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Posts Tagged ‘Dinah Washington’



What a diff’rence a day made
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain



It’s almost over.

Just a few more hours and a dark period in our nation’s history begins to fade into the background. The dustbin of history where those who formulated and did the dark deeds over the past four years along with those who enabled them will be given the harsh judgement they so deserve.

Oh, it’s certainly not over by any stretch of the imagination nor will it be easy going forward but already there is a palpable change in tone and attitude. For example, last night the President-elect presided over a moving ceremony on the National Mall that paid tribute to those Americans who have lost their lives to covid-19.

Over 400,000 citizens.

Actually, the count is most likely at least 10% higher than that, more like 450,000 or even more, when you factor in the excess mortality rates that are well above that number and the fact that the number of deaths we normally experience from the seasonal flu and the common cold is almost non-existent due to the mitigation efforts put in place for covid-19. 

In that short ceremony in the evening before he would actually take on the mantle of the presidency, Joe Biden provided comfort and empathy for the for the 400,000 families who suffered loss as well as the whole of the American people. It was far more than his predecessor ever even attempted during this past horrific year. 

Yes, the change of tone is evident.

We have endured thus far.

Thank you to those who resisted, who spoke out against the many wrongs that were being perpetrated. It was not an easy choice for most folks, many who are not used to speaking up, who in other times might just shrug and go about their business. But the time demanded it and without those gathered voices, their tireless efforts at organizing and affecting change, we might be looking at a whole different scenario and future on this very morning.

That scenario would most likely make the chaos of the past few weeks seem like a cakewalk.

So, thank you to all who spoke up, who took to the streets in peaceful protest, who volunteered, who stood in long lines to votes— all 81,200,000 of you! Thank you to those who knew that we could be better than what we were witnessing if we simply came together. Thank you.

And to those of you who gathered behind the flag of this corrupt and malevolent wannabe dictator, we now fully know who you are.

We see you.

There’s a lot of hard work ahead and accountability for the misdeeds of the past must be part of it. But the President-elect will most certainly not be obsessed with the retribution and revenge we would expect from his predecessor. No, it’s a different perspective coming into the White House.

You might not agree with everything he does- I doubt that I will- but you can rest assured that he will believe that what he is doing is the best course for us as a whole.

And that is a breath of fresh air.

What a difference a day makes.



I wasn’t going to write anything this morning but felt I wanted to comment on the transition to the presidency. I was planning on just playing a song and at first songs with a little snark came to mind– Ding Ding The Witch Is Dead, I’ll Be Glad When You Dead You Rascal You, or Hit the Road Jack, which was played by one of the military bands yesterday as they rehearsed in front of the White House. A classic bit of thrown shade as ever there was. [Late addition and apology: Later discovered that the video showing the band playing “Hit the Road Jack” was a doctored piece of film with another song actually being played.  I bit. My bad.]

But I decided not to go with snark and decided to go with the cool and brightness of What  a Difference a Day Makes from the late, great Dinah Washington.

I am tired of being angry and disgusted. A change in tone is what we all need right now.

Be well on this historic day. And keep up the good work.



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The Australian wildfires are still raging. Sheer devastation. Well over 18 millions acres (think about it as every single inch of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts being burnt to the ground) up in flames along with dozens of lives, thousands of homes and a staggering amount of wildlife. The current estimate that the number of animals and birds is that well over a billion creatures have perished. Those that survive face a grim future with an environment that will take years to rebound.

That is, if it ever can.

It’s heartbreaking. No, it’s more than that. Heartbreaking seems almost too trivial a word for the holocaust taking place. It’s more like a jagged rip in the very fiber of our souls. As helpless as we feel here on the other side of the globe, as hopeless as it seems from such a distance, we must not turn away.

Their horror may well be the future for many of us.

We have been warned for decades that this time was fast approaching but hubris and greed made us ignore and even scoff at the suggestion that we were destroying the environment that had once been so hospitable to us.

I don’t know what the answers are for climate change or even how to properly help our animal and human friends in Australia. But I know I can’t ignore the problem, can’t just shrug and say that my time here is short now that I am well into middle age and that it’s a problem for those younger than me. It’s that sort of ignorance and carelessness that allowed this to happen in the first place.

I am looking for answers, even if they are small. I can’t save Australia with my small donation but maybe it can help one small displaced creature, plant a tree or two or do anything to alleviate the pain caused by our treatment of this earth.

I hope you will look for answers as well.

This Sunday morning music is a song from the great Dinah Washington from back in 1960 called This Bitter Earth. I am also including a version of the song that combines her original vocals with a musical piece from contemporary composer Max Richter, On the Nature of Daylight, which is  a piece of music that I have played here before. The two combine to create a powerful statement that is fitting for this subject and this time.

I hope you’ll listen to both. And don’t turn away. Do even one small thing to help someone on this bitter earth.

 

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Under the weather this morning but stumbled across this song that I featured here back in 2011. It’s been 7 or 8 years so I guess that’s not too repetitive. Plus, it’s just such a great song from an artist that deserves a lot more attention. Enjoy and have a good Sunday.

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This song is That’s a Rockin’ Good Way sung by Dinah Washington and Brook Benton which made it to #7 on the Pop charts and #1 on the R&B charts in 1959. I heard this song on the radio yesterday for the first time in a long time and it made me think about Washington’s career and legacy.

Known as both the Queen of the Jukeboxes and Queen of the Blues, Washington was one of the biggest recording stars of the 1950’s, singing jazz, blues and pop songs with her earthy delivery.  Her body of work is impressive yet she is seldom mentioned alongside the other jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday. In fact, she is little known today which is a shame not only because so many are missing out on her vast talent but because her story is such a compelling story.

There are all the elements of great drama in her biography, her rise from a poor girl in Alabama to her great success as a major recording artist being only one aspect. There were all the men in her lives including 8 or 9 marriages, depending on which source you believe, and a number of other lovers. There was her battle with drugs and alcohol as well as a struggle with her weight which led to emotional swings that found her fighting with everyone around her, including her fans at times. There was the constant struggle with her record company for the respect she deserved. She had a big, big personality and finally seemed to be coming into her own as an artist when an accidental overdose brought her life to a close in 1963.

She was only 39.

So, here’s just a small sample of her talent. Hopefully, her legacy will continue to grow…

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  This song is That’s a Rockin’ Good Way sung by Dinah Washington and Brook Benton amd it made it to #7 on the Pop charts and #1 on the R&B charts in 1959.  I heard this song on the radio yesterday and it made me think about Washington’s career and legacy.

Known as both the Queen of the Jukeboxes and Queen of the Blues, Washington was one of the biggest recording stars of the 1950’s, singing jazz, blues and pop songs with her earthy delivery.   Her body of work is impressive yet she is seldom mentioned alongside the other jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday.  In fact, she is little known today which is a shame not only because so many are missing out on her vast talent but because her story is such a compelling story. 

There are all the elements of great drama in her biography, her rise from a poor girl in Alabama to her great success as a major recording artist being only one aspect.  There were all the men in her lives including 8 or 9 marriages, depending on which source you believe, and a number of other lovers.  There was her battle with drugs and alcohol as well as a struggle with her weight which led to emotional swings that found her fighting with everyone around her, including her fans at times.  There was the constant struggle with her record company for the respect she deserved.  She had a big, big personality and finally seemed to be coming into her own as an artist when an accidental overdose brought her life to a close in 1963.  She was only 39.  There’s a nice concise bio online from jounalist Dean Robbins that I recommend.

So, here’s just a small sample of her talent.  Hopefully, her legacy will continue to grow…

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