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Catching Up With Archive

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 same time.

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.

What are 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.

What 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.

Are there 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.

What are 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 My first album is now available for pre-order (see link at the end of this interview).

Catching Up With - Peter Robinson

Published 4/20/13

Peter Robinson '71PAUL 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.

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