Archive for July 2012

Rufus Wainwright & Jack Benny are the Same Age Today

July 22, 2012

Rufus

Rufus

Jack Benny

Jack Benny


Happy Birthday Dear Dear Rufus.

Jack Benny stayed 39 for 46 years
We, your friends and and family
love you so very much.
You’re a kind decent, caring man-
A rare entity these days in any domain
The first time we met- many many decades ago
you and kate serenaded me with A Lovely version of
Take a Message to Mary
A Lot of things ,
both good bad
evitable and inevitable
Have happened since that long ago
October night
at Janie’s on Ste. Famille
Have happened since then
But you, Dear Friend keep getting better in re music and humanity
See you soon
all my love
campbell

Woody Guthrie’s Centennary- July 14 2012

July 12, 2012

Woody NYC  circa 1940-

Woody NYC circa 1940-


Jul 14 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie. He only was alive for 55 of those 100 years and he was Hospital Bound for the last 15 years of his Life. He lived more in those 40 years than any 1000 people. The hundreds or thousands of songs that he wrote are with us forever. Not in any sense of hagiography but in the sense that Woody was a human being with strengths frailties faults and such. Poetically, he’s up there with Shakespeare. Listen To The Grand Coulee Dam

In the misty crystal glitter of that wild and wind ward spray,
Men have fought the pounding waters and met a watery grave,
Well, she tore their boats to splinters but she gave men dreams to dream
Of the day the Coulee Dam would cross that wild and wasted stream.

Maybe the day of the topical song or chronicle is over, I don’t know.We sure could use them now more than ever. I do know that Woody chronicled what he saw good bad funny and sad.
He was for the underdog. Never a popular position.
As He wrote-

I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling.

I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.

And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you.”

We got a lot from Woody but most of all it was a moral imperative, seemingly lost in these days of globalisation facebook and no more community round the corner. Stand up to a bully, talk to someone lonesome and share share share. That’s what I get from Mr Guthrie. If we all do a little bit more than our fair share we all come out winners
It ain’t something that pays off,it’ll often hit you back and knock you eight ways to Sunday. But it’s the right thing to do.
Roll Sweetly though Eternity Woody Guthrie. You made a difference and I wrote a very poor hommage but times is hard here Woody.
Say Hi to Cisco Houston
yr pal campbell
bouncing through this lopsided world like a well intentioned hard luck pinball
Hey Wait !f you want to read a great book (a spiffing good ripping tale in UK) read Jim Lohngi’s book about Woody Cisco Houston and Him In the Merchant Marine
Under rubric of full disclosure I never really ‘got’ Woody till one weekend in 1970 when i was stuck in the country with nothing but an empty hash pipe a copy of Naked Came the Stranger and A record by Woody singing about the Columbia river.It didn’t change the course of my life, I was already headed that way but it sure made me feel I wasn’t alone. Anyone or anything that makes you feel you aren’t alone in this that or whatever you feel alone is good. Trust Me on This-

Books to Read- Jim Longhi Woody Cisco and Me
Records-Smithsonian Folkways-Dive in Here

Eric Sykes Dies at 89- Now there are only two left

July 4, 2012

Eric Sykes

Eric Sykes


With the death of Eric Sykes today, only Galton & Simpson remain of that group of post WWII comic writers who changed broadcast comedy worldwide. All acknowledged their debt to Jack Benny & Fred Allen for creating the genre. ITMA and Tommy Handley saw the war years through. Then came Much Binding In the Marsh with Murdoch & Horne. Muir & Norden ( Still with us thankfully) forged ahead with Take it from here. Then Came The Crazy Gang which became the Goons. Milligan Sykes and Galton & Simpson formed Associated London Scripts. Each added new dimensions to Comedy. These men were autodidacts forged by WWII and responding to the economic gloom that was England in victory. Sykes wrote and performed. He wrote for Frankie Howerd and the Goons. 5o yewars ago I remember sitting in front of Montreal’s one channel and being mesmerised by he and Hattie Jacques. Where Milligan was mad as a hatter Sykes wrote,played golf then wrote again. His autobiography is a paen to his modesty-
Thank You Eric Sykes

Andy Griffith- Decency Personified

July 3, 2012

Supporting Medicare decent to the end

Supporting Medicare decent to the end

Studying to Be A Moravian Preacher

Studying to Be A Moravian Preacher

We all wanted to Live in Mayberry- Still do

We all wanted to Live in Mayberry- Still do


This’ll be short and only up for a couple of days but Andy Griffith deserves our thanks and memory. Not Just because Janie McG loved Matlock but because he was the real America not just on Television. Real America is decent and caring. He also sang and played them Ballads so dear to many of us on his Martin. Part of that Appalachian oral tradition stretching back to Morte D’Arthur
I Kinda feel like Barbry Allen tonight
Thank You Andy Griffith