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070: Buddy Holly, ‘That’ll Be the Day’

The (almost full) story of Buddy Holly’s great song and the night The Grateful Dead backed me singing it. Yeah, for real.

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4

065: Ella Fitzgerald, ‘Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most’

A beatnik musical (what??), an obscure jazz standard (oxymoron), and high school nostalgia (snore)–the convoluted paths we take to visit our past.

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046: James Taylor, “Never Die Young”

“Never Die Young”, for me, is the multifocal prism through which I squint at the golden days of my youth. It contains all the love and pain and hopes and disappointments and optimism and disillusionment that my hoodlum friends and I have traversed, like all golden boys grown old. But we were fortunate enough to be children of a very special time.

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083: Ezio Pinza, ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ (“South Pacific”)

Several regular readers of SoTW were gracious enough to write and ask why there were no postings for the last two weeks. The reason is that I went to the Old Country to bury my mother. I’m back, and I can’t say it’s easy to talk about music. I’m in a very dark and depressed place, as those of you who have been through this will understand, with no taste for mirth or fun or entertainment. Not even for music.
But in the five days since I’ve returned from the proscribed mourning period, I’ve been reluctantly thrown back into the Musical mode.
In September, I joined the Light Opera Group of the Negev for their annual production, which this year is Rogers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific“. I’ll be playing Emile de Becque, the male lead…

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066: Rickie Lee Jones, ‘Skeletons’

I had the good fortune last week to attend the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat as a member of the press, representing the Jerusalem Report. It was my first formal journalism gig in 40 years. I hope my pork-pie hat tilted back with a press card stuck in the ribbon and a Lucky Strike […]

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0

SoTW 16: Bob Dylan, ‘Percy’s Song’

A real good thing happened to a real good friend this week. Neal Hendel was appointed to the Supreme Court here in Israel. It’s a little hard for me to digest. I don’t know a lot about the judging business, but I have an awful lot of respect for his judgment about things like morality […]

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SoTW 015: Tracy Nelson (Mother Earth), ‘Down So Low’

My friend Avi knows more about a whole range of subjects than your average person – computer graphics, carpentry terminology, and the mechanics of assault rifles, among a whole myriad of others. And music, he does know a whole lot about music. When I have a question about a concept (‘Was Van Gogh really that […]

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SoTW 13: Tim Hardin, ‘Black Sheep Boy’

Tim Hardin has perhaps the finest career I know of based on the fewest accomplishments. Two significant LPs in his mid-20s, a drug-ruined mess by 30, dead at 39, far fewer than a dozen great songs. But he managed to do more in two minutes than many others did in decades of writing and recording. Each song is a paragon of honesty and restraint – beautiful and precious, but without a millitrace of the maudlin. I guess it was hard to be so honest.

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