“My concern has always been for the people who are victimized, unable to speak for themselves and who need outside help.”-Joan Baez
Today I so celebrate the beautiful Joan Baez and all of her humanity in her 73rd year. Joan has “Nothing to Prove” and luckily for the world, she’s “Still the Same.” I have been listening to Joan and following her doings for over 50 years, yes 50 years! I know some of you out there have been doing the same for as long. Joan Baez has been in the forefront of so many issues that have plagued the World. She’s marched with Dr. King; inspired Vaclev Havel and others around the world to do better by their citizens; Joan stood alongside Nelson Mandela; She walked with Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo or sometimes known as Los Madres in Argentina, mothers and grandmothers whose children and grandchildren suddenly disappeared from their lives and killed by the “Dirty War” (1975-1983), which began in the last year of government rule under Isabel Peron. (Folksinger, Richard Shindell wrote a haunting song for these Mothers and Grandmothers titled: Abuelita. If you’ve never heard it, try to listen on itunes, I couldn’t find it for free on You Tube). Through her commitment to Human Rights, she worked with Cesar Chavez in the fields and helped bring the working and living conditions of migrant workers to the forefront. Joan Baez has ceaselessly been a Citizen of the World. I Thank YOU Joan and Happy Birthday. Please Keep On Singing!
We’re getting close to 50 years since “Dancing in the Street” was released. Currently, I’m reading Mark Kurlansky’s fine book: Ready for a Brand New Beat: How ‘Dancing in the Street’ Became the Anthem for a Changing America. The book is available through your public library, if a copy isn’t there, have them order it. I never buy books anymore, who has the room to store them??? Love the library!
“Fifty years ago, protesters were taking to the streets across the United States. Philadelphia and Harlem, N.Y., saw race riots. Atlantic City, N.J., saw picketers screaming outside the Democratic National Convention, and in Washington, D.C., anti-war activists took over the National Mall. It was a tense and volatile time. The soundtrack to it all was one song: Martha and the Vandellas’ 1964 hit, “Dancing in the Street.”–NPR site
You don’t hear much about Jesse Winchester, but back in the late 60s, he was much admired for avoiding the Vietnam Draft and fleeing to Canada. In 1977, President Carter gave amnesty to those young men and they were able to return or visit without penalty. Jesse Winchester lives in the U.S.A. now and has been plagued with esophagus cancer. His songs are beautiful and I was pleased to find out this morning that there is a great tribute album of his songs, titled, “Quiet About It,” by such artists as: James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet, Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Elvis Costello and others!
Happy 69th Birthday, Jesse Winchester!
I know I’ve read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird 4X; twice for myself and one each time my two kids had to read it for school. I remember first reading the book as soon it was released and then, of course, seeing the movie (watch the trailer); loving the movie and swooning over Gregory Peck. He was so very handsome and you couldn’t help but think that he truly was this humane, loving father, Atticus Finch.
Today Mr. Peck would’ve been 97 years old. May He Rest in Peace! What movies did you love Gregory Peck in? Remember “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit?” What about “A Gentleman’s Agreement?” Both movies are relevant today! To Kill a Mockingbird will always be relevant! Have you seen the 50th Anniversary Edition?
Gregory Peck worked very hard for Civil Rights and for bringing the Vietnam War to an end. He embodied that though he lived well when he became successful, that surely wasn’t enough; he had to do good and help others!