Neda Agha-Soltan was shot by the paramilitary Basij. (Nedā Āġā-Soltān; b 1982 – d June 20, 2009)
She was a young, beautiful woman with a positive outlook and hope for the future with her fiance. All that was taken away in an instant.
“Caspian Makan, the fiancée of the young Iranian woman shot last week, tells Al Jazeera of her last moments. “Neda”, which is the Farsi word for voice, was allegedly shot dead by a Basij soldier in Tehran last week.” Al Jazeera English
Who didn’t wear a coonskin cap and talk like Davy Crockett? Everyone remembers the genial remake of history by Walt Disney in the 1950′s. As a Tennessean Paul Bunyan, Davy Crockett killed a “bar”, chased Indians and showed bravery at the Alamo, the American Waterloo.
Disney was a master at creating the American myth and then capitalizing on it. The merchandising of Davy Crockett hats, coats, guns and other memorabilia became a marketing legend. Kids begged, including this one, their parents to but them Davy Crockett gear. My mother was a pacifist so I had to get my own coonskin cap and gun. I hide it from her.
Buddy Ebsen (Wizard of Oz, Beverly Hillbillies and Barnaby Jones) was Davy Crockett’s sidekick in the TV series. Fess Parker went on to play the role of Abraham Lincoln. Continue reading →
Fans and fellow musicians leave personal notes on the death of Alex Chilton
Bob Lefsetz wrote a remembrance for Alex Chilton that struck a chord with fans and friends of Alex Chilton first as a musical star with the Box Tops and Big Star. Lefsetz tells how the music hit him, which is how we remember artists. What was I doing the year of that hit. “Who was I going with” kind of remembrance. He makes a passing comment about Chilton’s health and finances.
“We have a fantasy that our heroes live on a higher plane, live a better life than us…that they’re surrounded by bucks and babes.
“But watching Alex Chilton perform you were struck that his life was much more difficult than yours. He had to go from town to town, playing to appreciative, but tiny audiences, who loved him, but that love won’t keep you warm at night, it won’t pay your bills, it won’t pay your health insurance. Continue reading →
The lead singer of the Box Tops, Alex Chilton, died in his hotel room in Austin Texas of a heart attack. He was getting ready for a performance at the SXSW the mega conference of music and creative arts.
His band mates said he hadn’t been feeling well. “Alex passed away a couple of hours ago,” said band mate Jody Stephens. “I don’t have a lot of particulars, but they kind of suspect that it was a heart attack.” Exclaim.ca
Chilton had early big name success with the hit The Letter when he was 16. The Box Tops had a few lesser hits and broke up in 1970s. Chilton reformed a group as Big Star who became cult favorites. Other hits were In The Street and Thirteen. Continue reading →
Why was the man who wrote so many hit songs for others living in the Cajun swamp west of New Orleans where he was born?
A songwriter and hit-maker for Fats Domino, Clarence Frogman Henry and friend of the Band, Charles was a recluse. The obituary notices left out that part of the story and I wanted to find out why his talent was virtually unknown outside the small world of musicians.
While he wrote hit songs for many famous artists and lived off his royalties most of his life, he was rarely seen in public performance.
Making it where rock and roll was born
Born in Cajun country Louisiana, Bobby Charles was a purveyor of that special brand of southern US rock called “swamp rock.” The Band were one of the more famous groups who made a career playing “swamp rock”, all the more ironic since all of The Band members were from Canada, excepting Levon Helm who hailed from Arkansas. Continue reading →
One of the two McGarrigle sisters and mother of Rufus and Martha Wainwright dies of cancer
Kate McGarrigle, part of the enchanting any idiosyncratic McGarrigle Sisters, has died of cancer Monday night. She was 63.
“McGarrigle’s brother-in-law, Dane Lanken, said the singer died at her Montreal home Monday night surrounded by her sisters, Jane and Anna, and her children, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, also singers. Entertainment Daily ”
The two sisters were from Quebec and combined distinctive harmonies with bilingual songs about love, life and the Quebec life. Kate married Louden Wainright III and had two children before their divorce.
Never destined for stardom, their songs gained a strong niche following of loyal fans.
Most Canadians know her from the song The Log Driver’s Waltz which the National Film Board turned into a short animation that played on Canadian TV for three decades as part of Canadian Vignettes. Continue reading →
Mary Travers the blond haired folk singer with the smoky voice has succumbed to leukemia at 72
By Stephen Pate – Mary Travis died in hospital in Danbury, Connecticut four years after her diagnosis of cancer at the age of 72.
Mary Travers was a member of Peter Paul and Mary, one of the most famous folk groups of the 1960s.
Peter Paul and Mary rode the popularity wave of the 60s folk boom. They continued to be adored by their fans for the next 40 years.
They were a crossover from the less authentic Kingston Trio, blending protest songs and folk style guitar accompaniment with well crafted harmonies. PP&M sounded real to the white university audiences and were instrumental in spreading folk music to the pop world. Continue reading →