right backing … meaning without funding … it was not meant to be.

In 2015 … Again … TIMING was off … to take “our” play … to the GREAT WHITE WAY. … FUNDING was lost … to take “our” play … to the GREAT WHITE WAY. Why? Perhaps because there was another production … with the same premise … that DID make it to Broadway. It was a smash, too. Perhaps because it had … producers with deep pockets … and … in the cast was Larry David? Yes, that famed Larry … of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Cheers” & “Seinfeld”, etc. See told ya, it’s all about timing … (and money).

2011 …This Thank-U-Gram bears repeating here … for that WORLD PREMIERE of The Musical – “Just We Two”

A shout out of “Thanks” goes to director Frank Chaff IV … the talented cast of grade schoolers, high schoolers, young college and community actors … who helped present this musical. Finally, for their spot-on accompaniment, Bandleader / Composer Chandler gives Kudos to the following PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS … drummer John Mosconi, bassist Dan Horswell and guitarist Michael Dragas, Jr. Your time, talent and tenaciousness are appreciated, still.

2023 … Now what “our” Musical could use … are angels of the New York theatre-type … or … grants as in those … Genius-type grants … (can you say … MacArthur Grant?)

We are awaiting a DVD copy of what was filmed at the Tallmadge Theatre. Dennis says he would love to enjoy the play from another perspective … on a BIG screen. Why? Dennis was too busy being in the moment(s) … as Conductor and bandmember. So, hopefully they locate a copy … and the film comes back OK from the Drugstore, (as old timers used to put it). I jest … but it was 2011. A two-camera setup was used … and film has to be edited … old school. See … I said, it’s all about … timing … (and money).

RAVE REVIEW about the MUSIC … NORTH CAROLINA OPERA CRITIC’S REVIEW … “The music of “Just We Two” is magnificent! The music is great on its own, so it is inevitable that someone will rise up to the top of this show! BRAVO, composer Dennis Chandler and playwright Larry Brenner!” George Foster, NCO.

HOW GOOD ARE THE SONGS? We were told by the playwright that ANOTHER CRITIC said if we could not get enough actors to do it as a stage play … it should still be done. Perhaps as a MUSICAL REVUE … with all 22 songs. This was said after the critic heard … only just a few of the songs. The critic and the director both feel this FAMILY piece with its message … is sorely needed today.

LET’S GO FARTHER BACK IN TIME … ABOUT REACTIONS AT THE AUDITIONS When the 2011 show was being cast … the SONGS ELICITED TEARS … and … then SPONTANEOUS APPLAUSE. All from THOSE AUDITIONING … and … from THOSE ATTENDING the AUDITIONS. That boded well for the music. For example, Composer Chandler was DELIGHTED when a six year old … IMMEDIATELY PICKED UP the melody of one particularly … (he thought) … difficult song. She got the melody IN SECONDS. Sang it straightaway … and full out. It wasn’t even her song. It was always his intention to make this play’s music … MEMORABLE. He thought, “Out of the mouths of babes?”

About the feelings of these two collaborators … When PLAYWRIGHT BRENNER came back into our life … he told Dennis he had finally finished … what they both started so long ago. But he said it wasn’t until after … overcoming his own health hurdles. That’s when he came to understand more fully … what the words were saying. For COMPOSER CHANDLER? Dennis said he thinks he’s just really beginning … to understand the DEEP MEANING of THIS PLAY … for himself. (Talk about mental blocks!) Well, they made it.

Out of TRAGEDY … comes ART. These two survivors “Know from whence they speak!” ———————————————————

Now … Back to about … “our” musical –  “Just We Two” 

Below is the opening number “Let’s Be Grownups” … for now it is here as an INSTRUMENTAL … (vocals will be added). 

Let’s Be Grownups

Below … are a FEW of the VOCALIZED songs. MANY OTHERS NEED to have the VOCALS ADDED.  (Any volunteers?)

Just We Two

Cry, Cry, Cry

In Blessed Memory of Steven Sterlekar. Sadly, he did not live to see the play’s first staging. In our “GooGoo’s Maltshop” … one can see the writing on the wall (of the phone booth). Steven signed the following message … Some deem his writing is difficult to deciper … but he wrote:  “Dennis, don’t forget me! Because one day my name will be in lights!” Well, his name might not be in lights down here on Earth … but his beautiful tenor voice is Up there … in G_d’s Cyberspace.

Hear him now … doing a duet with the talented singer, Melissa Barber. Both were kind enough to do demos of several songs (and we thank them). One song is titled, “I Remember the Days (Time)”. In this time of pandemic … one may find the lyrics particularly poignant. They sing,“Time doesn’t heal … it just ticks away…” …“No one can tell me that I’ll laugh again … though I’ve stopped crying … I still think of then” …  “Chimes of what might have lived … till this day … If time would have stopped … that day”. In my head I hear, “Though I’ve stopped crying … I’ll still think of then”. See, we haven’t forgotten you, dear Steven.

I Remember The Days (Time)

Again this song is a lament sung by a daughter to her father. I dedicate the photo collage … to my late father. He made me believe … that wishes can come true.
Maybe Someday
The next photo collage is dedicated to my big brother … thanks for being there for us.  

Who Needs Boys, Who Need Girls

Marry Me



Come Back to Me

Nothing’s Changed Since Then

Ya Gotta Get Better Grampa


Different Drummer     

Will We Ever Catch Up With Tomorrow

I Wish I Knew

Valentine (No vocals yet)

Let’s Be Children Again 

My Sign is You – Finale

Dennis Chandler’s Dedication                 

Musician Chandler has had a crazy quilt of life experiences. But, it is why he feels blessed to be able to make ALL the music he loves and in the VARIOUS styles that he loves. That’s due, in no small part, to the following folks he met along his way in the world.

First, as a very young performer in the schoolyards of Cleveland … Dennis was taught stage presence, blocking and entertaining-in-general by coach and mentor Arlene Blank Rich. “The Ed-U-Tainer” … feels he owes it all to her … this enjoyment of “Educating While Entertaining”.

Bandleader Chandler also gives credit to …  Arlene’s husband Berni Rich. He helped out in those above-mentioned parking lots … giving the group a strong foundation, (pardon the pun). They are why … early on, Dennis learned how to sense what a crowd might want to hear …  and if it turned its interest in another direction? How to get that audience’s attention back … to about the music. 

BTW: Berni Rich was a famed local photographer. Also he was one of the first to take pictures of Barbra Streisand … during her early days of performing!
Another photo of “The Great Streisand” that is on OUR VISION BOARD …


Having the luxury of a vast library helps, too. (Can you spell: PACK RAT?) But, Dennis does enjoy doing a deep dive into the dozens of drawers. They contain some gems from the Golden Age of American Music. So something old … suddenly becomes new, for him … and by extension … for audiences, too. We organized the songbooks in these beautiful credenzas. The type that one would associate with a professor’s office. We found them at our friend’s liquidation business. Since he was a devotee of Dennis’ “Masters of Melody” sessions … he cut Dennis a deal. (He had to play the debt off, so to speak!) Sifting through the really beautiful pieces of old sheet music … has made many a night … a musical treasure hunt. 

Composer Chandler as Pianist Dennis was again asked to do some of his own original music (from these two stage plays). What happened? It was mutually … musically … quite enjoyable, they said. Why? Those residents in attendance at the time he tried out his theatrical numbers … were real theatergoers (to the Umpteenth power).

Back in their day … the time when there still was melodic stage music being written … they were the typical audience. They experienced the excitement of hearing good melodic stage music. Yes, the kind one can sing long after the play is over … not just walking up the aisle. Many of those playgoers saw the shows in NYC. They shared some interesting stories of being invited to go “Meet and Greet” … the original composers! Only in the good old days of Broadway, eh?

So “The Ed-U-Tainer” aka Pianist Dennis played some of his songs right there on their “Campus”. They raved and gave good grades to Composer Chandler. Talk ’bout roadtesting the music… read: Road Show testing … get it?

Composer Chandler wrote some of his stage music from “the top-of-his-head” … while … healing his body-below. It was thanks to being laid up recovering from side effects of the then-new chemo treatments for LEUKEMIA – TYPE AML. Dennis was able to finish music he was working on before his battle with Cancer (’87,’88). The webpage about his battle and victory over Cancer is titled, “The Journey”


Back to About the Stage Plays Composer Chandler Did the Music For

Composer Dennis still does believe the above mentioned play (“Just We Two”) and another musical (“Ruling Passion – A Musical Comedy about Richard III”) might just get mounted, yet.

In memory of playwright Deborah Osment Ryan … allow me to ask you to read about her play … (the second play Dennis did the music for). Scroll down on this webpage for the little bit written. We do have a much more fully fleshed out story about “Richard’s music”, (as I and playwright DOR liked to call it).

That back story is in paragraphs that are posted with the photos on BB King’s page.


Plus there are more pics of DOR and BBK in Albums on Facebook.Brew some tea. Then read on. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1215655851853101&type=3

We remember dearly, departed Deborah Osment Ryan (who died December 24, 2016 … home alone). May … her memory be a Blessing … (and her play mounted).


To explain … the FIRST time for Dennis … was when playwright DEBORAH OSMENT RYAN sent him … her script titled “RULING PASSION – A MUSICAL COMEDY ABOUT RICHARD III”. The music was first written in his head, while he was bed-bound.

Wanting to return to life before Cancer (how could one ever do that, one may ask). But, Dennis did go on to do business but not as usual. Prejudice for people whom they whispered as “having the C word”… was strong. For the financial devastation alone, he had to put “the Day Job” first and “his music” second. So that is how Dennis took to being low profile and low key, so to speak.


Liz Chandler, Website Writer  2024