Match the artists on this page with the listed shows in the “Heads Up” section!
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Yeah, I know all about our problems. Border Scandals, Tax Scandals, Benghazi Scandals…
For just one month, let’s look a bit more objectively at our country and realize how GREAT IT IS. It is the month we celebrate the birth of our country on July 4th, and we have tons of picnics at church, parks or outdoor concerts to get together as a community. Let’s get together here and celebrate why we’re so blessed to live here. I’ve put a bunch of reasons up on the “No One Asked My Opinion” section. That’s just a start!
What does this have to do with jazz? How about EVERYTHING! To paraphrase what Keith Richburg writes in his fascinating book, Out of America; yes, it was terrible that his ancestors were brought over as slaves, and slavery was a terrible thing. But, after living as a foreign correspondent for 3 years in Africa, he states that he thanks God every day for the fact that he lives here as a black man. The freedoms we have here GREATLY overshadow the lives of his ancestors in his native land. Where would you rather live? California or Zimbabwe?
Only in America could the two most popular Christmas songs (“White Christmas” and “The Christmas Song”) be written by America loving Jews Irving Berlin and Mel Torme! Then, you’ve got the Gershwin Brothers who not only gave us some of the best songs ever, but the wonderful opera Porgy and Bess as well as larger pieces American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue. What other country can boast someone like that? Don’t even start me on George M. Cohan, Cole Porter, Richard Rogers, Oscar Hammerstein, and the list that could go on and on
We love to complain about our country, but the good news is WE CAN DO IT WITHOUT GETTING ARRESTED. I once lived in Malawi, and it was ILLEGAL to discuss politics! Want to change your religion? Only in America can this be done without losing your job, family threats or death! I do medical mission trips to the third world, and the religious persecutions that go there make me kiss the ground at the US airport every time I arrive, not to mention say a prayer or two to God.
Don’t like the school system? America’s one of the few countries where you can home school your kid. Esperanza Spalding was home schooled, in case you didn’t know. And don’t forget that almost every black artist started playing in church. The influence of the church in our culture is a major net plus. Because of the stabilizing factor of it, non believers are allowed to protest against God through music or literature. Try that in the Ukraine or Pakistan!
Want government sponsored jazz? Tell it to Prokofiev or Shostakovich! It emasculated and killed both of them! The free market (with charity) is one of the wonders of our country. The Jazz Bakery jazz club is completely run by donations, and it serves some of the world’s best jazz.
The Great Experiment called America was founded by people not looking for religious freedom, but for establishing a God-fearing country. We are the beneficiaries of that covenant from 1620 in so many ways, so wave the flag proudly this month.
Please contact us-here are some recent emails…
Hi George, It’s a really great interview, and we also loved the review! We look forward to the album review. All the best, Jane Ebdon Assistant to John Mayall Hi George, thank you so much for the review! -as always wonderfully written, and great photos too :)) Vardan Ovsepian
I wanted to send this to you from Vincent Poag, who deeply appreciated your words. Thank you,
Dear George-Thank you for this wonderful piece. It was a thrill to read and see how much you “get” Jimmy Webb—and of course Johnny Rivers.
Thank you for the book, I was wondering who passed it along. It will go to good use. I wish I had met you! May we post a link to your review on Facebook?