I took a trip down Memory Lane after stumbling across a forgotten CD from my teen years.

I’m halfway through the organisation of my CD collection. It’s been a slow slog, but I am determined to achieve this New Year’s goal – for the sake of musical order! Amazing how uncluttered the wall unit looks now that the gods of chaos have been banished.

While cleaning up this week, I stumbled across a CD from my youth. Well, my high school days actually… Painted Desert Serenade by Joshua Kadison. His hit single Jessie was played so often on the radio back then that I knew the words backwards and forwards. I used to hum the tune on the way to class and I spent many moments in Biology pondering the story behind the ballad that made him an overnight sensation. I bought the album a few weeks later.

When I played the dusty disc yesterday, all the memories came flooding back. Sunny afternoons spent lazing around on the grass with my best friend, listening to Jessie, Picture Postcards From LA, Beau’s All Night Radio Love Line, and wondering how and where Kadison met all the women who apparently inspired his music. Jessie the dreamer who decided not to go to Mexico with him; Samantha with the cherry-coloured toenails who cried on his shoulder; Rachel the waitress with big dreams. He must have had an interesting life as a travelling piano man before fame came knocking – his insights on human nature, love and life are poignantly woven into many of the lyrics.

I have his second album, Delilah Blue, as well, but there haven’t been any major releases since then, as far as I know. In fact, Kadison seemed to fade into the background after his brief moment in the spotlight. Our bittersweet musical reunion this week got me thinking, though… Where is he now? In search of an answer to this question, I turned to Google. If the results are to be believed, he’s disappeared from the spotlight and is currently learning how to play a bamboo instrument called a bansuri.

The title of this post is borrowed from the lyrics of Georgia Rain by Joshua Kadison.


Janine Papendorf likes coffee, chocolate and wine. Not necessarily in that order. She’s married to a nerdy biker and they’re raising Cape Town’s cleverest child. When she’s not building Lego castles or watching old movies, Janine likes to send words into cyberspace. She’s a freelance writer and content strategist based in South Africa’s beautiful Mother City. Witness her obsession with pink flowers on Instagram, or contact her to collaborate on a project.


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