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Things to Do Now to Resist and Protect

The former Congressional staffers who wrote the excellent Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda state unequivocally that, while not dismissing telephone calls, nothing works better than in-person meetings with our representatives in Washington, D.C. and at their state offices and events.

Certainly that is good advice but for us elders, it is often not possible for a variety of reasons. In that case our second best option is phone calls to our reps directed at one specific issue at a time.

An amazing, brand new case in point:

On the first day of the new, 115th Congress on Tuesday, the Republicans, who with their majority, are in charge of the House rules, had voted in secret on Monday evening to change the rules of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).

”A rules change,” reported The New York Times, “would have prevented the office...from investigating potentially criminal allegations, allowed lawmakers on the House Ethics Committee to shut down any O.C.E. investigation and, for good measure, gagged the office’s staff members in their dealings with the news media.”

As soon as the news of this got out early Tuesday morning, even before the House members were sworn in, voters throughout the country deluged House members with angry phone calls.

Now here is the important part for you and me and others committed to resistance and protection:

Before noon, House Republican leaders reconvened in the basement of the Capitol and rescinded their changes to the OCE and that happened because of the uproar from ordinary citizens.

It was a humiliating defeat for the Republicans on the first day of the new Congress that was the lead headline Tuesday and Wednesday on every TV news program, internet news website and old-fashioned print newspaper.

Let us not forget that. We elders who don't get out and about much have an important role to play with phone calls and we got our first lesson this week in just how effective it can be. Here's why.

House members and one-third of the Senate will be up for re-election in 2018. From day one in each session, they spend about half their days fundraising for the next campaign and nothing scares them more than angry constituents. (See page 8 of the Indivisible guide for more on this.)

BE PREPARED FOR TO RESIST AND PROTECT
As on Tuesday, votes and other issues can come up quickly in Congress – in fact, the Republicans have planned it that way, to keep public and political opponents hopping and, maybe, confused with one thing following swiftly on the heels of another so they can sneak through bills – like that rule change on Tuesday.

So we need to be prepared to take action on a moment's notice. Here's how to do that: Create a file on your computer with all the information you need to contact your three representatives: two senators, one House member.

Make a section for each one that includes:
Member's Name

Congressional office phone number

District office phone number

Address of nearest district office

Email address, if available. If not, a link to the Congressional webpage where you can send email

List of committees he/she serves on and what position they hold on it. These can be relevant depending on legislation at hand.

Lots of this information and much more about bills and votes can be found at GovTrack

Copy out sample call dialogue scripts to edit as needed for current issues (See page 25 of Indivisible Guide and more scripts at this link under the header “Calling Script”.)

You can find links to your representatives home pages at these two links; it's a good idea to sign up for the newsletters that many members of Congress send out regularly:
Senate Contact Information
House Contact Information

If you don't know who your House representative is, click here to find out via Zip Code.

SOME ADDITIONAL TIPS
Keep this number handy too: 202.224.3121. It is the Capitol switchboard where you can be directed to any of your representatives. Even if you don't know the rep's name, just give the operator your Zip Code and he/she will connect you.

Keep the White House Switchboard number too: 202.456.1414

Subscribe to the Indivisible Guide newsletter. The authors send out regular updates with tips and information on how best to influence your representatives.

Add all your phone numbers to your cell phone so you can easily call from anywhere.

In the computer file you have made for each of your representatives, keep a diary of what you are doing: telephone calls, in-person visits, what you told them and the response you received.

If you think this is a lot of work, listen to what Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) said, as was recently reported in Daily Kos:

”Democrats plotting a return from the political wilderness are facing their first big dilemma: how fiercely to fight President-elect Donald Trump.

“Let me answer that for you: Fiercely. In the way that, back in 2010, Elizabeth Warren said she wanted the fight for a strong Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to go: 'plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.'

And President Obama said on Wednesday in his meeting with Democrats on Capitol Hill planning their resistance to Republican's promise to repeal Obamacare:

“Treat it like a campaign” and “Look out for the American people.”

A PERSONAL DILEMMA
I believe that America's democratic ideals, Constitution and way of life are at greater risk than at any time since the Civil War. And it is not just from the president-elect. The Republicans are equally dangerous to our country's well being.

For that reason, I will not let up on reporting and urging readers to do whatever is possible to resist and protect the United States. (Thank you, Simone, and all the commenters who agreed to her excellent suggestion for “resist and protect on Monday's post.)

However, I cannot and do not want to neglect the original mandate of TimeGoesBy to explore “what it's really like to get old” and while it is important not to respond to every twitch from Congress or tweet from Trump, sometimes political events will take precedence over ageing.

That notwithstanding, I am wondering about the mix. I'd appreciate any thoughts you have.


Watching Myself Grow Old

A couple of weeks ago, we had a long discussion about cosmetic surgery in old age. The comments score pro and con, if you don't count a few who confused cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, was about 50/50.

It baffles me how anyone, particularly those no longer competing in the workforce, would spent a moment of precious time thinking about how old he or she looks, let alone spend retirement funds to achieve a facsimile of youth that fools no one.

On one level, I get it. We live in an ageist world that devalues people over the age of – oh, it starts around 40 - and the constant drumbeat in every communications media that old people are, by definition, deficient is shameful.

Quote-growing-old

Like so many, I was forced out of the workplace due to my age long before I was ready to retire. In addition, I've been made invisible in dozens of different ways. My thoughts and opinions have been dismissed merely because I'm old and wrinkled.

Actually, I complained about that last item until I was 30 or so when I finally began to look like a grownup. Until then, I had looked like a teenager and was so happy to finally be taken seriously. No one warned me then that there would be an expiration date.

Perhaps that dismissal of me in my youth accounts for never having spent a single serious moment wishing I were younger than I am (currently 75).

Mostly I got on with life and career and never thought about growing old until that day in 1995 or 1996 when I noticed that I was older by decades than the 20-somethings I worked with.

It was a turning point for me that day, the idea that I am not the one immortal on earth and that I will get old, I will die and I've spent a large portion of my days since then studying, researching and thinking about ageing - the results of which, beginning in 2004, have become this blog.

Any of you who have been hanging around here for awhile know that I often use myself as the guinea pig; if it – whatever “it” is - happens to me, it happens to thousands of you too.

So when I have a problem with urinary incontinence, so do some of you. Or with going bald, something more surprising to women, I think, than men, I'm not the only one. Or dropping things more frequently as I've gotten older, I know it's not just my problem.

I'm pretty sure – well, actually, I know I would never have been capable of confronting those (and many other) ageing issues, writing about them here and particularly, admitting to them if I were concerned about looking or even being old.

There's an old wive's tale that no matter how healthy you have been, after 75 it's all down hill. That's been on my mind this past year along with the idea – more often male than female – that you might be likely to die at the same age your father (for men) or mother (for women) did.

Both of these ideas are really stupid. What kind of idiot would believe them? Ahem, try me.

My mother died at age 75 and nine months. I have been acutely aware since my last birthday in April that this month, January 2017, I am the same age as my mother at her death. I know it's absurd but what can I say. It's there. It pops to mind regularly.

It's not growing old or looking old that bothers me anywhere near as much as losing the good health I've enjoyed all my life. I understand perfectly that I have no control over the former and I'm working on understanding the same for the latter.

Meanwhile, with great curiosity and interest, I keep watch on the signs of my ageing. They accumulate.

It was seven or eight years ago I noticed that a smile line on one side of my mouth didn't disappear anymore when I wasn't smiling. Since then I've carefully watched it grow deeper and be joined by its partner, etched on the other side of my mouth. I don't mind.

Then there is the crepe-y skin in all manner of places on my body. It increased abundantly after I lost 40 pounds four years ago - on my belly, my arms, my hands, my thighs and lately, even my knees. If I live long enough, I suppose I'll just be a saggy bag of wrinkles.

What now seems more remarkable to me is how many decades my skin remained relatively smooth. It apparently takes a long time for skin to wear out. wrinnkled hands

These days, I tire more easily compared to most of my life before now. A weariness comes over me sometimes in the afternoon that is similar to what I felt in bygone days in the late evening at bedtime.

Also, all my life I have been eager to hop out of bed as soon as I wake, to get going with the day, to see what it will bring. For the past couple of months, for the first time ever, I'm just as happy to pull the quilt over my head and snooze for another hour or two.

There is more, but you get the point and I'm not alarmed or worried about these physical changes. I'm almost four years short of 80. It's okay.

What does concern me are the changes I've noticed in my brain function, even though I know they are normal for my age.

It is harder now to organize my to-do list each day, to work out what should come first, second, etc. Sustained focus, such as finishing an article I'm reading or getting at least a rough draft of a blog post done before moving on is a goal now, not a fact.

Even I am not sure how many partly finished books, magazine stories and blog posts are floating around.

Making some types of choices has become a joke. For all my adult life, I made a distinction between a review being all I want to know about about a book's subject and others I was eager to read in full.

Now, if I read the review, the book goes on my to-read list. There are either a whole lot more better books in the world than 20, 25 years ago or I can't make make the distinction anymore. You know which of those two choices is correct.

I'm pretty sure all that I've described is how it happens, this getting old stuff. Even if like me, you jave been lucky enough so far to have no chronic illnesses or conditions (she said knocking wood), one's capabilities for ordinary things get chipped away at as the years pile up.

So far I'm having a fine ol' time watching the changes come over my life and I'm grateful I'm not burdened with a yearning for youth. I don't claim any superior level of understanding about that - I didn't earn it; it's just how I am.

My hope is that as I inevitably grow less capable in body and mind in coming years, I can accept those changes with some composure, self-possession and particularly curiosity as I have until now.

older than the internet



We Have Never Seen a Year Like 2017

Capitol-diagram

There are ceremonies tomorrow at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. At noon or thereabouts, the 115th Congress will be sworn in. All the of 435 members of the House of Representatives will take the oath. In the Senate, the newly elected and re-elected one-third will do so. It goes like this:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Would that every member of Congress took that oath seriously. But honestly, when in recorded history have all politicians lived up to their oaths and obligations?

Last Friday, at a lunch I attended, the conversation at my table of six turned to the president-elect. Every one of us expressed fear at what might be coming this year and the concern that we – individually and as “we the people” who are aghast at the terrifying proposals – are up to the sustained effort of resistance that is required.

I like that word “resistance”. It brings to mind the brave members of the World War II underground in the occupied countries. At their start, it took awhile to get organized but over time, the resistance forces grew in size and number and were amazingly effective against an overwhelming war machine.

With the entire federal government now held by a Republican majority, that is how we need to operate – to resist in every manner we can imagine and create.

Resist200By the way, I have ordered my “Resist!” teeshirt. I'm not saying you should do that too – at $40 it's expensive – but if you are interested, it supports Think Progress, an important and well-established progressive institution that will certainly be of help in the coming months and years.

Between the new executive administration and the Republican Congress – both so full of themselves - it won't be easy keeping up with number of outrageous changes they will throw our way: environmental, nuclear, border walls, taxes, deportation, public education, poverty, Wall Street de-regulation and of course, what they like to falsely call “entitlements”.

In fact, according to Robert Pear in The New York Times a couple of days ago:

”Within hours of the new Congress convening on Tuesday, the House plans to adopt a package of rules to clear the way for repealing the health care law and replacing it with as-yet-unspecified measures meant to help people obtain insurance coverage.

“Then, in the week of Jan. 9, according to a likely timetable sketched out by Representative Greg Walden, Republican of Oregon, the House will vote on a budget blueprint, which is expected to call for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.”

These are procedural moves and neither repeals Obamacare (yet) so I don't want to waste our ammunition by asking us to call our Congress members yet. But you see what it's going to be like - one damned move after another and we will need to be alert to keep up.

No single person, website, political organization can handle all the issues Congress and the Trump administration with throw out way and because the focus of the this website has always been ageing and elders, TimeGoesBy will target and resist the already announced threats to repeal, privatize and/or voucherize Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare and Social Security.

Right now, there is an explosion of resistance plans on the internet from old and new organizations. So far, they are scatter shooting their resources, each with individual plans for this march, that petition, those visits with representatives and various other public events as they request donations from you and me.

And god bless them. We, America, need every protester and resister we can mobilize but what I'm looking and watching for is are two or three well-organized coalitions where people like us with targeted concerns can share resources and support one another as events from Washington require us to speak out and to act.

Here's what worries me (not counting the frightening assault on our institutions): my energy. I will be 76 in a couple of months and in the past year I have felt more acutely than ever before how much my stamina waxes and wanes from day to day and how much I need to pace myself.

Tiring more easily is a fact of ageing life and I'm working to devise a good plan to keep going in what will be a completely unpredictable 2017. We're facing a frightening new world and we must do our part even if our physical gusto isn't quite what it was in the 1960s.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of links you can set aside to use for the coming campaign:

Indivisible: The Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda that we have discussed here before

List of the freshmen members of Congress



ELDER MUSIC: Toes Up in 2016 - Part 1

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Oh my, there are a lot this year. This is the first of two columns.

Guy Clark

GUY CLARK was one of the finest of the Texas singer/songwriters. He was the epicentre of likeminded performers, including Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Jeff Walker and others.

His songs were an interesting blend of poetry and wit and he turned it all into a musical art form that few have matched. All his albums are worth listening to and there are two that I prefer (slightly) more than the others – "South Coast of Texas" and "Dublin Blues".

I listened to them both to select a track; there were many in contention. It was just how I felt on the day of selection, which is as it should be. Today it's South Coast of Texas. (He was 74)

♫ Guy Clark - South Coast of Texas


PIERRE BOULEZ was a French classical composer and conductor. His compositions are generally "challenging" (which translates as unlistenable-to) and as a conductor he presented the works of 20th century composers such as Berg, Stravinsky, Bartok, Debussy and so on.

He also brought electronic music and such into the classical repertoire and was a champion of the works of Frank Zappa. He did more than anyone to bring modern classical music to the forefront. (90)

Glenn Frey

GLENN FREY was the guitarist, songwriter and one of the singers for The Eagles, a band that had the two biggest selling albums in history.

He was born in Detroit and began his recording career there, playing guitar on his friend Bob Seger's early albums. After that, he left for Los Angeles where he encountered Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther and others, with whom he performed and wrote songs.

Around this time Linda Ronstadt needed a backing band for an up-coming tour. Taking the advice of her companion, J.D. Souther, she hired Glenn and three others. This group meshed so well that at the end of the tour they decided to stay together as a separate band.

They called themselves The Eagles. They became hugely successful both as a recording group and in performances. They later split (and re-formed several times) and Glenn had quite a successful solo career – his songs were used in films and TV programs and he acted in some as well.

Here is Glenn with a song he wrote and sang with The Eagles, Tequila Sunrise. (67)

♫ The Eagles - Tequila Sunrise


LONG JOHN HUNTER was from Louisiana but he's more associated with the Texas blues scene. He was a singer and guitarist of the first order - however, he's little known outside lovers of electric blues style, possibly because he spent many years in Mexico playing his music there. (84)

Paul Kantner

PAUL KANTNER was one of the founders of the San Francisco rock group Jefferson Airplane. They were blessed with a fine lead guitarist in Jorma Kaukonen and two excellent singers in Marty Balin and Grace Slick but it was Paul who kept the group on track, at least for a few years.

They were the first of the San Francisco groups to receive a recording contract and had a hit album and several hit singles. By the early seventies the band had evolved into Jefferson Starship who were essentially a group playing just the hits and Paul quit amid multitudinous lawsuits. He really didn't do much musically after that. (74)

Signe Anderson

By an amazing coincidence, SIGNE ANDERSON died the same day as Paul. Signe was the original singer for the Airplane but left to care for her baby daughter; that's when Grace Slick came on board.

Signe can be heard on the original album by the group called "Jefferson Airplane Takes Off". (74)

From that album here are Paul and Signe singing Run Around.

♫ Jefferson Airplane - Run Around


OTIS CLAY was a blues and R & B singer who was from Mississippi but made Chicago his home. He could belt out blues with the best of them and sing tender songs that could break your heart. Besides his musical achievements, Otis was known for his charitable work in his adopted city. (72)

Dan Hicks

DAN HICKS was a musician who went against the trends of music in the sixties when he was at his peak.

Not for him the ever increasing volume of the rock bands at the time. He took his inspiration from western swing, Django Reinhardt, the Andrews Sisters, Fats Waller and put his own spin on all of it. He surrounded himself with fine musicians who played in his band the Hot Licks, who shared his musical views.

Although never a top seller, he was very influential and many other musicians took his example to heart. Here Dan and the Licks perform How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away. (74)

♫ Dan Hicks - How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away


The first and definitely the best trio in rock & roll history was Elvis, Scotty and Bill. The last remaining member of that group, SCOTTY MOORE died recently (Bill was Bill Black, and you probably know who the other one was).

Scotty was a session guitarist at Sun Records and was called in by Sam Phillips to play on Elvis's first recordings (along with Bill). They worked well together and eventually recorded a lot more and toured together (later adding D.J. Fontana on drums). (84)

Neville Marriner

NEVILLE MARRINER was an English violinist and one of the world's finest conductors. He founded (and was conductor with) the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, an orchestra that is second to none.

He studied at the Royal College of Music and joined the army when war broke out. Later he was in several orchestras and string quartets and went to America where he started the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and was conductor at several other orchestras.

Upon returning to England he formed the Academy and remained musical director there until recently. He was one of the first to use authentic period instruments in recordings of Baroque and early Classical works. He conducted all round the world.

This is Neville conducting the Academy of St Martin in the Fields with the third movement of J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No 5. (92)

♫ Neville Marriner: Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No 5 (3)


GEORGE MARTIN was the most important record producer in history because he was the one who allowed The Beatles to do what they wanted to do.

He managed to achieve the sounds they could only hear in their heads. Before the fab four, he produced comedy records, classical ones, pop music and early rock & roll so he was the perfect person for them. He was also classically trained on piano, oboe and composition. (90)

Jon English

JON ENGLISH was an English-born Australian singer, actor and songwriter. He was the singer and guitarist for the group Sebastian Hardie, but he first made it big playing Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar".

He was an in-demand actor on TV playing serious and comic roles. He was a stage actor as well and appeared in a number of Gilbert and Sullivan works. He also recorded songs, many of which became hits. One of those is Carmilla. (66)

♫ Jon English - Carmilla


STEVE YOUNG was a country music singer and songwriter who brought elements of folk, blues, gospel and rock into his work. He was essentially a country-rock performer before that genre had been invented.

Although not very well known to the general public, he wrote songs that were covered by many, including The Eagles, Joan Baez, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jnr, Rita Coolidge and others. (73)

Ralph Stanley

RALPH STANLEY performed with his brother Carter as the Stanley Brothers. They were a major influence in the development of bluegrass and country music from the forties onwards. His "high, lonesome" style of singing was emulated by many and the brothers' harmony was a huge influence on the Everly Brothers and others.

After his brother died, Ralph formed the Clinch Mountain Boys that started the careers of several modern bluegrass musicians, such as Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley. This is Ralph with his brother performing It's Never Too Late To Start Over. (89)

♫ Stanley Brothers - It's Never Too Late To Start Over


MACK RICE was a soul singer and song writer – he wrote Mustang Sally, a big hit for Wilson Pickett.

He first came to notice in a group called The Falcons that also included Wilson and Eddie Floyd. He had a bit of a career as a singer, but his main claim to fame is as a songwriter for musicians, both at Stax records and Motown. The number of singers who recorded his songs is far too extensive to list here. (82)

Ross Hanaford

ROSS HANNAFORD was considered by everyone to be Australia's finest rock guitarist. He had a long collaboration with his friend Ross Wilson with whom he was in several bands starting with The Pink Finks when they were still teenagers.

Later they formed Sons of the Vegetal Mother inspired by the music of Frank Zappa. The two are best known for the band Daddy Cool, one of the most important and loved bands in Oz history.

They were in a later band, Mighty Kong and Ross (Hannaford) later formed several of his own groups, most notably Dianna Kiss.  He also played on many musicians' albums.

Here is Ross with Paul Madigan performing There's Really Nothing You Can Do. Paul sings the first half of the song and Ross plays electric guitar and sings the second half. (65)

♫ Ross Hannaford & Paul Madigan - There's Really Nothing You Can Do


Speaking of Daddy Cool, WAYNE DUNCAN was the bass player for the group. He was also a member of Sons of the Vegetal Mother and was respected by his peers as one of the finest bass players in Oz rock. (72)

Fred Hellerman

FRED HELLERMAN was the last remaining member of The Weavers. He was the main guitarist of the group and wrote songs for them (as well as for others).

They had quite a few hits in the early fifties until the right-wing nut cases blacklisted them from radio and TV. They still performed in concert to great acclaim.

After the Weavers, Fred also produced records (Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant and its successor, as well as Joan Baez's and Judy Collins' first albums). His songs have been recorded by Harry Belafonte, Sam Cooke, Don Williams, The Kingston Trio, Roberta Flack and others.

Fred sings lead vocal with The Weavers on Sixteen Tons.

♫ The Weavers - Sixteen Tons


PETE FOUNTAIN was a New Orleans jazz clarinet player. He didn't restrict himself to traditional jazz but also played in the modern style as well as dabbling in pop, honky tonk and Creole music.

He first came to prominence as a member of Lawrence Welk's orchestra but left after a difference about Pete's wanting to play jazz. He returned to New Orleans and opened his own club that featured most of the best musicians over the years. (86)

Marni Nixon

You've all heard MARNI NIXON sing many, many times and most of you are saying, "Ah yes, of course". There may be a few of you, however, who are going, "Who, who? I know not of what you speak".

To remind you: Marni supplied the singing voice of Deborah Kerr in "The King and I", Natalie Wood in "West Side Story", Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady", Deborah again in "An Affair to Remember" and many others.

She was much in demand for that role because she was classically trained (in violin as well as voice), had perfect pitch and could sight-read extremely well.

Outside of films, Marni was a specialist in the works of modern classical composers such as Stravinsky, Webern, Copland, Schoenberg, Ives, Berg and so on. From Aaron Copland's "8 Poems of Emily Dickinson", this is No 4, Heart, We Will Forget Him. (86)

♫ Marni Nixon - 8 Poems of Emily Dickinson No. 4. Heart, we will forget him


JOHN D. LOUDERMILK was a songwriter and singer whose songs were covered by many famous singers – The Everly Brothers, Glen Campbell, Roy Orbison, Sammy Davis Jnr, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash and on and on.

He also had some hits himself. I remember fondly Angela Jones and Language of Love. Also, who could forget Calling Doctor Casey? (82)

Mose Allison

MOSE ALLISON was a jazz pianist, singer and songwriter who was influenced by the blues that surrounded him where he grew up in Mississippi. In turn, he had a huge influence on later musicians, particularly those of the first wave of British bands in the sixties.

This is most evident in Georgie Fame's style but also Van Morrison and The Who acknowledge their debt to Mose. His songs have been covered by hundreds of performers over the years and you can also hear hints of him in Randy Newman, J.J. Cale, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and many lesser performers.

Mose sings and plays Lost Mind. (89)

♫ Mose Allison - Lost Mind


JUAN GABRIEL was a Mexican singer who was a superstar in that country and elsewhere in Latin America. He wrote songs for himself and others and performed in many genres. He also sold more than 100 million records; few musicians anywhere have beaten that. (66)

Leonard Cohen

LEONARD COHEN was a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and author. He spent much of the sixties on the Greek island of Hydra writing poetry, novels and eventually songs that became the basis of his first two albums. Many other performers took notice of those songs and recorded them as well.

He produced only 14 albums, but all of them contained songs as good as anyone else has written. Although lacking a conventional good singing voice, his concerts were always eagerly anticipated. Nobody sang his songs as well as he did himself (well, almost nobody).

From the first album is the song Sisters of Mercy. (82)

♫ Leonard Cohen - Sisters of Mercy


By a coincidence, MARIANNE IHLEN died this year as well. She was the inspiration of several of Lennie's early songs, most especially So Long Marianne. It's her picture on the back cover of "Songs From a Room". (81)

Also...

KEITH EMERSON was one third of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, in which he played various keyboards. (71)

GREG LAKE makes it two thirds of the group; he played bass. Carl Palmer must be looking over his shoulder. (69)

LEE ANDREWS was lead singer for the Doowop group Lee Andrews and The Hearts who had several hits in the fifties. (79)

NED MILLER was a country music songwriter and singer best known for his world-wide hit From a Jack to a King. (90)

AMJAD SABRI was a Pakistani singer of Sufi devotional music, murdered by mad men. (39)

HENRY MCCULLOUGH was a Northern Irish guitarist who played in the Grease Band, Spooky Tooth and Paul McCartney's Wings. (72)

GIORGIO GOMELSKY was a music promoter and record producer who started the careers of the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll. (81)

DALLAS TAYLOR was a session drummer who played for Crosby, Stills and Nash and toured with The Doors and Paul Butterfield's band. (66)

JOAN MARIE JOHNSON was a member of the Dixie Cups who had several hits in the sixties, most notably Iko Iko and Chapel of Love. (72)

JEREMY STEIG was a jazz flute player who also dabbled in rock music and wrote several soundtracks. (73)

GARY PAXTON was a songwriter, singer and record producer who was responsible Alley-Oop and other novelty songs. (77)

DAVE SWARBRICK was an English folk singer and violinist, and a member of Fairport Convention. (75)

MAURICE WHITE was the founder and guiding light of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. (74)

AL CAIOLA was a session guitarist who had instrumental hits of his own. He also performed TV and film theme tunes. (96)

MENTOR WILLIAMS was a song writer, and occasional singer, best known for writing the song Drift Away. (70)

ALAN ZAVOD was an Australian jazz pianist who was discovered by Duke Ellington. He was a student at the Berklee College of Music, and later became a professor there. He played with Frank Zappa, Sting, Eric Clapton, Nigel Kennedy and others. (71)

This has been an awful year (in more ways than one). You can read Part 2 of Toes Up 2016 here.