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procolharum Gary Brooker, the guy with the mustache, is the founder, keyboard player, and lead singer of the progressive rock group Procol Harum through its entire run (1967–1977, 1991–present).

I have three LPs by the group, all from 1972 or earlier. But I had a cassette greatest hits, which I absolutely loved, before it wore out.

I now own a greatest hits album on CD which is a different collection. And it was on that disc I heard the song Read the rest of this entry »

John-FogertyJust last year, I wrote a lengthy piece about Creedence Clearwater Revival, a fine band. In it, I mentioned the continuing strife between lead singer/songwriter John Fogerty and the other living members of the group, plus his brother’s widow. As of December 2014, the lawsuits continue.

So I’m just going to link to some solo John Fogerty for his birthday number three score and ten:

With the Blue Ridge Rangers: Jambalaya (On The Bayou), #16 in 1973. This was #1 country hit in 1952 for Hank Williams.

Rockin’ All Over The World, #27 in 1975.

Almost Saturday Night, #78 in 1975.

The Old Man Down The Road, #10 in 1985.

Rock And Roll Girls, #20 in 1985. Its B-side,
Centerfield, #44 in 1985, was
honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.

(All chart citations refer to the US Billboard pop listings.)
***
John Fogerty and Sawyer Fredericks on The Voice finale, May 2015, singing a CCR medley. BTW, Sawyer is the area kid who won the competition.

police.public_corruption_1In light of all of the recent incidents involving young black men and the police in America, it got me to wondering how I managed to luck out and largely avoid confrontations with them. Growing up, I have no specific recollection of dealing with police much at all. Of course, I was a “good” kid, but that didn’t always inoculate one from confrontation.

There a Facebook friend of mine, who’s about a decade older than I, who went my church when I was a youth, who tells an ugly tale about him and cop, a doughnut on the ground not dropped by him, and the abusive language from the cop. And he was surely a “good” kid.

During some antiwar demonstrations, I do recall moving quickly to avoid teargas, or police on horses, or the like, but those were in mass demonstrations.

As an adult, most of my dealings with the police have been as a victim of crime Read the rest of this entry »

opt-out5There has been a great deal of controversy in the state of New York about the school tests tied to something called Common Core. It is more complicated than I wish to get into here, but I wrote about it a bit in my Times Union blog.

There was a statewide movement to get students in grades 3 to 8 to opt out of the test, which was somewhat successful in many districts, including in my area.

The movement has been around a couple years, but I had not paid a great deal of attention. Read the rest of this entry »

war_peace
There was a time when I thought there were bad guys and good guys, and they were very easily distinguishable.

But now I think war is failure. Even a “just war” may be, at very best, the least bad outcome. And usually, just a bad outcome, with war profiteers (Blackwater, or whatever they’re calling themselves now). Pope Francis got it right this month: “Many powerful people don’t want peace because they live off war.”
Read the rest of this entry »

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