The WOO Chronicles: What’s in a Name?

March 27, 2020

I’m one of those writers.

Most of the time, it’s hard for me to write without giving what I’m working on a title.

It doesn’t have to be a permanent title. But it should give me a good idea of which way to steer the ship.

For a day or two, I struggled with titling Bernie Worrell’s life story. Should it be something based off one of the bands he played in? Something to do with keyboards or synthesizers? Funk? I really wasn’t sure.

A couple of days ago I woke up, and there it was:

The Woo Warrior: The Life and Music of Bernie Worrell


I ran my thought past Judie, whom I’ve come to think of as Quality Control. When in doubt, I bounce what I’m thinking off her.

Judie objected.

She quickly pointed out that Bernie’s band was called The WOO Warriors. Bernie himself was known as The Wizard of WOO. “And make sure you capitalize the WOO,” she said kindly but firmly.

I was aware of the distinction. But in my mind, my title hit just a little harder. I mean, did it really matter that much? Or it could be that I was just being stubborn and didn’t want my brilliant idea changed.

In the end, I put forth the best argument I had in my holster:

“Yes, ma’am.”

And just like that, a barrier was cleared. It’s not temporary. The title is set:

The Wizard of WOO: The Life and Music of Bernie Worrell

On to what’s next.


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My book, I Can’t Be the Only One Hearing This: A Lifetime of Music Through Eclectic Ears, is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine book dealers.

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