Catching Up With - Stu Nunnery
By Mark Swanson, Class Secretary
STU NUNNERY has made a dramatic comeback in his
musical career. In the 70's, Stu
released a self-penned album that contained two records that made the Top 100
on the American Pop Charts and a #1 Record in Brazil. Stu also composed a still
popular parade theme for Disney and wrote and sang numerous jingles for
national ad campaigns. After years of recovery from hearing and vision
problems, he has used his diverse musical skills to return to the recording and
performing scene. This interview documents his fascinating story.
I talked to Stu recently about his Princeton years and
the new developments in his career.
How did the
Princeton experience influence your music career?
Regrettably, much of my Princeton experience was spent
on the track or over hill and dale. I ran cross country in the fall, indoor
track in the winter and outdoor track in the spring. I very much wanted to be
in one of the a cappella groups but did not have time to rehearse, perform or
travel, given my athletic schedule. I
also had hoped to lead a "normal" socially active life on campus. Never
happened. The woman I was dating from Rosemont College in Philadelphia became
my wife at the end of our junior year.
She was also a musician and
singer. We performed often at Tower Club for parties and did some mini
concerts. Happily, Tower was my "eating club", though I was an independent and
never officially joined.
I did find some time to stroll tables with my guitar
at the Holiday Inn on Route 1 in my sophomore year, which led to some solo
gigs, including a never-to-be-forgotten show at Fort Dix Army Hospital to
entertain returning vets from Vietnam. Troubling and heart wrenching at the
During summers, I had a regular summer job and my
brother and I would also play at clubs and bars in the evenings where I was
able to hone my music, vocal and performing chops -- albeit with absolutely no
thought that music might be in my future more than informally.
your memories of your classmates/roommates/teammates?
Daake, Claxton, Brachman, Hedin, Townend and Yunck
were all roommates at different times. Townend
was a singer and in the Tigertones, I believe. Dave Chamberlain was a running
teammate and a Nassoon. He was as
musical a friend as I had at Princeton. Tom Yunck and I were track roommates
and shared rooms in Holder Hall. I still
follow Princeton track closely and appreciate the great coaching and facilities
available to the current squad. I attended
the Indoor Heps in Boston this winter and will definitely be there to cheer on
the Tigers next February at Dartmouth.
exercise do you do for fun or health?
I work with weights, enjoy swimming very much and run
in between to mix up my workouts -- but I stay off the roads. You won't see me trying to complete a
marathon within 5 hours at age 64! I also like hiking and dabble in Zen
mediation and yoga, with Tai chi looming in the future. My Sanskrit name is "Baklava."
How often do
you get back to campus for events or Reunions?
Not often enough. I opened for Gordon Lightfoot at
McCarter Theater in 1974, soon after my first album came out and about the time
Lightfoot released "Sundown." We did two shows together, one of the highlights
of my music/Princeton career. I met Lightfoot again in 2010 at a show in RI and
reminded him of our time together at Princeton. The man had absolutely no
recollection. I attended our 25th reunion but have not been back
since. I hope to perform at Reunions some year and maybe get a shot at Jadwin
when I hit the charts again.
new developments that have aided you in recording?
Technically, hearing and sound are issues that every
musician now deals with. Thankfully, studio
and live performances are abetted by the research from the past decade or so.
Everyone is doing better with better sound tools these days.
your immediate plans for resuming your career?
I am in the process of re-mastering and re-issuing my original album on CD. In July I will begin recording new songs and reworking older ones that were never released. My first album CD is now available for pre-orders. When the new music has been recorded it will be available to upload (to networks) and when an album is completed that too will become available for sale to a growing new fan base and a loyal one I have had for several decades. Since the new technology facilitates more remote recording, I will be able to pick spots where I can record with other live musicians and electronically as appropriate. After the new recordings are released, I will begin live performances determined by the response (geographically) to the new recordings. I anticipate that will be both in the US and outside of the country where I have had success previously.
I am currently raising funds from patrons for my next
musical endeavors. If classmates would
like to step in, please contact me at StuNunn880@gmail.com. My first album is now
available for pre-order (see link at the end of this interview).
Catching Up With - Peter Robinson
PAUL MICKEY reports how
much he has enjoyed making music with PETER ROBINSON. Peter continues to be one of Washington, DC's
most celebrated piano bar players. A
lengthy profile on him and his post-Princeton exploits graced the pages of the
most recent issue of Washingtonian magazine. The article was written by Ken DeCell '72. Peter and Paul played together in
jazz bands on campus (sometimes with BILL METZGER and JOEL APPELBAUM). During the years since, the two have joined
forces as a piano/bass duo, most recently at the landmark restaurant, Old
Anglers' Inn. If you're in DC and have
time to spare listening to a masterful rendition of a Cole Porter or George
Gershwin tune, be sure to stop by the Jefferson Hotel, Peter entertains there
every Tuesday through Saturday from 9 to midnight.